The Rhine Cycle Route

Constance Rhine Bridge

Rhein bei Konstanz

Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen

Rheinfall bei Schaffhausen

Rhine Falls Rocks


Bad Säckingen

Brücke, Bad Säckingen

The cathedral in Basel

Münster, Basel

Cycling near Efringen-Kirchen on the Rhine

Radfahrer, Efringen-Kirchen


Straßburg, Elsass


Stadtansicht, Speyer


Landschaft, Rheinhessen

The Rhine near Düsseldorf

Rhein bei Düsseldorf

The windmills in Kinderdijk

Windmühlen, Kinderdijk

The Rhine is one of the most impressive rivers in Europe. The Rhine Cycle Path, which often accompanies it on both banks, is also impressive. On around 1,230 kilometers you will experience pure cycling fun, almost always with a view of the river. The Rhine Cycle Route, also known as EuroVelo 15, starts in Andermatt in Switzerland and ends in Hoek van Holland on the North Sea in the Netherlands. As one of the longest long-distance cycle routes in Europe, it has a lot to offer: Beautiful Alpine panoramas in Switzerland, the mild climate of Lake Constance and the art city of Basel. The Alsatian city of Strasbourg, the imperial cathedrals in Speyer, Worms and Mainz as well as Cologne are also worth a visit. On the way to the mouth of the Rhine, you cycle past Dutch windmills, through the seaport of Rotterdam to the boisterous North Sea. Often along both sides of the Rhine, you cycle in the footsteps of the Romans, follow legends steeped in myth, enjoy regional specialties and at the same time experience the modern accents of this international river.

On this page you will find information on topography and signposting as well as tips on how to get there, the best travel times and shortcut options. If you intend to cycle the entire Rhine Cycle Route or just a specific section, you will find suggestions for your own tour as well as a selection of our cycle tours along the Rhine Cycle Route.

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In a nutshell: The Rhine Cycle Route

  • Length
    approx. 1,230 km
  • Topography
    Elevation profile ●●○○○○
    From the Alps to the Netherlands, the Rhine has a very varied topography. Up to Chur, you have to reckon with larger gradients. Between Chur and the North Sea, the route is mostly flat, but there are a few climbs.
  • Signposting
    The signposting along the entire Rhine Cycle Route is not yet standardized and varies depending on the section and the country in question. The EuroVelo 15 logo, with a yellow cyclist on a blue background with wheels made of EU stars, is mainly used. In Switzerland, for example, the cycle route is marked as cycle route no. 2.
  • Quality
    Between Andermatt and Chur, the Rhine Cycle Route runs along paved forest paths, which may also have an off-road character depending on the weather. From Chur to the Dutch border, the route is paved throughout or runs on paved cycle paths and embankments or country roads. In the Netherlands, you cycle on dyke paths with little traffic. In general, watch out for increased traffic in larger towns and at town entrances and exits!

Please note!
A cycle helmet is compulsory in Austria for children under the age of 12. For safety reasons, however, we generally recommend that all cyclists wear a helmet!

The Rhine Cycle Route from Andermatt to the North Sea
The Rhine Cycle Route from Andermatt to the North Sea

On the way from the heart of Switzerland to the North Sea

The Rhine Cycle Route begins in Andermatt, at the source of the Rhine, high in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy mountain panoramas in a class of their own. Along the wild Alpine Rhine, you reach Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland. The sometimes steep climbs are rewarded with great views and fabulous nature, such as on our Rhine cycle tour in Switzerland. Once you reach Lake Constance, follow the Rhine Cycle Path to Constance, which is now almost free of inclines. Through idyllic villages and always directly along the river, the Rhine Cycle Path takes you to the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. From here, you have the opportunity to cycle along both banks of the Rhine. Nestled between the slopes of the Black Forest and the Swiss Jura, you reach the art city of Basel. From Basel, follow the Upper Rhine north to Mainz. On the way, you will get to know the capital of Europe, Strasbourg, located in Alsace, the cathedral cities of Speyer and Worms as well as the wine region of Rheinhessen. From Mainz, you cycle through the Middle Rhine Valley, accompanied by numerous castles and palaces. Pass the Loreley Rock, cross Koblenz at the so-called Deutsches Eck, and pay a visit to the carnival stronghold of Cologne. Along the Lower Rhine, you will experience the lively Düsseldorf, follow in Barbarossa's footsteps in Kaiserswerth, discover the industrial architecture of Duisburg and the Roman town of Xanten. Just a stone's throw from Emmerich, you cross the German-Dutch border. Shortly before Arnheim, the Rhine splits into the Waal and the Nederrijn. Following the Nederrijn, you cycle past dykes and canals to the windmills of Kinderdijk. It is then not far via the seaport of Rotterdam to the mouth of the river in Hoek van Holland in the Rhine-Mass Delta.

Signposting of the Rhine Cycle Route in Switzerland
Signposting of the Rhine Cycle Route in Switzerland

Travel time

The travel time depends on which part of the Rhine Cycle Route you want to cycle. Between Andermatt and Chur, it is not advisable to plan a cycle tour until May due to possible snowfall. From Chur via Lake Constance to Basel, you will be accompanied by a milder climate. See for yourself, for example, on our cycle tour on the High Rhine. Ideally, you should cycle here between March and October. The same applies to the route from Basel to Emmerich, near the Dutch border. In the Netherlands, the weather is mainly determined by the proximity to the sea. You often have to reckon with headwinds and spontaneous changes in the weather. No matter where you start your journey on the Rhine Cycle Route, you will experience it in its very own facets at any time of year - whether in the fresh green spring, in the colorful summer months, or during the grape harvest in autumn.

Vineyard in Breisach, Rhine cycle path

Arrivals, departures, and return travel

Whether you want to experience the Rhine Cycle Route from the source, the High Rhine, or the Middle Rhine, your starting and finishing points are easily accessible by car and train. You can usually return to your starting point by train without any problems. If you are traveling with your own bike, find out in advance whether your chosen connections allow you to take your bike with you.

There are good connections to the airports of Zurich, Basel/Mulhouse, Friedrichshafen, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, The Hague and Rotterdam near or along the Rhine Cycle Route. Many places along the cycle path are served by long-distance buses. Bicycle transport is limited and must be registered.

Airport Zurüch
Zurich Airport


If you want to shorten a section along the Rhine cycle route due to a breakdown or an unexpected change in the weather, there are various options available:
In the Alpenrhein region all of the places in the various sections are serviced by the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) network. Bikes can be accommodated on almost all trains.
Between Konstanz and Basel, most towns also have a station. And between Konstanz and Schaffhausen there is a regular boat service.
Just before Mainz, the Rhine is an important means of transportation for trade and industry. There are many jetties and stations here.
Therefore you can shorten every section or subsection of the route.

Cyclists on the Rhine
Navigation and cyclists near Stein am Rhein

Who is out and about on the Rhine Cycle Path?

At almost 1,230 kilometers in length, the Rhine Cycle Path has the right section for every cyclist. The route along the Alpine Rhine is a paradise for sporty cyclists and nature lovers. This section is not suitable for children or bike trailers due to the inclines and poor weather conditions in places. You can compensate for difficult inclines with an e-bike.

History and culture enthusiasts will get their money's worth along the entire Rhine Cycle Path. Medieval town centers, imposing palaces, castles and sacred buildings as well as museums and industrial monuments offer all kinds of insights into the past and present. A distinctive wine culture has established itself along the Rhine over the past centuries. Between Basel and Bonn, wine lovers can enjoy the finest wines from Baden, Rheinhessen and the Rheingau region.

Between Mainz and Cologne, the Rhine Cycle Path offers its most leisurely sections. Rare climbs and good rest stops make this section the perfect cycle route for beginners and families. Our travel tip: the cycle tour through the Middle Rhine Valley

Be aware that there can be strong headwinds and rapidly changing weather on the Dutch section of the Rhine Cycle Route, which can be very strenuous for beginners and children.

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