The beautiful Upper Rhine Valley is located in the heart of Europe, where the Rhine connects France, Germany and Switzerland. With an area of more than 21.000 km² the region is almost as large as Tuscany, and has the same centuries-old tradition of attracting tourists who love art, culture and fine cuisine. The Upper Rhine Valley is a compact region of versatile scenery and culturally of extraordinary diversity with many charming towns and villages on both sides of the Rhine. The economically prosperous region with its six million inhabitants is within easy reach and offers its visitors a lot of everything.
It never takes more than ten minutes to get from one highlight to another. Famous for its short and mild winters and pleasing summer temperatures from April to October, the region is one of the most beautiful and fertile landscapes in Europe: The markets, vineyards and sophisticated restaurants as good as gold for gourmets; the Gothic cathedrals in Freiburg, Basel and Strasbourg, medieval castles and the countless museums with art collections ranging through history make it a MUST for art connoisseurs; the unique landscape is a paradise for golfers, hikers and ramblers, swimmers, bikers and outdoor fans. Some eighteen million overnight stays each year – of which many guests are returning visitors – confirm the region’s outstanding appeal to tourism.
Musical Highlights, colorful Festivals and diverse open air events turn the Upper Rhine Valley into a cultural comfort zone. This is the home of the famous violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Europe’s second-largest opera house.
Whether classical or jazz, rock or pop – the musical range in the Upper Rhine Valley strikes the right tone for every music fan. International world stars stand on the stage in the tri-border area of Germany, Switzerland, and France. International top acts such as the Pet Shop Boys, national stars such as PUR, and greats of classical music such as Ludovico Einaudi will delight the audiences this year. Music will even be performed on the water: Right on time for the summer season, a raft will anchor on the Rhine River and offer a unique concert platform. Cabaret and street artists like flamenco dancers, pantomimes, and jugglers round off the diverse show.
Under the open sky, artistes, jugglers, and magicians will also present their feats at the Street Art Festival. Fans of the Middle Ages – who travel into the past in the authentic style as knights, princesses, and minnesingers – also love the colorful events here. For three days, they can follow in the steps of the Knights Templar at the Middle Ages Festival. A special open air event attracts car fans: At the International Oldtimer Meeting, genuine rarities are on parade. Treasures by Bugatti, Mercedes Benz, and Alfa Romeo draw fans from throughout the world. Award-winning live bands will play at the Kultursommer festival in Germersheim. In its 20th year, the festival has the motto of “Eurovisions” – and invites audiences on a musical journey from Scandinavia to Southern Europe. With two further focal points of jazz and classical music, the event has the right offer for every age group and every taste.
Sounds from the past can be heard in the Jura Mountains. At the Middle Ages festival Les Médiévales, princesses, court servants, and knights transform the lanes of Saint-Ursanne. Thousands of visitors celebrate in original costumes to historical music and with hearty food.
The scene is more graceful in Strasbourg. The highlight at the Spectacle d‘été is the Street Artist Festival in the streets and on the plazas in the city center. Musicians, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and poets offer more than 50 free performances and create an imaginative circus world.
An anniversary with superlatives will be celebrated by Colmar – for the past 25 years, the city in the Alsace has presented the Festival International de Colmar and celebrates classical music. With about 8,400 seats in theaters and churches, the music event under the direction of award-winning Vladimir Spivakov features the best musicians and orchestras. As a special anniversary event, it will offer a concert with pieces from Carmen, La Traviata, Paganini, and The Barber of Seville.
Highlights on four wheels await oldtimer aficionados in Baden-Baden. The International Oldtimer Meeting presents more than 350 dream cars of nine decades – from Bugatti to Alfa Romeo. Participants from throughout the world will show their rare four-wheel treasures and start with a two-day ride through the Black Forest. Prizes will then be awarded to the 120 most beautiful vehicles.
Enjoy the finest concerts and festivals at the many events in the Upper Rhine Valley.
- Organ music in a special ambience can be enjoyed by visitors to the Freiburg Münstersommer as the organists transform the cathedral into a concert hall.
- Top-class acoustics can be enjoyed by fans of classical music at the Internationale Domkonzerte concerts in the Abbey Church St. Blasien.
- Horse lovers must be patient until the fall – but then the International Horse Race on the Iffezheim Racecourse near Baden-Baden entices visitors.
- Magic is in the air at the Hexenfest witch festival in Rouffach. Up to 10,000 visitors come to the spectacle.
- Although it may sound like body art, this event is dedicated to march music – parade musicians from around the world meet at the Basel Tattoo.
- Travelling artists from around the world will meet at the 20th anniversary of the Lenzburg Gauklerfestival in Aargau.
- Concerts in extraordinary places, all musical genres, and international stars are offered by the Stimmen Festival of Lörrach.