Germany, Switzerland & Austria

Explore Rothenburg’s cobbled lanes and famous year-round Christmas market, travel Romantic Road to bustling Munich, tour “Mad Ludwig’s” Neuschwanstein Castle, and visit the charming Alpine village of Oberammergau and Germany’s oldest university in Heidelberg.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Guten tag Frankfurt
Meet your tour director, travel to Rothenburg and check into hotel
Details: Rothenburg tour director-led sightseeing
Christmas reigns all year round in Rothenburg, a jewel of a town on Germany’s picturesque Romantic Road. Beyond the year-round Christmas markets, the town boasts one of the most intact medieval city walls in Europe and a fairly unique clock. During the Thirty Years’ War, a former Rothenburg mayor was offered the chance to save the city by chugging close to a gallon of wine; he succeeded (and then slept for three days straight), and his accomplishment is reenacted seven times daily by mechanical figures on the clock in the Marktplatz -- adding a new twist to the concept of “cuckoo clock.” The enormous Gothic St. Jacob’s Church watches over the exploits from across the square.
Day 3 Rothenburg-Munich
Details: Travel via Romantic Road to Munich
There is no surprise here. The Romantic Road is exactly what it says it is—a drive down the middle of Western Bavaria’s heartland and a path through the centre of your own heart with its romantic picturesque scenery. Between Würzburg and Füssen, the route is strewn with quaint villages, colourful castles, farmhouses, elaborate churches and dense forest.
Details: Dachau Concentration Camp & Memorial guided visit
A grim glimpse into the past, Dachau was the first of Nazi Germany’s camps and a model for the 3,000 work and concentration camps to come. Your guide will lead you through the gas chamber (although never used) and crematorium, which have been restored as a chilling memorial to the 206,000 prisoners who were interned in the camp from 1933 to 1945. The museum examines pre-1930 anti-Semitism, the rise of the Nazi party, and the documented lives of prisoners.
Day 4 Munich landmarks
Munich guided sightseeing tour
ResidenzNymphenburg PalaceAlte PinakothekDeutsches MuseumBMW Headquarters visitOlympic site of 1972FrauenkircheNeues RathausMarienplatzHofbräuhaus
Bavarian bratwurst dinner
Details: Munich guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional licensed tour guide for a whirlwind look at Munich. Founded in the 12th century by Henry the Lion, Munich now roars with the hustle and bustle of modern German life. As you pass by Marienplatz (named after the square’s gilded Virgin Mary and Child statue), mechanical knights joust and coopers dance to the folk-music chimes of the Neues Rathaus’s Glockenspiel. The twin onion-bulb towers of the Frauenkirche Cathedral frame this whimsical display, while the scents, sounds and colors of the nearby food market attempt to draw your attention elsewhere. Resist temptation and continue on to Olympiapark, a new suburb built for the 1972 Olympic Games. Pass by several museums, such as the BMW Museum, Alte Pinakothek (home to Munich’s most precious art collections), and the Deutsches Museum of science and technology.
Day 5 Munich--Innsbruck
Details: Travel to Innsbruck via Neuschwanstein
Nestled within the Bavarian Alps is Neuschwanstein, Germany’s most clichéd tourist attraction. It may seem as though you have passed through the gates of Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle, but think again. The amusement park’s attraction was fashioned after this real-life fairy castle, once home to the young and loony King Ludwig II. The chambers include a Byzantine throne room, a small artificial grotto and an immense singer’s hall built for Wagnerian opera performances (to satisfy this fervent royal Wagner fan). When the black plague spread through Europe, wiping out thousands of people, the residents of Oberammergau prayed for their village to be spared. Every 10 years during the summer days, the thankful town puts on the Passion Play, celebrating the blessing they were granted as they were passed over by the Black Death.
Details: Neuschwanstein Castle visit
This elaborate castle was built atop a rock ledge over the Pöllat Gorge in the Bavarian Alps by order of Bavaria's King Ludwig II, referred to as "Mad Ludwig," whose favorite pastime was midnight sleigh rides through the countryside. This stronghold was the crowning jewel of the king’s building spree across Bavaria and was the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. Begun in 1869 and left unfinished at Ludwig's death in 1886, this lavish palace is an eccentric reconstruction of a medieval castle, and it boasts major technological and architectural achievements for the time, including running water, flushing toilets, a hot water system for the kitchen, and bathrooms with warm-air heating systems.
Details: Oberammergau excursion
Visit a typical Bavarian dwellings in Oberammergau, a charming Alpine village. When the black plague spread through Europe, wiping out thousands of people, the residents of Oberammergau prayed for their village to be spared. Every 10 years during the summer days, the thankful town puts on the Passion Play, celebrating the blessing they were granted as they were passed over by the Black Death.
Day 6 Innsbruck--Lucerne
Innsbruck city walk
Golden RoofTriumphbogenOlympic site
Travel to Lucerne via Liechtenstein
Details: Innsbruck city walk
Take a walk through a backdrop of towering snow-capped mountains that transform this down-to-earth cobble stoned city into a world class ski resort. Venture through Old Town (Altstadt) and pass clusters of identical rustic white stuccoed homes trimmed in brown that blend into the environment. Come face to façade with the glittering Little Golden Roof, sheltering the balcony where Maximilian I Habsburg and his love Bianca promised to stay together forever. Look closer and count 2,657 squares of shiny copper shingles. Discover Triumphbogen, the arch commemorating many Habsburg marriage matches made in political heaven. Head for the hills on a visit to the steep ski jump on hill Bergisel, the site of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games. Imagine what it would be like to soar over it as you bask in Alpine grandeur.
Day 7 Lucerne landmarks
Lucerne tour director-led sightseeing
Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument)River ReussKapellbrücke
Optional  Mt. Pilatus excursion  $75
Details: Lucerne tour director-led sightseeing
Before a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine mountains and green, cow-filled pastures, join your Tour Director on a tour of Lucerne’s famous sights. Weave your way through a maze of narrow, winding streets until you reach the River Reuss and the Medieval Kapellbrücke Bridge. Stop to marvel at the bridge walls, decorated with murals that recreate the 14th-century originals destroyed in a fire. Journey the cobblestone streets in the Old Town to see the Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument), the somber sandstone wild cat gazing down into a reflecting pool. Sense sheer courage as you ponder this artfully chiseled statue created to honor the Swiss Guards who died defending the Tuileries in 1792.
Details: Traditional Swiss dinner with fondue
Enjoy an authentic Swiss meal and sample fondue as your appetizer. Cheese fondue consists of a blend of cheeses, wine and seasoning. To prepare the caquelon it is first rubbed with a cut garlic clove. White wine is slightly heated with cornstarch, and then grated cheese is added and stirred until melted. It is often topped off with a bit of kirsch. The cornstarch or another starch is added to prevent separation. The mixture is stirred continuously as it heats in the caquelon. When it is ready, diners dip cubes of bread speared on a fondue fork into the mixture.
Day 8 Lucerne--Heidelberg
Travel to Heidelberg via the Black Forest
Cuckoo clock demonstration
Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Heidelberg Castle & wine barrel visitUniversityMarktplatz
Details: Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Surrounded by mountains, forests, and the Neckar River, Heidelberg showcases a quintessential German landscape. Join your Tour Director as you drive through this granddaddy of all college towns, with its scores of bars, cafés, and shops. Get a beautiful view Germany’s oldest university —founded in 1386—from the Marktplatz, Heidelberg’s main square. Notice that behind the university lurks the Students’ Prison, used from 1778 until 1914 to imprison students for up to four weeks for minor offenses like drunkenness, practical jokes, and dueling. (Imprisoned students still had to attend lectures — think of it as the 19th-century equivalent of being grounded.) Then head up to Heidelberg Castle, which is still a little wobbly from its partial destruction during the Thirty Years’ War, a 17th-century attack by the French, and a major lightening hit in 1764. The castle’s courtyard is home to the largest wine barrel in world, the Great Vat, which holds about 50,000 gallons of wine (possibly another contributing factor to the castle’s romantically off-balance appearance).
Day 9 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 9 Start extension to Rhineland
    Cologne Cathedral visit
    Details: Transfer via Cologne to Rhineland
    Towering over the train station, the Kolner Dom took seven centuries (300 years worth of interruptions) to finish, only to be scarred by 14 bombings during World War II. Catch your breath after a climb up the 509 stairs to the South Tower for a great view of the Rhine. Nine bells are housed in the Glockenstube, and in one corner, weighing in at 24 tons, is the Petriglocke, the world’s heaviest working bell.
    Day 10 Rhineland cruise
    Disembark and overnight in the Rhineland
    Details: Rhine cruise from Koblenz to Rudesheim
    Cruise for several hours along the Rhine. Sightsee from the Deck.
    Day 11 End tour
    Map of Germany, Switzerland & Austria Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 7 overnight stays (9 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Rhine cruise on extension
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.

    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.

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    3054.00 total fee
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