Austria Tour Begins in Germany
We begin the Germany and Austria tour upon arrival in Munich. If time permits, we’ll tour some of Munich. Otherwise, we’ll head south to the quaint town of Füssen for a night at the very end of the Romantic Road, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Alps. The next morning, we visit one of King Ludwig’s elaborate fantasy palaces and surely the crown jewel of Bavarian castles: Neuschwanstein Castle. We then drive through breathtaking landscapes to Upper Bavaria to the world-renowned Oberammergau. This is the site of the extravagant Oberammergau Passion Play, performed only once every ten years. A tour behind the Passion Play theatre gives us an impression of this quaint village. Then we board the coach for Berchtesgaden, in the picturesque Bavarian Alps. Nearby, we visit the area of Obersalzberg (Eagle’s Nest), purchased by the Nazis for their senior leaders. We end the day in Salzburg for an Austria tour of the city of Mozart and the “Sound of Music.” The next day we start at the birth house of Father Josef Mohr, who wrote the lyrics to “Silent Night.” Afterwards we take part in the “Sound of Music” city tour starting at the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, where the von Trapp children sang “Do-Re-Mi.” After a photo stop at the Mozart House, we continue on to the Festival Hall. Then we continue to St. Peter’s Church and cemetery and visit the Salzburg Cathedral. At the end of the day, we ride up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress and enjoy the panorama view over Salzburg.
Explore the Capital of Austria: Vienna
After breakfast, we continue the Austria tour at Leopoldskron Palace, and we view the lake where the row boat scene was filmed for “The Sound of Music.” Next we continue to Hellbrunn Palace. We tour the park with the gazebo where the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” was filmed. Then onward to Melk Abbey, a Benedictine abbey that has been a spiritual and cultural center in Austria for over 1,000 years. We continue to tour Vienna, the capital of Austria. Late this afternoon, we visit Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. We start our Austria tour the next morning with the Hofburg Palace, which gives us an indication of Vienna’s grand and imperial past. We tour the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments and the Treasury. We walk along the famous boulevard Ringstrasse, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015! Then we take a guided Austria tour of the Vienna Opera House. Afterwards, we may have free time to enjoy one of the famous Viennese coffee houses for a piece of the Sachertorte or do some shopping at Kärntnerstrasse. In the afternoon, we tour St. Stephen’s Cathedral and climb the South Tower. Next we view the nearby Holy Trinity Plague Column in front of St. Peter’s Church. In the late afternoon, for a small additional fee, we have the option to take a short drive to the Upper Palace with the Klimt artwork of Belvedere Palace. The following day, we drive a few hours through the cultural landscape of Bohemia to Prague in the Czech Republic. We continue across the Vltava River, up to the largest ancient castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. We tour St. Vitus Cathedral and the impressive Old Royal Palace. We also take a walking tour of the Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock, the Jan Hus Memorial, and Wenzel Square. Tonight we enjoy a dinner cruise on the Vtlava River.
Discover the Culture of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic
We depart early for Dresden for a tour of this city reborn-from-the-ashes. At Zwinger Palace, we’ll be greeted by priceless works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Raphael, Titian and more as we tour the Zwinger Museums’ Old Masters Gallery. Our walking tour includes the outside of the Theatre Square, Semper Opera, Dresden Castle. The grand finale of the city tour is the inspiring Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), destroyed during WWII and rebuilt since the 1990s with donations from around the world. We return to Prague in the evening. The next morning, we continue the Germany and Austria tour with a drive to Nuremberg. This was one of the first free protestant imperial cities in the Middle Ages, home to the famous painter Albrecht Dürer, and the location of the infamous Nazi Party Rallies. We explore the history of the city, including the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. The Nuremberg Documentation center presents the history of the Nazi ideology, from its turbulent birth to its violent end. We also visit the courtroom where the war tribunal occurred in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. On the last day of our Germany and Austria tour, we drive south to Munich. We stop at Dachau Concentration Camp to see the memorial built on the grounds of the 1933 Nazi camp. Then we arrive in Munich to tour the historic old city with its famous buildings and squares, including the Marienplatz with the town hall and its “Glockenspiel” and the “Frauenkirche” (Church of our Lady) with its distinctive onion-topped towers. The tower of St. Peter’s Church offers a fantastic view of Munich. The sightseeing tour takes us to the Olympic Park. Then we travel along the Great Boulevard and famous shopping street “Maximilansstrasse” with the Feldherrenhalle and several famous museums. We end the Germany and Austria tour with a transfer to the airport for our flight home.