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Write your own storybook ending on one of our 8 - 25 day German tours by exploring the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein, walking the stalls of quintessential European Christmas Markets, or raising a stein of frothy beer at the Hofbräuhaus. Prost!
A visit to Germany delivers the European experience you’ve dreamed of: castles clinging to wooded mountaintops, grand cathedrals, riverside vineyards, sidewalk cafes on cobbled streets, and more. Savor the contrast of contemporary art and architecture with buildings and neighborhoods that have endured for hundreds of years. From picturesque villages to cosmopolitan cities, Germany will meet your appetite for adventure, history, culture, and fine cuisine. (All washed down with world-class beer and wine, of course!) Book one of our tours of Germany in the summer, and enjoy long days exploring this fascinating country's forests, towns, and cities. Take your Germany vacation in early winter, and visit the magical Christmas markets where you can sample local specialties and confections and shop a tempting array of handicrafts. Or experience Germany via a Rhine River cruise, castle-spotting from the comfort of your vessel’s deck as you drift past historic towns and bucolic farmland. From the cultural riches of the big cities to the natural wonders of the Bavarian Alps and the Black Forest, Germany offers something marvelous every way you turn.
Southern Germany is a forested wonderland punctuated by old-world cities, picturesque villages, and captivating castles. In southeast Germany lies Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, where the world-famous Oktoberfest is celebrated each fall in Munich, the state capital. Lively beer halls beckon all year round – don’t miss Hofbräuhaus, dating from 1589 and the most famous. Munich is rich with attractions, including the Rathaus Glockenspiel, an elaborate clockwork display on the town hall, and the Munich Residenz, Germany's largest urban palace and former seat of Bavarian royalty. Wander Nuremberg’s cobbled streets, where castle ramparts and Gothic architecture evoke centuries past, visit the Christmas market if your timing is right. Just south, the Franconian Lake District attracts visitors for summer sailing and swimming. Overlooking the beautiful Bavarian forest, the Bavarian Alps, adjacent to Austria, are an international skiing and hiking destination. Enjoy stunning alpine views from the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. The village of Oberammergau, renowned for its annual Passion Play, is another Bavarian Alp attraction. The woodlands stretch westward, where the mountainous Black Forest inspired the renowned Brothers Grimm fairytales. Prepare to be enchanted by farmhouses and fields, castles, and cuckoo clocks.
On your tour of Eastern Germany, encounter Berlin, one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. A UNESCO “City of Design,” Berlin hums with creative energy. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, glittering nightlife, and the Tiergarten, an expansive city park. You’ll also come face-to-face with the once-divided city’s turbulent history by visiting remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and landmarks of Berlin's East and West sections. From atop the Berlin TV Tower, marvel at the 360-degree views of the now-unified, modernized city. Back on the streets, you’ll see relics of history, including the Baroque cathedral, the neo-Baroque Reichstag building, and the Brandenburg Gate, an iconic 18th-century military monument. You’ll also see modern, cutting-edge architecture, edgy street art, and contemporary boutiques, and winter visitors can visit dozens of Christmas markets. Just two hours south lies elegant Dresden, a city rebuilt following devastating bombing during WWII, dotted with gorgeous Baroque facades. Visit the Zwinger Palace and Semper Opera house and the fully reconstructed Frauenkirche with one of the largest domes in Europe. Dresden hosts the world’s oldest Christmas market, dating back to 1434.
Central Germany is a metropolitan crossroads of commerce and history. Frankfurt's nickname is “Mainhattan,” referring to the Main River on which it lies and the dynamic skyline of this high-powered business hub. High-rises may dominate the views, but the city retains its historical flavor in the medieval center, where half-timber buildings and charming taverns line cobble-stone lanes. More medieval architecture beckons at the Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a fortified city east of Frankfurt. Once larger than Frankfurt and Munich, Rothenburg is encircled by an intact 14th-century wall with gates and towers. Enjoy the beautiful and authentic medieval market square lined with multi-story half-timber buildings. Rothenburg also has a seasonal Christmas market. West of Frankfurt, visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, located at the juncture of the Rhine and Main rivers. Named after Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable metal type, this museum about printing honors one of civilization’s landmark innovations. Right across the street, admire the massive red sandstone St. Martin’s Cathedral, a thousand years old. This Romanesque marvel is near the market square and is perfect for people-watching over coffee.
In Western Germany, the Rhine River flows through scenic valleys dotted with terraced hillside vineyards, then passes through the dynamic metropolises of Cologne and Düsseldorf. Weaving through quaint towns and bucolic farmland, the Rhine River gazes up at a series of castles dramatically perched above – some in ruins, some housing museums, hotels, or restaurants. The Moselle Valley and the Moselle River, a tributary to the mighty Rhine, offer still more storybook castles, charming towns, spectacular vistas, and wine-tasting opportunities. This area is highly regarded for its white wines and Riesling grapes. After the gorgeous countryside of Rhineland, set your sights on the urban rewards of Cologne and Düsseldorf. The must-see High Gothic Cologne Cathedral is the tallest twin-spired church in the world at 515 feet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the river and the old town center from a viewing platform on the south tower. Explore the Altstadt (old town) and see artifacts and ruins dating back to the Romans. Just north lies Düsseldorf, Germany’s capital of fashion and art, where galleries and elegant boutiques ensure world-class window shopping. Both Düsseldorf and Cologne host Christmas markets.
A country blessed with many of Europe’s most incredible sights, Deutschland surprises its visitors with an endless array of natural beauty and man-made treasures. There are endless opportunities for exploration on a Germany vacation. Visitors are drawn by the spectacular scenery, with rugged mountains, floral meadows, and winding rivers punctuated by elegant cities and delightful villages. Bavaria entices with its cheerful beer halls, fairytale Neuschwanstein, and medieval villages lined with half-timbered houses. Nuremberg inspires with its heart-warming holiday traditions and wintertime festivities. And Berlin amazes visitors with its mix of profound history and modern innovation.
Our tours of Germany take you to the heart of the action to experience the highlights and more. Whichever tour of Germany you choose, you’ll enjoy eye-opening encounters, expert guides, and special access to legendary sites. You’ll go beyond the guidebook with memorable insider experiences – like learning the secrets to making perfect German pastries, exploring King Ludwig’s chambers with a local specialist, or gaining insight into the ancient techniques of clock making. Whether you dream of sailing past castles on a luxury river cruise of the Rhine or joining the celebrations at Europe’s most enchanting Christmas markets, you’ll find the perfect Germany trip and create memories you’ll never forget.
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Email Sign-up Travel Credit: Receive a $125 per person ($250 per couple) discount toward your first tour (operated by Trafalgar or Insight Vacations) when you sign up for GET emails; valid for each full-paying adult who signs up with a unique email address. Valid for new bookings only made through December 31, 2023 for travel through December 31, 2023; full payment is due within three days of booking. Discount is not combinable with any other discount or offer, including our GETAWAY Deals, Limited Time Offers, AARP member discount, Past Traveler discount or Multiple Trip discounts. Offer cannot be booked online. Savings not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Offer excludes Edinburgh Tattoo and Floriade departures. GET reserves the right to validate bookings and will remove any additional offers added online that are not combinable. Other conditions may apply.