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Alpine Christmas Markets (Winter Season)

Style: Premium | Pace: Comfortable

The lead up to Christmas in traditional German towns and the snow-frosted Alps, is the stuff of storybooks – twinkling markets full of Yuletide delights and towering Christmas trees. Enter the realm of gingerbread, Glühwein and carol singers.

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Overview

The lead up to Christmas in traditional German towns and the snow-frosted Alps, is the stuff of storybooks – twinkling markets full of Yuletide delights and towering Christmas trees. Enter the realm of gingerbread, Glühwein and carol singers.

  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. Welcome to Germany. Transfers leave Munich airport for your hotel at 10 am and 1 pm. Meet your Travel Director at 3 pm for an orientation of the city that will show you all the city's major sights, culminating in the Marienplatz, with its soaring Town Hall and Glockenspiel. Here, the Christkindlmarkt will be in full swing, an entrancing festival of light and music. Your Travel Director will introduce you to one of the market stallholders for a taste of traditional Bavarian Lebkuchen and a fragrant cup of Glühwein. In the evening, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner with wine. 

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich
  3. Munich embraces the holiday season with a particular zeal, so the day is all yours to enjoy the vibrant festive markets that abound in this city. On crisp winter days, organ music and carols ring out from the ancient churches. If snow has fallen, the vast English Garden provides lovely winter vistas. Another option is to experience the romantic royal palaces of the Bavarian Alps. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich
  4. Travel alongside the tranquil waters of Lake Chiemsee on your way to Salzburg in Austria, where the spires and domes of the Old Town are often draped in snow come December. A walk with your Local Expert will show you Mozart's family home and the rosy hues of the 500-year-old Christmas Market in front of the cathedral. Head through the mountains to your Innsbruck hotel. Journey to the charming town of Hall in Tirol which boasts one of Austria's best-preserved historic centers. Soak up the unique atmosphere in a 700-year-old building and delight your palate with a medieval banquet and wine. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:AC by Marriott/Doubletree Hilton, Innsbruck
  5. Enjoy a relaxed start and spend the morning at leisure. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the Old Town and Christmas Markets, set in front of the Golden Roof, graced by beautifully preserved medieval facades. Enjoy the delightful scenery and crisp, fresh air during your horse-drawn carriage ride, locally known as a Fiaker, through the countryside of Tyrol.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:AC by Marriott, Innsbruck
  6. Travel through the Alberg tunnel, Austria's longest road tunnel, as you return to Germany and pause in the tiny island-town of Lindau. Walk through the maze of ancient streets down to the harbor. Across the lake, often shrouded in mist, look for the rising silhouette of snow-capped peaks. After time to explore, continue along the shores of the Bodensee to your hotel in the Black Forest for three fabulous nights. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Dormero Hotel Villingen-Schwenningen
  7. Visit Freiburg in the morning, a lively university city with a charming Christmas atmosphere. Walk from the medieval Münster through the heart of the historic old quarter, past colorful stalls offering a range of festive goodies from the Black Forest. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Dormero Hotel Villingen-Schwenningen
  8. Cross the Rhine to the region of Alsace, wedged between the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains. This area has changed nationality four times since 1870! Arrive in Strasbourg, the City at the Crossroads, where the Christmas Market is the oldest and one of the largest in France. Spend time in a cozy neighborhood of timbered fairy-tale buildings, with Christmas shops and a gingerbread bakery, warm with fragrant promise. Return to Germany and venture to a local restaurant for a delightful dinner of local specialties, accompanied by wine. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Dormero Hotel Villingen-Schwenningen
  9. Cross the Swiss border and head for Zürich where sightseeing includes the imposing Grossmünster, elegant Fraumünster, and winding alleys of the Old Town alongside the River Limmat. A highlight is Europe's biggest indoor Christmas extravaganza held in the main railway station, with over 160 wooden chalets and a three-story Christmas tree, draped with Swarovski crystals. Toast to the culmination of your Yuletide journey during a festive Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant. 

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel
  10. Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before checking out. Complimentary transfers to the airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Thank you for your interest in this tour. If no dates are displaying, please call our reservations line at 1-877-622-9109 for more information

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $560 per person

Triple Room Discount: $50 per person

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $100 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival at Munich airport, transfers operate at 10 am and 1 pm. On the last travel day, complimentary transfers to the Zürich airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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Always included in your GET vacation

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Included Quality Dining

8 breakfasts, 5 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences:

  • Salzburg: With a Local Expert, see Mozart's family home and the 500-year-old Christmas Market in front of the cathedral.

Top Rated Highlights:

  • Christmas Markets: Experience the wonderment of some of the oldest Christmas Markets in Europe.
  • Munich: During your orientation of the city with your Travel Director, see the Victory Arch, Town Hall and Glockenspiel in Marienplatz.
  • Innsbruck: During your orientation, you will see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace in the Old Town.
  • Innsbruck: Meet your coachman and enjoy a delightful journey through Tyrol's picturesque countryside, on your horse-drawn Fiaker.
  • Lindau: Your Travel Director takes you to the Harbour and Old City Hall. Walk the medieval streets of this island-town and browse the shops on Maximillium Strasse.
  • Lörrach: Explore the town located on the borders of Germany, France and Switzerland and see the ruins of Rötteln Castle.
  • Freiburg: Enjoy a romantic walk through the medieval cobbled streets of Freiburg and soak in the magic of its Christmas Markets.
  • Strasbourg: Exploring the Christmas Markets is like stepping directly into a fairytale, where glittering lights and the scent of cinnamon enchant your senses.
  • Zürich: During your orientation of the city, your Travel Director will show you the Grossmünster, Fraumünster and elegant Bahnhofstrasse.
  • Zürich: Attend Europe's biggest indoor Christmas Market with its magnificent Swarovski crystal-decorated Christmas tree.
  • Scenic Drives: Throughout your travels, enjoy beautiful views of the Austrian Alps and Lake Bodensee.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Monday, December 10, 2018
Lawrence Posner
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : ELLEN POPPERS!! Great tour leader: friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic nice touch having umbrellas on the bus -- we needed them
Vacation : fun experience -- good mix of culture & history
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Glen Sanders
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I would buy again. I had a very good experience and would recommend it to anyone
Vacation : The tour was everything I expected and more
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Left at the Airport again! Contacted Airport Info sites(3), stopped people that looked like they could help. Not one person could not understand the directions that Insight provided. Being ditched before by GET (at Paris airport) we got a taxi to the hotel, the fare was 61 dollars. Just the tip of the iceberg. Goodbye GET.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're sorry to hear about your experience arriving in Munich. The scheduled transfer times to the hotel are 10am and 12pm. It appears your flight arrived too late to make the 10am transfer, so there would be a bit of a wait until the next departure. We do apologize if this procedure was not made clear to you and we will be happy the reimburse the cost of your taxi. Our Guest Relations department will be in touch with you shortly. Grand European Travel
Friday, December 18, 2015
Vacation : Get rid of Insight!
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour sites were excellent, the hotels were excellent and the tour guide and driver were exceptional. I could not have asked for more.
Vacation : Overall we saw a lot in the amount of time we had and all of it enjoyable. I personally did not care for Munich and wished it had not been on the tour. I much preferred seeing the smaller towns where there was a greater sense of history and culture.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I have traveled with Grand European several times and they have always been courteous and helpful.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for letting us know about your experience. I'm sorry to see that you were disappointed in some of the aspects of your vacation. We do try to provide convenient hotel accommodations for all our trips and appreciate you letting us know when we fall short of those expectations. I do hope that overall you had an enjoyable trip. Dee-Grand European Travel
Monday, December 29, 2014
Vacation : The destinations on the tour seemed poorly planned. Too much shuttling back and forth between destinations, but if coordinated differently, could have allowed more time to enjoy the various Christmas Markets. Furthermore, the stay in Titisee was a waste. It is a charming town, but since it was low season, everything was closed. There was absolutely nothing to do when we were returned to our hotel. And, if you're going to schedule "free time" if you're placing people in hotels away from the city center, you should arrange for travel to the markets (for example Munich). I love the Christmas Market Cruises, but will never take a coach tour like this again.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : My husband took a trip with you so he referred me to you. Someone put my husband's email in my name so I received no information. It was corrected at the end of the trip. I had a couple of concerns during the trip and felt I was inconvenienting the tour director. He would not answer when I called his name and made me feel that I was unimportant. It was not what I expected and I was would probably not repeat a trip with Grand European Travel.
Response from Grand European Travel:
I'm so sorry to hear that you were disappointed in this trip. It has become one our most popular vacations during the holiday season, and I apologize that it did not meet your expectations. It is true that optional excursions could change at the last minute due to availability or schedule conflicts. This is one reason we must offer them as optional, since we cannot guarantee their operation. I appreciate your feedback on the vacation itself and your travel director. I will be sharing this information with our quality control office in London immediately. Dee-Grand European Travel
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Vacation : I would have thought that since this was a shopping type trip that it would have been geared to relaying information about shopping. Excursions we signed up for and expected were cancelled. The day's itinerary was changed and no advance notification was given. The dinners included were unacceptable and served at an inappropriate time. The tour guide was difficult to understand. The toilets on one stop were not identified as to their location and it cost $6 to use one in restaurant. The breakfasts served at the hotels were very good.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I thought the company did the best they could considering that this is one of the most expensive areas of the world. I thought the tour guide did a good job on this tour. My wife felt that the tour guide should have had a personal shopper orientation, training. He is an effective guide; however, she expected more information on shopping. She as a result was very disappointed. As advertized, this is a market tour. I think that the restaurants should take vegetarians more into account when planning their menus. The rooms where large group meals took place need to be tested for sound echos. The sound of so many people talking simultaneously in two of the rooms where we had formal dinners provided by Grand European Travel caused me great pain. At two of these dinners, I could not hear people across from me and had to yell to be heard. The noise of everyone talking was deafening. I physically hurt for hours after the meal from this very high sound level.
Response from Grand European Travel:
I'm sorry to hear about some of the disappointments you experienced. We do try to accommodate all dietary restrictions, but unfortunately there may be cases when the restaurants are not able to handle the requests. I apologize for the inconvenience as well as the lack of service and noise level at the restaurants. We have already taken steps to act on your valuable feedback. Dee-Grand European Travel
Monday, December 29, 2014
Vacation : This vacation was for my wife who is a shopper and I personally was not that enthusiastic regarding taking this tour. So, I struggled through it. One of the restaurants where we were expected to eat with our hands was offensive to my wife. They also struggled to serve vegetarian food. The meal was suppose to include two alcoholic drinks. I received one beer that was half foam. I asked twice for my second beer and the waitress purposefully ignored me.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This was our 10th trip with GET and we were not the least bit disappointed ! The schedule is always paced right with travel, sight seeing, extra excursions, and down time. We can hardly wait for our next trip with GET!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for the repeat business and for sharing your memories about the Alpine Christmas Market Vacation. It sounds like you had a great start to the holiday season! Dee-Grand European Travel
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Vacation : What a wonderful trip this was! The beautiful sights, sounds, flavors of the holidays come to life on this trip. This is a trip everyone should go on sometime in their life! Thanks for the wonderful memories we now have.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : It was a great trip. Our tour director was very helpful and knew so much information. It was a very fast pace. I have many pictures.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments! I'm so happy to see that you you enjoyed the Alpine Christmas Market vacation. I hope you brought back many wonderful memories and be sure to share some of your pictures with us on Facebook! Happy Holidays! Dee-Grand European Travel
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Vacation : We have taken the German Christmas Market tour which contained so much history. This tour was different because of the location. But the mountains and villages made it fun, too.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Steve Frazee is superb at helping make reservations. The tour director, Karin Kollarova and driver, Mandi Basic, were excellent. Itinerary and extra excursions were wonderful. Insight Tours provided many little extra surprises, e.g., cookies, lunch, etc.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your sharing your feedback and kind words. So happy to see you enjoyed your Christmas Markets vacation and that you were well taken care of from beginning to end! Hope to see you on another trip very soon. Happy holidays! Dee-Grand European Travel
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Vacation : Great itinerary and extra excursions. Good hotels. Fantastic Tour director (Karin Kollarova) and driver (Mandi Basic).
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • Yes, U.S. citizens traveling to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering these countries.

  • The currency in Germany and Austria is the Euro (€).The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Please note that Switzerland is not part of the European Union and thus is not obliged to convert to the Euro, however many prices are nonetheless indicated in euros to help travelers compare prices. Some Swiss merchants may accept euros but are not obliged to do so. Change given back will most likely be in Swiss francs.

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Europe, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious. Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings. For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau. Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers. In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein). Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions.

    Austrian cuisine is hearty and satisfying and reflects regional influences from Italy, Hungary, Germany and the Balkans. Try a variety of sausages including the popular Wiener Schnitzel and Viennese specialties such as goulash and apple strudel.

    Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings. Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.

  • A service charge is typically included in the price of food at restaurants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. When leaving a tip, it is appropriate to simply round up or add up to 10 percent to your bill. Rather than leaving your money on the table, be prepared to leave it with your waiter when you pay your bill. If you are expecting change, simply tell them how much you will need back after gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

  • We recommend packing layers to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress.  It’s important to bring comfortable walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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