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Wonderful trip; interesting
Embrace centuries-old heritage charm and modern style in the vibrant city of Frankfurt, our springboard for a delightful exploration of the best of Germany and Austria. Spend your day exploring the Altstadt and soaking up the atmosphere of a bygone era, before meeting your Travel Director for an orientation of the medieval Römerplatz and dynamic financial district. Later, we join our fellow travellers for a memorable Welcome Reception to launch our journey through the heart of Europe.
The legend of Lorelei kick-starts our morning as we board a leisurely cruise along the mighty Rhine past castles and vineyard-clad hills. We stop to 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest lunch and hear tales of nights and feuding lords and ladies in a 13th-century castle perched high above the Rhine valley. Continuing to the cultural capital of Rhineland, we view the spectacular Gothic spires of the Cologne Cathedral. Spend the rest of the evening exploring the city's great artistic treasures and historic town squares.
This morning, we board a high-speed train to historic Berlin, whose once-turbulent history has shaped its rebirth as the charismatic capital of Germany. Join a Local Specialist for an exploration of East meets West and delve into the story behind their reunification. See the imposing Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden Boulevard and the Reichstag Building, with its famous glass dome. We'll see the Tiergarten and Kurfürstendamm, famous for its shopping and entertainment, before spending the rest of the day at leisure.
Venture up one of the icons of a united Berlin and Germany. 'Dive Into Culture' and savour spectacular 360° views of the city from the Berlin TV Tower. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the city on your own. Perhaps see the remnants of the Berlin Wall, visit the infamous Checkpoint Charlie or enjoy an Optional Experience to the District of Potsdam, the former Prussian royal seat.
Celebrate beauty through your admiration of art and architecture in beautiful Würzburg, where you will see the Prince-Bishops' residence and Marienburg Fortress, on the banks of the Main. Continue to Rothenburg and dine tonight in your hotel, one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories' and a traditional timbered German building within the town walls of medieval Rothenburg.
This morning, we embark on an orientation walk through the medieval centre of Rothenburg, seemingly frozen in time and encircled by a fortified town wall that remains intact after centuries. Travelling south through picture-perfect landscapes of Bavaria, we arrive in Munich just a few hours later and see the Olympic Stadium, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1972, before checking in to our hotel.
Stroll through the heart of Munich this morning, visiting its Marienplatz with both its new and old City Halls built on its periphery. See the magical Glockenspiel that delights visitors throughout the day with its enactment of 16th-century tales. Spend the rest of the day on your own, exploring the city's Baroque palaces and vibrant markets, or embrace the Bavarian region's rich beer brewing heritage at Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, built in the 16th century.
Indulge in a world of fantasy and fables, journeying to the Neuschwanstein Castle, built as a retreat for King Ludwig II to retire from public life. Travelling through the dark forests of Bavaria, we arrive in Oberammergau and see where the Passion Play has been performed every decade since 1634 when the Plague gripped Europe. This evening we dine at our hotel.
We drive across the Austrian border and to Tyrol, arriving in its capital where we will embark on a short orientation tour that includes views of the Old Town, Hofburg Palace and the ornate Golden Roof, built to commemorate the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I. Spend your free time exploring Innsbruck's iconic sites and delving into fascinating Tyrol history and culture, or simply relax and admire this dazzling city with its magnificent Alpine backdrop. Consider joining a traditional dinner and Tyrolean folklore show this evening.
Travel to Salzburg where spires and domes rise in the shadow of Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe. Join a Local Specialist for a fascinating walking tour of a city that featured in 'The Sound of Music'. View Mozart's birthplace and family house in Getreidegasse, and the Domplatz dominated by Salzburg Cathedral. This evening, we dine at our hotel.
Scenic landscapes provide a beautiful backdrop for our drive past Lake Mondsee to the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley. Sloping vineyards line the Danube from Melk Abbey to Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner and subsequently found by Blondel, his faithful minstrel. This afternoon, we arrive in the imperial capital of Vienna, where we have the evening at leisure to enjoy the sounds of the City of Music or consider an evening of Viennese classical music.
Explore the splendour of Vienna at the exquiste Hofburg Palace, the former winter residence of the Habsburg Dynasty - one of the highlights of your guided sightseeing tour of Vienna with a Local Specialist. Enjoy views of the grand State Opera House and Ringstrasse, a beautiful sweeping boulevard built in the 19th century to replace the city walls. Admire the ornate, colourful roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the city's most beloved icons, before spending the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant to celebrate a beautiful sojourn through Germany and Austria.
We bid farewell to your companions at the end of a wonderful holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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