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A journey to the home of Christmas markets, this festive foray takes you to Germany's finest cities and towns, from classics like Dresden and Nuremberg to offbeat places like Eisenach.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like… experiencing the build up to Christmas just as the Germans do, visiting their famous wintery markets. The scent of 'Stollen' cake and 'Glühwein' swirls around you as you stroll among the rustic chalets.
Welcome to Germany and the start of your magical trip to experience the festive markets. Each year in November and December the atmosphere builds through Germany with the start of Christmas celebrations. Towns and villages are decorated, Christmas markets open and the wonderful aroma of 'Stollen' and 'Glühwein' is to be experienced around every corner. After check-in this afternoon, your Travel Director will take you on an orientation tour of the city's dynamic financial center and medieval Römerplatz. Later, meet with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and a light meal.
Travel to Bavaria and arrive in the medieval walled town of Rothenburg. Enjoy an orientation walk with your Travel Director where you will see half-timbered houses and the old Town Hall. Try traditional cuisine or shop for gifts during your free time at the Reiterlesmarkt. This afternoon continue to Nuremberg and admire the mighty ramparts and St. Sebald's Church before visiting Germany's most famous Christmas market in the main square. The market sells arts and crafts as well as 'Zwetschgenmännle' - decorative figurines made out of prunes.
A very atmospheric Christmas market is held in the courtyard of the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. Enjoy typical German food, beverages, crafts, music and entertainment. Later travel to see the largest Christmas market in the province of Thuringia. This medieval market takes place on Cathedral Square in Erfurt with the impressive background of St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Severus Church. These form the perfect backdrop for more than 200 stalls and a big Ferris wheel. See the 120m long Merchants' Bridge (Krämerbrücke) which has 32 houses along its length – the longest inhabited bridge in Europe. This evening in Weimar enjoy the taste and smells throughout the historic market square of this UNESCO World Heritage town. Dine tonight at your hotel.
After a leisurely morning in Weimar, travel to Dresden − known as ‘Florence on the Elbe'. Spend time seeing the highlights of this astonishing city including the Opera House and Zwinger Palace. Tonight you may want to sample some traditional German food at a local restaurant.
A blaze of lights, the aroma of mulled wine and Christmas songs. This is the magic of Dresden's Striezelmarkt which is Germany's oldest Christmas market. On the second weekend in advent the locals pay homage to the Christmas pastry which originated in their city, the original Dresdner Christstollen. Taste typical Saxon delicacies and buy traditional handicrafts in the market found in the heart of this Baroque city. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.
Just as it was 500 years ago, the Leipzig Christmas market blends into the historic backdrop of Leipzig city center. With more than 250 originally decorated stalls, it lives up to its reputation as one of the biggest and most interesting Christmas markets in Germany. After time to explore, you will make your way to Berlin - a vibrant and fascinating city.
This morning enjoy a Cultural Insight experience with fantastic 360° views of the city from the Berlin TV Tower. Marvel at the landmarks of the old East and West sections of Berlin during your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert. See the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden Boulevard, the Reichstag building, Tiergarten and the shopping and entertainment district of Kurfürstendamm. Spend the rest of your day exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs or perhaps join the Berlin's Secret Past Optional Experience. This evening join your companions and Travel Director for a delicious festive Farewell Dinner with wine.
Say 'Auf Wiedersehen' to your traveling companions as you return home full of the joys of Christmas. Morning transfers are available to Berlin Tegel Airport. Conditions apply.
11 meals: 7 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|29 Nov 17||7 Dec 17||$1,650$1,526pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 Dec 17||14 Dec 17||$1,650$1,526pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Dec 17||15 Dec 17||$1,650$1,526pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|9 Dec 17||17 Dec 17||$1,650$1,526pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Dec 17||21 Dec 17||$1,650$1,526pp||Early PaymentPay by Aug 31||Request Quote Book Now|
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 $330.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.
Airport Transfers: On arrival to Frankfurt Airport transfers will operate at 9:30 am, noon and 2:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Berlin Tegel Airport at 8:00 am and 10:00 am.
Note: Christmas Markets are generally open from the beginning of Advent until December 24th, 2017. Grand European Tours reserves the right to substitute sites and Christmas market inclusions in keeping with the events of the season.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP members SAVE $100 per person on any guided vacation or river cruise!
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
The currency in Germany is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive in Germany, 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. 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.
Service and VAT are typically included in the price of food at restaurants in Germany. When leaving a tip, it is appropriate to simply round up your bill or leave up to 10 percent. 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 48 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.
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