Germany: West & East

Germany:  West & East
Travel through the Black Forest to discover charming German villages and whimsical castles surrounded by snow-capped Alps. Explore bustling modern cities rich with history and travel back to a grim past with a chilling visit to a Nazi concentration camp.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Guten tag Frankfurt
Meet your tour director, travel to Heidelberg & check into hotel
Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Heidelberg Castle & wine barrel visitUniversityMarktplatz
Details: Heidelberg tour director-led sightseeing
Surrounded by mountains, forests, and the Neckar River, Heidelberg showcases a quintessential German landscape. Join your Tour Director as you drive through this granddaddy of all college towns, with its scores of bars, cafés, and shops. Get a beautiful view Germany’s oldest university —founded in 1386—from the Marktplatz, Heidelberg’s main square. Notice that behind the university lurks the Students’ Prison, used from 1778 until 1914 to imprison students for up to four weeks for minor offenses like drunkenness, practical jokes, and dueling. (Imprisoned students still had to attend lectures — think of it as the 19th-century equivalent of being grounded.) Then head up to Heidelberg Castle, which is still a little wobbly from its partial destruction during the Thirty Years’ War, a 17th-century attack by the French, and a major lightening hit in 1764. The castle’s courtyard is home to the largest wine barrel in world, the Great Vat, which holds about 50,000 gallons of wine (possibly another contributing factor to the castle’s romantically off-balance appearance).
Day 3 Heidelberg--Lake Constance
Cuckoo clock demonstration
Details: Travel to Lake Constance via Black Forest & Rhine Falls
You can almost hear the cackling sounds of Snow White’s wicked witch within the dense underbrush and dark blankets of fir and oak. Nothing precipitates nightmares of fairytale villains more than the dark recesses of the Black Forest. You are led into the shadows not by the famed breadcrumbs of Hansel and Gretel but rather by a safe bus ride. As you journey through the land of Brothers Grimm tales, you'll be unable to ignore the contrasting colors of the Alpine villages dotting the black countryside and surrounding Lake Titisee. Residents still can be seen wearing flamboyant traditional clothing. But whatever you do, be wary of old women offering you any apples
Day 4 Lake Constance--Munich
Travel to Munich
Details: Neuschwanstein Castle visit
This elaborate castle was built atop a rock ledge over the Pöllat Gorge in the Bavarian Alps by order of Bavaria's King Ludwig II, referred to as "Mad Ludwig," whose favorite pastime was midnight sleigh rides through the countryside. This stronghold was the crowning jewel of the king’s building spree across Bavaria and was the inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. Begun in 1869 and left unfinished at Ludwig's death in 1886, this lavish palace is an eccentric reconstruction of a medieval castle, and it boasts major technological and architectural achievements for the time, including running water, flushing toilets, a hot water system for the kitchen, and bathrooms with warm-air heating systems.
Details: Oberammergau excursion
Visit a typical Bavarian dwellings in Oberammergau, a charming Alpine village. When the black plague spread through Europe, wiping out thousands of people, the residents of Oberammergau prayed for their village to be spared. Every 10 years during the summer days, the thankful town puts on the Passion Play, celebrating the blessing they were granted as they were passed over by the Black Death.
Day 5 Munich landmarks
Munich guided sightseeing tour
ResidenzNymphenburg PalaceAlte PinakothekDeutsches MuseumBMW HeadquartersOlympic site of 1972FrauenkircheNeues RathausMarienplatzHofbräuhaus
Bavarian bratwurst dinner
Details: Munich guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional licensed tour guide for a whirlwind look at Munich. Founded in the 12th century by Henry the Lion, Munich now roars with the hustle and bustle of modern German life. As you pass by Marienplatz (named after the square’s gilded Virgin Mary and Child statue), mechanical knights joust and coopers dance to the folk-music chimes of the Neues Rathaus’s Glockenspiel. The twin onion-bulb towers of the Frauenkirche Cathedral frame this whimsical display, while the scents, sounds and colors of the nearby food market attempt to draw your attention elsewhere. Resist temptation and continue on to Olympiapark, a new suburb built for the 1972 Olympic Games. Pass by several museums, such as the BMW Museum, Alte Pinakothek (home to Munich’s most precious art collections), and the Deutsches Museum of science and technology.
Day 6 Munich--Berlin
Overnight train to Berlin
Details: Dachau Concentration Camp & Memorial visit
A grim glimpse into the past, Dachau was the first of Nazi Germany’s camps and a model for the 3,000 work and concentration camps to come. Your Tour Director will lead you through the gas chamber (although never used) and crematorium, which have been restored as a chilling memorial to the 206,000 prisoners who were interned in the camp from 1933 to 1945. The museum examines pre-1930 anti-Semitism, the rise of the Nazi party, and the documented lives of prisoners.
Day 7 Berlin landmarks
Berlin guided sightseeing tour
Checkpoint CharliePotsdamer PlatzBerlin WallBrandenburg GateReichstagVictory Column
Details: Berlin guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional, licensed tour guide as you discover one of the most historical cities in Germany. Although nothing remains of the mortar and cement-block barrier between East and West Berlin, the Berlin Wall (built in 1961; destroyed in 1989) is still a main “site” in Berlin. View the well-known Brandenburg Gate, once a main gate hidden behind a 10-foot barrier and now known for celebratory dancing on its flat top during the reunification. Travel to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, the most famous border crossing point. Checkpoint Charlie, once a wooden guard hut, was the most (in)famous border-crossing point between East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. All that remains of the checkpoint itself is a skeletal watchtower and a memorial of attempted escapees. Follow your guide as they lead you through the museum’s accounts of the most ingenious of these escape attempts— even a few by hot air balloon.
Details: Checkpoint Charlie Museum visit
Visit the museum that documents the history and significance of the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
Details: Alexanderplatz treasure hunt
Take interactive learning to another level with a Tour Director-led treasure hunt of Alexanderplatz, Berlin's most famous public square! Enjoy an after-dinner adventure, complete exciting activities and solve fun clues. Each clue and every activity is built to maximize on-tour experiential learning.
Day 8 Potsdam
Optional  Potsdam guided excursion  $80
Sanssouci Palace apartments visitSanssouci Palace gardensThe Russian Colony
Details: Jewish Museum visit
Located on the line that once separated East and West Germany, this stirring museum was built in the shape of a warped Star of David and focuses on the realities of Jewish life in Germany, from ancient times up to the horrors of the Holocaust.
Day 9 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 9 Start extension to Czech Republic
    Details: Travel to Prague via Dresden
    Stop in Dresden for a visit to the Baroque-style Zwinger Museum where Bavarian Princes once lived and collected master art works. The museum’s exterior, framed by statues of gods and goddesses, boasts 6 linked pavilions surrounding a vast esplanade embellished with pools and fountains. Tucked safely inside, you’ll find masterpieces such as Raphael’s Sistine Madonna and great works by Van Eyck, Vermeer and Veronese. The grand collection of Meissen (European porcelain) is a flattering ode to fine china.
    Details: Zwinger Museum visit
    Explore the massive hallways and high-vaulted rooms of the grand Zwinger Palace in Dresden, which is considered a major landmark for German Baroque architecture. Housed inside this impressive building is a collection of artifacts documenting Dresden’s cultural heritage, including old master paintings and old scientific instruments.
    Day 10 Prague landmarks
    Prague guided sightseeing tour
    Hradcany (Prague Castle)St. Vitus Cathedral visit
    Prague city walk
    Charles BridgeMala StranaOld Town SquareJewish Quarter
    Details: Prague guided sightseeing tour
    Follow a professional licensed tour guide on a sightseeing adventure through the most prized city in Eastern Europe. As the former capital of the Holy Roman Empire, the city was built on beauty and decadence from a wide array of architectural styles (including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau). See Hradcany (Prague Castle) where Europe’s grand ruling family, the Habsburgs, lived and reigned. Wander into the castle’s courtyard to view the richly textured flying buttresses of St. Vitus Cathedral, the sacred structure that took 600 years to complete.
    Details: Prague city walk
    Feel the inspiration for Franz Kafka’s novels as you stroll the medieval streets of the Mala Strana (Little Quarter). Cross the Charles Bridge (lined with 30 lifelike baroque statues) to 13th-century Old Town to see the 15th-century astronomical clock in Market Square. Stop in Josefov (Jewish Quarter), to view Europe’s oldest synagogue, dating from 1270.
    Day 11 End tour
    Map of Germany: West & East Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 6 overnight stays (8 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 1 overnight stay in couchette sleeping berths on train
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Mozart evening on extension
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    2872.00 total fee
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