Day 1: Frankfurt. Frankfurt's Christmas market is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, its beginnings reaching back to the year 1393. The location on Römerberg square is very romantic, the market attracts over 3 million visitors every year. Advent concerts and trumpet-playing from the tower of St.-Nicholas's -Church are part of the daily program. Of course Frankfurt is also a metropolis which offers many other tourist attractions such as the museums on the Main riverbank, the Goethe House, where the famous poet once lived and the "Zeil", where one can find even more Christmas presents. Spend the night in a hotel close to Frankfurt's main station.
Day 2: Heidelberg & Stuttgart. Today a train takes you from Frankfurt to Heidelberg, beautiful town on the Neckar river, with the romantic Heidelberg Castle towering above the city. Heidelberg's Christmas market is held on seven squares around the Old Town, featuring those typical stalls displaying Christmas handicrafts, local specialties and an ice rink offering a splendid view of the illuminated castle. From Heidelberg continue on by train to Stuttgart, where one of Europe's most beautiful and oldest Christmas markets is held. Stuttgart's city center is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, the medieval setting adds to a very special Christmas experience! Your hotel is located close to Stuttgart's main station, from where you will leave in the morning to Augsburg.
Day 3: Augsburg. Only a short train ride away in Augsburg is the next marvellous Christmas market waiting for your visit. Here in Augsburg the Christmas market has been held outside the Renaissance town hall for over 500 years. At night the town hall is transformed into a huge Advent calendar while the Augsburg Angels play their heavenly music. From Augsburg continue on to Munich, Germany's famous metropolis in the south. Your hotel is located close to Munich's main station.
Day 4: Munich. See all the sights of Munich on the Hop-on Hop-off Grand Circle tour. Visit the Residence Museum and Treasury, the Cuvilliés-Theatre, the Hall of Fame and Statue of Bavaria, Nymphenburg Palace and Park, the Marstallmuseum and the Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain. Spend the evening discovering yet another beautiful and very traditional Christmas market, famous throughout the world. Munich's Christmas market is held on Marienplatz (Marien square) since the 14th century. Your hotel is located close to Munich's main station.
Day 5: The Royal Castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. Today you will join an English speaking all day escorted coach tour to the Royal Castles. In Ettal you visit Linderhof Castle, the "Royal Villa" of the Bavarian King Ludwig II. This beautiful Palace is furnished in the style of the "second rococo" period. The picture of Neuschwanstein is probably present in everybody's mind but be prepared that reality will surpass all pictures and imaginations: Neuschwanstein seems to be taken out of a fairy tale!
Seeing the castle from the outside is unforgettable, a tour of the insight, which was originally build for the one famous inhabitant, will make the picture perfect! But make sure to take some time to explore the castle grounds, the view of Neuschwanstein from the bridge behind it is like none other! The coach will also make a short photo stop in Oberammergau, where every ten years the world famous Oberammergau Passion Play takes place. Your hotel is located close to Munich's main station.
Day 6: Salzburg. Today you are off to another highlight, the city of Salzburg in Austria, only a short train ride from Munich. Salzburg, birthplace of great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a town dominated by churches, palaces and castles. The entire Old Town of this Austrian gem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Before you go to the Christmas market you will join the English speaking Mozart City tour. Visit the Princely Residence, this magnificent baroque building with its splendid halls. In the Salzburg Cathedral, which is probably the main attraction of the Old Town, Mozart was baptized. And now to the city's wonderful Christmas market, which was first mentioned in the 15th century. Located at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress and around the Cathedral, this Christmas market offers many different crafts, local specialties and other Christmas items. In the evening return to your Munich hotel.
Day 7: Nuremberg and Würzburg. Today your next stop on the Christmas market tour is also a very famous one: the Christkindles Markt in Nuremberg. Held on Hauptmarkt square, one can enjoy the delicious Nuremberger Bratwurst while marveling at the beautifully decorated stalls offering local and traditional handicrafts and specialties in a medieval atmosphere. From Nuremberg the train will take you to the city of Würzburg, where the Christmas market is held on the lower and upper market square. Würzburg´s Christmas market is very atmospheric, the wooden stalls decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Spend the night in a hotel close to the city's main station.
Day 8: Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In the morning take a train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Germany's most beautiful mediaeval cities with a nice Christmas Market. Taking a walk through this charming little town is truly a journey back in time. Rothenburg ob der Tauber was once a powerful free imperial town and its monuments, landmarks and buildings still bear witness to these days. Marvel at the half-timbered buildings and at town walls which are withstanding time since hundreds of years, protecting the city since the Middle Ages. Visit the town's most famous spot, the Ploenlein square, probably the most photographed place in Rothenburg. Also very interesting to see is the Spitalbastei Gate, created by Leonhard Weidmann, the Latin inscription on the gate reading: " Peace to those who enter, health to those who leave".
The Gothic St.James church is the town's most prominent church, here you can take a minute and relax in quietness while you enjoy the beauty of the famous Altar of the Holy Blood and the Twelve Apostles Altar. Every step you take in this old town is a step through history with yet another beautiful spot to be discovered around the corner. Rothenburg also offers museums which are cultural highlights, such as the Christmas Museum with an exhibition showing Christmas tradition in Germany, the Doll and Toy Museum where the history of playthings is shown, as well as the Crime Museum, where the visitor gets an insight into the law and especially its execution during the last 700 years.
In the late afternoon a train takes you back to Frankfurt, where the tour ends.
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Europe Germany Austria Local Culture Cultural Journey Christmas/New Year Tours
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