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Christmas Markets of Germany

12 days Special Event Tours
Begin your adventure in artsy, edgy Berlin, reunited Germany’s political and cultural capital. Stop at the historic outpost of Potsdam, then continue on to dramatic Dresden, home of the country’s oldest Christmas market. Take a step back in time as you wander the medieval streets of Bamberg and festive markets of Nuremberg before ending in Munich, capital of Bavarian food and culture.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Berlin today.

Berlin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Berlin

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Germany! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Berlin

Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the monuments of Berlin’s intricate past as well as the signs of its re-emergence as a vibrant cultural center.

• Discover the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of a reunited Berlin

• See the Holocaust Memorial and East Side Gallery

• Journey down Unter den Linden, the city’s most elegant boulevard, passing the Reichstag and Museum Island

Enjoy a free afternoon in Berlin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - World War II Walking Tour $59*pp Details

Take a walk through history on this insider’s tour of Berlin during World War II, detailing the rise and fall of Hitler and the Third Reich. You’ll start in the Wilhelmstraße area and see the building that once housed the headquarters of Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe. You'll also view the former headquarters of the infamous SS and Gestapo, the massive Reich Chancellery and the Propaganda Ministry. Finally, stand directly above Hitler’s Führerbunker as your guide details the last days of World War II in Europe. Lunch is included.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Day 4: Potsdam

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Potsdam, where American, British and Soviet leaders drew up plans for the postwar administration of Germany at the Potsdam Conference.

• Explore the city’s historic town center, New Garden and Dutch Quarter with a local guide

• Step inside Cecilienhof Palace, site of the Potsdam Conference’s iconic photo

Dresden 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Dresden

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leave Berlin for a guided tour of Dresden, once considered to be the most beautiful city in the world.

• Pass the renovated Semper Opera House and statue of Martin Luther 

• See the Zwinger Palace, a striking example of Baroque architecture, and the Dresden Frauenkirche

• Discover the New Green Vault, one of Europe’s most impressive treasure museums

• Visit Striezelmarkt, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Dresden

Day 6: Free day in Dresden

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Dresden or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Görlitz $95*pp Details

Until 1945, the modern-day towns of Zgorzelec, Poland and Görlitz, Germany were a single entity. In their current separated state, each town offers unique insights into their nations' shared history. Enjoy an included lunch in Zgorzelec, and then cross the bridge over the Neisse River onto the Germany side. Here, a local guide gives you a tour of Görlitz, including a visit to the Church of St. Peter and Paul.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Bamberg 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Bamberg via Weimar

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Bamberg by way of Weimar, the intellectual hub that nurtured the genius of Goethe, Nietzsche and Schiller.

• Learn about the city’s literary history on a walking tour through the Old Town

• See remnants of the Bauhaus architectural movement

• Discover the National Theater and its monument to Goethe and Schiller

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Bamberg

Included meals: Breakfast

Set off with a local guide on a walking tour through Bamberg, a city built on seven hills. 

• Enter the towering Bamberg Cathedral and surrounding square

• Pass the Baroque New Palace

• Stand in awe of Old Town Hall, built in the middle of Regnitz River

• Visit the quaint fisherman’s village of Little Venice

Enjoy a free afternoon in Bamberg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Rothenburg $55*pp Details

Visit Rothenburg, the most well-preserved walled Medieval town in Germany. Embark on a guided tour of the city, including stops at the Town Hall, the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum, and St. Jakob's Church, where you'll see a 500-year-old, hand-carved wooden altarpiece.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $65)

Munich 3 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Munich via Nuremberg Christmas market

Included meals: Breakfast

Set off for Munich, stopping along the way in Nuremberg.

• Learn about the legacy of the World War II military tribunals  

• Visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market, where you can shop for spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, Christmas ornaments, candles, toys and crafts

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Munich

Included meals: Breakfast

Meet your local guide for a panoramic tour of Bavaria’s capital city. 

• Travel past the Olympic Stadium and fashionable Schwabing district 

• View the Residenz, once home to the Wittlesbach dukes of Bavaria

• Enter the Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque home to past Bavarian royalty

• Explore Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, and see the famed Glockenspiel

• Get introduced to the city’s most festive seasonal tradition, its Christmas markets

Enjoy a free afternoon in Munich or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dachau $25*pp Details

Once a typical German town, Dachau served as the first Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Visit this somber site, which has since been transformed into a Holocaust memorial museum that serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. An audio guide will provide the narrative for your viewing of Dachau’s poignant exhibits, which are echoed by the memorials to the victims that adorn the grounds.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $35)

Day 11: Free day in Munich

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend a full free day in Munich or add an excursion.

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Optional Excursion - Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau $69*pp Details

Head into the mountains of Bavaria, where your first stop is Oberammergau, setting for the world-famous Passion Play. After a short tour, you'll have some free time for shopping (please note that most shops are closed on Sundays). Later, continue to Neuschwanstein, the storybook retreat of the Fairytale King Ludwig. You may choose to walk or take a horse carriage up the castle hill to Neuschwanstein. Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle was modeled after Neuschwanstein's whimsical design. As you tour the castle’s interior, you’ll discover many examples of the young king’s eclectic tastes. Within its chambers are a stalactite grotto, artifacts of all kinds and murals depicting his favorite scenes from Wagnerian operas. Choose to take a horse-drawn carriage or walk back down the hill. Please note: This excursion involves walking up and down stairs.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Day 12: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Add Vienna $379 pp

Pass through gorgeous Austrian countryside on your travels to Vienna. Enjoy free time to explore on your own during your 3-day extension. You'll find Christkindlmärktes on nearly every corner. Stroll among the elaborately decorated trees in the park and enjoy the wonderful Christmas atmosphere. Also, join guided tours of the Austrian capital, as well as the festival Christmas Markets, like Rathausplatz. On the square in front of the City Hall, this Christkindlmärkte is teeming with potential Christmas presents, food and most important hot punch and "Glühwein," heated sweetened wine.

Vienna 3 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Vienna via Salzburg

Included meals: Breakfast

Pass through the Austrian countryside, stopping to explore Salzburg on your own en route to Vienna.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Vienna

Included meals: Breakfast

Get transported back to the Age of Empires on a guided tour of Vienna. 

• Enter Schönbrunn Palace, the Rococo Hapsburg home with impressive gardens

• Travel down the Ringstrasse to the Parliament building and the Vienna State Opera 

• See the grand Hofburg Palace, the Hapsburg’s preferred winter residence

• Visit the city’s festive Christmas market and sample glühwein, heated sweet wine

Enjoy a free afternoon in Vienna or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening $99*pp Details

After a brief drive, your first stop is Vienna’s Prater Ferris Wheel. Take a breezy ride to the top, which offers a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Next, continue to the picturesque village of Grinzing. At a local restaurant, you’ll indulge in a festive night of music, food and entertainment. Dinner will feature dishes typical of traditional Austrian Heurigens, or wine taverns. During your meal, you’ll have the chance to try some of the tavern’s own locally made wine—the perfect addition to your cozy Old-World setting.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 14: Free day in Vienna

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Vienna on your own.

Day 15: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Berlin, Germany
  • Dresden, Germany
  • Bamberg, Germany
  • Munich, Germany
  • Vienna, Austria
Temperature Precipitation
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  • DEC

Passport & Visa

This itinerary includes the following countries: Germany and Austria (on the optional excursion to Salzburg as well as the tour extension to Vienna). In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Germany. Still, it is always advisable to check with your health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the pleasures of traveling is the variety of local cuisine. German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are rich dumpling stews and sauerkraut cabbage, tasty thick sausages and smoked cheeses, dark breads and chocolate cakes. Bavaria produces some of the world’s purest beers, while white German wines are exceptionally good. In Austria, thick soups of paprika and onion, veal, beef and venison with cranberries are all popular, as is the renowned Wiener Schnitzel. For fish-lovers there are excellent wild trout, roast carp and crayfish. Desserts perhaps provide the most memorable aspect of Austrian cuisine: strudels made with all kinds of fruit and nuts, soufflés and elegant chocolate cakes such as the world-famous Sachertorte.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in Berlin and depart from Munich (or Vienna on extension). Included transportation on “Christmas Markets of Germany” is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Berlin’s very efficient transportation system (BVG) consists of buses, trams, the U-Bahn (underground trains) and the S-Bahn (elevated trains). A BVG standard ticket is valid for two hours of transportation, including transfers. During your stay, you might consider purchasing a 24-hour ticket or the three-day Welcome Card. Munich’s transportation system (MVV) is top-notch, an all-inclusive combination of trams, buses, U-bahn and S-bahn. Purchase tickets based on time of validity from newspaper stands, vending machines or the drivers. Most of the major attractions lie within the inner-city blue zone. Vienna has one of Europe’s most efficient transportation systems. You can purchase tickets in singles or in bulk for S-bahn (above ground),
U-bahn (underground), tram and bus lines. The waiting time for trains and subways is usually no more than five to 10 minutes.

Clothing & Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Currency

The euro is the currency you will use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and ATM/bank cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/4/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tons of alawesomeness!

I’m in my prime (32 years youngin’) with no kids and have a pair of legs in good condition, and off to Germany I shall go. (yah I get to cross out my # 1 item on my bucket list (going to Europe)) Our tour director Jurgen was extremely helpful, friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and patience. I unfortunately lost my passport on the last day in Berlin, and Jurgen guided me and gave me step by step instructions on what to do. (I had to stay behind Berlin, while the group carried on and went to Dresden.) Luckily I was able to keep my composure, crack a smile after 11 hours ordeal when I finally arrived to Dresden for the welcome dinner. This trip was amazing, beautiful, eye opening, fun and educational. The historical sites are eye opening, the local tour guides are knowledgeable and the weather isn't so shabby! If you keep moving and dress warmly, you'll be fine! Regarding our group, we had a group of 18 people (all from Texas, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, California, New Jersey, Mississippi, New York and even Canada) and we all got along (regardless of our age, ethnic, background, etc. ). I felt like I was more at a family reunion vs. on being on tour with a bunch of strangers. The Christmas Market was the icing on the cake for this particular tour. If you are into shopping and love street vendor food, you’ll love this tour! My tip for you: 1.) Pack light and only bring the essentials you need (a nice thick/water resistant coat, gloves, hand warmers, a pair of comfortable shoes, beanie, etc.) 2.) Layer up! 3.) Bring detergent (so you can minimize the room in your luggage for souvenirs) 4.) Don't forget the batteries, phone/camera chargers, memory cards, adapter/converters, trust me you'll take tons and tons of picture! 5.) Go with an opened mind and be thankful you're away from work and your entire family!

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1 / 7

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/5/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A Dream Come True & Visions of Sugar Plums, or "Pflaumentoffels"

For twenty years my husband has been telling me about the Christmas Markets in Germany he visited when he was on leave from the Navy. He bought a book showing all the beautiful markets, foods and cathedrals. It was my dream to be able to experience this with him one day. For those of you who do Vision Boards, this is an example of how my dream came true. After receivfing the Go Ahead Tours catalogs for the past two years, last March I took a leap of faith and signed us up for the tour. All I can say is this is one time when the reality was even better than the fantasy. Our guide, Alex, was outstanding - informative, funny and laid back. He didn't even get upset when we got lost one at a Christmas Market and couldn't find our way back to the bus. Fortunately he had encouraged us to keep his phone number handy, just in case. Besides the markets which were delightful, I enjoyed seeing and learning about the many historical places in Germany. A perfect balance of play, fun and enlightenment. We have wonderful memories to last a lifetime.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/5/2013

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome tour and director!

Do yourself a favor - give yourself a gift - take this tour! And if you're fortunate enough to have Alex as your tour director, you'll be doubly blessed. Put on your walking shoes and get ready to see some amazing places, learn some fascinating history, and delight your palate with scrumptious fare. Sign up! Germany awaits!

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1 / 5

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/6/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great time in Germany

We had a fantastic guide, a very charming driver and the best group of people you could travel with! I would love to go again. The Christmas markets were a lot of fun. Make sure you leave lots of room in your suitcase for all the things you will want to bring back and dress warm!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 12/6/2012

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: OR

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Historical Christmas Markets

Our tour director Atto was excellent. This tour is offered throughout the year as a historical tour and it truly excels in that regard. For those interested in the former East Germany, this tour is a must. Berlin, Potsdam and Dresden were eye openers. Bamberg was a personal highlight. Weimar and Munich were also excellent. Be aware that the weather may be much colder (or warmer) than the average for December. We had several inches of snow and temperatures as low as 14 degrees. The nature of the tour means you need to be outside walking so a warm coat, boots and gloves are a must. On the other hand, having snow for the Christmas markets makes it more like Christmas. There are not, unfortunately a lot of handmade things to buy in the markets; most seem in my opinion mass produced. Keep an eye out however and you may get some nice surprises. The markets seem to be mainly a social event, so go and enjoy. Eat the brats, pretzels, chestnuts, and drink the gluhwein (or kinderpunch if you prefer non alcohol). Since my companion and I had been to on some of the optionals on a previous tour, we took the train to Salzburg for the day on our own, which we highly recommend. Salzburg had some of the best markets of the trip and GoAhead should consider a side trip there from Munich. We also had dinner on our own in the Altenburg castle in Bamberg, which was really cool and a personal highlight.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 12/1/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Tour Director & Guides were Great but...

The tour and director were really good along with the local guides, but our hotels left a lot to be desired. One of my rooms was so small I could barely make it around the bed never mind getting into the shower. The staff was very understanding and gave me a larger room right away. Most of the time there were few restaurants close by and in one the selection of food from room service was laughable. If the company provides better hotels in the future I would gladly recommend this tour to friends maybe even take it again myself.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/6/2012

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Christmas Markets 2012 - 5 stars

All around this is a great tour. The tour leader, Atto, who had a wonderful positive attitude, did a great job taking care of us and making this a flawless trip. He was extremely informative, pleasant, approachable, knowledgable, and had a genuine concern for all 16 of us on this trip. The company did an excellent job booking convenient flights, arranging transfers, and taking care of all the little details so that we could enjoy the trip to the maximum. The hotels were very nice in each location with buffet breakfasts that were extensive. Each hotel was either close to attractions or convenient to public transportation. The only negative was that the hotel in Munich did not have free Internet access in the rooms. Guides in each city were very informative and provided lots of interesting information. Since we were provided with personal listening devices, it was easy to hear them despite background noise. These devices should be standard on all tours. Enjoyed walking through the festive Christmas markets at all the locations. Had a chance to experience all kinds of new foods and see amazing crafts. All the vendors were very pleasant and happy to answer questions. Had an included group dinner in each city which was nice. Gave us a chance to get together and learn about each other. The dinner in the beer hall in Munich felt a bit rushed as we obviously had a time limit imposed by the restaurant. Go Ahead may want to consider a different location to eat in Munich. Basically a terrific tour with a terrific tour leader. The places we visited, Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Weimar, Nuremburg, Bamberg, and Munich, were all simply amazing. Although it was a very sad place, Dachau, was important for me to see since my father had been a prisoner there during WW II. I highly recommend this trip for people who want to see a lot of history, meet friendly people, have a good time, and experience the joy of the holiday season. Just don't forget to dress warmly.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/1/2011

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Christmas Markets Tour, December 1 - 12, 2011

My wife, Annette, and I really enjoyed the trip. Our tour leader, Frank Stahl, was really good and helpful and knowledgible. He had some tough circumstances, our of our tour members got lost and it was almost one hour before she was found. Frank kept the rest of us together while coordinating the search. The city guide in Berlin was excellent, knew the city and its history well and was passionate about the city and its history both the good as well as the bad. The guide in Gooerlitz and Munich were also excellent. Their knowledge of the city and special bits and pieces of information they were able to share was just terrific. One thing that might help to improve the trip is to understand when shops in the cities will be open. We made the extra trip on Sunday to Oberramegeau and the Mad Kings's Castle. Since the trip was on a Sunday the shops in Oberrameagea wete not open. We could have made the trip the Saturday when the shops were open and taken the Munich tour and Dachau on the Sunday. In Munich I would have liked to have been able to make a stop at the Olympic Village for a brief amount of time 15 - 20 minutes. Not to take away from other parts. The morning tour would have needed to be 30 - 45 minutes loinger but this would have added to the trip. This is a thought for consideration. Add an extra day in cities like Berlin and Munich to allow a day for individual exploration. Most people take the extra trips which does not allow for exploration of the cities on ones own. If I think of more I will send an additioal e-mail. bill franz

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 12/1/2011

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Christmas Markets

One of the best tours I have ever taken, many thanks.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 12/1/2011

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Christmas markets of Germany

Great time; weather a little iffy, but enjoyed the mixture of history and markets

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