Historic Germany: Berlin to Bavaria 12 days
94.1% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
From medieval Old Towns to modern metropolises, discover a Germany that is history-conscious but forward-looking. Begin in artsy, edgy Berlin, reunited Germany’s political and cultural capital. Stop at the historic outpost of Potsdam, then continue to dramatic Dresden—“jewel box” of baroque and rococo architecture. Take a step back in time onto the medieval streets of Bamberg, before ending in Munich, capital of Bavarian food and culture.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
10 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Communist history & modern artistry in Berlin
Dresden’s magnificent Zwinger Palace
The medieval architecture of bewitching Bamberg
The whimsical Glockenspiel, centerpiece of Marienplatz in Munich
The pervasive legacy of World War II history
Wheat beer & white sausage
Overnight Flight1 night
Berlin3 nights - hotel info
In a city this captivating, the only real question is: where to begin?
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Touch down in the capital of reunified Germany. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport in Berlin after you clear customs and then assists you with the transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or begin acquainting yourself with the city, a spectacular center of German culture. Meet your fellow travelers at an included dinner this evening.
Walk through history, from Checkpoint Charlie to Brandenburg Gate
Since the Berlin Wall came down in late 1989, Berlin has continued to evolve into a thriving metropolis. A local expert guide introduces you to the monuments to Berlin’s intricate past as well as signs of its re-emergence as a vibrant cultural center. Arrive at the Brandenburg Gate, once the symbol of the undeclared Cold War, and now the symbol of a reunited Berlin. See the site where Checkpoint Charlie once guarded the border between East and West Germany. As you see where the Berlin Wall actually stood, imagine the bleak watchtowers and piercing spotlights that guarded “the border.” Journey down Unter den Linden, once considered one of the world’s most elegant boulevards. Spend a free afternoon exploring Berlin on your own or take part in an optional World War II walking tour.
World War II Walking Tour $59* pp
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.
Comb through the climax and resolution of World War II drama at Potsdam
Travel to Potsdam, the pride and joy of former East Germany. Once the royal playground of Prussian King Frederick the Great, Potsdam was also the location where American, British and Soviet leaders drew up plans for the postwar administration of Germany at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. A local guide introduces you to the town then escorts you through Cecilienhof Palace, built by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in the early 1900s and the site of the Potsdam Conference’s iconic photograph of Truman, Churchill and Stalin.
Dresden2 nights - hotel info
Discover the treasures contained within the Jewel Box
New Green Vault
Leave Potsdam for Dresden today. Enjoy a guided tour of Dresden, once considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. Pass the renovated Semper Opera House and a statue of Martin Luther. You’ll also visit gardens at the magnificent Zwinger Palace. Destroyed by the Allies’ infamous Dresden firebombing in 1945, the palace was later rebuilt and remains one of the most impressive examples of baroque architecture in Eastern Europe. It is now home to the works of such luminaries as Raphael, Dürer and Titian. Visit the New Green Vault, one of Europe’s most impressive treasure museums. Enjoy an included dinner with your group this evening.
Delve deeper into Dresden or take a detour to picturesque Görlitz
Today, pass the time at your leisure in Dresden or embark on an optional excursion to Gorlitz.
Görlitz $95* pp
On a guided tour of Görlitz, you'll visit St. Peters Church. Walk over the Neisse River to the sister city of Zgorzelec, located a stone’s throw away across the German-Polish border. Until 1945, the modern-day towns of Zgorzelec and Görlitz were a single entity. In their current separated state, each town offers unique insights into their nations' shared history. After an included lunch in Zgorzelec, return to Görlitz to enter the Holy Sepulchre.
Bamberg2 nights - hotel info
Explore the intellectual, architectural and political hub of Weimar
Travel to Bamberg by way of Weimar, where you’ll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the city. This intellectual hub nurtured the genius of Goethe, Nietzsche and Schiller, as well as the entire Bauhaus architectural movement. The city also gave rise to the Weimar Republic, the failed attempt to establish a liberal German democracy between the two World Wars. Reach the Bavarian town of Bamberg for this evening’s included dinner.
Marvel at the architectural riches of medieval Bamberg
Today’s guided tour leads you through the plain, islands and seven hills of Bamberg. Wander through the historic Old Town, named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved medieval buildings and feel, which was spared any destruction during World War II. See the Bamberg Cathedral, a Romanesque structure with four imposing towers, which ranks as Bamberg’s most famous landmark. Then pay a visit to “Little Venice,” an old colony of quaint fishers’ houses on the banks of the river Regnitz. This afternoon, delve into Germany’s medieval history with an optional excursion to Rothenburg.
Rothenburg $55* pp
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.
Munich3 nights - hotel info
Hit the Bavarian capital for grand palaces and world-class beer
This morning, embark on an expertly led guided tour of the Bavarian capital. Travel past the Olympic Stadium, the fashionable Schwabing district and the Residenz, once home to the Wittlesbach dukes of Bavaria. Pay a visit to Nymphenburg Palace and continue to Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, where you’ll see the city’s famed Glockenspiel. This afternoon, join an optional excursion to the former concentration camp site at Dachau.
Dachau $25* pp
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.
Head into the mountains to the fairytale castle of Mad King Ludwig
Enjoy another free day in Munich. You might stroll through the Englisher Gardens or explore the BMW Museum. Alternatively, you might opt to travel into the Bavarian mountains to the castle of Neuschwanstein, the fairytale palace of Mad King Ludwig. From there, you’ll visit the scenic town of Oberammergau, known throughout the world for its open-air staging of the Passion Play, Germany’s oldest festival. Relive memories from your tour at tonight’s Farewell Dinner.
Neuschwanstein & Oberammergau $69* pp
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.
Extend Your Stay
Add Vienna $379*
Proper citizens of Vienna, it’s been said, waltz only from the waist down, holding their upper bodies ramrod straight while whirling around the crowded dance floor. The movement resulting from this posture is breathtaking, and its coupling of liveliness and formality is quintessentially Viennese. The 18th-century stone-and-stucco palaces all over the inner city are much the same. They make Vienna a baroque city that is, at its best, an architectural waltz.
Vienna3 nights - hotel info
Experience delightful, delicious Vienna in all of its imperial majesty
Today, join a guided tour of the Austrian capital. Travel down the Ring, a series of wide boulevards commissioned by Emperor Franz Josef in 1857. Ride past the Parliament, the flower-adorned Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Hofburg. This evening, take part in an optional Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening that includes a ride on the Prater Ferris Wheel and dinner at a local restaurant.
Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening $99* pp
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 and food. 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.
Take a cruise on the blue Danube
Spend the day at your leisure. Take a stroll through Vienna’s pedestrian zone and stop at the Hotel Sacher for a its world-famous Sachertorte. Or board an optional river cruise along the Danube for views of medieval castles and picturesque villages and a stop in Dormstein.
Danube River Cruise $95* pp
After a short drive to Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was held captive, embark on a leisurely cruise on the Danube. Your ship will take you through the Wachau Valley, home to age-old castles and picturesque villages. After the cruise, stop in Melk for a visit to one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque monastery, an architectural wonder perched high atop a cliff. Please note: This excursion requires advanced reservation and runs from mid-April through October.
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.
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.
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 “Historic Germany: Berlin to Bavaria” 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).
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.
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.
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.
94.1% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
From Berlin to Bavaria - May 2-13
First tour with Go Ahead, in fact, first tour ever. What a wonderful experience! We were a small group - only 22 - which was ideal for my husband and I. We developed a nice camaraderie with others in the group, and actually got to know some fo the folks fairly well. We had been wanting to visit Germany for a while, so when circumstances presented this opportunity, we decided to take the trip with Go Ahead. We are glad we did. The itinerary was well-balanced between more recent history - WWII - and earlier history of Germany during the middle ages. We liked Berlin more that we expected, it projects a young vibe, and I was especially impressed with Nuremberg. My favorite city, though, was Dresden. The restoration of the historic buildings is remarkable, with so much to see. Our tour guide was a gem and made the trip that much more enjoyable. He was knowledgeable, personable, and very calm, all the time. I recommend this tour to anyone who wants a sample of the many facets of Germany - it was a great mix of old and new, and we learned a lot while thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
Our tour director, Lala, was the key to our wonderful trip. She brought out the best in each experience in Germany, each city, each optional, and each member of our group. Her discussions and explanations of the political science of Europe and related European history were excellent and helped her American participants come to better understanding of so many events and their ramifications. We had wonderful weather too!
Germany from Berlin to Bavaria
This tour is extremely worthwhile if one is interested in the history of a fascinating country. The tour director is quite outstanding in the breath of her knowledge and the dynamism of her personality. I would have preferred more time in Berlin and less ib Munich, but overall, this is one of the best tours Ive taken with Go Ahead tours.
Berlin to Bavaria -- October 11-22
This tour was a very nice surprise. The hotels were all excellent and conveniently located and had great breakfasts and amenities. The itinerary was nice and the optionals provided an opportunity to see some of the wonderful small towns. Shopping was not big on my agenda, but choose the opitionals wisely if you want to maximize your shopping time. We had unseasonably warm weather for October and it really added to the enjoyment of the tour. Our tour director, Lala Rasulova was delighful. I had the pleasure of having Lala for an earlier tour, and it was great to see her again. Lala is totally professional and keeps an eye out for all of us, but she is also a fun person and delightful to be with. Thanks, Go Ahead, for another wonderful experience in another country!!
Our tour of Germany was excellent. I learned a lot of history and have developed a great appreciation for what the Germans indured during the war and after. We saw many charming little towns along with Berlin and Munich. The rides on the bus were reasonable. We took all the extra tours and enjoyed all of them except the world war II tour in Berlin. The guide was knowledgeable but we spent much time standing around and not seeing much. This tour is a nice blend of cities and country life.
I enjoyed the trip tremendously. I learned much about Germany.
Who knew Germany was so fascinating?!?!?
We learned so much about German and world history on this trip. Having been born in the 50s, details of WWII and the things that led up to it were not covered too much in our grade school world studies. Wanted to see the concentration camp sites for ourselves out of compassion and respect for those who lost their lives - unbelievable and a moving experience. The guide-led tours from Berlin, Dresden, Potsdam, Nuremburg, and Munich filled in so many of the missing pieces of how and why the war started, what happened to the country during the Nazi years, how the cold war started after the war when the allies divvied control parts of Europe - Germany in particular. Most amazing was how the cities there left in mostly rubble only recovered partially till the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only then did many cities start to really rebuild their city centers - and they rebuilt what was there BEFORE the war, replacing the incredibly beautiful baroque buildings, museums and cathedrals. Hard to believe many were built within the last 10-15 years. Lest you think this trip is all history, we also really enjoyed seeing the famous Neuswanstein Castle (the one that inspired Disney's fames Fairytale Castle), Bavaria was beautiful with medieval towns like Rothenberg and our boat tour down the Spree River through the middle of Berlin - divine. If you go, book access to the dome of the Reichtag/Parliment building in Berlin a week or two before your trip. Well worth seeing and not part of your scheduled tour. Incredible art museums at Berlin's Museum Island as well as in dresden and Munich. We booked an extra day before and after the trip to have more time on our own in Berlin and Munich. If you are a car nut like my husband, consider taking the 1-hour VW factory tour in Dresden where they make the pricey Phaeton model - and sign up for the 2-hour BMW plant tour in Munich. Both very interesting and both require a reservation a week or two in advance. Near the BMW plant is the Munich Olympic stadium. Try to take the Stadium tour (about 1PM each day). Tickets are about $10 and can be bought on site. The background on how Germany unexpectedly won the bid to host the Olympic games, the young architect who built the amazing glass ceiling and how the games transformed Munich is really interesting. Like most Go Ahead tours some hotels and included meals were great - others just so-so, but that's what comes with visiting old cities. And it's the reason Go Ahead can offer the tours at reasonable prices. We've taken 4 tours with GA and will use them again but prefer booking our own flights and booking a land-only tour with GA. This way we can usually find direct flights – may cost us a few more $$s but we don’t have to deal with layovers and early morning flight times you sometimes get when GA books your flights. PS - take a really good pair of walking shoes for the Berlin to Bavaria trip - you'll need it to see every amazing site along this trip.
Great overview of Germany
My husband and I really enjoyed our trip. Each city we visited had a charm of its own. The highlight was the optional to Neuschwanstein Castle--something I have wanted to see since I was a child. One caveat on the trip--be prepared to do some significant walking.
without a doubt one of the best tours ever.Frank Sahl was a great guide as were the ones we with in the different cities.
Historic Germany was Amazing!
From the time our Tour Director, Frank met us at the airport until he saw us off on our flight home, everything was wonderful. We stayed at four hotels and each of them met all our needs, including Internet availability ... free at three of the hotels. Optional excursions added much to our experience and were very well organized. I was impressed with the knowledge of our local guides and through them, learned so much about Germany and it's history. I would highly recommend this tour ... with the warning that there is a lot of walking involved and would not be suitable for someone with a problem in that area.