View Dates & Prices

Grand Tour of Germany

16 days
Discover storied landmarks and crumbling castles as you travel from Hanseatic Hamburg to the Rhine Valley, where the Middle Ages come to life. Soak up history in Berlin, see striking architecture in Dresden, then take in the beauty of Bavaria in Bamberg, Munich and Rothenburg. From north to south, this tour delivers the very best Germany has to offer.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills.

Celebrate Oktoberfest on a special fall departure of this tour.

See itinerary

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 14 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 7 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 wine tasting

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of Germany

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Hamburg today.

Hamburg 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Germany

  Included meals: Dinner

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

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Hamburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Join a local expert on a guided tour of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and a historic port on the Elbe River.

• Pass by the neo-Renaissance Rathaus, the city hall

• Admire St. Michaelis Church, the largest Baroque church in northern Germany

• Explore the Speicherstadt, the city’s historic harbor district

• Take a scenic cruise on the Alster River and lakes

Later, explore Hamburg on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Hanseatic Lübeck $59pp* Details

Discover soaring spires and deep-rooted history as you explore UNESCO-listed Lübeck on a guided tour. This Baltic port served as the capital of the Hanseatic League from the 13th century to the 16th century, and remnants from its powerful merchant past still abound throughout the medieval Old Town. Pass through the 15th-century Holsten Gate into the heart of the city where you’ll see the Rathaus, or city hall, and explore the Gothic-style St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest churches in Germany. Tour the new European Hansemuseum, the Hanseatic history museum that highlights the powerful trading guild’s extensive history. Then, enjoy free time to explore—and perhaps try some of the city’s famous beer.

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

Berlin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Transfer to Berlin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Berlin and enjoy a full free day to explore on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - World War II Walking Tour $59pp* 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 5: 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 the UNESCO-listed Museum Island

Enjoy a free afternoon in Berlin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Potsdam $69pp* Details

Travel to Potsdam, the residence of Prussian Kings and German Kaisers until 1918. 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 will escort 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. After exploring the palace and gardens, your guide will introduce you to the historic center of Potsdam.

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

Dresden 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Dresden

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a guided tour of Dresden, once considered the world’s most beautiful city.

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

• See the Baroque-style Zwinger Palace and the Dresden Frauenkirche

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

Day 7: Free day in Dresden

  Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Saxon Switzerland National Park & Elbe River Cruise $69pp* Details

Depart from Dresden on a paddle steamer boat and enjoy stunning scenery as you journey down the Elbe River. Pass historic German towns such as Pillnitz, Heidenau and Pirna before arriving in Saxon Switzerland National Park. The park is known as a “city in stone” due to its eroded landscape and sandstone pinnacles. Disembark in the picturesque village of Stadt Wehlen deep in the Elbe Valley, and take a vintage-style Basteikraxler bus from the quaint Marktplatz to the Bastei viewing point. Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the Basteibrücke Bridge, which sits over 600 feet above the valley floor, and view the rocky sandstone peaks of the park and the Elbe River Valley. Then, travel by bus to the small village of Rathen to enjoy free time for lunch.

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

Bamberg 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Bamberg via Leipzig

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive to Leipzig, an important trading center, for a guided walking tour.

• Stroll past 16th-century buildings in the historic Market Square 

• Visit Mädler Passage, a famous shopping arcade that was once a fair trade building

• Admire the Renaissance architecture of the Old City Hall

• Pass the St. Nicholas Church, the St. Thomas Church and the Bach Museum

Then, journey through the Thuringian Forest as you continue on to Bamberg.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Bamberg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off with a local guide on a walking tour of Bamberg, a UNESCO-listed city. 

• Admire 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 fishermen’s village of Little Venice

Later, enjoy a free afternoon in Bamberg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Rauchbier Tasting & Dinner $85pp* Details

Beer tasting

Step into the authentic atmosphere of a historic brew tavern to sample regional Franconian specialties. You’ll also learn about the history, art and special process of brewing proper, handcrafted smoke beer. This dark-colored lager’s distinct flavor comes from barley malt that is kiln-dried over an open fire. Sip three different beers during a three-course meal while an expert discusses Bamberg’s rich brewing history and famous smoke beer tradition, which dates back to the 16th century. Today, only a couple breweries in Bamberg continue to produce Rauchbier the old-fashioned way.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Munich 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Munich via Nuremberg

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Munich, stopping en route in Nuremberg. Visit the Old Town situated along the Pegnitz River and see the legacy of the World War II military tribunals.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour. 

• Travel past the Englischer Garten and fashionable Schwabing district 

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

• Walk from Odeonsplatz through the Hofgarten to view the Residenz, once home to the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria

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

Later, enjoy a free afternoon in Munich or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dachau $25pp* 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. Listen to an audio guide while you view Dachau’s poignant exhibits and the memorials to the victims.

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

Rothenburg Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Rothenburg Region via Fussen & Neuschwanstein

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer through the Bavarian countryside to Fussen. Then, continue to Neuschwanstein before ending your day in the Rothenburg region.

• Revel in scenic views of the Alps as you relax during free time for lunch

• Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage or make the short uphill walk to the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle, where you’ll enjoy a tour with a local guide

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Rothenburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off with a local guide for a walking tour through the well-preserved cobblestone streets of Rothenburg, a walled medieval city.

• Explore the romantic alleyways and picturesque squares of the historic Old Town

• View the Market Square and the 13th-century Town Hall Tower

• Take in views of charming half-timbered houses in the Plönlein area, which is framed by the Siebers Tower and Kobolzell Gate

Later, explore Rothenburg on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Medieval Würzburg & Residence Palace $55pp* Details

Travel along Germany’s famous Romantic Road on your way to medieval Würzburg, located on the northern edge of Bavaria. Follow a local guide through the interior and gardens of the Residenz Palace, which was built in the Baroque style under the coordination of court architect Balthasar Neumann. The UNESCO-listed site boasts a magnificent staircase and 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo. Then, take free time to explore the historic center of Würzburg, and view the city hall and Romanesque cathedral before transferring back to Rothenburg.

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

Rhine Valley 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to the Rhine Valley via Heidelberg and get to know the romantic cityscapes and Baroque architecture on a guided tour.

• Wander through Heidelberg’s elegant Market Square in the city’s Old Town

• Explore the grounds of Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany 

• Take a funicular ride to the city’s rose-colored hilltop castle for panoramic views of the Old Bridge and the Rhine River below

Day 15: Rhine River Cruise

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Take in the spectacular sights of the UNESCO-recognized Rhine River Valley on a scenic cruise from Boppard to St. Goar, passing castles from the Middle Ages.

After disembarking, say goodbye to your group during a wine tasting and farewell dinner at a local vineyard.

Day 16: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Frankfurt Airport for your flight home, or continue your journey in the Black Forest region.

Add the Black Forest & Lucerne Starting from pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Dive into history and culture as you explore two of Germany and Switzerland’s famous, picture-perfect destinations. Start your journey in the fabled Black Forest region. Legends will come to life as you explore this forested, hilly area, which served as the setting for many of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales and is where the cuckoo clock came into being. Be sure to try a slice of decadent, chocolate and cherry Black Forest cake before continuing on to the most populous city in Central Switzerland: Lucerne. Often referred to as the “City of Lights,” This idyllic Alpine city sits lakeside and boasts charm, stunning medieval architecture and an impressive musical tradition.

Black Forest Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Freiburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer down the Rhine Valley to Freiburg for a guided tour of the city known as the “Jewel of the Black Forest.”

• Explore the medieval Old Town, known as the Altstadt, and enter Münster Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in all of Europe

• Pass the Historic Department Store and the Town Hall, known as the Rathaus

• View the Martinstor city gate and then try a slice of Black Forest cake, named for the tart cherry liquor that creates its signature taste

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 17: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

Journey across the border from Germany to Switzerland, stopping in the lakeside city of Lucerne for a guided tour of this idyllic Alpine town. 

• Pass the hand-painted facades that line the cobbled streets of the Old Town

• View the Lion Monument, a tribute to the Swiss Guards who sacrificed their lives in Paris during the French Revolution

• See the Jesuit Church, the first large Baroque building of its kind to be built north of the Alps in Switzerland

• Cross the medieval Chapel Bridge, a covered wooden footbridge spanning the Reuss River, and view the Water Tower

Day 18: Free day in Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $115pp* Details

This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you’ll enjoy lunch on the mountain.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 19: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Zurich Airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Dresden, Germany
  • Bamberg, Germany
  • Munich, Germany
  • Frankfurt, Germany
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

This tour includes the following countries: Germany and Switzerland (on tour extension). 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.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. Please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total 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 important documents in your carry-on luggage.

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).

Health There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. Still, it is always advisable to check with your doctor or 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. Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated. The most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Raclette is another delicious cooked cheese dish, served with roasted or boiled potatoes, air-dried beef and pickled onions. Sausages, breaded veal fillets and freshwater fish are also popular. Swiss dairy products are among the world’s finest, and full-cream milk is the essential ingredient for the exceptionally good chocolate produced here.

Transportation

If you booked your flights with Go Ahead, you will arrive in Hamburg and depart from Frankfurt (or Zurich on the tour extension). When you first arrive at the airport in Germany, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs and will escort you via private motor coach to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. Included transportation is by private motor coach.

In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Hamburg’s very efficient transportation system (HVV) consists of buses, harbor ferries and an extensive rapid transit network including the U-Bahn (underground trains) and the S-Bahn (elevated, suburban lines). Berlin’s first-rate transportation system (BVG) consists of buses, trams, the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn. 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 a top-notch, 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.

Electricity

Germany and Switzerland operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

Germany and Switzerland are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET). When it is noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

The euro (in Germany) and the Swiss Franc (in Switzerland on the tour extension) are the currencies you will be using 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.

Purchasing excursions on tour

If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on your tour. Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See the “Optional Excursions” sheet for more information.

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.