Christmas Markets: Grand Tour of Germany

16 days Special Event
Discover some of the most iconic Christmas markets in Germany’s storied cities. Stroll though historic squares lined with colorful decorations as you travel from Hanseatic Hamburg to Baroque Heidelberg. Soak up history in cosmopolitan Berlin, take in the beauty of Bavaria and see the Middle Ages come to life along the Rhine Valley. From north to south, this seasonal tour delivers the 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 pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills.

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, 2 wine tastings

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Germany and Switzerland

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 & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Join a local expert on a guided tour of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and an 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 Alster Lake

• Get into the holiday spirit during free time at the city’s Christmas markets

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 & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Wine tasting

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.

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

• Make a photo stop at the Brandenburg Gate, see the Holocaust Memorial and visit the East Side Gallery

• Follow your Tour Director through Berlin’s vibrant Christmas markets and enjoy a tasting of traditional mulled wine, known as Glühwein

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 Semper Opera House and statue of Martin Luther in the Old Town

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

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

• Admire sparkling fairy lights and browse handmade items as you stroll with locals through the city’s bustling Advent markets

Day 7: Free day in Dresden

  Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Görlitz $95pp* 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 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, and admire 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 & Christmas market visit

  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 pass the Baroque New Palace

• Stand in awe of Old Town Hall and visit the fishermen’s village of Little Venice

• Pass wooden chalets selling everything from local treats to handcrafted ornaments as you explore Bamberg’s Christmas markets

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’s Christmas market

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Munich, stopping en route to explore Nuremberg’s Christmas market with your Tour Director leading the way.

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 

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

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

Optional Excursion - Munich Christmas Markets by Night $75pp* Details

Make your way to the heart of Munich’s Old Town to visit the central square, Marienplatz. Once you arrive, set out on a short walking tour of the city’s oldest Christmas market, which was known as a “Nicholaus Market” in the 14th century. Learn about its origins as you browse decorative stalls filled with seasonal treats and handmade ornaments. Head to the City Hall to listen to live music and carol singing, and admire the market’s most notable decoration: its 100-foot Christmas tree, which is illuminated with thousands of fairy lights. Then, sip hot mulled wine and taste some local delicacies before taking free time to explore the market on your own. End the evening with dinner at a traditional Bavarian restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Würzburg 2 nights

Day 12: Würzburg via Fussen & Neuschwanstein

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer through the Bavarian countryside to Fussen. Then, continue on to Neuschwanstein for a guided tour.

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

• 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

Later, travel along Germany’s famous Romantic Road on your way to medieval Würzburg, located on the northern edge of Bavaria.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Residence Palace

  Included meals: Breakfast

Follow a local guide as you explore the interior and gardens of Würzburg’s UNESCO-listed Residence Palace, which was built in the Baroque style. After your tour, take free time to explore the historic center of Würzburg, viewing the City Hall and Romanesque cathedral. 

Later, spend a free afternoon exploring Würzburg on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Rothenburg $55pp* 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)

Rhine Valley 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Transfer to the Rhine Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the Rhine Valley and enjoy a free evening.

Day 15: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Immerse yourself in the romantic cityscapes of Heidelberg on a guided tour.

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

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

• Ride a funicular to enter the city’s hilltop castle and enjoy panoramic views

• Follow the scent of roasted chestnuts as you browse the Christmas market stalls

This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.

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 Region & Lucerne Starting from $599 pp

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 & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 17: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Free day in Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

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

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

  • In order to enter Germany (plus Switzerland on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date that extends at least six months beyond the date of reentry.  
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa 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.

Tour pace

  • You’ll walk for about 1.5 hour daily across paved and unpaved terrain, cobblestones, some hills and stairs, inclines and declines. * Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of ferries.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team at 1.800.597.0350.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Hamburg and depart from Frankfurt (or Zurich on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you 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.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost. 
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted. 
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • Winters in Germany are generally cold. To ensure you’re comfortable during outdoor sightseeing and Christmas market visits, we recommend packing a warm coat, hat and gloves, as well as rainwear. 
  • We also suggest packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can easily be layered. 
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes, sneakers or winter boots is recommended for sightseeing. 
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.


  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.


  • German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are dumpling stews, sauerkraut, sausages, smoked cheeses and dark breads. Bavaria produces some of the world’s purest beers, while white German wines are exceptionally good. 
  • (Tour extension) Swiss food is varied and sophisticated, and some popular dishes include sausages, breaded veal fillets, freshwater fish and cheese dishes such as fondue and raclette. Be sure to try Swiss chocolate, which is among the world’s finest.


  • Germany (and Switzerland on the tour extension) operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E or F plugs with two small, round pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.


  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

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


  • You will use the euro in Germany and the Swiss franc in Switzerland on the tour extension. 
  • 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 strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.  
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.


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

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour. 
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for 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 page four of your tour itinerary 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.