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Oktoberfest: Germany, Switzerland & Austria

14 days Special Event Tours
Get a full view of the idyllic villages and cosmopolitan capital cities of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Discover delightfully distinct style and substance in each destination, from the legendary Oktoberfest celebration in Munich to the Art Nouveau elegance of Vienna. Swiss mountains and the Bavarian forest, German beer and Austrian wine—this tantalizing trio has something for everyone.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily; 6 three-course dinners with wine or beer

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Frankfurt today.

Heidelberg Region2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in the Heidelberg Region via Frankfurt

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Germany! After arriving in Frankfurt, transfer to the Heidelberg Region to meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg

Included meals: Breakfast

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

• Take a funicular ride to the city’s rose-colored hilltop castle

• Explore the grounds of the oldest university in Germany 

• Wander through Heidelberg’s elegant market square

Enjoy a free afternoon in Heidelberg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle & Gardens of Schweztingen $39*pp Details

Travel to Schwetzingen Castle and its internationally acclaimed gardens. A castle guide will lead you through the greenery. Spanning 178 acres, the spacious and ornate gardens welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and feature a unique combination of French and English landscaping styles. As you embark on your guided exploration of the castle, be sure to take in the sights of the exquisitely maintained compound. Before leaving, enjoy some free time for souvenir shopping. Please note: The castle gardens are closed from October 14 through March 25.

Lucerne2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Lucerne via Rhine Falls & Black Forest

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On the way to Switzerland, journey to the thundering Rhine Falls and through the Black Forest, the setting for many of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

Included meals: Breakfast

Get an up-close look at Lucerne, Switzerland’s idyllic Alpine town. 

• Stroll down narrow streets and across the medieval Kapellbrücke bridge

• Pass the hand-painted façades along the cobbled streets of the Old Town

• View the captivating Löwendenkmal, or Lion Monument

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $109*pp 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.

Innsbruck1 night Hotel info

Day 6: Innsbruck via Liechtenstein

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire, and continue on toward the wintertime wonderland of Innsbruck, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour.

• Visit Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, and pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence

• Arrive in Innsbruck, site of two winter Olympic Games

• See the famed Golden Roof and the City Tower in Innsbruck’s historic Old Town

• Pass the Hofburg, a former Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and walk into its cobblestoned courtyard

• Enter the Baroque Cathedral of St. James

Munich2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Sightseeing tours of Neuschwanstein & Munich

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the mountains of Bavaria en route to Munich, stopping for a guided tour of Neuschwanstein, the fairytale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig.

• Step inside Neuschwanstein Castle

• Take time to explore its stalactite grotto, artifacts and murals

Later, arrive in Munich, where a local guide leads a 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

Day 8: Oktoberfest in Munich

Included meals: Breakfast

Join thousands of other beer lovers from around the world in celebrating Oktoberfest today. Enjoy special admission to an Oktoberfest tent, where you can sample Bavarian delicacies along with steins of Munich’s famous beer.

Salzburg2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head to Salzburg, a city famed for its churches and musical history, where a local guide leads you on a walking tour of the Old Town.

• View the university and the churchyard of St. Peter

• See the Kapitelplatz, Residenzplatz and Alter Markt, in the city’s Old Town

• Enter Salzburg Cathedral and the home where Mozart was born 

• Pass through scenery from the beloved film “The Sound of Music”

• End your tour in the elegant Mirabell Palace Gardens

Day 10: Free day in Salzburg

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Salzburg or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines $105*pp Details

Drive through the Bavarian Alps to the mountain village of Berchtesgaden, where you’ll tour the 450-year-old salt mines that brought wealth to Bavaria and Salzburg. Continue to Obersalzberg, where a scenic bus ride along steep gorges offers gorgeous views of the snow-capped Alps. Here, you’ll take a gilded elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest, an Alpine retreat built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. Please note: The elevation of the Eagle’s Nest is approximately 5,500 feet, which may not be advisable for travelers with heart/lung problems or other altitude-related limitations. This excursion is seasonal from mid-May through late October.

Optional Excursion - Mozart Concert & Dinner $109*pp Details

Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in Europe located within St. Peter’s Abbey, for an evening of fine dining and Mozart. Mozart composed over 600 works in his short life, and tonight, you’ll hear his masterpieces as you sample local delicacies. Let the music carry you late into the night.

Vienna3 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Vienna via Melk Abbey

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Stop in Melk for a guided tour of the town’s Baroque abbey, then continue your drive through the Austrian countryside to Vienna.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Vienna

Included meals: Breakfast

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

• Visit 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

Enjoy a free evening 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.

Day 13: Free day in Vienna

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Vienna or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Bratislava $89*pp Details

Walk through Bratislava’s Old Town on a guided tour of the Slovakian capital. Stroll along cobblestone streets in the shadow of Brastislavsky Hrad, the hilltop 18th-century castle overlooking the Old Town. Then, tour the famous Hall of Mirrors inside the pink Primates’ Palace, where Napoleon and the Austrian emperor signed the Peace of Pressburg of 1805. Lunch is included. Please note: Depending on the day of the week, you may visit St. Martin’s Cathedral instead of the palace.

Day 14: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Budapest.

Add Budapest $349 pp

Truly a tale of two cities, Budapest is a merger of Buda and Pest, two towns separated by the river Danube. Now known as the Pearl of the Danube, Budapest is a peaceful yet progressive metropolis, offering plenty of shopping, as well as specialty Hungarian foods and wines.

Budapest2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Budapest

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Budapest today, then discover the major landmarks of both sides of the city—Buda and Pest—with a local guide.

• Trace this nation’s stormy history at Heroes Square

• Tour the lavishly decorated Hungarian Parliament building

• Cross the Danube and ascend Castle Hill

• Take in the breathtaking views from Fisherman’s Bastion

• Visit the medieval Matthias Church, once the site of Hapsburg coronations

Day 15: Free day in Budapest

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Budapest: A Walk Behind the Iron Curtain $69*pp Details

Discover the turbulent, tragic and heroic history of the communist period in Budapest on today’s excursion. Your guided sightseeing tour passes the Parliament building, which was the starting place of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and still shows signs of damage from the Soviet invasion. Visit the nearby statue of Imre Nagy, Hungary’s Prime Minister during the revolution, who is an enduring symbol of freedom. Liberty Square is just a stroll away, home to the U.S. Embassy, a statue of Ronald Reagan and the only remaining monument to Communist troops. From St. Stephen’s Basilica, take the historical Metro Line 1 up the iconic Andrassy Ave. Stop for an included coffee and piece of cake amidst the Neo-Renaissance splendor of Book Café, the regular meeting place of the intelligentsia during the Soviet occupation. End the day at the House of Terror, where you will take a guided tour through this chilling museum and moving monument to the victims of communism and fascism in Hungary.

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Heidelberg, Germany
  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Munich, Germany
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Budapest, Hungary
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa

This itinerary includes the following countries: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the principality of Liechtenstein (on transfer), and Hungary (on 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.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. Be aware of high-altitude conditions in the region. The elevation of Mount Pilatus is 7,000 feet. Be sure to check with your health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in Frankfurt and depart from Vienna (or Budapest on the extension). Included transportation on your tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. Munich’s transportation system (MVV) is topnotch, an all-inclusive combination of trams, buses, U-bahn (underground) and S-bahn (above ground). Purchase tickets 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, U-bahn, 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.

Cuisine

In Austria, thick soups of paprika and onion, veal, beef and venison with cranberries are popular, as is the renowned Wiener Schnitzel. Fish-lovers will find wild trout, roast carp and crayfish. Desserts are perhaps the most memorable including: strudels made with all kinds of fruit and nuts, soufflés and elegant chocolate cakes such as the world-famous Sachertorte. 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. German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are 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.

Currency

The euro (in Austria and Germany) and the Swiss franc are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards, ATM/bank cards and traveler’s checks, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. 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’s 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 day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $1USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current currency 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: 9/24/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

This is a really great tour saw all the highlights through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Lucked out as the weather was perfect for this time of year except for the last day when it got really cold in Vienna. Oktoberfest as you might expect was a blast but I was actually most impressed by Austria: Innsbruck and Salzburg were really the highlights of this trip in my opinion. Would have liked to spend more time in each of these towns but you can only do so much. This trip is very on the go so expect to do some walking. Someone on the tour got it exactly right when they said you either go traveling or on vacation. Traveling can wear you out but the experience is worth it. You certainly don't have to do any of the walking tours or added excursions but you really miss out if you don't. Most that went agreed that the Viennse Heurgin (sp?) evening was a highlight. Suprisingly it was the least attended event. Our tour director was great as were both coach drivers: knowledgable and accomodating. All around a great trip, great experience can't wait for my next one through Go Ahead.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/23/2014

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Have time to take it all in!

I provided my testimonial to our tour group the first night during introductions. I said, I know people who take pride in planning their own vacations. Not us. I take pride in having Go Ahead take care of all our vacations details. I don't have to lug my luggage, drive where I don't know where I'm going, and try and find a parking spot where there isn't any. Plus, we have excellent tour guides, like Jürgen, who provide background information from one location to another. Go Ahead provides vacations that we've grown accustom to and we wouldn't have it any other way.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Tour Director

From the planning of our trip to our farewell party, Go Ahead Tours gave us an experience that we will rave about for a long time. Our tour director Constantin went above and beyond to add history and amazing local experiences to our trip. Yes, the schedule was demanding, but there isn't a tour or site that we visited that I would have wanted to miss. Being on a tour such as this allowed us time to rest while on the bus, while traveling from amazing site to the next amazing site. Constantin gladly added a trip to Dachau before our visit to Oktoberfest. One suggestion would be for Go Ahead to advise travelers that individual tour directors may add optional excursions which require additional funds. Thanks to Constantin and our fellow travelers for making this a wonderful memory. Tim and Karen

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2013

Number of Past Tours: 15

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Unadulterated fun!

Took my 22 yr old grandson on this one! He and I had an absolutely wonderful time! Every beer drinker should make it to Oktoberfest at least once in their life!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Guide & Bus Driver

Without a doubt, Constantine was the best tour director we have ever had. His expert knowledge, his organizational skills (particularly with 46 of us), and his overall enthusiasm helped make this a memorable trip. He made every destination exciting and fun. Our bus driver was also outstanding. He was patient, and even though, it was sometimes hard for him to understand what we were saying to him, he always kept a smile. He was able to maneuver into some very tight areas with expertise. Thanks for such a wonderful trip!

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Constantine took great care of us.

This was my first time out of the continental USA and the first tour I have been on. I thought we had a great overview of the countries we went to. We had a nice variety of things to do. We would have liked to have more time in several cities but that is partly because we chose additional excursions during the free time. I'm VERY glad we went with a tour group this time because we did many more things than we would have if we had gone on our own. Constantine was knowledgeable and interesting. He did a great job of organizing events for the group and keeping us on time mostly. He had a big job because we were a large group.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2013

Number of Past Tours: 9

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Create your own reality

On this tour, my group and I were encouraged by a charismatic tour director by the name of Jurgean to create our own reality. He taught us to imagine and to walk through history with him as we toured the castles of Germany and Ausria. We also explored the peak of Mt. Pilatus in Lucerne, Switzerland, by ascending the mountain by cog railroad. Our boat ride across Lake Lucerne was absolutely beautiful., Definitely a memorabl experience. A highlight of this particular tour was a visit to the Salt Mines in Salzburg, Austria. Jurgean did a wonderful job of getting us "hooked on" this optional and it was definitely worth it. I would highly recommend it, it was so much fun. It was Disneyland in a cave. The whole group enjoyed it immensely. We walked the pages of history in Budapest, the parliament building is outstanding, and the House of Terror brought the Cold War to reality or us. Our last night of the tour, in Budapest,Jurgean arranged a dinner cruise for us on the Danube River! Bravo, and soon to be, Encore!!!

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: PA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Down The Road

My wife and I had previously taken two tours w/Go Ahead: Sept. 2007 Italy Big "3" and Nov. 2010 Sicily. We totally enjoyed those trips. We regret to say that a number of changes to the format and protocol has altered our thinking about future trips. First of all, the brochure indicates wine and beer with the provided hotel dinners. We were disappointed to learn that there is now a limit of one glass with your meal. We think that is absurd!!! We also did not enjoy our arranged seating for the Oktoberfest, stuck away in a dark corner where it was difficult to grasp or enjoy the full impact of the music and hall experience. Another major criticism focuses on the introduction of Tour Director "Specials" which created a wave of confusion for most of the 46 or 47 persons on our tour. Another "new" introduction which really did not increase the overall pleasure of the tour. Some of us were never quite sure where the priorities of the Tour Director rested. Also, we believe the current reward program needs to be updated and enhanced.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a lifetime

This was a trip of a lifetime. In the time we had, we covered eight different cities, the culture, the history. Our tour director Constintine was outstanding, especially when taking the time out to give us very important, informative information pretaining to where we were going. Every detail was taken care of; baggage in our rooms, tickets, etc. I espcially liked the fact that Constantine made sure we were the first group of the day where ever we went, so to avoid the larger crowds. Overall, because of our large group of 47, which is unusual, everthing went smoothly. People were on time, which was amazing to me. One disappointing part of this trip was, towards the end of our trip, we had a dinner cruise, which I was given to believe would be just our group and that there would be music and dancing. But, instead, we were thrown together with another Go Ahead Group, that had just arrived; and had to hear their tour guide on the bus and on the boat. That was infuriating!!! Another disappointment were some of the hotels, which had MEAGER amenitities. No hair dryer, iron, soap. The shower cealing was very low in one of the hotels. Some of the meals were terrible too. But, overall, I wouild recommend this tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NB

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Four years ago when my wife and I took the "Tour through Spain" we were quite dsappointed in our Tour Director - not because she was not good at her job but she did not have the respect of some of the group. However, the Tour Director on the Germany/Austria Tour was quite the opposite. He set the tone early with a very informative Kick-off Meeting and stressed that people meet Timelines for leaving the Hotel, etc. He captured the respect of the group right there - I was impressed. This group was more than twice the size of the previous tour yet there were no issues with tardiness - the main thing my wife and I complained about last time. Well Done. Looking forward to our next tour.

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