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Germany, Switzerland & Austria

14 days
These countries share a language, but their appeals are varied. Discover delightfully distinct style and substance in each destination, from the Gothic spires of Heidelberg to the Art Nouveau elegance of Vienna. Swiss mountains and the Bavarian forest, German beer and Austrian wine—this tantalizing trio of countries 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

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.

 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

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Frankfurt today.

Heidelberg Region 2 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.

• 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

Enjoy a free afternoon in Heidelberg or add an excursion.

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

Travel to Schwetzingen Castle and its UNESCO-recognized 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 exquisitely maintained gardens, you’ll learn what daily life in the castle was like. Before leaving, enjoy some free time to explore the castle grounds on your own. Please note: The castle gardens are closed from October 14 through March 25.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $49)

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Lucerne via Rhine Falls & the Black Forest

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On the way to Switzerland, journey to thundering Rhine Falls and through the Black Forest, the setting for many of the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairytales. Later, continue on to Lucerne.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get an up-close look at Lucerne, Switzerland’s idyllic Alpine town, on a guided sightseeing tour. 

• Pass hand-painted facades along 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 in Switzerland north of the Alps

Enjoy a free afternoon 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)

Innsbruck 1 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. Then, 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

Munich 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Munich via Neuschwanstein

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the mountains of Bavaria en route to Munich, Germany. Along the way, stop for a guided tour of Neuschwanstein, the fairy-tale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig II.

• Step inside Neuschwanstein Castle

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

Day 8: 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

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)

Salzburg 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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

• View the University of Salzburg and the churchyard of St. Peter

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

• Enter the 17th-century Salzburg Cathedral, built in the Baroque style

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

• Take the funicular to the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe’s largest medieval castles

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 $105pp* 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. Take an underground boat ride on Mirror Lake before enjoying free time for lunch. Continue to Obersalzberg, where a scenic bus ride along steep gorges offers beautiful views of the snow-capped Alps. Enter the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum with an exhibition on the history of Nazi dictatorship. Then, take a gilded elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest, an Alpine retreat built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. On your way back down, stop at a distillery to sample a liqueur made from Alpine flowers. 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 and runs from mid-May through late October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

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

Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftskeller, located within St. Peter’s Abbey. Enjoy an evening of fine dining and music. Mozart composed over 600 works in his short life, and tonight, you’ll hear his masterpieces accompanied by opera singing as you sample local delicacies.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Vienna 3 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 $99pp* Details

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

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

Day 13: Free day in Vienna

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Vienna or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Danube River Cruise & Bratislava $99pp* Details

Cruise down the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava in a high-speed boat, passing through scenic Donau-Auen National Park along the way. In Bratislava, follow a local guide through the charming Old Town to see the well-preserved city center and pass by the regal castle. Stop at the neoclassical Primate’s Palace, the seat of the mayor of Bratislava, to enter the historic Hall of Mirrors. Then, enjoy free time in the city for lunch and exploration before driving back to Vienna. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April to October.

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

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

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

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.

Budapest 2 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 interior of the 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 $69pp* 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 historic 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 view the moving monument to the victims of communism and fascism in Hungary.

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

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
Temperature Precipitation
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  • FEB
  • MAR
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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), the Swiss franc and the Hungarian forint (on the extension) 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.

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NC

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Good, but needs some improvement

This was my third Go Ahead tour. I've had great experiences before and was so excited to visit these countries with Go Ahead's lead. The countries are beautiful, and overall, this was a great trip, but Go Ahead is slipping in terms of service and planning. A lot of the hotels were subpar. The one in Vienna was dirty, with one guest finding mold in the bathroom. The hallway smelt stale and dirty. The air condition didn't work in my room either. Most of the hotels were just ok, and often too far away from the city center, which I feel is a must when staying in a place for just a short time--sometimes over a mile walk to get to the city center. The best hotel was Castellani in Salzburg and the Grand Europe in Lucerne (even though no air condition in the later). The others were either horrible, or just ok. One of my biggest issues, is the included dinners. They are mostly in the hotels, which I have told Go Ahead reps many times, is unacceptable to me. I want to feel and taste the city as a local. This cannot be done at your hotel. I understand that a lot of places cannot accommodate large groups, but this can't be true of every city. Another thing, a lot of meals were similar or a complete repeat. The dinner we had in Innsbruck was the exact same meal as in Vienna (and again, the one in Vienna was blah). And we had the same dessert a couple of times. If you can't do better than this, then let us have the option to opt out of included meals so we can use that money elsewhere. The guides on the city tours were unimpressive. They use guides who are monotone and boring. Find some that are young and still fascinated with the city and the history, ones that share their passion with fervor and life. The worst guides were in Salzburg and Lucerne. The excursions are usually excellent. We loved the salt mines. It is a must! We had a blast. If you can only pick one, pick this one. I do wish we had more time up at the Eagles Nest though. I got so tired of swallowing my food whole and being rushed, even 30 minutes more would have made a huge difference. We also enjoyed Mt. Pilatus. The Mozart concert and dinner was ok. It was fun to get dressed up and the venue is gorgeous, but we arrived right before it started (although my tour guide loved to be super early for everything else), and we had to sit in the back. The singers interact with each other and it was hard to see and get involved. The food was very mediocre. Very unimpressive in that department. The castle gardens on day 3 was a waste. We didn't enjoy it at all. You don't go in the castle, you just tour the grounds and see some fountains and sculptures. Heidelberg is amazing and I wished we would have stayed in the city and saw more instead of doing this excursion. Those are they only ones we took. I've learned that if you book too much, you lose the chance to see the cities you paid to see. I enjoyed the stop at Rhine falls and the cuckoo clock place but we NEED another hour minimum in the cuckoo clock place. I barely had time to pick out a clock so we didn't have time to eat lunch, just got a piece of black forest cake (which was pretty awesome though). They tell you that you see Liechtenstein but this is just a bathroom stop (only here for 15 minutes). Neuschwanstein was great and the time here pretty fair. Budapest is a must. You are not even 3 hours away on your last stop, so do it. Our tour guide, Ildy, arranged for us to take a private dinner cruise along the Danube river at night. It was the best thing ever. More beautiful than the cruise we took in Paris. You must see the city this way. You will fall in love. The hotel was pretty good here too, and close to the city. We walked pretty far to the parliament and to see the metal shoes. I'm glad I did it. I feel I overpaid and didn't receive the same quality as I have in the past. It makes me wonder if I'm better off planning it on my own, but the best part of these tours are the people you meet. I had an amazing tour group and they made my time so much better. I will cherish the memories made on this tour and the pictures of the countries I saw. These countries are must sees.

 

Dear Katie, Thank you for your detailed review. We’re glad to hear that overall you enjoyed your tour. However, we regret that you feel it needs improvement. We appreciate your feedback regarding your hotels, and we are surprised to hear such feedback because our hotels in this region are normally rated well. We will be sure to consult with our Operations team and evaluate our properties. Regarding the included meals, we are sorry they fell short of your expectations. We do have several meals at the hotels for a few reasons. First, we understand that traveling can be exhausting, and our tours must maintain a certain pace in order to see and do everything in the itinerary. By having some of the meals at the hotels, travelers can leave the meal and head up to their room at their own leisure. Also, arranging for dinner at the hotels sometimes allows us more privacy and flexibility. In terms of privacy, it allows us to provide an environment more conducive to getting to know fellow group members – often quieter and more customized. As you mentioned in your review, we are also limited in terms of where we eat because many places cannot accommodate groups. Of course, this is not always the case, but we must also factor in location which can pose a logistical challenge, too. We will be sure to pass along your feedback regarding the meals to our Operations team, so that they may consider this moving forward. Regarding the local guides, we are surprised to hear they did not impress you. We consistently receive positive feedback about our guides through the written evaluations filled out on tour. We will be sure to pass this feedback along to their supervisor. Regarding the optionals, we’re glad you found them to be excellent. The salt mines certainly sound like a must-see! We appreciate your thoughts on the itinerary and will be sure to reevaluate some of the inclusions and timing per your suggestion. Regarding Liechtenstein, we state in our itinerary that you will pass through it, not stop to explore. The reason we do not stop to explore it is because we pass through it on our way to Innsbruck, the destination for the day/night. We regret if this was not clear. We are pleased to hear that your Tour Director was able to arrange for you to take a dinner cruise along the Danube River. What an incredible experience! We agree that this is a great way to see the city. We’re also glad you enjoyed your tour group and bonded with them throughout the trip. Again, we appreciate your feedback very much and we are sorry you feel underwhelmed by this experience. We will be sure to communicate all your feedback to our teams internally, and we hope you will travel with us again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 27, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great Tour Director

Tour Director was great. I think they should provide more warning about the amount of walking and very high number of stairs to climb - I would have done the tour anyway, but do to the fast pace, uneven cobblestones, I came back with a stress fracture in my foot. They also need to start the day earlier (not 8:30 or 9:00) to offset traffic and give people more time at some places. I kind of felt like I had to speed walk thru everything.

 

Dear April, We're delighted to learn that you enjoyed your Tour Director. However, we regret to hear that you returned home with a stress fracture in your foot. Europe's cobblestone streets are somewhat uneven and the region of the world you visited, in particular, is hilly due to it's Alpine topography. We are sorry you felt unprepared for this, and we will be sure to pass along your feedback to our Customer Relations team. We also regret to hear that you felt rushed during your tour. This itinerary does cover a lot of ground, and therefore, must maintain a certain pace in order to do so. However, we never want travelers to feel rushed, so we will be sure to notify our Product Development team of your experience. Thank you for your valuable feedback, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next tour.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 24, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fantastic Trip!

Our family had a wonderful vacation with Go Ahead, it was well organized and we saw much more than we could have seen on our own. In each city we had fantastic city tours, good hotels, and good food. There is not much to saw about what could have been improved. Our tour guide was experienced and was always making sure we were taken care of. We would certainly consider another Go Ahead tour in the future.

 

Hi Sonja! We're so glad you had a wonderful vacation with your family. We're happy to hear that you enjoyed the various aspects of the tour, such as the food, the accommodations, and the city tours. It's wonderful to know that your Tour Director made you feel cared for and enhanced your overall experience. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on another tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Great Trip

It really was a wonderful trip. We enjoyed the people, places, and our super conscientious tour director Jurgen. We signed up for the optional extension of the tour to Budapest, and it was definitely the right call. Among the highlights of the tour were Vienna, Munich and Budapest. We loved Neuschwanstein Castle which is a must see on this tour. The side trips that were particularly great included the one from Heidelberg which was the Schwetzingen Castle and its UNESCO-recognized gardens. We didn’t get into the castle for some reason, but it really didn’t really matter as the garden tour was out of this world great. We loved the English tour guide at the gardens. What a fun time! On the way to Lucerne the Rhine Falls were beautiful and well worth the stop. In Lucerne we did the Mt. Pilatus optional excursion and it was all good. This one has a little bit of everything. Think planes, trains, and automobiles. It starts with about a 1 ½ hour boat ride on Lake Lucerne. You then ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Then after enjoying the (hopefully) clear views you return to the base of the mountain via gondola and are then taken back to your hotel via bus. This one has it all. When in Salzburg do take the optional excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines. Both were compelling in totally different ways. Apparently they have been doing tours in the Salt Mines for over 100 years. It was informative and fun. The Melk Abbey on the way to Vienna was really something and very enjoyable. Lots of history and beauty to be found there. Vienna was my personal favorite city on the entire tour. It is beautiful, historic, and has many stories to tell. We did the optional excursion - Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening which turned into a night to remember. We sat outside in a more or less traditional wine garden and through a series of happy coincidences ended up singing and dancing with a German tour group that was also at the restaurant that night. Truly an unbelievable, once in a lifetime kind of experience! Also while in Vienna we did the optional excursion - Danube River Cruise & Bratislava. The high speed Danube River Cruise was great and not to be missed. Batislava not so much. Literally pick pockets met us as we departed the boat. The good news was that the pick pockets were as lame as this part of the trip, and they didn’t get anything from our tour group. As mentioned above, we did the optional two days in Budapest. It turned out to be my wife’s favorite city on the tour! Budapest has an especially compelling story to tell, and if you are interested in history, there is plenty to find here. We did the optional excursion - Budapest: A Walk Behind the Iron Curtain, which was fascinating, sad, and frightening, all at the same time. At the end of this tour is the House of Terror, where you are guided through a terror museum and view the monument to the victims of communism and fascism in Hungary. I have traveled for many years and consider this trip right up there with the best. Lots of history and beauty to behold. Just don’t bother to unpack your bags as you won’t be anywhere for more than a couple of days.

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Hi Donald! We’re pleased to hear that you had a wonderful trip. We completely agree that Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the amazing sites to see on this tour. We’re so glad you enjoyed the Rhine Falls, a beautiful place to make a stop. It’s understandable that Vienna would be your favorite city on the tour. We certainly agree that it is an incredible place and unique to the other spots on this tour. Singing and dancing with the German tour group during the Viennese Heurigen Evening optional sounds like such a fantastic cultural experience, and we’re glad you had it! It’s wonderful to know that you recommend the optionals for this tour, such as the Danube River Cruise. We are sorry to hear you encountered pickpockets in Bratislava, but we’re glad nothing was stolen. Unfortunately, pick-pocketing is a reality for many cities throughout the world. There are ways to lessen the chances of this happening, and your Tour Director can act as a resource for this throughout any tour. We’re happy that overall you enjoyed your tour, Donald, and we thank you for sharing your experience. It’s amazing to hear that out of all your travels this trip is among the best. We hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 07, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/14/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Book Your Own Flights

Overall I thought the tour was great - food, accommodations and itinerary all met or exceeded my expectations. What I did not appreciate was the fact that Go Ahead arbitrarily completely changed our return flight so that we ended up with a long layover in London and seats in the cattle car section (center of the center aisle) of the plane. It was absolutely miserable. I might or might not travel with Go Ahead in the future, but I would never allow them to book my flights again.

 

Dear Patricia, Thank you for your review. We’re glad that you enjoyed your tour and that a lot of it exceeded your expectations. However, we regret that your flight itinerary caused you frustration. Unfortunately, the flight change was imposed by your airline. Airlines hold the right to change itineraries for various reasons. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this caused. If you want to discuss your experience further, please give us a call at 1-800-597-0350. We hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 03, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NJ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great trip - full of history, culture and sceneary

This was a wonderful trip with a very congenial group with a professional, personable, and attentive tour director and a cautious driver (both with driving and handling luggage). Our tour director was open to questions, presented historic/cultural information very understandable way. He was always available to field passengers inquiries on places to eat, go or shop. He was sincerely interested to be of assistance. A nice thing he consistently did during long drives was to personally offer everyone some wonderful chocolate, hard candy or cookies. It was unexpected and very thoughtful on his part. He also built into the schedule a bit of extra time so that if we hit traffic, we would not be late to meet the local guide. The itinerary was great in balancing the program touring and time for me to explore the cities and see points of interest not in the program. One thing that could be done better is to clarify in your brochure is when you say "seeing the castle". is it from the outside only or actually visiting it. I like to take in all the sights and arrived with a tentative schedule of what I wanted to see on my own only to find that it was included in the itinerary. The hotels were good but I have some negative comments about two. The Hirschberg Heidelberg did not have air conditioning - it is 2016 - luckily housekeeping provided us with a fan. Also their housekeeping was not fastidious - rugs really needed vacuuming and some cups and glasses we used in our room were not picked up the next morning. I brought them downstairs myself. The Holiday Inn does hot have a safe in all their rooms and the room we were assigned did not have one. To put our valuables in the hotel safe we had to pay a 100 Euro deposit. We had to pay to put our valuables in their safe. Something is wrong this this picture. On the whole the food was good but the meal in Innsbruck was really disappointing. The menu was supposed to be potato soup to start and apple strudel as dessert. It turned out to be clear soup and fruit salad. The tour director was quite angry and spoke to the restaurant manage and was told that they did not have enough apple strudel for the group. Our group did not just walk into the restaurant. Go Ahead Tours pre-booked it and should receive some kind of a credit for the awful level of service. A new restaurant should be chosen in Innsbruck one who would appreciate the business. The local guides were all good as to their knowledge and content. However, the local guide in Heidelberg was overly verbose and the one in Vienna seemed to be auditioning for a spot at a comedy club. Two of the local guides, Keith (Munich) and Christian (Innsbruck), were exceptional. I was enthralled by their presentations.

 

Hi Joan! Thank you for your thorough review. We’re happy to hear you had a great time. We’re thrilled that you found your Tour Director to be helpful and that the itinerary struck a good balance between structured time and free time. We appreciate your feedback regarding the wording on our itineraries. Typically, we do clarify this by stating that you will either “enter” the castle or “pass” the castle, for example. Due to a limited time frame, it’s unfortunately not possible for us to tour the inside of every castle. We regret that this was unclear to you. Regarding hotels and safes, we value your feedback very much and will be sure to communicate it to our Operations team. We strive to provide hotels that offer a great location, value, and reputation. That said, hotel standards in Europe are somewhat different than those in the US, and hotels without air conditioning or safes are more common, particularly in older buildings. Regarding your meals, we are pleased to hear that the food was good overall. However, we regret that the food and service in Innsbruck was disappointing. We will be sure to discuss this matter with your Tour Director. We appreciate your feedback regarding your local guides and will use your feedback to evaluate their performance. Again, we thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 01, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NJ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Good Tour

This tour on the whole is very good. There needed to be some changes to improve it. See comments below.

 

Hi Victoria! Thank you for your review. We're so glad you enjoyed your tour overall. We appreciate your suggestions for improvement and will be sure to communicate them to our team internally for future evaluation. Let us know when you're ready to travel again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 27, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/29/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best guide

Cross your fingers and hope you get the BEST tour guide ever...Jurgen from Budapest, he was the utmost professional, attentive, kind,thoughtful, entertaining, knowledgable tour guide I ever had in my life..truly an asset to the company... Weather was good, and the salt mine trip was the highlight of my tour...

 

Hi Bonnie! We're thrilled to hear you enjoyed your Tour Director. It's wonderful to know that he contributed to the success of your tour. We will be sure to communicate that feedback to his supervisor. We're also glad to hear you had good weather and that you enjoyed the salt mine optional. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 18, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Amazing tour

This is our first tour with my sister and cousin with go ahead tour,and it was amazing,amazing tour director Alex plus amazing people equals Amazing tour ever

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/12/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful tour

First of all, this is a fast-paced tour. For me, it was great, as I like to see and do as much as possible when I’m visiting a new place. This might not be an ideal tour for those who are looking for a leisurely vacation or aren’t comfortable walking five to seven miles a day. Now on to the details. We were a little nervous initially that we would have a difficult time finding our meeting place after getting off the plane in Frankfurt, but there was a Go Ahead rep waiting for us just outside baggage claim and she led us to the main meeting area, where we met our tour director, Indira. We gathered up our group, got on the bus and headed to our hotel in Mannheim, about an hour’s drive away. The hotel in Mannheim was nice, but the air conditioner wasn’t very efficient. We were there during a heat wave, where temps were nearing 100 degrees, so the faulty air conditioning was definitely noticeable. We headed to Heidelberg on the second day of our trip, where we had a wonderful step-on guide who was very knowledgeable about the history of the area. The ride up to Heidelberg Castle in the funicular was fun, and the castle, which is mostly in ruins, was still beautiful and boasted great views of the surrounding landscape. We took the optional tour to Schwetzingen Castle and Gardens, and were glad we did. The castle was closed for renovations, but we weren’t disappointed because the gardens were amazing (even though it was 100 degrees that day). We had another local guide walk us through the gardens and he was very entertaining and knowledgeable. The drive through the Black Forest on Day 4 was lovely. We had an extended lunch break at a cuckoo clock shop, where we were given a demonstration on how the clocks are made. Further down the road, we stopped at Schaffhausen to see the Rhine Falls. It was very crowded with tourists while we were there. Lucerne, Day 5. This was really the highlight of the trip for me. Lucerne is such a beautiful, tranquil place. I also found the locals to be very friendly and welcoming. We took the optional excursion to Mount Pilatus. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and rainy day, so we didn’t have much of a view from the top of the mountain. But, the boat ride over Lake Lucerne, the cogwheel railway and the gondola ride down the mountain were all wonderful experiences. The hotel in Lucerne was built in the 1800’s and didn’t have air conditioning. That didn’t bother us during our stay because the weather was cool and wet. It was also very close to the lakefront, so that made up for its shortcomings. The rooms were very spacious. Innsbruck, Day 6. Another pretty Alpine town. Our hotel was right across the street from the stadium used in the Winter Olympics. Our local guide was great and had a quick wit. We had plenty of time to shop and explore the old town on our own before meeting up with the group again for dinner. Dinner in Innsbruck was probably the best on-tour dinner we had. Neuschwanstein Castle, Day 7. Another cool and rainy day. We wished it would’ve been clearer so we could’ve gotten better pictures of the castle, but the mist gave it sort of an ethereal quality. The castle is (I believe) Germany’s #1 tourist destination, so of course it was packed with visitors. Our castle tour guide spoke English and we were so glad we were with GoAhead, because the line to get individual tickets to the castle was several blocks long. We just skipped the line and went straight to the entrance! Photographs are not allowed inside the castle. After the castle, our tour guide took us off the beaten path to visit an absolutely breath-taking cathedral in the middle of the countryside. I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s absolutely worth the trip. It was the most beautiful rococo architecture I’ve ever seen. Munich, Day 8. We visited Nymphenburg Palace first thing in the morning when there were less people. Our local guide was an American named Keith, who was a lot of fun and very knowledgeable. We toured Munich on the bus because there was so much to see. The BMW headquarters and showroom was interesting. Not many people on our tour took the optional excursion to Dachau, but I’m glad I went. It is a very somber place. It’s self-guided. You are given a listening device that allows you to hear information about various areas inside the concentration camp and also hear first-hand accounts of survivors and liberators. I think it’s an important place to visit if given the opportunity. Salzburg was another beautiful town. Our tour director arranged for those of us who were interested to take a private “Sound of Music” tour and I’m so glad we did. We saw the villa where the movie was filmed, the famous gazebo and then headed out of the city to the beautiful Austrian Lake District. We stopped in a town called Mondsee that was so quaint and lovely. I highly recommend asking your tour director about setting up this optional if possible. It was absolutely worth it. We took the optional excursion to the Eagle’s Nest and Salt Mines. I didn’t know what to expect for the Salt Mines tour, but it was a blast. You’ll get to dress up in miner’s uniforms, ride a train car deep into the mountain, then slide down some unconventional but fun slides that bring out the kid in everyone. The Eagle’s Nest was interesting, but unfortunately it was raining again so we weren’t able to see much at the top of the mountain. On the way to Vienna, we stopped at Melk Abbey, which is absolutely breathtaking. We were taken on a guided tour. The most stunning area was the library, but as I recall no photos were allowed inside. Vienna seemed is a fast-paced city with lots to see. The central historic district gets very crowded, but there is great shopping to be had there. Our last optional excursion was to Bratislava. That was the only optional that I would not highly recommend. While the city was quaint and interesting, by that time we were ready for slower-paced day and a free day in Vienna in Vienna would’ve been a better choice for us. In general, the food in that part of the world is okay. I tried pork schnitzel for the first time at the Bavarian restaurant near the hotel in Munich and it was delicious. Other places, especially in Austria, the food was over-salted. The desserts however, were magnificent. We found that it was cheaper to order beer or wine at the restaurants than water, which was fine with us. Also, it’s very difficult to get ice over there. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a cube or two, but usually drinks are served without ice. Be prepared to pay to use public restrooms. The cost is usually less than one euro. I didn’t really mind paying though, because those restrooms were spotless and very private. Another thing I wasn’t prepared for is the lack of wash cloths in the hotel rooms. Bring your own if you need them. I would also recommend changing over enough dollars into Euros before your trip to last you about four days. That’s how long it took us to get to an ATM to withdraw more Euros. Bring very comfortable walking shoes, because you will be walking A LOT. I also recommend an umbrella. It rained on us at least half of our trip. Be prepared to see breathtaking sights, meet interesting people, and have the experience of a lifetime. I highly recommend this tour and if you’re lucky, you’ll get Indira as your tour director!

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