Germany, Switzerland & Austria 14 days
96.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Experience rich culture, impressive architecture and culinary delights against a backdrop of soaring alpine peaks. These three countries share a language and a border, but their appeals are varied. In each destination, you’ll discover delightfully distinct styles and substance, from the gothic spires of Heidelberg to the Art Nouveau elegance of Vienna. Swiss mountains and Bavarian forest, German beer and Austrian wine—this tantalizing trio has something for everyone.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
12 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 6 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Towering castles in Heidelberg & Neuschwanstein
Lakeside villages & serene alpine peaks
The meeting of old & new in Innsbruck
Wheat beer & white sausages in Munich
Salzburg’s musical legacy, from Mozart to Maria
Vienna’s Art Nouveau architecture
Overnight Flight1 night
Heidelberg Region2 nights - hotel info
Step back in time to renaissance Heidelberg
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport in Frankfurt after you clear customs and then assists you with the transfer to your hotel in the Heidelberg region. The rest of the day is free to relax. Meet your fellow travelers at an included dinner this evening.
Explore the red-roofed university town once home to Goethe
Optional Excursion - Castle & Gardens of Schweztingen
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Heidelberg. You’ll visit the city’s rose-colored hilltop castle, the grounds of the oldest university in Germany and Heidelberg’s elegant market square. This afternoon is free at leisure. You may wish to join an optional tour of Schwetzingen Castle and its 172 acres of gardens, which combine French formal and English landscape gardening styles.
Castle & Gardens of Schweztingen $39* pp
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.
Lucerne2 nights - hotel info
Wander the cobblestone streets of lovely Lucerne
Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus
A professional local guide acquaints you with this Alpine town. Stroll down narrow streets and across the Kapellbrücke, a covered bridge whose history dates back to medieval days. The murals lining its walls are nearly identical to those painted in the 14th century. Be on the lookout for the colorful hand-painted façades along the cobbled streets of the Old Town. You’ll also view the captivating Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument), a sandstone statue commemorating the Swiss Guards slain in the 1792. This afternoon, join an optional excursion up nearby Mount Pilatus via cable car for gorgeous views of the surrounding Alps.
Mount Pilatus $99* pp
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
Take a jaunt through tiny Liechtenstein and explore age-old Innsbruck
Leaving Lucerne, travel into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire. Pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence, as you visit Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz. Next, return to Austria, arriving later in the day in Innsbruck. The site of two winter Olympics and capital of the Austrian Tyrol, Innsbruck is a mix of centuries-old royal splendor and modern allure. On a guided tour, you’ll see the Golden Roof with its 2,657 gold shingles and the Triumphbogen, built during the imperial Hapsburg reign to commemorate a royal marriage. Dinner is included tonight.
Munich2 nights - hotel info
Head to the historic retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig
Departing Innsbruck this morning, return to Germany. You’ll journey through the mountains of Bavaria to Neuschwanstein, the fairytale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig. As you tour the castle, you’ll see many examples of the young king’s eclectic tastes. Within its chambers are a stalactite grotto, artifacts of all kinds and murals depicting Ludwig’s favorite scenes from Wagnerian operas. Arrive in Munich in time for an included dinner.
Drop into Munich for grand palaces and world-class beer
Optional Excursion - Dachau
This morning, a local guide introduces you to the landmarks of Munich. Follow the stately Ludwigstraße to the district of Schwabing, a favorite of students and artists, and on to the Olympic complex. You’ll also step inside Nymphenburg Palace, the summer home of the dukes, prince-electors and kings of Bavaria. This afternoon, consider joining an optional excursion to the former concentration camp of Dachau, now a memorial museum.
Dachau $25* pp
Once a typical German town, Dachau served as the first Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Visit this somber site, which has since been transformed into a Holocaust memorial museum that serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. An audio guide will provide the narrative for your viewing of Dachau's poignant exhibits, which are echoed by the memorials to the victims that adorn the grounds.
Salzburg2 nights - hotel info
Uncover Salzburg’s magnificent churches and musical history
Leaving Munich this morning, cross the border into Austria and continue to the charming city of Salzburg. An included sightseeing tour introduces you to the city. Later, stop in Getreidegaße for a tour of the Mozart House and a walk through the Mirabell Gardens. Dinner is included this evening.
Surround yourself with the sounds of Mozart or scenes of snowy peaks
Optional Excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines
Optional Excursion - Mozart Concert & Dinner
Discover more of Salzburg on your own today. Alternatively, join our optional Eagle’s Nest & Salt Mines excursion for a look at the mines that brought Salzburg to prominence and a nearby mountaintop retreat built as a birthday present for Adolf Hiter. This evening, enjoy our optional Mozart Concert & Dinner excursion.
Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines $105* pp
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 visit the Eagle’s Nest, built as an Alpine retreat for Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday. Please note: The elevation of the Eagle’s Nest is approximately 4,500 feet, which may not be advisable for travelers with heart/lung problems or other altitude-related limitations. This optional is seasonal from mid-May through late October.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Mozart Concert & Dinner $115* pp
Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftstkellar, 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
Meander through a monastery on your way to the City of Waltz
Transfer to Vienna today, stopping en route in Melk, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the town’s Baroque abbey. Then continue your drive through the Austrian countryside to Vienna, the city of the waltz and enjoy an included dinner with your group. After hotel check-in, spend the rest of the day exploring Vienna on your own. Dinner is included tonight.
Soak up the Old World ambiance and modern vibrancy of Vienna
Optional Excursion - Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening
A local guide introduces you to Vienna this morning. Highlights include the Opera House, the majestic monuments of the Ringstraße and the Hofburg, the Habsburgs’ winter palace. Then travel to Schönbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its intricately designed gardens. Your afternoon is free for a stroll through the Stadtpark or a horse-drawn carriage ride to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This evening, opt to attend our Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening. At this optional evening event, you’ll take a ride on the Prater Ferris Wheel and dine at a local restaurant where you’ll enjoy wine made by the people serving dinner.
Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening $99* pp
After a brief drive, your first stop is Vienna's Prater Ferris Wheel. Take a breezy ride to the top, which offers a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Next, continue to the picturesque village of Grinzing. At a local restaurant, you'll indulge in a festive night of music and food. Dinner will feature dishes typical of traditional Austrian Heurigens, or wine taverns. During your meal, you'll have the chance to try some of the tavern's own locally made wine—the perfect addition to your cozy Old-World setting.
You simply can’t leave this city without sampling the Sachertorte
Optional Excursion - Bratislava
Enjoy today at leisure. You might wish to take a stroll through Vienna’s pedestrian zone, stopping at the Hotel Sacher for a taste of its world-famous Sachertorte, or view the elegant Lipizzaner horses in the Spanish Riding School. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Bratislava for a guided tour of the Slovakian capital.
Bratislava $95* pp
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
96.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
My BUCKET LIST trip!
This was the best tour I've ever been on -- it not only fulfilled a long held bucket list item (to actually see and visit Neuschwanstein Castle -- check out the photo of me heading up to see MY CASTLE), but also each day brought new and exciting joys for me and for all the other folks on the tour. Everyone felt the same way I did. Much of the credit for such a successful tour goes to our fabulous tour director, Paula whose knowledge and background information was always interesting, entertaining, and extremely invaluable to us all. After the tour, I felt educated about a part of the world I'd always dreamed of seeing, like Salzburg, Vienna, and "my castle" in Bavaria. However I was also treated to new places like the fabulous city of Lucerne, in Switzerland and the amazing trip up Mt. Pilatus or the highly interesting trip under the mountain to the salt mines outside of Salzburg on our way to the Eagle's Nest. I can't forget the fabulous optional evening to the winery dinner in the Vienna Woods -- that was an evening I shall never forget -- great local food, live music from wandering musicians, all of us singing along, and our own lovely couple dancing in the aisle!! ALL The optional trips were absolutely worth the extra money as was the extension to Budapest. I never even thought of visiting Budapest before, but what a treat this city is! Cosmopolitan and beautiful, this is an extension not to be missed! Several of us ended our tour with a dinner cruise on the Danube River -- an elegant way to end such a fabulous trip. The choice of local guides was also very helpful, and I really enjoyed each of us having our own head set throughout the entire tour, instead of checking them in and out after each guided tour. This was a Great improvement for the tour. Thanks to Go Ahead for all the planning, and to our charming bus driver, Leonardo, (from Italy) for such safe driving and cheerful presence. I especially want to send huge amounts of kudos to our PAULA for being so charming, caring and all around awesome! She always seemed to have delightful 'treats' for us to do or visit each day. I tell you, Paula ROCKS!!!
Germany, Switzerland & Austria
Great, fabulous, best money we have ever spent on a vacation. We had the best time, great food, great tours and made many wonderful friends. Can't wait to take another Goahead Tour in the future. Paula was a great guide and she added a little side tour (with a small cost to us) that was a great experience; a boat ride down the Danube River and a tour of wine vineyards via a "train pulled by a tractor" with wine waiting for us and Leonardo our bus driver can drive anywhere!!!!!! GREAT COMPANY!!! Thanks!!!!
We had never done a wintry tour, and it was a different experience. For example, fountains and statues were covered with wooden fittings to protect the marble. The snowy Alps and Black Forest were enchanting, and Salzburg was mystical in the falling snow. Heidelberg, Innsbruck and Vienna are beautiful cities at any time of the year, with the added December fun of the Christmas markets. And great beer and world-class chocolate go with any season!
November is a perfect time to visit this area. Post tourist season and pre Christmas but the Christmas markets are open in some areas.
Fantastic time for all!
This was such an exciting tour! This is my first GoAheadTour and I had such a great experience. The tour director, Jurgen, was wonderful and knowledgeable. He really went the extra mile for all of the travelers which made it extra special. The time that was scheduled for each of the locations was great and I didn't feel rushed. The hotels were very high quality and the meals were all delicious! I went on a couple of the "excursions" and I thought that they were really worthwhile (Salt Mines, Mozart Concert, and Bratislava). The bus driver was fantastic and skilled which made us feel very comfortable the whole time. I highly recommend this tour for anybody who wants to explore this beautiful part of Europe. Additional note: Because we toured during winter, the weather took many different turns (rain, snow, sunshine, etc.). This created a very different experience than a tour during the summer or spring would. I enjoyed the tour very much but I would consider the types of things that you want to see and how you want to see them before you book this particular one.
Wow! Incredible journey.
This was our first trip to Europe. We were hoping for a great time, of course. What we got was a fantastic adventure filled with beautiful vistas, historical background, and a deep look at the culture of these regions. Luzerne stole our hearts. It was our favorite. Our tour guide, Paula, was remarkable and added so much to the tour with her incites and knowledge. I must add that we were blessed with perfect weather the entire trip. Clear blue sunny skies almost every day. We added the optional stay in Budapest and it was incredible as well.We want to go back there again. The trip was so well organized by GoAhead. The hotel arrangements were great, the meals were very good, and the bus was very comfortable and perfect for sightseeing as we drove through the amazing countryside. Thank you GoAhead, and Paula, for this wonderful adventure. We will certainly use GoAhead again.
Best Tour Director
We have traveled since 1986 and had very good guides, but Juergen was the best guide we ever had! There were 6 of us, our son, his wife and our 18 year old twin grandchildren. Juergen met us at the airport with a big smile and we knew we were going to have a wonderful time with him and we did!! He was extremely informative, energetic, funny and nothing was too much trouble for him. He even raced to the top of the Neuschwanstein Castle with our grandson, while the rest of us went up in the crowded bus. Because Juergen was so great, we signed up for another tour with your company hoping we would have him again. But that was not to be. However, our next guide was very good too. So we have come to the conclusion that you have hired all the great guides in Europe!! Good for you.
Everything great except extension. Go ahead cancelled on us and wouldn't help us.
castles and cathedrals
Great tour excellent tour director. Sometimes we need more time to take pictures. Time is too tight.
This tour was simply amazing. We not only were high on top of mountains but deep down in a salt mine. The scenery was simply awesome. This was the most amazing trip our group has taken since touring with Go Ahead. All of our guides were very knowledgeable. I enjoyed every minute of it.