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A Week in...

A Week in Switzerland, Germany & Austria

9 days |  11 days with Prague extension
9 days |  11 days with Prague extension
Group size1538 travelers

4.7 out of 5 stars

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Experience the peaks of Central European culture across a trio of destinations.

Switzerland, Germany, and Austria—all mountainous, all momentous. From Lucerne’s riverside promenades to Bavaria’s natural majesty to Vienna’s cultured cafes, this weeklong itinerary showcases the best of three sensational countries. The castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty’s? You’ll find it here, along with landscapes that spurred some of the world’s finest classical compositions. And if you’re interested in architectural paradise, take up the trip’s extension to Prague and lose yourself among its whimsical spires.

Your tour package includes

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 6 sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
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Included highlights

  • Kapellbrücke
  • Neuschwanstein
  • Nymphenburg Palace
  • Salzburg Cathedral
  • Melk Abbey
Read more
Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Zurich today.

Swiss Alps2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Zurich & transfer to the Swiss Alps
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Switzerland—or, as they say in the local dialect, grüezi (“GROO-tsee”)! From the Zurich airport, transfer to your hotel in the Swiss Alps, where you’ll meet your Tour Director and the rest of your group. Unwind, then continue getting to know one another over a welcome dinner, served with beer or wine.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne
Included meal: Breakfast

Set out into lakeside Lucerne, one of Switzerland’s most populated cities, for a guided sightseeing tour and enjoy a taste of Alpine life—complete with clear views of Pilatus, Rigi, and the rugged ridges of other neighboring mountains.

  • View the Lion Monument, a tribute to the Swiss Guards who sacrificed their lives in Paris during the French Revolution.
  • Pass the hand-painted facades that line the cobbled streets of the Old Town—the traditional core of the city that dates to medieval times.
  • Cross the famous Kapellbrücke (say it “ka-PELL-broo-kuh”), the covered wooden “chapel bridge” that spans the Reuss River, and view the adjacent Water Tower. Octagonal in shape and stone in build—with a complicated past as a sentinel’s post, state treasury, and prison—it predates the Kapellbrücke by roughly a century.
  • See the Jesuit Church, the first large Baroque building of its kind to be built north of the Alps in Switzerland.

If you’d like, add an afternoon journey to the top of Mount Pilatus and explore Lucerne’s surroundings by ferry, cogwheel railway, and cable car. Alternatively, hang back in town and treat yourself to some rösti. Pronounced “ROO-sty,” this dish centers on grated, fried potatoes—kind of like a Swiss hashbrown. Top it with eggs or sausage to elevate it from a satisfying snack to a hearty meal.

Mount Pilatus

From $135 per person

Munich2 nights
Day 4: Munich via Liechtenstein & Neuschwanstein Castle
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality that dates to the Holy Roman Empire. (And we mean tiny: With a population of just under 40,000 people, it’s the sixth-smallest nation in the world.) Visit the capital, Vaduz, and pass the royal family’s namesake castle. Perched atop a hill, it has watched over the region since the 12th century and serves as the royal residence to this day.

After getting your passport stamped, continue into the Bavarian Alps, a range of limestone mountains and valleys furrowed by retreating glaciers during the last ice age. Amid this expanse of rocky peaks and alpine forests, you’ll take a slight detour.

  • Pause for photos of Neuschwanstein Castle’s unique mix of Gothic, Romanesque, and Byzantine architecture, and marvel at the fairytale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig II.
  • Revel in the trim fields, mirrored lakes, and soaring peaks of the Alps as you relax and explore during your free time, or grab lunch in Schwangau, the town below Neuschwanstein.

Travel on to Munich and sit down to an included dinner, served with beer or wine.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Munich
Included meal: Breakfast

Today, embark on a guided tour of Munich. Founded in the 12th century and boasting traditional and cosmopolitan appeal, the capital of Bavaria is the third-largest city in all of Germany. It’s also home to the original Oktoberfest—a massive Volksfest that, to this day, remains the largest beer festival in the world.

  • Travel past the 18th-century Englischer Garten—a gargantuan urban park that counts a Japanese teahouse and an open-air, Greek-style temple among its many monuments—and the fashionable Schwabing district, formerly home to Munich’s bohemian residents.
  • Enter Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque home to past Bavarian royalty, and walk through its elaborately carved halls on a guided tour.
  • Walk from Odeonsplatz—Munich’s large central square, named after an adjacent former concert hall—through the well-manicured grounds of 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 clock. Maybe you’ll catch it as it chimes!

If you choose, join your group on a visit to Dachau—the former site of a notorious Nazi concentration camp—and gain sobering perspective on one of humanity’s darkest eras. If you’d prefer to stay behind, spend the remainder of your day at your leisure—perhaps sipping a pint of local ale at a biergarten.


From $40 per person

Salzburg1 night
Day 6: Transfer to Salzburg & sightseeing tour
Included meal: Breakfast

Depart Munich and head to Salzburg, Austria, a city famed for its churches and musical history. Upon arrival, a guide will lead you on a walking tour of its Old Town. Known locally as the Altstadt, Salzburg’s historic core has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, honoring its legacy as the confluence of Italian and German culture.

  • Pass by the University of Salzburg—an institution of higher learning first established in 1622—and St. Peter’s Abbey. Operating in some form or another since 696, it’s the oldest continually operating monastery in German-speaking Europe.
  • See a trio of famous squares: the Kapitelplatz, former site of the Cathedral Abbey; Residenzplatz, once home of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg; and Alter Markt, where the city’s weekly market used to set up shop.
  • Walk by the dashing yellow facade of the Mozarts Geburtshaus, the birthplace and childhood home of the virtuosic composer himself.
  • Enter the richly ornamented Salzburg Cathedral. Although the current Baroque structure was built in the 17th century, the building’s roots go all the way back to 774, when Saint Rupert founded the church atop the remains of an old Roman town.

Want to make plans for the evening? Serenade your senses by opting for tonight’s dinner, served in one of Europe’s oldest restaurants and accompanied by live performances of Mozart’s music. Alternatively, relax in your hotel room and enjoy the sounds of the city.

Mozart Concert & Dinner

From $149 per person

Vienna2 nights
Day 7: Vienna via Melk Abbey
Included meal: Breakfast

Travel east to the Austrian capital of Vienna, stopping along the way in the little town of Melk for a guided tour of its Benedictine abbey. Built over the centuries following its foundation in 1089, this mammoth monastery typifies the Baroque style and offers immaculate views of the Wachau Valley’s stepped vineyards. Explore its pavilion, library, and chapel, then continue your journey through the Danube River Basin.

Arrive in Vienna and settle into your hotel. To bookend your day with some revelry, relaxation, and a glass or two of wine, take up tonight’s outing to the Prater—a historic amusement park in the heart of the city—before heading to a heuriger (a traditional Austrian tavern). Or, spend your evening strolling Vienna’s beautiful boulevards at your own pace.

Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening

From $119 per person

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Vienna
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Coffeehouse culture. The Age of Empires. Symphonies and orchestras. Vienna has influenced world affairs for centuries; today, you’ll enjoy the best of “The City of Dreams” on a guided sightseeing tour.

  • Step inside Belvedere Palace, home to the world’s largest collection of paintings by artist Gustav Klimt, and admire acre upon acre of impressive gardens.
  • Travel down the tree-canopied paths of the Ringstrasse—Vienna’s gorgeous Ring Road—passing the Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna State Opera, and Kunsthistorisches Museum as you go.
  • See the grand Hofburg Palace. Once the seat of the Habsburg dynasty, it now serves as the official residence and office of the president of Austria.

Celebrate a memorable trip with your group at a farewell dinner this evening and toast your adventures with beer or wine.

Flight Home
Day 9: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home—or head to the Czech Republic, home of the pilsner and birthplace of famed author Franz Kafka, for two more days of history and fun in picturesque Prague.

Extension to Prague
Why is Prague known as The City of a Hundred Spires? All you have to do is look up. You’ll find the copper-clad points of St. Vitus Cathedral, the corrugated towers of Prague Castle, and plenty of others strewn throughout this city. And we haven’t even mentioned the highlights at street level. Let a local guide show you around and gain a newfound appreciation for this Central European gem.
Prague2 nights
Day 9: Transfer to Prague
Included meal: Breakfast

Head for Prague by way of Bohemia, the Czech Republic’s westernmost region. Oaks and spruces in varying shades of green, along with fertile fields populated by free-roaming livestock, typify this pastoral landscape. Drink it all in as you drive to the Czech capital.

Upon arrival, unwind in your hotel before setting off into the city streets. If you choose, you’ll spend an evening atop the Vltava River, enjoying a dinner cruise. Otherwise, take an evening to yourself and meander through the city, snacking on sweet koláče—pillowy discs of yeast dough loaded with fruity fillings—as you go.

Evening in Prague: River Cruise & Dinner

From $99 per person

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Prague
Included meal: Breakfast

Today, develop a deeper understanding of Prague’s history on a guided sightseeing tour, led by a local guide.

  • Begin with a visit to Prague Castle. Considered the largest ancient castle on the planet, this 1,150-year-old structure utilizes Gothic, Romanesque, and other architectural styles over its grounds. It isn’t just a relic, either: Once the seat of Bohemian kings, it currently serves as the presidential residence.
  • Admire the Gothic vaults of St. Vitus Cathedral, the final resting place of Rudolf II, Charles IV, and other Holy Roman emperors.
  • Walk down to the red shingles and Baroque buildings of the Malá Strana district. Originally founded by royal decree in 1257, the “Little Quarter” stands opposite the Old Town, just across the Vltava. Pop into a local cafe for a cup of coffee before continuing down to the riverbank.
  • Cross Karluv Most—the elegant Charles Bridge. Hewn from Bohemian sandstone and lined by statues of Catholic saints, it has connected Malá Strana to Prague’s Old Town since the 15th century.
  • Stroll through the Old Town Square to the Old Town Hall. There, on its southern wall, you’ll find Prague Orloj—the city’s famous Astronomical Clock. First hung in 1410, it’s the oldest timepiece of its kind still in use, marking each passing hour with a mechanized “Walk of the Apostles.”

Tonight, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Flight Home
Day 11: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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4.7 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.7 out of 5

Based on 372 authentic traveler reviews
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    2 out of 5 stars

    Think carefully and do research on your own
    4/27/24 by 1st-time traveler Misty

    I was so excited for this trip. I wanted to see the fairy tale castle and that was my only goal. We were told we would not have time to go to the castle ( and I had accepted this) however, when we arrived we did have a half hour at the castle. I ran up that hill like a track star and was able to see...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 7/10/24

    Hi Misty, Thank you for taking the time to share ...

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    5 out of 5 stars

    6/25/24 by 1st-time traveler Timothy

    5 out of 5 stars

    6/25/24 by 1st-time traveler Lance
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    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Grand Hotel Europe
    Grand Hotel Europe

    This Belle Époque hotel is located near the lake promenade. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and outdoor terrace. Nearby, you’ll find Lake Lucerne, Cha...

    Read more +
    NYX Hotel Munich
    NYX Hotel Munich

    This artsy hotel is located in the Obersendling district. Guests enjoy a restaurant, bar, and sauna. Nearby you’ll find the Hellabrunn Zoo, the Theres...

    Read more +
    Arcotel Castellani
    Arcotel Castellani

    This contemporary hotel is located in Salzburg city center. Guests enjoy the large garden, fitness center, and restaurant. Nearby, you'll find the Sal...

    Read more +
    MAXX by Steigenberger Hotel Vienna
    MAXX by Steigenberger Hotel Vienna

    This convenient hotel is located in the city center of Vienna, Austria. Guests enjoy the fitness area, on-site bar and restaurant, and spa. Nearby you...

    Read more +
    NH Prague City
    NH Prague City

    This modern hotel is located in the Smíchov district of Prague. Guests enjoy a gym and sauna, restaurants with terraces, and a tennis court. Nearby, y...

    Read more +


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