logo
1-800-590-1161ContactBring 6+ travelers
logo1-800-590-1161
Tours
Christmas Markets of Germany, Switzerland & Austria
Dates and prices1-800-590-1161
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ

Christmas Markets of Germany, Switzerland & Austria

with Budapest extension
Extended Risk-Free Booking Period
Book today and feel good about your decision. If you change your mind, you’ll receive a refund of your deposit through January 1, 2021.See terms
Uncover the stunning scenery and seasonal traditions of three countries.

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 festive Christmas markets of Munich 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.

Your tour package includes
  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 12 breakfasts
  • 6 dinners with beer or wine
  • 9 guided sightseeing tours
  • Expert Tour Director & local guides
Included highlights
  • Alpine Christmas markets
  • Heidelberg Castle
  • The Black Forest
  • Lake Lucerne
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
Start planning today
An expert specializing in tours of this
region is here to help
Talk to a Tour Consultant
Day-by-day itinerary
Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Frankfurt today.

Heidelberg Region2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Frankfurt & transfer to the Heidelberg Region
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Germany! Transfer to the Heidelberg region and settle in to your hotel. Then, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Heidelberg & Christmas market visit
Included meal: 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
  • Spend free time exploring the city's festive Christmas markets
Swiss Alps2 nights
Day 4: Swiss Alps 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.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne
Included meal: Breakfast

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

  • View the Lion Monument, a tribute to the Swiss Guards who sacrificed their lives in Paris during the French Revolution
  • Pass hand-painted facades that line the cobbled streets of the Old Town
  • Cross the medieval Kapellbrücke, a covered wooden footbridge spanning the Reuss River, and view the Water Tower
  • See the Jesuit Church, the first large Baroque building of its kind to be built north of the Alps in Switzerland

Enjoy a free afternoon in the Swiss Alps or add an excursion.

Mount Pilatus
Excursion (additional cost)
Austrian Alps1 night
Day 6: Austrian Alps via Liechtenstein, Innsbruck & Christmas market visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Cross into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire.

  • Visit the capital of Vaduz
  • Pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence

Continue on to Innsbruck, site of two winter Olympic Games, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour.

  • 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
  • Enjoy one of the season’s most enduring traditions as you sip mulled wine, browse winter ornaments, and wander among wooden stalls at some of Alpine Europe’s most beautiful Christmas markets

Then, travel to the Austrian Alps and sit down for an included dinner.

Munich2 nights
Day 7: Munich via Neuschwanstein Castle
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Munich, stop to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and listen to an audio guide as you tour the fairy-tale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig II.

  • Walk or take a ride in a shuttle bus up the hill
  • Take time to explore its stalactite grotto, artifacts, and murals

Please note: The pathway up to the castle entrance is a steep hill and winter months are prone to inclement weather.

Then, continue on to Munich and sit down for an included dinner.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Munich & Christmas market visit
Included meal: 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 GlockenspielGet introduced to the city’s Christmas markets, the most festive seasonal tradition
  • Explore the stalls in search of treasures to take home
Salzburg2 nights
Day 9: Transfer to Salzburg & Christmas market visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head to Salzburg, Austria—a city famed for its churches and musical history—where you'll spend the afternoon browsing the stalls of the Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas market. Cap off the festive occasion with a tasting of traditional mulled wine and cookies.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg
Included meal: Breakfast

Join a local guide for a walking tour of Salzburg this morning.

  • 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

Enjoy free time in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Mozart Concert & Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Vienna3 nights
Day 11: Vienna via Melk Abbey
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel east through the Danube basin en route to Vienna.

  • Stop in Melk for a guided tour of the town’s Baroque abbey, which is situated on rock overlooking the Danube River
  • Explore its Baroque pavilion, library, and chapel
  • Continue on to Vienna and make a photo stop at Schönbrunn Palace, the Rococo Hapsburg home
  • Spend free time exploring the city’s Christmas market at Hundertwasserhause

Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Vienna
Included meal: Breakfast

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

  • Step inside Belvedere Palace, home to the world's largest collection of paintings by artist Gustav Klimt, and admire the palace's impressive gardens
  • Travel down the Ringstrasse, passing the Parliament building, Vienna State Opera, and Kunsthistorisches Museum
  • See the grand Hofburg Palace, the Hapsburg’s preferred winter residence

Enjoy a free evening in Vienna or add an excursion.

Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening
Excursion (additional cost)
Day 13: Free day in Vienna
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Vienna or add an excursion.

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

Bratislava
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 14: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

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

Extension to Budapest

Continue along the Danube to the Hungarian capital, a merger of two towns called Buda and Pest. Follow your local guide on a sightseeing tour through this peaceful and progressive metropolis.

Budapest2 nights
Day 14: Transfer to Budapest & sightseeing tour
Included meal: 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
  • Get into the holiday spirit at Budapest’s Christmas markets, where you can enjoy public theater, folk dances, live music, and traditional food
Day 15: Free day in Budapest
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Budapest or add excursions.

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

Budapest: A Walk Behind the Iron Curtain
Excursion (additional cost)
Budapest Home-Hosted Dinner
Excursion (additional cost)
Flight Home
Day 16: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Get unbeatable value
With price matching, risk-free booking,
interest-free payments, and more
Read details
Reviews
4.6 average
 Our reviews are authentic and unedited.
Christmas markets 2019
by 2nd-time traveler 

Search of a great trip really enjoy it at Met a lot of nice people we all become friends and everything every place that we went was totally awesome and would do it all over again the tour guide he was fantastic Autto I hope we all have him on the next trip, Thank you gohead travel

Christmas European Style
by 1st-time traveler 

I have never left home at Christmas nor not put up a Christmas tree, but this year we decided to do life a little different, it was wonderful. Celebrating throughout the markets were beyond our expectations, the magic of every city enhanced the spirit of the season. Deanna was fantastic and every st...

Read more +
by 1st-time traveler 

First tour with EF and it was fantastic. Our guide, Atto made this tour a stand out adventure. Very knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. He kept the tour moving smoothly and managed to work in an optional Sound of Music tour in Salzburg which turned out to be one of the highlights of the tour....

Too long and some days walked 8 miles and did 132 stair steps. Exhausting
by 1st-time traveler 

Paula, the tour guide was outstanding. Tour was A LOT of walking to view the towns etc. Much was crammed in to too little time. Every single day we had to be up at 6:30 am. Very well organized by Paula. She always had our tickets etc. She knows a ton of information about the area. Most other ...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 12/17/2018

Dear Donna, Our Tour Directors play a key role in ...

Beautiful but just Average
by 1st-time traveler 

The itinerary was nice except for the 1 night only in Innsbruck which should have been 2 nights and reduce the 3 nights in Vienna to 2 nights. We were there with a free day on Sunday with everything closed! Heidelberg hotel was not a good start to the trip. The hotels in Lucerne and Vienna were wha...

Go Ahead Tours replied on 12/17/2018

Dear Traveler, Thank you for your review. We under...

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.

Hotels

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.

Leonardo Royal Mannheim

This modern hotel is located in Mannheim’s Friedrich Square. Guests enjoy cabaret, a fitness center, a terrace restaurant, and a bar. Nearby, you’ll f...

Ameron Hotel Flora

Welcome to the heart of Lucerne! your smart business hotel offers a prime location and that certain "extra" of kindness and hospitality. Nature meet...

Hotel Innsbruck

This historic hotel is located in central Innsbruck. Guests enjoy an indoor pool, spa, and restaurant and bar. Nearby, you’ll find the downtown shoppi...

Arcotel Castellani

This contemporary hotel is located in Salzburg city center. Guests enjoy free WiFi, a mini bar, and air conditioning. Nearby, you'll find ARCOTEL Cast...

Hotel Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli

This modern hotel is located just outside of Innsbruck’s city center. Guests enjoy a fitness center, restaurant, and satellite TV. Nearby, you'll find...

Holiday Inn Munich City Centre

This centrally-located hotel is located in the heart of Munich. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi and an on-site restaurant. Nearby, you’ll find the Au-Haidhaus...

Hotel Bellevue-Terminus

This urban hotel is located in Engelberg. Guests enjoy a restaurant, cafe, and lounge. Nearby, you’ll find Engelberg Abbey, Eugenisee Lake, and views ...

Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center

This historic hotel is located in Budapest’s city center. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a lobby bar. Nearby, you'll find the Hungarian Nat...

Leonardo Mannheim City Center

This comfortable hotel is located in the Mannheim city center. Guests enjoy a pool, restaurant, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find Schloss Mannheim, ...

Falkensteiner Margareten

This stylish hotel is located near the city center. Guests enjoy a restaurant, spa, and fitness center. Nearby, you’ll find the Schönbrunn Palace, Vie...

Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.

Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights
FAQ
Print FAQ
Passport & visa requirements
  • This tour visits Germany, Switzerland, and Austria (plus Liechtenstein and Hungary on the tour extension). In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Tour pace
  • You will walk for at least 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Frankfurt and depart from Vienna (or Budapest on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
Baggage allowance
  • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
  • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
  • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
  • Winters in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria are generally cold. To ensure you’re comfortable for outdoor sightseeing and celebrations, we recommend packing a coat, hat and gloves, as well as rainwear.
  • We also suggest packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes, sneakers, or winter boots is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
Health
  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour.
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
Cuisine
  • German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are dumpling stews, sauerkraut, sausages, smoked cheeses, and dark breads. Bavaria produces some of the world’s purest beers, and white German wines are exceptionally good.
  • Swiss food is varied and sophisticated, and some popular dishes include sausages, breaded veal fillets, freshwater fish, and cheese dishes such as fondue and raclette. Be sure to try Swiss chocolate, which is among the world’s finest.
  • Austria is known for its savory Wiener schnitzel and excellent wild trout, carp, and crayfish. Save room for dessert—especially the strudels of fruit and nuts and elegant chocolate cakes, such as the world-famous Sachertorte.
  • On the tour extension, Hungary claims goulash as its national dish, but also is known for excellent salamis, cheeses, nut-flavored pancakes, freshwater fish, and preserved fruits.
Electricity & air conditioning
  • All destinations visited on this tour operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C or F plugs with two small, round pins. You may also use a Type J plug with three small pins in Switzerland.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Time zones
  • All destinations visited on this tour are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
Currency
  • You will use the euro in Germany and Austria and the Swiss franc in Switzerland (plus the Hungarian forint in Hungary on the tour extension).
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Tipping
  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on your tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
Dates & prices
Choose your dates to start a quote
202020212022
Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
2020
Tue
Nov 24
Mon
Dec 07
$2,969
$2,969
Extension

Bring a group, travel free

Invite six friends to join you on tour and earn a free spot to use however you like.

Learn more

More tours you might love

Germany, Switzerland & Austria with Budapest extension
14 or 16 days
308
On sale from 
$2,869*
 $2,669*
Shop all tours