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Oberammergau tours

The wait is finally over! After 12 long years, the storied Oberammergau Passion Play returns to the stage in Germany. See it with us—and take in 400 years of tradition—on tour.

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What our travelers say about their Oberammergau trips

Bucket list expectations exceeded!
4/16/2016 by first-time traveler Jenny
The beauty of traveling with a group is that the logistics of your trip are worked out for you: hotel stays, ground and air transportation, and daily tours. Traveling with Go Ahead Tours allows you to skip lines at the sites visited.
True professionals in vacation planning!
7/27/2018 by first-time traveler Diane
Such a value! Every day offered us opportunities to see and do so much with the group, as well as opportunities to tour on our own. Each destination had a city tour with excellent professional, knowledgeable local guides who not only shared their passion for their city but also the cities history.

Travel tips for Oberammergau trips

What is Oberammergau famous for?

For several months every 10 years, hundreds of thousands of people travel to Oberammergau, Germany, to attend performances of the village’s world-famous Passion Play. The hours-long play depicts the story of Jesus’s life and death, with more than 2,000 of Oberammergau’s 5,000-plus townspeople participating.

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What else is there to do in Oberammergau?

Although Oberammergau is best-known for the Passion Play, many other charms and traditions make this quaint destination in the Bavarian Alps a must-see spot. No matter the year—or time of year—you visit, you’ll discover fascinating history around the Bubonic Plague, study intricate frescoes up close, and shop for gifts and keepsakes that exemplify Oberammergau’s celebrated woodworking traditions.

Here’s even more to know about Oberammergau.

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What is the history of Oberammergau?

In 1633, the Bubonic Plague tore through Oberammergau. In just three weeks, 84 townspeople—nearly half the village’s population—died. Christian locals vowed to God that, if he would spare the rest of Oberammergau’s citizens from the sickness, they would perform a Passion Play every 10 years. Legend has it that plague-related deaths in Oberammergau dropped off soon after the townspeople made that pledge, and so they kept their promise.

Villagers performed the first Passion Play in 1634. It’s now performed during years that end in zero, with the exception of 1934 and 1984, when the townspeople shifted the schedule to celebrate the Passion Play’s 300th and 350th anniversaries, respectively. The third exception came in 2020, when the Passion Play was postponed until 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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How many Passion Play performances are there?

In 2022, for the 42nd iteration of Oberammergau’s Passion Play, locals will put on 100 performances between May and October.

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How long is each Passion Play performance?

Each Passion Play performance lasts for eight hours, with a three-hour dinner intermission.

Our Oberammergau tours, including Oberammergau 2022: Historic Germany, include breakfast, lunch, and a sit-down dinner during the intermission on the day you attend the play.

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Is the Oberammergau Passion Play performed in English?

The Passion Play is performed only in German, and shows are not subtitled. Books containing photographs and English translations are available for purchase on the day of each performance.

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Is the Oberammergau Passion Play performed indoors or outside?

The Passion Play is performed in a specially built, open-air theater with covered seating.

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What happens if it rains?

Oberammergau Passion Play performances are rain-or-shine, and blankets are handed out during chilly weather.

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What do you recommend people pack for Oberammergau tours?

A visit to Oberammergau can require lots of walking. Pack a sturdy pair (or two) of shoes, and comfortable clothes you can easily move in. Oberammergau is located in the mountains, which means that the weather can change quickly. A few wind- and water-resistant layers—and a compact umbrella—will come in handy.

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What can—and can’t—I take inside the Oberammergau Passion Play theater?

We recommend limiting yourself to a small bag or backpack containing your ID, a few light layers, a mini-umbrella, and a bottle of water that’s plastic, resealable, and less than a half-liter in volume. Be sure to bring some cash, too, so you can shop for locally made wood carvings and other signature souvenirs in the village during intermission.

Food, walking sticks, and large umbrellas aren’t permitted inside the theater. Prohibited items can be stored in an on-site baggage drop-off point during performances.

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Is there a dress code for the Oberammergau Passion Play?

There’s no official dress code, but a few warm, waterproof layers can come in handy in the event of cool or wet weather.

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What are the benefits of choosing a tour for my 2022 Oberammergau trip?

Oberammergau Passion Play guided tours take planning, logistics, and guesswork out of the picture for travelers. You’ll be free to experience the once-every-10-years event without a worry. Just sit back, enjoy the show, and take in nearly 400 years’ worth of tradition and history. (And don’t forget to snag a few handmade souvenirs!)

Plus, each iteration of the Passion Play brings thousands of tourists to Oberammergau from all around the world, so hotels and restaurants fill up quickly. Choosing a guided Oberammergau Passion Play tour means that all of your meals and hotels will be guaranteed—and that a group of new friends will be there to enjoy it all alongside you!

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