Day 1 Arrive in Berlin, Germany.
Time to rest or to start exploring the German capital. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 Berlin.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the elegant Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, Charlottenburg Palace, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, and the 210-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten park. See the Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church with its bomb-damaged tower, drive along Unter den Linden boulevard, and pass the State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. An optional excursion to nearby Potsdam is available. (B)
Day 3 Berlin–Dresden.
Arrive in Dresden, former capital of Saxony. Badly damaged by Allied bombing in February 1945, the city has since been restored to its baroque splendor. During your guided walking tour, visit the Zwinger Palace COURTYARD to admire its impressive architecture; the magnificent baroque Semper Opera, originally built in 1841, once destroyed by fire, then destroyed by bombing, and finally restored in 1985; and the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche. (B)
Day 4 Dresden–Weimar–Rothenburg.
In Weimar, follow your Tour Director for a pleasant walk through this pretty town. See the houses where great poets like Goethe and Schiller lived and the theater where the Weimar Constitution was drafted. Highlight is [LF] an overnight stay in medieval Rothenburg with its ramparts and towers, cobblestone lanes, and 16th-century houses. Hear how the town survived the Thirty Years’ War, and shop for Christmas ornaments. (B)
Day 5 Rothenburg–Neuschwanstein.
Drive along the scenic Romantic Road past small villages and towards the Bavarian Alps, where two of Bavaria’s most famous castles are situated. [LF] Stay overnight in a charming hotel beautifully located between Hohenschwangau Castle, where King Ludwig spent much of his youth, and NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, which you will visit with a Local Guide. This castle became the most famous of all and was inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. (B)
Day 6 Neuschwanstein–Oberammergau–Munich.
Arrive in Oberammergau and see the theater where the Passion Play is held, then, continue to Munich, Germany’s “Secret Capital.” Your orientation drive features the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower, the Ludwigstrasse, and the Bavarian Arch of Triumph and Field Marshall Hall. Also see the Königsplatz, and visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. For those interested, an optional excursion to Dachau is available. (B)
Day 7 Munich.
Today is your chance to join an optional excursion to spectacular Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (weather-permitting). In the evening, [LF] a farewell dinner at a lively Biergarten is the best way to celebrate the success of your German vacation. (B,D)
Day 8 Munich.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)