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Christmas Markets of...
 

Christmas Markets of Germany, Switzerland & Austria

14 days |  16 days with Budapest extension
14 days |  16 days with Budapest extension
Group size1538 travelers
Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

74
Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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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
  • 1 wine tasting
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Alpine Christmas markets
  • Heidelberg Castle
  • The Black Forest
  • Lake Lucerne
  • Liechtenstein
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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 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

From $185 per person

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: Transfer to Munich
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Head into the mountains of Bavaria making stops along the way to Munich.

  • Make a photo stop at Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairy-tale retreat of “Mad” King Ludwig II
  • Revel in scenic views of the Alps as you relax during free time for lunch in the town below Neuschwanstein
  • Enter a Bavarian castle with a close connection to King Ludwig II for a guided tour

Please note: Castle entrance may be Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, or Linderhof depending on departure and booking availability.

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 Glockenspiel
  • Get 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, Wine tasting, Tasting, 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
  • Pass through scenery from the beloved film The Sound of Music
  • Enter the 17th-century Salzburg Cathedral, built in the Baroque style

Enjoy free time in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Mozart Concert & Dinner

From $215 per person

Vienna3 nights
Day 11: Vienna via Melk Abbey
Included meal: Breakfast

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 spend free time exploring the city’s Christmas market at Hundertwasserhause
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

From $165 per person

Day 13: Free day in Vienna
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in Vienna or add an excursion.

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

Bratislava

From $135 per person

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
  • View the Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building located on the banks of the Danube
  • Step inside the recently restored Hungarian State Opera House for a guided tour of the incredible new-Renaissance style masterpiece
  • Cross the Danube and ascend Castle Hill and 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 and excursion.

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

Budapest: A Walk Behind the Iron Curtain

From $135 per person

Flight Home
Day 16: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Show full itinerary
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Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.5 out of 5

Based on 74 authentic traveler reviews
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    3 out of 5 stars

    I expected better
    12/5/23 by 3rd-time traveler Nita Hudnall

    Food was not the best. Felt rushed at each market. The markets were nice but not great. To much moving around. It would have been better to see less markets and have more time.

    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 2/22/24

    Hi Nita We appreciate your feedback regarding the...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Markets
    12/5/23 by 3rd-time traveler Shirley

    I enjoyed seeing all of the Christmas markets. But the last two days was a waste to me. I could have done without seeing Budapest. It was not as enjoyable as the other places we went to. My one cousin got sick a few days after we started our travels. She didn't get to see as much as she would hav...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Christmas Markets December 2023
    12/5/23 by 3rd-time traveler Glenna

    The tour was a once in a lifetime experience. The tour was well planned and super enjoyable. Our tour guide Ildy was the greatest. She is super knowledgeable and kept things moving. She is a wonderful caring person. We were very lucky to get her as our guide. EF is very lucky to have her as a g...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 1/8/24

    Hi Glenna Thank you for your wonderful feedback a...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    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.

    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 Mannheim City Center
    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, ...

    Read more +
    Hotel Bellevue-Terminus
    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 ...

    Read more +
    Hotel Edelmanns
    Hotel Edelmanns

    This stylish hotel is located in the Austrian Alps town of Tirol, just outside of Innsbruck. Guests enjoy the sauna, fitness center, and impressive ba...

    Read more +
    Holiday Inn Munich City Centre
    Holiday Inn Munich City Centre

    This centrally-located hotel is located in the heart of Munich. Guests enjoy the fitness center, Finnish style sauna, and an on-site restaurant. Nearb...

    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 +
    Crowne Plaza Budapest
    Crowne Plaza Budapest

    This elegant hotel is located in the centre of Budapest. Guests enjoy the Cult Restaurant, summer terrace, and on-site coffee house. Nearby you'll fin...

    Read more +

    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

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