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Switzerland, Germany &...
 

Switzerland, Germany & Italy

10 days |  12 days with Italian Lakes extension
10 days |  12 days with Italian Lakes extension
Group size1538 travelers
Physical activity
New
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ
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Take the scenic route and weave your way across Europe’s most legendary landscapes.

Want to make the most of a European vacation? Whether it’s your first or fifth time crossing the pond, this trip fits the bill. As you pass through five countries, you’ll marvel at storybook vistas, like the sky-scraping peaks of the Swiss Alps and Venice’s serpentine network of gondola-laden canals, and plenty more in between. But don’t let your jaw drop just yet: Fairytale German castles, residences fit for Liechtensteiner royalty, and one of the oldest wineries in the world dot your route, too. Get your fill of unforgettable moments and meals—and if you aren’t quite ready to say goodbye (we wouldn’t blame you), extend your trip to the scenic shores of the Italian Lakes.

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 wine tasting
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Included highlights

  • Kapellbrücke in Lucerne
  • Liechtenstein
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Nymphenburg Palace in Munich
  • Novacella Abbey & South Tyrol wine tasting
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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 Zurich today.

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

Welcome to Switzerland! Transfer to your hotel in the Swiss Alps. Later, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s 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 unbelievable views of Pilatus, Rigi, and 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 back to medieval times
  • Cross the famous Kapellbrücke, a covered wooden footbridge spanning the Reuss River, and view the Water Tower—a 13th-century work that’s one of the oldest structures in all of Lucerne
  • 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 $169 per person

Munich3 nights
Day 4: Munich via Liechtenstein & Neuschwanstein
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Munich, cross through Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality that dates back to the Holy Roman Empire.

  • Visit the Liechtensteiner capital, Vaduz, and pass the royal family’s namesake castle. Perched atop a hill, Vaduz Castle has watched over the region since the 12th century, and serves as the royal residence to this day
  • Enjoy free time in the town (and be sure to get your passport stamped!)

After, pass through the Bavarian Alps, making stops along the way.

  • 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 scenic views of the Alps as you relax and explore during free time, or grab lunch in Schwangau, the town below Neuschwanstein

Then, continue on to Munich and sit down for 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 and experience daily life like one of its nearly 1.5 million inhabitants. 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—one of the largest urban parks in the world—and the fashionable Schwabing district, formerly home to Munich’s bohemian residents
  • Enter Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque home to past Bavarian royalty
  • 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 before heading to the Frauenkirche—a Gothic cathedral and the seat of the local archdiocese
  • Take some free time to explore the Viktualienmarkt, where you’ll find fresh food, flowers, and other delicacies

Spend a free afternoon in Munich or add an excursion.

Dachau

From $75 per person

Day 6: Free day in Munich
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Munich or add an excursion.

A Day in Salzburg

From $125 per person

The Dolomites1 night
Day 7: Dolomite Alps via Novacella Abbey & wine tasting
Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch, Wine tasting

Bid Bavaria ade (that means “farewell”) as you travel through the Austrian Alps en route to Italy’s mountainous Dolomites, also known as South Tyrol.

  • Visit Novacella Abbey, a prestigious Augustinian monastery and an important cultural landmark that has existed for almost 900 years
  • Explore the abbey alongside a guide and stroll through its cloisters, museum, and famous library hall
  • Learn about the monastery’s history as one of the world’s oldest active wineries
  • Sit down for a light lunch of South Tyrol specialties, along with a wine tasting

Continue to your hotel in The Dolomites and enjoy a free evening.

Venice2 nights
Day 8: Venice via Verona
Included meal: Breakfast

En route to Venice, stop in Verona with your Tour Director for a walk along its historic streets. Situated on the shores of the Adige River, this UNESCO-recognized city traces its origins back over two millennia and still shows well-preserved vestiges of its Roman heritage.

  • Stroll through the city’s Old Town and explore a rich heritage tracing back to the first century B.C.
  • Admire the 2,000-year-old Roman arena; the Piazza delle Erbe, which functioned as the town’s forum during Roman times; and the Gothic villa (complete with a balcony) that inspired William Shakespeare’s timeless Romeo and Juliet.

Enjoy free time in Verona before continuing on to Venice, where you’ll have free time for the rest of the evening.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Venice
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Today, meet up with your local guide and explore the heart of Venice on foot and by vaporetto, or water taxi. Admire historic churches, winding waterways, and storied piazzas on a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site of a city, which was established in the fifth century and is known as the Queen of the Adriatic.

  • Step onto iconic St. Mark’s Square and enter St. Mark’s Basilica—an opulent, domed church built in the 11th century to house the body of St. Mark the Apostle
  • View the stately Doge’s Palace, a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic style that was built in 1340 and served as both the residence of the Doge (the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice) and the seat of the Venetian government
  • Marvel at the Bridge of Sighs (or Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian), now a famous Venetian landmark that was built in 1600 to connect the Doge’s Palace to a prison situated just across the canal
  • See a Murano glassblowing demonstration and learn about Venice’s most celebrated art form, whose roots in the city date back to the 10th century

Then, enjoy a free afternoon in Venice or add an excursion.

Please note: Travelers should feel comfortable getting into and out of the water taxi.

Later, celebrate your trip at tonight’s farewell dinner, served with beer or wine.

Gondola Ride: Venice Canal Cruise

From $105 per person

Private Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two

From $205 per person

Flight Home
Day 10: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to explore the Italian Lakes.

Extension to Italian Lakes
Ringed by rugged mountains and defined by pristine blue waters, the Italian Lakes typify the country’s natural beauty. On this two-night extension, you and your group will visit a pair of the region’s most famous lakes: Como and Maggiore. From their shores, you’ll explore cities and castles, cruise between picturesque islands, take in Northern Italy’s unparalleled vistas, and cap it all off with one final toast with your fellow travelers.
Italian Lakes2 nights
Day 10: Lake Como & Rocca di Angera
Included meal: Breakfast

Head north to beautiful Lake Como, located in the foothills of the Alps, where your Tour Director will introduce you to the waterfront city of Como.

  • Take in Como’s eclectic Rationalist architecture, along with its glittering lakefront and staggering mountain scenery
  • View Como Cathedral, one of the last Gothic cathedrals built in Italy

Later, head through the Italian countryside to Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake.

  • Climb to Rocca di Angera, a massive castle that towers over Lake Maggiore from a commanding perch atop limestone cliffs
  • Trace the stories illustrated by the 14th-century frescoes that adorn its historic rooms—some of the most important examples of Lombard Late Gothic painting in existence
  • Wander through the medieval garden, where you’ll find beautiful flowers and medicinal herbs

Continue to your hotel in the Italian Lakes and enjoy a free evening.

Day 11: Free day on the Italian Lakes
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in the Italian Lakes region or add an excursion.

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

Lake Maggiore Cruise & the Borromean Islands

From $135 per person

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Milan airport for your flight home.

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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.
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 ...

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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...

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Mondschein Hotel Luna
Mondschein Hotel Luna

This traditionally styled, family-run hotel is located in the historic center of Bolzano. Guests enjoy the private park and gardens, free wellness are...

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Hotel Riviera
Hotel Riviera

This classical hotel is located in on the Venetian island of Lido. Guests enjoy a solarium, fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find the Ve...

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Hotel Simplon
Hotel Simplon

This upscale hotel is located in the town of Baveno on Lake Maggiore’s western shore. Guests enjoy a large outdoor pool, access to a lakeside beach, a...

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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 & entry requirements
  • This tour visits Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Italy. 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.
  • Beginning in 2024, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must register for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to enter many European countries.
  • Passport holders from over 60 visa-exempt countries (including the U.S. and Canada) will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to visit 30 European countries. That means that even if you’ve previously traveled to any of these European countries without a visa, starting in 2024, you’ll need to get ETIAS authorization to visit them again. If you’re traveling to multiple countries with this requirement, you only need to complete the form once. All Go Ahead travelers are responsible for obtaining their own ETIAS travel authorization before departure. For more details, please visit our Help Center.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code GSI.
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Tour pacing & mobility
  • 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 as well as getting in and out of trains.
  • 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.
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Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Zurich and depart from Venice (or Milan 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. (Please note that on the extension, the travel time between the Italian Lakes and Milan is approximately one hour and 30 minutes, and should be considered for travelers purchasing their own airfare.)
  • Water taxi rides in Venice are included in the price of your tour.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
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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.
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Clothing & packing tips
  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers 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.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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Health
  • 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.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code GSI.
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Cuisine
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Austria is known for its savory Wiener schnitzel and fresh 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.
  • Northern Italy is known for flavorful meats and pastries.
  • For more authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants set away from the main piazzas. A typical Italian meal includes wines and the occasional beer, followed by a few sips of after-dinner drinks like grappa or limoncello.
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Electricity & air conditioning
  • All destinations visited on this tour operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins. You may also use a Type J plug with three small pins in Switzerland and a Type L plug with three small pins in Italy.
  • 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.
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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.
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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.
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Currency
  • You will use the Swiss franc in Switzerland and the euro in Germany, Italy, and Austria.
  • 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.
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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 $8USD 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.
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Purchasing excursions on tour
  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you’re on 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.
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