Christmas Markets

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→ Itinerary


NOVEMBER 30 – USA / MUNICH: Depart on your overnight flight to Munich, Germany.

DECEMBER 1 – ARRIVE IN MUNICH: On arrival in Munich airport, you meet with your Tour Director and shortly afterwards transfer to your hotel in the city center. This afternoon, your tour director will take you on a stroll to one of the many Christmas Markets in Munich. Enjoy some free time before making your way to dinner at a local restaurant within walking distance of your hotel. (D)

DECEMBER 2 – EXCURSION TO NEUSCHWANSTEIN: After breakfast, depart on a full-day excursion to visit Neuschwanstein, Germany’s most famous castle. The castle was built by Ludwig II, the notorious “mad king “, known for his striking personality and eccentricities. The Bavarian King commissioned the castle between 1869 and 1886, resembling the medieval castles of German knights, in a Romanesque revival style. This castle served as an inspiration to Walt Disney when he built the castle of Sleeping Beauty in Disneyland. On the way back to Munich, if time permits, pause for some free time in the village of Oberammergau. Overnight in Munich. (B)

DECEMBER 3 – MUNICH / ESSLINGEN / STUTTGART: Enjoy breakfast in your hotel. Afterwards, depart from Munich and start your journey towards Stuttgart. On the way, you stop in Esslingen, famous for its unique Medieval Christmas Market which sees merchants dress up in historical costumes to peddle their special wares to shoppers, just like they did hundreds of years ago. With more than 100 booths, offering everything from traditional crafts to handmade soaps and regional German specialties, the Esslingen Market in Baden-Württemberg is one of the largest in the region. Later this afternoon, continue to Stuttgart for dinner and overnight. (B/D)

DECEMBER 4 – STUTTGART: There are cars you drive… and then there are cars you dream of. Stuttgart has both in abundance. Not only does the city produce internationally renowned cars, but it also lives and breathes automotive history in a way that nowhere else does. Drivers’ dreams become reality when they visit Stuttgart. Visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum to get to know more about cars and Stuttgart. Enjoy your afternoon at your leisure to explore Stuttgart Christmas Market, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the whole of Europe but also one of the oldest. It was officially mentioned for the first time in 1692. The market has around 300 stalls and there is a daily program of live music in the inner courtyard of the Old Castle on Schillerplatz. Overnight in Stuttgart. (B)

DECEMBER 5 – STUTTGART / ROTHENBURG / HEIDELBERG: After breakfast, depart and start your journey towards Heidelberg. On the way, visit the picturesque town or Rothenburg, one of the oldest and best-known cities in Romantic Germany. Here you will enjoy a free afternoon exploring Rothenburg’s narrow, cobblestone streets. The medieval city center has been beautifully preserved. Admire the wooden houses, the historic town hall and extensive medieval city wall. At this time of the year, the medieval town transforms itself into a fairytale winter wonderland. Ever since the 15th century, the festive time prior to Christmas has been accompanied by a delightful Christmas Market. Looking back on over 500 years of tradition, little has changed over the years and the historical customs have been closely followed. Holding true to traditions, the narrowly winding streets and picturesque squares around the town hall and its archways are lined with wooden booths, appropriately decorated for the Christmas season. Be sure to visit the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop as well the German Christmas Museum. Later this afternoon, continue to Heidelberg for dinner and overnight. (B/D)

DECEMBER 6 – HEIDELBERG: After breakfast, enjoy a morning guided walking tour of Heidelberg old town and the castle.  The city has so much to offer charm and character in abundance between the Old Bridge and the mighty castle, an unparalleled choice of culture and entertainment, hearty yet heavenly cuisine and a picturesque setting nestled between the Neckar River and the foothills of the Odenwald forest. After your walking tour, the remainder of your day is at leisure to explore Heidelberg’s Christmas Markets. The “Weihnachtsmarkt,” as it’s referred to in German is one of the most magical places for Christmas. The small town of Heidelberg packs a punch when it comes to the beautiful and historical Christmas market. With five different squares to choose from, over 140 stalls, and an ice-skating rink beneath the castle. Overnight in Heidelberg. (B)

DECEMBER 7 – HEIDELBERG / COLOGNE: Enjoy breakfast. Today, depart and make your way to Cologne. Set on the Rhine, Cologne is famous for its landmark cathedral, one of the most impressive churches in the world. But after all, Cologne is more than just a city – it is a matter of the heart, an emotion, and an unfalteringly positive state of mind. On arrival in Cologne, check in to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of your afternoon at leisure. Cologne has a sparkling array of Christmas markets, including the splendid and popular Christmas market around the Cathedral, the Market of Hearts, and many different theme-oriented Christmas markets presided over by the local Heinzelmännchen as well as angels, fairy-tale figures, or mariners. This evening, enjoy dinner with local specialties in Cologne old town. (B/D)

DECEMBER 8 – COLOGNE: After your breakfast, join you tour manager and take you on a stroll to visit the Chocolate Museum for an exciting insight into the five-thousand- year history of cocoa, covering the mystical ceremonies of Central America and the luxury drink of the European aristocracy through to instantly available treat that it has become today. This is not only about learning, but also about tasting the chocolate! The remainder of your day is spent at leisure in Cologne to explore and discover not only the Christmas markets but also Cologne’s finely crafted Nativity scenes. Overnight in Cologne. (B)

DECEMBER 9 – COLOGNE / USA: After breakfast, bid farewell to Germany as transfers begin to the airport, where after check-in you will have plenty of time for your last-minute duty-free shopping. Your flight to the US arrives the same day. Have a safe journey! (B)

IMPORTANT: This tour includes walking tours. To enjoy this tour, you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surfaces.

→ Inclusions


  • Roundtrip air from Chicago on Lufthansa
  • English speaking Tour Director for duration of tour
  • Munich – 2 nights, 4-Star Hotel Eden Wolff
  • Stuttgart – 2 nights, 4-Star Arcotel Camino
  • Heidelberg – 2 nights, 4-Star Hilton Hotel
  • Cologne – 2 nights, 4-Star Dorint Hotel am Heumarkt
  • Breakfast each morning, except day of arrival
  • Welcome dinner in a local restaurant in Munich
  • One dinner in Stuttgart
  • One dinner in Heidelberg
  • Farewell dinner in a local restaurant in Cologne
  • Luxury motorcoach for transfers and sightseeing as outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrance to Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Entrance to Mercedes-Benz Museum
  • Walking tour of Heidelberg
  • Entrance and guided tour of Heidelberg Castle
  • Entrance to the Chocolate Museum Cologne, including tastings
  • Free time to explore Christmas Markets in Munich, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Rothenburg, Heidelberg, and Cologne
  • Portfolio of e-documents
  • Hotel porterage of one suitcase per person
  • 24-hour emergency support while in Germany

IMPORTANT: This tour includes walking tours. To enjoy this tour, you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surface.

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This is a Private Group Journey based on a minimum of 25 participants to operate. Rates are per person based on double occupancy. Departure taxes and fuel surcharges are included. Single supplement is additional $899. Air inclusive rates are subject to availability and are based on departure from Chicago on Lufthansa Airlines. Rate includes round-trip economy class airfare, including carrier and government-imposed taxes and fees, and the September 11th Security Fee of $5.60 per enplanement originating at a U.S. airport. Fluctuations in exchange rates may affect some taxes or fees. Child/infant discounts are not available, and stopovers are not permitted. Baggage fees may apply; please check with carrier for specific policies. Not eligible for accrual of frequent flyer points/mileage. Above mentioned hotels are subject to change. Cancellations/Changes: Payments are non-refundable. Substantial restrictions apply for cancellation/change, and depend upon the package type. Trip protection is recommended. The applicable Travel Protection Plan will be applied to your purchase. Additional details will be provided on your Itinerary and Travel Protection Plan Voucher travel documents upon purchase. For travelers on offered Escorted Vacations, Golf, or Cruise Vacations, travel protection is provided by Trip Mate Inc. This coverage is designed to protect your travel investment with a full cash refund less the cost of the insurance and cancellation fees for the following covered reasons such as death, sickness, injury or certain other covered reasons. Full description of coverage can be found by clicking here. The cost of this protection is 8.5% of the total cost of your trip and must be purchased at time of booking. All claims are to be made to Trip Mate Inc.