Ishtar Gate - Berlin, Germany Berlin, Brandenburg Gate Munich, Germany

Essential Germany

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

From the Alps to the North Sea, Germany stretches across Europe to embrace several cultural and natural wonders within its fold. A vibrant and lively country, German cities buzz with life. From Berlin to Munich, there is no shortage of incredible history, art, music, culture, cuisine, nightlife, and much more. Between its natural and cultural wonders, Germany has a whopping forty UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Classic beauty and avant-garde edginess balance out each other, while the urban sprawl blends seamlessly into stunning countryside. From the Alpine highlands and the Black Forest of Bavaria, through the vineyards and orchards of the Danube Valley and the craggy shoreline of the North Sea, Germany is a gorgeous country to explore.

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$10,475 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Munich Munich, Germany

Arrival into Munich where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city.

Founded as a fortified trade settlement on the bank of the Isar River in the 12th century, Munich was later granted a monopoly in the salt trade, which was so important in the Middle Ages, thus gradually growing in wealth and importance. In the early 16th century, it became the capital of Bavaria and reached its greatest growth in the 19th century. Famous for hosting the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, Munich also has a multitude of architectural monuments, excellent historic sights, museums, and shopping.

Exeter Services: Arrival Transfer

Hotel: Rocco Forte The Charles

Day 2
Munich | Munich Munich, Germany

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on an overview walking tour of Munich’s Old T own.

You will first head to Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), which has been Munich’s focal point since it was first laid in the 1300s. It is here where the famous Glockenspiel Clock can be seen! Next, you may wish to see the historic Frauenkirche church, whose towers were the only parts that survived the war bombings. It is one of Germany’s largest Gothic buildings, able to accommodate a congregation of up to 20,000.

Your guide will also take you to Viktualienmarkt, the open-air food market frequented by locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to pick up a fresh pretzel for a snack. On your way there, you may want to step inside St. Peter’s Church, the oldest parish church in the city and referred by locals as “Old Peter”. If you are interested, you can climb the 300 steps to the tower to enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city center, reaching as far as the Alps during clear days.

Continue your tour with a stop at Feldherrnhalle – Field Marshals’ Hall, a monumental loggia modeled after the one in Florence, and mostly known for being the site of the brief battle that ended Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.

You will finally reach the Residenz – the former residence of the Bavarian kings. Restored to its original form after the bombings of the Second World War, the huge palace complex now contains seven courtyards, lavish living quarters and several museums, as well as the richly gilded Rococo Cuvilliés Theater. You will see it from the outside and you will also stroll along Ludwigstrasse, one of the four royal avenues in the city. If you wish, head to the Englischen Garten, the largest urban park in the world!

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte The Charles

Day 3
Bavaria | Bavaria Neuschwanstein - Bavaria, Germany

This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby for a drive deep into Bavaria and into the Alps. Today you may visit Neuschwanstein, one of the most recognized symbols of Bavaria. It took 17 years and over 6 million Gold Marks to turn “Mad” King Ludwig II’s fantasy into reality. Set in one of the world’s most beautiful locations, the castle overlooks the idyllic 700-year-old medieval village of Füssen. The views from the castle and from the nearby town are priceless.

Although the castle is still, to this day, unfinished, the interior is stunning. Neuschwanstein is designed in the authentic style of old German knights’ castles and is decorated in themes from Wagner’s operas.

The castle is extraordinarily busy all summer long. We avoid lines as much as possible by booking a pre-set entrance time. Should there be any change in timing today, your guide will advise you. You will also have tickets to get to the castle in the horse and carriage system operated by the castle administration.

After your visit, your driver will take you to the village of Oberammergau for a bit of exploration. Oberammergau is most known for its Passion Play – first performed in 1634 and still performed once every 10 years. Come back in 2020 to see the next performance! It’s a very picturesque village, as residents have a tradition of painting frescoes on their houses with scenes from fairy tales, folk life and bible scenes. If you want to pick up a souvenir here, Oberammergau is famous for its wood carving.

If you wish, you can also visit the Wies Church (Wieskirche), a UNESCO-protected baroque landmark. Completely unassuming from the outside, the interior of this church is magnificently decorated and is a highlight of Bavarian rococo architecture.

If you are interested, another place you could visit today is Linderhof, located near Oberammergau. This is one of King Ludwig’s other palaces and is the only one that he ever lived to see completed, a fairytale palace of fantasy and flamboyance.

Exeter Services: Vehicle and Driver (10 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte The Charles

Day 4
Munich-Dresden | Munich-Dresden Dresden, Germany

This morning after check-out, your driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight.

Arrival into Dresden, where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the city center.

Known once as the “Florence of the Elbe”, Dresden is a city whose charm and character was stolen by the bombings of World War II. Recently the city has rebuilt many of its monuments, buildings, and churches and it is once again becoming a city of wealth and attraction. Highlights include the Semper Opera House, the Green Vaults, and the Old Masters Museum.

Exeter Services: Airport Transfers (Munich & Dresden)

Hotel: Kempinski Taschenbergpalais

Day 5
Dresden | Dresden Dresden, Germany

Today you will meet your guide and have the opportunity to visit one of Dresden’s treasures – the New Green Vault. The Green Vault houses a one of a kind collection of gemstones, gold, ivory, objects d’art and historic treasures. Your guide will also take you for a stroll on the Brosche Terrassa, a 930-meter-long promenade above the River Elbe, known as “Europe’s balcony”.

If possible, your guide will also take you into the Frauenkirche. Originally completed in 1743, the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, was an architectural masterpiece for its time. The church’s most incredible feature was its bell-shaped dome of solid stone. Unfortunately, the church was reduced to rubble after Allied bombing in World War II. After an international rebuilding effort, the Frauenkirche has just recently reopened. Your guide will be happy to describe the unique way this important Dresden monument was reconstructed.

No visit to Dresden is complete without a visit to the Zwinger, a beautiful Baroque structure housing several museums. We recommend a visit to the Old Masters Gallery, to see Dresden’s priceless art collection including Raphael’s famous Angels. You may also wish to visit the Porcelain Collection or the Armory.

Later we suggest a short drive to Neustadt (New Town). This area of Dresden is located across the Elbe River (approximately 20 minutes’ walk from Old Town) and is older than the Old Town, dating back to 1403. Be sure to spend some time on Königstrasse (King Street). The unbroken rows of patrician houses, restored at great expense, provide a good impression of how Dresden used to look. The many inner courtyards are also worth a glance. Some accommodate tucked-away restaurants, while others invite you to spend some time shopping in their elegant boutiques and passageways full of stores.

For a light snack (or just a good photo opportunity), we can highly recommend a visit to Pfund – simply the most beautiful cheese shop in the world, located in Neustadt. The interior is comprised of embellished tile paintings in a neo-Renaissance style and the hand-painted motifs were produced in the Dresden stoneware factory of Villeroy & Boch. Don’t overlook the delicious chocolate bars here – they’re always a hit as a souvenir!

Exeter Services: Guide (8 Hours); Vehicle & Driver (4 Hours)

Hotel: Kempinski Taschenbergpalais

Day 6
Dresden - Berlin | Dresden - Berlin Ishtar Gate - Berlin, Germany

Today your driver will meet you for your transfer to the station to meet your express train.

Arrival into Berlin, where you will be met by your driver and assistant for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city, Mitte.

Since its reunification in 1990, Berlin has emerged as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Bustling with creativity and open to the world, the German capital has been growing over the past decade and attracting record numbers of tourists by its iconic sights, significant history, vibrant life, and cultural and art scene.

Alternatively, the journey can be covered by private driver (about 2 hours drive). Please inquire for cost.

Exeter Services: Train Station Transfers (Two Included)

Hotel: Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome

Day 7
Berlin | Berlin Reichstag - Berlin, Germany

This morning, your English-speaking guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to accompany you on an initial walking tour that will introduce you to Berlin’s fascinating history. Begin with a walk with your guide along Unter den Linden. Berlin’s magnificent boulevard and the centerpiece of the Old Berlin, Unter den Linden leads from the Schlossbrücke Bridge to Pariser Platz at the Brandenburg Gate.

You will see the renewed beauty of the Pariser Platz. The new buildings which have been added to this historic square are based on their historic forbearers. This area was originally a parade ground. Noble villas, embassies and the luxurious Hotel Adlon arose around the square, which was then destroyed in the Second World War. You will also see the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s only remaining city gate and a symbol of the city. Situated as it was in the no man’s land just behind the Berlin Wall, it also became symbolic of the division of the city.

Next you can visit Berlin Holocaust Memorial, which opened in May 2005, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The location is directly behind the Hotel Adlon. The memorial commemorates the Jewish victims of Nazi terror. This striking memorial consists of approximately 2,700 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on unevenly sloping ground. This symbolizes an undulating graveyard. You are able to enter and walk through the field of slabs from all four sides. You will experience the wavelike form differently from each position. This moving and solemn memorial contains the names of 4.4 million murdered Jews.

Later, stroll back to Brandenburg Gate, from there you will see the symbol of Berlin – the Reichstag. The Reichstag was built in the late 19th Century to house the German Parliament. The building was badly damaged by fire, and renovations did not start until well after the end of the Second World War – in 1957. As part of the rebuilding, the dome and most of the ornaments on the facades were removed. The latest rebuilding project began in 1995 transformed the Reichstag into a modern parliamentary meeting hall with an elliptical dome.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome

Day 8
Berlin | Berlin

This morning, meet your guide and driver for an overview of Berlin’s recent history. You will first drive pass throughPotsdamerPlatz,astrikingexampleofurbanrenewalinaction. Aslateasthe1990s,thiswasadesolate wasteland and now you will find Berlin’ s business center . Y our first stop will be the T opography of T error . For history lovers, this outdoor museum on the site of the former headquarters of the Gestapo and SS is an essential visit. The museum is an outdoor timeline of Nazi terror in Germany.

Today your driver will also drive by the Checkpoint Charlie. After the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the checkpoint remained an official crossing point until the reunification in October 1990 when the booth was removed, and the watchtower was later destroyed. The course of the former wall is now marked on the street with a line of bricks and a copy of the booth and sign that once marked the border crossing was later erected where Checkpoint Charlie once stood.

Afterwards you may stop by the “East-Side Gallery.” This is the longest cohesive section of the Berlin Wall. This stretch of the Berlin Wall has been painted by various artists after the fall and it stretches for a mile or so. Later today, you will also visit one of the most interesting exhibits detailing life in a divided Germany – the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Center. This is located direct at a former border strip on Bernauer Strasse and both the no-man’s-land strip and watchtower have been preserved. The Documentation Center shows the history of the Wall, its construction and how it divided the city. You can walk right in no-man’s land yourself – on the footsteps of those who tried to escape communist oppression and flee to the West.

In the afternoon, take the time to explore a bit of Hackescher Höfe, a series of ambitiously restored industrial courtyards which are now at the center of Berlin night life. The whole area is a hive of smart restaurants and trendy clubs. It is in this area where you will find another interesting place to stop – the small Museum of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind. Known as the “Schindler of Berlin,” this museum will introduce you to the efforts of Otto Weidt to protect his Jewish employees from persecution and deportation.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome

Day 9
Potsdaym | Potsdam Potsdam

Today, after meeting your guide in the hotel lobby, you will drive outside of the city to Potsdam—the former home of Prussian Kings.

En route, you may stop at the famous villa on the Greater Wannsee Lake, where on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials met to discuss the “Final Solution”—the plan of the extermination of the Jews of Europe. This meeting, which only lasted about 90 minutes, has since become known as the ‘Wannsee Conference’. Today, the building serves as a memorial and education center and was featured in the television film Conspiracy. You can also visit the memorial at Track 17, once one of the major sites of the deportation of Berlin Jews.

Potsdam celebrated its 1000th birthday in 1993 and is known for its palaces and beautiful gardens. The enormous Park Sanssouci is among the most beautiful palace complexes in Europe. The Sanssouci Palace was the first building to be erected in Potsdam as a summer residence of Frederick the Great. Over the years, the park was expanded, and new palaces and pavilions were added. You would need at least one whole day to enjoy the park fully. You will tour the old residence of the Prussian Dynasty, which today is a center of culture and history.

Your guide will also take you to the Cecilienhof Palace, the historical venue of the Potsdam Agreement. Built in the style of an English country manor, this was the family home of the Hohenzollern dynasty after they lost the crown. The palace now functions as a hotel with a lovely restaurant located adjacent to the palace where you may wish to have lunch. Lunch cost is not included in your tour.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome

Day 10
Departure | Departure

This morning after check-out, your driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight.

Exeter Services: Airport Transfer

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