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.

Download PDF Itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$7,100 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Munich

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

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on an overview walking tour of Munich’s Old Town.

You will see the Karlstor (Carl’s Gate) which was once part of the city’s medieval fortifications. Further east, you will pass the Burersaal (Citizens' Hall) which dates from the early 18th century and was initially a house of worship for the local Jesuits before becoming a church in 1778. Heavily damaged by the Allied air raids in the Second World War, it was rebuilt to its original form in 1945 and 1946. The façade with its double pilasters is the original, as is the statue of the Virgin with the Child on a crescent moon over the entrance.

You may wish to see the historic Frauenkirche church. This site was originally occupied by a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, before this new church with the distinctive copper onion domes was erected in the 15th Century. It is one of Germany’s largest Gothic buildings, able to accommodate a congregation of up to 20,000. You can take the elevator to the top of one of the over-300-feet-tall onion-domed towers for a good view of central Munich. Just right of the entrance, the sarcophagus of the Emperor Ludwig IV is carved from black marble and surrounded by figures of kneeling knights.

Nearby is the Marienplatz (Mary’s Square), which has been Munich’s focal point since it was first laid in the 1300s. Originally a marketplace, the square was later used for public events like fairs, proclamations, and executions. It is now dominated by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary atop a column erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of the Swedish occupation of the city. Don’t miss the 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.

Continuing your walk north of Marienplatz, you will soon reach the historic street Maximilianstrasse which was built to connect the Old Town and the Imperial residence with the river Isar further east. Today, this exclusive avenue is lined by neo-gothic palaces which house, among others, the Schauspielhaus - one of the most important German language theaters in the world; the building of the Bavarian Parliament; and the Museum of Ethnology. The western portion of Maximilianstrasse is known for its designer shops, luxury boutiques, and jewelry stores.

To finish your tour, you will visit the Residenz – the former residence of the Bavarian kings and the largest downtown palace in Germany. A fortress was first built on this spot in the 14th Century, which was gradually replaced by a palace complex, which itself was later modified and expanded in stages and styles through the centuries. Restored to its original form after the bombings of the Second World War, the huge palace complex now contains seven courtyards, lavish living quarters which have housed foreign dignitaries, and several museums including the Residenz Museum, the Treasury (Schatzkammer), the richly gilded Rococo Cuvilliés Theater, and the Antiquarium – a large Renaissance ceremonial hall which is also the oldest surviving part of the palace complex.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte The Charles

Day 3
Bavaria | Bavaria

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.

Exeter Services: Vehicle and Driver (10 Hours)

Hotel: Rocco Forte The Charles

Day 4
Munich-Berlin | Munich-Berlin

Meet your driver for your private transfer to the train station for the journey to Berlin.

The journey takes about 4 hours; tickets are not included in the program cost and will be quoted separately; please inquire about cost of transfer with private driver.

Upon arrival, private transfer with assistance to the hotel and rest of the day at leisure.

Your hotel is right in Gendarmenmarkt – one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares, which was created in the 17th century as a marketplace. Its center is crowned by a statue of the famous German poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller. Many of the historic buildings surrounding the square were destroyed in the Second World War but have been restored to their former state. Among these, worth noting are the magnificent neo-classical Concert Hall with its colonnaded portico, as well as the French and the German Cathedrals on both sides of the Gendarmenmarkt square.

Exeter Services: Train Station Transfers

Hotel: Regent

Day 5
Berlin | Berlin

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. As you walk down this street, your guide will tell you some of the history of this area of the city, when Unter den Linden was originally a bridle path.

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. Don’t skip the information center located underground.

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.

Today if you wish, you might enjoy lunch at Käfer, the restaurant at the top of the Reichstag. Your guide will say goodbye here and will explain to you how to return to your hotel after lunch. If you wish, you can also step into Tiergarten for a stroll in the afternoon.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Regent

Day 6
Potsdam | Potsdam

Today, after meeting your guide in the hotel lobby, you will head to Potsdam - the former home of Prussian Kings, onboard the express train.

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.

Note: Public transportation will be used today. Taxis will be available in Potsdam if preferred, and are payable locally. Please inquire about cost for the services of a private driver for the day.

Exeter Services: Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Regent

Day 7
Departure | Berlin

Today, meet your driver in the lobby of your hotel for the transfer to the airport for your journey onwards.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

Meet a ballerina in St Petersburg
Extraordinary Experiences
VIEW VIEW page

Extraordinary Experiences

Discover our insider access Extraordinary Experiences.

VIEW PAGE
Exeter Team
The Experts
VIEW VIEW page

The Experts

Meet the Experts that will make your trip extraordinary.

VIEW PAGE
Rovinj, Istria
View Our Destinations
VIEW VIEW page

View Our Destinations

Our specialty is in the countries that link East & West, both in Europe, and between Europe & Asia.

VIEW PAGE
Family travel
View Our Trip Types
VIEW VIEW page

View Our Trip Types

How do you like to travel? View your choices here.

VIEW PAGE