Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $280 per person.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline. Deluxe touring motorcoach.
All breakfasts. All dinners. Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods on Day 8.
Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Half-day city sightseeing in Munich: Local Guide, Visit to the Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens
Excursion to Dachau: Visit to the Dachau Memorial Concentration Camp
Guided tour at Neuschwanstein Castle
Tour director-led walking tour in Innsbruck
Visit to the Dürrnberg salt mine in Hallein
Professionally guided walking tour in Salzburg: Visit to Mozart's Birthplace
Optional Excursion to Hellbrunn Palace
Danube cruise Melk-Dürnstein, Sightseeing stop in Dürnstein
Half-day city sightseeing in Vienna
Excursion to Schönbrunn: Visit to Schönbrunn Palace with audioguide
Heuriger dinner in the Vienna Woods: Round-trip transfers
Depart the U.S. for Europe via scheduled carrier. This is the big day! Watch the morning light gather slowly, first off the left-hand side of the airplane, then everywhere. It's the next day, and Germany!
You'll be struck by your first impression of Munich and its landmarks, which have been beautifully restored to their pre-war conditions.
A sightseeing tour in München takes you around the impressive Theresienwiese, site of the famous annual Oktoberfest. In the center of the city discover the grand set-piece boulevards of the Ludwigstrasse and Maximilianstrasse with their Neoclassical palaces, and the monumental Feldherrnhalle where, in 1923, Hitler failed in his attempt at the coup d'état known as the Munich Putsch. See the student area of Schwabing, Königsplatz, the Residenz, the Frauenkirche, whose 300-foot-high onion-domed towers symbolize the Munich skyline, and the historic Marienplatz. The tour ends with a performance of the red-coated mannequins in the Town Hall Glockenspiel.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Munich, will accompany your group.
Visit Nymphenburg Palace, once the summer residence of the Bavarian sovereigns. See rooms decorated in their original Baroque style from the 17th century, as well as Rococo and Neoclassical decor. The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century by an employee of André Le Nôtre, who designed the gardens of Versailles.
Set out for a town located a mere twelve miles from Munich.
Enter KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp, which has been preserved as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
The town of Dachau itself, paradoxically, has long been renowned for the beauty of its scenery and the gaiety of its summer festival.
Today, follow a scenic route into fantasyland.
Enter the dream castle built by Bavaria's "mad" King Ludwig II. About Neuschwanstein, the model for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's castle, it is said that Ludwig employed a stage set designer rather than an architect. The result is pure theatrical fantasy, stimulated by the King's fancy for Wagnerian music: from artificial grottoes to ornate rooms to dazzling views of the Alps from the belvedere.
The "Passion Play" town surrounded by lofty Alpine summits is also renowned for its woodcarving industry. Landmarks include the Parish Church and the many ancient houses adorned with frescoes.
Travel onward to Innsbruck, a scenic Alpine city that hosted the Winter Olympics twice, in 1964 and 1976.
The city's historic center is concentrated in a few small blocks. Your tour director will introduce landmarks such as the Hofburg Palace (summer residence of the Hapsburg monarchs), the cathedral, the Little Golden Roof, Maria-Theresien-Strasse, and the rococo-style Helblinghaus.
Proceed to the small town of Hallein, located at the foot of the Untersberg Mountains. Evidence of salt mining dating back to 600 BC has been found in this region, which is also a center of Celtic culture.
Have fun as you dress in miner's clothes and slide down a chute into the Dürrnberg mine to explore its dark underground chambers and cross the mine's subterranean lake. Multimedia installations complete the entertainment.
Proceed to the city of The Sound of Music!
This evening, a stroll in town, or along the Salzach River, would be a nice way to cap the day.
Get acquainted with the City of Bells (thus nicknamed for the innumerable church bells that regularly chime throughout the day) on a walking tour led by a local guide. Landmarks include Dom zu Salzburg, regarded as the first Baroque cathedral built north of the Alps, the unforgettable Getreidegasse, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the sculptured Horse Trough once reserved exclusively for the horses of the Archbishop of Salzburg.
Visit Mozart's Geburtshaus, the house in which he was born in 1756 and where he composed most of his child-prodigy works. See personal documents, pictures of his family and his childhood instruments.
Plan your free time or consider an optional excursion.
Enjoy an excursion south of the city center.
The highlight of your visit to the 17th-century Schloss Hellbrunn, the summer residence of Salzburg's visionary but somewhat daft ruler Marcus Sitticus, may well be its park. Watch out for the famous Wasserspiele! This amazing system of whimsical trick fountains was designed by Marcus Sitticus himself for his amusement, as he inflicted his unique sense of humor on his unsuspecting guests. Today's visitors share his delight as they dodge the showers that come from nowhere in this quirky repository of fantasy and fun.
Today, discover the beauty of the Danube River Valley.
Head to Melk.
Board a riverboat for a cruise in waltz time on the River Danube and through the scenic valley known as the Wachau. There, dotted among the vine-clad slopes and fields of corn and fruit trees, are innumerable picturesque villages and medieval castles looming in romantic ruin above the river.
You'll see the Baroque parish church and and small, well-kept streets where wrought-iron signs advertise stores and decorative flower boxes adorn dwellings. On a hill overlooking the town stand the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned upon his return from the Third Crusade, back in 1192.
Proceed to Austria's capital city.Hearken to the music, which floats everywhere in the air.
A wealth of sights is yours to discover today. See the Opera House, the Houses of Parliament and Emperor Franz Joseph's Hofburg Palace. A city within a city with more than 2,600 rooms, the Hofburg also houses the Imperial Treasury and the Burgkapelle, which features the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. See the Heldenplatz, where Hitler announced the Anschluss (Annexation) of Austria to the German Reich in 1938.
Enjoy an excursion to the royal hunting lodge that was transformed by Empress Maria-Theresa into the magnificent summer palace of the Hapsburgs. Outside and inside, Schönbrunn presents a dizzying display of Baroque and Rococo art. The park with its fountains is one of the finest examples of 18th-century landscape architecture.
The afternoon is unscheduled.
Visit Freud's house or the House of Music, a museum which uses the latest in audiovisual techniques to offer unequaled, hands-on encounters with music making.
You could climb the 345 steps of the Old Steffel, the south steeple of St. Stephen's Cathedral, to catch a bird's eye view of the city.
Don't miss the Prater Amusement Park (free of admission charge). Attractions (each with a fee) range from old-fashioned carousels to the high-tech Flyboard flight simulator and, of course, the Vienna Ferris Wheel, featured in Orson Wells' 1949 film The Third Man and in James Bond's The Living Daylights. The Riesenradplatz, nearby, is a sparkling venue at night with its shops and restaurants.
Tonight's dinner at a typical Heuriger restaurant in the forested hills of the Wienerwald will be a fitting tribute to a joyful capital city of palaces and music.
Auf Wiedersehen! Bid farewell to Europe at Vienna's airport. You'll arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.
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