Welcome to Munich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a special welcome dinner with wine at one of Munich’s lively restaurants. (D)
Day 2: Munich
. Sightseeing with a Local Guide of Germany’s “Secret Capital” features the Olympic Stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics; the 1,000-foot-high Television Tower; Königsplatz, used for Nazi Party rallies during World War II; and the HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL. Drive along the Ludwigstrasse, and see the Bavarian Arch of Triumph and Field Marshall Hall. Also visit lively MARIENPLATZ with the Old and the New Town Halls and the gothic Frauenkirche. An optional excursion to Linderhof Castle, one of Ludwig’s prettiest castles, and the picturesque Passion Play town of Oberammergau is available. (B)
Day 3: Munich–Neuschwanstein–Innsbruck, Austria–Salzburg.
Drive into the garden-like landscapes of the Bavarian Alps and [LF] visit King Ludwig’s NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, which famously inspired Walt Disney. Enjoy magnificent views of the Alps from high up, then have lunch at the foot of the castle with local specialties like Bratwurst (sausage) or a Suppe (soup). On to Innsbruck in the Tyrolean mountains for a walk through the quaint medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Time to shop for crystal, for which Innsbruck is famous, before continuing to Mozart’s hometown, Salzburg. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Salzburg
. A pleasant stroll with a Local Guide takes you through the historic center. Admire exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, ST. PETER’S CHURCHYARD, and the monumental Domplatz. Also visit MOZART’S BIRTHPLACE in the charming Getreidegasse. Afternoon at leisure. Sites from The Sound of Music will delight you both during the morning tour and on the available optional excursion to Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. (B)
Day 5: Salzburg–Mondsee–Vienna.
Visit the PARISH CHURCH in Mondsee, which was used for the wedding scenes in The Sound of Music. A leisurely [LF] DANUBE CRUISE (departures April 13-October 19) along the most scenic section of the river follows, and during the cruise you can enjoy Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). Arrive in Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire. An optional excursion to the wine village of Grinzing is a possibility tonight. (B)
Day 6: Vienna.
Start your guided sightseeing with a visit to magnificent SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE, modeled after France’s Palace of Versailles. Then, drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian Imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards, famous Heldenplatz, and awesome St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Time to savor Sachertorte and watch the jolly crowd in one of Vienna’s famous coffee houses or choose from our exciting optional possibilities. (B)
Day 7: At Leisure in Vienna.
For those who wish to “see it all,” there is a chance to join an interesting optional excursion to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. Tonight, a [LF] farewell dinner with wine and a classical concert awaits you at the Kursalon, the best way to say, “Auf Wiedersehen, Wien.” (B,D)
Day 8: Vienna
.Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)