Fly to MunichEnjoy full meal service on your scheduled wide-bodied flight to Munich.
Day2Arrive in Munich
Meet Your Tour DirectorWe will be met at the airport by our WorldStrides Tour Director, board our own private coach and transfer to our hotel.
Explore MunichUpon our arrival we will explore the Aldstadt (Old Quarter) of Munich, beginning at the Karlstor, once a gate to the walled city. We continue with a stroll down Neuhauser Street, Munich’s largest shopping street with typical 19th century buildings, outdoor cafes and shops. Next we will visit Michaelskirche, the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps with the second largest barrel vaulted roof in the world.
Day3The Heart of Munich
FrauenkircheOur sightseeing this morning begins with a visit to Frauenkirche, the largest Gothic assembly building in southern Germany, and the seat of the Archbishop of Munich. With its twin towers, topped with onion domes, the church has become a symbol of the city.
MarienplatzNext we will explore the area of Munich around the Marienplatz, dedicated to the patron of the city, the heart of the Altstadt. We will begin at the Neues Rathaus, where we will observe the Glockenspiel on the façade, the fourth largest chiming clock in Europe, which stages an elaborate performance twice a day. Those that choose will have the opportunity to climb the 55 steps to the top of its tower for a good overall view of the city center. After viewing Peterskirche and the Altes Rathaus, we will visit Asamkirche, a church designed by the Asam brothers, which offers the full effect of Gothic artistic expression and a mysterious theatrical illusion of another world.
Alte PinakothekThis afternoon we will visit the Alte Pinakothek, one of the world’s great art museums. The museum houses a large and important collection that represents the greatest European artists from the 14th through the 18th centuries, including Botticelli, Raphael, Titian , Durer, Holbein, Rembrandt, Rubens, Bruegel, Hals and El Greco.
Day4Day Trip to Garmish Partenkirchen
Passion Play TheaterToday we travel to Oberammergau, a town famous for its woodcarvings and performance of the Passion Play. Today we will take a guided tour of the Passion Play Theater and learn about the beginnings of its performance here and go backstage to see the costumes.
Oberammergau MuseumThen we will visit the Oberammergau Museum that displays the woodcarvings of the townsfolk, presenting traditional Bavarians and religious scenes.
Garmisch and PartenkirchenWe continue to the twin villages of Garmisch and Partenkirchen, which make up Germany's top alpine resort. In spite of their urban flair, the towns maintain the charm of an ancient village, often with country folk in traditional dress. The town and its environs offer some of the most panoramic views and colorful buildings in Bavaria. Upon our return to Munich, we will go have a beer at the Hofbrauhaus.
Day5Munich – Chiemsee – Salzburg
Travel to SalzburgToday we will journey from Munich to Salzburg, our base for the next 2 nights. The history of Salzburg can be traced back as far as the fifth century B.C. when a settlement was founded by the Celts. By the eighth century A.D. the city was reborn beneath Saint Rupert who renamed the city Salzburg. It is also well known as the birthplace of famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Located along the banks of the Salzach River and nestled along the northern boundary of the Alps, Salzburg is a beautiful area to visit.
Free TimeUpon our arrival you are free to explore the city. Dinner will later be served.
Walking tour of Old CityOur day begins with a Walking Tour through the Old City, a maze of meandering lanes, curious steeples, cobbled streets and spacious squares. Here we will view Mozart's Birthplace, the Old Square, the Cathedral, and the Residenz. A highlight of our walk will be the Glockenspiel, an early 18th century carillon with 35 bells, which we can hear from one of the cafes lining the edges of the Mozartplatz, while sipping our favorite coffee or drink.
ResidenzWe continue with a visit to the Residenz, Salzburg’s opulent palace, which was the seat of the Salzburg prince-archbishops. The child prodigy Mozart often played in the Conference Room for guests, and in 1867, Emperor Franz Joseph received Napoléon III in the palace. We will enjoy a tour of the richly decorated State Rooms, and the Residenzgalerie Salzburg, an art gallery that contains European paintings from the 16th to the 19th century, displayed in 15 historic rooms.
Salzburg CathedralWe continue with a visit to Salzburg Cathedral, world renowned for its 4,000-pipe organ. Hailed by some critics as the "most perfect" Renaissance building in the Germanic countries, the cathedral has a marble facade and twin symmetrical towers.
GetreidegasseWe will conclude our afternoon on Salzburg’s most famous street, the Getreidegasse, which is lined with small shops, interesting houses and wrought-iron signs.
Day7Salzburg – Melk– Vienna
Melk AbbeyThis morning we travel to the historic town of Melk, where we will visit Melk Abbey, one of the finest baroque buildings in the world. Our tour of the Abbey will include: the Marble Hall, which contains pilasters coated in red marble, and a richly painted allegorical picture on the ceiling; the Library with some 80,000 original volumes; and the Kaisergang (Emperors' Gallery), which is decorated with portraits of Austrian rulers.
Danube CruiseOurdaycontinuesasweboardaDanubeCruise Ship for a scenic cruise through the Wachau Valley. The relaxing cruise will take us past some of Austria’s most breathtaking castles, abbeys and river towns. Our cruise will conclude in Krems, where we will meet our coach and return to Vienna.
Hofburg ChapelOur morning begins with mass at Hofburg Chapel, where we will have the opportunity to hear the Vienna Boys Choir sing as they have every Sunday since 1498. Maximillian I founded the choir when he called 12 boys to the imperial court to form a music band and has produced some of the most talented vocalists, violinist, and pianists.
HofburgThisafternoon,we will visit to the former winter palace of the Habsburgs, the vast and impressive Hofburg, which sits in the heart of Vienna. This complex of imperial edifices grew with the empire, so that today the palace is virtually a city within a city. Our visit will include the Imperial Apartments; the Imperial Treasury, featuring the crown jewels and an assortment of imperial riches; the Spanish Riding School, where we will marvel at the skill and beauty of the sleek Lippizaner stallions as their adept trainers put them through their paces in a show that hasn't changed for 4 centuries. (Subject to availability and performance schedule); We will also visit the Lippizaner Museum, a permanent exhibition, which depicts the historic inception of the Spanish Riding School.
Day9Vienna: The Belvedere Quarter
Karlsplatzur morning commences in Karlsplatz, where we will visit Karlskirche, dedicated to St Charles Borromeo, patron saint of the plague. This richly eclectic Baroque masterpiece is dominated on the outside by a massive Dome and two columns, which were inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome.
The BelvedereOur morning continues to the Palaces and Gardens of the Belvedere, the former summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belevedere consists of two palaces linked by a formal garden laid out in the French style. Our specialist-guided tour begins at the Upper Belvedere, featuring an impressive façade designed to reflect Prince Eugene’s glory. In addition to the impressive interiors of the Sala Terrena, with its sweeping staircase, the chapel and the Marble Hall, the building also houses collections of 19th and 20th century paintings, including the Gustav Klimt Collection, belonging to the Austrian Gallery.
Tour Lower BelvedereAfter a stroll through the spectacular Gardens, we will continue our tour through the Lower Belvedere. The Museum of Austrian Baroque Art is housed in the elegant rooms of the Lower Belvedere. Works of art by the artists and sculptors who shaped the city during Vienna’s Golden Age are on display.
Orangery Our final visit will be the Orangery, which houses the Museum of Austrian Medieval Art, including Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings and sculpture.
Day10The Sons of Vienna
Votive ChurchThis morning we begin with a visit to the Votive Church, which was built after a failed assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Joseph. A collection was taken for the construction of the church, which sits across from the site where the attempt wasmade. HeinrichvonFerstelbeganworkontheneo-Gothic church in 1856, but it was not consecrated until 1879. The magnificent facade features awesome lacy spires and intricate sculpture, and most noteworthy is the Renaissance sarcophagus tomb of Niklas Salm, who commanded Austrian forces during the Turkish siege in 1529.
Kunsthistorisches MuseumNext we take a tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Fine Arts Museum), housing one of Europe’s finest art collections compiled by the Hapsburgs. The collection includes great works from some of Europe’s greatest artists, including Bruegel, Rubens, Durer, Hals, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian and Velasquez, just to name a few.
StadtparkOur day concludes in the Stadtpark, a lovely park that lies on the slope where the Danube used to overflow into the Inner City before the construction of the Danube Canal. Many memorial statues stand in the park; the best known depicts Johann Strauss Jr., composer of operettas and waltzes like The Blue Danube Waltz. We will also view monuments to Franz Schubert and Hans Makart, all of which are surrounded by verdant squares of grass, well-manicured flower gardens, and plenty of benches.
Day11Departure from Vienna
Head HomeOur enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as our WorldStrides Tour Director accompanies us to the airport for our return flight home.