The Magic of Germany's Magnificent Christmas Markets

Christmas market on the Frankfurt Römer, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
A 9 day trip to Germany 
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Winterly Germany with its enchanting Christmas Markets is the perfect place to spend your Christmas Holiday.  Explore the stalls of Nuremberg's famous Christmas Market, soak up the Christmassy atmosphere of the villages of the Black Forest and immerse yourself in the festive ambiance of Bavaria's festively decorated towns. Soak in the magical, festive atmosphere: the aromas of mulled wine, hot chestnuts and gingerbread cookies, as well as the cheerful voices of kids skating on the nearby ice rink… All against a backdrop of snowflakes, it’s the perfect, enchanting winter scene!

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Heidelberg, Black Forest, Nuremberg, Rothenburg, Romantic Road, Oberammergau, Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Palace, Munich, Salzburg

Departure Dates 

Germany's Christmas Markets commence on 29th November. While most markets end on 23rd December some are open until 5th january

Detailed Itinerary 

DAY 1  - ARRIVAL IN FRANKFURT & HEIDELBERG

Arrival in Frankfurt

You will be welcomed by your Distinctly Deutschland Driver & Guide at Frankfurt International Airport. After storing your luggage in your spacious DD minivan we will head South towards charming Heidelberg

Transfer to Heidelberg

After a little over 1h on a stretch of speed-limit-less German Autobahn you will be arriving in Heidelberg, one of Germany‘s prettiest cities nestled on the shores of River Neckar.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg, left unharmed in WWII, is famous for its magnificent Castle overlooking the Neckar Valley, and its 700 year old university. With its baroque city center, picturesque nooks and crannies and the Neckar river calmly flowing under the Old Bridge it is simply an extraordinarily pleasant place to visit. Stroll the narrow streets of the Old Town Centre of Heidelberg, walk up „Philosopher‘s way“ granting exhilarating views of the old city, its old castle and the surrounding valley.

Heidelberg boasts no less than 4 Christmas Markets. Soak up the festive atmosphere of Heidelberg‘s largest market around market place. In the later afternoon we recommend to rise to Heidelberg Castle and take in the special ambiance of the Christmas Market in front of the castle while you‘ll enjoy the mesmerizing views of winterly Heidelberg during sunset.

Dinner at Heidelberg restaurant

For dinner we recommend a traditional restaurant on the banks of the Neckar River while you enjoy Spaetzle and other local fare.

DAY 2 - BADEN-BADEN & THE BLACK FOREST

Transfer  Baden-Baden

After less than one hour you will reach the Northern End of the legendary Black Forest and arrive in the picturesque Belle Epoque town of Baden-Baden, beautifully nestled in the valleys of the Black Forest. 

After checking into your lovely hotel we suggest to spend a relaxing day enjoying this lovely and inspiring town with its storybook villas and meticulously kept parks. Select from a wide choice of activities ranging from exploring the quaint town centre to visiting a fabulous Art Nouveau 19th century Hot Springs Spa to an excursion to mystical Lake Mummelsee in the heights of the Black Forest mountain range.

Museum Frieder Burda - sponsored by a publishing tycoon - is one of Germany‘s finest art museums If you are a lucky gambler visit the elegant and traditional Casino of Baden-Baden, where Dostoevsky and Mark Twains were regulars at the roulette table.

Take a glance at the last day of Baden-Baden‘s enchanting Christmas Market - one of Germany‘s finest. It operates until December 30th.

Dinner

There is a range of fabulous restaurants in Baden-Baden. Weather permitting we recommend a local cuisine restaurant on a hill near Baden-Baden, granting wonderful views of Baden-Baden and the Rhine Valley all the way to the French border.

DAY 3 - ROTHENBURG

Baden Baden via Stuttgart to Rothenburg

After criss-crossing the hills and valleys of the mystical Black Forrest we will be passing the city of Stuttgart, cradle of the German automobile before you continue your journey to the picturesque medieval town of Rothenburg.

Rothenburg

Rothenburg - Germany‘s best-preserved and prettiest medieval town has managed to retain pretty much the same look and feel as it probably had in the 1600s. Ranking amongst Germany‘s top 10 cities until AD 1600 the town has been sidelined by world history ever since - and at the same time successfully escaped military turbulences and architectural temptations of later centuries.

Embark on a discovery tour of the Rothenburg‘s  historic town center encircled by its ancient city wall and imposing defense towers, walk the narrow cobble-stoned streets and explore the many charming corners of this medieval treasure chest.  Marvel at the quaint little shops selling their traditional fare in century-old half-timbered houses.

Rothenburg‘s historic half-timbered buildings are the perfect backdrop for its enchanting Christmas Market on Market Square. Anybody fond of decorating her home at Christmas will warm her heart at Kate Wohlfahrt‘s famous Christmas Museum.

Night Watchman of Rothenburg

Meet your medieval knight, in authentic dress, who will guide you with his lantern through the town’s narrow lanes and share heroic tales of the shrewd Rothenburgers and their efforts defending the city against many aggressors’ fruitless campaigns.

DAY 4 - EXCURSION TO NUREMBERG

Nuremberg

After a scenic 1 hour drive across the rolling hills of Franconia we‘ll arrive in the historic town of Nuremberg. You‘ll checking-in at your charming Nuremberg hotel you will set out for a first discovery of the beautiful city of Nuremberg. The city has repeatedly been ranked as on of the 25 most livable cities in the world.

Nuremberg

Nuremberg prospered as an Imperial City in the Middle Ages and today boasts one of Europe‘s largest medieval town centers - with Nuremberg Castle proudly towering over the city. Stroll the Old Town Centre, walk the city‘s many medieval bridges, get mesmerized by the city‘s many architectural monuments or visit renaissance artist Albrecht Durer‘s birth house.

Nuremberg Christmas Market

„Christkindlesmarkt“ - that‘s what Nurembergers lovingly call  their Christmas market in the heart of the old town centre. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is probably Germany‘s finest and most renown Christmas Market.

The whole city of Nuremberg oozes a solemn pre-Christmas season atmosphere, shops are beautifully decorated, food stalls sell yummy fare including their famous Nuremberg Bratwursts.

Day 5 – ROMANTIC ROAD

Romantic Road to Oberammergau

After breakfast you will commence our smooth drive along Bavaria‘s most scenic road - the Romantic Road. After passing romantic Dinkelsbühl with its cobblestoned streets and half-timbered houses and the pretty town of Nördlingen, famous for its entirely circular ancient city wall we will make a stopover at Augsburg with its picturesque little streets and streams.

Wies Church

On our way to Oberammergau we‘ll make the little detour to Wieskirche - one of the world‘s most magnificent rococo churches declared a UNESCO world heritage site for its beauty.

Oberammergau

In the early afternoon we will arrive in the picturesque village of Oberammergau where we have reserved a room wonderful alpine style hotel for you. Oberammergau is not only home to the world-famous Passion Play (regretfully, the grandiose play takes place only every 10 years) but is also a quintessentially charming picture book alpine village.

Discover the many charming corners of Oberammergau and explore the village‘s Christmassy atmosphere.

Dinner

Bavarian dishes and home-brewed beer in Maximilian‘s Bräu

DAY 6 - NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle private tour

While everybody else will be visiting the castle in large audio-guided groups amongst thousands of daily visitors you will have the privilege of having one of the wolds‘s most grandiose castles all for yourself: A personal expert guide will give you a private tour of Neuschwanstein before the droves of tourists arrive. You‘ll discover the squiggly inside of grandiose Neuschwanstein Castle, take a glance at the royal chambers of late King Ludwig of Bavaria and enjoy the splendid views from the castle‘s towers.

Walk up to Marienbrücke for some breath-taking perspectives of Neuschwanstein majestically towering over Lake Alpsee. Descend via spectacular Poellath Gorge and return to the shores of lovely Lake Alpsee located just underneath the castle.

Partnach Gorge & Garmisch

Before reaching Oberammergau you will pass Garmisch - host city of the 1936 Olympics- Just a short walk from Garmsich‘s Olympic Stadium is the entrance to one of Germany's natural wonders: Partnach Gorge. An adventurous walkway carved into the rock takes you past torrential streams of glacial waters.

Linderhof Palace

is our favorite amongst King Ludwig‘s castles where Ludwig was able to implement all his romantic inspirations - ranging from Versailles-style gardens to his private Venus Grotto where he listened to Wagner music while rowing in his golden swan-shaped boat. An exceptional privately guided tour of the palace will provide access to astounding rooms and anecdotes unavailable to the regular visitor.

Day 7 - MUNICH

Oberammergau to Munich

We continue our drive to Munich, capital city of Bavaria  within just 1 hour, along beautiful Bavarian lakes and check in at your modern and stylish Hotel in the heart of the city.

Munich Discovery Tour

After some refreshments at your hotel your Munich Distinct Guide will take you for a first discovery tour of Munich.

Munich uniquely combines its rich folkloristic traditions with the blessings of a modern and elegant city. Get immersed by Munich’s charming city center and its mediterranean-style atmosphere. Walk across busy Marienplatz, absorb Munich‘s pulsating street life or take a glance at one of the city‘s wonderful baroque churches.

After a beer garden lunch in English Garden we‘ll continue our discovery of Munich‘s highlights as well as its hidden gems. Stroll across Viktualienmarkt where local merchants offer their yummy fare, ascend to the top of Frauenkirche‘s church tower and marvel at the wonderful views of Munich and the Alps. Visit famous „Residenz“, the city residence of Bavarian kings with its awe-inspiring baroque interior.

The Munich Christmas Market on Marienplatz in front of Munich‘s town hall is one of Germany‘s oldest - and this is only one of several lovely Christmas Markets across Munich.

Dinner

Dinner and perhaps oompah music at one of Munich‘s traditional brew houses.

DAY 8 - MUNICH

Optional: Dachau Concentration Camp

Dachau Concentration Camp just 20 miles outside Munich was Germany‘s first concentration camp. More than 40,000 inmates lost their lives before American troops liberated the camp in April 1945. A specifically licensed guide will take you on a remarkable tour of the sobering remains of the concentration camp, its barracks as well as its crematory and provide a compassionate and authentic account of life and death at Dachau.

Nymphenburg Castle

Nymphenburg Castle used to be the summer residence of Bavarian Kings until monarchy ended in 1918. The magnificent setting of the castle with its Versailles-style gardens as well as its baroque interior make this one of Munich‘s most fascinating attractions.

Munich‘s charming neighborhoods

After a light lunch in a typical Munich brew house we will head for Englischer Garten where Munichers relax, pic-nic and play. We then move on to discover Munich‘s many charming neighborhoods such as Gärtnerviertel, Schwabing or Lehel.

Dinner

Dinner at a local restaurant according to your preference. We gladly assist with recommendations and reservations.

OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY - SALZBURG

Salzburg

Set out for the discovery of the fascinating city of Salzburg. Set against a picture-perfect Alpine backdrop, and Hohensalzburg Fortress majestically towering over the Old Town, Salzburg is clearly one of Europe’s loveliest cities.

Salzburg's Old Town Center has been classified as a World
Heritage Site thanks to its countless church spires and duck-
egg copper domes all packed between the natural beauties that are the temptingly turquoise yet glacial Salzach River and the steep gradients of Mount Mönchsberg.

More than anything, Salzburg takes pride in its international reputation as the ‘City of Music’. As well as being the birthplace of Wolfgang A. Mozart, it’s also home to the planet’s largest and most prestigious Opera Festival and is know the world over for featuring in the iconic 60’s musical movie ‘The Sound of Music

Put simply, Salzburg is a city to stroll around, to absorb the atmosphere from its grandiose baroque architecture down to its cosy coffee houses, browsing the elegant shops in Getreidegasse or sampling some hearty local cuisine...

Salzburg Shopping and Christmas Market

Walk the narrow streets of Salzburg‘s town center and absorb the solemn Christmas atmosphere of this charming city preparing itself for Christmas Eve. Glance at the majestic Christmas tree in front of the cathedral and marvel at the picturesque Christmas decorations. Take advantage of the distinct Christmas shopping opportunity in Salzburg‘s quaint little stores.

Optional: Dinner & Evening Performance

Since in Salzburg you stumble upon music on every footstep we recommend attending a performance either at the famous Salzburger Schlosskonzerte or another venue.

DAY 9  - DEPARTURE FROM MUNICH

Transfer to Munich Airport

In a DD limousine you will be driving to Munich‘s International airport while you gather your final impressions of Southern Germany.

Departure

After checking 

Price

Starting Price 

$2,695
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

What's Not Included 

lunch and dinner