Art & Music Tour of Switzerland

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Total Trip:

8 Days
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Countries Visited:

Switzerland
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Places Visited:

Zurich, Lucerne
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The harmonious sounds of the mountains will enchant you while the vast collection of contemporary and historical art will captivate. Your tour will be custom tailored to immerse you in the artistic world of Zurich and Lucerne as you absorb the majestic operatic works of Wagner and the balance of light and dark from Klee’s paintings. Zurich will balance the splendor of the past and present while Lucerne preserves its history by highlighting its roots around the charming cobbled streets. From Chagall

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Day 1

Zurich – Arrive in Switzerland’s Largest City for an Introductory Tour

Zurich is a work of art in and of itself, able to balance its historical district with the more contemporary neighborhoods while preserving its heritage in the fast-paced, globalized world. The streets sing with a fine mixture of musical notes that emanate from the movement of its occupants and the hum of the electric trams that move up and down the streets. The famous Bahnhofstrasse stretches from the train station to the edges of Lake Zurich, spanning nearly 4,000 feet. Fountains trickle with graceful water as trees shade the walkway while distinguished buildings add an artistic allure to the view.

Boutique shops boast creative displays in the windows to use their space along the pedestrianized street to showcase new designs and glistening jewelry. Before your tour begins, your private transfer will meet you at the Zurich airport and escort you into the heart of the city for an introductory tour. Explore the beauty of the Bahnhofstrasse and then venture into the underground display of watches and clocks in the basement of Bahnhofstrasse 31, known as the Uhrenmuseum Beyer Zurich. The exhibit showcases the artistry of clocks and watches throughout time, including a selection of wooden wheels, Nuremberg pendulums, and water clocks. It is the perfect introduction to an art form that has been mastered by the Swiss as the clocks all begin to chime as the day goes by.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

Zurich – Explore the Architectural Splendor of Old Town on a Private Tour

In the morning, the blue spire of the Fraumunster glints in the spreading sunlight. The 9th-century Abbey has three inner aisles and pillars supported the Basilica. The nave was erected between the 13th and 15th centuries and designed with a Gothic style. After breakfast, your guide meet you in the hotel lobby and lead you on an engaging tour of Old Town Zurich to showcase the artistry found in the historical architecture, beginning with the grounds of Fraumunster, where the most iconic images of the church are the five stained glass windows in designed by Marc Chagall.

The master artist used a color scheme to tell the Biblical stories in vivid detail, from Elijah’s ascent to heaven to the story of Moses as the sunlight washes over the glass to accentuate the stories and their bright hues. The old guild-houses along Limmatquai overlook the banks of the Limmat River and reflects the wealth of the former guilds that helped to govern the town until the late 18th century. The Carpenters’ Guild was restored in 2010 and remains one of the oldest guild houses in the Zurich and continues to support carpenters with a membership of approximately 140 workers in the region, providing a space to socialize and entertain near the wide-arched base and Baroque hall of Zurich’s Town Hall.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Zurich – Discover the Past and Present of Swiss Art on a Full Day Tour

Zurich has enough art both inside and outside of its museums to keep lovers of the art world enthralled for days on end. The Museum of Fine Arts features works by renowned painters from across Europe, including Monet and Charles Munch. The Bellerive Museum exhibits applied arts that exploring a variety of topics and themes, from Art Nouveau ear media to marionettes and modern ceramics. Your guide will meet you at your hotel eager to take you on an inclusive tour of Zurich’s artwork to visit the major museums and hidden galleries that showcase the finest collections in the city, and some might say in all of Europe, encompassing the past and present works of treasured artists.

You will begin your tour at the Museum of Fine Arts and meet with the curator of the museum for introspection on the galleries’ designs and the artwork chosen to represent each artist. Find the paintings by Van Gogh and Cezanne that bring to life their impressions of the world near the final days of theirs lives. The 1890 oil painting Houses at Auvers depicts the medieval town outside of Paris in the traditional van Gogh style of textured motions and rounded edges. The straw has a stoic glow with people moving about the homes. After a half-day spent exploring the wonders of the art inside Zurich, you will continue to the small town of Schaffhausen, known for its brightly painted timber-frame houses. Oriel windows let natural light spill into the abodes and coats of arms dictate which home once belonged to whom.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Zurich – Indulge in Zurich’s Music with a Guided Opera and Theater Tour

In the morning, the water of the Limmat River will rush against the shores of the old city. The aroma of fresh chocolate drifts from the confectionaries that overlook the cobblestone streets and draw you out to explore for the day. Today you will discover the hidden gems of Zurich on a musical tour and visit the theaters, actors, and singers of the vibrant venues found across town. Your guide will be an expert in opera and theater production, and will take you for a tour of the drama found both behind the stage, and in front of the curtain.

Step behind the curtain first to visit with the conductors, actors, and singers to learn about the different processes each discipline goes through while training or practicing for upcoming roles. The conductor will explain the importance of hearing each instrument and note individually before it all comes together during a composition. The actors and singers will speak of the importance of listening to their fellow performers and how they work to protect their voices.

The Zurich Opera House was erected in the late 19th century and houses the Zurich Ballet as well as the opera, and you can look forward to learning about both. Wagner performed many of his works inside the original opera house before it burnt down. The neoclassical façade has white and gray stone adorned with busts of famous composers and playwrights. The gallery has a rococo style and seats nearly 1,200 people. Wander through the auditorium to hear the staggering acoustics, and the sheer grandeur of the opera house and the enthusiasm of those you have met who work in the arts will inspire you.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Lucerne – Transfer to Lucerne for an Outstanding Guided Tour of Old Town

The boats along the banks of the Limmat River are found anchored in the light of the morning, but will soon cruise onto the open waters of Lake Zurich. The white sails imitate the bleached mountain peaks of the Alps seen on the distant horizon. After breakfast, your private transfer will escort you to the grand old city of Lucerne, nestled against the shores of Lake Lucerne and referred to as the “Gateway to Central Switzerland.”

Your guide will lead you on an engaging tour of Old Town, where you will once again find artistry in the preservation, restoration, and original construction of the many antique edifices. The sunlight will wash over the stone plazas and highlight the candy-like facades of the half-timbered homes that line the waterfront promenades. True art comes to fruition inside the 14th-century wooden bridge known as the Kapellbrucke that spans the quiet waters of the Reuss River.

More than 100 17th-century paintings hang beneath the rafters and are decorated with patron saints that illustrate scenes from Lucerne’s history. Your tour will end at the elaborate scene of the Lion Monument, which was designed in the 19th century in memoriam of the Swiss Guard who died while defending King Louis XVI at the start of the French Revolution in 1792. A lion was carved into the granite cliff that overlooks a reflective pond, and the figure leans over a broken shield with a Fleur-de-Lis embroidered onto the surface. The lifelike emotion on the lion’s face stirs visitors from around the world from the monument’s inception to today.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Lucerne – Visit the Rosengart Collection and the Hidden Gems of Swiss Art

The mornings in Lucerne carry the sweet scent of marzipan and the refreshing aroma of the fresh water nearby. You will wake with excitement as you embark on a private tour of the Rosengart Collection to find an incredible collection of works by both Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. The paintings contrast with the galleries’ white walls as each work has a substantial space around it for you to absorb the brush strokes, pencil marks, colors, and creativity without being overwhelmed by too many pieces in your view at once.

The soft light allows the hues of color to shine and shimmer as the artist intended without the false sheen of halogens. Follow the progression of Klee’s style and technique through the 125 paintings and drawings on display in the museum as the subtle aroma of oils emanates from the canvases found around the galleries. Your footsteps will echo off of the wooden plank floor while the narrative wealth in Klee’s work will transform pictures into rhythms and harmonious shapes. The pen, ink and watercolor painting “Fish Picture,” completed in 1925, depicts a school of fish floating in the sunlight that is pierced the deep blue sea. The sheer number of incredible and colorful images found in the Rosengart collection will bring insight into the development of creative thought through history.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Lucerne – Relish History and a Piano Concert at the Wagner Museum

Great composers have been know to say that they hear music everywhere, from the streets of the town to the sounds of sunrise. After breakfast, your guide will escort you to the former residence of the music revolutionary, Richard Wagner. The 19th-century composer lived in the country house in Tribschen from 1866 to 1872, and today the house contains artifacts from Wagner’s lifetime, including a series of musical compositions, letters, and instruments. The luxurious home overlooks the shores of Lake Lucerne as cypress trees flank the edifice and rise like the mountaintops in the distance.

The manor was constructed in the 18th century with windows and views typical of the early 1800s. Your guide will lead you on a tour of the interior and point out the highlight of the collection, an Erard grand piano. Pianists continue to perform Wagner’s works using that very piano. For an unforgettable pleasure, you will relish a private concert of the works Wagner completed while residing in this home, which includes Siegfried Idyll and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. Listening to the masterworks of Wagner while in the home where they were composed will bring an uncontrollable smile and make each chord sound that much richer.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Lucerne – Depart for Home

The captivating beauty of Lucerne promotes art through its very existence. The medieval structures and remarkable museums, creative gastronomy and inspiring landscape breathe life into the creativity of artistic souls. Before breakfast, you can stroll along the 14th-century ramparts that connect nine different towers as each depicts a style of a different architectural era. The Zyt tower, one of Lucerne’s remaining clock towers, chimes four minutes before the hour, leading the harmony of which the remaining clocks follow. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you back to Zurich for your flight home. Instead of returning home, you could venture deeper into the mountains of Switzerland to experience nature’s unparalleled artistry in the form of the Alps.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Take in a private concert dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner inside the celebrated composer’s former Swiss residence
  • Discover the spectacular artworks of the past and present during a private guided tour of Zurich’s coveted art museums, the home to classical masters and inspiring modern artists alike
  • Meet with notable composers, actors, and singers on a private tour focused on the art of theater and opera, including an exploration of Zurich’s opera house
  • Experience the beauty of the surrounding architecture as you stroll along the cobblestone streets and brightly painted facades of Lucerne’s historical Old Town
  • Spend time with the art of Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee at the magnificent Rosengart Museum, as collected personally by the museum’s founder
  • Stroll beneath the 17th-century paintings that demonstrate the mythology of Lucerne alongside Biblical history along the rafters of the wooden bridges
  • See the masterful array of the window displays along Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse  
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Detailed Description

Art is subjective and speaks to us all through sound, aroma and visual aesthetics. Your 8-day tour of Switzerland will bring you on an unforgettable journey through the artistic life and style of Zurich and Lucerne. From the medieval architecture of contemporary theater to master painters and wrought iron statues, you will discover the works that speak to and inspire you from Switzerland’s diverse collection of celebrated art. Your exploration will begin with your arrival in Zurich as your private transfer will escort you from the airport to the heart of the city with a private introductory tour of Zurich’s shopping street.

Learn to view the city through a view that is shaped by the skyline and accentuated by the window displays. Wake the next morning, and your guide will lead you through the cobbled streets of the old town to view stained glass grandeur and the preserved medieval structures that will appeal to your sense of history and artistic vision. The next day, you will travel through a collection of museums in and outside of Zurich on a private tour and meet with curators and artists alike. Tour the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Museum of Art before visiting the villages of Winterthur and Schaffhausen.

Listen to the music of Zurich the following day with a guided tour of the best musical venues and theaters found around the city. Meet with actors, singers, and composers before indulging in a private viewing of a practice show, and then relish a private moment in Zurich’s opera house as you listen to your voice bouncing off of the walls of the auditorium.

Transfer next to Lucerne to explore the artistic structures of Old Town, along with the paintings adorning the wooden bridges. Enjoy the hidden charms of Lucerne the next day as you wander through the Rosengart Museum to find paintings, notes, and drawings by Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. The next day, indulge in the music of Wagner at his former residence along the shores of Lake Lucerne and then explore the museum exhibits before listening to a private concert of the works the famous composer completed while living at Tribschen. Conclude as your private transfer escorts you to the Zurich airport for your flight home. 

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Starting Price

$3195 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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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.

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