Christmas Tours in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

Come explore Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, home to imperial palaces and fairy-tale castles, Bavarian villages and Baroque cities, the mysterious Black Forest and the snow-capped Alps. This is storybook Europe, where half-timbered inns painted with festive flowers lean over quiet country roads, and the Gothic spires of castles rise from craggy bluffs above the Rhine River. These destinations are spectacular adventures any time of the year, but for an even more magical experience, come during the Christmas season to join festivities celebrating the holiday season which date back to the Middle Ages. Travelers looking for a different Christmas experience are in for a delicious and visually enchanting treat when visiting these countries from late November until Christmas each year. With so much charm, fantasy, and tradition, a trip to these countries during the Christmas season is bound to inspire awe in any traveler, and luckily there are several tour options available to allow you to make the most of these Christmas-wonder-lands.

Classic Christmas Markets - Nuremburg to Frankfurt by Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

by Uniworld Boutique Ri...
8 days
Start in Nuremberg and end in Frankfurt. With this tour you have an 8 day package taking you through Nuremberg and 6 other destinations in Germany, including: Bamberg, Kitzingen, Rothenburg, Wurzburg, Wertheim, and Frankfurt. The tour includes an expert guide, meals, and transport. Take this fabulous journey that will make you believe in holiday magic all over again. Long ago, people gathered on cobblestone squares to buy the tools and ingredients they needed to make the treats of the season. They kept warm with hot spiced wine, music and games while they shopped and chatted with the local tradesmen. Those were the first Christmas markets, 500 years ago. Today, though the light comes from twinkling electric bulbs rather than torches, the charm and fun still prevail. Discover villages with fairytale houses and a friendly, festive atmosphere. Share traditional holiday goodies with the people who made them. Watch as modern children abandon their usual electronics and discover the enchantment of hand-carved wooden toys, as scents of cinnamon and roasting nuts fill the air. Sail through Christmas country, trying Frankfurt's famous apple cider, Bamberg's specially brewed holiday beer and Nuremberg's gingerbread. Throughout, cozy up to steaming mugs of warm spiced wine and do as the locals do by collecting different mugs from each stall and town you visit. Embrace the holiday spirit in Germany, the land where many Christmas traditions began, and find the magic of the season in the smiles that you meet along the way. Those wanting to experience the quintessential magic of the holidays while shopping for one-of-a kind treasures and discovering the legends behind some of our most popular holiday traditions will fall in love with the holiday and traditions on this tour.

Christmas on the Elbe by Croise

by CroisiEurope River C...
7 days
Start in Berlin and end in Dresden. With the river cruise tour Christmas on the Elbe, you have a 7 day tour taking you through Berlin and 4 other destinations in Germany, including: Magdeburg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Meissen, and Dresden. Christmas on the Elbe includes more. Passengers are welcome to board at 6:00 p.m. After comfortably settling into your cabins, you'll be introduced to the crew at a welcome cocktail before dinner. Enjoy an optional panoramic tour of Berlin to catch a glimpse of all the must-see sites and visit the city's Christmas market. In the afternoon, join an optional tour of Cecilienhof Palace. Enjoy some time cruising the river. At Magdeburg - situated midway on the Elbe River and also on the historic Roman Roads- explore The Lutheran Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice, which is the highest church building in eastern Germany. Enjoy some free time on your own at the local Christmas market before returning to the ship. Cruise on to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. After dinner, enjoy an evening of entertainment. Take the opportunity to visit Lutherstadt Wittenberg where you'll discover the city center and its noble Renaissance-style houses. Then after a night of cruising, have the option to tour Meissen, famous for its trademark porcelain, to admire its Renaissance-style houses and Gothic facades. Then spend some time browsing the magnificent holiday market in the old town. The stands display and sell not only the city's famous porcelain, but also traditional Christmas candles and decorations. Return to the ship and spend the afternoon cruising to Dresden. This evening, revel in a festive Christmas Eve dinner on board. You will have the option to tour of Dresden on foot, and discover the historical monuments that have contributed to its glory. Then enjoy a symphony of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach at the Dresden Frauenkirche. On Day 7 enjoy one last buffet before departing at 9:00am

German Christmas Markets by Trafalgar

by Trafalgar
8 days
Visit the Christmas Markets of Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar, Dresden, Leipzig, and Berlin on this extensive 8 day tour of Germany's famous holiday markets. Start in Frankfurt and end in Berlin. Your tour package includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more. Welcome to Germany and the start of your magical trip to experience the festive markets. Each year in November and December the atmosphere builds through Germany with the start of Christmas celebrations. Towns and villages are decorated, Christmas markets open and the wonderful aroma of 'Stollen' and 'Gluhwein' is experienced around every corner. Explore Frankfurt's dynamic financial center and medieval Romerplatz. Travel to Bavaria and arrive in the medieval walled town of Rothenburg. Enjoy an orientation walk with your Travel Director where you will see traditional half-timbered houses and the old Town Hall. Try traditional cuisine or shop for gifts during your free time at the Reiterlesmarkt. Then continue to Nuremberg and admire the mighty ramparts and St. Sebald's Church before visiting Germany's most famous Christmas market in the main square. The market sells arts and crafts as well as 'Zwetschgenmannle' - decorative figurines made out of prunes. Visit a very atmospheric Christmas market held in the courtyard of the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Wartburg Castle in Eisenach. Enjoy typical German food, beverages, crafts, music and entertainment. Later travel to see the largest Christmas market in the province of Thuringia. This medieval market takes place on Cathedral Square in Erfurt with the impressive background of St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Severus Church. These form the perfect backdrop for more than 200 stalls and a big Ferris wheel. See the 120 meter long Merchants' Bridge which has 32 houses along its length - the longest inhabited bridge in Europe. In Weimar, enjoy the taste and smells throughout the historic market square of this UNESCO World Heritage town. Travel to Dresden − known as 'Florence on the Elbe'. Spend time seeing the highlights of this astonishing city including the Opera House and Zwinger Palace. Then experience the magic of Dresden's Striezelmarkt which is Germany's oldest Christmas market. You'll find a blaze of lights, the aroma of mulled wine and Christmas songs. On the second weekend in advent the locals pay homage to the Christmas pastry which originated in their city, the original Dresdner Christstollen. Taste typical Saxon delicacies and buy traditional handicrafts in the market found in the heart of this Baroque city. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere. Then continue to a market that remains as it was 500 years ago, the Leipzig Christmas market, which blends into the historic backdrop of Leipzig city center. With more than 250 decorated stalls, it lives up to its reputation as one of the biggest and most interesting Christmas markets in Germany. After time to explore you will later make your way to Berlin - a vibrant and fascinating city. Enjoy a Cultural Insight experience with fantastic 360° views of the city from the Berlin TV Tower. Marvel at the landmarks of the old East and West sections of Berlin during your sightseeing tour with a local specialist. See the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden Boulevard, the Reichstag building, Tiergarten and the shopping and entertainment district of Kurfurstendamm. Spend the rest of your day exploring on your own and shopping for souvenirs.

Romantic Road & Fairy Tale Road featuring Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Rothenburg by Collette

by Collette
11 days
This tour starts in Berlin and end in Munich. With this tour, featuring Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Rothenburg, you have an 11 day package taking you from Berlin to Munich and through Berlin and 12 other destinations in Germany. The tour includes accommodation in a hotel as well as meals and transport. Discover the German spirit in this land of romance, fairytales and radiance. Come to know the allure of some of its most iconic cities - Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Tour the historic landmarks of Berlin with a local guide. Visit a cafe in Lubeck, the birthplace of marzipan, and take a walking tour of Hamburg's red-light district. Spend a night in enchanting Hamelin located on the Fairytale Road and embark on a guided tour with a Pied Piper. Immerse yourself in fairytales at Rapunzel's and Sleeping Beauty's castles and visit the Brothers Grimm Museum. Stay two nights in charming Rothenberg on the Romantic Road and delight in a "night watchman" tour. Decide between making "schneeball" pastries or tour the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum. Tour Neuschwanstein Castle. Sample local beer in one of Munich's most famous restaurants. Choose to spend time at the BMW Museum or reflect on history at Dachau Memorial. Along the way uncover this delightful country with a captivating atmosphere and a welcoming culture.

Christmas in the Heart of Germany by Avalon Waterways

by Avalon Waterways
8 days
Start in Prague and end in Wiesbaden. With the river cruise tour, you have an 8 day package taking you through Prague, Czech Republic and 5 other destinations in Europe. Tour includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, and transportation. This Christmastime river cruise begins in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Set on the banks of the Vltava River, you will be immersed in holiday spirit as you explore the famous Christmas markets with rows of brightly decorated wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Stand in front of the medieval Astronomical Clock, which amazes as an intricate art piece and visualization of time unlike anything else in the world, and don't miss the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town. Board your ship in Nuremberg, the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Guided sightseeing shows you its historical treasures, as well as Old Town, illuminated with holiday lights and decorations. There's plenty of time to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in Germany. And be sure to savor some traditional spicy gingerbread, a specialty of Nuremberg. Next stop is delightful Bamberg, where nativity scenes built by local citizens are exhibited throughout town. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to charming Wurzburg, known as the "Pearl of the Romantic Road," and surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop's Residenz - home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Learn how to bake a traditional cookie before arriving at one of the charming small towns with half-timbered houses and narrow streets that are dotted along the Main River. Take a guided walk of one of these picturesque Bavarian villages sure to be even more appealing lit up with festive lights and decorations. As this unforgettable Europe river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, you will never forget the historical treasures of Germany and magnificent Prague perfectly paired with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the joyous holiday season.

Magical Christmas Markets of Austria and Germany

by Collette
6 days
Start and end in Innsbruck. With the Magical Christmas Markets of Austria and Germany tour, you have a 6 day package taking you through Innsbruck, Austria and 5 other destinations in Europe. The tour includes accommodation in a hotel as well as meals and transportation. Delight in a single hotel stay in the charming town of Innsbruck, alive with holiday cheer. Travel through Austria and Germany to explore the history and tastes of this region and to spend time browsing its famous Christmas markets. Join a local guide to discover Innsbruck, you choose either historic or architectural perspectives. Be introduced to the exciting city of Munich on a panoramic tour. Venture by train into the mountains to the charming village of Seefeld to warm yourself with a glass of schnapps and enjoy a traditional carriage ride. Journey to Salzburg for a walking tour with a local expert and a delightful dinner at the centuries-old St. Peter's Restaurant. Relish the holiday season that adorns the region in lights, energizes it with activity, and decorates it with market stands filled with handmade crafts.

Christmas Cruise on the Danube by Lueftner Cruises

by Lueftner Cruises
7 days
Start and end in Passau with a 7 day tour package taking you through Passau, Germany and 5 other destinations in Europe. This cruise includes accommodation as well as meals and more. Celebrate Christmas a little differently, on board the first-class AMADEUS ship, gliding along the wintry Danube. Passau is the starting point for this Christmas cruise - you embark here and let the brilliant illuminations of the big city get you into the right mood to have an equally sparkling, but also idyllic Christmas. Check-in from 4:00pm on the starting day and enjoy a welcome cocktail included with your cruise ticket. Enjoy a city walk through Passau, seeing the sights and experiencing the lively holiday cheer. Take an excursion to Salzburg that includes lunch and visit to the Christmas market. Visit the Christmas market in Linz Spend some time in Wachau including Melk abbey and a Gluehwein party. Celebrate Christmas in style onboard the boat with fellow travelers. Attend Christmas mass in Duernstein if you choose. Have the opportunity to tour Vienna and visit Schoenbrunn Castle. Sing along to festive songs with a Christmas concert onboard. Explore Bratislava on an exciting city tour. Satisfy your taste buds at the Captain's Gala Dinner. Enjoy an exciting city with time in Grein. Get the chance to see and taste some of the best of the holiday season with this tour of 6 different locations. Explore historic and architectural attractions and watch the cities come to life with Christmas markets and celebrations.

Danube Holiday Markets - Budapest to Passau by Uniworld Boutique River Collection

by Uniworld Boutique Ri...
8 days
Enjoy this 8 day tour that starts in Budapest and end in Passau, including a total of 7 destinations. The tour includes an expert guide and transport. Celebrate the season in the birthplace of many beloved holiday traditions. Budapest has celebrated Christmas for a thousand years, since the reign of St. Stephen, the king who founded Hungary and encouraged the spread of Christianity throughout his realm. As you ramble through the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square, admiring the handmade porcelain, stop to watch as kurtos kalacs (a pastry) is baked on rods over an open fire and then coated with sugar before it's handed to you. In Bratislava, where a lively young art scene is revitalizing the compact city core, stalls abound with traditional Slovakian Christmas items such as medovniky (spiced ginger cookies) and supolie (figurines made from corn husks). Experience the "Taste of Christmas" program in the heart of Vienna during the day, then celebrate the music of Mozart and Strauss at a Viennese palace in the evening. Follow the lights down the Landstrasse in Linz to the Volksgarten, where you'll find a fairytale Christmas display - large animated renditions of scenes from fairytales that will entrance the child in you. Or mail a letter from Christkindl, where children from all over the world send their Christmas wish lists. Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail through the holidays on the Danube.

Christmas Markets of Central Europe

Indulge the senses by exploring the best of Central Europe's festive market scene. Feel the bustling energy of Munich's charismatic Christmas markets, savor the smell of spicy festive delights in Salzburg, see the sights of vibrant Vienna and take a therapeutic soak in the thermal baths of Budapest. Meander from stall to stall, discovering new sights, sounds, flavors and fashions. Munich's Christmas markets are probably the most famous of them all. Authentic Bavarian food, ale and music make this an unforgettable Christmas experience Vienna's Christmas markets are as ornamental as its architecture. Austria's capital provides a spectacular seasonal shopping affair, with tons of hand-crafted toys, candles and paintings on offer. Jolly Budapest really embraces the Christmas spirit. Take a walk through the streets to find every street, tree and market lit up in lights. The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Explore some of the best destinations to experience the Christmas cheer and charm you're looking for.

Christmas Markets of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland by Trafalgar

by Trafalgar
8 days
Shop at Europe's best Christmas markets. Start in Vienna and end in Zurich. With this tour, you have 8 days to explore the Christmas wonderlands of Vienna, Austria and 7 other destinations in Europe. The tour includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more. Explore the Ringstrasse during your festive sightseeing tour of Vienna. Your Local Specialist shows you the Hofburg Palace which was the former home of the Habsburgs. You will also see the Parliament, City Hall and the grand State Opera House. Visit the 'Christkindlmarkt' and buy handmade wooden toys, seasonal gifts, delicious gingerbread and warming Gluhwein from traditional decorated wooden stalls. Drive along the scenic Danube Valley to the beautiful city of Salzburg and visit the enchanting Christmas market. See the beautifully manicured Mirabell Gardens, Mozart's birthplace and the Old City on your walking tour with a Local Specialist. Then cross fairy tale Alpine landscapes to Munich, capital of Bavaria. Discover Munich on an orientation with your Travel Director. Admire the Marienplatz with its impressive Town Hall and the ornate Glockenspiel. Spend the rest of your day enjoying the festive spirit at the Christmas market. Leave Munich behind and travel through the picturesque Bavarian countryside en route to Oberammergau. Spend free time exploring the quaint streets before arriving in Innsbruck. Admire the 15th century Golden Roof. Visit the Christmas market in the Old Town Square and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere. See the ski jump that towers over Innsbruck before visiting Vaduz, the capital city in the mountain principality of Liechtenstein. See the picturesque castle that sits above the city. In Lucerne, view the Lion Monument and the famous wooden Chapel Bridge. Visit the Christmas markets at Franziskanerplatz, also located in the Old Town of Lucerne. Swiss delights are on offer at the wooden stalls, as well as a carousel which plays traditional music while children enjoy the ride. Later enjoy free time or join your Travel Director for an Optional Experience to the peak of a nearby mountain top.

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