Embrace centuries-old heritage charm and modern style in the vibrant city of Frankfurt, our springboard for a delightful exploration of the best of Germany and Austria. Spend your day exploring the Altstadt and soaking up the atmosphere of a bygone era, before meeting your Travel Director for an orientation of the medieval Römerplatz and dynamic financial district. Later, we join our fellow travellers for a memorable Welcome Reception to launch our journey through the heart of Europe.
The legend of Lorelei kick-starts our morning as we board a leisurely cruise along the mighty Rhine past castles and vineyard-clad hills. We stop to Connect With Locals over a Be My Guest lunch and hear tales of knights and feuding lords and ladies in a 13th-century castle perched high above the Rhine valley. Continuing to the cultural capital of the Rhineland, we view the spectacular Gothic spires of Cologne Cathedral. Spend the rest of the evening exploring the city's great artistic treasures and historic town squares.
This morning, we board a high-speed train to historic Berlin, whose once-turbulent history has shaped its rebirth as the charismatic capital of Germany. Join a Local Specialist for an exploration of 'East meets West' and delve into the story behind their reunification. See the imposing Brandenburg Gate, the Tiergarten, Unter den Linden and the Reichstag building, with its famous glass dome. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Ascend the Berlin TV Tower for spectacular 360° views of the city from the Berlin TV Tower. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the city on your own. Perhaps see the remnants of the Berlin Wall, visit the infamous Checkpoint Charlie or enjoy an Optional Experience to the District of Potsdam, the former Prussian royal seat.
Celebrate beauty through your admiration of art and architecture in beautiful Würzburg, where you will see the Prince-Bishops' residence and Marienberg Fortress, on the banks of the Main. Continue to Rothenburg and dine tonight in your hotel. Your Stays With Stories accommodation this evening is the historic Prinzhotel, built in the traditional half-timbered style lying within the 15th-century fortified town walls.
This morning, we embark on an orientation walk through the medieval centre of Rothenburg, seemingly frozen in time and encircled by a fortified town wall that remains intact after centuries. Travelling south through picture-perfect landscapes of Bavaria, we arrive in Munich. We check into our Stays With Stories accommodation, the Arabella Sheraton Munich which once saw Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop and Freddie Mercury belt out tunes in the then-hotel basement recording studio. Famous producer Giorgio Moroder founded a recording studio here in the early 1970s until the noise of the nearby subway trains forced the music to continue elsewhere.
Stroll through the heart of Munich this morning, visiting Marienplatz with both its new and old City Halls. See the magical Glockenspiel that delights visitors throughout the day with its re-enactment of 16th-century tales. Spend the rest of the day on your own, exploring the city's Baroque palaces and vibrant markets, or embrace the Bavarian region's rich beer brewing heritage at one of Munich's many beer halls.
Indulge in a world of fantasy and fables during your visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, built as a retreat for King Ludwig II to retire from public life. Wind your way through the countryside, climbing higher into the Bavarian Alps bound for Innsbruck, where you'll spend the next two nights. This evening, dinner is served at your hotel.
This morning, you'll embark on a short orientation tour that includes views of the Old Town, Hofburg Palace and the ornate Golden Roof, built to commemorate the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I. Spend your free time exploring Innsbruck's iconic sites and delving into Tyrol's complex history and culture, or simply relax and admire this dazzling city with its magnificent Alpine backdrop. Next, admire the fascinating crystal installations and browse for precious gifts and souvenirs at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Store. You could consider joining a traditional dinner and Tyrolean folklore show this evening.
Travel to Salzburg where spires and domes rise in the shadow of Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe. Join a Local Specialist for a fascinating walking tour of a city that featured in 'The Sound of Music'. View Mozart's birthplace and family house in Getreidegasse, and the Domplatz dominated by Salzburg Cathedral. This evening, we dine at our hotel.
Scenic landscapes provide a beautiful backdrop for our drive past Lake Mondsee to the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley. Sloping vineyards line the Danube from Melk Abbey to Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was held prisoner and subsequently found by Blondel, his faithful minstrel. This afternoon, we arrive in the imperial capital of Vienna. We'll check in to your Stays With Stories accommodation, the Hilton Danube Waterfront, a renovated grain silo built in 1916, on the shores of the Danube. We have the evening at leisure to enjoy the sounds of the 'City of Music' or consider an evening of Viennese classical music.
Explore the splendour of Vienna at the exquisite Hofburg Palace, the former winter residence of the Habsburg Dynasty - one of the highlights of your guided sightseeing tour of Vienna with a Local Specialist. Enjoy views of the grand State Opera House and Ringstrasse, a beautiful sweeping boulevard built in the 19th century to replace the city walls. Admire the ornate, colourful roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the city's most beloved icons, before spending the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant to celebrate a beautiful sojourn through Germany and Austria.
We bid farewell to our companions at the end of a wonderful holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.