European Fairytale Christmas Tour
December 9, 2019 – December 20, 2019
$2,299 for single (Shared Room)
$2,799 for single (Private Room)
$4,399 for couples (Shared room)
There’s simply no place on Earth like Europe at Christmastime! From twinkling lights, to tiny snow-covered wooden chalets in 13th-century towns, snow-capped cathedrals, topped off with the smell of spiced gingerbread and warm, mulled ‘gluevine’ lingering in the air! It’s a real-life fairytale, and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced! I personally handpicked the destinations on this tour and I know without a doubt that you’ll take a piece of the magic you find here with you for a lifetime!
Perhaps your favorite memories on this tour will involve floating through historic canals and gazing at the gable-roofs all lit up in a million twinkling lights in modern Amsterdam or exploring medieval castles in the ancient wonder that is Prague. Add that to strolling original cobblestone alleys and sipping warm, mulled wine while listening to rousing oompah music in yesterday’s Germany, and you have yourself the perfect Christmas experience!
The European Fairytale Christmas Tour will bring out that childhood wonder that you’ve been looking for, and leave you with your very own Christmas fairytale!
Day to Day Itinerary
Welcome to the beautiful city of Amsterdam! With so much to do and see, the tour will start with a quick orientation at our hotel at 2pm. Soon after, embark on a relaxing boat ride along one of the city’s 100-plus canals. This offers the perfect opportunity to view traditional Dutch architecture, over a thousand bridges, as well as some 2,000 houseboats that make their home along the canals. With Christmas in the air, the city will be lit up and sparkling with tinsel and flickering lights, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of a Dickens movie!
The canal tour will conclude today’s planned activities, leaving you to choose where you’d like to enjoy dinner on your own (or with your new friends). Perhaps you can enjoy dinner with some of your newfound friends or choose to have a quick bite and sleep off a bit of jetlag before tomorrow’s exciting adventures.
Includes: Canal Boat Tour
We’ll start day two with breakfast at the hotel and make our way to Dam Square where you’ll embark on a walking tour throughout the city’s historical and cultural landmarks. You’ll stroll through Amsterdam’s famous canals, ‘coffee’ houses, houseboats, and those famous gabled houses. This tour will lead you past landmarks such as the Anne Frank House, Royal Palace, and Red-Light District, where our professional guide will point out important features and provide detailed information.
Afterwards, you’ll be free for the rest of the afternoon to explore as you please. The choices include: Anne Frank House (make your reservations in advance to assure you get tickets – I’m happy to help guide you through this easy process), the Van Gogh Museum, or you can become a ‘local’ by renting a bike and exploring famous Vondelpark.
Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour
Leaving Amsterdam behind bright and early, we board our first train journey toward Berlin, Germany – a mesmerizing city torn between the past and modern-day!
We’ll arrive in the early afternoon, check into our hotel, then meet up with a city-guide who’ll take you on a journey through the city’s raw and tragic history. You’ll stroll through the Brandenburg Gate, stand over what remains of Hitler’s bunker, cross history’s forbidden boundaries at Checkpoint Charlie, marvel at the Reichstag (Parliament), touch the remains of the Berlin Wall, and stroll through the Memorial dedicated to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
After the tour, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as you wish. There is so much to see and do in Berlin, you will have many options to fill your evening.
Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour
Today is a free day.
Perhaps you’ll take a taxi to visit remnant of the Berlin Wall and personally set foot in what was once ‘East Germany’ where there are remnants of the famous ‘Berlin Wall’, or you can do some shopping for family back home at any of the many Christmas markets located throughout the city, revisit areas from your tour yesterday that you would like to learn more about, grab a nice dinner out at one of the countless eateries in the area, or visit some of the many museums in the city. Better yet, do it ALL! It’s possible if you plan it properly – and I can help with that! The options are limitless!
A visit to Berlin during the festive holidays wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through the Christmas markets at Potsdamer Platz – referred to as “Winter World”, as it not only offers lots of Christmas gifts and delicious homemade yummies, but you are also welcome to enjoy a large toboggan run, as well as try out your skating skills on a 500 square meter open-air ice rink. These Christmas markets have an Austrian-style winter scenery with endless log cabins where you can watch craftspeople at work, sample local Christmas foods such as candied apples, roasted almonds, and mulled wine, as well as enjoy the folks shows that seem to pop up without warning.
The options are limitless!
As we bid farewell to Berlin, the wonder of Prague awaits!
Sipping a cappuccino from the train’s restaurant car is the best way to soak in the beauty of winding along the River Elbe, which is dotted with quaint villages and beautiful landscapes, as we make our way toward the beautiful Czech Republic.
After checking in, we head straight out to explore the city! A city specialist will share the history of the beautiful city as we stroll through Old Town, the Old Jewish Quarters, and the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock, before crossing The Charles Bridge, which was started in 1357 when the former Czech King, Charles IV, laid the first stone. From here, you’ll be able to marvel at the Prague Castle, which was founded around 880 by Prince Borivoj, of the Premyslid Dynasty –
making it the world’s largest coherent castle complex in the world.
Once the tour ends, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as you wish. I would recommend finding a local restaurant and sampling the delicious ‘goulash’ that the Czechs are famous for! If you still have energy to spend, the Christmas markets are located in the city center, and add to will definitely add to your fairytale experience!
Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour
Today is a free day.
Prague has a million different things to see and do, and today is your free day to choose which of those you’d like to enjoy. From getting lost in the ancient alleyways and cobblestoned streets, visiting Prague Castle, or having a picnic along the beautiful Vltava River. Better yet, do all the above! There’s plenty of time to do so!
The following day will be a chance to stretch your legs for a bit as we take the train toward one of my favorite cities in the world, and what I think is the hidden gem of Europe…Budapest, Hungary!
We’ll arrive in the early evening and get settled into our rooms. After a full day of traveling into Eastern Europe, I have chosen to leave the remainder of the day for you to enjoy as you choose.
This will allow you to relax and explore the city on your own, or if you’d like to meet up and enjoy dinner together, we can play it by ear…it’s completely up to you and what you feel like doing this evening.
There’s always something to see in Budapest, including a magical stroll along the Danube, where you can marvel at its stunning skyline – one of the best in Europe!
The follow day will be full of exciting adventures! After breakfast, we’ll take a fun-filled and informative walking tour – provided by a city specialist, which will include the Chain Bridge, the Royal Palace, Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Liberty Statue, and Fisherman Bastion.
Afterwards we’ll have a few hours break to relax and catch lunch on your own, but then we’ll meet back up for our late-afternoon treat – a trip to one of Budapest’s most famous spring-fed, thermal baths. Under neo-baroque domes, you’ll spend hours indulging in over 21 indoor/outdoor pools, steam rooms, and saunas, where your aching muscles will thank you!
I am not putting a time-limit on this activity, as some of you may choose to indulge in the beautiful baths longer than others. Therefore, this will conclude today’s planned activities, and provide you the freedom to choose where you’d like to enjoy dinner on your own. I would suggest you sample the delicious ‘goulash’ that the Czech Republic is famous for!
Includes: Breakfast, Walking Tour, Thermal Baths
Today is a free day for you to enjoy Budapest as you please.
Perhaps you would like to book a relaxing river cruise along the Danube, explore the Buda Castle more, or simply stroll the city and explore the famous ‘ruin bars’ located throughout the city center. There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to ways to enjoy beautiful Budapest.
I would strongly suggest you top off your evening with a visit to Vorosmarty Square, home of the main Budapest Christmas markets. This isn’t far from where we’ll be staying, and it’s the city’s oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets. Although it has received international acclaim over the years, the market is full of homemade food stalls, handcraft shops with intricate and beautiful ornaments and Hungarian handicrafts, as well as open-air concerts. The market is one of the most popular in Europe, and despite that, it still retains all its charm and hospitable nature. Furthermore, visiting the Christmas market in Budapest wouldn’t be complete without tasting a heavenly kürtős kalács – commonly referred to as ‘chimney cakes’. These tasty cinnamon, sugar, chocolate, and/or nutty treats are served throughout the Christmas market (I have a favorite I’m happy to suggest), and they will leave an impression on your soul that will surely find you looking for your local Hungarian bakeries back home!
We leave Hungary behind and head toward Munich, Germany.
After getting settled in our room, we’ll have a stroll through Marienplatz, where you’ll marvel at the historic area, which is home to the Glockenspiel. There’s many restaurants and cafes to choose from for lunch while exploring this beautiful area.
Afterwards, if you’d like to enjoy something a bit more traditional, I have the perfect recommendation for you where you’ll have the opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Germany in one of my favorite establishments! Here, you can enjoy a beer the way a beer should be drank – in one of the city’s most famous biergartens, Hofbrauhaus Munchen. With barmaids wearing traditional Dirndls, and the sound of oompah bands in the background, you’ll feel like one of the locals! For non-drinkers, don’t worry, as there’s plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to choose from. PROST!
You are free to enjoy this atmosphere as long as you’d like, but keep in mind that tomorrow will be an early day and you will want to be well-rested for the ‘fairytale’ adventure that awaits you!
Today will be magical! We’ll set out on a day-trip deep into Germany’s ‘Black Forest’. You’ll feel like you’ve been transformed back to the 19th century as we take a beautiful train ride deep into the Bavarian Alps to the enchanted Neuschwanstein Castle, built by a young, troubled king. The extent of his extravagance and romanticism earned him the title, “Mad” King Ludwig. How extravagant and romantic is it, you might ask? Let’s just say that Neuschwanstein Castle is so enchanting, it inspired Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom!
While here, you can even opt for a horse-drawn carriage from the ticket office up the enchanting hill where the castle is located. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you’ll never forget as long as you live.
We’ll arrive back into Munich in the early evening, providing you the freedom to stroll through the city’s historic various historical areas, where you can soak in your final night in the beautiful Bavarian city.
Includes: Breakfast, Day-trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
The final morning of the tour will conclude with a hearty breakfast where you can spend a little more time with your new friends, and hopefully be inspired to come along for another exciting adventure together in the not-so-distant future!
*For those catching departing flights today, there are regular trains leaving from Munich’s central station for Munich’s International Airport (Flughafen).
- All Group Transportation – All rail transportation from Amsterdam to Munich.
- Accommodations – 11 nights accommodations.
- Meals – All Breakfasts.
- Group Size – A small and friendly group of ten people, which is much less than normal tour guides.
- Tips – All tips for guides, servers, etc.
- Locked-in price – Once you book, the price is locked in.
- Flexibility – If you need to transfer your tour to the tour directly before your purchased tour, or to the one immediately after your selected tour, I am happy to work with you.
- Future Tour Discount – $100 discount toward any future tour booked with Kimber Sparks Travel within a one-year period.
- Single accommodation supplement (when available) – A single room is not guaranteed, as this tour has a limited number of single rooms available for solo travelers, and will include an additional fee per person.
- Entry fees – Included for all planned tour events.
- Flights to/from Europe
- Meals and activities during free times
- Travel insurance (Required, and I can help you get this sorted cheap and easy)
- Passports/Visa fees (must have valid passports. No visas are required for the destination countries on this tour.
- Dinners – I chose not to offer dinners on my tours, as I have found that customers prefer to decide when and where they’ll enjoy dinner, rather than have it decided for them.
- Medium: You will be walking for two-three hours daily.
- No more than 10 people
Airport Transfers – There are trains leaving every few minutes heading to Munich Airport (Flughafen) where you can catch your departing flights.
Breakfast – In order to make the most of our time, some of the trains we’ll be taking will be leaving before the hotel begins serving breakfast. In these instances, I will provide a ‘breakfast snack’ (coffee/croissant) on the train.
Soda/Alcoholic Beverages –You are directly responsible for the cost of your non-complimentary drinks during the included breakfasts, planned activities, on the trains, and during free time.
Accommodation – Prices are based on shared accommodations. We will be using mid-range hostels/guesthouses/hotels of good quality that offer comfortable facilities. In some instances, single person accommodations are available.
Transportation – We will be using Global Passes by Eurail – Europe’s amazing rail infrastructure, for all travel to tour destination cities. Since transportation during free time is not included in the tour price, you may choose to purchase local train tickets, use Uber (where available), or use taxi services.