Majestic European Christmas Tour
November 25, 2019 – December 6, 2019
$2,299 for single (Shared Room)
$2,799 for single (Private Room)
$4,399 for couples (Shared room)
There’s nothing in the world quite like the Christmastime in Europe, and if you’re there from late November through the New Year, it’s easy to see why: Tiny wooden chalets in 13th-century towns, snow-capped cathedrals, seasonal cookies and cakes in display windows (better still: in your mouth), and of course, all the hot mulled wine you can drink. Put all of it together, and the towns practically twinkle with fairy-tale festiveness. We’ll start the tour in Munich, which is just north of the Bavarian Alps, and a city known throughout the world for its art, architecture, and culture and of course, Oktoberfest! From here, we head toward Berlin, where you can embrace the city’s modern culture; marvel at the largest castle in the world as you stroll across bridges separating yesteryear and the modern world in beautiful Prague; allow yourself to soak in Poland’s welcoming, warm embrace that you won’t find anywhere else in the world; feast on delicious ‘chimney cakes’ and soak in thermal baths dating back to Caesar’s time while falling in love with the hypnotic city of Budapest, before heading back to Munich where we will bid farewell until next time.
Day to Day Itinerary
With some of us arriving throughout the day, we’ll plan to meet up at the hotel lobby at 2pm where you’ll be able to meet your new friends who you’ll be sharing the next 12 days with.
There is much to do in Munich during Advent, including the many Christkindlmarkts that bring in the ‘spirit of Christmas’. When you see these Christmas markets, you’ll understand why this tour is called ‘Majestic’, as you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale!
We’ll start out the evening heading toward Marienplatz’s massive medieval Christmas market, which is enticing and festive, and should be enjoyed while sipping warm, mulled wine and feasting on seasonal delicacies like gingerbread, candied & roasted almonds, and nutcrackers.
After a few hours of strolling with the group through the Christmas markets and sipping a gluewine (mulled wine) together, you’ll be free to spend the remainder of the evening as you choose. You can choose to rest off some jetlag, or you may choose to experience the ‘real’ Germany in one of the most famous establishments in Munich – Hofbrauhaus! Here, you can drink a beer the way it should be drank – in one of the city’s most famous ‘biergartens’, with barmaids wearing traditional Dirndls, and the sound of oompah bands in the background! You’ll leave feeling like one of the locals, and ready for a good night’s sleep that will prepare you for a magical day tomorrow! For you non-drinkers, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to choose from!
Includes: Orientation, Group stroll through Marienplatz
Today will be full of Christmas magic! We’ll set out bright and early on a day-trip deep into Germany’s ‘Black Forest’. You’ll feel like you’ve been transformed back into the 19th century as we take a beautiful train ride deep into the snow-covered 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 even inspired Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom!
We’ll arrive back into Munich in the early evening, providing you some free time to stroll through the city’s historical main square, enjoying your final night in the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich.
Includes: Breakfast, Day-trip to Neuschwanstein Castle
Today we head to Mozart’s city – and where the famous movie ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed, beautiful Salzburg, Austria.
We’ll arrive into Salzburg in the late morning, and head straight to our hotel, before heading into the town center for a walking tour.
During the guided walking tour, you can take in examples of Salzburg’s breathtaking legacy of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque artistry while learning about the city’s fascinating history. Meet your knowledgeable local guide at the spectacular Mirabell Gardens and Palace. Wander through the elaborate Italian Baroque-style palace gardens, and view its famous statues.
Crossing a footbridge into Salzburg’s Baroque old town, see the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and learn about his life and work. Then, we’ll stroll down Getreidegasse and admire the picturesque streets and hidden byways of the old city. We’ll stop at Salzburg Dome Cathedral and pass St. Peter’s Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Austria and home to one of the world’s oldest restaurants.
After our walking tour, we’ll have some time on our own to decide how you’d like to spend the remainder of your day. Have lunch at one of the many options throughout the beautiful city center. Later in the evening, you can venture alone – or with others in the group, into Cathedral Square. Here, you’ll find the oldest Christmas markets in Salzburg – dating back to 1491.
Spending the Advent season in Mozart’s city is like walking into a fairytale. The Fortress sits high above the city and the Cathedral serves as a magnificent backdrop for the tiny wooden booths, while the tempting fragrance of bake apples, incense, and cotton candy wafts through the air.
There are countless options to choose from for dinner on your own tonight.
Includes: Breakfast, Walking tour
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 afternoon 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 on your own.
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.
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!
A short train ride from Budapest finds us in extravagant, opulent Vienna, Austria, for an overnight stop.
Even though we’ll arrive too early to check into our hotel, there’s a bag-drop where we can unload our bags and head into the city, where a local guide will escort us on a walking tour that takes us to some of Vienna most treasured locations, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, The Hofburg Palace, and the majestic Christmas markets that are in full swing all over the city this time of year.
Your afternoon is free to explore another world-class museum or two, or simply slow down to enjoy sipping a coffee in the city where Europe’s café scene was born. Prost!
Includes: Breakfast, Walking tour
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 free to enjoy as you wish. The choices for enjoying a traditional Czech dinner are limitless!
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 picnicking along the beautiful Vltava River. Better yet, do all the above! There’s plenty of time!
Leaving Munich behind bright and early, we board the train of the journey toward Berlin, Germany – a 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 our city tour, the evening is free to do with as you please. You can decide to venture out on your own, or you can go as a group and check out the Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz – referred to as “Winter World”, as it not only offers lots of Christmas gifts and foods, 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.
The Christmas market has an Austrian-style winter scenery with endless log cabins where you can watch craftsmen at work, sample local Christmas foods such as candied apples, roasted almonds, and mulled wine, as well as enjoy the folk shows that seem to pop up without warning.
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’, 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!
The final morning of the tour will conclude with the group meeting up one last time to enjoy a hearty breakfast. This provides you some quality time with your new travel friends to talk about all the fun you’ve had over the past 12 days, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to take more KST adventures 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 Munich to Berlin.
- 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
- Beverages during dinner meals
- 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 Berlin Airport 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.