Central Europe countries have been influenced by the rise and fall of great empires through history. The scars of the different wars and divisions are still visible today. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most beautiful regions to explore in the world, full of traditions and astonishing panoramas.
This month’s itinerary will focus on the top highlights of 3 beautiful countries, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic, giving you the opportunity to also discover small towns and unique treasures on the way. A perfect itinerary for both summer and winter, when the Christmas atmosphere and the gingerbread smell in the air will add a little touch of magic.
We start in Munich, discovering major landmarks like Frauenkirche, Marienplatz and the Englischer Garten. We can also spare a free afternoon and make the shopping lovers happy with a visit to the Ingolstadt Outlet Centre. Then the Neuschwanstein fairy-tale Castle and the Alpine charm of Garmish-Partenkirchen will complete our Bavarian experience.
Next stop: enchanting Austria. Innsbruck and Salzburg will captivate you with their imperial architecture and traditional allure, while the Swarovski Crystal World in Wattens will introduce you to a magical experience.
Next on our tour is Czech Republic, with the charming bohemian towns of Cesky Krumlov and Ceske Budejovice. They will amaze you with the picturesque narrow streets and the baroque architecture, but they will only be a prelude to the astonishing beauty of the capital, Prague.
We head back to Germany now, to visit the romantic Nuremberg and explore the North-West part. The Baroque Residenz in Wurzburg and the medieval Wartburg Castle, two UNESCO World Heritages, are must-see attractions. You will then be amazed by the medieval beauty of Gottingen and the little town of Hamelin, immortalised in the medieval tale of the Pied Piper.
You will then fall in love with 2000 years of history and culture in Cologne and embark on a cruise on the Rheine, from Kamp-Bornhofen to St. Goarshausen, before arriving to our final destination: Frankfurt.
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English Garden in Munich – One of the largest urban parks in the world. For its size it can be compared to Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York. Main points of interest are the Kleinhesseloher See, a lovely lake at the centre of the park with three little islands, the Chinese Tower, the second largest Munich beer garden with a 25 metres high Pagoda, the Monopteros, a little Greek Temple offering an amazing view of Munich Skyline, and the Japanese Teahouse, where once per month it is possible to attend a traditional tea ceremony with a true Japanese Tea Master.
Cesky Krumlov – It is a lively, picturesque bohemian town with a unique atmosphere. The whole Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage site, with around 300 protected buildings and the largest castle complex in Czech Republic. The stunning Renaissance-style Castle dominates the old town and the Vltava River. It can be only visited with a guided tour, which can include the marvellous castle gardens and the oldest and best preserved Baroque theatre in the world.
Wartburg Castle – According to legend, the Castle date back to 1067 and it is an incredible witness of almost 1,000 years of German history. Located just outside the town of Eisenach, it is well-known for providing shelter to the exiled Martin Luther in 1521. The historical Christmas market will bring you back in time, with traditional music, candle makers, glassblowers, stonemasons and herbalists.
Swarovski Crystal World – opened in 1995 to mark the centennial anniversary of the company’s founding, this unique experience gives you the opportunity to enter the world of the most famous crystal producer. Visit the Giant, a sensorial and artistic tour through 17 Chambers of Wanders, inspired and designed by some of the world’s greatest artists (including Salvador Dalì, Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama).
Pilsner Brewery – this legendary brewery changed history in 1842, creating a completely new category of beer. Today the Pilsner beer is famous everywhere in the world, but neither the recipe nor the brewing process has changed since it was first made. Take a tour of the brewery and discover the secrets of the brewing process as well as the people and professions without whom Pilsner beer would have no story. Try unfiltered Pilsner Urquell beer tapped directly from historic lager barrels in the historic beer cellar.
Zugspitze Peak – it is Germany’s highest peak, 2,962 m high. Home to three glaciers, it offers a unique 360°panorama over four different countries. Take the cogwheel train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen until the beautiful Eibsee Lake, while you enjoy some spectacular views of the lake. An unbelievable panorama is waiting for you on the top of the mountain. The glacier lifts will then take you to the Zugspitze Glacier at 2,600. You can also include lunch in one of the lovely restaurants on the peak, offering a stunning view of the mountain. A nice day trip, perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.