Southern Germany & Austria

Overview

Start your adventure along the Rhine River—exploring riverside villages and enjoying traditional cuisine—and then follow the historical Romantic Road between small towns and ancient fortifications. Experience the beer gardens of Munich and the mountains of Salzburg in Austria, before settling into Vienna, the historical heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Days: 13
Best time to visit: May-October
Ideal for: Couples, Families

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive & Travel to Oberwesel

Arrive in Frankfurt in the morning, pick up your rental car at the airport, and head west—about a 1 ½-hour drive—to Oberwesel, a charming town on the Rhine River. The Rhine Valley is known for its rolling hills and rich traditions; Oberwesel has its fair share of beautiful scenery, historic wine cellars, and beer gardens. Spend the evening sipping local wine, or take a walk over to the elegant 14th-century St. Martin’s Church to the north of town.

 

Day 2 – Rhine River Cruise

Embark right from the town center on a full-day cruise on the Rhine River, with river passes that enable you to hop off to explore the small riverside villages and castles along the way, and then hop on the next boat heading your way. Go for a hike up Lorelei Rock, take a wine tour, dine in traditional restaurants, and enjoy the spectacular scenery.

 

Day 3 – Heidelberg & Rothenburg

Today, drive a few hours southeast to Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber. En route, visit the Heidelberg Castle, whose worn, red sandstone walls are surrounded by terraced gardens and parkland—Heidelberg’s Old Town is also well-worth exploring. Continue to Rothenburg and take a stroll along its historic walls before joining the Night Watchman on their evening rounds; a tour blending history and humor, winding through softly lit cobbled streets.

 

Day 4 – Medieval Dinkelsbühl

This morning, drive to the nearby town of Dinkelsbühl on the Romantic Road, which is surrounded by medieval walls and towers. Its cobblestone streets are lined with 16th-century buildings, and at the center of town, you can climb to the top of St. George͛s Parish for views over the city. Drive back to Rothenburg for lunch and explore architectural gems like the Rathaus and St. Jakobskirche. If you’re up for it, rent bicycles for a ride along the Tauber River before dinner.

 

Day 5 – Along the Romantic Road

Today you’ll travel south on the Romantic Road, which winds along medieval trade routes, to Augsburg. Along the way, visit the historic town of Nördlingen, with its 14th and 15th-century houses and impressive fortifications. Stop into St. Georgskirche before continuing onward to Augsburg, which has an array of historical sites to explore like the Basilica of St. Ulrich and St. Afra, and Dom St. Maria. For an afternoon in nature, head to Stadtwald Augsburg, a huge park along the Lech River with walking and cycling trails.

 

Day 6 –Travel to Munich

Get an early start into Munich so you can get in a full day of sightseeing. Drop off your rental car, settle into your hotel, and then head to Munich’s main square, Marienplatz, and climb up to the top of the old city hall for panoramic skyline views. Stop into Frauenkirche, Munich’s largest church and then grab lunch in the famous open-air Viktualienmarkt. After lunch, visit Alte Pinakothek art museum, or stroll through Englischer Garten. For an evening out, head to one of Munich’s famed beer gardens.

 

Day 7 – Explore Munich

Visit the Deutsches Museum in the morning, which is the most extensive technological museum in the world, showcasing innovations like the first automobile. After lunch, plan for a couple of hours to visit the famous Nymphenburg Palace and its picturesque gardens and park.

 

Day 8 – Travel to Salzburg, Austria

Today, travel by train across the border into Austria to the city of Salzburg, internationally recognized for its Baroque architecture and enchanting mountain landscape. Spend the afternoon touring the imposing 12th-century Hohensalzburg Castle, which offers amazing views over the city. Then head down into the Altstadt or Old Town, which is spread along the west bank ot the Salzach River, and explore sights like the Abbey of St. Peter͛s and Mirabell Gardens.

 

Day 9 – Sightseeing in Salzburg

This morning, meet your guide for a 3-hour panoramic tour of the city, encompassing the major landmarks of Salzburg. You will see an array of elegant palaces—Mirabell, Frohnburg, Hellbrunn—visit sites featured in “The Sound of Music,” and pass by Nonnberg Abbey and Motzart’s former residence. Afterwards, explore Getreidegasse, the historic shopping district where famous names in fashion line the streets.

 

Day 10 – Train to Vienna

Today you travel east across Austria, about 3 hours by train, to its charming capital, Vienna. Spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening discovering the living legacy of the Hapsburgs. A city with a rich musical legacy, you can tour of the State Opera House, attend a concert at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, or simply enjoy the elegant atmosphere of Vienna’s cafés and wine bars.

 

Day 11 – Vienna Walking Tour

Spend the first part of today on a half-day, private walking tour exploring Vienna’s scenic highlights and architectural landmarks. The city’s rich history comes to life as you learn about the kings and queens who lived in the 13th-century Hofburg Palace. Visit Heroes Square, St. Stephan’s Cathedral, and explore the courtyards and cobbled streets of the Old Town. After your tour, spend the afternoon browsing boutique shops and relaxing at an outdoor café.

 

Day 12 – Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, an opulent and enchanting 17th-century Baroque structure with 1,441 rooms and an incredible array of artifacts on display. With a historian leading the way, make your way through dozens of the most impressive rooms as you learn about the palace’s most famous residents; the accompanying gardens are equally magnificent. Enjoy the remainder of your final day in Vienna on your own.

 

Day 13 – Departure

Fly home from Vienna in the morning, arriving stateside in the afternoon.

Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.

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