Day 1: Munich
Arrive in Munich. You will kick off your tour of Central Europe with a trip to Nymphenburg Palace. Also known as “Nymph’s Castle,” this beautiful castle was the summer residence of the Wittelsbach family, a German dynasty with a nearly 800-year line of European royalty. The Palace was the birthplace of Ludwig II, a former king of Bavaria & now the site of the Marstallmuseum. The Marstallmuseum is a standing exhibition of the carriages & sleighs of previous royal stables. Visit one of Munich’s toy museums, see the world famous glockenspiel, & stop by Munich’s New Town Hall or Olympic Park, the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics. There is plenty to fill your time in Munich. This evening, you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Munich – Linderhof
Today you will visit the many homes of King Ludwig & family. First is the iconic castle of “Mad” King Ludwig, Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle, which was originally built as a refuge for King Ludwig, has since become the inspiration for fairytale castles as well as featured in several movies. From atop the knoll on which Neuschwanstein Castle is situated, you will travel down the hill to the village Hohenschwangau & home to Hohenschwangau Castle Hohenschwangau Castle was actually built by Ludwig’s father, Maximillian. From there, you will have to travel deep into the forest to find the next hidden gem, Linderhof Palace. The palace was also built for King Ludwig II, but it was the only home that Ludwig lived to see finished. Dinner this evening will be at your Linderhof hotel.
Day 3: Linderhof – Salzburg
This morning, you will depart for Salzburg, an Austrian city of musical heritage. Salzburg serves as the setting to the musical, "The Sound of Music,” & is the birthplace of famous composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You will enjoy a tour of Salzburg. Among some of the highlights are stops at the Cathedral & Getreidegasse, a pedestrian shopping street & the birthplace of Mozart. Visit Hohensalzburg Castle, which served as medieval fortress & is familiar to many for its silhouette that sits above the Salzburg skyline. Later today, visit Mirabell Palace, a 17th-century home built for Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau.
Day 4: Salzburg – Vienna
From Salzburg you will head to Vienna, the capital city of Austria. You will have a chance to become acquainted with Vienna on today’s tour as you visit some of the city’s most famous sites. You will visit cultural hubs like the Opera House, the National Museum, & the Burgtheatre. See where Viennese & Austrian leaders conduct politics at the Town Hall & Parliament building. You will also have a chance to tour inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archibishop of Vienna, distinct for its beautiful multi-colored tile roof. Today’s tour ends with a visit to Hofburg Palace. The Palace is the current residence of the President of Austria but has also served as the home for many of Austria’s & Europe’s most powerful & influential leaders, like the Hapsburgs.
Day 5: Vienna
Today will begin with a trip to Schönbrunn Palace, Austria’s answer to Louis XIV’s Versailles. Schönbrunn Palace was the summer home to Maria Teresa, the only female ruler of the Hapsburg Dynasty. Tour the magnificent house, or enjoy free time in the splendid Baroque garden. This afternoon will be at your leisure. You may choose to stay & continue exploring palace grounds, or perhaps venture back into the city for dining or shopping. This evening, enjoy an evening concert of Strauss’ & Mozart’s music.
Day 6: Vienna – Cesky Krumlov – Hluboka
Depart for the Czech Republic to visit Cesky Krumlov, one of the best preserved medieval towns in the world, ranking number two on the UNESCO World Heritage list. You will have free time for lunch before a tour of the Castle. The castle is hard to miss; it is uniquely large for the size of the town. The castle is in fact, the second largest in the Czech Republic. In the castle, you will be able to see its Baroque theater, dating back to the late 17th century. The theatre is still in use, but limited to only three opera performances a year to maintain preservation. This evening you will continue onto Hluboka.
Day 7: Hluboka – Kutna Hora – Prague
After breakfast, visit the Hluboka Chateau & the Bohemian Gallery. The Chateau is a former state home & regarded as one of the most beautiful in Bohemia, the historic country of Central Europe. The Bohemian Gallery features art & works of those artists from the Bohemian era. You will then drive to Kutná Hora where you will take time to visit the city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While in Kutná Hora you will also visit the Church of St. Barbara, the Old Mint, which minted Prague groshen for nearly 150 years, & the Sedlec Ossuary. The Sedlec Ossuary is among one of the most visited sites in the Czech Republic, as it is decorated by the artistic arrangements of skeleton bones of an estimated 40,000 – 70,000 people. You will continue onto Prague for the evening’s dinner & overnight.
Day 8: Prague
After breakfast, you will cross the Vltava River for a full morning of visits to some of Prague’s famous destinations. Your first stop will be at the Royal Castle of Hradcany; also known as the Prague Castle. Prague Castle has been the office for Holy Roman Emperors, kings of Bohemia, & presidents of both the former Czechoslovakia & Czech Republic. The castle is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, & holds the title of being the world’s largest ancient castle. At the castle you will get to stroll down Golden Lane, a series of quaint dwellings that are part of the castle complex, as well as Daliborka Tower, the castle’s prison. Among other stops on your tour of Prague are St. Vitus Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague, & St. George’s Basilica. Dinner & overnight in Prague.
Day 9: Prague
Visit Old Town Square, & see the famous astronomical clock. The clock, first installed in 1410, is one of the world’s oldest astronomical clocks, & boasts the title of being the oldest one that still functions. Cross the Charles Bridge, a pedestrian bridge spanning the Vlatava River, visit the Jewish Quarter, & see St. Nicholas Church. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 10: Prague – USA
Transfer to the airport, & board return flight home.