Experience the sights and sounds of the German Christmas season on this unique, 4-day tour through the cities of Leipzig, Dresden, and Plauen. It all begins in central Frankfurt as the tour gets under way. Climb onto a comfortable coach or minivan, and enjoy the ride from one town to the next, tracking Germany’s history and Christmas traditions along the way.
The first day of the tour travels east to Eisenach and the Wartburg, a castle originally built in the Middle Ages. Make a stop here to explore one of the most important buildings in German history. This is the site where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German during his exile.
Continue to Weimar, where famous names like Goethe, Schiller, Liszt, and Strauss lived and worked. Upon arrival in Leipzig, check into the selected hotel (the Seaside Park Hotel or a similar accommodation), and then visit one of Germany’s largest Christmas markets, the aptly named Leipzig Christmas Market. Take in the sights and sounds of the season, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, and enjoy a typical German snack, such as a bratwurst with some gluehwein (hot-spiced wine).
After an overnight stay and breakfast on the second day of your tour, head to the town of Meissen for a tour of one of Germany’s oldest porcelain factories. Take in a demonstration workshop where the painting and glazing process happens. Then continue to Dresden for a city tour. See some of Dresden’s main attractions, such as the Semperoper, the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, the concert hall of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Baroque-era Zwinger (palace), and the restored Dresden Frauenkirche (Lutheran church). Then, check in at the designated hotel (Park Inn by Radisson or similar accommodation) before heading to the next Christmas market, Striezelmarkt, which is one of Germany’s oldest documented Christmas markets. Check out the giant Christmas pyramid, and stroll through the market to sample a wide variety of local delicacies (own expense).
After an overnight stay and breakfast on the third day of your tour, visit the towns of Seiffen, a center of the wooden toy industry and two old miner-villages, Schneeberg and Annaberg. These towns (and others) are home to the German tradition of woodcarving and Christmas pyramids. Visit the Annaberg-Buchholz Christmas Market, which dates back to 1510, and see St. Wolfgang’s Church in Schneeberg, one of the largest hall churches in Germany. Continue to Plauen to check in to that evening’s hotel (DORMERO Hotel Plauen or similar) for a farewell dinner with the rest of the tour group.
Following breakfast on the final day of the tour, travel through the Franconian Forest in Northern Bavaria to the town of Bamberg. Stop to complete any last-minute Christmas shopping, and see some of the local attractions, such as the Bamberg Cathedral, one of the most famous cathedrals in all of Germany.
The tour ends with a return trip to Frankfurt in the late afternoon.