This full-day tour begins in Frankfurt with a 1-hour drive south to Heidelberg, widely considered the most beautiful town in Germany.
Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest and most famous university town — renowned for its baroque Old Town (aka Altstadt), its beautiful riverside setting and, of course, the haunting hilltop Heidelberg Castle, which draws almost one million visitors each year.
That’s where this tour begins, amidst the famous ruins of the Gothic landmark palace.
Heidelberg Castle was once one of the grandest palaces of the Renaissance era — and one of the most notable ensembles of buildings in the Holy Roman Empire. The ravages of war and the forces of nature rendered it a ruins, however. Explore the huge courtyard and ravaged yet magnificent terrace. Then visit the wine cellar to see the Heidelberg Tun, the largest wine barrel in the world.
Then head to the oldest part of Heidelberg, the Altstadt, which extends along the Neckar River for one mile. Marvel at its Baroque and Renaissance architecture among the newer buildings, narrow streets and market squares, like Marktplatz and the Kornmarkt.
This medieval Old Town region is full of arts, history, science, shopping, eating and relaxing. Some of the points of interest here include the Church of the Holy Spirit, the most famous church in Heidelberg; the Kurpfälzisches Museum (aka Palatinate Museum) of art and archeology; Synagogue Square, a memorial to a synagogue that was burned down by the Nazi party in 1938; the Karl Theodor Bridge, commonly known as the Old Bridge, which crosses the Neckar River; world-famous Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany and much more.
From Heidelberg, it’s a 2-hour drive east to Nuremberg. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour through the city’s Old Town, admiring the beautiful timber-framed houses and cobblestone streets. Marvel at the massive City Walls of Old Town Nuremberg, which still run for approximately four kilometers.
Behind the walls, walk past the Craftsmen's Courtyard, where glass cutters, leather workers, gold and silversmiths, stained-glass painters and other artisans offer their wares for sale. See the gothic St. Lawrence Church, which was rebuilt after World War II; Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt, Germany’s most famous Christmas market; plus Town Hall, German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer's house and the Imperial Castle courtyards, to name just some of the attractions.
Along the way, learn about the history of this beautiful and prosperous city — as the center of the Holy Roman Empire, to the days of the German Renaissance, the Temple City of the Third Reich, and the home to both the Nazi rallies and Nuremberg Trials.
See where German Emperors were crowned and where saints are buried. Find where the most famous and talented German artisans in history created their awe-inspiring works and where the colorful and lively markets have taken place for almost 700 years.
Enjoy some free time to sightsee and grab a bite to eat before the return journey to Frankfurt.