Imperial Cities Rail Circle Tour. This Imperial Cities Rail Circle Tour is designed for people who can take two weeks off and would like to see best of Central Europe! Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Munich are only some of the cities you will centrally stay in during this vacation package by rail!
The rail tour includes unrestricted 2nd-class Rail tickets (see the tableau this is already included in the price of your tour) We can upgrade the tour to first class rail for an extra of US $ 259 per person. This includes seat reservations for the long distance rails. Here you also find everything else that is included: transfers, rail tickets, tours and admissions.
Price per Person
|two sharing a double room||one in a single room||three sharing a triple room|
|US $ 2,219||US $ 3,469||US $ 1,999|
Would you like to submit your personal information so we can check availability for your specific travel dates for this beautiful tour? On our BOOKING INQUIRY page you find a form which you may use to forward your personal information:
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Day 1 Frankfurt Int. Airport/ Cologne
Your Imperial Cities Rail tour of Germany starts right from Frankfurt Int. Airport. The airport has a long distance train station right at the terminal and the High-Speed ICE train takes you in less than one hour directly to Cologne Central Station. Your hotel is located in walking distance from the station. Cologne, one of the oldest cities in Germany. Travel time to Cologne is about two hours. The Romans founded a village located on the River Rhine and called it “Colonia”. Just outside Cologne Central Station you find Cologne´s most famous landmark, the Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) which is the largest Gothic church in northern Europe. Each of both towers has a height of more than 500 ft., the Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the landmark still is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. In the Cathedral you find the High Altar made out of black marble (which was installed in 1322) as well as the Shrine of the Three Kings (created in the 12th century). Admission to the Cathedral is free. For a fee it is possible to climb up the tower and to visit the treasury.
If you are interested in perfume a visit of the Fragrance Museum in Cologne, the birthplace of the Eau des Cologne, is a must do. The Fragrance Museum is located less than 10 walking minutes from Cologne Cathedral and a visit allows you to discover three centuries of fragrance history. Another Museum, the NS-Documentation Center of the City of Cologne, may be interesting to visit for those of you interested in the history of the “Third Reich”. It is located in the former headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo (secret police) which is also only about 10 walking minutes from Cologne Main Station (if you are interested in Nazi Germany/WWII-history you may also want to take a look at our History Rail Tour “Fascination and Terror –Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”). The Old Town of Cologne is located just a little south of Cologne Central Station. Shopping is great along the “Hohe Strasse”, a pedestrian zone, and in the streets going east toward the Rhine River you will find many places to eat and enjoy a Koelsch, a local specialty beer.
Day 2 Berlin
In a little less than 4.5 hours, the High-Speed ICE train will take you from Cologne directly to Berlin Central Station. Germany´s capital city is a great and dynamic metropolis. The unification of East and West Berlin 25 years ago changed the city in many ways. Berlin fascinates visitors it’s culture and history are unique.
Your vacation package includes the 48 hour Berlin Welcome Card. With this card you will have discounts to 200 museums, city tours and attractions and it includes a pass for unlimited free use of the Berlin public transportation system. With your tour package you will receive Berlin Walking tour suggestions as well as information about the public buses “M100” and “M200”: the buses are public double decker buses which cover many sights of Berlin and are a perfect way to explore the city by hopping on and off those buses. They run very frequently all day from 5am until midnight and if you take both routes you will have a circle taking you from the former Center of East Berlin (“Berlin Alexanderplatz”) to the Center of West Berlin (“Bahnhof Zoo”, “Ku´damm” shopping area). Bus M200 takes you south of the “Tiergarten” to West Berlin´s Bahnhof Zoo where you may want to visit the “Gedachtniskirche” (Memorial Church) as well as the KaDeWe, continental Europe´s largest compartment store, which is located close to the Ku´damm. Bus M100 takes you back through the Tiergarten and partly north of it, passing the “Siegessaule” (Victory Column), Bellevue Palace (built in 1786 for the younger brother of Friedrich II, Ferdinand of Prussia, today: seat of the Germany´s President), the Reichstag (German Parliament), the Brandenburg Gate and the Museum Island back to Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Day 3 Berlin
On your second day in Berlin along your Europe Rail tour your Berlin Welcome Card will still be valid. However, your tour package also includes walking suggestions which cover many of the sights around Brandenburg Gate which can best be visited by foot. From the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag (German Parliament) the walking tour passes by the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, to Berlin´s new city center, the “Potsdamer Platz”, to “Checkpoint Charlie”, to East Berlin´s Culture- and Shopping Street “Friedrichstrasse” (site of the “golden twenties”), to the “Gendarmenmarkt”, where the German and French cathedrals are located, via the promenade street “Unter den Linden” to the Museum Island.
The remains of the wall can be visited at Berlin´s East Side Gallery where parts of the wall have been turned into a piece of art. If you are interested in Third Reich history a “must visit” is the documentation center “Topography of Terror“. It is located at the site from where the Nazis planned and managed most of their crimes. For those of you interested to visit a Concentration Camp Memorial site: a half day trip to the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg can be arranged (see Day 7 of our History Rail Tour “Fascination and Terror –Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”).
Day 4 Dresden
After breakfast the “EuroCity” train will take you from Berlin directly to Dresden. Your hotel is in walking distance from the rail station. You will enjoy a Hop-on Hop-off City tour of Dresden – the bus will take you to the major sights of the city and the ticket is valid all day. Dresden, the river Elbe and the gently rolling landscape between Saxon Switzerland and Meissen determine the nature in which the city is embedded. The Dresden Elbe valley extends some 18 kilometers along the Elbe river from Ubigau Palace and Ostragehege fields to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River island. The Dresden Elbe valley features a combination of landscape and culture which is crowned by the Pillnitz Palace and the centre of Dresden with its many monuments and parks. Dresden is a modern city with lots of history inside, and as the inhabitants are known for their special charm, every visitor will feel welcome immediately. There are many interesting places to see, such as the Frauenkirche (Church Of Our Lady), the Dresden Zwinger, the Semper Opera House and the Royal Palace, to name just a few. There are magnificent promenades along the river Elbe which wait to be discovered as well as many museums and cultural highlights awaiting the interested visitor.
Day 5 Prague
After breakfast you will take the “RailJet” or the“EuroCity” train from Dresden directly to Prague. Travel time is about 4 hours. Your hotel is in Prague is in walking distance of Prague Central Station. The Old Town of Prague can easily be explored by foot from your hotel. You have all afternoon and evening to see many of the highlights: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), probably the most beautiful medieval bridge to be found today, the Old Town Square, dominated by the Church of Our Lady of Tyn as well as the Town Hall with its Town Hall Clock (Orloj) which was first installed in 1410. Watch the procession of the twelve Apostles, an hourly event which one should not miss, the Powder Tower (Prasna brana) … and many more!
Day 6 Prague
You may want to start this day by joining a free English-speaking 3 hours walking tour of the “Golden City” (information on how to reserve this tour will be provided). In afternoon to take a closer look into those sights which are most interesting to you. Maybe you would like to cross the Charles Bridge again and take a closer look into Prague Castle? You will pass the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana, “little quarter”) which is one of the most historic parts of town. Of course you have to try some culinary delights of Prague as well as a Pilsner Beer!
Day 7 Bratislava
In the morning take the train From Prague to Bratislava. Your centrally located hotel is in walking distance from Bratislava Central Station. The city lies on the banks of the Danube River and at the foot of the Small Carpathian hills. From Bratislava Castle you will have a nice view of the Old Town and the Danube River. In the Old Town you will find St. Martin´s Cathedral, one of Slovakia´s oldest cathedrals built in Gothic style. From the 16th to the 19th century the cathedral was used as a site of coronation for Hungarian royalty. Bratislava’s Old Town Hall is the oldest town hall in Slovakia with a tower that dates to the 14th century. Today the town hall houses the Bratislava City Museum, which features an exhibition of the feudal justice system. One of Bratislava’s most recognizable sights is the Slovak National Theater. It was opened in 1886 as the City Theatre, according to the design of Viennese architects F. Fellner and H. Helmer. Now it is the seat of the Slovak National Theatre opera and ballet ensembles.
Day 8 Budapest
It takes less than three hours by speed rail from Bratislava directly to Budapest, Capital City of Hungary. Budapest is one of Europe’s most charming and romantic cities. It consists of two very different cities, Buda on the West bank of the Danube River and Pest on the East bank. Most of Budapest’s famous sights are concentrated on Castle Hill on the Buda side, in downtown Pest and along the riverside walkways. You are holding a 48 hour Hop-on Hop-off City tour ticket which is a great way to explore the City. The most popular attraction of Budapest is the Royal Palace which is towering on the Castle Hill above the city as well as the Parliament Building – a neo-gothic jewel, beautifully situated overlooking the Danube. St. Stephen’s Basilica is the main church of Budapest. It is an important example of neoclassical architecture. The mummified right hand of Hungary´s first king, St. Stephen, is kept in the chapel. The 96-meter high dome can be seen from anywhere in the city and the inside is beautifully decorated with mosaics. Also worth visiting is the State Opera House.
Day 9 Budapest
Your 48-hour Hop-on Hop-off City ticket is still valid today and you may want to take another tour to see more of Budapest. Later on you may want to walk down to the Danube to visit the Chain Bridge (Szechenyi lanchid) as well as stroll along the Danube River bank. The “Shoes on the Danube Bank” can be found there; it is a memorial which honors the Jews who were killed by fascist in Budapest during World War II. The Jews in Budapest were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank.More detailed information about the horrors can be found at the Holocaust Memorial Center with its Exhibition Hall, the Synagogue and the “Wall of Victims”.
Day 10 Vienna
After breakfast you take the High-speed “Rail-Jet” train directly from Budapest to Vienna. Travel time is a little more than 2.5 hours. The price of your tour package already includes the 48 hour Vienna Card. With this card you enjoy more than 200 discounts in Vienna, at museums and sights, theaters and concerts, in shops, cafes, restaurants and also the “Heurige” wine taverns. But most importantly with this card you also enjoy unlimited free public transportation within Vienna. Even though your hotel is located in the City Center it is great to have the option to take the subway, a street-car or a public bus. On your first day in Vienna you may want to visit the Imperial Palace, for example, the “Hofburg Vienna”, the center of the former Habsburg Empire. The Palace was Sisi´s Imperial home and household, and the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum and the Silver Collection can be visited here. At the Vienna Hofburg you also find the Spanish Riding Schoolwhere you may want to watch a performance or join a practice session and also the Old Town Hall which is close by. In immediate walking distance of the Hofburg you will find the State Opera House, definitely one of the world’s most famous Opera Houses where the Vienna Opera Ball takes place every year. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna and it is a “must see” as well as smaller churches like the “Universitatskirche” (Jesuits Church) and the “Peterskirche” (St. Peter’s Church).
Day 11 Vienna
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Vienna with your 48 hour Vienna Card. Maybe you want to visit the “Ringstrasse”, a circular road around the inner city districts of Vienna. In the 19th century the road was replacing the Old City Wall which had been built in the 13th century. Many of the buildings you find along this road, the Austrian Parliament Building or the University of Vienna the for example, were built around the 1850´s. You may want to visit Schonbrunn Palace and its beautiful Garden. Your Vienna Card covers the fare to get there; the subway station “Schonbrunn” (subway line U4) is very close to the entrance of Schonbrunn Palace, once the summer residence of the Habsburg family and home of Maria Theresa. The Rococo palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Austria and nowadays is one of the most visited sights in Vienna. It all started with the building of a mansion on hunting grounds in 1548 just outside of Vienna. The impressive Palace in its present form (it has 1,441 rooms!) was built and remodeled around the 1750s by Maria Theresa. Make sure to plan in some time for a visit of Schonbrunn Garden. There you also find the Neptune Fountain and Gloriette, which was designed to symbolize the glory of the Habsburg power.
Day 12 Salzburg
In about 2 hours and 40 minutes the high-speed “Rail Jet” (RJ) will take you throughout Austria, from Vienna located in the east of Austria, close to the borders to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, to Salzburg, all the way in the west of Austria, right at the German border. Salzburg, beautiful town close to the Alp Mountains, birthplace of Mozart is also the site of the popular movie “The Sound of Music”. Your hotel is located in walking distance of Salzburg Central Station and in the early afternoon – after you have checked in – you will join the English-speaking most unique 4-hour Sound of Music tour yourself! This tour is an ideal opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Maria von Trapp while taking in local historical sights both from the city of Salzburg and also the picturesque lakes and mountains surrounding the city. After the tour you may want to walk across the Salzach River to take a look at Mozart’s birth house and the small shopping streets in the area. Here you also find a wide choice of restaurants for dinner.
Day 13 Munich
On board of the high-speed “Rail Jet” (RJ) you will continue your travels along the Imperial Cities Rail tour back into Germany; it takes about 1:40 hours from Salzburg directly to Munich Central Station. Your hotel is located in short walking distance from the station. The price of your tour already includes admission to many sights in Munich (Munich Residence and Residence Museum, Treasury, Cuvilliés-Theatre, Hall of Fame and Statue of Bavaria, Nymphenburg Palace and Park, Marstallmuseum, Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain) and with your tour package you will also receive walking suggestions for a self-guided walking tour through Munich City Center.
Along this walking tour you will visit the Marienplatz with the New Town Hall (with the “Glockenspiel”), the Konigsplatz (King´s Square), cultural center in the 19th century and later, during the “Third Reich”, site of Nazi Party mass rallies and location of the Nazi Party headquarters in Germany, the English Garden as well as the the State Opera House. You will be able to visit famous churches like Munich Frauenkirche, “Dom zu Unserer Lieben Frau (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady), with a height of 325 ft. a Munich landmark, St. Peters Church, built in the 14th century and the Asam Church, which was built as a private chapel and integrated into an apartment building. The tour will pass by the most famous Munich shopping streets (Kaufinger street and Neuhauser street) as well as by the “Viktualienmarkt”, a traditional farmers market (open every day except on Sundays). The tour will take you by the famous “Alois Dallmayr” luxury delicatessen and coffee store as well as to the Hofbrauhaus of course, probably the world’s most popular beer hall. This may be a great place to enjoy a hearty dinner and a fresh Mass of beer (one mug holds 33.8 US fl oz)!
Day 14 Escorted coach tour to the Royal Castles
Another highlight of your tour will be a visit of the world famous Neuschwanstein Castle. You will be on an all-day escorted coach tour which will first take you to Oberammergau for a photo stop (you may want take a look at the Festival Hall where the Passion Play takes place every ten years.) The coach will then take you to Linderhof Palace, the Royal Villa of King Ludwig II. The Palace and Park were inspired by Versailles and the rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished. After a short drive through Austria and back into Germany you will get to Neuschwanstein Castle. The picture of Neuschwanstein is probably present in everybody’s mind and Neuschwanstein really seems to be taken out of a fairy tale. You will join an English-speaking guided tour through the Castle. The tour of the interior, the Throne Hall, the Hall of the Singers, the Grotto and all of the private rooms which were built for King Ludwig II, will make the picture perfect! After the tour of the inside make sure to take some time to explore the castle grounds. The view of Neuschwanstein from the bridge behind the castle is like no other! Your luxury coach will take you back to Munich where you will arrive in time for dinner.
Day 15 Heidelberg
In about three hour train ride by speed rail, from Munich to Heidelberg Central Station you will continue you Germany and Austria Rail tour. Since the station is a little bit outside of the Old Town, where your hotel is located, your tour already includes a taxi transfer from Heidelberg Central Station to your hotel. Heidelberg is a beautiful historic town located along the banks of the Neckar River and the most significant sight is certainly the ruin of Heidelberg Castle, which is towering above the city. Since your hotel is located right inside of the Old Town of Heidelberg it is easy to explore historic Heidelberg by foot. Your tour package will include walking tour suggestions for the Old Town. Along the walking tour you will see the Old Bridge from where you have a nice view of the Old Town and the Castle ruins above. You will also pass by the “Marktplatz” (market place) which is the main square of Heidelberg, the “Peterskirche” (St. Peter´s Church) and the historic University of Heidelberg. Heidelberg´s University was founded 1386 and it is the oldest University in Germany and with more than 30.000 students it is still one of the most important universities in Germany today. If you want to enjoy a view over Heidelberg and the Neckar River you may want to walk up to the grounds of the castle ruins or – for a small fee, take the historic funicular up and down Heidelberg Castle.
Day 16 Frankfurt Int. Airport
At your convenience, take the taxi transfer (voucher included) to Heidelberg Station and the Speed-train to Frankfurt International Airport where your Imperial Cities Vacation Package ends.Would you like to download an overview of the 16 Day Imperial Cities Rail Circle Tour (16R01) as a pdf to print it out or to forward it to a friend? Please download it right here:
This is already included in the price of your tour
|Day 1 - Frankfurt Int. Airport to Cologne/ Cologne||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "ICE" trains) from Frankfurt Int. Airport directly to Cologne (travel time about an hour)||Hopper St. Antonius (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Cologne Central Station|
|Day 2 - Cologne to Berlin/ Berlin||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "ICE" trains) from Cologne directly to Berlin (travel time about 4:25 hrs), ticket for unlimited free use of the public transportation system (buses, trams, subways) within Berlin||Hotel Amano Grand Central (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Berlin Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Cologne, 48 hrs Berlin Welcome Card, Berlin Walking suggestions|
|Day 3 - Berlin||Ticket for unlimited free use of the public transportation system (buses, trams, subways) within Berlin||Hotel Amano Grand Central (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Berlin Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Berlin, 48 hrs Berlin Welcome Card, Berlin Walking suggestions|
|Day 4 - Berlin to Dresden/ Dresden||Rail ticket from Berlin directly to Dresden (travel time about 2:00 hrs)||Pullman Dresden Newa (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Dresden Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Berlin, Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus ticket in Dresden (valid all day)|
|Day 5 - Dresden to Prague/ Prague||Rail ticket from Dresden directly to Prague (travel time about 2:20 hrs)||987 Design Hotel Prague (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Prague Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Dresden|
|Day 6 - Prague||no rail ticket needed||987 Design Hotel Prague (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Prague Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Prague, option to join a 3 hour free English-speaking walking tour of the "Golden City"|
|Day 7 - Prague to Bratislava/ Bratislava||Rail ticket from Prague directly to Bratislava (travel time about 4:15 hrs)||Mercure Bratislava Centrum Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Bratislava Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Prague|
|Day 8 - Bratislava to Budapest/ Budapest||Rail ticket from Bratislava directly to Budapest (travel time about 2:45 hrs)||Royal Park Boutique Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Budapest Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Bratislava, 24 h Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus ticket in Budapest|
|Day 9 - Budapest||no rail ticket needed||Royal Park Boutique Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Budapest Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Budapest, 24 hr Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus ticket in Budapest|
|Day 10 - Budapest to Vienna/ Vienna||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "RailJet" trains) from Budapest to Vienna (travel time about 3:00 hour), ticket for unlimited free use of the public transportation system (buses, trams, subways) within Vienna||Hotel Schani Wien (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Vienna Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Budapest, 48 hrs Vienna Card|
|Day 11 - Vienna||Ticket for unlimited free use of the public transportation system (buses, trams, subways) within Vienna||Hotel Schani Wien (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Vienna Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Vienna, 48 hrs Vienna Card|
|Day 12 - Vienna to Salzburg/ Salzburg||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "Rail-Jet" trains) from Vienna directly to Salzburg (travel time about 2:25 hrs)||Mozart Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Salzburg Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Vienna, 4 hr Sound of Music tour|
|Day 13 - Salzburg to Munich/ Munich||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "Rail-Jet" trains) from Salzburg directly to Munich (travel time about 1:30 hrs)||King´s First Class Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Munich Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Salzburg, Admission Residence Museum, Treasury, Admission Cuvilliés-Theatre, Admission Hall of Fame and Statue of Bavaria, Admission Nymphenburg Palace and Park, Admission Marstallmuseum and Museum of Nymphenburg Porcelain, Munich Walking suggestions|
|Day 14 - Royal Castles/ Munich||no rail ticket needed||King´s First Class Hotel (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Munich Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Munich, All day escorted coach tour to Oberammergau and to the Royal Castles - Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace, Admission Neuschwanstein Castle (Hohenschwangau), Admission Linderhof Palace & Park (Ettal)|
|Day 15 - Munich to Heidelberg/ Heidelberg||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for Speed "IC" trains) from Munich directly to Heidelberg (travel time about 2:20 hrs)||Hotel Hollander Hof (or similar if not available), located in the Old Town (taxi transfer provided)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Munich, taxi transfer from Heidelberg Central Station to your hotel in Heidelberg Old Town, Heidelberg Walking suggestions|
|Day 16 - Heidelberg to Frankfurt Int. Airport/ Frankfurt Int. Airport||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High-Speed "ICE" trains) from Heidelberg to Frankfurt Int. Airport (travel time about an hour)||no hotel needed||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Heidelberg, taxi transfer from your hotel in Heidelberg Old Town to Heidelberg Central Station|
The tour package we provide includes a day by day itinerary as well as all tickets, vouchers and information necessary to enjoy a great independent tour. It also contains general information about the cities you visit which you can downloaded from our website once your tour is confirmed.
This is not included in the price of your tour
- Airfare from/to your origin to/from Germany
- all meals other than breakfast (which is included)
- gratuities (tips)
You have booked the tour already and would like to download the to-europe tour package for this tour now? Please download them right here:
Hi! Thomas, We are home safely after a great trip. Your arrangements were impeccable. Kindest regards – Ian McG., Australia View more
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