Rhine, Bavaria Rail Circle Tour. A great combination of the historic cities along the Rhine River, Moselle and Neckar Rivers and charming towns at the Romantic Road and in Bavaria.
Visit Koblenz, Trier, Cologne, Heidelberg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Munich and Hohenschwangau along this journey through Germany and take a look at Neuschwanstein Castle, located in the Alp Mountains. The tour includes rail/transfer from/to Frankfurt Int. Airport, accommodation in well rated 3 and 4* hotels, a comprehensive admission package for Bavaria, a Panorama Cruise (Cologne) and an escorted coach tour to the Royal Castles (Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle). The price for this vacation package includes second class rail tickets which can be upgraded to first class rail for an extra of only US$ 209 per person. This includes seat reservations for all long distance rails. (see the tableau this is already included in the price of your tour). 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 $ 1,409||US $ 2,169||US $ 1,299|
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View 10 Day Rhine and Bavaria Rail Circle Tour (10R02) in a larger map
Day 1 Frankfurt Int. Airport / Koblenz
From the Frankfurt International Airport Long Distance Rail Station – which is connected to Terminal 1 at Frankfurt International Airport – a direct speed-train takes you in just about an hour to Koblenz. Your hotel is located in walking distance from Koblenz Central Station.
Located in midst the picturesque landscapes of Rhine and Mosel and surrounded by four low mountain ranges, the Historic Highlights City of Koblenz is known as the “Gateway to the Romantic Rhine“. Koblenz’s abundance of cultural monuments and historical buildings, the cozy little lanes and alleyways, and the relaxed and happy atmosphere of its squares and river promenades make Koblenz a charming town where its guests feel right at home.
Start by exploring the narrow alleys and vibrant plazas of the Altstadt (Old Town), situated in the corner of town bordered by the Mosel to the north and Rhine to the east. A scenic walk that gives a sense of the breadth of this charming quarter is along the Mosel and Rhine promenades. Stroll across the Balduin Bridge, first builtacross the Mosel starting in 1342. The view back to the Altstadt offers a unique view with the turrets of the Old Castle and the two pointed steeples of St. Florin’s Church. The two rivers play a major role in the German mythos. The Rhine symbolizes strength and pride, while the Mosel is more nurturing. Just a short stroll upstream along the Rhine promenade, sculpted figures of “Father Rhine and Mother Mosel” lie caressing and affectionate on a bed of grapes. Behind them in stately counterpoint stands the sprawling neo-classical Elector’s Palace, built in the late 1700s (closed to the public). Make your way to the Deutsches Eck – or German Corner – where the Rhine and Mosel meet. It’s here that a giant copper statue of Emperor Wilhelm I on horseback was erected in 1897, close to the spot where the Order of German Knights had its headquarters as early as 1216. The statue was destroyed by bombs in 1944. From 1953, the bare pedestal was known as the “Memorial to German Unity“.
Across the Rhine stands the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, looming 388 feet above the river and reminding visitors of Koblenz’s symbolic strength and historic significance. Today, the Fortress houses a memorial to the German army, a youth hostel, the Regional Museum and a restaurant with excellent regional food. Built on the occasion of the German Wine Exhibition in 1925, the Wine Village is situated on the Rhine banks (in the Empress- Augusta-Gardens). It has been a destination for connoisseurs of good wine and regional specialties for nearly 75 years. The complex includes a genuine vineyard and half-timbered houses from some of the most famous German wine-growing areas. Sit inside for a relaxing view out onto the river, or enjoy the romantic ambiance of sharing a glass of wine on the outdoor trellised courtyard.
Day 2 Day Trip to Trier
The train will take you from Koblenz to Trier. The rail tracks run along the Mosel River and the rail journey itself is very scenic. Along the way you will see medieval Castles like Eltz Castle towering above the Mosel River.
This day trip to Trier will make you feel like you’ve been transported far back in time. As Germany’s oldest city, Trier began as a metropolis of the Roman Empire and enjoyed prosperous medieval and Renaissance eras as well. Today the city’s glorious history can be witnessed at every step on a stroll through the bustling Old Quarter. Trier is considered the cradle of German wine culture, a tradition begun by the Romans when they established the still active Mosel vineyards. There is a Wine Teaching Path that winds through Trier’s vineyard-dotted surrounds to the village of Olewig, where local vintners offer tours of their wineries and wine cellars, tastings and light food.
Founded in 16 B.C. under Emperor Augustus, Trier expanded as an imperial residence and Capital of the Western Roman Empire. To serve its emperors and a growing population, the Romans built a city of such unprecedented proportions that it was known as Roma Secunda. The ancient city’s most famous relic is the Porta Nigra, the beautifully-preserved fortified gate from the great age when the city was known as Augusta Treverorum.
Today Trier contains the largest collection of ancient Roman buildings outside of Rome itself, all concentrated in a centralized and pedestrian-friendly area. Visitors can gaze in wonder at the size and majesty of the Basilika, used in the early 4th century by Emperor Constantine as an audience hall and throne room, and housing the largest unsupported room of antiquity. They can explore the expansive ruins of the Imperial Baths, remodeled during the 4th century as a barracks for more than 1,000 soldiers. And in the Amphitheater, they can sit in the same terraced seats occupied by fans cheering for gladiator and animal fights some 2,000 years ago. Be sure to visit the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, an outstanding archaeological museum with Germany’s most extensive Roman collection. While the stunning ancient architecture is the city’s strongest draw, travelers should also take in buildings like the baroque St. Paulin’s Church and the Church of our Lady, Germany’s oldest Gothic church. Behind the medieval façades of the Cathedral, architectural styles from the 4th through 18th centuries can be seen. Perhaps one of Trier’s most charming areas is its former Cathedral City, a mostly intact medieval district. A warren of narrow alleys runs between medieval houses in this former city-within-a-city.
Trier’s expansive Electoral Palace, built as a “wing” to the Basilika, is considered one of the finest examples of Rococo style in Germany, and its Baroque Palace Gardens are a peaceful green oasis in the middle of the city. Another popular attraction is the Karl Marx Haus birthplace of German philosopher, economist, sociologist, and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx. At your convenience you take the train back to Koblenz where your hotel is located.
Day 3 Cologne
Today you take the Speed-train “IC” from Koblenz 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.
During your one hour Panorama Cruise on the Rhine River you will see many sights of Cologne.
Day 4 Wurzburg
Take a direct High-speed ICE-train from Cologne to Wurzburg. Travel time is about 2,5 hours. The city is idyllically located in the midst of vineyards, with the medieval Fortress Marienberg towering above. Wurzburg is an old bishop’s seat and a lively town, proudly presenting monuments of different eras. Culture, art, history and hospitality are ever-present in this remarkable city! Fortress Marienberg (admission included), Wurzburg´s landmark, has of course changed its appearance a great deal since it was first mentioned, today the oldest part of the fortress is the “Rundkirche” (round church) which was built in the year one thousand. The Cathedral, the Marienkapelle, the “Alte Mainbrucke” (old bridge across the river Main ), the Juliusspital and the “Kappele” are musts, but make sure that you do not miss out on the “Furstbischofliche Residenz“, Prince Bishops Residence (admission included). This “Palace above all Palaces” is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy this beautiful town which offers not only cultural but also culinary highlights such as the hearty cuisine and, of course, the world famous Frankenwein (Franconia wine!).
Day 5 Rothenburg ob der Tauber
By regional rail you will get from Wurzburg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The Bavarian medieval town is definitely a highlight along your tour. Your charming Hotel is located in the Old Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (within the City Wall). Taking a walk thru this charming little town is truly a journey back in time. Rothenburg ob der Tauber was once a powerful free imperial town and its monuments, landmarks and buildings still bear witness to these days. Marvel at the half-timbered buildings and on top of the historic town walls which are withstanding time since hundreds of years. Visit the town’s most famous spot, the Ploenlein square, probably the most photographed place in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Also very interesting to see is the Spitalbastei Gate, created by Leonhard Weidmann, the latin inscription on the gate reading: ” Peace to those who enter, health to those who leave”. The Gothic St. James Church is the town’s most prominent church, here you can take a minute and relax in quietness while you enjoy the beauty of the famous Altar of the Holy Blood and the Twelve Apostles Altar. Rothenburg ob der Tauber also offers museums which are cultural highlights, such as the Christmas Museum (admission included) with an exhibition showing Christmas tradition in Germany, the Doll and Toy Museum where the history of playthings is shown, as well as the Crime Museum, where the visitor gets an insight into the law and especially its execution during the last 700 years. In the evening take an English-speaking tour with the Night-Watchman (included).
Day 6 Nuremberg
By Rail it takes less than 1,5 hours from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Nuremberg. Your hotel is located in walking distance from Nuremberg Central Station (which is located just outside the Old City Wall surrounding Nuremberg Old Town and the Imperial Castle). Nuremberg’s history reaches back to the year 1050, its name “nourenberc” translates into “rocky hill”. Nuremberg’s famous landmark, the “Kaiserburg” (Imperial Castle), towers above the Old town, which is protected by the five kilometers long city wall, many towers and gates can still be visited. The medieval Castle is one of the most important imperial palaces dating from the middle ages from the 11th century (admission included). In the Third Reich Adolf Hitlers´Nazi Party had chosen Nuremberg for their Nazi Rallies and if you are interested in that part of history you may want to visit the “Documenation Center Nazi Rally Grounds” which are located just south of the Old Town.
When exploring the beauty of Nuremberg’s medieval Old Town you may want to start right at the Koenigstor (“Kingsgate”) which is the gate right across from Nuremberg Central Station. From where the timber framed buildings, the Gothic Church of St. Lawrence and the Church of St. Sebaldus can be easily reached by foot. Right next to the Koenigstor is the Handwerkerhof (craft center), here you will feel like you are back in the medieval times, there are craft workshops like they used to have a long time ago as well as a gingerbread bakery. Make sure to enjoy a Nuremberg Bratwurst along with a beer or a glass of “Frankenwein” (franconian wine).
Day 7 Munich
On board of the direct High-speed ICE-train, it takes a little more than an hour from Nuremberg to Munich. The price of your tour already includes a ticket for unlimited free use of public transportation within Munich (also to Munich Int. Airport) as well as 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 8 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 tourwhich 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 9 Heidelberg
In about 3 hours the Speed-train InterCity (IC) will take you directly from Munich to the romantic city of Heidelberg. Since in Heidelberg the Central station is a little bit outside of the Old Town the tour already includes a taxi transfer to your hotel which is located in the historic heart of Heidelberg.
Your tour package includes a suggestion for a walking tour through the Old Town, a “must do” – of course – is a visit of the ruins of Heidelberg Castle which is idyllically towering above the Old Town located at the Neckar River. If you do not want to take the walk up there is also a mountain train which you could take. From the Castle you have a beautiful view over the city and the Neckar River. The historic Old Town is a lively city with many students living there. In your tour information sheets you will find a recommendation where to go for a typical dinner.
Day 10 Frankfurt Int. Airport
Today your beautiful vacation through Germany ends. Depending on the departure time of your flight from Frankfurt International Airport we will arrange a transfer from your hotel to the airport. The airport shuttle bus will pick you up right at your hotel. Travel time from your hotel in Heidelberg to Frankfurt International Airport is about an hour.Would you like to download an overview of the 10 Day Rhine and Bavaria Rail Circle Tour (10R02) 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 Koblenz/ Koblenz||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for Speed "IC" trains) from Frankfurt Int. Airport directly to Koblenz (travel time about 1:10 hrs)||Ghotel Hotel & Living Koblenz (or similar if not available), located within 8 walking minutes from Koblenz Central Station|
|Day 2 - Day Trip to Trier/ Koblenz||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type) from Koblenz to Trier and back to Koblenz (travel time about 1:20 hrs one way)||Ghotel Hotel & Living Koblenz (or similar if not available), located within 8 walking minutes from Koblenz Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Koblenz|
|Day 3 -Koblenz to Cologne/ Cologne||Unrestricted ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for Speed-Rail "IC" trains) from Koblenz to Cologne (travel time about one hour)||Hotel Domspitzen (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Cologne Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Koblenz, Cologne Panorama Cruise|
|Day 4 -Cologne to Wurzburg/ Wurzburg||Unrestricted rail ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High Speed-Rail "ICE" trains) from Cologne to Wurzburg (travel time about 2:50 hrs)||Hotel Wurzburger Hof (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Wurzburg Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Cologne, Admission to the Wurzburg Residence and Marienberg Fortress (open March 16th to October, closed on Mondays)|
|Day 5 - Wurzburg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber/ Rothenburg ob der Tauber||Unrestricted rail ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type) from Wurzburg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber (travel time about an hour)||Hotel Spitzweg (or similar if not available), located within the Old Town, right across from Rothenburg Central Station - 8 walking minutes)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Wurzburg, english speaking tour with the Night Watchman and admission to the Christmas Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber|
|Day 6 - Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Nuremberg/ Nuremberg||Unrestricted rail ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for Speed-Rail "IC" trains) from Rothenburg ob der Tauber to Nuremberg (travel time about an hour)||Hotel Victoria (or similar if not available), located within the Old Town, right across from Nuremberg Central Station - 3 walking minutes)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Admission to the Imperial Castle in Nuremberg, admission to the Deep Well and to the Sinwell Tower|
|Day 7 - Nuremberg to Munich/ Munich||Unrestricted rail ticket (not restricted to a specific time or train type - also valid for High Speed-Rail "ICE" trains) from Nuremberg to Munich (travel time about an hour), ticket for unlimited free use of the public transportation system (buses, trams, subways) within Munich||King´s Hotel Center (or similar if not available), located within 10 walking minutes from Munich Central Station||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Nuremberg, 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 8 - Royal Castles/ Munich||no rail ticket needed||King´s Hotel Center (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 9 - Munich to Heidelberg/ Heidelberg||Unrestricted rail 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 10 - Heidelberg to Frankfurt Int. Airport/ Frankfurt Int. Airport||no rail ticket needed||no hotel needed||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Heidelberg, airport shuttle transfer from your hotel in Heidelberg directly to Frankfurt Int. Airport|
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 Frankfurt International Airport
- 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:
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The ability to travel independently but have train travel, hotels and some touring suggestions planned out for us was a great alternative to travelling in a group. The hotels were excellent and staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The train travel was easy and worry free. To-Europe gives you all the information you need to travel on your tour of choice not only by booking the train tix and hotels but also by giving you walking tour suggestions and sites to see in the different cities. When planning a trip to Europe, To-Europe is definitely the tour company to use!
My daughter & I enjoyed this very well planned trip with 3 extra nights added on, one in Frankfurt and 2 in Salzburg. The train travel was easy and the times were accurate. Hotels were great and within walking distance from the Bahnhof. We enjoyed all of the sites and the walking tours provided by To-Europe. It would have taken me weeks to plan this trip so we were more than pleased by the outcome.
A wonderful trip. Had the security of hotels and Rail travel booked and the freedom to explore on our own. Everything was excellent. Every hotel was very good and the trains were a great way to go. Would not change a thing. We took a taxi to hotel in Rothenburg, but all other hotels were an easy walk from train station.
Just back from our trip through southern Germany and, despite our concerns about using a company that we had never heard of before, everything went well from the very start to the end!
The hotels were very good and well-located for us to explore the various towns and we marvelled at the efficiency of the Deutches Bahn and Munich transit systems...
Everywhere the food was good, all the service people were super and ready to help or answer our questions, and the people were friendly and having as good a time as we were!
We could go on and on but we just need to say again how pleased we were with our trip and how all the information you gave us, especially the suggested train schedules, uncomplicated our experiences in a country we didn't know before!
We are very happy and will be looking at a possible next trip with you!
Tom and Germaine
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
May 9, 2016
Had booked Rhine and Bavaria train circle tour and found excellent hotel options provided with flexible train timetables and excursions options. This is a very easy way to see countries independently without all the drama of booking as this is done for you. Will look at other options provided in future. As they can access good hotel prices and local entry passes it also makes it cost effective.