A combination of various highlights in Central Germany. This is the perfect Self-drive tour if you would like to see more of Germany: Berlin, Romantic Road, Rhine River Cruise…
The Self-drive tour starts and ends at Frankfurt International Airport – the largest airport in continental Europe easy to get to. The tour takes you to Berlin, Germany´s vibrant Capital City, to the Romantic Road (Wurzburg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber) and it includes an all day Rhine River Cruise through the Upper Rhine Valley – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along this tour you will also visit hidden gems in former East Germany: Eisenach (Wartburg Castle), Erfurt, Weimar, Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Dresden. In Franconia you will visit Nuremberg, Bamberg and Bayreuth. A great itinerary if you have a little a little more than a week!
The price of your vacation package includes a compact class rental car with GPS (can be upgraded), well rated hotels and a all day Rhine River Cruise (see the tableau this is already included in the price of your tour). Here you also find everything else that is included: rental car, tours and admissions.
Price per Person
|two sharing a double room||one in a single room||three sharing a triple room|
|US $ 1,269||US $ 2,279||US $ 1,099*|
*includes an upgrade from a compact to an executive size car.
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:
View 9 Day Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Rhine River Cruise (9S03) in a larger map
DAY 1 Frankfurt Int. Airport/ Rudesheim
Start your Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Cruise at Frankfurt International Airport where you pick up your rental car. Drive to Rudesheim am Rhein, gate to the Mittelrheintal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stunning valley measures around 65 kilometres in length, here the majestic Rhine Rivers breaches the Rheinische Schiefergebirge (schistose mountain). Along the Mittelrheintal are so many historic monuments and cultural landmarks as just about no where else in Europe. The vineyards towering high above the rapidly floating river are a sight to see.
Rudesheim is not only famous for its “Drosselgasse” (a lively alley with restaurants and taverns stretching from the river into Rudesheim Old Town). Rudesheim am Rhein is also famous for its scenic location in midst steep vineyards along the Rhine River and for the Riesling which is grown here. The Riesling is a dry white wine which is very popular in Germany. Explore the Old Town of Rudesheim and also maybe take a walk into the vineyards from where you have great views of the Rhine River and the scenic area surrounding it. If your arrival in Frankfurt is before noon you may consider taking a funicular ride up to the “Niederwalddenkmal”, a monument which was constructed to commemorate the foundation of the German Empire. From next to the “Germania” figure you have a great view over Bingen (across from the Rhine river). In the evening make sure to try a glass of Riesling and enjoy dinner in one of the many wine taverns, e.g. at the Wine Restaurant Rudesheimer Schloss where you will find local specialties as well as German “Gemutlichkeit”.
DAY 2 Rhine River Cruise
Today a cruise ship of the “Weisse Flotte” (White Fleet) operated by the largest Day-Cruise company – the “KD”, Koln-Dusseldorfer – will take you from Rudesheim am Rhein thru the very scenic and romantic Upper Rhine-Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cruise follows the Rhine downstream for 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) to St. Goar which is located across from the famous Loreley Rock. Along this cruise you will get off the Cruise ship three times to visit scenic wine villages along the way. For your visit of Oberwesel, St. Goar and Bacharrach you have about two hours in each of the villages. Total cruising time will be a little more than 4.5 hours (both ways), 1:40 hours downstream and almost 3 hours upstream. So actually on your way back from St. Goar you will have more time to see the historic villages, castles, ruins and scenic landscape. We will provide you with detailed tour information for this Rhine River Cruise so you will be able to identify the Castles and historic sights you see along this beautiful Rhine River Cruise!
You will be back in Rudesheim am Rhein in the evening – right in time to get ready for another night in this scenic wine village. If you plan to book this tour during winter time please be aware that there is a limited cruise schedule which we will arrange for you.
DAY 3 Wartburg Castle/ Erfurt
On your way to Erfurt you may want to visit Wartburg Castle. In 1521, while fleeing from the wrath of the Pope, Martin Luther (protestant reformation) took refuge in here after a fake kidnapping staged by his friend and protector, Frederick the Wise. Visit the Castle which for many is the most impressing Castle in Germany and stand in the very room where Luther translated New Testament into German. There are guided tours available in English at Wartburg Castle. When you are finished, you can take the bus back into Eisenach and visit the sights in the city center like the Luther House Museum with its fascinating displays about the time & culture of Luther and St George’s (Georgenkirche) Church connected with both Martin Luther and Johann Sebastian Bach. Speaking about Bach: the Bach House Museum is a must-see!
Drive on to Erfurt and see where Martin Luther studied, bow heads where he prayed and walk the same medieval streets. At almost every turn, there’s a reminder of the man who launched the Reformation. Erfurt was the young Luther’s spiritual home. In 1505 he graduated from the University with a Masters in philosophy. It is said that a violent storm close to Erfurt that same year prompted him to become a monk at the Augustinerkloster (Augustinian Monastery) in gratitude for his survival. Martin Luther stayed there until 1511 and was ordained as a priest in St. Mary’s Cathedral. Even after he had left the city, he often returned to preach to enthusiastic crowds, in the university church (St. Michael’s) for example. It has been more than 500 years since Luther was a student at the collegium maius, the old Erfurt University’s main building, which is now being restored.
The Augustinian Monastery, dating back to 1277, houses an exhibition that shows the life and work of its most renowned resident. You can visit Luther’s cell in addition to its impressive library with many rare books. Another important structure in Erfurt is the Barfusserkirche, or the black-friars’ “Church of the Barefooted.” Most of the church was destroyed in 1944, but even in the present condition the church is one of the greatest examples of German ecclesiastical architecture of the 14th and 15th centuries. Luther also preached here in 1529 before the Franciscan monastery was discontinued. Other significant sites for those interested in the Reformation and its leader are the Luther monument (next to the Merchants’ Church on the Anger road) and the “Haus Zum Schwarzen Horn” at Michaelisstrasse 48. This building housed Mathes Maler’s printing workshop, where many of Luther’s pamphlets were printed. Do not miss to try a Thuringer Rostbratwurst, a Thuringian sausage. You will find several grills in the Old Town where these delicious sausages are being served!
DAY 4 Weimar/ Lutherstadt Wittenberg/ Berlin
In the morning of Day 4 of your Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Cruise package drive on to Berlin, Germany´s Capital City. On you way to Berlin you may want to stop in Weimar and Lutherstadt Wittenberg.
Weimar is famous for its cultural heritage, home of many musicians, writers and poets such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. Your hotel is located in walking distance from Weimar Central Station. From your hotel a nice walk through the Carl-August-Alley will take you into the inner circle of the Old Town. The whole town can easily be visited by foot. Weimar is one of the most historic cities in Germany and it is as the place where Germany’s first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the “Weimar Republic” period in German politics from 1919 to 1933. Adolf Hitler often visited the city – probably he liked the classic touch of Weimar seeing himself in the long tradition of German Classics. At the Hotel Elephant, which is located right at the market square, Hitler had the hotel room renovated for him. The room still exists and it has a balcony towards the market place from where he often greeted crowds.Among the many sights to visit in Weimar is the City Palace. Inside there are memorial rooms in honor of Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and also houses the Palace Museum with its large painting collection. If you plan to visit the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek(historical library) with its beautiful Rococo hall you will have to let us know in advance so we can purchase tickets for you, waiting time is up to 6 month. The Goethe National Museum, the Schiller House as well as theLiszt House are among sights to visit. TheMarket Place and the “Park an der Ilm”, a beautiful park located close to the Market place at the Ilm River, with Goethes Gartenhaus (Garden House). If you are interested in the architecture of the “Bauhaus” you may want to visit the Bauhaus Museum.
A “must see” in Wittenberg is, of course, the Schlosskirche (Castle Church) where texts of the 95 Theses are cast in bronze on the door. Next you can tour the Lutherhalle (Luther House) Museum. In 1508, when Martin Luther came to Wittenberg, he lived here with other Augustinian monks. Later, Luther and his wife, Katharina von Bora, raised six children here and hosted many guests. You may also want to visit the Stadtkirche St. Marien (St. Mary’s church) where Luther preached and where his children were baptized.
Drive on to Berlin where your hotel is located in the City Center. It is not easy to describe this great metropolis, which fascinates the visitor both with it’s culture as well as with it’s history. Of course every Berlin visitor wants to walk thru the Brandenburger Tor, Berlin’s only preserved town gate which became a symbol for the separated city as is was once located in “no man’s land” directly at the Berlin Wall. The Reichstag (Parliament) with its new dome is the most visited monument in Berlin, its eventful history reflecting the turbulence’s of German history. Berlin’s “Museumsinsel”(Museum Island) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this “title” has also been rewarded to the castles and parks of the city of Berlin. Stroll along “Unter den Linden”, Berlin’s most beautiful street, the “old” heart of the city, leading from the Brandenburger Tor to the “Schlossbrücke”. Or how about Friedrichstrasse, this legendary road where the tradition of the “Golden Twenties” is combined with the architecture of the new Berlin.
DAY 5 Berlin
Spend another day with sightseeing in Berlin. Visit the Memorial Church on Kurfürstendamm, the Gendarmenmarkt square which forms a beautiful and harmonious architectural synthesis with the Konzerthaus (concert hall). There are the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral with their impressive architecture and the Potsdamer Platz with ultra modern buildings, with shops and entertainment. “Checkpoint Charlie” hardly needs any explanation at all, at the former border crossing American and Russian tanks stood vis-a-vis after the wall had been build in 1961. Your tour includes a walking tour suggestions for Berlin City Center which make it easy for you to visit different sights located close by to each other,
DAY 6 Dresden
After breakfast drive on to Dresden. 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 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it extends some 18 kilometers along the Elbe river from Übigau 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 center 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. Again there is a great variety of 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 7 Bayreuth/ Bamberg/ Nuremberg
On your way to Nuremberg you may want to stop in Bamberg and Bayreuth. Bamberg is a rarity even by German standards, as the basic fabric of the Old Town is largely obtained, over one thousand (!) buildings are land marked. A highlight in Bamberg is the New Residence and Rose Garden (admission included in your Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Cruise package). Construction of the New Residence began in 1613 and the palace has over 40 state rooms featuring stucco-work ceilings, furniture and tapestries from the 17th and 18th centuries. Another main attraction in Bamberg is the Imperial Cathedral which was built in the 13th century. Take a look at the magnificent marble tomb of the founder and his wife, a masterpiece of the German sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider. And do not miss to take a look at the Bamberg Horseman. This statue most likely dates to the period from 1225 to 1237.
Bayreuth – the town of the popular Richard Wagner festivals. The New Town Residence was built in Bayreuth after the Old Palace burned down. Margravine Wilhelmine had considerable influence on its final form, designing some of the rooms herself, including the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors and the Old Music Room with its pastel portraits of singers, actors and dancers. The Palm Room with its outstanding walnut paneling is a typical example of the Rococo style in Bayreuth. See the Margravial Opera House, built between 1744 and 1748, one of the few remaining 18th-century theater buildings in Europe. The interior of this theater with its tiers of boxes, made entirely of wood, was designed by Guiseppe Galli Bibiena from Bologna, the most important theatre architect of his day. Margravine Wilhelmine, a sister of Friedrich der Große (Frederick the Great), Margravine Wilhelmine converted the Old Palace into a charming little summer palace. Her audience room, the Music Room, the Japanese Cabinet as well as the Chinese Mirror Cabinet are splendid examples of Rococo architecture. The Margravine, who was a theater buff, also had an artificial amphitheater ruin erected, in which she herself appeared along with the writer and philosopher Voltaire. A particular highlight of a tour of the palace is the interplay of water fountains in the grottos.
Drive on to Nuremberg – The city’s history reaches back to the year 1050, its name “nourenberc” translating into “rocky hill”. Nuremberg has Nuremberg’s famous landmark, the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle, admission included), towers above the Old town, which is protected by the 5 kilometers long city wall with its many towers. The historic flair of Nuremberg with the Old Town surrounded by historic City Walls and the impressive Imperial Castle (which has never been conquered) let Adolf Hitler during the Third Reich choose Nuremberg as the location for their Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Within the monumental Congress Hall a museum and documentation center opened in 2001. Its permanent exhibition “Faszination und Gewalt” (Fascination and Terror) is concerned with the causes, connections, and consequences of the Nazi movement in Germany. If you are interested to visit the Rally Grounds you may also take a look at our blog “Documentation Center Nazi Rally Grounds”.
When exploring the beauty of Nuremberg’s mediaeval Old Town one can start at the Koenigstor (“Kingsgate”), 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 there 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. In the evening drive back to your hotel in medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Day 8 Romantic Road/ Wurzburg
In the morning of day 8 of your Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Cruise drive via Schillingsfurst (Baroque Castle) to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of Germany’s most beautiful medieval cities. 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 at town walls which are withstanding time since hundreds of years, protecting the city since the Middle Ages. Visit the town’s most famous spot, the Ploenlein square, probably the most photographed place in Rothenburg. 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. Every step you take in this old town is a step thru history with yet another beautiful spot to be discovered around the corner.
Rothenburg also offers museums which are cultural highlights, such as the Christmas Museum 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.
Follow the Romantic Road via Creglingen (Riemenschneider Altar in the Church of the Lord), Weikersheim (Renaissance Palace and Garden)and Bad Mergentheim (you might want to visit the market place), to Wurzburg where your hotel is located in the Old Town.
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 9 Aschaffenburg/Frankfurt/ Frankfurt Int. Airport
Today your Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Cruise ends at Frankfurt Int. Airport. Driving time from your hotel in Wurzburg to the airport terminal is a little more than an hour (please allow a little more time during rush hour). If your flight is later that day you may want to stop in Aschaffenburg to visit Johannisburg Palace and Gardens (Driving time from Aschaffenburg to Frankfurt Int. Airport is about 30 minutes, 47 kilometers – 30 miles) or you visit Frankfurt along your way to the airport.
Frankfurt is a very modern metropolis which nevertheless offers many historic sites such as the Roemerberg with the historic Roemer Town Hall its beautifully restored timber-framed houses and the Cathedral, located on the opposite side. Worth a visit is the Goethe Haus where Germany´s famous poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once lived. St. Paul’s Church, the “Paulskirche”, is a symbol for democracy and freedom in Germany.Would you like to download an overview of the 9 Day Central Germany Self-drive Tour & Rhine River Cruise (9S03) Tour 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 Rudesheim/ Rudesheim||Hotel Rudesheimer Schloss (or similar if not available)||Compact class Rental car with GPS for the duration of your tour|
|Day 2 - Rhine River Cruise/ Rudesheim||Hotel Rudesheimer Schloss (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Rudesheim am Rhein, All Day Rhine River Cruise|
|Day 3 - Rudesheim to Erfurt/ Erfurt||Mercure Erfurt Altstadt Hotel (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Rudesheim am Rhein, optional stop at Wartburg Castle on your way to Erfurt|
|Day 4 - Erfurt to Berlin/ Berlin||Hotel Amano Grand Central (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Erfurt, optional stop in Weimar and Lutherstadt Wittenberg on your way to Berlin|
|Day 5 - Berlin||Hotel Amano Grand Central (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Berlin|
|Day 6 - Berlin to Dresden/ Dresden||Pullman Dresden Newa Hotel (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Berlin|
|Day 7 - Dresden to Nuremberg/ Nuremberg||Hotel Victoria (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Dresden, optional stop in Bamberg ( admission to the New Residence and Rose Garden) and Bayreuth (admission to Old Palace and Court Garden) on your way to Nuremberg, Admission to the Imperial Castle, the Deep Well and to the Sinwell Tower in Nuremberg|
|Day 8 - Nuremberg to Wurzburg/ Wurzburg||Hotel Wurzburger Hof (or similar if not available)||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Nuremberg, drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Admission Christmas Museum, drive on to Wurzburg, Admission to Wurzburg Residence, Marienberg Fortress (open March 16th to October, closed on Mondays) in Wurzburg|
|Day 9 - Wurzburg to Frankfurt Int. Airport/ Frankfurt Int. Airport||no hotel needed||Buffet breakfast at your hotel in Wurzburg, optional stop in Aschaffenburg, Admission to Johannisburg Palace & Gardens in Aschaffenburg, on your way 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 Germany
- all meals other than breakfast (which is included)
- gratuities (tips)
- parking fees
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:
GERMAN FAIRY-TALE ROUTE (CUSTOMIZED TOUR) Dear Thomas, Just wanted to write and say what a wonderful holiday we had. The highlight was the stay in Trendelburg Castle, a truly wonderful setting. The views from the restaurant were breath taking. Kassel was also very impressive with the Hercules monument, would be interested to see that when all the work if finished. A friend of mine is now sounding interested in doing a similar sort of trip to ours so I will be passing on your details to him. Thank you for all your help. I think in a few years time we may do Kassel to Frankfurt and finish off the trail so will be keeping hold of your details. Kind regards – Liz W., Great Britain
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