A Word On Fomo And Packed Itineraries
I know that FOMO is irrational, but its a remnant from being young and broke. Plenty of you can relate to that sentiment.
When my husband and I first started traveling we were still in six-figure student loan debt and I had limited vacation time. Long story short: my first job sucked and I hadonly 5 days of vacation time per year. I wasnt going to waste it!
Now that Im older and wiser, and more importantly at a different job with actual benefits, I dont have to be quite as efficient with my vacation time. But old habits die hard.
I particularly struggle with this in Europe because everything is so close.
Its tempting to just keep adding cities and/or countries that are only 2 hours away to the itinerary. In the US, I can drive 2 hours and not leave my home state
But its not always better to see 10 cities in 12 days. Is it doable? Sure! But youre not getting an in-depth look. Go-go-go itineraries are great for getting a taste and feel for an area so you can plan to come back later for an in-depth trip.
Even if you are still young and broke, dont travel like its the last vacation youll ever have.
Use your time and resources wisely. Have faith that one day you wont be young and broke anymore, and youll be able to go on multiple vacations per year.
Day Trip: Neuschwanstein Castle From Munich
On your third day, you are going to do a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein. This is arguably one of the most famous castles in Germany and while yes, it is extremely touristy, it is an absolute must see in Bavaria! While I am ALL about the Off the beaten path locations, Ive actually been to Neuschwanstein 3 times because I cant get enough of it.
Here is my Everything You Need To Know For Planning a Day Trip To Neuschwanstein which is going to go over everything from how to get there, what to skip, additional add on activities for the day, and more.
You have three main options on how to get to Neuschwanstein from Munich
Head back to Munich in the evening for your last night in town as you wrap up your German itinerary
Tip: Looking at a map, you might be saying, Wait, LeAnna. Neuschwanstein is so close to Austria! Why not just go on from Neuschwanstein to Salzburg instead of going back to Munich? Great question! However, if you are taking the trains, then the only way to get to Salzburg from Neuschwanstein is to actually go back up and transfer through Munich anyway as there are no good trains from Neuschwanstein to Salzburg.
Alternatively, if you dont want to go to Neuschwanstein then you can follow my other suggestions on my 3 Days in Munich Itinerary, which include several other day trip options as well as some other ideas for staying in Munich on your third day.
Why Should You Book A Vacation Package To Switzerland
Package vacations to Switzerland make it easier to enjoy everything this Alpine nation has to offer, and leave a bit of spending money for holiday extras. Whether you want to hit the slopes at ski resorts like Chamonix, explore upscale cities such as Zurich or Berne, or hike in glorious wildflower-strewn valleys, there will be Switzerland vacation packages for you.
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Day 7 Discover Alpine Innsbruck
Admire spectacular Alpine scenery, journeying over the remarkable Felbertauern Road on your way to the capital of the Tyrol, Innsbruck. Here you will have an opportunity to admire Emperor Maximilian Is Golden Roof, St. James Cathedral and see the Olympic ski jump. You could choose to admire the fascinating crystal installations and browse for precious gifts and souvenirs at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Store.
Hotel Grauer BärIncluded Meals Breakfast
Discover Our Switzerland Tours And Travel Guide
Visit Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, Glacier Express train ride, cable car to Europes highest peak and more.
Snow-capped alpine peaks, lush meadows and cosmopolitan cities await you in Switzerland. The land of milk and honey offers a delectable menu of history, wildlife and cultural diversity. With four official languages this international hub is so much more than the mouth-watering chocolate and cheese it is famous for though these should still be revered.
Ride the Matterhorn Railway to Zermatt, travel the route of the Glacier Express and take an explorative city tour of Bern with a Local Expert. And in Geneva the Jet dEau is a must-see, along with the iconic Chillon Castle that sits on Lake Geneva.
With Insight Vacations gain access to exclusive experiences. Meet a Swiss ranger on your spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and explore the stunning lakeside town of Bellinzona with your Local Expert.
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Vienna Day Tour To See History And Elegance
In the morning, people make their way to the narrow streets of the Innere Stadt district to a cafe that continues to embody a 1930s spirit. Locals order , a specialty of half coffee and half milk, and delight on freshly made pieces of cake. After breakfast, make your way to the captivating Hapsburg Palace, which housed the seat of Hapsburg power for more than 600 years, the official residence of Austrian rule since the 13th-century.
Day 13 Lucerne Your Way
Snow-capped peaks surround you as you wander through the medieval streets of Lucerne, lined with colourful muralled façades. Spend a full day on your own exploring the Old Town, enjoy a leisurely Swiss lunch or consider an Optional Experience ascending a nearby mountain for panoramic views. This evening, toast to your epic journey during your Farewell Dinner.
Included Meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
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Switzerland Vs Austria Which One Should You Visit
So, Austria or Switzerland? Which one will it be? Well, it really depends on what you are after.
If you are a nature enthusiast and planning the ultimate European Alpine vacation, then you should probably travel to Switzerland. Although Austrias mountainous landscape is stunning, it simply cannot beat the beauty of Switzerlands many alpine lakes. After all, Switzerlands incredible natural landscape, is what makes the country one of Europes most popular tourist destinations.
On the other hand, if you are after a cultural and historical experience, then you should choose Austria for your holiday getaway. Of course, another reason to pick Austria over Switzerland is the fact that it is generally cheaper. If you are a backpacker or prefer homestays to hotels, then you are definitely better placed in Austria than in Switzerland.
However, if you truly want to have an epic Alpine experience, then I suggest you visit both Austria and Switzerland. And perhaps Bavaria too. Each country has its own characteristics in terms of culture and the alpine scenery also varies across the borders. If you have two weeks or more, it should be fairly feasible to explore all three alpine countries.
Would you choose Austria or Switzerland?Let us know in the comments below!
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Your Austria Vacation Itinerary
Day 1-2: Vienna International Airport is less than a half hour drive from the centre of Vienna. Once youve checked in to your hotel, head to some of the citys famous attractions, such as Schönbrunn Palace and The Hofburg.
Day 3: Rent a set of wheels and cruise west to Salzburg. Around a three-hour drive away, this compact city is easy to explore in a day. Start your sightseeing adventure with a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress and Salzburger Altstadt.
Day 4-5: Drive a couple of hours west to Innsbruck, a colourful city nestled in the Austrian Alps. Here youll find impressive landmarks like the beautiful Baroque Helblinghaus, the Golden Roof and the Imperial Palace .
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Days In Munich And One Day Trip From Munich
You are going to start your Europe 10 day trip in the capital of Bavaria Munich! This South Germany Itinerary does its best at showing you some of the best that Bavaria has to offer.
Start by following my Munich in 2 Days Itinerary I love this itinerary because it is going to hit all of the Must See In Munich highlights while still allowing you to start to see some good Bavarian culture. While in Munich, using public transportation in town is a breeze and super affordable.
- Take a Free Walking Tour
- Walk the Gorgeous English Gardens
- Explore a Palace
- Eat and Drink at an Authentic Beer Hall
- Enjoy a Traditional Bavarian Breakfast
- Go to the First Concentration Camp in Germany
Frequently Asked Questions About Travel To Germany Austria And Switzerland
What is the best way to travel to Central Europe?
Most of our guests travel to Central Europe from the US by air, unless they are already traveling in a neighboring country. There are direct flights from the US to many of the large cities in Germany and Switzerland, such as Munich, Berlin, Geneva and Zurich, and some to the Austrian capital of Vienna. We usually recommend getting an open jaw ticket which has you flying in to the first city on your trip and out of the last. This will save time and usually cost less when you factor in the cost of returning to the first city on your itinerary. The exception is if you opt for a self-drive itinerary, in which case a round trip route will make more sense due to one-way fees. Although we dont sell airfare, our travel advisors will help you pick out the best fare and routing.
Where should I start my tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
With so many potential routes, we advise starting in the city that offers you the best flights for your arrival.
When is the best time of year to visit Germany, Austria, and SwitzerlandHow much does a Germany, Austria, and Switzerland Tour cost?How many days do I need to see Germany, Austria, and Switzerland?
It would be difficult to see all three countries thoroughly in a single trip without spending several weeks. At a minimum we suggest a ten night itinerary, which can be adjusted to include your choice of destinations and activities.
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Essential Europe By Rail: Austria Germany And Switzerland
13 Days from $ 6,490 / person
Discover historic cities in Central Europe by rail, starting from artistic and cultural Vienna by the Danube river in Austria and ending in cosmopolitan Geneva, the heart of modern Swiss culture. Diverse experiences await you on this journey so you can enjoy both cosmopolitan capital cities such as Munich, Salzburg and Zurich, as well as the beautiful European countryside including the Danube Valley, Rhine Falls, and the Alpine valleys of Interlaken. From Mozart concerts to personalized excursions in Munichs Old Town, a visit to the highest train station in Europe, Jungfrauch, and a boat cruise on Lake Geneva, explore Europe to the fullest!
Do you wish to customize this tour and include more bucket-list experiences to your vacation? Our experts are happy to plan a completely tailor-made obligation-free itinerary for you. Just get in touch!
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This Post Has 14 Comments
This itinerary is awesome! Can you share information about the accommodations you booked? Did you fly home from Zurich?
Yes, no problem! Ive added links to the hotels we stayed at in each city, under each day in the itinerary above. And yes, we flew home from Zurich. Most major airlines can accommodate an open-jaw itinerary, flying into one city and flying home from a different city, with no additional cost. Sometimes, its even cheaper than roundtrip from one city! I hope you enjoy your trip!
Oooh I have always wanted to do a Europe road trip amongst the mountains and this is exactly what I wanted. I love this article, saving it for later!
I hope you have a wonderful time and can go soon!
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Price Per Person Double Occupancy
|Request a quote or call 800-322-0788 for more information.|
Price Includes: Very nice 3 1/2 and moderate 4 star hotels, breakfast daily, 10 dinners, modern transportation, sightseeing as listed.
Not Included: Airfare, fuel charges, air taxes, travel/cancellation insurance, lunches, gratuities to driver and guides.
Deposit Required: $300 per person will reserve your place. A $100 service fee will be charged for cancellation at any time in addition to our normal payment and cancellation policy.
Day 1: Departure
Enjoy your overnight flight to Zurich with dinner en route.
Day 2: Arrive Zurich, River Cruise
This morning we arrive in Zurich and are transferred by motorcoach to our hotel. We have free time to get settled, freshen up and explore the area before enjoying a river cruise and delightful dinner. Overnight in Zurich.
Day 3: Berne, Interlaken
Berne, Switzerlands capital, is a wonderfully preserved Medieval town and one of the earliest cantons to embrace the Protestant Reformation due mainly to the influence of Zwingli. Sightseeing with a local expert starts at the popular BEAR PIT and then focuses on the monumental Federal Palace and the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take your pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Next, we travel to Interlaken, check into our hotel and have some free time before dinner. We overnight two nights in Interlaken.
Day 4: Alpine Vistas
Experience The Largest Waterfall In Europe The Rhine Falls Near Schaffhausen In Northern Switzerland
Located near the town of Schaffhausen on the Rhine River in northern Switzerland, the Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in Europe, Set on the “High Rhine,” the falls are 150 meters wide and 23 meters high. They were formed during the last ice age approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago by erosion-resistant rocks narrowing the riverbed. Travelers, artists and authors have been awed by the Rhine Falls for centuries in the 19th century, J. M. W. Turner created several paintings of the falls, while “Frankenstein” author Mary Shelley wrote glowingly of it in her “Rambles” in the 1840s. With Tauck, you’ll experience the Rhine Falls on a boat excursion from nearby Schaffhausen with time to explore this historic town with its fine Renaissance-era buildings decorated with exterior frescoes and sculpture, and its circular 16th-century hilltop fortress, the Munot, in the center of town.
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Pick One Side Of The Valley To Thoroughly Enjoy
Some people skip Lauterbrunnen and just go straight up into the mountains. Since the cable cars and trains to get up to the mountains can get expensive, many people choose to only go to one side of the valley and stay there for the duration of their time.
Grindelwald is more of the touristy side with more resort style accommodations. There are also more activities over on that side, like the Alpine Coaster, a zipline, biking, and more. However, I would also argue that the Grindelwald side is also more expensive . Grindelwald is also the side that will take you to the Jungfraujoch .
Gimmelwald doesnt have all the activities and attractions, but that is almost what makes it so appealing. No cars are allowed and you are left with just unadulterated beauty. While Grindelwald has stunning views, I might argue that the Gimmelwald side might have better hikes/ views. However, Gimmelwald does have far fewer accommodation options, so booking early is essential.
No matter what you choose, you are going to be dreaming of free ranging Alpine cows, cheese huts and breathtaking vistas for as long as you can remember.
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Days 10 Nights England
Join us for an incredible eleven days touring in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland to see legendary historic sites and magnificent scenery.
Arrival at the airport and transfer to hotel.
LONDONA full day to savor our rich program of activities: first half we will take a panoramic tour of Londons landmarks. Second half visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle or maybe a leisurely cruise on the River Thames.
LONDON BRUSSELS Leave in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you get your eurostar train to Brussels and in the afternoon a Brussels city tour.
BRUSSELS RHINE CRUISE, GERMANY FRANKFURT AREA The day begins with a short walk to discover the heart of medieval Brussels in the famous Grand Place. Your tour continues with a drive to the magnificent Palace of Justice and fashionable Louise Square. Passing the stately Royal Square, the Royal Palace and the Houses of Parliament, youll arrive in the Cinquantenaire district, with its Triumphal Arch, exceptional museums and splendid Art Nouveau houses all of which are particular highlights of this part of Brussels. Afterwards you can go to the shores of the mighty Rhine to enjoy the afternoon cruise. Then, on to the Frankfurt area for overnight.
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Day : Salzburg Am Munich Pm
Another split day. We went with roughly half and half, but feel free to divide your time however you want. Check the train schedules the night before and know when you have to leave to catch your train to Munich.
- Check out of hotel and store luggage. Head out for breakfast and some morning sightseeing!
- Café Tomaselli for breakfast
- Explore Mozarts Gerburthaus . Skip the line with Salzburg Card!
- Wander Mirabell Gardens & Palace. Dont miss the Dwarf Garden!
- Popular picture spot with Hohensalzburg Fortress in background and Mirabell Gardens in the foreground.
- Take the elevator up the New Town Halls tower for city views! St Peters, diagonally across Marienplatz, also has a sightseeing deck in the clock tower if you prefer to get pictures of the New Town Hall.
- Visit any or all of the amazing churches within easy walking distance: St Peters, Frauenkirche, St Michaels.
- Enjoy some shopping and dinner in the area.
Overnight in Munich at the Holiday Inn Express Munich City West. Super convenient to the S-bahn and includes breakfast!