- Sample mulled wine, gingerbread, and other Christmas delicacies
- Drive to the Eisenach Market inside the UNESCO-listed Wartburg castle
- Take a historical walking tour of Dresden and visit its 15th-century market
- Shop for unique, handmade, and traditional souvenirs in each destination
|Day 1||Arrive in Frankfurt, Christmas Market Tour, Private Beer Tasting||Frankfurt|
|Day 2||Drive to Nuremberg via Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Christmas Market Tour||Nuremberg|
|Day 3||Drive to Weimar via Eisenach & Erfurt, Christmas Market Tour||Weimar|
|Day 4||Drive to Dresden, Walking Tour||Dresden|
|Day 5||Explore Dresden's Christmas Markets, Drive to Berlin||Berlin|
|Day 6||Explore Berlin's Christmas Markets||Berlin|
|Day 7||Depart Berlin|
Day 1: Arrive in Frankfurt, Christmas Market Tour, Private Beer Tasting
Welcome to Frankfurt! This modern city in central Germany is known as a financial and transportation hub, but you'll also seek out its cultural charms during your time here.
Once settled at your hotel, meet a private guide at one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, the Frankfurt Christmas Market, dating back to 1393, which stretches from the central train station to the Römerberg in the center of the Old Town. Enjoy a carousel ride, savor traditional treats such as Bethmännchen cookies and glühwein (mulled wine), and admire the handcrafted gifts, decorations, and charming lights. Along the way, learn about the history, traditions, and tales of German Christmas celebrations.
Day 2: Drive to Nuremberg via Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Christmas Market Tour
Pick up your rental car this morning and start your day with a 2.5-hour drive to the enchanting medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Explore its well-preserved homes and Renaissance attractions, such as the majestic Town Hall and the picturesque half-timbered houses epitomizing medieval Germany. Depending on what interests you most, check out either St. Jacob's Church or the Medieval Crime Museum.
Then, continue your road trip to Nuremberg, which takes about 1.5 hours, where you'll head straight to the city's captivating Christmas market. The centuries-old market is considered one of the most impressive markets of its kind in Europe, and it's undoubtedly one of the most famous in Germany. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you indulge in the tantalizing scents of cinnamon, spices, roasted almonds, grilled bratwurst sausages, gingerbread, and chocolate-covered fruits—all accompanied by the warmth of mulled wine or rum punch.
If you're traveling with kids, they can enjoy many attractions here, from the whimsical children's market with its old-fashioned carousel, Ferris wheel, and steam train, to the medieval charm of the Old Town. As you wander through the market, admire the "Nuremberg Plum People," little figures made from prunes. You'll also discover why non-traditional and commercial decorations and merchandise are strictly forbidden (hint: the market focuses on preserving its historic authenticity). Don't forget to choose your favorite contestant in the "most beautiful and tasteful stall design" competition.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Drive to Weimar via Eisenach & Erfurt, Christmas Market Tour
Say goodbye to Nuremberg today as you travel three hours by car to reach the Eisenach Christmas Market, which takes place in the stunning UNESCO-listed Wartburg castle. Perched on a fantastic lookout over Eisenach, this medieval castle's surroundings are as much of a delight as what's on offer at the market.
Next is an hour-long drive to the nearby city of Erfurt, where you'll visit a market dating from the medieval period. It's famous for its dramatic Weinachtspyramiden, a traditional Christmas decoration based on folklore and centuries-old traditions. You can also shop for portable smaller versions if you like.
From here, it's just a 30-minute drive to your final stop, the UNESCO-listed town of Weimar, where you'll spend the night. The city is famous for its role in the German Enlightenment intellectual movement of the 18th century. Stroll past many beautiful landmarks lit up at night, including the Classical Weimar and Bauhaus buildings.
Day 4: Drive to Dresden, Walking Tour
Drive 2.5 hours today to get to Dresden, a former East German city near the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic. Once settled, you'll discover Dresden's rich history and culture on a private walking tour. Begin by exploring top sights like the Hofkirche (Dresden's Baroque Catholic Cathedral), the Zwinger Palace, and the Frauenkirche, reconstructed after being destroyed in the Allied bombings of Dresden in 1945.
Next, take a guided tour through either the Royal Palace or the Old Masters Gallery. At the Royal Palace, explore the stunning rooms and admire the meticulous reconstruction efforts that brought this gem back to life. Alternatively, at the Old Masters Gallery, take a tour of one of the most significant art collections in Europe, with masterpieces by Raphael, Rembrandt, and Vermeer among the highlights.
Day 5: Explore Dresden's Christmas Markets, Drive to Berlin
Indulge in more shopping, eating, and drinking today at several of Dresden's Christmas markets, including the Striezelmarkt, one of the country's oldest, dating from the mid-15th century. Stroll through the twinkling lights as you admire handcrafted decorations and listen to carolers. If you're fortunate enough to visit on the second weekend of Advent, pay homage to the original Dresdner Christstollen (fruitcake) at the Dresdner Stollenfest. During the Stollenfest, a giant Christstollen is prepared and paraded through the city, then sliced and sold to onlookers.
Continue to the enchanting Neumarkt Christmas Market near the Frauenkirche, where you can find beautifully crafted Christmas arches, handmade toys, document painters, and engravers. After a lunch break, continue your journey north to Germany's capital, Berlin, a drive of about 2.5 hours, where you'll return your rental car.
Day 6: Explore Berlin's Christmas Markets
Today you'll embark on a festive journey through Berlin's city center, starting at the iconic Brandenburg Gate and ending at the enchanting Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market. Make a stop at Checkpoint Charlie along the way, a significant Cold War landmark that was the checkpoint to the American-controlled part of the city.
Together with your guide, you'll learn about holiday traditions in Germany, life on both sides of the Berlin Wall (which you'll also get to see as you walk alongside it for a way), and what it means to be a Berliner today. Of course, you'll also indulge in seasonal delights such as glühwein, candied almonds, lebkuchen (gingerbread), chocolate-covered fruits, and Berlin's famous currywurst.
Day 7: Depart Berlin
The day has come to say goodbye to Germany! Take any extra time today to complete your shopping for delightful souvenirs and gifts that you can enjoy giving to your friends and family after you return home, prolonging the Christmas spirit and the memories from this charming tour. Transfer to the Berlin airport in good time for your flight. Fröhliche Weihnachten!