Founded in 1158, Munich has been the capital of Bavaria since 1503. Next to Berlin, it’s Germany’s most popular city, yet it’s small enough to be digested in one visit. It enjoys the added advantage of a great setting, with the mountains and the alpine lakes just an hour’s drive away. The best time to visit is from June through October, when the beer gardens, street cafes and bars are in full swing. The famous Oktoberfest is held on the Theresienwiese fairground starting on the second-to-last Saturday in September and lasting for the next 16 days. Available only with the Air Inclusive Package. Single supplement: $185
DAY 1: Begin your Optional Extension in Munich
This morning, your local guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at 10:00 am and lead an orientation walk to help familiarize you with the city. Luxembourg City overlooks the Petrusse and Alzette valleys and sits high on a rocky outcropping. It offers a combination of cobblestone-arched narrow streets and small, elegant palaces such as the Palais Grand-Ducal and the Chambre des Deputes. The beautiful Chemin de la Corniche is said to be Europe's most beautiful terrace, with a pleasant promenade that passes restored ancient homes. The Casemates du Bock, a defensive labyrinth excavated in 1745 in the rocks beneath the city, is partly open to visitors. Other remarkable places include the Place de la Constitution and the cozy Place du Marche, still used for weekly flower and vegetable markets.
Hotel: Hotel Le Royal
DAY 2: Independent exploration of Munich
This morning, transfer to the Luxembourg Airport for your flight to Munich. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Our transfer company is Taxi Munich Online, telephone: +49 173 38 250 38 outside Germany or 0173 38 250 38 within Germany.
Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.
VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes recommendations for what to see and do in Munich. If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 pm. You may store your luggage at the front desk.
After settling in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Perhaps you'll walk to the nearby Nymphenburg Palace and Gardens.
At 4:30 pm, our local guide will meet you at the hotel for a walking tour. He or she will show you how to buy tram tickets for our ride into Munich's center and the city's main square, the Marienplatz. Then, enjoy a walk through the historic streets thronged with street musicians and artists and past magnificent buildings. You'll no doubt want to return to many of them during the next two days to pursue your own interests. Your guide will point out restaurants where you can enjoy dinner this evening.
Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof
DAY 3: Independent exploration of Munich
At 11:00 am and noon, the Marienplatz fills with onlookers as the carillon in the Rathaus tower clangs into action. Close by is the Peterskirche, the oldest church in Munich, which is notable for its grisly relics of St Munditia, patron saint of single women, and for the view from its tower (up several hundred steps but worth the climb on a clear day!). The Munchener Stadtmuseum is an excellent local history museum that includes a photo-and-film exhibit and a puppet display. North of the Marienplatz is the posh end of the city center. And from the fashionable Maximilianstrasse, the little Kosttor road leads straight to the Hofbrauhaus, Munich's largest and most famous drinking hall.
The English Garden is Munich's largest natural area. Located north of the city, its vistas draw thousands of visitors for walks and picnics. If you'd like, you can join the locals and swim in the rivers that run through the park. The garden houses several popular beer gardens that provide a lovely rest stop after a day of exploring.
Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof
DAY 4: Munich Extension concludes / Depart for home
Today you may visit the interesting BMW Automotive Museum, which displays the history of the company in relation to the development of the modern automobile. Car buffs will enjoy the museum's exhibits, videos, slide collections and films. Nearby, visit the neighboring Olympic Park, the site of the 1972 Olympic Games. Walk through the lovely park, visit the modern and mesmerizing stadium, and see great views from the Olympic Tower.
Or you may wish to venture out of Munich. The Dachau Concentration Camp and memorial site are on the northern edge of Munich and was the home of Germany's first concentration camp. Today, Dachau Memorial Site is a place of memory and pilgrimage and makes for an educational and sobering day trip.
For a longer excursion, join a full-day coach trip to Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat and the southern headquarters of the Nazi party. The dictator's Eagle's Nest is a mountaintop lodge built by the Nazis. At 6,148 feet (1,874 meters) atop Mt Kehlstein, the lodge has some of Germany's most amazing views of the Alps mountain range – despite its history.
Or visit the enchanting old-world town of Fussen, set in the foothills of the Alps and surrounded by one of the most breathtaking natural vistas in the world. You'll see the ethereal Neuschwanstein Castle, the nearby lake and a postcard-perfect aerial view of the equally beautiful Hohenschwangau Castle and the waterfall gorge.
You can reserve all these tours through your hotel in Munich.
Hotel: Hotel Laimer Hof