Germany + Switzerland

An Itinerary for Your Adventure in Southern Germany & Switzerland

April 29 – May 6, 2017

Overview

Southern Germany is perhaps the most visited part of Germany. The rolling hills of central Bavaria and the Alpine scenery in the south make up a country full of scenic delights. Add to this the allure of Munich and some of Germany’s most beautiful towns – Wurzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Dinkelsbühl – and its easy to account for the region’s popularity. Stop by the Bodensee (Lake Constance), bordering Switzerland and Austria. On its balmy shores are the popular and very pretty towns of Meersburg and Uberlingen, while the cosmopolitan town of Konstanz has a fine selection of old buildings. End your trip in the culturally vibrant, beautiful city of Zurich.

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Itinerary

Please be aware that rates and availability are subject to change.

Day 1: Saturday

Car Rental
Rental Car

BMW 3 Series w/ GPS with ac
or similar Full Size class
Automatic transmission
Basic insurance coverage

Pick-Up in Stuttgart, Germany
Location: Stuttgart Railstation Office Arnulf-Klett-Platz 2

Drop-Off in Zurich, Switzerland
Location: Zurich Airport


Sightseeing

Wurzburg

At the northern end of the Romantic Road, Wurzburg, Germany, is an old city nestled in a vineyard-filled valley on the Main River.
The city is dominated by the Marienberg Fortress, the home of the powerful Prince-Bishops of Wurzburg, who transformed the city into one of the 17th century's finest. Inside the fortress are a museum and an eighth-century church. Catch the bus or climb the fortress' steep vine-covered hill for a magnificent view of the city.

The Residenz, with its grand staircase and ceiling frescoes by Tiepolois that illustrate the four then-known continents, is one of the finest baroque palaces in Germany and a UNESCO World Heritage site. A Mozart festival is held there in June, and the region's delicious white and rose wines can be sampled in the gardens in summer.

Also in town are the cathedral, St. Mary's Chapel and the Old Bridge, which is lined with statues of saints. Do not miss the Mainfrankisches Museum, which shows 80 sculptures of Tilman Riemenschneider, all masterpieces of the transition period between late Gothic and Renaissance characterized by the expressiveness of their faces.


Sightseeing
Würzburg Residence

Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
+49 931 355170

The Würzburg Residence is a palace located in the heart of the city. Interiors considered masterworks of Baroque/Rococo or Neoclassical architecture and art include the grand staircase, the chapel, and the Imperial Hall. The building was reportedly called the "largest parsonage in Europe" by Napoleon.[1]:52 It was heavily damaged during World War II, and restoration has been in progress since 1945. Since 1981, the Residence has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Lunch
Restaurant & Weinhaus Stachel

Gressengasse 1, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
+49 931 52770

Some of the finest food in Würzburg is served at this restaurant, which dates back to the 15th century. One of the few buildings to survive the bombing of Würzburg in March 1945, the Stachel has several dining rooms with medieval decor, including dark wood wainscoting, furniture, and floors, leaded-glass windows, and arched doorways. In nice weather, it's also pleasant to eat outdoors in the cobble-stoned courtyard.


Sightseeing
Alte Mainbrücke

From the old bridge “Alte Mainbrücke”, enjoy fantastic views of the Fortress Marienberg, the pilgrimage church “Käppele” and the famous vineyards.

The bridge was erected from 1473 to 1543 replacing an old Romanesque bridge. The characteristic 12 statues of saints were added around 1730.

The pedestrianized bridge not only links Würzburg's old town with the former fishermen's quarter on the left bank of the Main river. In recent years it has become one of the city's prime gathering spots for socializing and meeting old and new friends. Especially on warm summer nights visitors mingle with locals and enjoy the lively and convivial atmosphere whilst sipping a glass of Franconian wine.


Drinks
Alte Mainmühle

Mainkai 1, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
+49 931 16777

At the foot of the stone bridge across the Main River in the center of the city sits Alte Mainmühle, a renovated mill with two large terraces jutting out over the water. It's a perfect place to sip Franconian wines on a summer day, looking out at the river, the vineyards, and the massive Marienberg Fortress across the way.


Driving

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Founded in the 12th century, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, is famous for its art galleries, shops, cafes and pretty hotels.
Rothenburg (pronounced ROE-ten-burg) feels like the setting for a fairy tale—it's surrounded by towers, ramparts and walls. (Don't be surprised if various streets look familiar—they're often photographed for tourism posters.)

Visit the town hall and its vaults, Mark's Tower and Roder Arch, the Castle Gate and garden, St. Jacob's Church with its famous Altar of the Holy Blood, the Toy and Doll Museum, the German Christmas Museum and the Medieval Crime Museum.

St. Wolfgang's Church is fascinating, especially the three altars dating from around 1500. Although Rothenburg is one of the most tourist-laden towns in Germany, it's still worth a visit. Plan to stay overnight, as most tourist buses leave in the late afternoon and the town is most atmospheric in the early evening.


Accommodations
Romantik Hotel Markusturm

Review details below.


Dinner
Zur Höll

Burggasse 8, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
+49 9861 4229

Dating back to circa 900, Zur Höll is the oldest as well as one of the most beautiful houses in Rothenburg. Meaning literally - to Hell - a warm welcome awaits you. Savour excellent wine and regional cooking in the Olde World atmosphere. This medieval tavern features perhaps the best selection of Franken wine in Germany.

Day 2: Sunday

Driving

Dinkelsbühl

Dinkelsbühl is a historic town in Central Franconia, a region of Germany that is now part of the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. An almost unspoilt townscape dating back over 400 years, mighty churches, proud patrician houses and enchanting semi-timbered houses make Dinkelsbühl, “one of the closely packed and best preserved medieval towns in Germany”, say art historians. Today, the Gothic Minster of St. George, one of South Germany’s most impressive hall churches, still dominates an old-town ensemble of particular beauty. The ups and downs of the town’s 800-year history are brought to life in the ‘House of History, Dinkelsbühl – of War and Peace’.


Driving

Nördlingen

As one approaches from afar Nördlingen is clearly identifiable by its skyline dominated by the late Gothic church of St. George whose bell tower is lovingly called the "Daniel" by the people of the town. The top of the "Daniel" is just perfect for enjoying panoramic views of the medieval town . Today Nördlingen is one of only three towns in Germany that still has a completely established city wall, the other two being Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl.


Lunch
Riesling Nördlingen

Deininger Str. 17, 86720 Nördlingen, Germany
+49 9081 2904525

Enjoy lunch at Riesling, a restaurant located in the heart of Nördlingen. The restaurant has a great old-world ambiance. Service is pleasant and quick without feeling rushed. For non-German speakers there are menus with translations provided.


Driving

Augsburg

Founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus more than 2,000 years ago, Augsburg is one of Germany's oldest cities. The Free Imperial City reached its economic highpoint in the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the trading and banking activities of the Fugger and Welser families. Today, the historical city center with its grand Maximilianstrasse and the Renaissance and Baroque facades of the palaces and patrician houses presents a mirror image of this splendid epoch.


Driving
Friedberg

Founded by Duke Ludwig in 1264, Friedberg, the 'Ancient Ducal Town' in the Lechrain region of Bavaria, is distinguished by a medieval townscape. In addition to the remains of the town fortifications, the 'Marienplatz' in the heart of the town, with its fountain, pillar, and Renaissance Town Hall, is an attractive destination.


Sightseeing

Dachau Concentration Camp

Pater-Roth-Str. 2a
D - 85221
Dachau, Deutschland
+49 (0) 8131 / 66 99 70

Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners.Opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labor, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded.

The memorial site is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.Pplease note that parking fees are €3 per car. Guided or audio tours are available at the ticket counter and require no pre-reservation.


Driving

Munich

Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. It is undeniably a city of revelers. Yet there's much more to Munich than Oktoberfest and the city's reputation as the beer-brewing capital of the world.

Munich throbs with haute-couture shopping, grand churches, opulent palaces, vigorous music and art scenes, and an abundance of gourmet restaurants, beer gardens and popular nightspots. If Oktoberfest season is too hectic for you, try Munich in summer. There's nothing quite like enjoying a cold wheat beer in the cool greenery of the Englischer Garten. Whether you go to Munich for business or pleasure, you're bound to be exposed to a pleasant mix of the two.


Accommodations
The Charles Hotel

Review details below.


Dinner
Geisel's Vinothek

Schützenstraße 11, 80335 München, Germany
+49 89 551370

Restaurant & wine cellar serving Italian & Bavarian cuisine in a traditional, decorative interior.

Day 3: Monday

Sightseeing
Marienplatz

Since the founding of the city in 1158, this square has been the living heart and center of Munich. Jousting tournaments were held on this site in the Middle Ages; today, street performers and musicians draw the crowds' attention. The Mariensaule (St. Mary's Column) at the center of the square was erected in 1638 in gratitude for the preservation of Munich and the Bavarian town of Landshut during Swedish occupation.


Sightseeing
Viktualienmarkt

Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331 München, Germany
+49 89 89068205

The Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market and a square in the center of Munich, Germany. The Viktualienmarkt developed from an original farmers' market to a popular market for gourmets. Pick up some meats, cheeses, and wine and find an open table in the market for lively people watching.


Lunch
Hofbräuhaus München

Platzl 9, 80331 München, Germany
+49 89 290136100

The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, Munich's famous "hofbrauhaus", was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. It is one of Munich's oldest beer halls. It was originally founded as the brewery to the old Royal Residence, which at that time was situated just around the corner from where the beer hall stands today. The beer quickly became quite popular thanks to the first brewer, Heimeran Pongratz, and the famous "Bavarian Beer Purity Law" of 1516 that stated that only natural ingredients could be used in the brewing process.


Sightseeing
Englischer Garten

The Englische Garten (“English Garden”) is one of the largest urban parks in the world. Highlights include the Chinese Tower, Osterwaldgarten, the Eisbach, and more. Spend some time walking or biking through the park.


Dinner
Restaurant Alter Hof

Alter Hof 3, 80331 München, Germany
+49 89 24243733

At Restaurant Alter Hof, you will enjoy straightforward, genuine and exquisite Franconian delicacies and wines – all in the heart of Munich.

Day 4: Tuesday

Driving

Schwangau

Drive down to Schwangau, the village of the the royal castles. Smaller than its bustling neighbour Füssen, it boasts however one of the most popular "sights" in the whole of Germany.

But not everything revolves around Ludwig's "fairytale castle, and the villages of Schwangau and Hohenschwangau and the nearby surroundings boast some gorgeous lake and mountain scenery which will suit any traveller bursting for some activity


Accommodations
Hotel Das Rübezahl

Review details below.


Sightseeing
Bike Around the Forggensee

Jump on your complimentary bike rental from the hotel and make your way around the foothill of the Alps and the Forggensee lake.


Dinner
At the hotel

Day 5: Wednesday

Sightseeing
Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle or Schloss Hohenschwangau is a 19th-century palace in southern Germany. It was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria.


Sightseeing
Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. One of the most iconic castles in the world, Neuschwanstein is a must-see in southern Germany. Reserve tickets in advance online.


Dinner
At the hotel

Day 6: Thursday

Driving

Lake Constance

Nicknamed the schwäbische Meer (Swabian Sea), Lake Constance is Central Europe’s third largest lake and it straddles three countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There is a certain novelty effect in the fact that this is the only place in the world where you can wake up in Germany, cycle across to Switzerland for lunch and make it to Austria in time for afternoon tea, strudel and snapshots of the Alps.

Taking in meadows and vineyards, orchards and wetlands, beaches and Alpine foothills, the lake’s landscapes are like a ‘greatest hits’ of European scenery. Culture? It’s all here, from baroque churches to Benedictine abbeys, Stone Age dwellings to Roman forts, and medieval castles to zeppelins.

Come in spring for blossoms and autumn for new wine, fewer crowds and top visibility when the warm föhn blows. Summers are crowded, but best for swimming and camping. Almost everything shuts from November to February, when fog descends and the first snowflakes dust the Alps.


Accommodations
Riva Das Hotel Am Bodensee

Review details below.


Lunch
Tolle Knolle

Bodanpl. 9, 78462 Konstanz, Germany
+49 7531 17575

A local favorite, Tolle Knolle is a must-stop and a great place to grab lunch in Konstanz.


Sightseeing
Bike Trip Around Bodensee

The hotel will help you arrange a short bike trip in the area. Stop by neighboring towns, such as Hagnau am Bodensee or Immenstaad.


Dinner
Restaurant Ophelia

Seestraße 25, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
+49 7531 363090

It is not the two stars in the Michelin Guide or the 17 points in the Gault Millau – it is the love of food celebrated by Head Chef Dirk Hoberg and his team, presented in the subtle atmosphere of the Art Nouveau-style villa, that make an evening in the Ophelia so unique. Enjoy the modern interpretation of haute cuisine and the corresponding wine recommendations from Maître Werner Hinze and you will understand why some people can imagine nothing better than this live-and-let-live marvel on the lake.

Day 7: Friday

Driving

Zurich

Zurich's natural setting of a large lake, two rivers and tree-covered hills—plus its crisp, clean air—contribute to its excellent quality of life, for residents as well as visitors. Its Old Town is full of churches with tall steeples, medieval guildhalls, cobblestoned alleys and trickling fountains. No wonder the fabled "Gnomes of Zurich" like to do their financial business there.

This lovely Swiss city is more than a conservative banking town, though. It's also a center for contemporary art, alternative youth culture and an energetic party scene. A number of old buildings—including a dairy, brewery and shipbuilding factory—have been converted into more modern uses, such as museums, galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Zurich is Switzerland's most cosmopolitan and multicultural city, as more than 30% of its residents are foreigners. It's also consistently named one of the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life—if not the best. Zurich certainly has something for everyone, from banking to the latest in hip-hop and jazz, as well as fine restaurants and haute fashion.


Lunch
Le Dézaley

Römergasse 7, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 44 251 61 29

Whitewashed restaurant open since 1903, serving specialist Swiss dishes like fondue & herb sausages.


Accommodations
Marktgasse Hotel

Review details below.


Sightseeing
Old Town (Altstadt)

The Old Town contains almost all of the city's historical sights. Because it's a relatively small and compact area, there's no need to map out an exact route in advance or set a strict timetable—just stroll at your leisure, taking a closer look at the churches, guild houses and squares as you come across them.

The main monuments are churches, and their tall towers serve as handy reference points. The Grossmunster in Oberdorf has twin towers—they resemble asparagus tips. The Fraumunster is opposite the Grossmunster, on the western bank of the Limmat River. It has a single tower that's crowned with a tall green pointed steeple. The visual highlights at both churches are the 20th-century stained-glass windows by Augusto Giacometti and Marc Chagall.

St. Peterskirche, the oldest parish church in the city, is north of the Fraumunster. The large clock faces on all four sides of the tower are its most distinguishing feature. Other architectural standouts include the Rathaus (town hall) and various guild houses, most of which now house restaurants. One exception is Zunfthaus zur Meisen. The Swiss National Museum uses its rococo rooms to display a collection of porcelain and faience pottery.


Dessert
Café Schober

Napfgasse 4, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 44 251 51 50

The traditional Conditorei Schober is situated in the middle of the Old Town in what is known as the 'sweet corner'. Time seems to stand still in this stylish café. Conditorei Schober serves home-made chocolate & cakes in a century-old cafe, with high ceilings, Baroque style & a terrace.


Dinner
Kronenhalle

Rämistrasse 4, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 44 262 99 00

This building, constructed in 1862, is a Zurich institution located on Bellevue Square. Be sure to take a look at the art collection put together over a period of decades. The atmosphere is traditional, as is the cooking.


Drinks
Jules Verne Panoramabar

Uraniastrasse 9, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 43 888 66 66

Slick, lively bar with panoramic views over the old town, serving international wines & cocktails.

Day 8: Saturday

Flight
Flight home from Zurich

Accommodations

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Romantik Hotel Markusturm

Rödergasse 1, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
+49 9861 94280

Set in a former toll house dating from 1264, this charming, family-run hotel is beside the old town wall and is a 3-minute walk from the German Christmas Museum.

Rooms are individually decorated with a mix of modern and antique furnishings. Distinct features include seating areas with sofas, canopy/4-poster beds, old-town views and wooden ceilings. All come with free Wi-Fi and room service.


Munich, Germany

The Charles Hotel

Sophienstraße 28, 80333 München, Germany
+49 89 5445550

Centrally located in the heart of Munich, adjacent to the Old Botanical Garden opened Sir Rocco Forte the first contemporary designed luxury Hotel in the cosmopolitan Bavarian city.


Schwangau, Germany

Hotel Das Rübezahl

Am Ehberg 31, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
+49 8362 8888

Set at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, this upscale hotel is a 5-minute walk from Royal Crystal-Therma thermal spa, and 4.3 km from Hohenschwangau Castle. Additional amenities include a gourmet restaurant serving regional cuisine, as well as a stylish lounge bar with a fireplace and handmade armchairs. There’s also an outdoor pool and a spa, plus bike rentals.


Konstanz, Germany

Riva Das Hotel Am Bodensee

Seestraße 25, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
+49 7531 363090

This 5-star-superior hotel overlooks Lake Constance in the Petershausen district of Konstanz. It features spa facilities, a heated rooftop pool, free Wi-Fi internet and on-site parking.The 5-star Seehotel Riva is a historic lakeside villa, offering spacious, modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. All include a flat-screen TV. Most have a balcony or terrace.

Gourmet food is served in the Michelin Star Ophelia restaurant. The stylish bar and lounge area serves drinks.Guests enjoy a Finnish sauna, relaxation area, gym and beauty treatments. Swimming is possible all year round in the rooftop pool with lake views. Konstanz town centre is a 15-minute walk away. The historic Petershausen Abbey and Konstanz Ferry Port are a 5-minute drive.


Zurich, Switzerland

Marktgasse Hotel

Marktgasse 17, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
+41 44 266 10 10

Marktgasse Hotel is a boutique hotel with 39 individually furnished rooms, two restaurants and a bar is right in the heart of it all. Surrounded by winding lanes and centuries of history, just a short walk from top sightseeing highlights, the lake and the main train station, youll have the pleasure of staying at one of Zurichs oldest inns. Following a careful and comprehensive renovation, the hotel offers a compelling mix of timeless eclectic design and tremendous charm and personality.

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