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 Munich’s Old Town, a visit to the highest train station in Europe, Jungfrauch, and a boat cruise on Lake Geneva, explore Europe to the fullest!
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Vienna, the capital city of Austria by the Danube River, is also the artistic and cultural heart of the country. Home to musical maestros like Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, and Strauss, among many other masters, Vienna is famous the world over as the City of Music.
Personalized Walking Tour of Vienna Explore Vienna on foot in the company of an expert local guide. Explore the city’s historic old town and its imperial streets. Understand the influence of Babenbergs and the Habsburg Dynasty on the city’s landmark attractions. Discover the atmospheric square of Karlsplatz, the sprawling Hofburg palace complex and the soaring Gothic-style St Stephen’s Cathedral. Walk along the beautifully manicured Ringstrasse, past the Austrian Parliament Building and the Vienna City Hall. You can also see the Heldenplatz square, known for being the site of Hitler’s Anschluss speech. Take a break from the heavy past in urban green spaces such as Castle Park, and elegant shopping avenues including Kärntner Strasse, Kohlmarkt, and Goldenes Quartier. Admire the neoclassical architecture of the Vienna State Opera, and the colorful facade of the quirky Hundertwasserhaus apartment. (Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)
Group Tour of the Romantic Danube Valley Enjoy a day out in the romantic Danube Valley and the Wachau region of Lower Austria. Renowned for architectural landmarks and epicurean delights, trade along the Danube gives this region a lively history. Witness the picturesque landscape, draped in terraced vineyards and wooded hill slopes dotted with quaint villages and medieval castles. Take a walk around the charming town of Krems an der Donau, known for its production of fine wines. Later, visit the iconic Melk Abbey, perched on a clifftop that overlooks the pretty town of Melk. Marvel at the Baroque architecture highlighted by white-and-mustard exteriors. See the spiral Imperial staircases painted ceilings, museums and galleries. After dropping by the monastery and the exquisitely decorated Abbey Church, take a break in the verdant gardens. Finally, take in panoramic views of Danube’s riverside from the terrace. (Full Day; Shared Activity; No Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)
Salzburg, a fairy tale Alpine town, became popular with travelers largely because of the all-time classic family musical, The Sound of Music. This picturesque town in the Eastern Alps bordering Germany is named after the lovely Salzach River, which runs through it.
Personalized Walking Tour of Salzburg Discover the culture and history of the UNESCO-listed city of Salzburg on foot. Walk across the old city with your knowledgeable guide, pausing to take in the sights. Admire the beautiful buildings and pick up tidbits about unique architectural features. Know more about famous historical figures hailing from Salzburg such as composer Mozart and the von Trapp family, immortalized in the movie ‘Sound of Music.’ Stop by picturesque locales such as Mirabell Palace and Garden that were featured in the movie. Mingle with locals as you head down the bustling shopping street of Getreidegasse. Pass by Festival Hall, a popular venue for annual events, and soak in the serenity of Saint Peter’s Abbey Church and its graveyard. Wind down your tour after about two hours of leisurely walking. (Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy.)
Group Tour: Mozart Dinner Concert in Salzburg Find yourself transported back in time to the late 18th century during this unique dinner experience! As night falls, make your way to an opulent banquet hall bathed in a romantic candlelit glow. Dine on an array of traditional dishes dating back to the baroque age, infused with an innovative twist. As you relish your feast, enjoy the live rendition of Mozart´s compositions, performed by talented musicians and vocalists. Soak in the period ambience created by the 18th century recipes and costumes worn by the performers. Return to your hotel with memories of a lifetime. (Duration: 2-3 hrs; Shared Activity; Includes Dinner; Fitness Level: Easy. No Guide & No Transfers.)
The mere mention of Munich and one conjures up images of annual Oktoberfest gatherings where lederhosen and dirndl-clad women serve beer in large tankards!
Walking Tour of Munich’s Historic Old Town Start out on this interesting walking tour of the key landmarks in the historic old part of the city. Set off from the meeting point at the Hauptbahnhof or the central train station with your knowledgeable local expert. Pass by exquisitely detailed churches, historical monuments, and the Bavarian capital’s famous beer halls. Listen to your expert narrate riveting facts and amusing anecdotes about the various attractions you encounter along the way. Apart from the delightful sights, get historical insight into the city’s not-so-illustrious past as a Nazi stronghold during the first half of the 20th century. (Half Day; Fixed Time: Yes; Time of Day: 1015 (All Year), 1015/1430 (Apr 1 – Oct 15); Duration: 2 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy. Transfer not included: meet at Radius Tours Office, please arrive at least 15min early)
Explore Munich on Your Own Unravel the secrets of this Bavarian city where tradition and modernity rub shoulders, as you set off to explore at your own pace. Peek into the past at the Dachau Concentration Camp and Memorial Site located just a short drive from the city. Soak in the history of the site before you make your way back to the city and head up the tower at Peterskirche to savor splendid views of the city. At lunchtime, get a taste of authentic German delicacies at one of the charming eateries and cafes that can be found all across the city. Afterward, stop by the large park of Englischer Garten to catch a glimpse of surfers riding the waves formed by the surging Eisbach river! Get a taste of local life at the sprawling Viktualienmarkt with its colorful displays of fresh produce, flowers, and snacks. Before you head back to your hotel, drop by a beerhouse such as the Hofbrauhaus where you can enjoy a cool pint served by traditionally dressed staff. (Full Day; Self-Guided Activity; No guide, transfers, entry tickets, meals included; Fitness Level: Easy)
Explore beautiful Zurich, with the Limmat River and Lake Zürich running through the city and the majestic Swiss Alps towering over it. While the old town (Altstadt) of Zürich offers a collection of preserved heritage buildings and old churches, modern Züri is a thriving financial center with a lively nightlife.
Group Excursion to Rhine Falls Discover Europe’s widest waterfall, the stunning Rhine Falls in northern Switzerland, on this tour from Zurich. Journey through picturesque landscapes along the Swiss-German border, passing vineyards and farming villages, while your guide offers information on the region’s history and culture. Arrive at the medieval Schloss Laufen castle, perched on a forested clifftop overlooking the 150-meter-wide waterfall. Stroll along the trail to the Belvedere viewing platform, where just beneath you, water thunders over the Rhine Falls cliffs. Walk through the castle’s inner courtyard to the Kanzeli and Fischnetz viewing platforms to experience the full glory of the cascade. Ride the panoramic elevator for the best views of this magnificent natural wonder. The castle and falls share a 1,000-year history which comes alive at the Historama exhibition – a fascinating audiovisual journey through the centuries. Return via the town of Schaffhausen with its 16th-century circular Munot Fortress, baroque buildings with bay windows and decorated facades. (Duration: Half Day; Time: 0900 hrs; Shared Activity & No Transfers; Shared Guide; Included: Entrance fees; Fitness Level: Easy; Operates April to October; Please wear sturdy walking shoes. Carry water; Important: Return via German territory – please carry passports).
Interlaken is a paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts and adventure travelers from around the globe. Framed by the Lake Thun and Lake Brienz in a spectacular Alpine valley of central Switzerland, Interlaken boasts of flowering meadows, verdant parklands, pretty timber chalets, and majestic fir and juniper forests.
Personalized Interlaken Walking Tour Discover the natural beauty and fascinating history of the traditional resort town of Interlaken, at the center of the Swiss Alps. Start your guided tour at the old town square. Walk to Reformierte Schlosskirche, formerly a 12th-century Augustinian monastery, converted to a castle church, known for its stained-glass work. Stroll along to Höhematte Park for breathtaking views of the Jungfrau mountain and Garden of Friendship, a small Japanese-style garden. Wander onward across the Aare River and marvel at the colors of its glacial waters as you arrive at the tiny village of Unterseen at the foot of Mount Harder, a charming scene with farm animals grazing on pastures. Further up on the forested paths is Hardermannli lookout and Hohbühl Pavilion, from where you can absorb magnificent views of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and the snow-capped Swiss Alps. Hohbühl Pavilion also has a memorial to famous music composers Mendelssohn, Wagner, and Weber. (Duration: 2 hrs; Time: Flexible; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy; Entrance fees not included. Please wear sturdy walking shoes. Carry water).
Group Tour of Jungfraujoch Enjoy spectacular vistas of the Swiss Alps from the highest railway station in Europe on the Jungfraujoch tour. Arrive at the Outdoor Interlaken Shop to meet your friendly guide. Set off on a round trip that takes you through iconic Alpine destinations, including Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald. Along the way, learn about the history and culture of these mountain communities even as you take in the picture postcard views. At Jungfraujoch, take the superfast lift – shooting up 108 metres in just 25 seconds – to arrive at the Sphinx Observation Deck. Home to an international research station, the observatory makes for truly stunning views of the icy heights all around. Pack in the excitement of a Cogwheel train ride, a drive to Grindelwald as well as a short visit of Interlaken before you return to the town center and call it a day. (Duration: Full Day; Shared Activity; Time: 1045 hrs; Fitness Level: Moderate because of high altitudes)
Geneva is a renowned global city, thanks to the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and the European branches of the United Nations and World Bank being headquartered here.
Personalized Geneva Walking Tour Geneva is full of stunning architecture and history. Explore the beautiful Old Town on this walking tour through a maze of narrow streets. Start with some panoramic views of Lake Geneva from Pont du Mont Blanc bridge. Just across the bridge is Jardin Anglais, with its famous Flower Clock, with a face created by landscaping 6,500 flowering plants and shrubs; it also keeps perfect time. Further along, on the hill, you can see the old church of Temple de la Madeleine with its stunning stained-glass panes. Just beyond it is the grand St. Pierre Cathedral, built in the late 12th century and modified over time, a symbol of the Christian Reformation. Then visit the Reformation Wall, built between 1909 and 1917 along a 16th-century rampart, with the statues of four Genevese reformers at its center. Lastly, walk along the pier and admire the famous Jet d’Eau fountain that throws water 138 meters into the air above the lake. (Duration: 2 hrs; Time: Flexible; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy; Entrance fees not included. Please wear sturdy walking shoes. Carry water).
Group Tour of Geneva and Annecy with Boat Cruise Visit two alpine cities in one day on this guided bus tour. Start your morning with a 22-mile drive to the French alpine town of Annecy, also known as ‘Venice of the Alps,’ for a walking tour along the pretty town with its colorful houses and medieval monuments. See the iconic 12th- century Palais de l’Isle, a medieval quadrangular construction, previously a court and prison, now an art and history museum, and The Château d’Annecy. Wander along the narrow streets, cobblestone alleys, arcaded houses, shops, art galleries and busy restaurants with lakeside seating. In the afternoon, return to Geneva for a mini train or walking tour of the Old Town. See the Cathedrale de St-Pierre, Place Bourg-de-four, Jardin Anglais Park, and the iconic Flower Clock. Finally take a boat cruise on Lake Geneva, from where you can see the Jet d’Eau, the UN building, Bellerive Castle and other interesting sites. (Duration: Full Day; Time: 0900 AM; Shared Activity & No Transfers; Shared Guide; Included: 1-hour Boat Cruise on Lake Geneva; Fitness Level: Easy; Meals not Included; Operates Daily June-September, May & October on Saturday and Sunday; Please wear sturdy walking shoes. Carry water. Important: Travelling into French territory – please carry passports).
You will be transferred from your hotel to Geneva airport in a private vehicle
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 6,490 /person
Option 2 From $ 8,890 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation and meals as specified in the itinerary
Activities and excursions as specified in the itinerary
Transportation services as specified in the itinerary
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Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description