Explore the festive markets of Germany, Austria and Hungary

Indulge the senses by exploring the best of Central Europe’s festive market scene. Feel the bustling energy of Munich’s charismatic Christmas markets, savour the smell of spicy festive delights in Salzburg, see the sights of vibrant Vienna and take a therapeutic soak in the thermal baths of Budapest. Meander from stall to stall, discovering new sights, sounds, flavours and fashions.


Start
Munich, Germany
Finish
Budapest, Hungary
Countries
Austria, Germany, Hungary
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
AMSW
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • This trip takes you to a variety of Christmas markets across central Europe. Contrast the various traditions, cuisines and of course, mulled wine, in several amazing cities

  • Munich's Christmas markets are probably the most famous of them all. Authentic Bavarian food, ale and music make this an unforgettable Christmas experience

  • Jolly Budapest really embraces the Christmas spirit. Take a walk through the streets to find every street, tree and market lit up in lights

  • Vienna's Christmas markets are as ornamental as its architecture. Austria's capital provides a spectacular seasonal shopping affair, with tonnes of hand-crafted toys, candles and paintings on offer. Where better to pick up those last-minute gifts?

Is this trip right for you?

  • The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'packing' section of the trip notes.

  • While the Christmas markets we visit are all beautiful, they can get very busy, so please be prepared for crowds.

  • As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • This trip runs throughout December, which can be one of the coldest months in central Europe. Please make sure you bring warm clothing with you and are adequately prepared for the weather.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Munich, Germany. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. In the evening, head out for an included dinner with the rest of the group.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Welcome dinner in Munich
Meals Included
  • Dinner
In the morning after breakfast, venture out with your leader for an orientation walk of Munich. This cosmopolitan metropolis houses an extraordinary array of sights for travellers more interested in art, architecture, history, music and, of course, Christmas markets. There are 20 different Christmas markets in Munich and you'll be introduced to the best of them. From the Kripperlmarkt, which has all you need to create an authentic manger, to the Tollwood Christmas Market, Munich's vibrant ethnic festival. Music lovers will be able to get into the festive spirit with a special alpine Christmas Market concert from the balcony of Munich's town hall, which takes places every day while the Christmas markets are on. Sip on a mug of gluehwein, grab a grilled sausage and browse the markets full of toys, wood carvings, candles etc.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gluehwein (Mulled wine) tasting in Munich
  • Orientation walk & Christmas Market visit - Munich
Optional Activities
  • Alte Pinakothek /Art Gallery - EUR12
  • Bavarian Royal Palace- combined ticket 3 sights - EUR13
  • Science Museum - EUR11
  • Third Reich Tour - EUR15
  • Bavarian National Museum - EUR7
  • BMW World - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel south-east into Austria by train to Salzburg today, which should take around one hour and forty five minutes. Built on the fortune of its famous salt mines, Salzburg is the birthplace of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves legend, home to the hills from the Sound of Music and purveyor of absolutely everything Mozart. On arrival, check in to your hotel and then head out into the city for an orientation walk with your leader. The city will captivate with its history, as well as its cobblestone lanes, bubbling river and charmingly kitsch atmosphere. In the late afternoon, visit the atmospheric Christmas market in Cathedral Square. The smells of gluhwein, roasted chestnuts, toasted almonds and cinnamon brushed baked apples waft through the marketplace, while the sounds of traditional Salzburg choirs fill the air. The rest of your evening is then free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Orientation walk
  • Christmas Market Visit - Salzburg
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Salzburg and the surrounding areas. Perhaps make your way to the salt mine in Berchtesgaden, situated in the German Alps. Otherwise, you may want to experience the life of the von Trapp family from the Sound of Music and visit movie scenes of the Mirabell Gardens and Pegasus Fountain, Leopoldskron Palace and Hellbrunn Palace. In the evening, why not head back to the Christmas markets to soak up even more of the blissful atmosphere?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Salt Mine of Berchtesgaden - EUR16
  • Sound of Music Tour - EUR42
  • Mozart's Birthplace - EUR10
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress - EUR12
  • Mirabell Palace and Gardens - Free
  • Three village Christmas Market tour - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a train bound for Vienna today (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival, embark on a walking tour of Vienna, passing grand buildings and parks. You'll see many monuments dedicated to famous composers and historical figures. In your free time, perhaps visit the striking Hofburg Palace, the Leopold Museum or seek out exceptional city views on the Prater Ferris Wheel. Later in the afternoon, head to the Christmas markets in front of the City Hall. Browse the markets, sip on Christmas punch and snack on some freshly baked cinnamon biscuits. Your base for two nights in Vienna is Magdas Hotel. It is unlike any other hotel you are likely to come across on your travels, a great social project supporting refugees. It 'brings together what belongs together’, staffed by people from over 14 different nations.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Christmas Market Visit - Vienna
Optional Activities
  • Leopold Museum - EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR12
  • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
  • Belvedere Gallery - EUR13
  • Albertina Museum - EUR13
  • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
  • Vienna Boys Choir - EUR70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You'll have the whole day to explore Vienna, so perhaps head to Schoenbrunn Palace, which was designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues by pre-booking your tickets at schoenbrunn.at. Rathauspark, just off the main square, is the perfect place for seasonal inspiration. Festively adorned trees and fairytale scenes are portrayed in artistically-arranged displays. Also, with over 12 Christmas markets to visit in the city, you'll be sure to find the perfect Christmas present.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel east from Vienna to Budapest on a train (approximately 3 hours). Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest's grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by. With so much to see and do, hiring a bicycle is a great way to move between sights and attractions. After a short walk around the city, it's time to visit the Christmas markets. With the main Christmas market being located in Vorosmarty Square, every street light, tree and market stall lit up it gives the area a real Christmas feel. There are plenty of stalls offering different Hungarian foods to try and buy. Experience these great markets of Budapest with a glass of mulled wine. The combination of market cheer and Neo-Renaissance architecture is a charming one.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Christmas Market Visit - Budapest
Optional Activities
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Faust Wine Cellar tasting - EUR19
  • Urban Adventures - Happy Hour Budapest - EUR58
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventure comes to an end today. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Metro, Public bus, Train

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Welcome dinner in Munich
  • Gluehwein (Mulled wine) tasting in Munich
  • Orientation walk & Christmas Market visit - Munich
  • Orientation walk
  • Christmas Market Visit - Salzburg
  • Christmas Market Visit - Vienna
  • Christmas Market Visit - Budapest

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see trip notes for more details.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.