• Hallstatt, Austria
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Munich Beer Hall
  • Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
  • Near Gimmelwald in the Swiss Alps
  • Rhine Valley, Germany

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

My Way® Germany, Austria & Switzerland in 12 Days Tour

Lacing together the region's beautiful scenery, fairy-tale castles, and beer-garden friendliness — from Vienna to Hallstatt, Salzburg, Munich, the Swiss Alps, and the Rhine — Rick Steves' money-saving My Way tour gives you the freedom to decide your own daily sightseeing priorities and pace. We cut the stress by providing comfortable rooms in centrally located hotels, private bus transportation from city to city, and a travel-savvy escort to help advise you along the way. Join us for My Way: Germany, Austria & Switzerland in 12 Days!  

What's Included

  • This is an "un-guided" tour — giving you the freedom (and responsibility) to manage your daily sightseeing schedule and meals
  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people will share our big, comfy bus during the trip, but not do organized sightseeing together
  • A Rick Steves escort will manage the group's transportation and hotel arrangements, and provide advice for sightseeing, meals, etc.
  • All group transportation from Vienna, Austria to Rhine Valley, Germany
  • 11 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts are included
  • All tips for escort and driver
  • Free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) featuring Rick's audio walking tours of sights, museums and neighborhoods in Germany and Austria. Also includes Rick's radio interviews with experts on destinations covered in this itinerary
  • More free stuff including Rick Steves' Germany and Rick Steves' Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol guidebooks; Europe Through the Back Door travel skills handbook (one per household); Switzerland Sightseeing Guide; German phrase book; moneybelt; and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Sightseeing notes

* = included in Rick's audio walking tours

Day 1: Welcome to Vienna

Welcome to Vienna, the capital of classical music, home of the rich Habsburg heritage, and one of Europe's most sophisticated cities. Depending on when you arrive, today is a great day to take in one of the city's amazing museums. We'll rendezvous at our Vienna hotel at 5 p.m. for a welcome meeting. Your escort will give an overview of the days ahead, answer your questions, and offer a quick orientation to our neighborhood and Vienna's easy-to-use public transportation. Then you're free for dinner on your own, and maybe an evening stroll around the Museums Quartier. Sleep in Vienna (2 nights).

Day 2: All Day in Vienna

Vienna is all yours, all day. With the help of Rick's Vienna guidebook and Audio Europe™ app, you might begin your day riding the Ringstrasse Tram* followed by Rick's favorite Vienna city walk*. To wallow in the wealth of the Habsburgs, explore the art and jewels of the Hofburg Palace's Imperial Apartments and Treasury, then head to the outskirts to tour the family's spectacular summer residence at Schönbrunn. This evening, take in a concert. As with every day of this trip: it's your choice! No bus today.

Day 3: Hallstatt and Salzburg

This morning we'll pack up, bid auf Wiedersehen to Vienna, and hop aboard our comfortable bus for Salzburg. On the way, we'll stop for a few hours in the picture-perfect lakeside town of Hallstatt. We'll arrive in Salzburg with plenty of time for you to stroll around the Old Town* and maybe take in an evening dinner concert in the town that Mozart made famous (reserve ahead). Sleep in Salzburg (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs.

Day 4: All Day in Salzburg

Today is for savoring Salzburg. Climb up to the fortress to reward yourself with a sweeping view of the city, and a cold beer. You can also rent a bike for an easy ride and picnic along the Salzach River, try your hand at Doe-a-Deer by joining a Sound of Music bus tour, or take an excursion out to Berchtesgaden to see Hitler's infamous Eagle's Nest retreat. No bus today.

Day 5: Marvelous Munich

It's just a three-hour drive to Munich this morning, which gives you all the more time to play in Bavaria's historic capital. Enjoy the glockenspiel in the Marienplatz, Munich's main square, or take in the dazzling Deutsches Museum. This evening, feel free to join the party at the Hofbräuhaus beer hall, where you can hoist a liter-size mug of beer, gnaw on a pretzel as big as your head, and oom-pah through the night. Sleep in Munich (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs.

Day 6: All Day in Munich

Germany's most livable city, Munich, is pleasantly explored by foot, bike, or public transit. Today you can take in the opulent Residenz palace or the sprawling English Garden; enjoy a leisurely outdoor lunch with beer at the Viktualienmarkt — or take a bus or subway ride to Dachau Concentration Camp or the state-of-the-art BMW Museum. You can also join a local tour company for an excursion to Mad King Ludwig's fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle (2 hours each direction). No bus today.

Day 7: Bavaria and the Swiss Alps

Today we'll drive across Bavaria and climb high into the heart of the Swiss Alps. By dinner time we'll be in the Berner Oberland's magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, flanked by towering, waterfall-laced cliffs and crowned by a trio of Switzerland's most formidable peaks: the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. After settling into our creaky old chalet, you'll find hearty dinner options and spectacular views just a short walk away. Sleep in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (3 nights). Bus: 7 hrs.

Days 8 & 9: Hiking the Alps

For the next two mornings, you'll wake up in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. Take off on a mountain excursion that combines the local cog railway, a gondola lift up to Männlichen, and a spectacular Alpine walk above the tree line, surrounded by a panorama of cut-glass peaks. You could also explore what's above the opposite side of the valley, ride a gondola lift to the top of the 10,000-foot Schilthorn, loiter in the thin air, and enjoy the mighty view. For a more restful day, stick closer to home and walk to the thundering Trümmelbach: a unique set of waterfalls encased behind the valley walls. No bus today.

Day 10: To the Rhine Valley

This morning we'll get an early start as we make our way from the Swiss Alps to Germany's Rhine Valley, with a stop for lunch and leg-stretching along the way. Arriving at our hotel in the early evening, you'll have time to watch the parade of river barges, stroll the river bank, and enjoy the charms of a small Rhine village. Sleep in the Rhine Valley (2 nights). Bus: 8 hrs.

Day 11: Castles and Cruising the Rhine

The Rhine Valley is storybook Germany, a fairy-tale world of legends and robber-baron castles. Today you may want to tackle the nearby Rheinfels Castle, once the mightiest in the region. You can also climb aboard a Rhine steamer and cruise the best of the Rhine*, home to craggy castles, steep vineyards, and legends galore. No bus today.

Day 12: Tour Over After Breakfast

From the Rhine Valley, it's a convenient 90-minute train trip to Frankfurt's airport. Your escort will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Auf Wiedersehen!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our My Way: Germany, Austria & Switzerland in 12 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  4. Be responsible for your own daily sightseeing, admissions, meals (except breakfasts) and non-group transportation

 

Reviews

Ann

Catonsville, MD

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything we hoped for! However, We would have enjoyed more than 3 hr in Hallstatt since we weren't arriving in Salzburg until late afternoon. Once we had our lunch @ lakeside restaurant, there wasn't adequate time to explore all the sights. Munich was great, but we could have skipped it for 2 full days (3 nights) in Salzburg & St Goar & Rhine Valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the "Top of Europe" was a truely moving experience for us! We loved it all, and explored the entire complex inside & out! The Ice Palace was unique. But the pinnacle moment was when the clouds cleared and we could see the Eiger behind us and the towns in the valley below! The train ride was delightful , and we enjoyed stopping @ Kleiner- Schleidig & Wengen on the way back down to Lauterbrunnen. A truely memorable day!"

Keith

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome! Yes, I used a very overused word. This "my way" trip was a great balance of destination planning and individual time to see the sights. Our guide (Martin) was a great addition to each destination as well. The people in the group also blended together well. It is great to spend time reading and investigating each destination instead of planning the trip. The best compliment to many things is "would you do this again". Absolutely! Would you recommend to friends...already have.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountain views around Lauterbrunnen. I just sat on my hotel balcony one evening soaking in the view. It was incredible. The trails and paths around Lauterbrunnen give you Hallstadt is a close second for the views there too. Oktoberfest was the great time I hoped it would be. Wow for great beer and how many folks are in each tent. OK...3 favorite wow moments. It was that kind of trip."

Robert

Duluth, GA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first with Rick Steves' although we have followed Rick's books on 5 previous trips to Europe. Had a great time! Nice to be with a group you get to know and can discuss plans and things to do. Having Martin as a guide was certianly an added bonus, very informative and helpful. I would do it again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauderbrunnen and Vienna."

Marilyn

Richland Center, WI

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first European tour. It exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed the right balance between independence and guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After a long day on the bus, we [INVALID]ped our bags in our hotel room in Lauterbrunner and went out on our balcony overlooking the main street. The view across the valley was amazing! Trains just descending from Wengen, cows with their bells ringing, lush pastures,..."

Tom

Richland Center, WI

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip fully met our expectations for a trip in which the travel and lodging aspect was worry free, while the options to explore were wide open. The time spent in each location was great, except I would have preferred more time in Vienna. The directions to get to the first hotel and to Frankfurt airport were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at the Lauterbrunnen Valley and looking at the Alps from our room balcony."

Deborah

Duluth, GA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Martin was perfect. I admit I am used to more luxury hotels,but I understand! First hotel in Vienna,great breakfast,location good as far as near where we wanted to be.across the street,and we were right on the street,was I guess a gentlemans house? Lots of noise, screaming drunks no one did anything about.salzburg across from bus station,no sleep again.munich hotel was perfect btw.the hotels would make me think before taking another tour,even though i made the best of it

Favorite "WOW" moment

"how beautiful switzerland was,and how cool vienna was and lipazon horses. not the things i thought id be wowed as much as i was.lunch at hapsburg"

Paul

Manchester, NH

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first My Way Tour and the experience was very good. Martin was a good escort, and the group was very good. Bus travel was fine and most hotels were good, although some bath rooms were miniscule. Particularly enjoyed the two happy hours organized by Martin, providing good opportunities to exchange information and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire day trip to the Jungfraujoch on a spectacular, clear morning. The views absolutely incredible. Also enjoyed Oktoberfest, what a party!"

Jim

Rancho Cordova, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fifth Rick Steves' Tour and now ranks as our favorite. The "My Way" method was a great way to travel. We loved the freedom of meals and touring on our own, but having the "hard stuff" - the ground transportation and hotels - all taken care of. Even with the freedom and independence, we really enjoyed the people on our tour. Perhaps it was because we shared a common approach. The places visited were great - with just enough guidance from Margaret, our escort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MANY favorite wow moments - 2 brilliant (and clear) days in the Swiss Alps - we could never get enough of hiking there. Salzburg was a real treat - with cycling along the river a joy. Sharing a table with a German family from Munich at Oktoberfest was an unexpected highlight. And Halstatt - we could have taken an overnight or two there on the lake."

Dean

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really liked the My Way experience. The tour was excellent for the locations, hotels, tour escort, bus driver and the fellow tour mates. I especially enjoyed that I was responsible for how my tour went and that my wife and I were responsible for the activities that we wanted to due.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending Oktoberfest in Munich with a group of people from the tour. The energy and fun inside the tents with incredible and it was even better that we could enjoy it with several of our new found friends."

Mark

Colbert, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Transportation between hotels was quite good and really appreciated our friendly bus driver Francois. We loved each city we visited but our favorites were Saltzburg, Lauder Brunnen and Vienna. We could have spend more time in some locations and may do this again on our own to do that. We were pretty pooped at the end of the trip. I never gave a thought to the energy that would be required to change locations as frequently as we did. We found that St Gore was small, Bacarach would have been bette

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps had to be our favorite. Amazing people, breathtaking sights. Definitely will go back and spend more time hiking, biking and exploring Murren."

Kathleen

Cedaredge, CO

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

good group. Excellent hiking in the Swiss alps near Lauterbrunnen- that was the highlight. Tour leader was ok, nothing extra.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking near Lauterbrunnen- absolutely amazingly!"

Barbara

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "My Way Tour". I loved being able to do whatever you wanted. Everyone in the group were wonderful. After doing other Rick Steves Tours, I found this to be a better way to go now that I've been to Europe before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the train on a clear sunning day to the Jungfraujoch. Being able to see forever up on the mountain."

Jacqueline

Colbert, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely incredible! That sums up my tour experience! Awesome value for the money. We enjoyed wonderful hotels, fantastic transportation and comedy with Europe's best bus driver, Francois, coupled with a great variety of places to experience. Our guide, Margaret, was very personable and helpful with good suggestions for exploration. My only regret is not having a bit more time in each place!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well.....hummmm, I had a wow moment every time I turned around! Hiking, then biking in the Swiss Alps....unforgettable! Salzburg--fantastic! Oktoberfest was quite the experience. Castles, market places, cobblestones, sigh, I'm headed back soon!!"

Rhoda

Needham, MA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. We liked being on our own each day, but it was nice having someone to answer any questions we had. It was also nice to not have to worry about transportation from one hotel to the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Lauterbrunnen Valley. The alps were beautiful. We were so lucky to have clear sunny days while we were there. Margaret jokingly called us the "Sunshine Tour" because sunny weather seemed to be with us wherever we went."

Lindsey

Centrevile, VA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The experience and the guide were great. I very much enjoyed the structure of the tour. I did not like a couple of the hotels. The Ibis West for example, i enjoyed the breakfast, however the rooms were not as cozy or local, as I have come to understand Rick Steves' recommendations. The manager at the Schithen Hotel restaurant in Lauterbrunnen Valley was rude. The rooms were great, but some guests enjoy a great view, while others have none.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Top of Europe on Jungfrau- just breathtaking."

Sue

Loveland, CO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

MY WAY concept is great. I would have liked one MORE day in Salzburg and one LESS day in Munich.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eagle's Nest tour"

Bernard

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Bus transportation was EXCELLENT! Driver was professional, courteous, and really patient. Day trip stops were chosen well (ex- Hallstat was superb) and it hardly seemed like a travel day. Limiting the group size was very good. Hotels are a poor value; not really an option to come back to you hotel mid-day to relax between activities.

Dennis

Larkspur, CO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our "My Way" tour was excellent overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland"

Vicki

Larkspur, CO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each portion was the trip was my favorite until I got to the next destination and that became my favorite. I loved the freedom of choosing the sites my husband and I wanted to see and the pace we wanted to go. Our fellow travel companions were wonderful people and then seeing their faces somewhere we happened to be was "a warm and fuzzy" experience; since we all had different site seeing interests and time schedules. I loved that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I choose this particular tour because two of the countries I especially wanted to see were included; Austria because of the Sound of Music movie and Switzerland because it had been on my bucket list since I was a little girl. My "wow" moment is sitting on our balcony in Lauterbrunnen watching the cows come down from the high country, decked out with the huge bells sounding their arrival and the flowered headdresses. What a fun sight to behold! And the Alps, wow, wow, wow, and let me say WOW!"

Barry

Madison, NJ

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is an excellent tour if you are looking to hit several good sites in in the alps region in a relatively short time. Gretchen was very friendly and informative guide. She really knows the region and has a way with bringing the whole group together as if we were old friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swiss alps"

Janice

Madison, NJ

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Well designed selection of locations and hotels. Wonderful and helpful tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Jungfrau."

Robert

Brier, WA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Gretchen and Walter our driver were fabulous. There were not any unpleasant tour members with us. Hotel staff was always courteous and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While it is difficult to choose just one "wow" moment, I would have to pick the view from Schilthorn in the Swiss Alps as it was incredible. It was a clear day with an awe inspiring view leaving one to feel they were visiting the top of the world."

Diane

Marietta, GA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe; and we believe we picked the right itinerary for this first experience. The combination of city and mountain offered a good balance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and I enjoy architecture. The palaces, churches and citywide building scapes offered endless opportunities for astonishment, gazing and picture taking. St Michael's church in Vienna is, for us, the holiest church we have ever been in, and the up-close, almost touchable, views of the frescoes in St Charles Church (Karlskirche), also in Vienna, was a not-to-be-missed experience."

Holly

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I would rate the tour very high. It was my first tour and I would love to take another one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved, loved, loved Switzerland. My favorite part of the whole trip. Need I say more?!!!"

John

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time!! I really like the "my way" experience. Laurel , our guide, did an outstanding job of providing us with all the information we needed for a very memorable trip. She had a great attitude and even joined us on a few of our outings. My "hats off" to her. Looking forward to another trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps and the Lauterbrunnen valley"

Jim

Sparks, NV

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Group - Great Guide - Great Destinations. Not really being a big city person, I did enjoy all the cities visited - Vienna, Salzburg, and Munich. Our escort (Laurel) and driver (Alber) were great, and a credit to your operation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen Valley, even with not having the best weather."

Terri

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was great! It was very nice not having to worry about the transport from each location and there was so much more I wanted to see and do at each location, there just isn't enough time! That just gives me an excuse to come back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think like most people who do this tour, my favorite "wow" moment was when I hiked up in the alps in Switzerland. I live in Ohio so we do not get to see things like that. The weather was perfect the two days we were there and we were able to hike around both mountains. The view of the snow caps is fabulous when you are up there."

Marion

University Place, WA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My sister and I had a wonderful time choosing exactly what we wanted to see while on vacation in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Because we are both interested in classical music, we planned accordingly. In Vienna we heard the Vienna Boys Choir and attended "The Flying Dutchman" at the Vienna State Opera. While at Schoenbrun Palace, we enjoyed the marionette version of "The Magic Flute." We also spent a morning at the "House of Music" in Vienna Sehr Gut!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing a Wagnerian opera at the Vienna State Opera House Getting a wonderful tour of MAK (the Arts and Crafts museum in Vienna) by a young, vibrant Viennese guide Enjoying picture perfect weather and spectacular views in the Swiss Alps Watching the Viennese cake makers decorate wedding cakes at Demel in Vienna Visiting the newly remodeled Lendenhaus art museum in Munich and viewing the rooms full of paintings by the artists of the Reiter School"

Marcy

Chicago, IL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I love the My Way tours! We were able to see & do what we wanted at each location without having to deal with making hotel & travel arrangements. I hope you add lots more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the time we spent in Switzerland was a continuous "wow" moment, from walking on the snow at the Jungfraujoch to the wonderful view out of our hotel window."

Mildred

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip with knowledgeable guide and great folks taking the trip. I particularly enjoyed the time spent in Vienna, Switzerland and Salzburg.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gondola ride to the Schilthorn."

Elaine

Durham, NC

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the My Way aspect of the tour. It allowed me to test my ability to travel alone in a safe environment. It let me see what I could do on my own and what I don't feel comfortable doing yet. I loved the group that was like minded. I did not mind sharing a room with a stranger though one of the good parts of traveling alone is having a room to yourself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I knew before I left that I was not capable of imagining the Alps. Seeing the Berner Oberland valley with the Mountains above on both sides was beautiful. My wow moment came when I went to my room and saw the view of the mountains. The realization the I was in THE ALPS! The dream of a life time came true."

Mark

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

about what was expected for hotels and transportation. felt the ride to St. Goar wasn't worth the time spend unles the sole purpose was to be close to a major tranportation hub.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swiss Alps were the best."

Juliana

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

basically what we expected from the promotional materials. bus driver was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swiss Alps/Shilthorn"

David

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Margaret was excellent. The places we visited were very good, especially the Swiss Alps. The accommodations were for the most part, good. The only location that I felt was sub-par was in St. Goar. The room was spartan to say the least. It lacked curtains so privacy and light were issues. The food there was not comparable to our other stops and I was very disappointed in the two dinners I had there. Also, we could not get WIFI in our room but only in a part of the restaurant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the Swiss Alps were the best surprise of the trip. We enjoyed Salzburg as well but the highlight for us was the hikes in the mountains. In Munich, we visited Dachau which was a very moving experience."

Dawn

Ventura, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and being a "My Way Tour" it was a perfect fit for our travel style. I was impressed by the size of the bus, about 2 seats per traveler (as promised) and our group was great. A nice group of friendly people truely enjoying the tour. Our escort was Margaret and she was great - very friendly and knowledgeable and ready to assist with any question. I would not hesitate to do another My Way Tour (I wish there were more!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to pick a "wow" moment I think it would be the Swiss Alps. We lucked out with perfect weather and the scenery was awesome."

Marcia

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exceptional. We were able to see and experience more than we thought we would be able to do each day. We appreciated getting up and getting to the next destination. It was just the right amount of time in each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Swiss Alps and going up to Piz Gloria on Schilthorn to see the amazing 360 views from the top of the world."

Cliff

Tomball, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good group. Mary was diligent, knowledgeable, and helpful 100 percent of the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was breathtaking."

Gordon

El Paso, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Previously I have traveled independently. This was my first tour of any kind. I was hoping for a mix of independent exploration and social experiences, and in this regard the My Way tour was perfect. The size of the tour group (27 travelers) was just right. When exploring each locale, I frequently bumped into members of the group. Small groups would form, and explore together. Then, we would go our separate ways only to encounter other people from the group who would join me for further sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trummelbach falls ("the falls inside the mountain") in Lauterbrunnen... No, the trail from Mannlichen across the alpine pastures... No, the collection of impressionists at the Neue Pinakothek museum... No, I can't decide."

Cynthia

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour met my needs due to a new medical issue. The flexibility of being able to plan and eat my own meals was a major plus for me. We went over early and extended by an extra day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen valley and the view from the Shilthorn were breathtaking!"

Marilyn

Columbus, NC

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the entire tour--the hotels, the cities, the transportation arrangements and the driver, and the other tour members. Mary, the tour guide, was effective, efficient and a delight to have around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the behind the scenes stable tour at the Spanish Riding School, and we really enjoyed a walk between two alpine villages above the Valley. We had a young couple get engaged while on the trip and it was wonderful to share their happiness"

Glenn

Columbus, NC

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were no glitches in any of the arrangements. Mary was simply the best. Her knowledge of our tour stops was very helpful and accurate. The hotels were all good. We could have used some A/C in Vienna where the temps were in the 90's. Hotel location was excellent and each was very friendly. Our bus driver Francoise was also the best. The "My Way" tours are our choice for future European adventures. The tour group had very good chemistry, which also helped with the enjoyment. Danke.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our walk to Murren with the big three in full view. I really felt like a native Swiss with the meadows in a riot of wildflowers and hearing cowbells and meeting one especially friendly Swiss gentleman who wanted to talk with with us because we were American."

Tim

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The character of Vienna, music of Salzburg, multiplicity of Munich, magnificence of the Alps, and the restful Rhine were all a part of this glorious trip. My way tours do require more "involvement" and I'm sure there are missed opportunities but it is your vacation, all the way. Plenty of time to enjoy the fellow travelers and benefit from the knowledgeable escort. Mary made sure to address everyones questions and concerns and her recommendations were always exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides Chris proposing to Emily and lightning striking the sidewalk next to Gordon it was probably Paul conversing with a group of children touring from Hong Kong in cantonese on the street one early evening in Salzburg. Wow, we're all connected."

Steven

Naperville, IL

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great experience. The tour guide, Mary , was wonderful. The info provided by Rick Steve's tours was very helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps. They were magnificent, majestic and the highlight of the trip."

Archie

Alameda, CA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved it, and Mary was a gem. It's hard to imagine anyone being better at their job than she is. Knowledgeable, patient, friendly - she has it all. Highest marks from us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a great 3 hour bike tour of Salzburg with 'Fraulein Maria's Sound of Music Bike Tours' (tour guide Nick) that featured a bit of everything - rain, mud, sun, singing. As our 11 yr old daughter accompanied us, this was a highlight and perhaps the most giddy fun we had on the whole trip.)"

Kathleen

Naperville, IL

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience, beautiful countries, great escort, very enjoyable fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland; absolutely breath taking!"

Patricia

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and wonderful. I truly enjoyed all the cities we went to and made the most of the suggested places to visit. Breakfast was great at all the hotels. It was hot in Vienna and Bacharach when we were there, so sleeping was a little uncomfortable without air conditioning. This was the trip I have wanted to make to Europe for the last 40 years and I wasn't disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was hiking through the Alps the second day there when it wasn't raining and actually getting to see the might and majesty of the Alps. It was absolutely beautiful. It made me feel like belting out a song, which we actually did."

Barbara

Oro Valley, AZ

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having been on a regular tour, and now a "my way" tour, I can say that I do have a preference for "my way." My overall experience was very satisfying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps are "wow" but my favorite location is Bacharach."

John

Lebanon, CT

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. As experienced travelers, the "My Way" approach was the best of both worlds: on the one hand we were relieved of the hassle of booking hotels and transportation, while the guidance provided through the assigned staff member was nothing less than excellent; on the other hand, we had the freedom to plan our own itinerary to suit our goals as a family. I would highly recommend the "My Way" approach!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip was filled with "wow" moments; however, my favorite occurred in the Swiss Alps. Five of us went on the hike from Manlichen to Kleine Scheidigg. At first, clouds blocked our view of the highest peaks along much of the trail. Then, the skies opened up, and just like that we stood before the terrifying glory of the north face of the Eiger. It's as if the fates had awakened the "Ogre" to show its face exclusively to us! Bravo!"

Sherryl

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. It was nice having the hotels/breakfast, bus transportation, and tour escort, Ruth Ann! The hotels were centrally located, which is a plus. The cities included a good mix of large and small/quaint cities. The majority of the tour group bonded quite well, so we enjoyed meal times and touring/hiking around with many of these couples/families.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed the beauty of the Swiss Alps. Despite the rain on the first day, that didn't stop us from enjoying a long hike and seeing the beautiful sights along the way (the lush rainforest, quaint villages, farmland,and a private cheese factory). On the second day of hiking on the other side of the valley, we had no rain. The clouds cleared away revealing the Eiger, Munchen and Jungfrau peaks. We were very excited about that. Picture perfect!"

Mary

Redding, CT

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had the perfect combination of big city, smaller city and outdoorsy moments. We had a very congenial group, led by the wonderful Ruth Anne, and we had the ability to socialize as we wanted, but had plenty of time to do our own thing. I liked that we were given guidance about what to do, but really were on our own to choose our activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland! Even though the weather was dismal, the sheer beauty of Lauterbrunnen and its environs dwarfs the imagination. It is something that you can't quite imagine until you are there and walking the paths and taking in every single moment."

Janice

Lebanon, CT

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, but our first My Way tour. In the past we have traveled independently with our family, but traveling this summer with just our 19 year old daughter, we wanted the peace of mind of having the lodging and transportation taken care of, while having the independence to plan our days. This tour was perfect! Having Ruth Ann available to give advice when planning our days was invaluable. The camaraderie of the tour members was a great experience for our daughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vertical nature of the Swiss Alps is indescribable, and photos simply can't capture the sights and sounds adequately. Though the weather wasn't perfect, we still managed fantastic walks and views. My second "wow" moment was the day our family took a Mike's Bikes tour to Neuschwanstein. We started out in pouring rain, which stopped 5 minutes into the bike tour, and we had a very nice ride, stopping for great photo ops of the castles."

Roberto

Oro Valley, AZ

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour, but the first My Way. I prefer this arrangement of not having the hassle of making hotel and transportation reservations and having the freedom to choose daily activities. The bonus was that the accompanying 'guide' gave us plenty of suggestions on what to do. There must be something about Rick Steves tours that attracts like-minded individuals. Both times, we thoroughly enjoyed the company of everyone in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at the hotel in Lauterbrunnen and taking in the view from our hotel balcony. A WOW moment, indeed."

Howard

Salem, VA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour with fine organization and accommodations. The tour offered just the right amount of time in each location on the itinerary. The tour escort was available with just the right amount of helpful information and advice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Munich experiences (Beer Garden, Viktualienmarkt, Kings Hotel) were our favorite."

John

Mechanicsville, VA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderfully relaxing to have all the driving and lodging taken care of so we were free to enjoy each location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fresh food market in Munich. I loved those donut shaped peaches."

Dianna

Ladera Ranch, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As expected, using the Rick Steves company to realize the dream of touring these areas was wonderful. We knew that a lot of bus time was involved due to nature of the expansive schedule, yet the time on the bus seemed to fly by. We planned on having a more active than restful vacation and this was true as we booked a few excursions ahead and did not spare one moment than wasn't needed in the hotel for rest! The "My Way" concept is one that we thought we would prefer and ended up being perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Positive- Eagles nest, the fortress in Salzburg- both for their beautiful location/scenery and history, sitting outside listening to the Opera on the big screen in Vienna, first glimpse of Neuschwanstein castle from the bike tour, hiking in the Alps (our room had a view of the falls), Augusteiner Bier Garten (USA lost to Germany but so much fun). Negative- Hallstatt- Beautiful but hard to appreciate with bus after bus(literally) of tourists descending on this little area."

Hayden Marie

Myrtle Beach, SC

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful meeting all the tour members on the first day, this let us have friends to do things with the whole trip! Staying in all the local hotels was great because many of them had their own unique quirks that made them cozy and fun. Finally, my dad and I never had a boring day because we always had our guide book with great suggestions and Ruth Ann, our tour guide, in case we couldn't decide which event in the book to do! I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Couldn't say. The Vienna Opera was AMAZING even with just standing seats and the castles were quite awing as well! All of it was greater than expected :-)"

Alton

Newberg, OR

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was fantastic - chocolate for the mind!! The trip was all that I had hoped and imagined that it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful Mozart music at the Sunday Mass at the Augustinian Church in Wein."

Loren

Newberg, OR

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was above and beyond any expectations. The preparation, the hotels, the travel, the escort, the itinerary and the commitment to excellence was outstanding. I did expect to have an amazing time in Vienna, Salzburg, Munich and the Alps but I didn't expect to also come away with a group of new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was how at ease I felt throughout the entire trip. I never felt overwhelmed, tired, stressed or pressure. The schedule was relaxed, due to our "my way" preference but there was always an atmosphere of relaxation. Of course my next "wow" moment was our experience in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Eve though it was cloudy and rainy during 1 entire day, our overall experience there was one of wonder and amazement."

Marietta

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was well organized and the information we received was helpful in planning our day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley."

John Bratton

Myrtle Beach, SC

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter and I had a wonderful time and picked the right tour for us. It was nice not to have to figure out how to get to town to town and have my lodging set up for us. The bus we took had plenty of room and was very clean. The stops along the way made the bus trips go by fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not a WOW person, but I did have a number of memoriable moments. We enjoyed the opera in Vienna more than we thought we would. We enjoyed something different about each location we visited. Watching Germany play the US in the World Cup at a beer garden in Munich was also something we will not forget."

Holly

Savannah, GA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

good combination of freedom and guidance

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music at Augustiner Church on Sunday in Vienna"

Patricia

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had traveled independently to Germany using RS tour guide in 2000. 2009 we participated in the fully guided Heart of Italy tour. The My Way Tour was a wonderful blend of our two previous trips. I appreciated lodging and transportation being taken care of; leaving us to pick and choose activities at each location. We took full advantage of RS guides and recommendations at each location. We wanted a blend of cultural experiences as well as physical activity. We experienced all of that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wish we could say viewing the Alps, but there was a cloud cover when we were there. Disappointing; none the less, our hiking and views were still wonderful."

Hazel

Mechanicsville, VA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all great! All the accommodations were excellent-very clean and well maintained, within easy walking distance of major sites without being on "tourist row", quiet, with pleasant, helpful staff and fantastic breakfasts. Our bus driver was very friendly and we were quite comfortable and relaxed while traveling in the bus. Ruth Ann, our tour escort, was super! She presented options clearly, answered any questions, offered personal help when requested. Rate it a 10++!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two come to mind... Watching the wait staff in the Munich Beer Garden carry 10 liter size mugs full of beer, 5 in each hand!! Most everyone used 2 hands to drink from the mug!! Also, walking into the bakeries in Germany and seeing all the beautiful sweets and the many breads! Memorable for sure!!!"

Joyce

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Way filled my two needs, handling the logistics of transportation and hotels and allowing freedom at this stage in my travels to do what I most wanted to do on this journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps."

David

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We booked this tour as a family reunion to celebrate my aunt's 80th birthday who lives in Germany. We decided on the My Way tour through Austria, Switzerland, and Germany and couldn't have been more pleased. My German aunt particularly enjoyed the trip and she was the queen of the party, everybody loved her! Our guide, Martin, was very informative and fun. He led an epic day hike in Switzerland, which will remain etched in our memories forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide led a group of us on a day hike in the Lauderbrunnen valley of Switzerland. The views were spectacular. Our destination was a small dairy farm where they just finished producing cheese for the summer. We enjoyed local beer and cheese at the farm while listening to the cow bells in the pasture below and viewing the Jungfrau across the valley. It was truly a spiritual experience."

Gary

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well organized tour meeting our needs having been independent travelers. Morning breakfast may be a highlight for this brought many of us together for sharing of ideas and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 'wow' moment or experience has to be the Swiss Lauterbrennen Valley; a stop we previously held in low expectation. Of course the outstanding weather made this stop a highlight, may have a lower value if wet and windy."

Belva

Dallas, WI

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great experience. We have traveled in Europe on our own in prior years and this time spent days in Prague prior to the tour starting in Vienna and then to Rothenburg at the conclusion of the tour. Having the transportation provided between locations on the tour made travel between points stress free. The freedom to plan our own daily agenda based on our individual interests was the primary reason for joining this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visits to some of Europe's cathedrals and the mountain experiences, in spite of the rain, ranked high on our list of favorites. We especially enjoyed the very talented street musicians and bought several CDs of their performances. It is impossible to list just one "wow" moment."

Bob

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves: "Heart of France" 2009 tour, "Venice, Florence, and Rome" 2013 tour, "Austria, Switzerland, Germany - My Way" 2013 tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This question always gets me. To be honest, each day was special. There were a variety of stops that were unique and left lingering memories. There are so very many things to absorb and get a sense of if you have any curiosity at all. I could easily spend a year there and not be fully satisfied. The magic of having a guide that knows and has experienced life in these places is immesurable and a constant inspiration to me."

Weather

Germany Weather

Germany / Munich

Germany Weather


Switzerland / Bern

Switzerland Weather


Austria / Vienna

Austria Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing on Your Own

When you arrive in Vienna, use your included Rick Steves' Vienna guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of German, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Use your Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) which includes a Vienna city walk and Ringstrasse Tram Tour.

Remember, you will be in charge of your own sightseeing for ALL destinations on this trip. We strongly suggest you begin planning well before you fly to Europe!

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). It's easiest to fly into Vienna and home from Frankfurt. It is roughly a 90-minute train ride from St. Goar to Frankfurt's Main Airport.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com. Thinking you could use some expert, in-depth help to plan your sightseeing days? Tour members enjoy a 50 percent discount on Rick's Trip Consulting services!

Trip Resources

Learn more about Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

There will be (weather permitting) great opportunities to hike during our stay in the Swiss Alps. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction.

We also recommend that you consider bringing a smart phone, tablet or other device to assist in planning your activities, and to access Rick's Audio Europe app and walking tours.

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.