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  • Speicherstadt district, Hamburg, Germany
    Hamburg's Speicherstadt
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Bacharach on the Rhine
  • Rothenburg
  • Munich's Hofbräuhaus
  • Erfurt
  • Schlossplatz and Royal Palace, Dresden, Germany
    Dresden
  • Berlin

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Best of Germany in 13 Days Tour

from $3,695 per person + air

Single Supplement $775

See Dates & Prices

The Best of Germany tour begins with the sound of seagulls in Hamburg, a city that tickles tourists with its people-friendly harbor and a nearly Nordic vibe. From there you'll daydream through fairy-tale forests, meander the mighty Rhine, have fun storming the castle, and clink frothy mugs of beer in Bavaria. You'll also time-trip through the medieval charms of Rothenburg, walk in the revolutionary footsteps of Luther, reflect on the tumultuous events of World War II, and marvel at the modernity of 21st-century Berlin. Join us for the Best of Germany in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 20 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Germany tour:

  • Hamburg walking tour
  • St. Nicholas Church Memorial
  • Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie
  • Hamburg harbor boat cruise
  • Fairy Tale Highway drive
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Bacharach walking tour
  • Germany Q&A
  • Rheinfels Castle
  • Rhine River cruise
  • Rothenburg Night Watchman's walking tour
  • Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial
  • Munich walking tour
  • Hofbräuhaus
  • Orientation for free day in Munich
  • Wartburg Castle
  • Erfurt walking tour including its Augustinian Monastery
  • Dresden walking tour
  • Dresden's Frauenkirche (when available)
  • Historic Berlin walking tour

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Germany come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Hamburg to Berlin
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 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 your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Germany

We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Hamburg for a "Welcome to Germany" meeting. Then we'll take a neighborhood walk to get a feel for this prosperous, progressive city and get acquainted over dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Hamburg.

Day 2: Hamburg's Old Town and Harbor

Today we'll begin with a walking tour of the historic core of Hamburg, including the resilient St. Nicholas Church Memorial, where we'll learn about "Operation Gomorrah" — the allied firebombing campaign that devastated the city in 1943. Then we'll stroll through historic Speicherstadt to the stunning new Elbphilharmonie concert hall and hop aboard a boat to see the city's massive modern harbor. When we return shore-side we'll set you free for the afternoon to explore more of this impressive port city.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: 1 hour. No bus. Sleep in Hamburg.

Day 3: Germany's Fairy Tale Highway

Today we'll take off for the countryside that inspired a thousand legends and visit the real-life settings where the Brothers Grimm did much of their fairy-tale research in the 1830s. After bringing their stories to life along the way, we'll settle into our own picturesque village before enjoying dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Lower Saxony.

Day 4: Cologne and the Romantic Rhine

This morning we'll head straight for the single most-visited site in all of Germany: Cologne Cathedral. You'll appreciate why as our local guide takes us exploring through northern Europe's most massive Gothic church. Then we'll continue on to the Rhine Valley and our charming riverside village, where we'll have dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in the Rhine Valley.

Day 5: Rhine Castles and River Cruise

We'll begin our day in St. Goar, where we'll hike up the hill to tour the mighty medieval Rheinfels Castle and enjoy its commanding view of the Rhine Valley. Then we'll board a boat for a relaxing Rhine River cruise, passing picturesque villages, vineyards, and feudal castles. After disembarking in Bacharach, we'll take a walking tour of the village with an entertaining local guide, followed by free time. Tonight you'll be free for dinner to feast like a feudal lord.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Boat: 1 hour. Bus: ½ hour. Sleep in the Rhine Valley.

Day 6: Medieval Rothenburg

This morning we'll continue our journey to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany's best-preserved medieval town. After an orientation to town, the afternoon is yours to see the best woodcarving in Germany (Riemenschneider's altarpiece), walk the medieval wall, tour the Medieval Crime and Punishment Museum, or hunt down the best apple strudel in town. This evening we'll tag along on the Night Watchman's tour.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Rothenburg.

Day 7: Dachau and Historic Bavaria

Today we'll journey further into the romantic heart of Germany to Bavaria's largest city, Munich. On our way, we'll pay our respects at Dachau, the infamous Concentration Camp, and learn powerful lessons of the Holocaust and World War II. After free-time for reflection and lunch, a short drive brings us to Munich’s historic Old Town. This evening, we’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s history and traditions on a walking tour before capping the day with a hearty “Welcome to Bavaria” dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Munich.

Day 8: Free Day in Munich

The day is all yours to stroll around Germany's most livable city. Your guide will provide an orientation for the many fun adventures you can choose. Immerse yourself in the city’s art from Baroque Theater to Wittelsbach palaces to several world-class museums, rent a bike to pedal the car-free paths along the English Garden and Isar River, or simply enjoy the lively Bavarian atmosphere, a frothy mug, and a big pretzel at one of the city’s many beer halls or outdoor biergartens.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Munich.

Day 9: Road to Reformation

Today we'll say "Auf Wiedersehen" to Munich and transport ourselves back to the 16th century in the heart of Germany's "Luther Country." Just west of our final destination, we'll visit the captivating Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther hid away in a small room and translated the New Testament into modern German. After checking into our hotel in Erfurt, we'll take an orientation walk through this historic town and share the day's insights over a hearty dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Erfurt.

Day 10: In the Footsteps of Luther

Erfurt's half-timbered old town is the perfect place for a walking tour. We'll follow the footsteps of Martin Luther as he became a priest in Erfurt's cathedral and later a monk in its monastery. We'll also learn about the town's historic Jewish population. Your afternoon is free for wandering through the picturesque pedestrian zone and market square.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Erfurt.

Day 11: Baroque Dresden and Dynamic Berlin

Our final driving day begins with a stop in the city of Dresden, where a local guide will take us on a walking tour of this delightfully Baroque city, reborn from the ashes of World War II. Its star is the inspiring Frauenkirche, destroyed in the firestorms of 1945 and rebuilt with donations from around the world. Arriving in Berlin this afternoon, we'll get oriented to our neighborhood and the city's public transportation system before free time and dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Berlin.

Day 12: Berlin's Historic Heart

We'll begin our day with a fascinating walking tour through the historic heart of Berlin, including Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, and memorials to the earth-shaking events and sacrifices of the past century. This evening we'll have our last dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Prost!

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Berlin.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Berlin's airport by shuttle, S-bahn train, bus, or taxi. You'll have easy connections to home, or on to other points in Europe. Auf Wiedersehen!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Germany in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Patricia

Tour: 08/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to start? The tour was as described? I was prepared for a small engaged tour group, excellent tour leader and local guides and some physically challenging days. ?????? I had a wonderful experience and hope to travel with RSE again. Maybe some Prague in my future?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At St Nikolai church, left a ruin as a monument to the destruction of WWII, I was at the top of the steeple looking over the city, when beneath me the carillon began playing Dona Nobis Pacem. Silent tears with five strangers… Berlin! I was a Cold War kid so Berlin was a forbidden and foreign place. What a city! I wished that I could have extended my time there."

Edgar

Tour: 08/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

(1) Lots of riding through striking country in an excellent bus, with a skilled and patient driver who instructed us (through the guide) not to use the toilet save in emergencies. (2) The company of 23 well-behaved, delightful, well-traveled tourists. (3) A skilled, generous, hard-working guide. (4) Well-chosen hotels. (5) The striking sameness of Germany, which is in fact consistency as displayed by a people unwilling to do anything halfway -- or even 98% --- if 100% is possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I left the tour group at Erfurt, hopped a public bus to Weimar, and visited the homes of Franz Liszt and Goethe. I had read about both homes in biographies of Liszt and Mendelssohn."

Kathleen

Tour: 08/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour group was a fun bunch of travelers. We ranged from ages 16 to 74. While most of us had some German heritage that motivated their tour choice, people had diverse interests and lots of different perspectives to share. And our tour guide, Barbara, was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hamlin. I never knew the actual Pied Piper village really existed! So a favorite fairy tale came to life."

David

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a very odd tour: I had to leave on day 3 due to covid symptoms. Alas! But I loved the first 2 days. (I've been on many RS tours before.) Having my tour guide support me as I navigated finding new lodging was super helpful, and she checked in on me periodically which was very welcome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hamburg Philharmonic was very cool to see. :)"

Scott

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour showed Germany very well. There was a nice balance of old and new. The free time was nice to go back for more time at an item of interest. The tour group was just the right size to get to know my traveling companions and not be overwhelmed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was very interesting to see how modern Germany is as well as how traditional it remains."

Anne

Tour: 07/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well- we had great guides and a really fun group, so that set the stage for a fantastic trip. We also had great guides in each city we visited and I learned so much which enriched the whole experience. There was a nice balance of organized tour activities and time in our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the little town of Bacharach. I just loved it, so quaint and small enough to walk everywhere."

David

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As during my two previous Rick Steves tours, the itinerary, our guide (Matthias), the arrangements, and the information gained about German culture and history were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Serenity while walking alone in the early evening in perfect light along a path that overlooks Bacharach and the Rhine River"

Chuck

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour provided an excellent introduction to Germany, its cities and smaller out of the way places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Did not expect that the Rhine River (St. Goar, Bacharach) to be as beautiful as it was."

Judy

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this tour. Our guide, Mattie was outstanding and our fellow travelers were very easy going and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How Germany committed to maintaining the architectural integrity of the buildings/towns destroyed in WW II. Loved visiting Bacharach, Rhine Valley and especially Wartburg Castle."

Vicki

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip through Germany was fantastic! The variety of experiences including the boat trips and castle visits along with the fantastic little German towns were great. Our guide Matthias gave us an excellent view of Germany's history of the past and present. The local guides were wonderful and very knowledgable as well. I felt very welcome to be there. My husband has family history in Rothenburg so it was fun do some research on that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everywhere we went was a WOW moment for me. But, Erfurt was especially fun. Hamburg was a surprise!! It was a busy city but so very enjoyable to walk around and sightsee in."

Melissa

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! We had the best guide! All of the cities, hotels, restaurants were excellent. The private guided walking tours were so good with so much information. It was great to learn the history and significance of the places we stopped at. Loved every minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three. First, the tour guide sharing his personal stories of Berlin and really giving us a feel for the city. Second, Hamburg and Berlin. Hamburg was surprisingly really great. I wasn't sure what to expect at first but it may be my favorite German city now. The private guided tour of Berlin was outstanding! Our guide was so knowledgeable and personable. Third, a surprise stop in Coburg. Not on the original itinerary, our guide planned a stop here and it was well worth it!"

Mary

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After several Rick Steves Tours I have high expectations for his tours. This tour did not dissappoint me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual on his tours, this is not an easy questions because there were many "wow" moments. Maybe the Hamburg harbor tour was my favorite. I had watched Rick's tv tour of Hamburg and the harbor so I had high expectations and I was not disappointed"

Gale

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th tour with Rick Steves. There were only 14 of us so it was easy to get to know everyone right from the start. Our guide Matthias was very knowledgeable and extremely passionate about educating us. He did more than just read us historical facts. He challenged us to think and examine how history shaped the cities we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a simple thing. We went to Coberg, home of Prince Albert. There was a market in the square when we were there. Matthias told us we must try the local sausage speciality and we sat in the middle of the square at the base of the Prince Albert statue, eating our simple lunch and watched the local people buying food and plants."

John

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was even better than the description. Our Guide, Matthias Unger, really executed a wonderful trip, sharing with us a mix of personal experience and surprises. Our stop in Hameln was delightful, an excellent choice. When traffic delayed us 2 hours getting to Cologne, Matti quickly improvised on lunch so we could still get our guided tours. Our small group of 14 let us really connect with our fellow traveler, driver and guide. RS tours comes through again in these tough times!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised by the beauty of Hamburg and struck by the lessons of Berlin's recent history. But I think the Brothers Grimm day in Hameln and the evening in Hannoversch Münden were an exceptional experience no other American tour company could offer."

David

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed getting back to Europe after not traveling overseas for so long due to the pandemic. Our guide, Matthias, was wonderful. Learning about Germany from someone who grew up in Berlin while Germany was divided was a great experience. Matti's love of his country was evident as we traveled. Many of the small cities we visited were places I would never have gotten to on my own. I feel like I know Germany much better as a result of this tour. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having last been to Berlin 40+ years ago, I was amazed at how much the city had changed. Having read about the changes does not compare to seeing them with my own eyes. I remember walking around West Berlin back then and seeing the stark difference between east and west. That is all gone; in fact, what was East Berlin is now a thriving city that is very vibrant and sought after by many of the younger people from around Europe and the world. What a wonderful change!!!"

Ann Marie

Tour: 06/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great places-wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Berlin"

Joseph

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Michael was an amazing tour guide. He really brought to life the intricacies of German history in a way that was enlightening on modern day Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Michael treated us to an amazing lunch at a beirgarten in Würzburg. It was an amazing meal and everyone got a chance to try some local beer."

Beth

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was probably outstanding because of the tour guide and the fact that it was only 14 people on tour but the information was phenomenal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved standing next to the Berlin Wall; in 1989 I was a senior in high school and watched the politics unfold via TV, but standing next to it was a powerful experience. Munich, however, was my favorite city and with a fun, entertaining, and incredibly informative guide in Patrick, I felt that city was a gem."

Rebecca

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It is a good well structured tour. The tour contained the standard activities I expected: Rhine cruise, castle visits, cute towns; the surprises were Erfurt and stopping off at a beer garden - quite lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say our stop at the beer garden - we were all so lively and it was such a friendly pretty place. I also kind of loved watching the surfers in Munich."

Karla

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! This was my 14th R.S. tour and it did not disappoint! It was also my first trip since the pandemic began and I felt very confident with the precautions that were in place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning more about the Berlin Wall was fascinating. How it came about and what those living in Eastern Berlin had to endure. The things we take for granted!"

Brenda

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Michael was outstanding. He made all the history and everything about Germany come alive. Our small group of 16 was a treat, great group of people. Fast paced, full of info and I welcomed the free time to process and explore. Loved every town/city on the tour. Really feel like we saw the best of Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Munich. Big enough but felt so small town and everyone friendly. The beer halls. Lots to see and do. Also, our Dresden stop was a treat. When we walked to the square and saw the panorama of reconstructed buildings, that was impressive. And to know they were only redone in the last 20-30 years was hard to fathom. She was elegant and stately and beautiful."

Adam

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sites and locations that we toured were perfect. I mostly enjoyed the small towns that we stayed in, especially Bacharach. Our guide, Michael was perfect. His knowledge in the areas and historical knowledge was educational and entertaining. Most of the local guides were great as well, especially Patrick in Munich. This was our first Rick Steves tour and now I can see why everyone else that was touring with us had been on multiple others tours. Get rid of the masks on the bus though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rhine valley and Bacharach was my favorite are and stay. Nice and quiet, great wines and food. A close second was Munich. I loved the culture and history."

Todd

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Michael was fantastic. His knowledge of Germany's history & current events was outstanding. Every day we received a history lesson which was outstanding

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it was all a "wow: for me"

Steven

Tour: 06/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. the trip was well-managed, well-executed. there is a healthy balance between group time and individual/couple time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rothenburg and the Wartenburg Castle"

Steve

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of Germany was a great tour. It gave my family and me an overall orientation of Germany, it's cities, and cultural contrasts of the various areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many historical architectural landmarks it's hard to identify just one. My favorite city and "walk till you drop" time was in Munich."

Fernando

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and driver. Our bus was large and comfortable for our small group of 19 people. All hotels were centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"RS itinerary continues to excel. We enjoyed every city."

Shan

Tour: 05/31/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional experience. We absolutely loved our tour guide, Daniela. She had such passion as she shared details of German history and culture with us. The hotels were comfortable and full of unique character. We absolutely loved our dinners with our group. Danke for the memorable time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in the Rhine Valley and in Bacharach was phenomenal. We really enjoyed our tasting experience - wunderbah!"

James

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on 8 other Rick tours, and this one ranks as high as any. All aspects, including guides, hotels, restaurants, dinners, and sights were truly outstanding. Plus, the weather and other participants contributed to a near perfect trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is always so hard to answer. Every twist and turn presents a "Kodak" moment. We visited the Reichstag dome on our own and consider it one of the most impressive "WOW" activities."

Mark

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 14 RS tour and it was excellent!

Timothy

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was more than a taste, rather a smorgasbord! 3 major cities & a handful of smaller towns & villages. Our various tour guides really brought the history & relevance of these places up front. Our tour group consisted of decent civilized human beings, & we enjoyed each other's company! Our tour leaders were helpful & extremely knowledgeable. In short they were excellent! As was our beloved bus driver!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow was the Rhine river valley as well as the smaller medieval villages. Just getting around the back alleys or walking the walls & seeing the beautiful gardens in bloom."

Joan

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Hotels were good, guides were great, food was debatable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Erfurt was a surprisingly beautiful town."

Joel

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a very active tour through a combination of large cities and cozy villages. We were fortunate to be a small group of 14 plus our wonderful guides, Matti and Barbara, and the best bus driver, John. It was a welcome contrast to see the many historic sites in cities like Berlin and Munich and, then, spend a day or two relaxing in small towns like Bacharach and Erfurt. All the hotels were well placed for us to venture out and explore the cities and towns, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a "wow" to be a part of such a friendly group of travelers. Planten un Blomen in Hamburg and the English Garden in Munich were great places for peaceful walks. The harbor tour in Hamburg gave us a close up view of huge container ships and yachts. Smaller, half timber towns like Erfurt were wonderful. Could there maybe be a Village Tour of Germany in the future?"

James

Tour: 05/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and led by fantastic guides (Mattias and Barbara).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the soups we had on the tour-covered meals - asparagus (multiple locations), mushroom (Munich) and wild garlic (Rothenburg). The Hamburg harbor and Rhein river boat tours were also "wows"."

Jeffrey

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience, despite a couple of long days on the bus. Daniella was an excellent guide, providing lots of great information and guidance. I appreciated her efforts to adjust and inform us during a couple of delays. The local guides were great and the sites wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the tour itself, visiting Erfurt. I was surprised at how picturesque the town was. In addition, we really enjoyed visiting Minotaur Wonderland in Hamburg and the Museum Barberini in Postdam that were recommended by Daniella and in the RS Guidebook."

Shiloh

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely informative, enjoyable, and I am already hoping to carve out a time to schedule another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The walking tour in Berlin with our local guide, Jim, was fascinating to hear such a succinct, and interesting overview of so much history."

Susy

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Beautiful countryside, friendly co-travelers, enthusiastic guide,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wartburg Castle and history of Martin Luther’s time there"

Mary

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just excellent! Fun to meet new traveling companions who all came with different backgrounds and approaches to the adventure that was our tour. Our guide, Daniela, was outstanding. I got a whole new understanding of history from her talks during bus time. She and our driver Henry had a rapport that made time fly by. Daniela was the glue that held everything together, with her attention to detail and concern/empathy for everyone in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Happening on a wedding that started as we arrived at one of the beautiful churches. The groom walked in first, carrying flowers. The bride and her father came down the aisle to gorgeous organ and trumpet music. No big wedding party at all. The attention was all on the bride and groom."

Nancy

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Saw many places and such a variety from Medieval villages to Berlin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Medieval villages. Berlin transportation system."

Carol

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized with a generally good “flow”. Our guide was a fountain of knowledge, and we learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Berlin was a standout. We had a fabulous local guide who brought the city and its history to life."

Sean

Tour: 05/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's hard to put a value on the luxury of having Rick Steves plan the itinerary, accommodations, travel, almost half the meals, professional tour guides, and resource of a full-time guide for questions. Time is the most valuable resource we had once we were in Germany, and the tour maximized our experience. Priceless.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Bacharach we were treated to a tasting of local wines hosted by a man whose family had lived there for generations. The frank conversation about our different cultures, US and Germany, was pretty special. I learned a lot, and I appreciated being treated as a welcomed, intelligent guest in his country. It felt like I was auditing a college course. Rick Steves guides deserve a lot of praise. They are brilliant, across the board."

Gordon

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Torben was very knowledgeable and made the history of Germany extremely interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Munich and Berlin walking tours."

Linda

Crown Point, IN

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. It moved along quickly. Long bus rides were broken up by short tours, castles etc. We saw so much. It was a good mix of city and quaint old towns. My husband is a historian of World War II. This tour was made for him. But I found I really enjoyed it too. I found the Jewish history, cemetery, synagogue very interesting. I would not have gone there on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it was hard to choose. I remember walking into the monastery church where Martin Luther became a monk. The stain glass windows were beautiful. I looked up and said "wow". The colors were so vibrant and it was not even sunny out. I also loved the ocean room in the Weissenstein castle. I do mosaics and that room was fabulous and different. I know the work that went into that. That castle was completely built in seven years. Wow."

James

Savoy, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Germany had been at the top of our bucket list for some time. I'm glad we waited for Rick Steves to add it as a destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing an actual operating paternoster (continuous elevator) during the walking tour of Hamburg. Completely unexpected."

Carissa

Savoy, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel like it's not an overstatement to say that it was life-altering, in the best way. I started the tour mostly hoping to visit historic places, eat some good food and drink some good beer. But I felt immersed in history and engaged in learning and new experiences to an extent that I never expected, which made this more than just a tour for me. I returned home wanting to study everything, and wanting to recreate this feeling every day. And wanting to visit Germany again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The one I've been telling people about, just to isolate a single exemplar, is the day we went to Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar, and Alvin the guide sang to us in this ancient cavernous "refrigerator" to demonstrate the acoustics. It was haunting, and beautiful, and just a perfect moment. 2nd: standing on the platform at the Nuremburg zeppelin field, and contrasting what I saw that day with the films I've seen from 80 years ago. 3rd: touring Schloss Weissenstein and the rooms full of paintings."

Jean

Naperville, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed this trip very much. This was our second RS tour and we had high expectations. We were not disappointed. The itinerary was fast paced, but we saw so much of the country. The hotels were very satisfactory. The tours provided were very educational. All the included meals were excellent. Torben was an exceptional guide. All in all, we had a fantastic experience and look forward to another one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think we had any one wow moment. I do enjoy history, so learning about this country's was special to me. Going to cities like Munich and Berlin and listening about their 20th century history that I had read about in books made it more real to me. Hearing about East and West Germany and when they joined again brought back memories of when it really happened."

Carl

Naperville, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was wonderful. We visited so many interesting place. The food was excellent and the hotels were so comfortable and welcoming! And our guide.....outstanding!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The informative 4 hour walking tour of Berlin."

Mary Lou

Stockbridge, GA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the places we visited including the extras that Torben chose. The group size was perfect as was ways used to keep us together and on time especially the "buddy" system. The mix of history, sightseeing, and culture was excellent. Torben was very knowledgeable and taught us how to negotiate the various cities' transportation, and gave great get-acquainted tours. Would not take a more-than-two/three city tour again because there was just too little free time to explore.

Jon

Livermore, CA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was constantly surprised by events/sights on the tour. I expected the boat cruise in Hamburg to be just another boat tour but getting close to the giant container ships, luxury yachts, ships in dry dock was a treat. Urfurt was a delight. Loved seeing Dresden and Rothberg (walking the wall even in the rain was great). We were tired by the end of the trip had a great time. Location in Berlin with dining choices near by was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe the Green vault in Dresden. Maybe just the whole stay in Urfurt."

Kathleen

Langdon, ND

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the "inland" experience of seeing the north part of Germany as well as the south. I feel we received a good idea of what Germany was all about. The guide, Torbin was excellent with his knowledge of German history and the culture that developed out of that history. I appreciated the towns that were chosen for overnight stays and the "quaintness" about them. Tobin often treated us with different tastes of drink or food of the region we were in. A great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if there is one favorite "wow" as there were so many. Perhaps the Schloss Weissenstein at Pommersfelden was a "wow" that stood out - more than the Schloss Neuschwanstein. The paintings, quirky rooms and overall architecture of Weissenstein was beautiful beyond anything else. The fact that it was exactly as it was originally built 300 years ago was outstanding and we didn't have any crowds to fight and wait in line for was a plus. I loved this castle!"

Carol

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first tour with Rick Steves and I found it to be very informative and comprehensive considering the limited time to cover Germany. I certainly enjoyed the group--their interests and personalities, and appreciated so very much our guide who I found to be brilliant. The itinerary touched on all the significant areas of Germany that told the story of the history of the country and its people. Very good planning and site selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were several areas of Berlin visited during our four-hour tour; in particular, the Brandenburg Gate, the site of the SS headquarters by the Topography of Terror, the Holocaust outdoor museum, and the standing sections of the Berlin Wall. It all brought so many emotions."

Bill

Kitchener, ON

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your guides were excellent: extremely knowledgeable and organized. The tour was well-planned in every detail, the hotels were above average with excellent service. The selection of cities and sites was very good with a good balance between history and culture. I could have done with more time in Munich and skip Hamelin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bergen-Belsen was very moving, and the night watchman tour of Rothenburg was great. The Berlin walking tour was also terrific. Our favorite town was Bacharach."

Helen

Kitchener, ON

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great!! We were a little leary about taking a bus tour as we like the freedom to go and do as we please. But we so enjoyed ourselves. We had lots of time on our own to explore and the walking tours of the towns and cities were amazing. We will certainly recommend a Rick Steves tour to our friends. They will not be disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me going to Bergen-Belsen was a 'highlight'. We have been to Auschwitz a few years back but there was something about the bleak landscape, scattered grave markers and the mounds of dirt where thousands of people were buried. Also really enjoyed the 4 hour walk through Berlin. I loved the town of Bucharach too."

Roger

Crown Point, IN

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed most all of my experiences on my first Rick Steve`s Tour. Our accommodations were fine, the provided meals and breakfasts were very good. Nice efficient transportation and well coordination. I thought every aspect was professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed and looked forward to Torben`s on the bus overviews of the history and facts of the next stop. Very knowledgeable, he did his homework. and lets not forget his handouts which was a surprise, particularly the schnapps."

Karen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, and it did NOT disappoint! We decided to go on a Rick tour because of the tour guides. Torben was amazing. We loved all the cities we visited. The tour was well thought out. What it says on the trip itinerary is exactly what you get. WE really like the NO TIPPING! OMG! As we are listening to the local guides we can actually listen, and not be thinking about what to tip! The NO GRUMPS rule helps everyone maintain a nice, friendly attitude.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard question because there were so many. However, the Jewish Memorial in the middle of Berlin was amazing. Our local guide provided the backdrop for a memorial of this type that made it feel like a religious experience."

Millie

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Germany Tour was similar to taking a Semester Abroad and cramming it into two weeks! Germany is a large country to cover in 14 days. Our guide, Torben, kept us on schedule and always in a good mood with his wit and knowledge. There was just the right amount of variety in terms of locations, food and time spent with the group as well as separately. I wanted to discover why the Nazis had committed the atrocities they did and I learned a great deal about that subject.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, "wow" moments were happening constantly, so it is difficult to pick just one. My first "wow" moment was the boat tour in Hamburg. It made me realize just how important this city is, not only iin Germany, but in Europe. The size and scale of the boats was tremendous. It was a good lesson in realiziing how little I know about the world and especially, Europe."

Karen

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 10/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dresden was a total wonderful, surprise. The visit to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp was deeply moving."

Heidi

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved our tour of Germany! This trip was different in that we felt we not only had a wonderful vacation, but also an enriching and educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was one wow moment after another, thanks in part to our wonderful tour guide Caroline! I cannot give her enough kudos and compliments."

Joanne

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As always, a well organized, interesting, and informative tour. I wish there was less emphasis on wars, death, and destruction and more on folk culture ("elements of everyday life in traditional, localized people that are immediately recognizable as belonging to that culture"). Going to Oktoberfest was a welcome change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Strasbourg Cathedral's Astronomical Clock. Also the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (German Museum of Technology) in Berlin."

Robert

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary, guide, and travel group were great! Many travel friendships were developed. Very rewarding from a cultural standpoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Caroline surprised us with a tour of Castle Wartburg!! I thought Castle Wartburg was so much better than Castle Neuschwanstein. Castle Neuschwanstein is overrated and consumed too much of our time. I would suggest a quick stop and drive by of Castle Neuschwanstein."

Maria

Redlands, CA

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Germany is beautiful however, I felt totally rushed during this trip. Dinners were very late. Only a few hours in Munich-such a beautiful city-so disappointing not to see more of it. Shopping was really not an option. Guides were sometimes difficult to understand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when I entered the Pergamon museum in Berlin and saw the walls and gates of Babylon. We stayed on 2 days more so we could go to these amazing museums- thank goodness!"

Bernadine

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary, the guide and the group! It was an exhausting tour. We covered a lot in 13 days, maybe it should be 15 days and add a bit more free time in the larger cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The zeppelin field rally grounds at Nuremberg was eerie. Caroline showed us old pics that furthered the historical impact. The burial mounds at Bergen-Belsen were moving and left me speechless Caroline read an excerpt from a book about Anne Frank's last days that left us all speechless. It was a most memorable day."

Mary Beth

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, your tour provided many great experiences. A wide variety of sites were included that really allowed us to get a great feel for the country. I really enjoyed Hamburg.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the stands at Nürnberg and imagining what it was like 80 years ago. The parallels between that time and what is happening in our country today were so clear."

Cody

Fletcher, NC

Tour: 09/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of Germany. Lots of bus time, but it was necessary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bacharach and everything about it."

Deborah

Sheffield Lake, OH

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a whirlwind tour of Germany. We were busy learning about and participating in the culture and society of Germany every day. Our guide, Holger, was tuned into what was happening in each area we visited and we were able to participate in local festivals, fireworks, and special castle tours all along the way. We enjoyed the company of the rest of our group when we would meet for group dinners and events. It was a vacation of making good memories with good people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite? There were many! From the "time-traveling" in small medieval towns, river views, fireworks on the Rhine, and being surrounded by the fresh beauty of the foothills of the Alps, this trip was filled with wow moments. As an amateur photographer the vistas were breathtaking. Loved walking over the bridge in Hann Münden in the morning and seeing the mist on the river. It was picture perfect."

Mary

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized, meals were great. This was my first Rick Steve's tour. Many of the others on the trip assured me most of the trips are not this demanding. My recommendation would be fewer cities with more time to explore. I learned a lot but to be honest it seemed more like an educational trip versus a vacation. Maybe that is the Rick Steve's philosophy?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Understanding the ramifications of the division of Germany into east and west and how some of those differences still persist."

Robert

Appleton, WI

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very encompasing, intense and covered a lot of Germany culture and history. Was especially nice to be able to visit Octoberfest while in Munich. Would have liked to have a visit to a vineyard/winery while on tour just to try some of the family German great wines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely, the time spent in Munich and at Octoberfest."

Diane

Appleton, WI

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed this tour. Although I liked our visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, I would have preferred more time in Munich or another location. A lot of time was spent driving to and from this castle. Erfurt was a wonderful surprise! What a charming location. Loved the slower pace here and the chance to relax and enjoy this picturesque city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Munich and Octoberfest were a highlight of the trip. It was easy to get around using the subway system. I also loved our time in Bacharach, the Rhine river cruise and the Rhine in Flames festival."

Maureen

Depere, WI

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"October fest"

Milton

De Pere, WI

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This tour was a bit too hurried. Either drop some of the content or add a day or two. We were continually under time pressure to get somewhere, do something. It also manifested itself at times with our tour guide's behavior. He got a bit short with people, didn't take the time to make sure EVERYONE had a chance to see maps and subway layouts, etc. I'd suggest dropping the visit to Worms and the Neuschwanstein castle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Nothing stood out as a WOW moment. I did really enjoy Oktoberfest in Munich but that's not always a part of the tour."

Steve

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a circular trip around Germany, experiencing the history, topography, scenery, culture, clothes and food in different environments. A really good way to get an overview of the country. Our guide, Holger was absolutely first rate, both as a guide and as a person. This was our 13th RS tour so I consider it proper to make a comparison. This tour was a bit too hectic. I would love to have been able to spend another day in both Rothenburg and Erfurt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments include walking around the medieval towns of Rothenburg and Erfurt; and seeing the remains of the Nazi and Communist regimes, particularly in Berlin and Zeppelin Field. Oh, and Oktoberfest."

Wayne

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Unlike the other 14 Rick Steves' tours we have done, this tour tries to see and do much too much. Too much bus time, exacerbated by one-night stays so brief, we hardly remember being at Rothenburg obT and Hann. Münden at all (arrived late after long driving day; walk to hotel; 20 min. to freshen up; quick walk to dinner; group dinner; darkness has now fallen; back to the hotel; sleep; early wake-up; breakfast; back on the bus); drive, drive, drive. Repeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure if this counts as what you're looking for as a "WOW moment", but to the extent this way-too-fast tour could be saved, it was by guide Holger and driver John."

Elsa

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never been to Germany before and this whirlwind tour gave us a big overview of what is best in this wonderful country. I enjoyed the mix of the small towns and big cities as it gave a lot of variety to the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments and I will name a few: I enjoyed the ambience and gaiety at Oktoberfest and was amazed by the fireworks at the St. Goar "Rhine in Flames" festival. Rothenburg and the Nightwatchman's tour were a delight as was the river cruise down the Rhine. I also found Berlin fascinating."

Jerome

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first trip using a passport. Was an experience I will never forget. The tour was planned out perfectly. Our guide was extremely informative and down to earth. Our travel group was small which added to the success of the trip. Had a wide variety of sites to see. Enjoyed the guide tours, but also appreciated the opportunities to for self guided sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pinpoint just one "wow" moment. Starting from Hamburg was a great introduction of things to come. The architecture and skills needed to construct the cathedrals and castles, was truly amazing. Combined with the postcard settings, truly memorable."

Ella

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had amazing weather so the beautiful countryside, quaint towns, and big cities were even more magnificent. The bus was comfortable and the hotels nice. I especially liked listening to Maisie as she got behind the surface history found in the book (which I'd already read) and really brought things to life. Her take on current events, the German political system, and her perspective on how the German people are still dealing with the aftermath of WW2 was insightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was such a nice mix of small towns and large, but I guess I was most impressed with Berlin. So many tangled layers of history in one city. I graduated from high school the year before the wall fell and was aware of the political upheaval, but to see the place..."

George

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We got to see so many sides of Germany: castles and countryside to cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reiner en Flamme. The crowds, the food, the fireworks."

Carol

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was incredibly informative, visiting so many significant sites and cities in Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had never seen pipe organs designed in the Baroque style before. During our free time on this tour, I saw three outstanding examples of that style. We even heard 2 being played! Magnificent!"

David

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the usual (come to be expected) outstanding Rick Steves tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was much more to see in Germany than I would have guessed prior to the tour. This doesn't really belong in this section, but going on this trip made me a fan of pay toilets. The toilets were always spotlessly clean and there was always toilet paper. A big contrast to other European venues, eg France."

Doreen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Germany was fantastic! We visited many interesting and historical sites; learned about German history, politics, and culture. Our guide Maisie is the best! Most of the local guides were excellent. Our fellow travelers were very nice, a great group. The hotels on the tour were very comfortable, clean, with good breakfasts, and helpful staff. We had some very good meals on this tour. We loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed both the Berlin and Hamburg walking tours. They were great! The Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the harbor cruise in addition to the walking tour may give Hamburg a slight edge. Although in Berlin, Aria took us to Rausch for a short refreshment break so we could energize ourselves before continuing on. She was knowledgeable, interesting, AND funny."

Isela

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and first ever trip abroad. Everything was beyond my expectations. From our wonderful/talented/funny/thoughtful tour guide Ms. Caroline to the hotels, food, itinerary, special tours and of course our bus drivers; Big John and Handsome Henry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every moment of every day was a wow moment for me."

Jerome

The Villages, FL

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed our tour of Germany. Traveling broadens a person's horizons by getting out in the world and learning new things. I enjoy history and it is great to get out and explore where that history took place. I have German ancestry so it was natural I would come here someday. The pacing of the tour was pretty good. Just the right amount of time in the small towns to get some flavor of them but not enough in the big cities to do everything there is to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was not a part of the tour but I am a huge Beatles fan and got to check out some of the Beatles sites in Hamburg on my free time. Other great moments were walking through the Cologne Cathedral, standing on a hill overlooking Bacharach and the Rhine river, drinking beer and listening to the music at Hofbrauhaus in Munich and touring Neuschwanstein Castle."

Robert

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful, even with all the bus rides. We had the right amount of "our time" in each city. The city orientations were very important in allowing us to make the best use of our free time later in the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat tour of Hamburg harbor was spectacular. To see those container ships, knowing that most of what I have purchased probably came in one, was sobering. Then to know that each container needed a truck, and to see truck after truck , at the proper interval going over the bridge and out of Hamburg, showed just how large the container ship impact on the world was."

Cynthia

Ramona, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Germany tour was a wonderful tour. Caroline was a great tour guide as she provided so much information but in a way that was so very interesting. I feel there was a good mix of planned time and free time. The individual tour guides were outstanding and provided a good understanding of the cities they talked about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really can't say there was just one as this tour really tugged at my heart strings. It seemed each day there was something that came up, especially about World War II, that I didn't know and had me take a minute or two to understand my emotions. If I had to pick something though, then I would say Berlin. I am so glad we spent 5 extra days there as it has so much to offer."

Judith

Princeton, NJ

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Caroline was terrific. Her knowledge of Germany's history and her ability to weave that history with it's cultural and political implications was exceptional. Insight as to to differences between the peoples of Hamburg/Berlin and Munich was entertaining. Local guides ( particularly Bridget) were up to what we've come to expect from RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extent to which the Stazi, with a relatively small ~2% of the population could control the remaining 98% of the people in Communist east Berlin. Also, the considerable nordic cultural influence in Hamburg."

Nancy

Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the mix of cities and towns. Although there was a lot of bus time, the days were broken up to accommodate the travel.We were fortunate to be part of a weekend festive. I enjoyed the night walk with the watchman, even in the rain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was powerful to go to Nurnberg and stand were Hitler stood.I was also moved by the stumbling stone memorials outside some of the buildings in Berlin."

John

River Falls, WI

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great Trip - Good blend of big city and small towns. Great tour guide Caroline - Great knowledge and willing to share her life experience in Germany. You picked well again. Good split between tours and private time exploring the cities in Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite Wow was the small cities and not being destroyed during the war. To see buildings dating back to the 1100 & 1200 hundreds. To walk in the steps of people going back 45 generations, that is wow."

Jeffrey

Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very enjoyable tour with great fellow traveling companions. A beautiful country with a dramatic history right up to the current day. Great sights with friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't the beautiful scenery or buildings, it was the Stumble Stones. Each brass sidewalk [INVALID] commemorates a Jewish person who was removed from the adjacent dwelling and murdered in a concentration camp. Our Berlin hotel was a former apartment. Could our beautiful room have been part of the residence of the couple taken from this building and sent to Auschwitz and exterminated? Very, very chilling ! The memorial in Berlin to the murdered Jews was also powerful in its simplicity."

Alice

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Carolina was simply awesome. I was the oldest and the slowest on the tour. When we signed up for the tour, I knew I could walk 3 miles...just did not know some of it would be uphill and at 83, my asthma which I had not had in years decided to kick in. Carolina watched out for me and would call a cab when an uphill climb she felt would be too much for me. I loved the way she made certain that we knew the pertinent history of the area we were in, answered our questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Carolina explained how the German people, this generation was taking steps to be certain what happened in their country causing the second world war would never happen again...and shared how she personally felt having both grandfathers fight for the Nazis. And the beauty of Rothenburg."

Jerry

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Without question having been on previous RS tours, Carolina is one of the best guides from the standpoint of looking after the personal needs of the group, knowledgeable about the history of towns/cities visited and able to inject humor, music and personal information to keep the interest high in what we were seeing and doing. Looking back at over pictures taken on the tour, I am still amazed we were able to cover so much ground and many sites, still allowing free time.

Connie

Orange, CA

Tour: 09/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the thirteen days we spent traveling in Germany. This was our third Rick Steves' tour, and this one definitely involved the greatest number of miles of traveling. We enjoyed the chance to see Hamburg - a place not a lot of American tourists are familiar with. We had a terrific group to travel with, and with very few exceptions, our tour guide was very effective and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several ... I very much enjoyed having the chance to visit Berlin and to see the historically significant sites there. Our local guide was terrific - the best of the trip - and he covered a lot of ground (both physically and historically) with us. There were not as many 'natural beauty' WOW moments on this trip as on our Ireland and Italy tours, but we loved everything we saw."

Carol

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much about the history of Europe and how it affects the present. It is instructional to see how Germany deals with its past and lives in the present. There was a good variety of cities and smaller towns. The tour does such a good job of helping you explore the cities on your own and appreciating their uniqueness. The fellow travelers and Torben were outstanding partners in making this a deeply meaningful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Bergen-Belsen Memorial on a rainy day. The work that Germany has done to deal with its past is so powerful. The simple concrete building with the windows out to the birch forest evokes the darkness of the time. Bergen-Belsen is unique because it shows the extent of the efforts to dehumanize people from the Russian POWs to the Jews and other victims and then to the post war period."

Kimberly

Orefield, PA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour experience. We were very lucky to have a great group of people on the tour. Everyone got along well - no grumps as expected. Torben, our guide, and John, our driver, did an excellent job delivering us to our destinations safely with fun side trips along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Dresden on the way to Berlin was an unexpected delight. What an interesting city. The Zwinger palace was amazing. Our local tour guide was very engaging. I also really enjoyed the walking tour with our local guide, Micheal, in Munich. He was very funny and entertaining while providing the history of the city."

Mark

Vincennes, IN

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Best of Germany tour. I am glad that I went and hope to go on more Rick Steves' tours. The tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I do not think that I had a favorite "wow" moment. Finding out how well prepared Torben Brown was, constituted a "wow" moment. Visiting WWII Bergen-Belsen memorial had a deep effect on me. History hit me head on. Learning about Martin Luther and following his foot steps provided great insight into my faith. As one of our tour members said "Berlin has an edge." I found Berlin alive, young, yet steeped in history. Looking at the history that my parents lived through was amazing."

Lisa

Braintree, MA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was awesome. I've traveled quite a bit over 37 years. I enjoyed going to Bingen Wine Festival Aug 31st. It as great being with the locals, tasting different wines and fire works. This was add on by Torben being the first day of the festival. The night watchman in Rothenburg was a blast! I greatly enjoyed Weissenstein I will embellished below. I enjoyed Berlin. I hope to return and see the Museums. The places we stopped in relation to World II were moving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed going to Bingen Wine Festival Aug 31st. It as great being with the locals, tasting different wines and fire works. This was add on by Torben being the first day of the festival. I've seen many churches, cathedrals and castles therefore I am neutral on them being the "WOW" factor. Though I greatly enjoyed Schloss Weissenstein in Pommersflden. The castle was wonderful the magnificent staircase and the paintings.The local guide was good. This was a great stop set up by Torben. Keep it!"

Joan

Ankeny, IA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was unforgettable! I enjoyed each and every minute of it! We had never been on a tour before and this tour exceeded all of my expectations! The hotel accommodations were amazing and all the breakfasts and dinners were exceptionally delicious! Each day brought us new and exciting adventures! I enjoyed the continuous activity and although it was a little scary navigating the larger cities of Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, we surprised ourselves and did do! Thank you for all of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really cannot say I had a "wow" moment, but experienced multiple "wow's"! Those included the grandiose Cologne Cathedral, the heartbreaking Bergen-Belson Concentration Camp, all the beautiful cathedrals and castles, the trip on the Rhine River, the Wine Festival, all the information Torben gave us, the monastery Martin Luther studied at in Erfurt and the prayer service, the Night Watchman, Munich and Berlin. I was "wowed" daily!"

Linda

Vincennes, IN

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that the trip was well planned and gave plenty of time to explore some on your own. Our guide was well prepared, knowledgeable, polite, and protective..meaning he made sure all of our group was accounted for before leaving and area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked how well the guide was prepared and how he could get me interested into history. Wow! I didnt like history as a child or in school!"

Kara

Benicia, CA

Tour: 08/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than I thought it was going to be. It was the perfect balance with all the history, scenery, food, accomodations, and down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rhein Valley/River was more beautiful than I ever thought possible."

Carlton

Augusta, GA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw many interesting sights, enjoyed good food, and learned a lot of history and German culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fascinating harbor tour in Hamburg and the Night Watchman tour inn Rothenburg."

Sylvia

Niles, IL

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ken and I had a wonderful time on our first Rick Steve's tour! We were hesitant at first to take a tour, but realize now that it is a great way to travel if you want to cover a large area without the hassle of planning your own itinerary and navigating through unfamiliar landscapes - let alone doing it in a foreign language! We visited so many sites that we may never had experienced on our own, and we enjoyed every single day of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had so many "Wow" moments! The harbor cruise in Hamburg was amazing. Our first look at the charm of Bacharach blew us away! We thoroughly enjoyed our meals spent with the other tour members - especially the one at the beer hall in Munich that started out with pretzels and where I had a pork knuckle - learning how to "cut off the skin like a surgeon", as Mattie instructed. We made new friends from Munich during our free time there. Being at Zeppelin Field was overwhelming."

Anna

Glenmont, NY

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw A WhOLE LOT of this largest of European countries with a very knowledgeable guide (Carlos)and travelled with some fascinating people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the German Museum of Science and Technology at Munich; it rivaled our Smithsonian with great exhibits and clear explanations scientific principles in English as well as German. (Guides did not mention it on our trip)"

Steven

Silverdale, WA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Tour Guide Carlos was outstanding, His incredible knowledge of Germany and the events that shaped the country are not available in books. Also Matty the other tour guide added personal hx that affected/impacted his family. I would reccomend this tour to anyone that is ale to walk many miles a day to explore each site.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was surprising and eye opening including Dresdon and World War 2 hx, how all of Germany rebounded to be the 4th largest industrialized nation in the world."

Steven

Sudbury, MA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

n A++ trip from start to end. The professionalism of the RSE organization and especially the top performance of our fabulous guide, Carlos Meissner (with a Ph.D. in history!) made our 13-day tour in Germany a life long, memorable experience. The Germany tour was a great value for our "traveling dollar." This was our second Rick Steves Tour, and I'd highly recommend it to fellow travelers who want most things planned out for them on a European tour. Steve M e s h o n , Ph.D Sudbury, MA

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wow moments throughout the trip. Two especially colorful moments were the beauty and charm of Bacharach and Erfurt. Oh, I also can't forget the dazzling, towering, Disneyland-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle! That's three wows -- for starters!"

Donald

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we expected and more. Packed into less than two weeks of intensive, active travel was a potpourri of modern German cities, charming small towns, castles, churches, synagogues, and a strong dose of 20th-century history. We came away with a clear sense of what Germany is today, and how it remembers its fascinating, checkered past.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the actual locations that marked Hitler's personal rise (Munich), heyday (Nuremberg), and ultimate fall (the minimally marked Berlin bunker)."

Sue

Shell Lake, WI

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. I traveled with my brother and sister in law who raved about several other tours they have been on. This tour "The Best of Germany" truly lived up to it expectation. It was so well planned and provided so more than I could have ever imagined. I loved the fact that it wasn't just a tourist attraction type tour but it focused on the rich history and culture of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the many "wow" moments was when I actually saw the breathtaking, beauty and enormity of the cathedrals and castles we visited. I had previously only seen them in books, but to actually be there was beyond WOW"

Virginia

Cambridge, WI

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The logistics, the food, the hotels, the guides, the places that were chosen for us to visit were excellent. Hearing the stories of our guide's families during the turbulent times in Germany added so much: it was personal, it was real, it happened to real people. It changed my perception of Germany, particularly how it is dealing with its past.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't one or even three favorite "wow" moments: there were many little "wow" moments. - Experiencing the towns along the Rhine, especially Bacharach and the Rhine river cruise. - Rothenburg - The Hofbrauhaus. Have to experience it to believe it! - Walking up to Ludwig's castle in the rain with the sun showing through - Experiencing/being in the places that changed world history: Luther sites, the street corner in Munich where the Putsch could have gone either way, the Nurnberg rally gr"

Alana

Burke, VA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The balance of small town/large city & modernization/troubled past reminders made this tour. Carlos' history/politics contrasted nicely with cultural trends told by Matthias. Cool, rainy weather (who can forget Neuschwanstein!) was more pleasant than Europes's recent heat. Hotels of character & modern convenience + brkfsts were great. Meals provided a sample of regional dishes. Peter & the bus got us efficiently around hwy repairs & long traveled dstances. Great group! It was a good trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow #1: Hamburg w/lakes/canals/river looks to a vibrant future while retaining the past in restored historic buildings. Harbor tour with our tiny RS-only boat chugging up close to mammoth cargo container ships & huge drydocks was outstanding. Wow #2: Münden's quiet/slower-paced town life & relaxing river sounds. 3rd wow: the # of "bus" treats & other surprises such as Bacharach wine-tasting, Wartburg Castle terrace lunch, Rothenburg dinner, Reichstag dome visit & Berlin Wall Gallery drive-by."

Linda

Augusta, GA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very active and fast paced tour; We saw so many sights and learned so much related history - I would not have been able to accomplish this packed itinerary on my own! Loved seeing villages as well as cities - felt the route provided a nice overall view of Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many from which to choose; below are three of my favorite memories: 1. lunch at Wartburg Castle hotel was delightful - a fairy tale experience - delicious lunch, beautiful views, a nice relaxing break, and great company 2. harbor tour of Hamburg - I was surprised how fascinating I found this tour. Great local guide and very informative and interesting information. 3. the tour of the Reichstag Building"

Ann

Augusta, GA

Tour: 08/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice mix of big cities and small towns in Germany. We learned so much culture and history of the area as well as enjoyed the dinners together. A fast-paced and varied experience tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the very room where Martin Luther translated the New Testament at Wartburg Castle was outstanding. The lunch at the restaurant there was delightful. One "wow" moment was not enough. The guide on the boat tour at Hamburg gave a fantastic tour of the harbor. Our visit to the Reichstag was yet another "wow" moment."

Darrell

Altamonte Springs, FL

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very educational and rewarding tour. Every place we visited had so much to offer, and we usually wished we could spend more time there. Caroline's knowledge was fantastic, and her life story added a lot to understanding Nazi and German history and put WW II into perspective. She sometimes did set a pretty fast pace on our walks. Ben was also very helpful in so many ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We liked the big cities and all that they offered with their experiences after bombing in WW II, but we probably liked the smaller places best -- specifically Bacharat and Erfurt. I don't know if you would call it a "wow" moment, but the concentration camps and life stories probably had the most impact."

Bruce

Providence, RI

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent experience. Glad we did it. It was longer than our previous Rick Steves Tours (Ireland, Scotland), so a bit of an endurance run for us, albeit an enjoyable one. Glad we arrived in Hamburg two days ahead of time to rest and explore the city via hop-on/hop-off bus. We also stayed three days afterward to decompress a bit before flying home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"None in particular. Lots of stand-out moments on this tour. Really appreciated Caroline's knowledge and honesty about Germany's long history, the Nazi years and Cold War years."

Lynda

Altamonte Springs, FL

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was about what I expected--very informative and fast paced. We followed the advertised itinerary and saw some very beautiful and interesting sites. My only disappointment was that we did not see Wartburg Castle as listed on the original itinerary. I should have realized that it would mean lots of bus travel to go to all the included cities as the actual time on the bus was the only thing I didn't like. The summer travel season meant lots of traffic jams that slowed us down.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting and staying in the small cities such as Bacharach--peaceful and beautiful scenery."

Gaylen

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 07/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great overall experience. Hotels were high quality and in great locations. The tour director did a great job of getting us oriented to the cities and the various transportation options, pacing the activities, and her knowledge and insights regarding 20th century German History were amazing. My only criticism is that she did not share much about current topic, music, crops, economy) even thought we had prompted her in that direction on several occasions. It was nice having an Asst director.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The castle at St. Goar was fascinating and unique because of history of tunnels etc."

Jim

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This our second tour and you company does not disappoint. We saw just enough of Germany. The time spent on the bus, walking, touring was just to my limit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed hearing Catalina's family experience with growing up in Germany and how the holocaust affected her interest in history"

Dan

Monroe, NC

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I had a great time – a lot of history and a great immersion into the Germany of the past and present. Caroline and our "apprentice" Matti were excellent. I learned so much from them on this trip. Also, we had a great group of fellow travelers who made the experience even that much better. This was our third RS tour and like the other two it was very, very busy. Our iPhone says we walked 97 miles in our 13 days. Next time, we are booking extra days at the end to relax!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one thing so I will pick places & experiences. Places: Cologne Cathedral, Bacharach, Rothenburg, Erfurt & Berlin. Experiences: Bergen-Belsen when Caroline read about Anne Frank's last days as we were at her memorial marker – very moving. Alvin, our guide at Rheinfels Castle, who sang a beautiful song to the group. Finally, being helped by a local in Erfurt who just came up to us as we were looking for a good Bratwurst place (on our map) – such warmth of the German people!"

Colin

Deer Park, WA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick Steve's tour and first time in Europe so I wasn't sure what to expect, but our excellent tour guides Carolina and Matthias brought the tour to life and gave us the full experience of the history, politics, and culture of the different regions of Germany. From the food, to seeing castles on the Rhine, to visiting the Berlin Wall, the experience was amazing and a huge part of it was having two outstanding tour guides that and broadened our horizons with their own experiences of Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Bacharach and tasting the locally produced Riesling wine and then looking outside to see the castles and lush, green, vineyards on the slopes of the valley while the Rhine river flowed beneath them."

Kathleen

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized, great,informative guide, city guides were also very good in a whole. Hotel rooms were fine, no air during the heatwave was very uncomfortable. I found Hamburg to be an extremely boring city and would rather have spent more time else where, like Cologne. Loved the small cities like Bacharach and Erfurt ( my favorite).

Mike

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We went into this tour with no prior experience and what I would say as normal expectations. The trip was exceptional. My wife and I agree that any tour is going to be as good as your guide. Caroline was the best and having Matti was just one huge bonus! The are both professionals and it was obvious to us that Rick only hires the best! This wasn't just a sight seeing trip, we received all types of information, from historical to cultural, both current and past.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can specify one particular moment, they were all so good. Being able to see the room that Martin Luther studied as a monk was pretty special. Every stop had a professional guide specific to that town"

Alex

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. It was a great mixture of large and small towns, of structured and unstructured time, and of differing levels of "tourist"-y feeling activities. I personally favored the places like Hamburg, Berlin, and Bacharach where I felt the least tourist-y (or, rather, where I felt the location wasn't tailoring itself or marketing itself primarily to tourists), but I appreciate the mixture of experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Neuschwanstein from the viewing bridge backlit in a thunder/hailstorm in all its dramatic Wagnerian glory. Second most "wow": Having a tarte flambe in Berlin, because it was German-ish food that wasn't heavy meat and potatoes."

Xavier

South Bend, IN

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very educational as well as a great vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say since there were so many different experiences."

Laura

Porter Ranch, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Caroline was a fantastic tour guide! We learned so much about the history of Germany from her, and she shared personal information about her family's involvement with WWII that she certainly didn't have to. It really brought everything to life though, and it was greatly appreciated by all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rheinfels Castle - when our tour guide sang to us at the end of the tour. It was AMAZING!"

Thomas

Norton Shores, MI

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Caroline and Matti are great guides. The itinerary was great, wonderful fellow travelers, great local guides. There was a nice balance between big cities and small villages. It addition to being fun it was very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing our guides families experiences during World War Two. Their stories brought the war from a historical textbook into real life first hand experiences. Thank you for sharing your family stories."

Ernest

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of people, excellent guides, great food, good range of locations. More taken with Hamburg than I thought I would be

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, that would have to be the 1 hour torrential downpour with wind, thunder and hail that hit us at Neuschwanstein. Granted, this is not likely to be repeatable, but it sure had us all amazed (and soaked). Discounting that, I think it would be walking the entire perimeter of Rothenburg."

Mary

Rapid City, SD

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was a very good mixture of urban and rural experiences. The bus offered a good place to cool off, rest and view the countryside. Routine stops helped make it never feel like we were on the bus for too long. Thanks John! The group was a nice collection of generations and I will forever be grateful that my kids were able to hear the personal experiences shared by Caroline and Mattie. Hopefully we will all share the insights we learned on this trip with others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments when I experienced "wow" moments. The one that stands out for me is when as we approached the Bergen-Belsen Memorial, Caroline read from a book that detailed the experiences of Anne and Margot Frank. The words she quoted prompted me to compare the past to modern events and gave me chills."

Derenz

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 13-day Best of Germany tour was the best tour that I've ever experienced. Our guides were knowledge, fun, and caring. Our tour sites were culturally rich. Our hotels were centrally located. The food was delicious. I have been sharing my experiences of this meaningful and memorable trip with all of my family, friends, and coworkers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"These were my "wow" sites: Bacharach, Rothenburg, Neuschwanstein, and Erfurt. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy Bacharach and Erfurt. Münster was great, too. Loved the bicycles and our restaurant there. I liked seeing a German college town. And, the lunch at Bückeburg was delightful, especially, after spending time in Bergen-Belsen. I took a side trip to Dachau, my second day in Münich. Should Dachau replace Bergen-Belsen on the itinerary? It's worth a discussion."

Barbara

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed Germany. The food and alcohol was affordable. There was an extra hot time in Germany. Hamburg was hot at night! Munster had air conditioning! Air got cooler. Guides gave their personal family and stories about themselves. Very touching. It rained really hard during Neuswanstein Castle climb! We went to the bridge in shopping clothes. Worth it. Castle fascinating. Bavaria wonderful. Bacharach, Rhine boat, great St. Goar guide! Liked Berlin for access to all museums...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Shocked most of Germany I saw on the autobabahn is for growing hops, potatoes, corn, and wheat! So many trees, also."

Gregory

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a very nice mix of Germany's history (both distant and more recent), cultural factors, landscapes, foods, and current political and social issues. I learned much about the country's tragic infatuation with the Nazi agenda, the millions of Germany's victims, and the reflections and reconciliation which continue into the country's present and future. I really appreciated the independent free time that periodically occurred in the schedule.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I couldn't narrow my experiences down to one or two favorite moments. Sorry."

Wendy

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Because this was our first Rick Steves Tour, I didn't know quite what to expect from the walking tours, as they had been described in the tour literature. So I appreciated that they included history and knowledge about the local culture, as well as extended time in a few places along the way. It also was a happy surprise that most days included free time to explore places of our choice after the a.m. walking tours. I do wish some of the bus days could have been shorter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite overall day on the tour was the day spent touring the ruins of Rheinfels Castle, seeing the Rhine River and its castles from a boat tour, learning about Bacharach from our local guide, tasting local Riesling wines, and then, having independent time to hike the remains of some of Bacharach's medieval city walls. But I also enjoyed Wartburg Castle, Nurnberg's Nazi Documentation Center, and the roof-top tour of Berlin's Reichstag."

Dennis

Roseville, CA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed this tour since it rounded out our Rick Steves tours of Europe. Frankly I have more enjoyed our prior Rick Steves tours when they emphasized small town visits in addition to my own travels where I designed routes that emphasized random small town visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bacharach, Bergen Belsen, Munden, Erfurt (stangely all smallish towns)"

Sandy

Pine Hill, NJ

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The overall tour was good, the guide was very knowledgable, however, I felt as if the tour guide was just doing his job and not really connecting with the group.

Lisa

Excelsior, MN

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steve's tour and we were highly satisfied with our experience. The online description was very accurate so we knew what to expect. We specifically chose this tour itinerary for the immersion into all aspects of Germany's history. Each stop along the way delivered a unique slice from the emigrant experience in Hamburg, to medieval times along the Rhine, to WWII in East Germany. Touring the farm and wine-tasting Rieslings were nice ways to round out the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Bacharach from our 5th floor hotel room after climbing 5 flights of stairs, with our luggage! It was unexpected how breathtakingly charming the view of the rooftops, cafes, tower, spires and vineyards would be and definitely worth the climb! Another moment was at the Holocast memorial in Berlin. Walking through the maze of slabs was a very emotional experience that I will never forget."

Nancy

Roseville, CA

Tour: 06/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great tour, but the itinerary needs some adjustments. 1. Start the tour in Frankfurt and end in Berlin. 2. Eliminate Hamburg which has absolutely no wow sights whatsoever. The Elbphilharmonie is not a 3 star attraction (per Rick's book). A view of the harbor and city was not exciting at all. 3. An extra day in Munich is a must in order to see Dachau (or Neuschwanstein Castle if it is removed from the itinerary). 4. Add the Black Forest if possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing the Berlin Wall Memorial (which our local guide did not take us to). Also the Augustiner Keller Biergarten in Munich was very authentic (but not on our itinerary) and the food superior to the bier hall we went to in Munich for dinner. Going to Bergen Belsen was very moving. I liked learning about the "Stumbling Stones" too. I really like Bacharach and the cruise down the Rhine. And Erfurt was a very picturesque and far less touristy than Rottenburg."

Dean

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I took the Germany trip to learn more about German history and how the country evolved into its present configuration. The trip greatly helped me understand how prior ages set the course of present-day Germany. Our tour guide, Caroline, and specific city guides were instrumental in augmenting my understanding of the country. Overall, my experience was very positive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a specific "wow" moment. Rather, several notable moments: touring the Hamburg harbor; walking in Munich and seeing sights I have only read about come alive; spending valuable time in Nurnberg among WWII sights; and touring around Munich and Berlin with local guides."

Barbara

Norwood, NJ

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great mix of touring with group & personal free time. SItes were interesting. TOurguide Caroline was knowledgeable & a pleasure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dresden"

Richard

Norwood, NJ

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time touring Germany. It was a trip to discover the homeland for some of our family and the sites covered were diverse and very interesting. We saw some uncommon sites and some famous sites, and the balance was great. The participants were all friendly and game for discovery, which made it fun. Our tour guide Caroline was incredibly well informed and a great asset. This was a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is not possible for me to pick one, because there were so many great moments."

Steven

Oley, PA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was absolutely fantastic. I would never have been able to see so much of Germany or learn so much about German culture, politics, and everyday life without our guide's fantastic knowledge and skillset. I loved being able to walk around the cities and towns as a group and on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can place just one - it's a three-way tie. The first was seeing Cologne/Koln Cathedral - we saw a lot of cathedrals but something about it just blew me away. The second was seeing the Alps for the first time. I've never seen mountains like that before. The third was after our guide booked a special trip to Wartburg Castle. I am Lutheran, so being able to stand in the room where Luther hid and translated the New Testament was mind-blowing."

Faye

Oley, PA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was everything I hoped it would be and more. Our tour guide was the best ever ! The local guides along the way were also fantastic and very knowledgeable. Then there was our tour bus driver "Big John "! He was a great driver and very helpful and willing to answer any questions we had. Both he and Carolina could not do enough to make our experience the best ever. They even added a side trip that was on the initial itinerary but had been moved for something else.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment was riding on the autobahn and seeing the Alps come into view when we entered Bavaria."

Eugene

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 05/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"all good. Castles, Cathedrals, nightwatchman,etc"

Gail

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve tour and it was everything we had hoped for and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had never been to Germany before so the whole trip was filled with wow moments. We spent an extra couple of days in Hamburg and Munich and loved both those cities. The small city of Erfurt was a real surprise. It is a lovely, walk-able city that has so much to offer."

Nancy

Lemont, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour of Germany was a wonderful trip, but feel that it should be made into 2 separate tours. There is so much history and countryside I felt we barely scratched the surface. It seems a lot of time was spent on the bus & not enough time at certain stops, in particular our stop at Bergen-Belsen. There just was enough time to really absorb the museum & walk the area. Possibly an additional half hour would have helped or dropping that camp and when in Munch adding a day with a trip to Dachau.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the sites were wonderful, but stopping in Erfurt was Peaceful and a well needed rest before our sobering encounter of recent history in the next few days. Berlin was so amazing and such a learning experience I was glad we added a couple of extra days."

Louis

Lemont, IL

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was excellent. Very concerned about everyone's well being. We had a quite a bit of rain and our guide when out and bought 6 umbrellas for those of us not having one. My wife took a couple of spills and our guide was very concerned

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Berlin. I found the post war history very interesting. I had basic knowledge but certainly expanded it"

Amy

Ogden, UT

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour echoed past Rick Steves' tour experiences - great guides, accommodations, well planned itineraries, and really getting to know the history and culture of the country we visited. I've always been interested in World War II and I learned so much about that while on the tour. However, I also loved the beauty of the medieval towns we visited - wandering around felt like being in a fairy tale. I convinced a friend to come along this time and I believe she really enjoyed her experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I actually really loved exploring Hamburg -- which was an unexpected "wow" for me. I fell in love with the botanical garden and the harbor cruise was pretty cool. I enjoyed exploring the Elbphilharmonie and eating fish and chips on the harbor. I wasn't really aware of Operation Gommorrah and it was really sobering to learn about how it impacted the city; visiting St. Nicholas' Church and other sights set the stage for the pattern we would see in many other cities of destruction and rebuilding."

Ginan

Carrollton, TX

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of the Best of Germany was a great experience. The tour was well organized, our guide Maisie was great, and we saw a variety of things. There was a balance of small towns, medium towns and large cities, and a wide variety of experiences. Germany's history is complex and sometimes challenging to experience and confront. Our tour provided exposure to many topics that were a springboard to further research. Our group was great and added much joy to the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments and also many moments that inspired quiet contemplation. The beauty of walking through historic towns lined with half timbered houses and realizing "I'm really here!" was a recurring wow moment."

William

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first R.S. tour. I have only positive things to say about the whole experience. Preparation materials and information was very helpful, (esp. for first timers). The group was good size -- not too big to get around; big enough to have a good blend of people. At first, I thought the itinerary was a bit ambitious, covering a lot of ground, but it turned out to be very doable. There was a lot of guided, structured time, and also a fair amount of free time to do our own exploring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry -- can't possibly come up with just one. There were many, including castles, cathedrals, vineyards, Luther sights, historical venues, etc. I was "wowed" simply by being in and around towns and structures that were a thousand years old (or more)."

Kody

Verona, WI

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved it. Wonderful tour. Erfurt, Bacharach, and Rothenburg were tremendous. Berlin and Hamburg were definitely the low points of the tour. Everything in between was much better. I would suggest breaking up the tour into two separate tours. I thought we were on the bus just a little too much and we didn't get to stay in many of the cities long enough. Munich, Rothenburg, Erfurt, Nurnburg all deserved another day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Erfurt and Bacharach were the brightest of the highlights. The night watchman's tour was amazing. This was my first tour and it took a day or two before I got the "independent traveler" mindset. Once I did, I loved it."

James

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I went into the trip without any expectations and was pleasantly surprised. An interesting country historically and the apparent openness about their part in wwII. The scale of urban buildings, the many waterways, the vast amount of greenery was very comfortable. Also, pretty much enjoyed the food there, not as heavy as we thought it would be. I liked all the places we visited, even in the rain, but I must say Dresden was a little depressing even on a sunny day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Believe it or not flying into Hamburg and seeing all the pervasive greenery and many waterways. It was very pretty and not an urban bunch of boxes. It reminded me a little of Washington DC with a very human scale. Surprising. and somehow comforting."

Kelly

Nashville, TN

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! You see big cities, medieval towns, gorgeous countryside, sleepy villages, huge cathedrals and castles. All sprinkled with beer, brats and buddies. What could be better? Even the bus rides were fun, often stopping for lunch in meaningful spots like an open air museum or a castle off the beaten path. Our tour guide, Caroline, was amazing...weaving in historical, political, cultural lessons into each day's itinerary along with thoughtful, personal touches from a top notch RS guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hamburg was a pleasant surprise...with its beautiful harbor and park. Make sure to take a stroll through Planten un Blomen. I will never forget when Caroline read a passage from Anne Frank in front of her gravestone at Bergen-Belsen. Munich is a blast. Dresden is gorgeous. The entire city of Berlin is a "wow". Quit reading this and go already!!"

Barbara

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learned so much about Germany. It really enhanced my experience. Loved all the history. Learned that Hamburg related more to Scandinavia. Learned where Prussia was. Learned how Bavaria aligned more with France and Italy. Learned about situating cities on swampy land ("Ham") and how that facilitated canals and shipping. Learned about how rivers provided throughways to commerce from Sweden to China to London to Africa. Loved all the medieval cities, walls, customs, wars, Nazi info.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was better understanding the 30 Years religious war and why people would fight to the death over having your religion prevail. Got how, if Catholics were killed or their priests killed, people would die without last rites and were doomed to hell for eternity. Learned how Protestants were so against selling access to God as a hoax and the Church creating purgatory (which was not in the Bible) was a corrupt money-making power grab. So fascinating, and all the consequences..."

Shelley

Poway, CA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The locations we visited were great. The historical information we received from our guide Carolina and the local guides was outstanding. This was a good group of people on the tour with a smaller number that made everything more enjoyable. Our group meals were at great places and the hotels were nice. Overall a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The old city of Rottenburg was extremely interesting. The best wow moment was the "Night Watchman" tour of the City."

Stephanie

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. I liked how active the tour was. We had a good mix of ages of people. We saw so much more than we would have if left to our own devices. The places we went offered a balanced mix of modern cities, WWII history, and medieval to Renaissance history. It was so easy having all the transportation, hotels, and most attractions already reserved and taken care of. Our guide was really knowledgable and a lot of fun, and the guides in different towns were good, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a top floor, loft-style room with a sloping celing in our little historic Bacharach hotel. When I opened up the window over the fire escape, I could stand halfway out of it and see roofs and towers all around that probably haven't changed much in appearance in 400 years. It was amazing. Having never been outside of North America, I had never experienced being in a town so old. Bacharach was a WOW town for me!"

Zachary

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Caroline is the best tour guide ever. I really liked the fast pace, because it meant we got to see more sites. We also got in enough walking to help counter the higher calorie intake of discovering delicious German food, and treats. Enough said.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a single wow moment. Immersion into german life, and language, and learning about the culture throuout the entire trip was my "WOW"."

Janet

Calgary, AB

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first group tour, but, definitely, not my last. The tour was well organized,well paced with great narratives from our, knowledgeable, guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a "wow" moment. I was in awe the entire trip."

Jerome

Poway, CA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed all aspects of the tour. Very efficient and well coordinated. Super guides. Very good group of people on this tour. Carolina is fantastic guide and a star for Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the castle exploration along the Rhine was my best wow moment. There were a lot of wow moments on the entire tour. Had fun with this group of people and guides."

Chih-Tong

Wayland, MA

Tour: 05/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide (Caroline Marburger) is excellent

When To Go & Weather

Any time between May and October is a good time to visit Germany. However, the months of May, June, September, and October are best for offering generally good weather, lighter crowds, and the full range of tourist fun. Summer, while the most crowded, has the best weather.

Germany / Berlin

Berlin Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Hamburg (HAM) and out of Berlin (BER) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Germany.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Germany guidebook.