Imperial Cities of Central Europe & Oberammergau Passion Play

Munich, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest & Vienna

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
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Imperial Cities of Central Europe & Oberammergau Passion Play tour itinerary
Imperial Cities of Central Europe & Oberammergau Passion Play tour itinerary
Join Friendly Planet on one of the most comprehensive tours of Central Europe that we have ever offered. This exciting two-part tour takes you first to four of the most beautiful and historic Central European cities: Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. You'll explore this complex, multicultural arena of historic, artistic, scientific, industrial and commercial importance dating back to the Roman Empire.

Your tour then culminates with a visit to the village of Oberammergau, where you'll have the opportunity to view the famed Oberammergau Passion Play. A religious and cultural tradition dating back to 1633, this very special event takes place only every ten years and attracts visitors from around the world. Flights, transfers, great hotels, many meals, a comprehensive sightseeing tour program, and tickets to the Passion Play are all included in this amazing deal. But, hurry to reserve your space—this once-in-a-lifetime vacation package is sure to sell out quickly!

Itinerary at a Glance

Day Destinations
1 Depart USA
2 Munich & Salzburg
3 Salzburg
4 Salzburg & Prague
5 Prague
6 Budapest
7 Budapest
8 Vienna
9 Vienna
10 Oberammergau
11 Oberammergau Passion Play
12 Depart Germany

Detailed Itinerary

River Salzach, Salzburg old town, Salzburg Cathedral, and the Fortress Hohensalzburg Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey begins as you depart New York this evening on your overnight flight bound for Munich, Germany.

Day 2: Munich, Germany & Salzburg, Austria. Arrive today in Munich, Germany. After customs formalities, proceed to your deluxe motor coach and set out on a scenic drive through the majestic landscapes of the Bavarian Alps. Cross the Austrian border and arrive in the lovely city of Salzburg. Renaissance Hotel or similar Dinner provided.

Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg  © Tourismus Salzburg
Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg   © Tourismus Salzburg
Day 3: Salzburg. Thanks to its numerous cultural and historical attractions, the charming city of Salzburg ranks as one of Austria's most beloved cities. Today's sightseeing tour will introduce you to some of these attractions, beginning with one of the sites where The Sound of Music was filmed. The real-life von Trapp family who inspired the musical lived just ouside Salzburg.

Mirabell Castle Gardens and the Fortress Continue to some of the city's historical and architectural landmarks, including the 17th century Hellbrunn Castle Park, the impressive Mirabell Gardens, and Nonnberg Abbey, the oldest women's religious house in the German-speaking world and the monastery featured in the Sound of Music.

Getreidegasse  Photo by Götz Primke
Getreidegasse   Photo by Götz Primke
Finish your tour in Salzburg's Altstadt (old town), a UNESCO World Heritage site, at busy Getreidegasse Street, one of the oldest in Salzburg. Nestled among its numerous boutiques and cafés, you'll find "House No. 9," where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and lived until he was 17.

The rest of the afternoon is yours for independent exploration. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Mondsee Day 4: Salzburg & Prague, Czech Republic. After breakfast this morning, board your touring coach for a ride through the picturesque Salzkammergut countryside. En route, you'll pass other famous Sound of Music sites, such as Mondsee, where the movie's wedding scene was filmed. Arrive later today in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Moevenpick Hotel or similar Breakfast & dinner provided.

Prague, Czech Republic Day 5: Prague. The stunningly beautiful city of Prague was built on seven hills and served as a former capital of the Roman Empire. While the capitals of many other European nations were flattened or heavily damaged during World War II, Prague survived intact. Today, visitors to the City of a Hundred Spires experience a dynamic city in the midst of transition to a fully modern society while framed in the beauty of past times.

Mala Strana
Mala Strana "Lesser Quarter", Prague
This morning's sightseeing tour showcases some of the city's historic highlights, such as the Old Town, the Jewish ghetto, and Wenceslas Square. Continue to the impressive Prague Castle, the city's top tourist attraction, which is really more of a district (called Hradcany) than a building. Within the castle walls are Spanish Hall, with paintings by Brueghel, Durer, Holbein, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague's largest church, the Romanesque St. George's Basilica, and the Golden Lane with rows of tiny houses once occupied by craftsmen, are also found at Hradcany.

This afternoon is at leisure to visit the 14th-century Charles Bridge and explore the charming Old Town on your own. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 6: Budapest, Hungary. Travel through the scenic countryside of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, following the course of the Danube River Plain to Budapest, Hungary's exciting capital city. Korona Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided.

Chain Bridge & Danube, Budapest Day 7: Budapest. One of Eastern Europe's most fascinating cities, Budapest is unique in that it is a large urban center that manages to strike a true balance between nature and development. Hills, islands and parks coexist with theaters, cafes, monuments and other buildings in an eclectic array of architectural styles. Your morning sightseeing begins at the easily recognizable and colorful roof of Matyas Templom and then continues to the cone-shaped towers and terrace of Fishermen's Bastion.

A happy Friendly Planet traveler in Budapest You'll have the afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own. Consider taking the funicular (Siklo) up from Clark Adam Ter near the Chain Bridge or take a horse-drawn carriage tour of Buda. You'll also find many wonderful bathhouses, left behind by the Ottoman Turks who occupied the city for nearly 150 years, including the Gellert Baths in the historic Gellert Hotel, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Tonight, enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner accompanied by live Gypsy music. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 8: Vienna, Austria. Drive through the Austrian lowlands to Vienna, often called the "cultural capital" of Europe and known throughout the world for centuries as the city of great music. Vienna was home to such greats as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss. Its outstanding musical heritage continues to the present day through its Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Boys' Choir, among others. Hotel Lindner or similar Breakfast & dinner provided.

Prague Day 9: Vienna. Experience the city's glorious past on this morning's panoramic tour, which takes along the Ring Boulevard, past Emperor Franz Josef's Hofburg Palace, center of the Habsburg empire for over 600 years and the main residence of the imperial family. Proceed to the ornate State Opera and the imposing St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna's most famous landmark.

Schonbrunn Garden, Vienna Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore on your own and relax in a charming Viennese cafe. Tonight, a special evening tour takes you to the Grinzing "New Wine" district for dinner and live music. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Linderhof Palace  Photo by Andrew Cowin
Linderhof Palace   Photo by Andrew Cowin
Day 10: Oberammergau. Depart Vienna and drive along the Danubian Plain, through the impressive Alps of Tyrol and Bavaria. Time permitting, enjoy a brief visit to the opulent Linderhof Castle, one of King Ludwig II's three fantasy castles.

Continue winding through the Alps until you arrive in Ettal, a quaint village that serves as the perfect base for visiting nearby Oberammergau. Soak up the beautiful countryside and take time to rest and relax before tomorrow's long-awaited performance. Posthotel Ettal Breakfast & dinner provided.

Oberammergau  Photo by David Edgar
Oberammergau   Photo by David Edgar
Day 11: Oberammergau Passion Play. Your Eastern European adventure culminates today with a spectacular performance of the famed Oberammergau Passion Play. Watch more than 350 years of tradition unfold during this unforgettable presentation of Christ's Last Days and Passion. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Day 12: Depart Germany/Arrive USA. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA. Your exciting journey ends as you touch down in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.

The Oberammergau Passion Play

Oberammergau Passion Play

Oberammergau Passion Play In 1633, the villagers of Oberammergau, located in Bavaria, southern Germany, were in the grip of war, poverty and worst of all, the plague that was ravaging Europe. They made a pledge that if their village was spared death from the plague, they would perform a "passion play" every ten years which re-enacts the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They were, in fact, spared, and the villagers performed the first Oberammergau Passion Play in 1634. Descendants of the original Oberammergau villagers have carried out that vow and for the past four centuries, the tradition has continued every ten years.

Oberammergau Passion Play About half a million visitors viewed the last performance of the play in 2000, and more than twice that many were disappointed at not being able to obtain the coveted tickets. In 2010, Friendly Planet is delighted to offer our travelers three different tours, all featuring a Passion Play performance in Oberammergau. As with all Friendly Planet programs, each tour is full-featured and each departure is priced to save our travelers hundreds of dollars off similar programs. As in 2000, space is very limited, and once tickets are gone, it will be another ten years before the next performance of the Passion Play.

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