Performance Tour of Bavaria, Austria, and the Czech Republic Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague

Day 1

Depart for Munich, Germany flying overnight with meal service en route arriving the next morning.

Day 2

Arrive at Munich International Airport, to be met by your USIT tour conductor and your Austrian guide.  It takes about two hours for us to disembark the flight, pass through passport control, collect our luggage, and load the luggage.  By 10:30, we’re ready to depart the airport. Passing through miles of manicured fields, we enter Munich from the north, passing the BMW headquarters, the Olympic Stadium, and Dachau.  Then we enter the Munich City Center and the historic area.  We’ll have a panoramic tour of the area before we walk to the city center.  We’ll start with lunch on our own at the Marienplatz.  We’ll have time to see the Frauenkirche, Munich’s twin-spired Cathedral, spend a little time exploring Marienplatz.  At 5:00 PM, we’ll see the glockenspiel in the Old City Hall chime and re-enact two stories from the 16th century.  We depart then for our restaurant and dinner at Wienerwald at 5:30 PM (incl).  By 7:00 PM, we arrive our four-star air-conditioned hotel for check in to retire early from a long day traveling from the USA.

Day 3

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we check out of our hotel and drive through country towns on the way to the castle of Mad King Ludwig at Neuschwanstein near the small town of Fussen, Bavaria (adm. incl.). Probably the most famous castle in the world, it was the inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom castle. On the way, we make a stop at Oberammergau for a little shopping.  Then we go on to Neuschwanstein, and climb the trail up to the castle for our English tour of the castle. Lunch is on your own in the Bavarian village after our tour of the castle, arranged for us at Hotel Muller Cafe.  Then we’re off towards Salzburg, traveling up through the famous alpine region of Fern Pass in the Austrian Alps.  We descend to pass through Innsbruck, and shortly after Innsbruck, we come to the Swarovski Headquarters, where we will stop for a short tour and break (adm. optional).   Then we finish our trip to Salzburg, where we arrive at our four star hotel at @ 6:00 PM, and prepare for dinner at the hotel at 8:00 PM (incl.).  The evening is at leisure.

Day 4

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we’ll see some of the Sound of Music sites, Schloss Heilbrunn outside Salzburg at which the famous Sound of Music gazebo stands, and then we’ll drive the short way up into the mountains to Berchtesgaden, Germany, where the Alps begin. Here we’ll enjoy a boat ride and tour of the famous deep green waters of the Koenigssee in the Berchtesgaden National Forest, the most photographed panorama in Germany, an alpine lake with forest and near-vertical cliffs on its banks. The boat, with silent electric motor, crosses the lake and glides to a small peninsula where the ancient baroque chapel of St. Bartholomew has stood for 600 years, accessible only by water (adm. incl.).  We can sing informally in the chapel.  After our return trip by boat, we drive the short way back down into Berchtesgaden. Then, after lunch on our own, we take a tour deep into the mountain at the famous salt mines in Berchtesgaden (adm incl.), which is fun for young and old alike. Returning to Salzburg, dinner is on our own.

Day 5

7:30 AM Breakfast at the hotel.  We’ll start our walking tour of Salzburg at Mirabelle Gardens, one of the Sound of Music sites. From there, we continue to tour through the Old City (Altstadt) on foot, the best way to see it. This is a very compact area between the jutting outcrop of the Moenchsberg and the Salzach River. The rest of the Old City belonged to the wealthy burghers: the old market, the town hall, and the tall, plain burghers’ houses like Mozart’s Birthplace, which we will visit (adm. Incl.). The Moenchsberg cliffs emerge unexpectedly behind the Old City, crowned to the east by the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Across the river is the Steingasse, a narrow medieval street where the working people lived. Our tour will include the Mozartplatz with its cafes and candy stores, the Residenz at the heart of Baroque Salzburg, and nearby St. Peter’s Abbey. We’ll visit the Salzburg Cathedral, the Dom, where we may be allowed to sing briefly.  We’ll have lunch on our own and can explore on our own. You can take the funicular up to the Fortress Hohensalzburg, where you can see the whole city. On a clear day, you can see the nearby Alps in all their glory. Depending on the time, there is much more to see. Dinner is on our own tonight in Salzburg before returning to our hotel to prepare for our first concert, at a venue in the Salzburg area TBD.

Day 6

6:30 AM Breakfast at the hotel. After an early breakfast at the hotel and check-out, we leave Salzburg at 8:00 AM sharp, and head towards Vienna. We depart for Vienna through the beautiful Austrian countryside.   Shortly after leaving Salzburg, we can stop at Mondsee to visit the colorful village and see the wedding church from The Sound of Music.  As we travel on towards Vienna, we’ll stop along the way for a tour of St. Florian’s Abbey (“Stift St. Florian”).  The Abbey is significant for its magnificent library and Baroque basilica, as well as Anton Bruckner’s Krissman organ.  We can visit his tomb in the catacombs, and we can sing in the sanctuary.  We also can arrange for a 20-minute private concert performed on the Krissman organ.   We can also sing informally in the sanctuary.  After visiting St. Florian, we’ll continue up the autobahn a short distance and stop at a Rosenberg restaurant for lunch on our own.  A little further down the road towards Vienna, we’ll drive along the beautiful Danube River, winding through upper Austria towards Vienna.  We’ll stop for a short visit in the town of Krems, in the heart of the wine and apricot region, to stretch our legs and see a little bit of this river town.  At Krems, we reboard the coaches for our last leg of the day into Vienna, where we arrive late afternoon at our four-star hotel.  After checking in we’ll go for our evening dinner and entertainment (incl.) at the Kronprinz Rudolfshof (incl.).

Day 7

7:30 AM Breakfast at the hotel.  Our official introduction to the city of Vienna, city of art, history, literature, and of course, music, is a panoramic tour of Vienna by coach, including Belvedere Palace, City Hall, the Parliament building, the Vienna State Opera House, government center, the Royal Palace, and other important sights, and our guide will give us the background and history of Vienna as we go. The coach will leave us near the State Opera House for a guided tour inside, and we’ll proceed on foot from there.  After seeing more of the sights with our guide, we’ll have lunch on our own, followed by free time to explore Vienna and shop.  We’ll have lunch on our own, and after that we’ll have some free time to explore Vienna and shop.  At 2:00, the coaches will come back to pick us up to see some of the sights that are a little further away from the Old City, to include the Hundertwasser House, the Composers’ Cemetery with the gravesites of Schubert, Beethoven and other composers. We return to the hotel to prepare for our second concert at a venue TBD, perhaps at the town hall auditorium in the town of Gross Sieghart, where everyone comes out to hear American music, especially county music.

Day 8

8:00 AM Breakfast at the hotel. We depart at 9:00 AM for Altenburg, north of Vienna about an hour and half through the countryside to Burg Kreuzenstein Castle, where we will see the castle and visit the castle and courtyard. It’s a fairytale fortress where we will see how the knights lived and there is one of the largest private collections of medieval arms.  We’ll attend a show featuring hunting birds–hawks, eagles, and falcons. Then we return to Vienna for our guided tour of Schoenbrunn Palace where Mozart played for royalty as a child. Dinner is on our own in the area of the hotel, and we will need to be dressed and ready to leave the hotel by 7:00 PM. The concert is performed by the Vienna Residence Orchestra performing Mozart and Strauss at Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna.

Day 9

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we depart Vienna to travel west along the Danube River for a while.  Then we turn north towards Prague.  At first, we travel through the romantic scenery of Austrian countryside as we drive towards the borders with the Czech Republic at Wullowitz/Dolni Dvoriste and continue further towards the Cesky Krumlov through a region full of history, castles and legends.  We travel the countryside roads, passing the charming old villages, medieval cities, and scenic meadows with ponds. At about 12:00 PM, we arrive at Cesky Krumlov, an ancient medieval town surrounded by highlands and nested at the Vltava River.  It’s no surprise that this unique place is on the list of the World Cultural Heritage sites protected by UNESCO. We’ll enjoy a guided tour through the impressive combination of Gothic and Baroque styles at the Cesky Krumlov castle as well as the narrow, cobble-stone streets with charming little houses, followed by a guided walk throughout the old city. Then it’s lunch on our own, with many choices of local restaurants.  We depart Cesky Krumlov to travel the rest of the way to Prague, arriving late afternoon in Prague to check into our downtown hotel, the Astoria Prague, a four-star hotel in the heart of Old Prague, centrally located within minutes of the major sights of the Old Town such as the Powder Tower, Municipal house, and the Old Town Square.  Dinner is provided at the hotel.

Day 10

After breakfast at the hotel, the morning starts with a short coach drive to the Charles Bridge area. Standing at Novotného lávka at the right bank of Vltava River you will see the monument of Bedrich Smetana, the most famous of the Czech composers, and enjoy the panorama of the Prague castle sites on the opposite bank of the river. The tour continues by walking through the Royal Route, connecting the Prague Castle with the Old Town Square, including an obligatory stop at the Estates Theatre, one of the most important cultural venues of Prague.   This is the site where W.A. Mozart personally conducted the world premiere of his most famous opera, Don Giovanni.  A private, backstage tour of the Estates Theatre has been organized (adm. incl.) for the group.  Our tour continues past the Municipal House of Prague and ends at the Josefov, where the large Jewish quarter was before the World War II. There we’ll visit the Jewish Museum (incl.) and the Jewish Cemetery.  Lunch is on our own and the rest of the afternoon is free.  Dinner on our own.

Day 11

Breakfast at the hotel.  We have free time to explore the city this morning.  Lunch is on our own and then we get ready for our concert.  At 2:00 PM we sing and play our final concert at St. Nicholas Church on the main square near the hotel.  At 6:30 PM, we meet at the hotel to board the coach for our farewell dinner:  Starý Vrch, a Bohemian country restaurant, where we will enjoy native food and Czech dancing and folk music!  We finish late in the evening and return to the hotel to pack for our early departure for the airport in the morning.

Day 12

Return home from Prague Int’l. Airport

Nota Bene: Breakfasts are provided every day at the hotels, and dinners are as shown on the itinerary.  Dinners do not include beverages; however water will be provided on the tables.

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