What do you get when you combine picturesque Venetian canals, hilltop Bavarian castles, snow-capped Swiss mountain ranges, and bustling medieval cities? Some would say this trip and, sure, they’d be right. But what do you really get? A fairytale Oktoberfest adventure.
Riding in a gondola through the canals of Venice
Yodeling from atop the majestic Swiss Alps
Raising a toast inside one of Munich’s legendary beer halls
Saying, “Hasn’t everyone been to Liechtenstein?”
Living a fairytale on the balcony of a hilltop castle
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers
8 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
24/7 support from our travel gurus
3 insider city tours with local guides
Beer, food, and fun at Oktoberfest
- Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight, bound for Italy. Get ready to eat spaghetti on penne on linguine on fettuccine on gnocchi on ravioli on chocolate gelato (not literally, but maybe literally).
- Day 2: Arrive in Venice + Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Venice, the renowned former naval power of Italy. Grab your walking shoes, a good map (like a *really* good map) and hit the narrow, winding, organized, yet maddeningly confusing streets. The one-of-a-kind canals have to be seen to be appreciated. Watch the gondolas, browse the shops and eat the gelato until you can't eat anymore. Then eat more.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Get oriented to the city with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
- Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of Venice (Local Guide)
Get ready to see Venice through the eyes of a local Italian. Your guide will show you canals, an extraordinary basilica, and a staircase shaped like a snail. Have you had enough pasta yet? No. The answer is no. Eat more pasta.
- See St. Mark’s Basilica and bask in the mosaics inlaid in the golden ceiling. (Crowds and schedule permitting the group will enter the basilica. If not, you’ll have the option to enter in your free time)
- Follow the winding Grand Canal through the heart of Venice.
- Play Marco Polo from across the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge in the city that connects San Marco and San Polo.
- See several historic churches and amble through picture-perfect piazzas.
- Take a water taxi back to the island, and discover what Venice has to offer once the sun goes down.
Free time suggestions
300 Years Old: Opened in 1720, Caffè Florian is the oldest café in the world. And while the venue may be old, their beliefs have always been ahead of their time. They were the only café to serve women during the 18th century. Nicely done, Florian.
Jazz it Up: Looking for an intimate, authentic music experience? Venice Jazz Club hosts talented, local musicians in a low-lit, artsy atmosphere. Grab dinner, drinks, and some smooth, sexy jazz at a club where you’ll feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a magical, hidden gem. That’s because you have.
- Day 4: Travel to Salzburg via Innsbruck
You’re off to Salzburg! This city is known for Mozart, The Sound of Music, and a big ‘ol fortress that sits high above. On your way, stop in Innsbruck, Austria, and gape at the colorful buildings juxtaposed with the jagged mountains that tower over the city below.
- Travel by bus from Venice to Salzburg, with a quick stop in Innsbruck.
- Take in the fresh alpine air and mountain town hospitality Innsbruck has to offer.
- Arrive in Salzburg and stretch your legs along the meandering Salzach River.
- Give a salute to Hohensalzburg Castle, a must-see medieval fortress; there will be plenty of time to play knight tomorrow.
- Day 5: Walking Tour of Salzburg + Optional Suds & Slides
A full day in Salzburg, and so much to look at. Castles and music, and restaurants for chitchat. These are a few of my favorite things. Now go back, and read it the way Julie Andrews would want you to read it.
- Harness your inner Ron Weasley as you move giant chess pieces around in Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square).
- Dip your head into the fountain at Resedenzplatz Square to find out if it's a fountain of youth. Never hurts to check, right?
- Head to the Alter Markt, but not too fast, or you may miss Salzburg's smallest house, barely over 4 feet wide.
Free time suggestions
Medieval Times: Hohensalzburg Castle, which stands high on a cliff, is Central Europe’s biggest fully preserved castle and one of Salzburg’s finest attractions. It’s enormous, beautiful inside and out, and packed with history that dates back to the 11th century. Hike up or take the funicular, and immerse yourself in pure castleness.
Compose Yourself: Salzburg is the birthplace of one of history’s most influential classical composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Visit the Mozart Residence and discover what made this guy the Elvis Presley of his time (and beyond).
Suds & Slides (extra cost)
Note: This excursion is seasonal and only runs from mid-May through mid-October. Availability is subject to your tour’s departure date and weather that day. In the event that the “Slides” portion is cancelled on the day of this activity, the brewery portion will still run and travelers will be refunded for the “Slides” portion.
Remember how much you loved the playground? Today will be like that, except the slide is nearly a mile and a half long and comes with magnificent panoramic views of the Alps—and a pit stop at a local brewery.
- Day 6: Travel to Munich
Make your way to Munich where you’ll get an in-depth tour of the city. Not just an awesome movie starring Eric Bana, Munich is a Germany’s third biggest city and a major center of art, culture and innovation.
- Walk through Munich and check out some top sights with a local guide.
- Wander through Marienplatz, Munich’s central square and transportation hub.
- Enjoy a pint (or three) at Viktualienmarkt, an extensive farmer’s market and beer garden (good warm up for tomorrow).
- Take a trip to one of Munich’s famous beer halls.
Free time suggestions
BMW FTW: Stop at the BMW Museum for a look into BMW's past. See iconic cars, motorcycles, and other modes of transportation. The building itself is as cool as the stuff inside.
Smell the Hops: Roam the English Garden. As you walk the 900-acre greenway (the first of its kind) grab a drink and sit in the second-largest beer garden in Munich.
- Day 7: Experience Oktoberfest
Pull out your lederhosen and get ready for one of Europe’s biggest parties. Join thousands of people from all over the world to celebrate Munich’s Oktoberfest.
- Grab your seat at one of Oktoberfest's best tents.
- Take part in 500-year-old traditions with your group and others from all around the globe.
- Listen (and dance) to the beautiful German Oompah music (not to be confused with the foreboding music of the Oompa Loompas).
- Drink beers bigger than your face and eat pretzels the size of dinner plates.
- Day 8: Travel to Lucerne via Neuschwanstein Castle
All aboard for a scenic bus ride through the European countryside! Watch as rolling hills give way to majestic, snow-capped Alps. You're headed to Switzerland. On the way, stop at Neuschwanstein Castle (AKA Sleeping Beauty’s Castle).
- Jump on the bus to Switzerland.
- Tour Neuschwanstein Castle with a guide and learn about the weird kings that occupied it.
- Find Mary’s Bridge (follow the waterfall sounds) for the most Instagrammable pictures of the castle.
- Grab lunch, breathe in the fresh German countryside air, and pretend this castle is yours (everything’s for sale, right?).
- Day 9: Tour Lucerne + Optional Trip up the Swiss Alps
Today you’ll experience why people are flocking to Switzerland (and it’s not just for the chocolate and cheese). Walk the streets of historic Lucerne, and marvel at the snow-capped Swiss Alps in the distance.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Walk the narrow streets and take in the incredible mountain scenery with your Tour Director.
- See the one-of-a-kind Löwendenkmal, a surprisingly impressive and massive rock carving of a dying lion, carved to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution.
- Walk across the Kapellbrücke—this mural-lined covered bridge was originally built back in medieval times.
- Wander the maze-like, cobblestone streets of Old Town Lucerne.
Trip up the Swiss Alps (extra cost)
Take an amazing trip to the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. Cross Lake Lucerne by boat, then ride a cable car to the summit. Take in the incredible panoramic views of Lucerne, its pristine lake, and the majestic Alps.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
- Day 10: Fly Home
Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5
Based on 368 authentic traveler reviews
Absolutely amazing!!Savannah, traveled Sep.. 2021
This is my first time traveling with EF as well as traveling out of the country so I was very nervous to take such a big step and travel to so many countries with strangers through a company I didn’t really know anything about but this was the best decision I could ever make ! This was an amazing trip, from the views and the food to the wonderful people I me... See more
You have to do itAlbert, traveled Aug.. 2022
A great way to see many countries and cultures in a short amount of time
If you’re on the edge about booking, JUST DO IT.Camryn, traveled Aug.. 2022
This was one of the first things I truly did for myself for a long time. If you are in the edge about solo traveling, this is your sign to do it. Our guide Vinnie was beyond knowledgeable and extremely kind hearted. He effortlessly made everyone feel included and was just a joy to be around. As an overplanner and generally high strung person, every detail of... See more
Highly Recommended TripJeremy, traveled Jul.. 2022
This trip was a fun opportunity to explore a small portion of Italy, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Understandably due to the short span of the trip, I wasn't able to explore as much of these countries as I would normally have liked to. Regardless, I believe that I did see a good amount for the time spent. My only critique is of the opti... See more