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Germany

German Icons: Berlin, Dresden and Munich

Program No. 16877RJ
Dive deep into the culture of Germany as you explore three iconic cities, discovering politics in Berlin, architecture in Dresden and weisswurst, beer and a baroque palace in Munich.
Length
11 days
Rating (4.67)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,349
Flights start at
1,100

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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 19 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
4,349
Jun 7 - Jun 17, 2023
Starting at
4,349
Sep 13 - Sep 23, 2023
Starting at
5,149
Itinerary Note

This program takes place during Oktoberfest 2023 in Munich and includes one full day at the Oktoberfest with a visit to a traditional beer tent and a meal.

Oct 11 - Oct 21, 2023
Starting at
5,149
Itinerary Note

This program runs in reversed order, starting in Munich and finishing in Berlin.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 19 - Apr 29, 2023
Starting at
4,919
Jun 7 - Jun 17, 2023
Starting at
4,919
Sep 13 - Sep 23, 2023
Starting at
6,489
Itinerary Note

This program takes place during Oktoberfest 2023 in Munich and includes one full day at the Oktoberfest with a visit to a traditional beer tent and a meal.

Oct 11 - Oct 21, 2023
Starting at
6,489
Itinerary Note

This program runs in reversed order, starting in Munich and finishing in Berlin.

At a Glance

Join local experts to discover the shared history and unique identity behind Germany’s most important cultural metropolises — Berlin and Munich. While both cities boast rich history, traditions and arts, the cultures of each are strikingly different. Halfway between Berlin and Munich, visit the city of Dresden to marvel at the cultural treasures that lay hidden behind the Iron Curtain for a generation.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two hours/two miles at a time, sometimes twice per day. Some program days require walking up to five miles and standing for up to 2 hours. Some sights are only accessible by stairs and/or cobblestones. Public transportation and motor coaches used throughout the program.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Examine Berlin’s artistic treasures on the famous Museumsinsel and the German Bundestag, redesigned by Sir Norman Foster.
  • Discover Dresden with its newly restored Frauenkirche and the highly regarded Semperoper.
  • Explore the collection of Old Masters from the 14th to the 18th centuries at one of the oldest art galleries in the world – the Alte Pinakothek.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Burkhard Heyl
Burkhard Heyl has performed in films, television and radio play productions both internationally and in his home country of Germany. He studied acting at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany, and has authored numerous screenplays and short stories. A decorated excursion leader, Burkhard accompanies explorers on highly personalized adventures through Berlin and Potsdam while sharing his expertise and passion for the region’s history.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Burkhard Heyl
Burkhard Heyl View biography
Burkhard Heyl has performed in films, television and radio play productions both internationally and in his home country of Germany. He studied acting at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany, and has authored numerous screenplays and short stories. A decorated excursion leader, Burkhard accompanies explorers on highly personalized adventures through Berlin and Potsdam while sharing his expertise and passion for the region’s history.
Profile Image of Wolf Refardt
Wolf Refardt View biography
An expert on the military history of the 19th and 20th centuries, Wolf Refardt enjoys sharing his knowledge during his lectures and classes on the events of the Cold War. Wolf has published papers on themes that range from Sepulchral culture in enlightened absolutism to the development of public welfare in Brandenburg, and to the history of battles that took place during World War II.
Profile Image of Sabine Rosenkranz
Sabine Rosenkranz View biography
Sabine Rosenkranz was born in Dresden, East Germany, where she grew up to become an English teacher. In love with her beautiful home city, she decided she wanted to introduce it to visitors. Sabine became a licensed city excursion leader 25 years ago and has delighted in leading American visitors around Dresden since the German reunification of 1990. She particularly enjoys showing off the Saxon State Art Collections.
Profile Image of John Langton
John Langton View biography
John Langton, an authorized director at the Pinakotheken galleries in Munich, has lived and worked in the Bavarian capital for the past 15 years. John holds a diploma in the history of fine and decorative arts from London, studying there after completing his international career in finance and management. A keen history student John is always looking to place the fine and applied arts, into their social, political or cultural context; thus giving relevance for the benefit of his guests and visitors.
Profile Image of Janet Kempf
Janet Kempf View biography
Janet Kempt studied art history, Spanish and history in Berlin, Madrid and Munich. She has worked in both the curatorial and pedagogical fields of museums since 2006. One of her favorite works of art is Donatello's “Putto with Tambourine” in the Bode Museum, which presents the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy in an extraordinary way.
Profile Image of Richard Obermaier
Richard Obermaier View biography
Richard is a certified group leader in Munich and Bavaria. He is trained as a banker and studied business administration, receiving his PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University. He has worked as a manager and director for large companies including Sixt and Allianz. He is a business trainer in the field of motivation, coaching and "learn to learn" (written test preparation). Richard has led groups in his native Munich for about a decade.
Profile Image of André Meral
André Meral View biography
André is a political scientist who received his university degree from the Freie Universität Berlin. For many years he has been working as a group leader in Berlin and other places in Germany and Europe with a special focus on political history and the culture of remembrance. In Berlin, he works as a group leader for the German Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) and the Museum of Film and Cinema. He speaks German as a mother tongue as well as English, French and Italian.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich
by David Clay Large
The capital of the Nazi movement was not Berlin but Munich, according to Hitler himself. In examining why, historian David Clay Large begins in Munich four decades before World War I and finds a proto-fascist cultural heritage that proved fertile soil later for Hitler's movement. An engrossing account of the time and place that launched Hitler on the road to power.
The White Rose
by Inge Scholl
The White Rose tells the story of Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl, who in 1942 led a small underground organization of German students and professors to oppose the atrocities committed by Hitler and the Nazi Party. They named their group the White Rose, and they distributed leaflets denouncing the Nazi regime. Sophie, Hans, and a third student were caught and executed. Written by Inge Scholl (Hans' and Sophie's sister), The White Rose features letters, diary excerpts, photographs of Hans and Sophie, transcriptions of the leaflets, and accounts of the trial and execution. This is a gripping account of courage and morality.
Five Germanys I have known
by Fritz Stern
The "German question" haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life.
The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria
by Christopher McIntosh
"The Swan King" is the biography of one of the most enigmatic figures of the 19th century, described by Verlaine as 'the only true king of his century'. A man of wildly eccentric temperament and touched by a rare, imaginative genius, Ludwig II of Bavaria is remembered both for his patronage of Richard Wagner and for the fabulous palaces which he created as part of a dream-world to escape the responsibilities of state. In realization of his fantasies, he created a ferment of creativity among artists and craftsmen, while his neglect of Bavaria's political interests made powerful enemies among those critical of his self-indulgence and excesses. At the age of 40, declared insane in a plot to depose him, Ludwig died in mysterious circumstances.
Germany: Memories of a Nation
by Neil MacGregor
From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no otherFor the past 140 years, Germany has been the central power in continental Europe. Twenty-five years ago a new German state came into being. How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves?
Book of Clouds
by Chloe Aridjis
Chloe Aridjis's beautifully evocative novel is set in today's Berlin; a young Mexican woman flees her family only to find a city that cannot escape its past.
The Berlin Wall Story
by Hans-Hermann Hertle
Where did the Berlin Wall actually stand? Why was it built? How did people keep managing to escape across it – and how many died in the attempt? Why did it come down in the end? Numerous previously unknown photographs document the construction of this barrier system of barbed wire, alarm fences and concrete. Spectacular escape stories and shocking deaths are chronicled here in words and images, as are the dramatic events surrounding the construction and the fall of the Wall. A stunning survey of the Berlin Wall – the central symbol of the Cold War.
Alone in Berlin
by Hans Fallada
In 1940, in the heart of Hitler's capital, Otto and Anna Quangel are alone in Berlin with a breathtaking campaign of resistance.
German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation
by William W. Hagen
This history of German-speaking central Europe offers a very wide perspective, emphasizing a succession of many-layered communal identities. It highlights the interplay of individual, society, culture and political power, contrasting German with Western patterns.
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Stasiland
by Anna Funder
Not surprisingly the fall of the Berlin Wall caused panic at the Stasi headquarters, as described in Anna Funder's riveting portrait of East Germany's secret police and how it controlled a nation.
The Tin Drum
by Günter Grass
Günter Grass is a widely acclaimed author of plays, essays, poems, and numerous novels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.
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11 days
10 nights
19 meals
9 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival in Munich, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Munich
D
Maritim Hotel München

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m. Luggage can be stored at the hotel if you arrive early.

Afternoon: After hotel arrival and check in, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. The time and location will be posted. If you arrive early, you may leave your luggage with the hotel concierge and take a walk around the neighborhood or have a light lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. When we are dining out at local restaurants, we’ll have plated, 2-course meals with water included; other beverages available for purchase. Please note that in Germany it is expected to pay for using public restrooms with small change; we advise carrying 50c pieces with you during field trips. Estimated times for travel and transfers depend on traffic and local conditions at the time of the program.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a welcome dinner featuring a starter, main course of meat, fish, or vegetarian, and dessert, plus water and a welcome drink; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Munich City Exlporation
Munich
B,L
Maritim Hotel München

Activity note: Walking up to 4 miles sometimes on cobblestones and and standing at the different sites during the walking field trip of Munich and the Munich Residenz.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as breakfast meats, egg dishes, fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, croissants, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: In the morning, we will be joined by a local expert who will give a lecture about Munich and Bavaria.

Lunch: at a local restaurant

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll meet a local expert for a walking field trip of Munich. Highlights include the Marienplatz, English Garden, Cathedral of our Blessed Lady, and Viktualienmarkt.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Oktoberfest visit, Brewery
Munich
B,L,D
Maritim Hotel München

Activity note: Walking up to 5 miles over Oktoberfest grounds.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we will board the tram to go to Theresienwiese and visit the Oktoberfest. We have reserved spots in a beer tent for the group including traditional music and food.

Lunch: in the beer tent at the Oktoberfest

Afternoon: After this, enjoy some leisure time at the Oktoberfest grounds. We will then gather at the hotel and depart together to visit a brewery and enjoy a short introduction about the art of brewing, plus — of course! — a tasting.

Dinner: At the brewery.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for transfer to Dresden in the morning.

DAY
5
Pinakothek Museum, Train to Dresden
Dresden
B,D
Hotel NH Collection Dresden Altmarkt

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles through the Pinakothek; stairs.Our luggage will be sent ahead from Munich to Dresden while we take the train and will be waiting for us at the hotel when arrive; bring only what you will need on the train. The trip from Munich to Dresden is is about 223 miles (359km), approximately 5 hours including one change of trains.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we will depart by public transport for our next field trip in Munich. The Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek (Old and New Picture Galleries) are two of the important galleries in the world. Led by an expert, we’ll explore the artistic treasures of the “old” Pinakothek which is indeed one of the world’s oldest galleries and was once the largest. Its magnificent collection consists of Old Masters from the 14th to the 18th centuries. . Afterwards we will go to the train station and take a high-speed train from Munich to Dresden.

Lunch: On your own aboard the train that has restaurant cars.

Afternoon: High-speed train ride to Dresden. Arrival in Dresden will be in the late afternoon, followed by check-in to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant enjoy a two course plated meal including water.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Dresden City Walk, Royal Palace and Green Vault, Free Time
Dresden
B,L
Hotel NH Collection Dresden Altmarkt

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles and standing; cobblestones, climbing stairs, standing at the museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: A local expert will lead our walking field trip in Dresden that provides an overview of the Old Town and sites including the Frauenkirche — Church of Our Lady — the Zwinger, Brühl’s Terrasse, Procession of Princes, Dresden Castle, and the New Synagogue. The Frauenkirche has been one of Dresden’s spiritual landmarks since the 11th Century. The splendid Baroque church that replaced the old Gothic edifice in the 18th Century was one of city’s foremost architectural landmarks until 1945. Dresden was virtually destroyed by the massive Allied bombing campaign against Nazi Germany in the final stages of World War II. The Frauenkirche was among the casualties, its ruins standing for decades as a symbol of war’s destruction. Sentiment slowly grew for a restoration of the great church as a memorial to peace. It was restored piece by piece and reconsecrated in 2005 before an audience of 60,000 people with millions watching on television.

Lunch: At a local restaurant enjoy a 2-course plated meal with water provided; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the afternoon, we will visit the Royal Palace with a local expert. After this, you can visit the "Historic Green Vault" on our own, one of Europe's finest treasure collections, recently reopened after 68 years. It was amassed by Augustus the Strong, the 18th-century Prince of Saxony. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore on your own or just relax. We recommend visiting one or more of the city’s 30 museums, many of them world-class institutions. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for transfer to Berlin in the morning.

DAY
7
Semperoper, Train to Berlin, Concert
Berlin
B,D
Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles. Our luggage will be sent ahead from Dresden to Berlin while we take the train and will be waiting for us at the hotel when arrive; bring only what you will need on the train. The trip from Dresden to Berlin is approximately 2 hours depending on connections.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, as a special highlight, we will have an expert-led field trip to see the Semperoper near the Elbe River in the historic center of Dresden, another Dresden institution devastated by the 1945 bombing and later resurrected. It was long one of the finest opera houses in Europe, called “Semper” for its designer, Gottfried Semper, after opening in 1841. It took 40 years after World War II, but the building was completely reconstructed and reopened in 1985. It has continued to present some of the world’s greatest musical artists. Afterwards we will take a walk to the train station. Your luggage will be sent directly to the hotel in Dresden so you will only need to bring what you need for the train ride.

Lunch: Lunch on your own aboard the train.

Afternoon: After we arrive in Berlin we will take public transportation to our hotel to check-in and enjoy some leisure time before we’ll depart for the evening concert.

Dinner: From the hotel, we’ll take the motorcoach to a restaurant for a 2-course plated meal at the palace including water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Attend an evening performance.

DAY
8
Berlin Past-Present-Future, City Highlights By Motorcoach
Berlin
B,L
Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach several times; short walks to and standing at field trip sites; cobblestones. The specific sites seen during our motorcoach field trip will depend on schedules and local conditions at the time of the program. Walking up to 1 mile; cobblestones, extensive standing

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll be joined by an expert local historian who will give a presentation on Berlin’s problematic past, it’s vibrant present, and potential future. We’ll then board a motorcoach with our expert for a field trip to see some of the city’s highlights including the Berlin Wall monument, Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt Square with the restored Konzerthaus and the French and German churches, Paris Square and the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamer Square (the new and old), Memorial Church, and new architecture.

Lunch: At a pleasant spot during our field trip, we’ll stop and have packed lunches with sandwich, yoghurt, fruit, and beverage.

Afternoon: Our expert-led field trip continues aboard the motorcoach with stops at key sites.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Reichstag-Deutscher Bundestag, Free Time
Berlin
B
Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles at different sites; standing, climbing flights of stairs.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet.

Morning: In the morning, we will have an opportunity to venture behind the scenes of German politics and discuss current issues with a political expert. We will then take a walking field trip this morning to one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the former Reichstag building that is now the seat of the Deutscher Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament. As we see and appreciate the magnificent architecture, we will also learn more about Germany’s turbulent political past — and that mysterious 1933 fire! — before ascending to the recently rebuilt glass cupola. From here, you can enjoy spectacular views of the parliamentary and government district and Berlin’s sights.

Lunch: On your own to sample local fare. Why not try a typical German dish the "currywurst". Did you know the invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer, a true Berliner? Your Group Leader will be happy to point out the best place to give it a try!

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities at the end of the daily schedule. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Museumsinsel, Farewell Dinner
Berlin
B,L,D
Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; standing in the museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will begin the morning with a lecture by a knowledgeable local expert who will join us in a conference room to provide an overview of Berlin's famous Museumsinsel — Museum Island — at the northern tip of Spree Island, where the settlement that became Berlin began. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Museum Island complex is home to five internationally acclaimed museums. After the lecture, we will go and see one of the exhibitions led by the local expert. The Altes Museum houses treasures from ancient Greece and Rome. The Alte Nationalgalerie, in a magnificent classical temple, has one of the largest collections of 19th century sculpture and paintings in Germany. The Bode Museum features sculptures, paintings, and a numismatic collection. The Neues Museum holds works of art from pre-history through Egyptian, including the world famous bust of Nefertiti. The Pergamon Museum is renowned for its extraordinary Babylonian, Greek and Roman antiquities.

Lunch: At a local restaurant on museum island.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most. You are welcome to remain and continue exploring the treasures of Museum Island.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a farewell dinner featuring a starter, main course of meat, fish, or vegetarian, and dessert, plus water and a farewell drink; other beverages available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 12:00 a.m. See the “Travel Information” section regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation From Last Location.”

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.