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Germany

The Best of Germany: Grand Cities, Castles and the Romantic Rhine

Program No. 19454RJ
From grand cathedrals to ancient castles, from Bavarian villages to a historic summer palace, come explore the monuments and culture of Germany on this comprehensive learning adventure.

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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 28 - May 14, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Aug 4 - Aug 20, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Aug 25 - Sep 10, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Oct 6 - Oct 22, 2024
Starting at
7,099
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Filling Fast!
Apr 28 - May 14, 2024
Starting at
8,299
Aug 4 - Aug 20, 2024
Starting at
8,299
Aug 25 - Sep 10, 2024
Starting at
8,299
Oct 6 - Oct 22, 2024
Starting at
8,539

At a Glance

Connect East Germany with West on this comprehensive journey that begins in Berlin and ventures south to Munich to the heart of Bavaria, then west and north to Heidelberg and the Rhine River. Along the way learn about breathtaking architecture, quintessential Bavarian villages, 20th-century history and a nation still healing after decades of division.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on uneven surfaces, climbing a few flights of stairs.
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…

  • Explore the German Bundestag in Berlin and meet a political expert for a discussion round.
  • Learn about the great German landmarks including the Rhine, Heidelberg Castle and the Nuremburg Castle.
  • Join an expert to explore the elaborately styled opera house in Dresden, the Semperoper.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Wolf Refardt
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.

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

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.
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.
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.
Germany: A New History
by Hagen Schulze
In one concise volume, Hagen Schulze conveys the full sweep of German history, from the days of the Romans to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A story two thousand years in the making, it rings with battle, murmurs with intrigue, and hums with the music of everyday life. This richly various legacy, often overshadowed and distorted by the nation's recent past, offers a hopeful answer to the perennial question of what kind of country Germany is and will be.
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 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.
Hildegard of Bingen: The Woman of Her Age
by Fiona Maddock
The story of Hildegard's life, from her entry into a monastery at Disibodenberg on the Rhine as a child, through the exploration of her pent-up genius in middle years, to her eventual admission to the German canon of saints, is here told against a rich background of the years of the Crusades, the flowering of monasticism, papal schism and heresy. The forceful character that emerges challenges any image of demurely subjugated womanhood associated with the period. Hildegard's story is as fascinating as that of any figure in the Middle Ages, and she and her musical legacy continue to be the subject of debate a thousand years later.
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.
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?
Martin Luther: A Life
by Martin E. Marty
A professor of religion at the University of Chicago, Marty quotes liberally from Luther's work in this engrossing, spiritual overview.
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.
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 Map
by
A sturdy map of Germany (including the region east to Prague) at a scale of 1:700,000 with good topographic relief, roads, waterways and index. (GER07, $12.95)
The Germans
by Gordon A. Craig
A gifted historian, Craig explores the complex paradoxes of German identity in this masterly portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.
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 Castles of the Rhine: Recreating the Middle Ages in Modern Germany
by Robert Taylor
Far from being mere antiquarian or sentimental curiosities, the rebuilt or reused fortresses of the Rhine reflect major changes in Germany and Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taylor begins The Castles of the Rhine with a synopsis of the major political, social and intellectual changes that influenced castle rebuilding in the nineteenth century. He then focuses on selected castles, describing their turbulent histories from the time of their original construction, through their destruction or decay, to their rediscovery in the 1800s and their continued preservation today.
The Awful German Language
by Mark Twain
In this essay Twain lets the reader participate in his experiences of learning the German language by describing its absurdities in a very humorous way.
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.
Berlin: Imagine a City
by Rory MacLean
A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations. Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world's most volatile yet creative cities.
The Invention of Nature. Alexander von Humboldts New World
by Wulf, Andrea
The author reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism. Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age.
Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World with Words
by John Man
In 1450, all of western Europes books were hand-copied and amounted to no more than are in a modern public library. By 1500, printed books numbered in the millions. Johann Gutenbergs invention of movable type ignited the explosion of art, literature, and scientific research that accelerated the Renaissance and led directly to the Modern Age. In Gutenberg, youll meet the genius who fostered this revolution, discover the surprising ambitions that drove him, and learn how a single, obscure artisan changed the course of history.
The Innocent
by Ian McEwan
After England, the cold war Berlin of 1955 is like no place Leonard Markham has ever experienced: surreal, complex and dangerous.
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.
Meals
33 Meals
15 Breakfasts
11 Lunches
7 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Lodging
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Display
Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 22, 2024
  • Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 22, 2024
  • Apr 28, 2024 - May 14, 2024 (Berlin to Mainz)
  • Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 20, 2024 (Berlin to Mainz)
  • Aug 25, 2024 - Sep 10, 2024 (Berlin to Mainz)
  • Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 22, 2024 (Berlin to Mainz)
4 nights
Berlin
First class designer hotel with a large conference center in the heart of Berlin. Expressive art and exclusive design create a generous and harmonic ambience. In the vicinity are the German Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Potsdamer Platz, the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the German State Opera, concert halls and theaters as well as Europe’s largest variety theater, the Friedrichstadtpalast.
2 nights
Dresden
The elegant hotel is situated right on the banks of the Elbe, between the Semperoper and the International Congress Centre Dresden. The Maritim Hotel Dresden is impressive, with its stylish rooms housed in a building that is a protected monument. The old city with the famous Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") and the Zwinger are just 10 minutes away on foot.
1 night
Nürnberg
The NH Collection Nürnberg City Center is a modern city hotel that offers guests a relaxing atmosphere. Each elegant room is decorated in warm natural tones, offering the modern business traveller a higher level of comfort. There is an extensive breakfast buffet of hot and cold dishes, and the restaurant offers further culinary delights. The fitness and wellness area with sauna and steam bath invites you to relax.
4 nights
München
The Four Points by Sheraton Munich Arabellapark combines Bavarian charm and a timeless design with local elements. Our family friendly hotel is a few subway stops from the city center and only a short walk from the English Garden, Munich's famous city park, you will experience the special mixture of exciting city life and Bavarian coziness that makes Munich so unique. 446 contemporary guestrooms sized spaciously with 25m² and mostly with balcony, offer a high level of comfort. 35 studios with a fully equipped kitchenette and balcony are perfect for long stays. Our premium hotel features Munich's highest spa with pool, sauna and treatments is located on the 22nd floor. Enjoy a unique park view over the English Garden, the city center, up to the Alps
2 nights
Heidelberg
The Hotel Holländer Hof is located right in the romantic heart of Old Town Heidelberg directly opposite the Old Bridge with a beautiful view on the Philosopher’s Walk and the Neckar River. The market square, the university and the theatre can all be reached within a few walking minutes and the funicular railway, which goes to Heidelberg Castle, is also located nearby.
2 nights
Mainz
Located on the banks of the Rhine River. The hotel is 0.6 miles away from the historic old town – home to St. Stephen’s Church, Gutenberg Museum, Mainz Cathedral, and the annual Christmas markets. Frankfurt Airport is about 18 miles away. Enjoy the fitness center and waterfront patio as well as all-day dining at the hotel restaurant.
4 nights
Berlin
This modern hotel is the perfect place to stay! Your bright room is tastefully furnished and equipped with everything you need. Enjoy a wide range of international dishes and drinks in the restaurant, at the bar or in the bistro-lounge. Facilities for private and official events are also part of the hotel. As the name suggests, the IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof boasts a prime location by the central station Berlin in Moabit, just a stone’s throw of some of the most famous sites of the German capital. Within walking distance, you find the German Chancellery (450m), the ‘House of the Cultures of the World’ and the Reichstag (1km).
2 nights
Dresden
The elegant hotel is situated right on the banks of the Elbe, between the Semperoper and the International Congress Centre Dresden. The Maritim Hotel Dresden is impressive, with its stylish rooms housed in a building that is a protected monument. The old city with the famous Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") and the Zwinger are just 10 minutes away on foot.
1 night
Nürnberg
The NH Collection Nürnberg City Center is a modern city hotel that offers guests a relaxing atmosphere. Each elegant room is decorated in warm natural tones, offering the modern business traveller a higher level of comfort. There is an extensive breakfast buffet of hot and cold dishes, and the restaurant offers further culinary delights. The fitness and wellness area with sauna and steam bath invites you to relax.
4 nights
München
Located in the heart of Schwabing, you can reach the trendy district in just a few minutes' walk, where art, culture and exclusive shopping await you. Spend an unforgettable stay at our hotel in Munich in one of 292 stylishly furnished, partially barrier-free rooms or suites, including use of our 300 m² wellness landscape. The Valentinum Bar & Terrace restaurant with regional and international specialities, the bar with cigar lounge, "Cinemathek" and our spectacular beer crystal round off the offer perfectly.
2 nights
Heidelberg
The Hotel Holländer Hof is located right in the romantic heart of Old Town Heidelberg directly opposite the Old Bridge with a beautiful view on the Philosopher’s Walk and the Neckar River. The market square, the university and the theatre can all be reached within a few walking minutes and the funicular railway, which goes to Heidelberg Castle, is also located nearby.
2 nights
Mainz
Located on the banks of the Rhine River. The hotel is 0.6 miles away from the historic old town – home to St. Stephen’s Church, Gutenberg Museum, Mainz Cathedral, and the annual Christmas markets. Frankfurt Airport is about 18 miles away. Enjoy the fitness center and waterfront patio as well as all-day dining at the hotel restaurant.
4 nights
Berlin
First class designer hotel with a large conference center in the heart of Berlin. Expressive art and exclusive design create a generous and harmonic ambience. In the vicinity are the German Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Potsdamer Platz, the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the German State Opera, concert halls and theaters as well as Europe’s largest variety theater, the Friedrichstadtpalast.
2 nights
Dresden
The elegant hotel is situated right on the banks of the Elbe, between the Semperoper and the International Congress Centre Dresden. The Maritim Hotel Dresden is impressive, with its stylish rooms housed in a building that is a protected monument. The old city with the famous Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") and the Zwinger are just 10 minutes away on foot.
1 night
Nürnberg
The NH Collection Nürnberg City Center is a modern city hotel that offers guests a relaxing atmosphere. Each elegant room is decorated in warm natural tones, offering the modern business traveller a higher level of comfort. There is an extensive breakfast buffet of hot and cold dishes, and the restaurant offers further culinary delights. The fitness and wellness area with sauna and steam bath invites you to relax.
4 nights
München
Rooms with a soul and a great array of services, for an unforgettable experience (including inspiring Meeting & Event facilities) await you at the NH Collection München Bavaria hotel, formerly known as NH München Deutscher Kaiser. It's located next door to the main train station, in the heart of the city, a few minutes’ walk from the old town. The Karlsplatz (Stachus) is just 300 meters away, and the Marienplatz with the town hall, the Augustiner Keller and the Hofbräuhaus are also nearby. The building itself was the first skyscraper in Munich and remains one of the tallest buildings downtown. -across the street from the main train station, ideally located for exploring -within easy reach of attractions like Frauenkirche, the city’s famous cathedral, and Theresienwiese, the official venue for Oktoberfest -close to the Marienplatz and Augustiner Keller
2 nights
Heidelberg
The Hotel Holländer Hof is located right in the romantic heart of Old Town Heidelberg directly opposite the Old Bridge with a beautiful view on the Philosopher’s Walk and the Neckar River. The market square, the university and the theatre can all be reached within a few walking minutes and the funicular railway, which goes to Heidelberg Castle, is also located nearby.
2 nights
Mainz
Located on the banks of the Rhine River. The hotel is 0.6 miles away from the historic old town – home to St. Stephen’s Church, Gutenberg Museum, Mainz Cathedral, and the annual Christmas markets. Frankfurt Airport is about 18 miles away. Enjoy the fitness center and waterfront patio as well as all-day dining at the hotel restaurant.
4 nights
Berlin
This modern hotel is the perfect place to stay! Your bright room is tastefully furnished and equipped with everything you need. Enjoy a wide range of international dishes and drinks in the restaurant, at the bar or in the bistro-lounge. Facilities for private and official events are also part of the hotel. As the name suggests, the IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof boasts a prime location by the central station Berlin in Moabit, just a stone’s throw of some of the most famous sites of the German capital. Within walking distance, you find the German Chancellery (450m), the ‘House of the Cultures of the World’ and the Reichstag (1km).
2 nights
Dresden
The elegant hotel is situated right on the banks of the Elbe, between the Semperoper and the International Congress Centre Dresden. The Maritim Hotel Dresden is impressive, with its stylish rooms housed in a building that is a protected monument. The old city with the famous Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") and the Zwinger are just 10 minutes away on foot.
1 night
Nürnberg
The NH Collection Nürnberg City Center is a modern city hotel that offers guests a relaxing atmosphere. Each elegant room is decorated in warm natural tones, offering the modern business traveller a higher level of comfort. There is an extensive breakfast buffet of hot and cold dishes, and the restaurant offers further culinary delights. The fitness and wellness area with sauna and steam bath invites you to relax.
4 nights
München
Located in the heart of Schwabing, you can reach the trendy district in just a few minutes' walk, where art, culture and exclusive shopping await you. Spend an unforgettable stay at our hotel in Munich in one of 292 stylishly furnished, partially barrier-free rooms or suites, including use of our 300 m² wellness landscape. The Valentinum Bar & Terrace restaurant with regional and international specialities, the bar with cigar lounge, "Cinemathek" and our spectacular beer crystal round off the offer perfectly.
2 nights
Heidelberg
The Hotel Holländer Hof is located right in the romantic heart of Old Town Heidelberg directly opposite the Old Bridge with a beautiful view on the Philosopher’s Walk and the Neckar River. The market square, the university and the theatre can all be reached within a few walking minutes and the funicular railway, which goes to Heidelberg Castle, is also located nearby.
2 nights
Mainz
Located on the banks of the Rhine River. The hotel is 0.6 miles away from the historic old town – home to St. Stephen’s Church, Gutenberg Museum, Mainz Cathedral, and the annual Christmas markets. Frankfurt Airport is about 18 miles away. Enjoy the fitness center and waterfront patio as well as all-day dining at the hotel restaurant.





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