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Cologne, Bamberg & Fruehlingsfest in Munich

Next Departure: April 17 -27, 2014
Departs every spring

Travel across Germany on fast, efficient German trains from Cologne to Munich, with a stop in beery Bamberg along the way. Cologne is home to fresh delicious inimitible Kolsch. Just down the road is Dusseldorf, with classic Alt Lodges to discover. Medieval Bamberg, home to ten traditional breweries and infamous smoke-beer, welcomes us for three nights. The whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site; and with a variety of great brewery taps serving fresh local beer from the wood, it is a very pleasant place to spend a couple of days. Next we find ourselves in the heart of Bavaria with visits to Kloster Andechs and Ayinger Brewery. Friday Morning we head to Munich for one of the world's bigger (not biggest) beer festivals: (not Oktoberfest) Fruelingsfest! Two days in Munich provide time enjoy the festival and explore the capital of Bavaria. Registration Details are here.

See Trip Pictures

Daily Itinerary*:

Thursday, April 17 - Depart from the US, meals aloft

Your trip begins as you travel to Cologne, Germany. Airfare is not included in the trip price.

Friday, April 18 - Arrival in Cologne, Kolsch crawl/city tour, Dinner

Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city. After time to settle in, meet the group in the hotel lobby for a locally guided Kolsch crawl/walking tour of the old city. We will be sure to stop into a bar or two for a fresh delicious Kolsch. Tonight we'll enjoy a Traditional Local Dinner in a classic Koelner beer hall. (B, D)

Saturday, April 19 - Dusseldorf Daytrip

This morning we'll travel up the Rhine to Cologne's historic rival city -- Dusseldorf. We will where we will visit as many Alt bars as we can to learn the ins and outs of one of Germany's few ales. We'll have a traditional lunch pub lunch as well. Return to Cologne this evening. (B, L)

Sunday, April 20 - Free Day in Cologne

A full day to spend as you wish in one (or two) of Germany's great cities. The Dom, the old city, the hay market and many more offer a wealth of options, not to mention a number of brewpubs to compare. (B)

Monday, April 21 - To Bamberg, Schlenkerla Dinner

This morning we travel by rail to Bamberg, where we will spend three nights in the heart of this medieval city. There will be time to visit a couple of the 10 breweries this afternoon. This evening we will eat at the historic Schlenkerla brewery tap - home of one of the world's original smoke beers.(B, D)

Tuesday, April 22 - Bamberg Tour, PM free, evening brewery-taps

This morning we will take a guided, walking city tour to get oriented in beautiful Bamberg. The tour will end in a brewery tap where we will quecnh our thirts and have lunch. The afternoon is free to explore the town or to continue visiting the 10 brewery taps in this city of 70,000. The per capita beer consumption averages 330 liters per year. This is a beer city if ever there was one; and also a UNESCO World Heritage site for architecture throughout the city center. (B, L)

Wednesday, April 23 - Bamberg Breweries, Free Time, Optional Beer hunt

bamberg.jpg (17156 bytes)Today is essentially a free day. Bamberg offers many beer options and plenty of worthwhile sites, churches and museums. Renting a bike is a great way to explore even more brewery taps and beer gardens. Franconia boasts hundreds of small private breweries reached by easy public transportation links. No doubt visits will be made to local Bamberg breweries as well. (B)

Thursday, April 24 - Rail and Coach to Andechs & Ayinger

We depart Bamberg this morning bound for Kloster Andechs - where we'll have lunch and drink their infamously powerful beers. After lunch, we will continue to Aying and Ayinger Brewery, home of Bavaria's best-known country beers. After touring their beautiful brewery and tasting some beers, we will enjoy a multi-course beer meal - each course paired with one of Ayinger's beers. (B, L, D)

Friday, April 25 - Munich City Tour, Fruhlingsfest

This morning activity surrounding Fruhlingsfest will be happening all over the city. We'll take a walking tour of the city's main areas to get oriented. This afternoon is free to begin checking out the festival and living large in a big beer tent. (B)

Saturday, April 26 - Explore Munich, Fruhlingsfest, Farewell Dinner

Today is basically a free day, a good one to return to the festival, explore Munich, or rent bikes to visit a few notable beer gardens. Tonight we celebrate our trip with a Farewell Dinner in Munich. (B, D)

Sunday, April 27 - Return home

Alas we must leave beer heaven. A variety of transfer options are available to Munich's Airport for flights to the US. (B)

For Registration and Policies & Details: Click Here.

Beer Highlights
& Brewery Visits

Cologne and Dusseldorf: With a grand cathedral, the Rhine, historic city centers, Old-Town beer bars, great brewing traditions, and the historic home to Kolsch and Alt styles.

Franconian Beer! - including Bamberg's 10 breweries and a host of other small brewers in what is possibly the best beer region anywhere.

The close cousin of Oktoberfest and one of Munich's favorite beer fests: Fruehlingsfest!

Good folks to drink with and the rolling tasting room when we travel by private bus!

Many great meals, fine hotels, time to explore and relax

Great beer meals! Good folks.

Travel by Private Bus and International Rail.

Overnight Stays*

3 nights Cologne

3 nights Bamberg

1 night Aying

2 nights Munich

Included Tours

A Cultural Kolsch Crawl in Cologne

A History and Achitecture Brewery Tap Tour in Bamberg

City Tour in Munich

Included Meals

9 Breakfasts

3 Lunches

4 Dinners

Trip Price
(Land-only, Based on double occupancy)

$2895 per person

Single Room add $535

Arrival & Departure

Trip Begins in Cologne, Germany

Ends in Munich, Germany

Please Note:

The overall style of the trip is best suited for somewhat adventurous, beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned events and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.

* Please note also:

This itinerary is subject to change based on brewery or hotel availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense or bad weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good or better than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!