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Home > Beer Vacations > Germany Beer Vacations

Germany Beer and Christmas Markets Trip 2020

Munich, Bavaria, Bamberg, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and Prague, CZ!

December 5th - 15th --- 10 Nights (or less, see below)


NOTE: This trip starts in Prague and ends in Munich. Flying in to Prague is usually less expensive than in and out of Munich. If you can not do all 10 nights, you can make this a 9 or 8 night trip by either arriving in Prague on Day 2, and/or skipping the last day in Munich and flying out on Day 10. Contact me for pricing and more details if this is required.


NOTE: In order to visit multiple famous Christmas markets, this trip will have more bus travel and hotel changes than my other trips. Just pack light, making it easier to move around, and it will be worth it! The temps should be around the mid 30's to mid 40's F, so not too cold to walk around, but cold enough to wear a coat. Unlike the heat (and sweat) of Summer, the crisp air will keep your clothes fresher, so you won't need to pack as much. More tips on packing light for a Winter trip later.


NOTE: If you are only interested in a single day trip or custom day tour or special event in Germany or Belgium, see Custom Day Trips!

NOTE: See day-by-day itinerary below. Many of the photos shown below were actually shot on previous trips!

Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock in Munich Europe Christmas Markets Tour

NOTE: This is an exciting new trip that has been in planning for several years! The goal was to feature multiple beer styles not commonly seen on my long-running Summer trips, and combine that with the amazing Christmas Markets that are in full swing this time of year. During my Summer trips, the strong beers, such as the incredible German Doppelbocks and Weizenbocks, are hard to find, but in early December they are readily available everywhere. In addition, Northern Germany offers some unique beer styles, including the Northern Pils, Schwarzbiers (black beers), and the amazing sours, Gose and Berliner Weisse! All of these new beer styles and the new places will create a trip completely different than my Summer trips, and combining this with the awesome Christkindlemarkts / Christmas Markets of Europe, and it makes for a trip truly like no other! We will visit multiple Christmas markets on this trip, including 3 or 4 of the top 10 in all of Europe, plus we will see Bamberg's famous Nativity Scenes, Munich's annual Tollwood Festival, and much, much more!


DAY 1: Saturday - December 5th - This unbelievable Germany and Czech Republic Beer and Christmas Markets Tour starts when you arrive in Prague (we will meet at the hotel - you will just take a taxi from the airport). After a short nap (for those arriving that morning and able to get into their room, which is not a certainty), we will meet up around noon and take a walk around the old part of Prague and some other interesting areas. I will get you acquainted with the city, show you where things are, etc. And surely we will stop somewhere, maybe a brewery, for your first beer in Prague, perhaps a fresh Bohemian Pilsner or a rich and sweet Czech Dark Lager! Transportation to the hotel, lunch, beer and snacks during the day on your own. Later, we will head over to U Fleku, one of the oldest breweries in Europe, for a wonderful Czech dinner (included) and lots of their delicious dark lager! After a fun afternoon and early evening of getting to know Prague, eating and drinking, most of you that arrived in the Czech Republic this morning will be exhausted, so we may call it an early night and let everyone settle into their room and get a good night's sleep, or you can start exploring the Christmas market and the rest of Prague on your own. Either way, be sure to get some rest and prepare for a very fun and busy day tomorrow!

Prague Christmas Market Real Budweiser Beer in Czech Republic Real Budweiser Budvar in Prague U Fleku Brewery Fermenters U Fleku Czech Dark Lager in Prague U Fleku Goulash

DAY 2: Sunday - December 6th - After a hearty and delicious breakfast at the hotel, you will have some free time to explore more of the great city of Prague. Then, in the afternoon, we will take the train across town to visit a great monastery brewery on the other side of the river. After a great visit, and beers, there, we can continue on the train to some of the other sites in this part of the city, such as Prague Castle, the Lennon Wall, etc. You will be free to explore on your own in the afternoon, and into the evening, including spending more time at the Christmas market. You will be provided with guides, notes and directions to some of the famous beer bars, area breweries, tourist attractions, museums, etc. We may meet back up later for some final beers in Prague. This is sure to be a weekend you will always remember!

Prague Castle Prague Monastery Brewery Open Fermenters Prague Monastery Brewery Taproom Prague Monastery Brewery Abbey Church Prague Christmas Market at Night

DAY 3: Monday - December 7th - Today, after another great breakfast at the hotel, and a little free time in the morning, our private motorcoach will pick us up and take us to the historic city of Dresden. While Dresden may be known most by many people for the horrific fire bombing it sustained during World War II, and which was written about in Slaughterhouse-Five by the famous Indianapolis author, Kurt Vonnegut (who witnessed it... So it goes.), Dresden has a lot more history and is a beautiful city. Dresden also has an absolutely amazing Christmas market, and it is here that you may get your first tastes of true Northern German Pilsners and Schwarzbiers! After a quick walk around the city, we will have an early dinner (included) at a special Radeberger taphouse and restaurant that serves directly out of large serving tanks, and is one of the only places to drink a unique and awesome Kellerbier version of Radeberger. We are not in Dresden long, so after dinner, you can continue to explore the city and the Christmas market on your own.

Dresden Pilsner and Schwarzbier Beers Beautiful Dresden Germany Dresden Christmas Market Radeberger Pilsner and Kellerbier Radeberger Taphouse in Dresden Dresden Germany Buildings

DAY 4: Tuesday - December 8th - Today, after breakfast, you will have a little more free time to continue exploring Dresden, then we will board our motorcoach again and head to Berlin. Berlin has a lot of museums and historical sights, so we will have some free time when we first get there for you to start exploring the city on your own. Some famous sights include the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, and much more. There are also multiple different Christmas markets in Berlin to check out. Look for more Northern German Pilsners, as well as lots of local craft beers, as you explore Berlin's beer scene. I will provide maps and guides to various places you might want to check out.

Berlin Berliner Kindl Pilsner Berlin Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market Berlin Brandenburg Gate Berlin Wall Memorial Berlin Checkpoint Charlie

DAY 5: Wednesday - December 9th - Today, you will have plenty of time to continue exploring Berlin on your own, but in the afternoon, we will have a very special tasting and discussion of the historic Berliner Weisse beer style. This delicious, refreshing, sour wheat beer is making a big comeback these days, including here in Berlin, where the style was born. Once thought to be a fairly simple, low ABV, lactic sour beer, new brewers, like Schneeeule, have researched the style, isolated original yeast and bacteria strains from old bottles, and are now making absolutely incredible traditional, and historically accurate, versions of Berliner Weisse. We will try to taste all the variations the city has to offer, as well as discuss the history and technical aspects of this unique beer style. If we are lucky, perhaps some of the brewers will even be able to join us for this fun and educational session! Before and after this session, you will be free to explore Berlin as you wish. Maybe we will meet back up later in the evening for some final beers in Berlin.

Berlin-Schneeeule-Berliner-Weisse-Beers Berlin Schneeeule Berliner Weisse Beer Tasting with Ulrike Berlin Berliner Weisse Beers Berlin Government Building

DAY 6: Thursday - December 10th - After another great breakfast at the hotel, our private motorcoach will take us back South to the beautiful city of Leipzig! Leipzig has an incredible Christmas market, and is the historic home of the unique Gose beer style. Similar to the Berliner Weisse in its refreshing, tart character, the Gose is unique with its addition of a touch of salt and coriander. The Gose style is also making a big comeback these days, and in a similar fashion to what Schneeeule has done with the Berliner Weisse, producers like Ritterguts have also researched the style, isolated original yeast and bacteria strains from old bottles, and are now making awesome traditional, historically accurate, versions of Gose. We only have one night in Leipzig, so once we arrive there, we will do a short walkaround to get to know the city a little, then we will go to an early dinner (included) at one of the only remaining historic Gose houses.

Along with a wonderful dinner, we will taste and discuss multiple versions of Gose made in the area, including with some of the traditional flavoring additions, such as woodruff, raspbery and elderflower syrups, caraway liqueur, cherry liqueur, lemon-lime drink, etc. Hopefully, some of the brewers will be able to join us for this fun and educational event. As they say in Leipzig, Goseanna! After dinner, you will be free to explore Leipzig on your own. In addition to the incredible Christmas market, I will provide maps and guides to various places you might want to check out, including the church where the famous composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, worked as the Choir Director for most of his life, and more. And remember that in addition to the Goses, we are back in the area of Germany where the dark lagers, Schwarzbiers, are readily available. You will surely fall in Love with Leipzig!

Leipzig Christmas Market Leipzig Ritterguts Gose Bottle and Glass Leipzig Gosenschanke Gose Leipzig Bahnhof Gose Brewery Leipzig Bahnhof Gose Leipzig Bach Church Leipzig Thomaskirche Pilsner and Schwarzbier

DAY 7: Friday - December 11th - It will be hard to say goodbye to Leipzig, but knowing we will soon arrive in Bamberg certainly makes it a little easier. After another great breakfast, our motorcoach will take us to one of the most beautiful towns in the entire world. Bamberg survived the wars virtually without a scratch, so its 1,000+ year history remains fully intact, making it look like a town that time forgot. And the beer style the city is most well known for, its sweet and smokey Rauchbier, is also a throwback to another time when all barley malt was dried over burning logs. If you don't like smoked beer, there are plenty of other types, but my bet is that you will leave Bamberg as a fan of this incredible and unique beer. But, before we get to Bamberg, we may stop along the way at the brewery that makes the Ritterguts Gose beers. This is an old, mid-sized family-owned brewery that still uses open fermenters, which are pretty cool to see. In addition to the Ritterguts beers, they make a full line-up of great beers, so this would be a fun short visit.

After arriving in Bamberg, we will do a short walkaround to get you acquainted with the city and where things are. This is truly my favorite place in the world, and you will probably love it here as well. The beauty and character of this town is like something right out of a fairytale. Our walk will end at the famous Schlenkerla pub and restuarant, where we will have an awesome dinner (included). This time of year, Schlenkerla will have their Smoked Urbock and Oak Smoked Doppelbock available, which are absolutely amazing beers! In addition, we are now in Franconia, so all the breweries will be serving their Doppelbocks and strong beers. And Bamberg has many great breweries! Once again, I will provide maps and info about these places that you may want to check out. After dinner, you can start exploring this picturesque city on your own. In addition to a Christmas market, Bamberg is known this time of year for its many amazing nativity scenes that are put up all over town.

Ritterguts Brewery Reichenbrander Open Fermenters Ritterguts Brewery Reichenbrander Ritterguts Gose Bottles Bamberg Nativity Scene Bamberg Schlenkerla Dinner 2018 Bamberg Onion Schlenkerla Dinner Bamberg Town Hall at Night

DAY 8: Saturday - December 12th - Today, after another hearty breakfast, you will have lots of free time to explore Bamberg, its breweries, the nativity scenes, the Christmas market, and more, on your own. Bamberg is a true beer lovers city, with numerous small breweries and brewpubs within walking distance. In addition, there is a fantastic cathedral up on the hill and many, many shops, a brewing museum, a puppet museum, and much more, all set in a postcard perfect, fairytale-like environment. The shopping, especially for antiques, and I mean real antiques, is truly awesome. Later this afternoon, we may visit an area brewery together, or we may just relax from all the recent traveling and have an entirely open day to unwind. There is plenty to see, do, and drink in Bamberg! It is a place that everyone falls in love with, and that nobody wants to leave. Optionally, if some of you want to venture out and visit another large, major Christmas market, I can help you take the train to the famous neighboring city of Nuremberg.

Bamberg Town Hall and River in Fall Bamberg Mahrs Brau Beers Bamberg Christmas Market Bamberg Spezial Rauchbier Bamberg Nativity Scenes Crib Trail Bamberg at Night Nuremberg Christmas Market

DAY 9: Sunday - December 13th - Today, after breakfast, and perhaps one (or more) last delicious Rauchbiers, we will board our motorcoach and head South to the incredible Bavarian city of Munich! Along the way, we will probably stop to visit a brewery, such as Erdinger, which is a large, famous Weissebier / Wheat Beer brewery. After this, we will continue our trip into the city, and arrive at our hotel in the heart of Munich, which will be home for the last 2 nights of the trip. After checking in, we will do a walkaround to get you acquainted with the city, where things are, how the trains work, etc. I will provide a guide showing where all the best beer bars, breweries, etc. are located. Our walk will end at the Schneider-Weisse restaurant, where we will have our final group dinner (included). This is a great dinner with several courses and beers paired with each one. We will be sure to have the strong Aventinus Weizenbock, and a special treat, the Aventinus Eisbock (as well as perhaps some Aventinus Brandy). This will be a wonderful first night in Munich that you will always remember. After dinner, you will be free to start exploring Munich on your own, but tomorrow will be your big day and night to do this, so you might want to get some rest.

Erdinger Weissbiers Erdinger Brewery Marienplatz Munich Munich Beer Dinner 1 Schneider-Weisse Munich Dinner Hofbrauhaus Munich

DAY 10: Monday - December 14th - Today, after a great breakfast, you will have most of the day open to explore Munich as you wish, from the world class museums, and amazing churches to the incredible beer gardens and taprooms! Also, this time of year, there are multiple Christmas markets around the city. In addition, just as we experienced in Bamberg, all of the strong beers, Doppelbocks and Weizenbocks will be readily available, which makes visiting Munich in the Winter incredibly special! There is a lot to see, do, and drink in Munich, and it is a city like no other. In the late afternoon, we will all meet up and head out together, via the city train, to the Tollwood Winter Festival on the famous Oktoberfest grounds. This is a unique event that is kind of a combination of a Christmas market, Burning Man, a circus, an art fair, and Oktoberfest. It is sure to be an amazing and memorable night! Since this is our last night, we won't stay out too late, and we will head back towards the hotel in time for everyone to pack and prep for their departures tomorrow.

Munich Winter Tollwood Festival Munich Winter Tollwood Festival Tent GiesingerBrau Munich Beer Giesinger Brau Munich Brewery Munich Englisher Garden

DAY 11: Tuesday - December 15th - Today, unfortunately, we will say goodbye and take the train or taxi (on your own) from the hotel to the Munich airport (I will provide the details for doing this). Or, you will venture on to wherever your travels may take you next, while dreaming about the next time you will see Germany and the Czech Republic again!

Tegernsee Beers Munich

FAQs REGARDING THIS GERMANY BEER TOUR


ADULT COST: The Price for the Winter 2020 Germany Beer Trip is $3,350 USD per person traveling as a couple / pair (i.e. Double Occupancy), or $3,890 USD (hopefully a bit less) for someone traveling alone (i.e. Single Occupancy). These prices should not change, unless the exchange rate or trip plans change dramatically. That is not expected, but this trip is a long ways off and anything could happen, so the final, exact costs will be determined as people commit to going, and as the time gets a little closer, etc.

SPECIAL NOTE ON COST: My pricing, and the value created, is unlike many tours in several important ways. Most travel industry tours expect the trip attendees to pay numerous tips, often multiple tips per day, including for guides, helpers, restaurant staff, bus drivers, etc. This is common in the tourism industry, but it can add up to hundreds of additional, and often unexpected, dollars over the course of a 10 day trip. I simply disagree with the industry on this approach, so I don't ask my trip attendees to tip anyone during any included activities. Also, with some tours, the amount of beverages, beer, etc. included with the dinners may be limited, but I like to see my guests drink what they want, within reason of course, without worrying about extra costs. I also try to provide some extra beers and surprises along the way, when I can, and when the budget, exchange rate, etc. allows it. In summary, I do some things a bit different than the industry norm. This does not mean the industry norm is bad. It just means I have a different approach, which tries to create more value for my guests, and is something that needs to be considered in my prices.

WHAT IS INCLUDED: Basically, everything except the meals and beers specified above, your personal purchases, your airfare, and transportation from and to the airports. It includes all hotels, breakfasts each day, several meals, some with unlimited beers, train and bus travel, taxis, admission fees, all tips, etc.

COULD I SAVE MONEY DOING THIS ON MY OWN: Possibly, but it can require literally hundreds of hours of research and planning to make it happen as smoothly as what you will get on my trips. Also, you may have to drive yourself, or navigate foreign transit systems, to experience some of what we do, which puts a damper on being able to drink and enjoy yourself. Lastly, several things are just not options for people traveling alone. Either the group and / or my connections make some of the tours and things we do feasible. So yes, it is possible to save a little money, but I'm not making that much and the added value I offer is well worth it to most people. Lastly, when calculating costs on your own, many things are often overlooked, which add up to extra dollars spent, plus without the proper planning, mistakes can happen and they can add costs quickly.

I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD LIKE TRAVELING WITH A GROUP: This isn't a cruise ship or a high school field trip where every second of every day is planned. There are opportunities to do things on your own, there is no curfew, and few very early mornings. Also, the type of people that do a trip like this, are probably a bit of a beer geek just like you, and are usually pretty good people. Lastly, these are relatively small group trips comparatively. So just relax and have fun with some like-minded people in a flexible and friendly environment.

PAYMENT TERMS AND CONFIRMATION: I need to confirm the trip as soon as I can to get hotels, buses, tours, etc. scheduled. Thus, if you are interested or certain that you want to go, contact me and/or pay your down payment / initial payment as soon as you can. See the instructions below for how to get registered. A trip can be confirmed as soon as I have enough people signed up. Airline tickets should not be purchased until the trip is confirmed.

To reserve your space, or communicate with me, send an email to BeerMBA@MarketWiseSolutions.com.

To officially register and pay your 25% down payment, also send me an email, and then either use the form below or go to www.Paypal.com and send any amount of money you want to this email address... "RonSmith -AT- MarketWiseSolutions -DOT- com". If doing this, please be sure to send me a follow up email to let me know how much you paid and what it is for.

NOTE: If the trip does not happen, this full down payment amount will be refunded to you. Otherwise, as soon as I have enough people signed up to confirm the trip, I will notify you with that confirmation, and at that point the 25% down payment is no longer refundable. You will then be asked to pay the remaining 75%. This remaining 75% is due in full at least 3 months before the departure date (but sooner is better). After that 3 months prior to departure point, when all money must be received, no money can be refunded. All plans have been made at that point, things have been paid in advance, this is one of Germany's peak travel periods, etc. In the event of a complete cancellation of the trip on my part, either another guide will be assigned to lead the trip, or all money not paid out will be refunded to you along with instructions and notes to allow you to still do as much of the trip as possible on your own. These terms are subject to change at any time, but they represent the general policies.

INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS: As a college educator, I know that money can be tight for some people, especially students, but I would like them to be able to do my trips if they really want to have these incredible life experiences. So to help with that, people can basically add money to their Trip Account whenever they want and I will just keep it in their account until it is either needed or refunded. You can just go to www.Paypal.com and send any amount of money you wish to this email address... "RonSmith -AT- MarketWiseSolutions -DOT- com". If doing this, please be sure to send a follow up email directly to me, to let me know how much you paid and what it is for. These funds are subject to the same cancellation and refund deadlines and arrangements as any other funds, so as long as deadlines are not passed, if you start adding to a fund, but cannot go on the trip, your money will be refunded (except any fees incurred). This unique payment option provides a way for people to pay a little at a time, on whatever schedule they want (i.e. even daily or weekly additions can be made). If you have any questions about this, contact me via email at BeerMBA@MarketWiseSolutions.com.

Additional Information

  • The hotels are all very nice, safe, approx 3+ star type accomodations, with private baths and all the usual European amenities (i.e. possibly not air conditioning, but that should not be needed). More details can be provided upon request.

  • The itinerary and plans may change. With travel plans like this, things out of my control can always occur. If / when that occurs, I will try to plan something else. It will always be a fun and enjoyable trip and I will always give you your money's worth.

  • As the trip gets confirmed, I will provide various documents, including one for Trip Planning and Preparation, which covers lots of important issues for European travel, such as currency, mobile phones, internet access, power adapters, what to pack, and much, much more. I will also provide documents for How to Get to the Hotel, and for the Final Trip Itinerary, etc.

  • If you need a roommate, I can try to pair you up with someone, but it is up to you to make it work.

  • As with most European travel, these trips require A LOT of walking, standing and movement. You should be in reasonably good shape in order to participate in everything planned. However, there are certainly ways to make it easier and do less walking, etc. if you wish and don't mind not trying to keep up with the group.

  • Also, as with most European travel in the winter, expect it to be cold at times, and possibly very cold. If this occurs, we can not control the weather and we will survive, though it may not be comfortable for a little while. In these situations, you will truly get to experience what it is like to live in that part of the world.

  • Lastly, as with most European travel, expect things like hotel rooms and restaurants to be small and the quarters to be tight. Unlike the US or other parts of the world, space is often limited in Europe and many buildings are very, very old. This is part of the charm and the experience.

  • I am only the coordinator of the trip. I charge a fee to assist you and guide you in your travels. I am not responsible for, or liable for, your health, safety, lost or stolen property, etc.

Click here to sign up, get on my email list and/or contact me!

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