Kick-off the holiday season this winter in Germany, Austria, and Hungary with TFT. The bustling cities of Munich, Vienna, and Budapest transform into winter wonderlands in December, and their world-famous Christmas markets are filled with twinkling lights, festive stalls, and plenty of holiday cheer. Come experience the vibrant energy of these markets while browsing for unique handicrafts and tasty treats.
There are hidden treasures and rich history around every corner in these imperial cities. Warm-up in Budapest’s relaxing thermal baths and visit Munich’s famous beer house. Learn the fascinating history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and dive into more recent times to discover how these elegant cities were reborn after the Nazi and Communist occupations. Travel between your destinations on Europe’s modern trains. This program offers a unique and festive experience to a stunning part of Europe best explored during the winter months!
- Centrally located accommodation in all three cities
- Transportation between all cities
- Private walking tours of Vienna, Budapest, and Munich
- Entrance to the thermal baths in Budapest
- A tour of Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna
- A guided tour of Dachau Concentration Camp
- All breakfasts
- Three dinners
- Two TFT guides
- Caving in Budapest
- Dinner Cruise in Budapest
- Cooking lesson in Vienna- learn to make your own Schnitzel!
DAYS 1-3: Munich
The first stop is the country where Christmas Markets first originated, Germany! Munich, situated near the Bavarian Alps, boasts some of the best markets in the country. Munich was heavily damaged by Allied bombs in WWII, but unlike most other German cities it was carefully rebuilt with the original street plans and traditional architecture. Sip on spiced mulled wine while browsing the festive markets and bask in the holiday glow surrounding the entire city. Warm-up with a quick break at one of Munich’s famous beer halls and make plenty of new friends.
Travelers will also have the opportunity to visit Dachau, the first concentration camp that the Nazis founded in Germany, and reflect on this dark chapter in recent history.
DAYS 4-6: Vienna
Next, head west to Vienna, where the holiday season transforms the entire city into a winter wonderland. Vienna is home to the world’s largest Christmas Market complete with festive-themed activities and an ice rink.
Sample Austrian delicacies including schnitzel and the famous Viennese chocolate cake, Sachertorte. Participants will even have the option to learn about Austria’s food culture through a traditional Viennese cooking lesson where they will make their own a three-course meal! Complete your trip to this imperial city by wandering the halls of the elegant Schonbrunn Palace.
DAYS 6-8: Budapest
This Hungarian capital may be one of Europe’s most understatedly beautiful cities. Dive into the rich cultural center of Budapest while strolling through the historical streets.
Seeking some adventure? You’ll have the option to explore the multi-level labyrinth under the city by climbing and crawling through underground caves stretching almost 20 miles long!
Warm-up with a visit to the city’s legendary thermal baths. Soak and relax in the largest thermal spa in Europe and marvel at the stunning Neo-Baroque architecture surrounding the grand outdoor pools.
Complete the winter trip of a lifetime with a dinner cruise on the Danube river with sweeping views of the city lit up at night.
Who can go on this program?
This program is open to adults ages 18-22 from around the world! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones.
Where do we stay?
We stay in centrally located accommodations in safe areas, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. We do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities; we prefer to select smaller, family-run accommodation where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. After registering, participants are given access to our secure website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for the program.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of participants who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages travelers to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. When you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; some tours and activities, chaperones and guides; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and some dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions unless otherwise specified; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
The maximum group size is 30 participants. Most tours average between 10-30 participants. Please contact us for more information about this specific program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.