2017 will mark a significant milestone in world history: the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing 95 theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany - an event which sparked a Protestant Reformation that spread across much of Northern Europe, into the Northern American colonies and beyond. To celebrate this pinnacle of “500 years of the Reformation,” cities in Germany particularly connected to the work and life of Martin Luther will be hosting religious and cultural events throughout 2017.
This 10-day, 9-night tour was designed to take your group to Germany’s top Lutheran pilgrimage sites, as well as showcase the best of German’s culture, history, and countryside - at a pleasant, enjoyable pace. If your group is considering traveling to Germany for the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther, contact us soon as hotel space will become limited. Keep in mind that the itinerary below is just a sample and can be tailored to meet your group’s needs and interests.
- Visit Martin Luther’s birthplace
- Take guided tours of Mainz, Worms, Erfurt, Eisenach and Wittenberg
- Cruise the Rhine River!
- Experience Marburg, on Germany’s “Fairy-tale Road”
- Take a panoramic tour of Berlin’s best sights
Mainz - 2 nights
Day 1: Arrive in Franfurt - Mainz
Upon arrival to Frankfurt Airport, your group will travel by private coach to Mainz, an ancient river port city founded over 2000 years ago by the Romans. Depending on your group’s flight, should it land well before the hotel’s official check-in time (generally around 3:00 pm), you are more than welcome to store baggage with the hotel staff and begin exploring this unique city. To celebrate your first evening in Germany, attend a welcome dinner with fellow group members in the hotel’s restaurant.
After having breakfast, set out on a guided walking tour of Mainz’s Old Town. A local publisher by the name of Johannes Gutenberg put Mainz on the map in the mid-15th century with his revolutionary moveable-type printing press, an invention that forever changed printing, education, and literacy. During your morning tour of Mainz, you’ll enter the Gutenberg Museum to see Gutenberg’s original copies of the Bible. After free time for lunch, travel south by private coach to Worms, a city long connected with the Protestant Reformation. It was in the Imperial Free City of Worms that Martin Luther stood by his religious beliefs and was branded a heretic in the Edict of Worms in 1521. After visiting the Luther Monument and Worms’ outstanding Romanesque Cathedral, your group will dine in a local restaurant before returning to Mainz.
Marburg - 1 night
Day 3: Arrive in Marburg
After breakfast and checkout, travel west by private coach to one of Germany’s most beloved wine towns: Rüdesheim am Rhein. Located on the banks of the Rhine, Rüdesheim forms part of the Rhine Gorge World Heritage Site. While in Rüdesheim, you’ll have free time to see its lovely 16th-century half-timbered homes, wine taverns, and shops. After free time for lunch, your group will cruise the Rhine from Rüdesheim to St. Goarshausen, passing some of Germany’s most striking scenery en route. After disembarking, enjoy a relaxing drive north to Marburg, a university town rich in history. After checking into your hotel, you’re free to explore Marburg on your own this evening.
Eisnach - 1 night
Day 4: Arrive in Eisnach
After breakfast and checkout, set out on a morning tour of Marburg. Marburg, being located on Germany’s “Fairy-tale Route”, is often associated with the Brothers Grimm who lived and studied there. The beautiful town, which has been a Christian pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages, houses the world’s first Protestant-founded university: University of Marburg. After free time for lunch, travel by private coach to Eisenach, the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach and a home to Martin Luther on several occasions. After checking into your hotel, you’ll dine with your fellow travelers in Eisenach this evening.
Erfurt - 2 nights
Day 5: Arrive in Erfurt
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Eisenach; check out any temporary Reformation exhibitions, visit the Bach Museum, or tour the Lutherhaus Museum, where Martin Luther boarded as a young student. If you intend to sightsee all morning, please go ahead and checkout; you can store your luggage with the hotel’s reception staff. You have free time for lunch in Eisenbach before needing to return to the hotel to travel by coach to Schloss Wartburg, one of Germany’s most impressive castles and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was there that Martin Luther fled after the Diet of Worms and translated the New Testament from Latin into German. After completing your visit of the castle, travel east to the city of Erfurt. After checking into the hotel, your group will dine in the hotel’s restaurant.
After having breakfast, set out on a guided tour of Erfurt, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval market towns. Known for its many church spires and beautiful mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, the historic city of Erfurt was particularly significant in the life of Martin Luther. He studied theology at the University of Erfurt, became a monk, lived in the city’s Augustinian Monastery, and was later ordained in Erfurt’s Cathedral. As part of the tour, you’ll visit the Cathedral, the Augustinian Monastery, the Church of St. Severi, and the remarkable Krämerbrücke bridge. Once the tour has finished, you’re free for the rest of the day to explore more of Erfurt on your own.
Wittenberg - 2 nights
Day 7: Arrive in Wittenberg
After breakfast and checkout, travel by private coach to Eisleben. Martin was born in Eisleben in 1483, preached in its churches throughout his life, and later died there at 63 years of age. While there, you’ll visit Eisleben’s quaint Old Town and visit the homes where Luther was born and died; those, along with the Lutheran Memorials in Wittenberg, form an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your tour of Eisleben and free time for lunch, continue traveling northeast to Wittenberg. After checking into the hotel, you’ll have time to freshen up before walking to a nearby restaurant for a group dinner.
After having breakfast, set out on a guided tour of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Visit the Stadtkirche, where Martin Luther frequently preached. See All Saints’ Church, where he nailed his 95 Theses and ignited the Protestant Reformation. Your group will also learn more about the life of Martin Luther inside the Lutherhalle Wittenberg Museum. During the tour, there will be free time for lunch. Once the tour has finished, you are free for the remainder of the day to take in more of Wittenberg on your own.
Berlin - 1 night
Day 9: Arrive in Berlin
After breakfast and checkout, travel by private coach to Berlin. Upon arriving, immediately set out on a panoramic tour of the city’s best sights. See the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. The tour will finish at the hotel, where you’ll check in and have the afternoon free to visit Berlin’s attractions on your own. Consider paying a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum or the Pergamon Museum. This evening, reunite with your group members for a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 10: Departure from Berlin
After having breakfast, your group will travel by private coach to Berlin Tegel Airport for its return flight to the USA or Canada.
- Hotel accommodations in Rome for 6 nights
- Meals: Continental breakfast daily (Lunch and dinner as noted in the itinerary)
- Air-conditioned, private coaching
- English-speaking assistants and guides
- Admission tickets as outlined in the itinerary
Download the Culture and History in Germany pdf file.