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Insider's Austria and Germany

DAY 1: OVERNIGHT FLIGHT   Depart from the USA.
DAY 2: ROTHENBURG   Arrive in Frankfurt, meet your ACIS Tour Manager and drive to Rothenburg. Once settled in, you can begin to explore and familiarize yourself with this medieval gem of a city. Imagine battle cries in the Town Hall Square and inspect the intricate carvings in St. Jakob's Church.
DAY 3: MUNICH   Depart this morning for Munich, stopping en route to visit the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. This former prison camp actually was not one of the “death camps” but is still a vivid reminder of Nazi atrocities during World War II. Participate in a discussion about the rise of the Nazi Party and learn why every Munich school child must also visit this poignant site. In Munich, refuel with a pretzel tasting followed by an evening visit to the Olympic Park.
DAY 4: MUNICH   Explore Bavaria's capital with an expertly guided sightseeing tour to sites like Marienplatz with its famed Glockenspiel, the Viktualienmarkt food and flower market and the surfers on the Isar River in the Englischer Gartens. Then head for BMW World, a showcase devoted to the history and innovative technology of these world-famous cars. Later today, discover the city’s hidden gems during a Munich by bike tour of unique neighborhoods and sights off the beaten path. You’ll have earned your German sausage dinner this evening.
DAY 5: SALZBURG   Journey to the opulent Herrenchiemsee Palace, the largest of Ludwig II’s royal residences. Ride a boat across the lake to the island-perched palace, visiting its apartments, Hall of Mirrors and gardens. Then continue on to Salzburg in the afternoon. Tonight’s dinner is truly something special: Stiftskeller St. Peter’s is central Europe’s oldest restaurant and is tucked inside one of the courtyards of the old abbey.
DAY 6: SALZBURG   This morning a local guide shows you the lovely, manicured gardens in front of the Mirabell Palace, the Sound of Music Churchyard and the stunning Baroque Dom Cathedral. Next visit Mozart’s Birthplace Museum on the crowded shopping street, the Getreidegasse. In the afternoon, we take you out to the Hallein Salt Mine, where you journey deep beneath the ground to learn more about how this precious mineral deeply influenced Salzburg’s (or, literally, Salt Town) history. Besides, you get to slide down the long wooden slides the miners used and traverse a dark lake deep inside the mountain mine. Return to Salzburg in time for dinner.
DAY 7: VIENNA   Journey east to picturesque St. Gilgen, known for some of the finest chocolate making in the world. You’ll learn to make your own Mozartkugel (a small chocolate ball filled with pistachio paste) and receive a diploma for your confectionery achievements. Continue to Vienna and begin to explore this city known for its rich musical heritage—Beethoven, Strauss and Haydn are some of the composers who have drawn on its quaint streets, lively squares and Baroque façades for inspiration. We’ll head out in the evening for a walk through the amusements of Prater Park.
DAY 8: VIENNA   On our morning sightseeing tour of Vienna, an expert local guide shows you the glory of the former Imperial capital including the Ring, Hofburg Palace complex, Opera House and St. Stephen's Cathedral. Then tour the grounds and interior of Schönbrunn Palace, the massive Habsburg summer retreat, including the Imperial state rooms and private quarters of the Austrian Emperors. Later a local master will mesmerize you with a demonstration of the world famous Viennese Waltz before you take to the floor to give it a try. The rest of the afternoon is free to further explore the city on your own or shop for souvenirs. You will have earned your traditional Austrian dinner to celebrate your last night in Europe.
DAY 9: DEPARTURE   Depart for the USA.

I had a lot of fun and would recommend the trip to anyone. Our tour guide, Peter, was fantastic and really helped make the trip special.

Rebecca A.
Participant 2012

Daniel Ross was excellent. Paige Wescott was excellent.

Donald D.
Participant 2012

There was a good mix of learning and activities. I would have enjoyed more planned events while we were in Vienna.

Lois E.
Participant 2012

Tour manager - Peter and bus driver - Yurg (spelling ?) were both excellent and very knowlegeable.

Katherine F.
Participant 2012

I thought the trip was excellent, Daniel Ross was such a great tour guide, I can't say enough good things about him. He made everyday very enjoyable for me as well as the kids.

Diane Z.
Participant 2012

I have found trips like this usually depend greatly upon the tour manager. Leonie was awesome and Ricce (the bus driver) was even better!

Robert G.
Group Leader 2011

Excellent choice of cities

Mary Alice O.
Group Leader 2011

Lots of variety. History of this area was overwhelming but I learned so much! Nice Bus good driver & very helpful

Carla R.
Participant 2011

What to See


Hugendubel, Marienplatz 22
This bookstore, the largest in Munich, offers many titles in English, including travel books and helpful maps.

Exatmo, U-Bahn: Giselastrasse
One of the most unusual clothiers in Munich, Exatmo sells garments inspired by the puffy sleeves and dramatic flair of 17th-century fashions.


Any day of the week, this shopping district is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Amongst the courtyards and passageways, you'll find a variety of shops and boutiques selling traditional and contemporary clothing, antiques, leather, jewelry, and paper goods.

Reber, Griesgasse 3
Reber is the best place to buy the world renowned Mozart chocolates. These Kügeln come in all shapes and sizes, wrapped in foil and ready to eat.

Salzburger Heimatwerk, Residenzplatz 9
Just off the main square in the Old City, this cozy shop offers the best of Austrian produced arts, crafts, and accessories.  Here you'll find hand painted pillows, tablecloths and blankets.  Many of the fabrics have designs that represent Austria's diverse regions.


Naschmarkt, U-Bahn: Karlsplatz
Especially in the mornings and at lunchtime, locals congregate at Vienna’s open air market, covering almost half a mile along the River Wien. From fruits and vegetables to delicatessens and fast food, you will find a wide array of goods in a most traditional setting, The Naschmarkt has been in existence since 1775. Try some of the many regional delicacies on display there, brought together from the distant countries that once made up the Habsburg Empire.

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BMW Museum, U-Bahn: Olympiapark
A tour of this museum, adjacent to the company's main plant and headquarter building, traces the history of the famous firm that was founded in 1916. High performance sports models, luxury automobiles, and motor bikes from throughout the ages are on display, and numerous interactive multimedia exhibits on the company's future projects make it worth seeing. Open daily.

Deutsches Museum, U-Bahn: Fraunhoferstraße
Allegedly the largest technological museum in the world, this building complex is located on an island in the Isar River. Extensive interactive exhibits cover every phase of technology and science from the earliest flint tools to modern space and computer research. Seeing all of the museum's halls would take more than one day, so be sure to prioritize. Do not miss the lightning demonstration!  Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum Quarter, U-Bahn: Odeonsplatz
In this area, three of Germany's most famous art collections are housed. The Alte Pinakothek exhibits European art from the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries. Recently completely remodeled, the portraits feature works by world famous masters such as Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Degas and Monet, to name just a few.

The Neue Pinakothek focuses instead on more recent art from the eighteenth through the nineteenth century.

The latest addition to the museum quarter is the Pinakothek der Moderne, featuring modern and contemporary art. The building and its exhibits are widely acclaimed and well worth a visit. All three museums are open daily, closed Monday.


Mozarts Geburtshaus, Getreidegasse 9
Touring Salzburg cannot be without a trip to Mozart's birthplace.  The historic building where Wolfgang spent his childhood is now a museum where you can see his violin, a spinet and his early sheet music. Open daily.

Volkskundemuseum, Monatsschlösschen Hellbrunn
This museum features three floors that showcase the religious, cultural and ethnic heritage of Salzburg.  Highlights include regional and traditional folk dresses and other cultural customs. Open daily.

Haus der Natur, Museumsplatz 5
Salzburg's natural history museum has wonderful exhibits on giant crystals, dinosaurs, and sea life.  There are also some live animal exhibits that are sure to be interesting.

Spielzeugmuseum, Bürgerspitalgasse 2
On display at this museum are all types of toys starting from the 15th century up until the present day.  Highlights included Old World merry-go-rounds, railroad trains and Legos!  This is sure to be fun experience.


Sigmund Freud Museum, Berggasse 19
You will not find his famous sofa (it is now in London) but many other original furnishings and handwritten manuscripts by the father of psychoanalysis are on display at this museum. Sigmund Freud lived and practiced in this house from 1891 until 1938 when he fled from the Nazis. A must for anyone interested in psychology. Open daily.

Bestattungsmuseum, Goldeggasse 19
One of the most unique museums anywhere, though somewhat morbid by nature, is the Funeral Museum, Estattungsmuseum, in Vienna. Not far from Belvedere Palace, the exhibits illustrate traditions in funerals and rituals of death over the centuries in a most entertaining manner.

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Olympic Park and Tower, U-Bahn: Olympiapark
The Olympiaturm is the television tower built in 1968 for Munich's 1972 Olympic Summer Games. It is located in the midst of the city's Olympic facilities, including major competition venues, the Olympic Village, and the vast Olympic Park. An elevator takes you 623 feet up the tower to a terrace with a fantastic panorama of the city, and the Bavarian Alps. Also available in the park are rollerblade rentals (passports required!), a skating ring, and indoor swimming at the Olympic Aquatic Center. The tower is open daily.

Marienplatz, U-Bahn: Marienplatz
The center of Munich is a pedestrian-only area which has plenty of department stores, cafés, restaurants, and the colorful open-air market, Viktualienmarkt. It is often atmospheric in the evening with street acts and plenty of people out strolling. For a small fee, you can climb the stairs up St. Peter's bell tower, and enjoy a magnificent view of the city, on clear days as far south as the Alps! Only a five minute walk from here is the famous Hofbräuhaus. It is well worth a peek inside.

English Gardens, U-Bahn: Marienplatz
Here you’ll find a beautiful park next to the Isar River where people jog, stroll and sunbathe. At the Chinese Tower, near the center of the Gardens, there is a popular beer garden that serves lemonade, sodas and snacks, as well as the best Bavarian Lager for adult participants. Most locals bring their own snacks to the outdoor restaurant, buying only drinks there! Braver travelers may want to go for a swim in the appropriately named Eisbach, a cold, swift current in the park.



Mirabellgarten, Mirabellplatz 1
One of the world's loveliest garden's is located right in the center of Salzburg.  This is a wonderful place to relax.  You might recognize the gardens, as they were made famous by "The Sound of Music" when Maria and the Von Trapp children sing "Do Re Me."

Festung Hohensalzburg, Mönchsberg 34
Serving as a fortress to protect Papal interests in 1077, this castle is now open to the public. Archbishop Gebhard commissioned the site to be built during the Empire and Church conflicts and since then it has seen various rebuilding and additions.  If you're a fan of this type of architecture, you'll be able to see cannon bastions, towers and ammunitions depots.

Alter Markt, Alter Markt Platz 1
Known as the Old Market, this square is complete with charming 17th century homes and cafés full of tasty pastries.


Prater, U-Bahn: Praterstern
One of the oldest amusement parks in the world, the Prater still draws young and old, locals and tourists. The younger ones always enjoy the various rides similar to American theme parks, and the adults usually flock to the beer gardens or souvenir shops. If it is not included on your ACIS program, it is definitely worth a visit. All generations can appreciate the ride in Vienna’s giant ferris wheel, with amazing views of Vienna and the Danube valley. Open daily May through December 1st.

Hundertwasserhaus, corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse
Austria’s most controversial artist designed this colorful building in a style that has virtually no straight lines. The house, built in the 1980s, has fifty inhabited rental apartments. The Gaudi-esque façade and courtyard itself are great free photo opportunities. Those curious about the artist can visit the nearby KunstHaus Wien, featuring a permanent exhibit of Hundertwasser’s work in another curious building designed by him. Museum open daily, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kaisergruft, Neuer Markt/Tegetthoffstrasse 2
Everyone traveling through Austria will have heard of the Habsburg family who ruled the country well into modern times. For those interested in seeing the regal tomb of some of the most important figures in the history of the Western World, the imperial crypt is a must-see. The Kaisergruft is where all Habsburg emperors and empresses from 1633 until 1989 have found a final resting place. The crypt is centrally located and open daily.

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Donisl, Weinstrasse 1
Opened in 1715, Donisl is Munich's oldest beer hall.  It has a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and English is also spoken there. The menu offers standard Bavarian food and prices are inexpensive. A zither plays at noon and an accordion player entertains diners in the evening.

Hundskugel, Hotterstrasse 18
Another historic restaurant, Hundskugel is Munich's oldest tavern.  Local legend says that the menu is the same as it was in 1440. The alpine-style building is within walking distance of Marienplatz.


Tomaselli, Alter Markt 9
Sitting at the head of the exquisite cobblestone square in the Altermarkt, this café has wonderful ambiance, delicious pastries and great coffee.

Bazar, Schwarzstrasse 3
In a Baroque pink stucco building, this eatery is popular amongst the locals.  Their standard menu offers omelets, sandwiches and salads as well as teas and coffees.

S'Gwölb, Waagplatz 2
The iron cast doors and Gothic arched halls create a rustic yet pleasant dining experience.  Traditional Austrian cuisine is served, and it is recommended that you try the Weiner EisKaffee, a tasty coffee and ice cream dessert.

Resch and Lieblich, Toscaninihof 1
It may be the fact that this restaurant is located on the side of a cliff that it comes so highly recommended, but the food is also well prepared too.  It is very popular amongst locals and travelers because it provides good Austrian good at reasonable prices.


Café Frauenhuber, Himmelpfortgasse 6
First of all, this is Vienna's oldest café, established in 1788. Second, it is said that Mozart once performed here.  If you're looking for excellent desserts with an historical atmosphere, this is the place to go.

Augustinerkeller, Augustinerstrasse 1
Known for its cozy and rustic atmosphere, this restaurant is built into the old brick vaults of the 16th century fortifications surrounding the city.  Other features include wooden "cow-stall" booths, street lanterns and various Austrian bric-a-brac.  Traditional Viennese food is served.

Figlmüller, Wollzeile 5
This restaurant is almost a Viennese institution, known for its incredible and gigantic helping of Wiener Schnitzel.  You'll surely hear the chefs pounding away with their mallets, and you may sit at a long bench with other hungry travelers, but its worth it for the best Schnitzel in town.

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Curious about travel with ACIS? Find out answers to your burning questions below.

For Group Leaders and Teachers:

see all FAQs
Can I bring my family members or colleagues along?

Certainly. You have three different options:

1.      Assistants
Family members or colleagues may travel as assistants (even if minors, though children must be five years or older to travel in an ACIS group), according to the terms of the Group Leader Stipend Chart.* Assistants must be 21 years old and have at least five participants to their name to be eligible for the Experience Bonus.

2.      Family/Colleague Discount
Family members or colleagues may take a 20% discount from the program fee. These participants will not count toward your free trip, stipend or other group leader benefits. Like all paying participants, they are subject to mandatory fees (registration, tax, etc.) as well as full payment deadlines.

3.      $150 Child Discount
For children under the age of 12, you may take a flat $150 Child Discount (plus the 20% Family/Colleague Discount) off their program fee, but they will still be subject to mandatory fees. The child's registration will not count toward your free trip, stipend or other group leader benefits. The minimum age to travel with an ACIS group is five years old.

*Anyone can become an assistant to the group, provided they have at least one full-paying participant to their credit.

Can a paying participant become an assistant?

Yes. This must be done no later than 65 days before departure and an ACIS Assistant Registration Form must be submitted. Assistants added or canceled within 90 days of departure will be charged a $100 late fee payable either by the applicable assistant or the group leader. Please inform us immediately of these changes in writing.

What if my assistant must cancel?

Please inform ACIS immediately. We regret that if the cancellation occurs within 65 days of departure, we will charge the canceling assistant a $150 late cancellation fee and may not be able to accommodate a substitute assistant. If the cancellation is within 45 days of departure, the assistant must pay a $250 late cancellation fee (see ACIS Assistant Registration Form for policy) and their stipend credits are not transferable. Please always alert us in writing as soon as possible when an assistant cancels.

Do I receive travel insurance as a group leader?

Every ACIS Group Leader receives coverage under our most enhanced protection plan, the Ultimate Protection Plan complimentary for any tour they lead.

What if the group leader must cancel?

A mutual effort is made to find a qualified substitute teacher or other adult who will assume full group leader responsibilities. Participants who choose not to travel with the replacement group leader are subject to the standard cancellation/refund policy

Can I stay on after my group returns home?

Yes. An Alternate Return Request Form must be completed and returned to ACIS no later than 90 days before departure. You will be responsible for any additional flight costs, and must arrange for a responsible adult (preferably an assistant) to take charge of your group on the flight home. You must obtain written permission from a parent/guardian of each participant, naming the adult in charge. There will be a $150 charge for any change made within 90 days of departure, and no changes are possible within 65 days.

Can I stay in a single room?

Single accommodations are provided free of charge for group leaders who have eight or more paying participants counted to their credit AND who do not travel with a spouse or an assistant of the same sex. For those traveling in 2010/2011, see our Service Guarantee. In the unlikely event that a single room is not available, ACIS will reimburse you $20 per hotel night. Eligibility for the single room is based on the standard 1:6 prorate and is non-transferable. If the above does not apply, you may also elect to pay a surcharge of $40 per hotel night for a single room. Single rooms are not available aboard cruise ships, overnight ferries or trains, in China, Africa, Russia and most residence programs.

For Students and Parents:

see all FAQs
What airline do we fly?

ACIS groups travel on scheduled flights, using all the major carriers. These include American Airlines, Air France, Aerolineas Argentinas, Alitalia, Finnair, British Airways, British Midland Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Aer Lingus, Icelandair, Iberia, Spanair, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines Ltd., Northwest, Air New Zealand, Olympic Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Taca International Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, United Airlines, US Airways, Air Europa, and Virgin Atlantic. You'll receive flight information as your departure date approaches.

How many people travel in a group?

ACIS groups average anywhere from 35 to 45 participants traveling together on a bus, led by an ACIS Tour Manager. Small groups are often combined to create one bus group. This is the group with whom you share your travel experience. You eat your meals together, stay in the same accommodations, and travel together on the bus. It's an opportunity to make lifelong friendships!

Tell us more about the tour manager.

"Tour manager" is an important term in educational travel. It refers to your bus group leader, who is rigorously trained and specially selected to assist your group while overseas. ACIS Tour Managers are famous for their multifaceted roles, both educational and logistical. An ACIS Tour Manager is part commentator, counselor, troubleshooter, advocate, and stopwatch! He or she supervises hotel check-ins, directs the bus driver and leads educational activities.

Most importantly, ACIS Tour Managers are travel gurus. They thrive on sharing their passion and love for the cultures of the world, giving you the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of those who live and work there. Over the years, we've employed university professors, film directors, journalists, musicians, business professionals, and other creative achievers. Our tour managers are consistently recognized as top in the industry. You'll receive more information about your tour manager as your departure date approaches.

Your ACIS Tour Manager maintains a professional relationship with the group but is not directly responsible for enforcing discipline or the ACIS behavior guidelines. That is the responsibility of the your group leader. It is your tour manager's responsibility, however, to report to your group leader any infractions and to be sure that ACIS behavior guidelines are adhered to.

Where do we stay?

ACIS groups stay in three- and four-star conveniently located hotels. We place a priority on booking hotels in good locations and safe areas, with convenient access to both local attractions and public transportation.

Students generally stay in rooms with two or three beds. During peak travel periods, hotels sometimes add an extra bed to accommodate heavy bookings. ACIS attempts to prevent this but cannot guarantee that it will never happen. Some hotel rooms in France have a Grand Lit (an oversize double bed for two) instead of twin beds. Those who have paid the adult surcharge stay in double rooms in hotels but not on overnight ferries or trains.

An ACIS bus group is typically made up of two, three, or four groups from around the U.S. who quickly get to know each other and feel part of one overall group. Depending on the mix of male and female students in the bus group, students may be rooming with participants from other groups. Don't worry, this is a great way to meet new people and make some new friends!

The group leader will create a variety of rooming combinations before you leave, in order to make it easier for your tour manager to work out the rooming when you check in to your hotel.

Check-in time at most hotels is early to mid-afternoon. If you arrive overseas early in the morning, you likely have time to change money and do some exploring before you check in.

What will we have to eat?

You will enjoy a variety of meals en route, mixing both native and familiar cuisines depending on your area of travel. Keep an open mind and be willing to sample everything—that's what travel is all about!

Most days you will be served a continental breakfast that includes a variety of fresh rolls, cereal, pastry, butter and jam, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. In Australia and China, you will be served an American-style hot buffet breakfast. On trips to the Americas you may be served the traditional rice and beans. In some hotels in Britain, eggs or other items may be included. In Europe, the larger hotels sometimes serve eggs and other American-style breakfast items for an extra charge.

On most ACIS trips, you will enjoy lunch on your own. Be adventurous and experiment. Many travelers do what the locals do; instead of having an expensive restaurant meal, they buy fresh ingredients at a local market, then put together a sandwich and have a picnic lunch in a city park.

On most tours, beverages at dinner are not included. The are included on tours to China, Costa Rica, Peru, and occasionally other destinations. Sometimes your waiter may put soda or mineral water down on the table without being asked. Be aware that you will be charged for any beverages you consume.

Although ACIS will try to accommodate special-needs meals including kosher, vegetarian and low salt, we cannot guarantee all requests.

How much spending money will I need?

Spending needs vary depending on personal habits, but a typical allowance is $50 per day. This allows for lunch, snacks, soft drinks, postage, souvenirs, local transportation during free time, free-time activities, and optional excursions not already included in your itinerary. Most ACIS participants carry ATM cards, travelers checks and credit cards. ACIS has compiled all the information you need to know in Money Matters.

What should I pack?

Our advice is to pack light—you won't regret it! You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage on and off the bus, in and out of your hotel, and onto trains. Bring comfortable, practical clothes that you can wear more than once, with a few nice pieces thrown in.

Remember to pack clothes that you can layer as the weather can be unpredictable. Lastly, try to avoid bringing new shoes. New shoes can be tough to break in and you’ll want to make sure your shoes are comfortable and reliable. For more information specific to your trip, log into My Account for a detailed packing list.

What about calling home?

Calling home from overseas can be expensive and obtaining local phone cards can be complicated and time consuming. The best way to call is with an ACIS eKit Global Phonecard or Global Mobile Phone. Using the eKit card can save you up to 70% on international and U.S. long distance calls compared to pay phones and hotel phones. Simply charge up your eKit card with the credit card of your choice and it will be ready for use. In addition to cheap calls home, the ACIS eKit Global Phonecard offers you email, Voicemail, the ability to listen to email over the phone and much more!

Another option is the ACIS eKit Global Mobile phone. With a variety of pre-paid plans available, this mobile phone can save you up to 70% on global roaming rates.

Do I have travel insurance?

Yes. Your ACIS Registration Fee includes coverage under our Basic Protection Plan. ACIS recommends you upgrade your insurance coverage by purchasing the Ultimate Protection Plan designed specifically for you travel needs. With the Ultimate Protection Plan, you may cancel for any reason up to the day of departure and receive a cash refund. You will also receive expanded travel protection while on tour.

I am signed up for an ACIS tour. How do I access my account?

You can get your latest account information online—any time, any day. To view your most up-to-date itinerary and account status, just, log in to My Account with your Account ID and password, which can be found in the upper-right hand corner of your invoice. If you have forgotten your password or have additional questions about your account, contact ACIS Client Services at accounts@acis.com.

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