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2021 September 16 to 26
Prices listed are per person:
Shared Room: $7498
Private Room: $9398
To fully enjoy this tour you need to be able to walk around unevenly paved surfaces for 1-5 hours each day.
Immerse yourself in history as you stand in front of Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall.
Travel through time at Museum Island, which features artifacts from ancient human history through the 19th century.
Learn about gay history at Schwules Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to LGBTQ+ art, history and culture.
Visit the historically rich city of Munich and experience its eclectic architectural styles.
Relax and take in the stunning views at picturesque, Neuschwanstein Castle.
Pause at Dachau Memorial Site as we learn about the lives of those who were imprisoned there.
Tour the city of Salzburg and visit The Sound of Music filming locales.
Join us on an extension to experience Oktoberfest.
Germany is a country rife with history and culture. On this tour, we’ll dive in, starting with Berlin and stopping off at Brandenburg Gate, the remains of the Berlin Wall, and more historical sites. Furthermore, we will visit Museum Island, home of several museums housing ancient artifacts, as well as the Schwules Museum, which is focused entirely on gay history.
We’ll move on the Munich and its surrounding areas, where we’ll get a taste of the different and lavish architectural styles of 19th-century palaces such as Neuschwanstein, a fairy tale castle. We will learn important history at the Dachau Memorial Site and visit picturesque Salzburg. Also, visit the largest science and technology museum in the world at Deutsches Museum and have the option to add an extension to Oktoberfest.
Day 1: Berlin – Where Marlene Dietrich was Queen
Arrive in Berlin – one of the most open-minded and culturally exotic, even erotic cities in the world. On this anniversary of the uniting of both East and West Berlin, you’ll be greeted by a modern city that literally has it all -from the world’s finest museums to sleek state-of-the-art transportation. As Berlin’s mayor says: “We may not be as rich [as Bavaria], but we are sexy!”
After a brief orientation by our Public Radio and HE travel host, Cary Harrison, we will head off to a deluxe Welcome Dinner followed by some time to explore Berlin at night.
Day 2: Berlin – Touring inside and out
Today, we will enjoy touring through Berlin and see how this magnificent city (now joined) is put together. From the iconic Brandenburg gate (made more famous in Showtime’s “Homeland”) to the German parliament dome which offers an architectural experience and 360° views of this part of Germany.
Later, we take you to lunch at the dome “Reichstag” followed by the afternoon to explore the unfolding city. At night, you may prefer an Optional visit to gay Berlin’s famous Laboratory Club – open only on Friday nights for 2 hours.
Day 3: The Berlin Wall and An Island Holding World Treasures
Today, see the only-surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall still standing, complete with intact graffiti of the time (on the Western side) opposed by a shocking counterpoint on the former East German side in a stunning outdoor museum setting.
We will have day passes to see visit all the top museums on Berlin’s famous “Museum Island”. (A significant, vast portion of ancient Greece’s actual Parthenon still sits in Berlin and cannot be found on the Acropolis.)
Day 4: Inside a Buried Fortress
VIP Experience: Leveraging his Public Radio access and journalism credentials, we gain access to the devastated underground ruins of a WW2 Nazi Bunker fortress. Cary takes you under the nerve center of the Third Reich into one of the few remaining Nazi bunkers, as it was left intact after the war. Forgotten deep under the streets of East German communists, these (amount still unknown) bunker systems sat, untouched, and remains accessible under special educational license only. We will get an unparalleled glimpse into “underground Berlin” during the air raids that destroyed 80% of the city center – traveling through the twisting passages and rooms, observing countless artifacts from the war that have remained buried there for decades. A still-functioning pneumatic post provides you with an insight into the 160-year-old underground history of Berlin.
Depending on limited permits, we may also see a dazzling underground landscape. Complete with dizzying views seven stories underground where the Führer ordered a gigantic “Flak Tower” built, to fire enormous aerial weapons (some successfully) at Allied aircraft. Though bombed, 8,000 archaeological hours and 1,400 cubic meters of rubble have been removed, opening up an area not before thought to exist.
Next, you may choose to go on your own to Berlin’s famous Queer Museum (Schwulesmuseum) or pay homage at Marlene Dietrich’s elegant but hidden grave. Her headstone is covered in flowers and cigarette butts in holders (inside humor from fans).
Finally, this evening we will enjoy a spectacular dinner view at the very top of the Berlin TV Tower’s rotating restaurant.
Day 5: Munich – The Crown Jewel of Bavaria
We will take our journey to Munich via rail, giving us plenty of time to relax and enjoy the lush countryside. After we arrive and settle into our hotel, we will enjoy a walking tour of the old city of Munich, followed by a delicious dinner at a lakeside restaurant.
After dinner, some may wish (on their own) to visit the 3-story underground gay sauna which is the largest in all of Munich. It’s literally under Die Deutsche Eiche and is celebrated as the premier hangout for palliative steam, soak, or saunter.
Day 6: This King is a Big Queen
Today is fit for a King (or a Queen) as we visit Bavarian Gay King Ludwig II’s Linderhof Palace. This is the famous palace where our gay king floated in grand, golden swans in his blue-lit water grotto. While King Ludwig was not known to take in visitors (the staff does talk!), he frequently visited the young stablehands below, for hours at a time, ensuring the horses were well-kept.
Next, we will head up – literally up – to Castle Neuschwanstein, made famous by Walt Disney himself in a literal reproduction… the Magic Kingdom. Magic, indeed.
King Ludwig had only a single visitor to this castle, that being his mother. Lud also had the only working telephone in the world, at the time, which presumably rang to mummy or perhaps to ….
Day 7: Lederhosen Time – Free Day
Some will wish to walk around the vast area preparing for the upcoming Oktoberfest. While it won’t have officially started (until our Sunday “extension” day), the ramp-up can often be barely distinguishable from the real thing.
Maybe visit the Deutsche Eiche’s impeccably-clean gay saunas & cafes (at the sauna) as the saunas peak early, between 5-7 pm, as they are social meeting spots and have an entirely different vibe from what American versions are said to be.
You may wish to visit Nymphenburg Palace (another castle, right in town(ish) and to have sunset cocktails on Hotel Deutsche Eiche’s historic rooftop bar which offers the single best views of Bavaria at Sunset.
Some will wish to visit the English Gardens with lines of German boys literally surfing (on surfboards) on the gushing natural river currents.
You can also visit Munich’s Nazi Dokumention Museum which holds a comprehensive history of the Third Reich.
Day 8: Dachau Memorial
Today we will enjoy a free morning and meet up in the afternoon for a visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Here we’ll learn about the lives of those who were imprisoned here through an exhibition that will take us through the “path of prisoners”. We will learn of firsthand accounts, biographies and more in their historical locations. We will also have the privilege of meeting up with a gay archivist. The afternoon will be free and we will meet up for dinner this evening.
Day 9: Salzburg and Eagle’s Nest
We’ll head to the picturesque city of Salzburg and enjoy a lively Sound of Music themed tour via e-bikes, where we’ll get to see some of the locations where the classic film was shot. Then we’ll head to Berchtesgaden where we will visit the Eagle’s Nest. Located high atop the peak of Kehlstein in the Bavarian Alps, this location offers an incredible view of the surrounding countryside. Tonight we will enjoy a free evening.
Day 10: Munich Third Reich City Tour
We will meet up in the late morning to enjoy a Munich Third Reich City tour. Covering the Nazis’ beginnings in the Bavarian capital, though to their downfall at the end of WWII in 1945. We will view former Nazi buildings, hear about the German resistance movement and see memorials to the victims. Then this afternoon we will have an optional visit to Nymphenburg. Later in the evening, we will enjoy our farewell dinner together at the authentic Bavarian Octoberfest with music.
Day 11: Farewell or onto Oktoberfest!
Enjoy breakfast and then transfer to the airport or your next hotel for Oktoberfest!
Price includes: Accommodations at 4 or 5-star hotels, in double occupancy; All transportation by motorcoaches, cars, when traveling as a group; Arrival and departure airport transfers in Berlin and Munich; All meals during the main tour except three lunches and one dinner; Wine or soft drinks at the Welcome and Farewell dinners; Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour director (subject to minimum participation); Admission fees to all locations listed in the itinerary; Meal and driver gratuities; HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare between home and Berlin/Munich; Three lunches and one dinner; Tips to National and local guides, hotel staff and gratuity for the HE Travel tour director; International departure taxes; Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls and laundry.
Optional Tour Choices:
$1900 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
Octoberfest Post Tour: – Canceled for 2020 – You can still enjoy the extra night in Munich.
Price includes: Accommodations for one night, in double occupancy; All transportation, when traveling as a group; Departure airport transfer in Munich; All meals, 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner; Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour director (subject to minimum participation); Admission fees to all locations listed in the itinerary; Meal gratuities; HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: International Airfare between home and Germany; Tips to hotel staff and gratuity for the HE Travel tour director; International departure taxes; Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, and laundry.
$1298 per person in a shared room
$1748 for a single room
Amsterdam Post Tour:
Price includes: Three nights at our charming hotel; 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners; knowledgeable gay historian accompanying the group on included activities; Entrance fees to sites listed in the itinerary; HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare, Airport-hotel transfers on arrival and departure; Meals not shown as included in tour package; Alcoholic beverages; Gratuities for local guides and drivers; Personal items such as souvenirs and snacks; Optional activities; and Trip cancellation insurance.
$1998 per person in a shared room
$2498 for a single room
We strongly recommend the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance to protect your vacation investment in case of unforeseen circumstances such as flight delay, illness, or injury. Click Here to learn more about our Insurance partner.
Stay longer and enjoy Oktoberfest! Sept 26 to 27, 2021
Day 11: Oktoberfest!
Sunday is the Offical Gay Oktoberfest Day! Enjoy Gay Sunday (Rosa Wiesn) in the Bräurosl tent, with thousands of gay guys. The event started in the 70s when gay leather/fetish Germans (the Munich Lions Club) crashed the Bräurosl beer tent and changed history.
The day continues with plenty of German beer and a live oompah band playing camped-up Oompah music. There’s also another venue on the green that’s an over-the-top drinking hall that seats over 8,000 LGBT+ revelers in rows of long tables. Yep. Game on!
Day 12: Farewell
We hope you enjoyed your taste of Oktoberfest! Safe travels home.
Or enjoy a getaway to Amsterdam – Sept 27 to 30, 2020
Stay longer and enjoy a lovely stay in open-minded Amsterdam, where the first legal gay marriages were performed in 2001. Liberalism was invented here! Free trade and social tolerance are the hallmarks of Amsterdam, and the people here invented something called “Gedogen” which is a policy of “letting things happen” that has been shocking religious conservatives since the 17th century!
Many of us still remember the 1970s, when it was the ultimate city of free love and free drugs, and many aspects of that period are still alive, including a very active gay liberation movement. Indeed, it is a city that looks both backward and forward, with the beautifully preserved 17th-century architecture and art of its charming center and open-minded liberalism that could serve as a model for the future if we are smart!
- What if I am traveling alone?
- Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
- What is the physical activity level of this tour?
Physical Activity Level
To fully enjoy this tour you need to be able to walk around unevenly paved surfaces for 1-5 hours each day.
- Where does the tour start and end?
- This tour starts in Berlin and ends in Munich, Germany.
- What will the hotels be like?
- While in Munich and Berlin, we will stay at a 4 and 5-star luxury hotels. Both hotels are centrally located with great access to the surrounding areas.
- Additional Questions
- For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174