Tramways of Germany

Holiday Highlights

  • Travel on some of Germany’s most extensive tram networks
  • Time to explore Cologne, Mannheim, Dresden and Frankfurt
  • Day trip to the historic cities of Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen
  • Scenic ferry and tram journey in Bad Schandau
  • 15 days from £2,100pp
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Tour Dates:
Sunday 4 June to Sunday 18 June 2023

This two week holiday journeys across Germany, sampling some of the country’s finest tram networks. We will travel on lines of three different gauges and see a wide variety of vehicles, including a historic tram on which we take a guided tour of Freiburg. Cities include Brussels, Cologne, Mannheim and Dresden, and there are additional free days to explore.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Brussels

Morning Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels where we overnight at a hotel located opposite the Gare du Midi station. Later we explore the Belgian capital’s extensive standard gauge tram network that takes us along its busy city streets and rural backwaters and we ride the “Pre-Metro” underground operation. The experience will make you want to return to explore more.

Day 2 – Onwards to Cologne

Arrive via train to Cologne where our hotel for the next 3 nights is located within the main Hauptbahnhof building. In the afternoon we explore the tramway network of Cologne. This standard gauge network is partly underground in a metro-type operation, has plenty of street running, and also faster, reserved light rail sections.

Day 3 – Bonn

From Cologne it is possible to reach the city of Bonn on the tram network. Whilst a separate network, there is through operation from the Cologne system. It is also possible to continue up the Rhine from Bonn south through Königswinter along the single line to Bad Honnef.

Day 4 – Düsseldorf

We take a day trip to Düsseldorf today and explore its standard gauge tram network using your public transport tickets (included).

Day 5 – Mannheim

This morning we take the train to Mannheim where, after checking into our hotel, we explore the trams. This metre gauge network is shared with Ludwigshafen on the west side of the Rhine. Two lines work through Heidelberg. We stay in Mannheim for the next 4 nights.

Day 6 – Heidelberg & Ludwigshafen

A full day’s exploration of the tram networks of the historic cities of Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen. Heidelberg is worthy of a day spent wandering the ancient streets and taking the funicular up Königstuhl.

Day 7 – Mannheim at Leisure

A free day to explore Mannheim at leisure using your public transport ticket (included).

Day 8 – Freiburg

Today we take a day trip to Freiburg to explore its metre gauge tram network. The public transport on this system carries an average of 81.6 million passengers per year, all on the 5 tram and 26 bus lines. There is also a gondola lift in Freiburg, rising up the mountain to 1220m, a height gain of around 750m in 20 minutes.

Day 9 – Dresden

After breakfast we travel to Dresden – the jewel of the Elbe. Our hotel for the next 5 nights is adjacent to the station with convenient tram stops close by. Whilst in Dresden there is an opportunity to visit the park railway.

Day 10 – Dresden Tram Network

A full day’s exploration of the extensive tram network in Dresden. This network is built to the unusual gauge of 1450mm. There is also a suspended funicular (Schwebebahn) which is worth a visit.

Day 11 – Chemnitz

Today we make a visit to the standard gauge system in Chemnitz. This network covers 27.3km, encompassing 6 lines operated by 39 trams. The system regularly sees test trams in operation on the network and in December 2011, tram builder Stadler, tested trams destined for the Croydon Tramlink.

Day 12 – Bad Schandau & the Kirnitzschtalbahn

We take one of the regular trains to Bad Schandau station which is located across the river from the town. This section of the River Elbe is particularly scenic, dominated by towering rocks on either side (Saxon Switzerland). In Bad Schandau we find that the sole tram route from this small town is still worked by vintage metre gauge trams. After a return trip through a pleasant wooded valley, we cross the Elbe by ferry. On this side of the river we find the station and regular S-Bahn train to Dresden.

Day 13 – Dresden at Leisure

A free day today to explore further at leisure. If you are tired of trams, perhaps ride on one or two of the local narrow gauge steam lines which are almost within the city limits. It is possible to ride the Weisseritzalbahn in the morning and then the Lössnitzgrundbahn to Radeburg in the afternoon. This still leaves some time available for city sightseeing.

Day 14 – Frankfurt

After breakfast we travel back across Germany as far as Frankfurt for a 1-night stay. We arrive in Frankfurt mid-afternoon, allowing more time for sightseeing before dinner.

Day 15 – Homeward Bound

We depart Frankfurt on a direct morning service to Brussels Midi, from there we will take an afternoon Eurostar to London St Pancras arriving late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Brussels Midi, Brussels

Ibis Köln am Dom, Cologne

Holiday Inn Mannheim Hauptbahnhof, Mannheim

InterCityHotel, Dresden

InterCityHotel Frankfurt Süd, Frankfurt

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Standard class InterRail Pass for unlimited travel
  • Travel from your home station to London and return (pre/post tour on date of outbound/return travel)
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Public Transport tickets for Belgium, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Dresden
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,100
Single room supplement: £475
Deposit for this holiday: £100

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