Oct 8 - 21, 2022
14 days
$12,290per person, twin share (land content only). $2,590 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz
Oct 8 - 21, 2022

Tour Leader

Christopher Menz$12,290per person, twin share (land content only). $2,590 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Australian Book Review – one of the country’s leading cultural magazines – is pleased to offer a 14-day tour to Germany for arts lovers, ABR supporters and their friends. The program begins in Munich, capital of Bavaria, then moves to Weimar, home of Goethe, and on to baroque Dresden. Our tour concludes in dynamic Berlin. This exclusive tour is led by popular Academy Travel tour leader Christopher Menz, ABR’s Development Consultant and a former curator and museum director.

A rich and varied program has been created to include five live performances by companies including the Bavarian State Opera, Dresden Semperoper and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. (The performance program will be finalised in April 2022.) There is a strong art focus, with visits to the major art galleries in Munich, Dresden and Berlin. The itinerary of course also has a literary theme, with visits to the Goethe House and the beautifully restored Anna Amalia Library in Weimar. The tour is rounded out with several meals and visits arranged through ABR.

We explore the rich traditions of these cities as well as the visual splendour of superlative art galleries, museums, palaces, and natural landscapes, giving us a kaleidoscopic perspective of German history and culture.

COVID-19? Book with confidence
If Government imposed COVID-19 restrictions mean that we cannot run a tour, or that you cannot travel to join a tour, then you will be given a 100% refund of all monies paid to Academy Travel for your tour.

Vaccination requirements
Academy Travel requires all participants on its tours to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We reserve the right to inspect your digital vaccination certificate.


Outstanding Performances
Germany has a remarkable tradition of performances of opera and orchestral music of the highest calibre. On this tour we will see five exceptional performances in some of the most renowned concert halls.

Wagner’s Bayreuth
Almost everything in the city of Bayreuth is related in some way to Richard Wagner. The legacy of Wagner (1813–83) includes an annual festival of Wagner operas in the Festspielhaus, the concert hall he built, and Haus Wahnfried, where the composer lived and is buried.

Weimar’s history as a cultural center is centuries old. Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder worked here in the 16th century, and from 1708 -1717, Bach was court organist. In 1775, Goethe came to reside at the court of Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia and her son, Karl August II, and he attracted intellectuals, such as Herder and Schiller.

Travel through the scenic countryside to Renaissance Leipzig, which Goethe described as “a little Paris.”

Famed for its musical heritage and outstanding ensembles, Berlin is one of the most interesting and diverse of all the European capitals.

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–4: Arrive in Munich, visit the distinguished art museums, take a walking tour of the city and take in a performance at the Bavarian State Opera.

Days 5-6: Travel to Weimar via Bayreuth, visit Wagner’s house and museum. Tour Weimar including Goethe House.

Days 7-9: Depart for Dresden, tour the Old Masters Picture Gallery at the Zwinger Palace and enjoy a performance.

Days 10–14: Travel to Berlin, tour the city and visit Schloss Tegel, Museum Island and see the world-class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.  Attend an opera and enjoy a farewell meal.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour starts at 7.00pm Saturday October 8 at the Hotel Torbrau.
The tour finishes after breakfast on Friday October 21 at The Westin Grand Hotel.

Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines/Lufthansa offer the best connections to and from
Berlin from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings


Saturday 8 October – Arrive Munich

Meet your tour leader, Christopher Menz, for early evening drinks and dinner in the hotel. Overnight Munich (D)

Sunday 9 October – Art & Opera in Munich

After a talk on tonight’s opera, we spend the day in Munich’s world-class art quarter, first visiting the Alte Pinakothek, which holds one of the most significant art collections in the world. Among the European masterpieces on view are paintings by Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, Leonardo, Rubens and Murillo. Our next stop is the Neue Pinakothek, where French impressionists Monet, Degas, Manet are all well represented. Our day ends at the Pinakothek der Moderne, home to four outstanding museums under one cupola-topped roof: art, graphic art, architecture, and design. This evening we head the Bavarian State Opera, one of Germany’s leading opera houses, for our first performance. Overnight Munich (B)

Performance details
Venue: Bavarian State Opera
Program: to be announced April 2022
Performers: to be announced April 2022

Monday 10 October – Munich and the Cuvilliés-Theatre

After a guided walking tour of the Bavarian capital, we have lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, we visit the Cuvilliés-Theatre with a local guide. Built from 1751 to 1753 by François de Cuvilliés in the rococo style, many lavish opera productions were performed here, including the first performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo, in 1781. Overnight Munich (B, L)

Tuesday 11 October – Neo-Classicism to Fascism

We commence the day at the Glyptothek Museum, which houses a magnificent collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. In the middle of the 19th century, Munich was one of the most important art centres in Europe, and in the 1880s, Franz von Lenbach was one of the most famous artists in Germany. Today Lenbachhaus is home to the stunning collection of art from the early-20th-century Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) group: Kandinsky, Klee, Jawlensky, Macke, Marc, and Münter. Our final stop today is the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, a museum focusing on the fascist era. Overnight Munich (B)

Wednesday 12 October – Wagner’s Beyreuth

Today we travel to Weimar via Bayreuth, an elegant provincial city where Wagner chose to build his Festspielhaus, a theatre specifically designed to house his great music dramas. We tour the theatre and visit Wahnfried, the villa built for him by King Ludwig, today housing a museum which explores the great composer’s life and work. In the late afternoon we continue to Weimar. Overnight Weimar (B, D)

Thursday 13 October – Weimar Classicism

The city of Weimar was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading characters of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. We take a guided tour of Weimar, then visit the Goethe House, where the writer worked, studied, researched and penned Faust, among other works. In the afternoon we visit the beautifully reconstructed Anna Amalia Library. Weimar is a delightful town for strolling, and the late afternoon has been kept free to do just this. Overnight Weimar (B)

Friday 14 October – Art and Opera in Dresden

This morning we head to Dresden, a city of baroque splendour sitting on a broad sweep of the Elbe River. After lunch on arrival, we visit the Zwinger Palace and its superb Old Masters Picture Gallery with masterpieces by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. This evening we attend a performance at the historic Semperoper, renowned for its high musical qualities. Overnight Dresden (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Semperoper Dresden
Program: to be announced April 2022
Performers: to be announced April 2022

Saturday 15 October – Dresden Treasures

After a morning talk, we continue our exploration of Dresden starting with the Albertinum, the New Masters Gallery, which displays an arc of painting by some of the great names in art from the 18th century onwards. Caspar David Friedrich and Claude Monet’s landscapes compete with the abstract visions of Marc Chagall and Gerhard Richter. En route we will pass most of the important historic attractions in the Old Town, including the Frauenkirche and Dresden Castle. After a break for lunch, we visit the Historic Green Vault, a treasure-trove of fine and decorative arts, including one of the world’s finest collections of jewels. Overnight Dresden (B)

Sunday 16 October – To Berlin via Leipzig

This morning we make the short trip to Leipzig, a vibrant provincial city south of our final destination, Berlin. Our first stop is the massive monument of the ‘Battle of the Nations’, commemorating a decisive victory over Napoleon in 1813. We then attend a late-morning recital in the former home of the Mendelssohn family, where both Felix and his sister Fanny performed. Our afternoon stroll takes in sites such as St Thomas’s Church, where JS Bach was music-master for 27 years, and culminates with the impressive Museum of Fine Arts. We continue to Berlin in the late afternoon. Overnight Berlin (B, L)

Monday 17 October – Berlin Overview and Opera

Berlin, one of the most interesting and diverse of all the great capitals of Europe, continues to enjoy the cultural renaissance that began some 30 years ago following the reunification of Germany. This morning a local guide takes us on a walking and coach tour of Berlin. There will be a particular focus on the sites that shaped Germany’s history in the 20th century, including East Berlin and the Berlin Wall. Our investigation concludes at the German parliament, the Reichstag, where we have lunch at Käfer, below the Norman Foster-designed dome. The later afternoon is free to relax before this evening’s opera at either the Komische Oper or the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Overnight Berlin (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Komische Oper or Deusches Oper Berlin
Program: to be announced April 2022
Performers: to be announced April 2022

Tuesday 18 October – Schloss Tegel

This morning we head to the outskirts of Berlin to Schloss Tegel, a privately owned residence that is an architectural gem by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the Prussian court architect. Schloss Tegel was the summer residence for the von Humbolt family and where Wilhelm von Humboldt, the philosopher, linguist and founder of the Berlin University, and his brother, the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, spent their childhood. We return via Mies van der Rohe’s striking Neue Nationalgalerie, opened in 1968 and recently restored to its original glory. The gallery has a remarkable collection of 20th century painting. Overnight Berlin (B)

Wednesday 19 October – Museum Island and Opera

On the site of one of Berlin’s two original settlements, this unique complex of five state museums is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit in Berlin. This morning, after a talk, we visit the famous Pergamum Museum and call in at the Egyptian Museum within the Neues Museum to see the famous bust of Nefertiti. In the afternoon we visit the Old National Gallery to see German 19th-century Romantic art and the unsurpassed collection of landscape paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. Tonight, we head to the historic Staatsoper unter den Linden for a performance. Overnight Berlin (B)

Performance details
Venue: Staatsoper Oper Unter den Linden
Program: to be announced April 2022
Performers: to be announced April 2022

Thursday 20 October – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Farewell Berlin

Our time in Berlin culminates with a morning visit to the German Historical Museum, where we focus on the thought-provoking sections dealing with 20th-century Germany, followed by a farewell lunch in an elegant restaurant. In the late afternoon we view the Gemäldegalerie to tour the stunning collection of European paintings that includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Breughel, Vermeer and Rembrandt. We then walk across to the Philharmonie concert hall to hear the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in concert. Overnight Berlin (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Berlin Philharmonie
Program: to be announced April 2022
Performers: to be announced April 2022

Friday 21 October – Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. Departing group members transfer to Berlin airport for outgoing flights (B)

Christopher Menz

A former art museum director and curator, with expertise in the arts and music throughout Europe, the USA and Australia.

Christopher Menz is a former art museum director and curator and has been leading cultural tours in Europe, the United States and Australia since 2013. He has expertise and interest in the visual arts and music.

Christopher has a BA (Hons) from Flinders University. He is a former director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Before that he was a curator, specialising in decorative arts, and worked at the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, and National Gallery of Victoria. He has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions. Christopher is based in Melbourne where he is an art consultant and valuer, and Development Consultant for Australian Book Review.

Christopher has led cultural tours to Germany, England, the United States, as well as in Australia. He has also been a tour leader on European river cruises.

We asked Christopher, what do you think clients get from travelling with you?

“It is always a great thrill to be able to introduce clients to new experiences and to places they might otherwise not have visited or not have visited recently. I always hope to give tour guests something that adds to the experiences of the places, cities, museums and art galleries, and performances that they would not get if travelling alone.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location. Many within walking distance to the museums, galleries and performance venues.

Hotel Torbrau, Munich (4 nights)


Hotel Russuscher Hof, Weimar (2 nights)


Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe, Dresden (2 nights)


The Westin Grand Hotel, Berlin (5 nights)


Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 

Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

All tours

  • All accommodation at properties mentioned in the itinerary
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Taxis may also be used for short trips on some tours. Some city stay tours may involve local transport
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunches and dinners indicated with the letters L and D in the itinerary
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks at sit-down lunches and dinners. Picnic and light lunches may not include alcoholic drinks
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • All tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

On international tours only

  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required, and when stated as included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Some trips may be made by public transport such as high-speed train and subway

What is not included in the tour price?

Our tours do not include the following:

  • Air or land travel from your home city to the tour start/end points
  • Local taxes and airport levies that we are not able to prepay on your behalf. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically indicated with the letters L or D in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as passports, laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
  • Airport Transfers on international tours
  • Tours may begin at either the arrival airport or the first hotel. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

Travel Insurance

We require all tour participants to have adequate insurance coverage.

  • For domestic tours, Medicare and your private medical insurance should be used to cover any medical expenses.
  • Domestic travel insurance is available and strongly recommended to cover non-medical expenses such as cancellation.
  • For international tours, we require you to have comprehensive travel insurance. Prices vary according to your age, your pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the length of your journey abroad.

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade Two

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
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The consultant for this tour is Hannah Kleboe. For further information or to have the consultant call you, please email.
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