Oberammergau Passion Play 2022 & the Habsburg cities

Enjoy the authentic experience of the Oberammergau passion play on this escorted tour with one of the best small group tour companies in Europe. Our destinations and itineraries provide small group journeys for like minded people. For solo travelers a minimal single supplement applies.


  1. 1. Visit the Habsburg cities of Budapest, Prague & Vienna
  2. 2. Enjoy specialist lectures in key places such as Budapest
  3. 3. Visit the birthplace of Mozart in Salzburg
  4. 4. Explore the Haus der Musik in Vienna
Oberammergau Passion Play 2022 & the Habsburg cities itinerary

Oberammergau Passion Play 2022 & Habsburg Cities of Europe

Odyssey Traveller is offering a collection of small group departures from May 2022 to attend the Oberammergau passion play. There are three tour themes offered. This tour focuses on the Habsburg cities of Europe. The other two tours associated with Oberammergau 2022 are a 21 day tour of Germany or a 3 week city based tour exploring Berlin.

Oberammergau 2022

The Oberammergau passion play is only performed in a year ending with a zero, but this decade the virus moved the play to 2022. The performance involves all the inhabitants of the village, over 2,000 people. This is a once-in-a-decade event. Oberammergau was first performed in 1634 by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany. The play is about a short period of Jesus's life from his visit to Jerusalem to his crucifixion. The play lasts a full day, some 5 hours in duration with a break for lunch. The play is set across 16 acts! It is a blend of spoken word, music and choral singing.

The Oberammergau passion play is part of this small group escorted tours for 21 days that travel across central Europe from Austria's Vienna to Hungary's Budapest with points in between. The group spends 2 nights in the town of Oberammergau for the play. Typically the tour spends 3 nights in each location with 11 days of specialist guides joining the group to share their knowledge on this program.

The program follows the Habsburg dynasty, which was influential in Central Europe from the 10th century. As Holy Roman Emperors they controlled an Empire which at its medieval zenith covered huge tracts of Europe stretching from Spain and the Netherlands to the Black Sea.

Vienna, Prague & Budapest

The great cities of the Habsburgs were the golden trio of Vienna, Prague and Budapest, which influenced not only the body politic but also the awesome outpouring of creativity from composers such as Mozart, Hayden, Liszt and Dvorak to Smetena, Bartok and Janacek. We also consider the great art works held in these cities with paintings by Da Vinci and Breugel to the Expressionists and Klimt. We do not overlook the great architectural heritage of these cities. Prague is considered the stone jewel in the Habsburg crown with its stunning range of architecture which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The great Neo-Gothic buildings of Budapest and Neo-Classical splendours of Vienna are also explored.

This 21-day program features the great cities of Vienna and Prague as well as Munich and Salzburg and there is the opportunity to extend for a further 3 nights to Budapest. The program also features as a highlight the Passion Play in Oberammergau in 2020.

You can read more about Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic with our country profiles, where you'll also find Odyssey's other tour departures for these countries.

Booking Oberammergau 2022 & the Habsburgs tour

This tour has some advance purchase is required to secure one of the 12 places offered on this small group tour. The tour will be guaranteed when minimum numbers are realised. Should minimum numbers not be achieved 12 months prior to departure, then travellers will be refunded in full.

  • At the time of booking a AUD$1,000 non refundable deposit is required per person.
  • A further AUD$1,000 is required to meet the stringent booking requirements on or before January 15th 2021 or at the time of booking should tickets still be available at the time of booking if after January 15th 2021.
  • Bookings after this date will be asked to pay a deposit of AUD$2000.
  • The balance of the 30% deposit is required a minimum of one year prior to departure.
  • The final payment is required 180 days prior to the commencement of the tour.
  • The price is correct as at March 2020. The price is locked in if full payment is received at the time of booking, otherwise Odyssey may adjust at any time prior to the final payment, the tour price to reflect currency fluctuations.

For more details on this tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right-hand side of this page.


Day 1: Vienna

Accommodation: Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus or similar

The tour starts with a Welcome Meeting and Dinner with the Program leader and fellow participants. Vienna was the glittering capital of the Habsburg Empire with its fine palaces and ornate buildings. St Stefan’s Cathedral is amongst Europe’s finest and the sumptuous Schonbrunn Palace was the envy of many of the crowned heads of Europe. Vienna has also always been a great cultural centre attracting great musicians from Mozart and Haydn to Strauss. It houses some of the world’s great art collections from the old Flemish masters to Klimt and the Expressionists.


Day 2: Vienna

Accommodation: Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus or similar

Today we experience some of the great artistic culture of the city with an introductory lecture on the wealth of art in the city. We continue our theme with a visit to the Belvedere’s Austrian Gallery to view examples of Klimt and the Expressionists. We continue our exploration of Vienna’s icons in the afternoon with some free time in the afternoon to rest or to pursue our own interests in Vienna.


Day 3: Vienna

Accommodation: Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus or similar

Overview: This morning we will experience a lecture/talk by a local expert on the city’s musical history (details of lecturer to be announced closer to date) and is followed by a field trip to experience the sights made famous by the city’s many composers, including entrance to the Haus der Music, a music and sound museum. There is also a guided visit of the imposing Schonbrunn Palace. In the evening we attend a performance, which will be announced closer to date.


Day 4: Vienna

Accommodation: Hotel Stefanie or similar

Today you will visit the nearby capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. You will enjoy a half day guided tour, visiting the main sights, including the Presidential Palace and the Bratislava Castle. If time permits, you will have some free time to explore the city. On return to Vienna we’ll enjoy dinner at our hotel


Day 5: Vienna – Melk – Vienna

Accommodation: Hotel Josefshof am Rathaus or similar

Today we have a field trip to Melk for a guided tour of the impressive Baroque abbey of Melk. We return to Vienna via Wachau Valley. The remainder of the day is free at your own leisure.


Day 6: Vienna – Prague

Accommodation: Adria hotel or similar

: Today we depart Vienna and travel to Prague by coach, our journey should take us around 4.5 hours. On arrival we check-in and the remainder of the day is at leisure until dinner at the hotel in the evening.

Prague, the “stone jewel in the Habsburg crown”, offers a great wealth of historic and cultural sights from the imposing castle and medieval Golden Lane to the Old Town and famous Wenceslas Square. The city has remained relatively undamaged by the war and, therefore, is today one of the best preserved mediaeval cities, bursting with narrow cobbled streets and ornate Baroque facades. It lies on either side of the River Vltava, which divides into two of the city’s most well-known areas: Hradčany (the castle area) and Stare Mesto (the old town). Hradčany is dominated by the castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and the Golden Lane lending a real mediaeval atmosphere to this side of the city. The main city square of Prague is situated in the Stare Mesto area and is the location of the Old Town Hall and the famous astronomical clock together with a number of shops, cafes, little taverns and old houses with ornamental signs. Close by is Wenceslas Square, named after a mediaeval king but perhaps better known for its many freedom demonstrations, and Na Prikope, the main shopping street of the city. There are numerous nooks and crannies to be explored and any visitor to Prague is constantly amazed by the rich architecture.


Day 7: Prague

Accommodation: Adria hotel or similar

We commence our musical theme with a lecture on the Musical History of the Czech Republic followed by field trips to the haunts of its great composers including a visit to the Smetena. Our exploration of the city’s architecture continues this afternoon as we discover the architecture of Prague’s fascinating Old and Lesser Towns during a walking tour of the city. We view Wenceslas Square, the city square and the ornate Charles Bridge overlooking the Vlatava and also visit the Strahov Monastery Library, for its fine examples of Czech religious art.


Day 8: Prague

Accommodation: Adria hotel or similar

The morning’s field trip commences our exploration of Prague in its historic Castle District, as we are introduced to Czech Art with an short lecture on Art in the Czech Republic and a visit to some of Prague’s fine art galleries including the Schwarzenberg Palace, for its fascinating Bohemian art and the Dvořák Museum. We also view the icons of Prague including the imposing Castle and Gothic St Vitus Cathedral.

In the evening we visit to the ornate Theatre of the Estates, where Mozart’s Don Giovanni was premiered, and where, tonight, we experience a performance, which will be announced closer to date.


Day 9: Prague - Ceský Krumlov

Accommodation: Mlyn Hotel or similar

Today we depart for Ceský Krumlov. On arrival we experience the great medieval architecture of the city with a guided walking tour of its historic streets and a visit the town’s castle. Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant.


Český Krumlov: This small town in Southern Bohemia is a medieval gem and is recognised by UNESCO as outstandingly well preserved. It is a typical red-roofed town with an impressive Castle complex overlooking the Vlatava and a unique example of medieval architecture.

Day 10: Ceský Krumlov – St Wolfgang

Accommodation: Weisserbaer Hotel or similar

After breakfast we have some free time before departing for St Wolfgang by coach. Our journey should take around 4h. Dinner tonight is at our hotel


Day 11: St Wolfgang – Salzburg – St Wolfgang

Accommodation: Weisserbaer Hotel or similar

After breakfast we travel to Salzburg for a guided walking tour of the city. Here we visit its mediaeval streets and learn a little about Mozart’s life and music, and visit his birthplace. After a visit to Mirabell Gardens, the afternoon is free to pursue our own interests in the city. Later in the afternoon we return to St Wolfgang


Day 12: St Wolfgang

Accommodation: Weisserbaer Hotel or similar

Today our local Austrian guide leads us on an exploration of the Salzkammergut to inspect its typical villages, such as St Wolfgang and Mondsee, and learn about life in the region. You will enjoy a boat ride on the Wolfgangsee. We also visit Bad Ischl, the former Summer retreat of the Habsburg Emperors.


Day 13: St Wolfgang – Munich

Accommodation: Concorde Hotel or similar

Our journey to Munich takes us via the magnificent palace of Herrenchiemsee. Munich is one of the great cultural cities of Europe. Great monuments and palaces of its regal past as the Bavarian capital sit side by side with the symbols of one of Germany’s most affluent cities. Here we learn about the city and visit its main icons including the sumptuous palaces and outstanding churches.


Day 14: Munich

Accommodation: Concorde Hotel or similar

Our morning’s field trip introduces us to the icons of Munich including the imposing Frauenkirche, the Marienplatz and the Royal Palace (Residenz). We spend the morning on a guided tour of the city with our local guide. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore at leisure.


Day 15: Munich – Innsbruck

Accommodation: Hotel Central or similar

Today we travel south into Austria. On arrival in Innsburck we enjoy a half day tou of the main sights, including the Goldenes Dachl and Hofburg Museum – imperial Palace. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.


Day 16: Innsburck – Oberammergau

Accommodation: Hotel to be confirmed

We have some free time in the morning before we depart to Oberammergau. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.

Oberammergau: Bavaria was for centuries an independent Alpine Kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire. Now very much part of a modern, unified Germany, its proud traditions and heritage are still apparent. Nowhere is this more evident than in the small village of Oberammergau with its ten-yearly Passion Play first performed in 1634. We learn about the traditions of this Bavarian Alpine village and experience the Oberammergau Passion Play.


Day 17: Oberammergau

Accommodation: Hotel to be confirmed

This morning is free to explore the village of Oberammergau, perhaps visit the local museum or attend the ornate parish church. After our included lunch we attend our performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play. The play is in German but translations or subtitles are provided and there is a break for an early dinner at our hotel or restaurant prior to completion of the performance in the evening.


Day 18: Oberammergau – Munich – Budapest

Accommodation: Radisson Blu or similar

This morning we depart Oberammergau and travel to Munich and transfer to Budapest. We arrive in Budapest in the afternoon.

The city of Budapest has risen from the ruins of World War II and survived the reign of Communism, to emerge today as one of central Europe’s most forward looking capitals. The twin cities of Buda and Pest lie on opposite banks of the Danube and were officially joined together in 1873 to form the elegant capital city of Hungary. The two cities retain, however, distinctive characteristics. Buda is the home of royal palaces and St Matthias cathedral and narrow cobbled streets with Gypsy taverns lying behind the imposing facade of the Fisherman’s Bastion. With its many historical buildings and grand statues, Buda has an almost medieval feel. Pest, on the other hand, with the neo-Gothic Parliament Building has a much more business-like atmosphere with most of the city’s theatres, cinemas and popular shopping areas.


Day 19: Budapest

Accommodation: Radisson Blu or similar

We commence our stay in the city with an introductory lecture (details to be announced closer to date). We then start our exploration of the city with the icons of Pest and include a visit to the grandiose Parliament building, containing the 1,000 year old Hungarian crown. We also visit the Museum of Music History and we experience some of the historic and artistic culture of the city as we explore the city of Buda where we are introduced to Hungarian art with a guided visit to the Hungarian National Gallery. In the evening we attend a musical performance (to be announced closer to date).


Day 20: Budapest

Accommodation: Radisson Blu or similar

Today you will visit Gödöllő and enjoy a guided tour of the Palace. You will also visit the Nagytétény Palace, before returning to Budapest to conclude our stay in Budapest with dinner on a Musical Danube River Cruise.


Day 21: Budapest

Services will conclude today after breakfast.


Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 20 nights hotel accommodation.
  • 20 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 11 dinners, including one dinner cruise
  • Touring by comfortable modern coaches.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return international airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Visa services and fees (if applicable).
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

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The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

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Reading List Download PDF

Every Pilgrim's Guide to Oberammergau and Its Passion Play

This illustrated pocket sized guide and companion includes: the history and background of the Oberammergau Passion Play, a scene by scene description with relevant Bible readings, a complete travel guide to Oberammergau and places of interest nearby, practical tips for travelling in Germany, a simple language guide, maps and a street plan, colour sections and b/w photographs throughout.

By Michael Counsell

Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play

The Bavarian village of Oberammergau has staged the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ nearly every decade since 1634. Each production of the Passion Play attracts hundreds of thousands, many drawn by the spiritual benefits it promises. Yet Hitler called it a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry, and in 1970 a group of international luminaries boycotted the play for its anti-Semitism. As the production for the year 2000 drew near, James Shapiro was there to document the newest wave of obstacles that faced the determined Bavarian villagers. Erudite and judicious, Oberammergau is a fascinating and important look at the unpredictable and sometimes tragic relationship between art and society, belief and tolerance, religion and politics.obwe

By James Shapiro

The Passion Play of Oberammergau Translated from the German Text (Classic Reprint)

By Montrose Jonas Moses

Eavesdropping in Oberammergau

Eavesdropping in Oberammergau presents the lives of two families--a Jewish-American military family and a German family--plus a character derived from a true story who meet in Oberammergau, Germany, in the years immediately following World War II. The novel knits together the friendship between the families' eleven-year- old daughters, the eavesdropping Alison and Trudy, and Stefan Hirsch, the novel's hero.

Oberammergau is no ordinary Bavarian village--it is the home of the world-famous Passion Play, drawing millions of visitors to view the drama of the last days of Jesus. Generations of the townspeople have been transforming themselves into the saints and villains of the Biblical story every ten years for four centuries.

Author Hilary Salk has fictionalized her experience of living in Oberammergau, the only child of a Jewish American military officer, to impart the reality of life in this village full of make-believe.

Fifty years after she attended The Passion Play in 1950, Salk learned about the efforts by Jewish organizations to counteract the blatant anti-Semitism in The Play, and its links to Nazi hatred. Her research also led her to discover the story of a man that became the inspiration for her novel.

Renamed Stefan Hirsch in her book, Salk created a past, present, and future based on these bare truths about his real-life counterpart:

  • He was born a Jew in Munich.
  • He came to Oberammergau as a Catholic convert in the 1930s, and lived there until attacked on Kristallnacht in 1938, when he was taken to Dachau Concentration Camp.
  • He was eventually released from Dachau, and lived in England for the remainder of the war. After the war, he returned to Oberammergau. The question is why. Salk's wonderful book answers that question, and relates how Hirsch's return transformed the lives of Alison and Trudy.

By Hilary Salk

The Habsburg Empire: A New History

This panoramic reappraisal shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered for so long to so many Central Europeans across divides of language, religion, and region. Pieter Judson shows that creative government—and intractable problems the far-flung empire could not solve—left an enduring imprint on successor states. Its lessons are no less important today.

By Pieter M. Judson

The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire

The Habsburg Empire’s grand strategy for outmaneuvering and outlasting stronger rivals in a complicated geopolitical world

The Empire of Habsburg Austria faced more enemies than any other European great power. Flanked on four sides by rivals, it possessed few of the advantages that explain successful empires. Its army was not renowned for offensive prowess, its finances were often shaky, and its populace was fragmented into more than a dozen ethnicities. Yet somehow Austria endured, outlasting Ottoman sieges, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire tells the story of how this cash-strapped, polyglot empire survived for centuries in Europe's most dangerous neighborhood without succumbing to the pressures of multisided warfare.

Taking readers from the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 1700s to the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, A. Wess Mitchell argues that the Habsburgs succeeded not through offensive military power or great wealth but by developing strategies that manipulated the element of time in geopolitical competition. Unable to fight all their enemies at once, the Habsburgs learned to use the limited tools at their disposal―terrain, technology, and treaty allies―to sequence and stagger their conflicts, drive down the costs of empire, and concentrate scarce resources against the greatest threat of the moment. Rarely holding a grudge after war, they played the "long game" in geopolitics, corralling friend and foe alike into voluntarily managing the empire's lengthy frontiers and extending a benign hegemony across the turbulent lands of middle Europe.

A study in adaptive statecraft, The Grand Strategy of the Habsburg Empire offers lessons on how to navigate a messy geopolitical map, stand firm without the advantage of military predominance, and prevail against multiple rivals.

By A. Wess Mitchell

Frequently Asked Questions about our Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 tours

Where is Oberammergau?

Oberammergau is a small town in the Bavarian Alps, Germany. The town is on the Ammer River and is about a one to two hour journey by car or coach from Munich.

As well as it’s once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play, it is known for its woodcarvers and woodcarvings and for its NATO school.

What does Habsburg mean?

Habsburg refers to the Habsburg Monarchy (or Habsburg Empire), which is an umbrella term used by historians for the territories, duchies, kingdoms, and other dominions of the House of Habsburg, especially of those in the Austrian branch.

The Habsburgs refer to an ancient sovereign family which derived its name from the Castle of Habsburg in Switzerland. The dynasty began with Rudolph of Habsburg who was elected emperor in 1273. For the next 650 years or so, the Habsburg family accumulated more land, possessions and titles. The lands making up their monarchy grew and changed continuously thanks to weddings, wars, inheritances, family divisions and political agreements.

The Habsburg cities in the case of this tour refer to Budapest, Prague and Vienna.


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