9 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 2 - Moderate
Activity

The Life of Beethoven; small group tour

Gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of one of the world's greatest composers. Ludwig van Beethoven's place in Western music cannot be overstated. Travelling across Austria and Germany, this tour is not to be missed for lovers of Classical music. Between 1770 and 1827, Beethoven composed an enormous number of pieces of music; his most noteworthy achievements in this period include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, a complete Mass, as well as an opera.

Tour Highlights

The tour begins in the city of Bonn, where Beethoven was born. We spend the first few days taking in churches, fine architecture, and city precincts where Beethoven formed his unique artistic sensibility. We also visit the Parish church in which many of his compositions were first performed. There will also be visits to Organ Workshops, Augustburg Palace, and a Museum dedicated to Robert Schumann, one of the Romantic era's most famous composers whom Beethoven was a significant influence.

There will be a walking tour in the city of Vienna, particularly to key sites where Beethoven composed and performed. Vienna was where Beethoven studied composition under Joseph Haydn, and consequently gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist.

A key highlight of this tour is the opportunity to attend five concerts during the eight nights. Performances of Beethoven's work include the Opening Concert at Beethovenhalle and two more performances in this season.

For more information, check out the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ pages above. To make a booking, please call, send us an email, or simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Explore Beethoven’s cities of Bonn and Vienna, where he lived
2
Delve deeper into the life of Beethoven through a series of artistic and cultural experiences
3
Tour the Beethoven House in Bonn, as well as the Beethoven house in Heiligenstadt
4
Visit Cologne Cathedral, where some of Beethoven’s works were first performed
5
Experience the extraordinary Beethoven Festival in Bonn, celebrating the composer’s life and works

Overview: After making our own way to Bonn, we meet at the hotel for a 3-course welcome dinner and tour orientation.

Accommodation: Overnight Sternhotel Bonn or similar accommodation

Overview: Today, we explore Bonn on foot, taking a tour of the city that incorporates many of the main sights related to Beethoven. We visit Beethoven House, the Parish Church of St Regimius (where many of Beethoven’s early works were first performed), and the Old Cemetery.

In the afternoon, we learn about the life and works of Robert Schumann — who was himself great influenced by Beethoven — at the Schumann Museum.

In the evening, we enjoy a spectacular performance at the Beethovenhalle and have dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight Sternhotel Bonn or similar accommodation

Overview: After breakfast, we take a guided tour of the Organ Workshop Klais. The family-run company that operates this Workshop designs, builds and restores pipe organs. Founded in 1882 by Johannes Klais senior, the Workshop provides fantastic insight into the ongoing significance of pipe-organ music in Germany.

Later in the day, we visit Augustburg Palace and Hunting Lodge Falkenlust — both are UNESCO cultural World Heritage Sites since 1984. They are connected by the spacious gardens and trees of the Schlosspark. Augustusburg Palace and its parks also serve as a venue for the Brühl Palace Concerts.

Accommodation: Overnight Sternhotel Bonn or similar accommodation

Overview: Today, we enjoy a cruise on the Rhine River to Konigswinter, via Bad Honnef.

We experience the majesty of Drachenfels Castle, a ruined castle atop an enormous rock. The castle gained popularity in the romantic era after it was featured in Lord Byron’s long poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Subsequently, this rock and castle became an important German tourist and Romanticist pilgrimage destination.

In the evening, we enjoy another unforgettable performance of Late Romantic works at the Beethovenhalle, back in Bonn.

Accommodation: Overnight Sternhotel Bonn or similar accommodation

Overview: Today we travel by coach to Cologne, where we meet our local guide for a tour of this extraordinary city. Sightseeing includes a tour of Cologne Cathedral, Germany’s most popular tourist destination. Despite being left incomplete during the medieval period, Cologne Cathedral now stands as an architectural masterpiece that recently gained status as a World Heritage Site.

From Cologne, we fly together to Vienna, where we check into our new hotel and enjoy dinner.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel am Konzerthaus or similar accommodation

Overview: We enjoy a tour of Vienna with a local guide, taking in the main sights, including a visit to the Beethoven memorial.

We also visit the Central Cemetery where we can pay respects at Beethoven’s grave.

In the afternoon, we visit the Beethoven House in Heiligenstadt, where, in 1802, he wrote the “Heiligenstädter Testament”. This letter, wherein he expressed despair over his advancing deafness, was never sent to his brothers.

In the evening, we experience a classic ensemble concert, which features music from Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, and — of course — Beethoven.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel am Konzerthaus or similar accommodation

Overview: After breakfast, we head to the House of Music for a guided tour of the Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna’s premier opera venue.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel am Konzerthaus or similar accommodation

Overview: After breakfast, we have the morning free to explore Vienna at our own pace.

We then visit the Pasqualati Museum before coming together for an evening concert at Vienna Staatsoper, and a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel am Konzerthaus or similar accommodation

Overview: After breakfast, we say our farewells and the tour draws to an end.

Tour Inclusions

  • All excursions, sightseeing, and entrance fees as per the tour
  • Detailed preparatory material
  • 8 nights of hotel accommodation in Bonn and Vienna
  • 8 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Local guides, as well as the services of an Odyssey tour leader
  • Entrance to the Beethoven Houses in Bonn and Vienna
  • Numerous concert tickets to see performances of Beethoven works

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Items of personal nature such as laundry and phone calls
Beethoven small group tour
Beethoven Statue, Germany
Cologne, Germany

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