Puppentour™ - The Doll Tour Leaders
Germany, Switzerland & France | May 2015 | $3,564 + Air
Dreaming about the ultimate two-week doll tour of Europe? Look no further! From the German Toy Road to the flea markets of Paris, with the Swiss alps sandwiched in between, you will see more doll and toy treasure in three countries than you ever imagined possible!
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Puppen Laden, Hessisches Puppenmuseum, Hanau-Wilhelmsbad
Hessisches Puppenmuseum, Wilhelmsbad

Puppenfestival Flea Market, Neustadt bei Coburg
Puppenfestival Flea Market, Neustadt

Thüringer Kirmes from the 1910 Brussels World Fair, Deutsches Spielzeugmuseum, Sonneberg
Deutsches Spielzeugmuseum, Sonneberg

Santa Candy Container, Ino Schaller Papiermâché Factory, Meilschnitz
Ino Schaller Papiermâché

1639_Nürnberg_Spice_Merchant's_House, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg

Markusturm, Rothenburg odT
Markusturm, Rothenburg odT

Steiff, Giengen
Early Margarete Steiff Elephant, Steiff Museum, Giengen an der Brenz

Kapellbrücke, Luzern
Kapellbrücke, Luzern

Puppenhausmuseum, Basel
Spielzeug Welten Museum, Basel

Musée de la Poupée, Paris
Musée de la Poupée, Paris

Puces de St-Ouen, Paris
Les Puces Saint-Ouen, Paris

Le Train Bleu Restaurant in the Gare du Nord, Paris
Le Train Bleu, Gare de Lyon, Paris

Tue, May 12 – Flight Day
Book your flight to arrive at Frankfurt am Main Airport by tomorrow before 12:00 noon.
Wed, May 13 – Willkommen! (A,B,C)
The exhibits in the Hessisches Puppenmuseum demonstrate how children, by imitating grown-ups in play, learn to become adults. Every facet of daily adult life is portrayed through dolls, their clothing, and accessories, and a complement of doll-scale toys, in a lovely, arcaded building overlooking Wilhelmsbad Park. The exhibition of toys from early antiquity is stunning! Journey on to Coburg, have a nice meal, and then settle into your room for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow will be a fun, flea-market-filled day! (Coburg, 4 nights, breakfast, Hotel Stadt Coburg***)
Thu, May 14 – Puppenfestival (D,C)
The "high days" of the 24th Annual International Puppenfestival kick off with a huge flea market in central Neustadt dedicated entirely to dolls, toys, and miniatures! Collectors love to rummage for the rarities to be found here. Several hundred dolls are beautifully exhibited with toys, miniature rooms, doll clothing, and doll accessories in the Coburger Puppenmuseum.
Fri, May 15 – The German Toy Road (E,D)
The Deutsches Spielzeugmuseum contains a treasure trove of dolls, salesmen's samples, toys, and dioramas of 19th- and 20th-century doll manufacture. Most breathtaking is the extraordinary Thüringer Kirmes, the Grand-prize-winning exhibition presented by the Sonneberg toy industry at the 1910 Brussels World Fair. You just might find that long-sought-for dolly in one of the three buildings comprising Zitzmann's Galanterie. Doll-making in the early 20th century required sixteen different professions, many of which can be explored in the Museum der Deutschen Spielzeugindustrie. A special, themed exhibit of exquisite artist-dolls coincides with the Puppenfestival and special Puppenfestival exhibitors are located throughout the museum.
Sat, May 16 – Great Collector's Market (D)
Start off the day with another flea market in the parking lot of the Old Christmas Factory. Today's main event, though, is the Great Collectors' Market, Europe's biggest international doll and teddy bear show featuring high quality antique dolls and dolls' houses, art dolls, teddy bears, stuffed animals, miniatures, and accessories. Various Puppenfestival trade shows and special exhibitions are located throughout Neustadt. Our last stop of the day is the Ino Schaller Papiermâché Factory outlet where you can buy old-fashioned, holiday candy containers.
Sun, May 17 – Nürnberg (F.G)
The extraordinary 17th-century Nürnberg dolls' houses are the core of the toy collection displayed in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Dolls, tin figures, paper theaters, games, and artfully-crafted board game pieces complete the toy range. Not to be missed is the wonderful collection of 18th-century men's, women's, and children's clothing. Located in the heart of Old Town Nürnberg, the Spielzeugmuseum Lydia Bayer offers vivid insight into the cultural history of toys from antiquity to the present with its exceptional collection of dolls and toys. The permanent exhibition includes wooden toys; dolls; dolls' houses, kitchens, and shops; optical toys; the mechanical tin toys of Ernst Lehmann; and technical toys. (Rothenburg odT, 2 nights, breakfast, Hotel Eisenhut****)
Mon May 18 – Rothenburg ob der Tauber (G)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the epitome of an authentic medieval town – one of only a few left in Germany. Its beautiful buildings, cobbled streets, and fortified walls make it a popular Bavarian destination. It is a veritable shopper's paradise! Enjoy the day shopping the year-round Christmas markets and taking in panoramic vistas of the Tauber valley from the terrace of our hotel inside the medieval walls.
Tue May 19 – Giengen an der Brenz (H,I)
The little town of Giengen is famous as the birthplace and home of the teddy bear. Here, lovers of the cuddly toys with the "Button in Ear" can experience their favorite furry friends in the Steiff Museum. You will also find here the largest Steiff factory outlet in the world! (Luzern, 2 nights, breakfast, Hotel Drei Könige***)
Wed May 20 – Luzern (I)
Luzern is a splendid city. Nestled in a uniquely beautiful landscape, its striking profile faces the world-famous Lake Luzern whose waters reflect a panorama of the surrounding Alps. Tiffany Antiquitäten is one of a number of antiques shops offering dolls and toys. We have arranged for the shop to be open early so you can get a jump on the day's shopping and sightseeing in this stunningly beautiful city.
Thu May 21 – From Basel to Paris (J,K)
The four-story Spielzeug Welten Museum (Puppenhausmuseum) offers an especially unique exhibition of dolls, toys, teddy bears, and miniatures. Thousands of objects are imaginatively arranged to create scenes – here, antique dolls and teddy bears play together in a toyshop; there, teddies compete in a car race cheered on by precious dolly fans. Marvel at the miniature shops and doll's houses from the past, and faithful reproductions of miniatures from the past and present. This afternoon, we board our TGV Lyria train to Paris at the Basel Train Station. (Paris, 4 nights, breakfast, Holiday Inn Gare de Lyon Bastille****)
Fri May 22 – Musée de la Poupée (K)
The diminutive Musée de la Poupée is tucked away in the Impasse Berthaud near the colorful Centre Pompidou. More than five hundred stunning French dolls, dating from 1800 to the present, are cleverly displayed in vignettes containing doll furniture, doll accessories, and toys. Our exclusive visit of the museum this morning is guided by owner/director and author Samy Odin through both the permanent collection and the temporary B├ęcassine and Bleuette Exhibition, including a special program and a small souvenir. A little flea market has been organized just for us. This afternoon, we visit Le Marché St-Pierre at the foot of the Montmartre. It is Paris' largest textile market, the delight of dolly couturiers the world over.
Sat, May 23 – A Perfect Saturday in Paris (K)
How do you spend a perfect Saturday in Paris? The most impressive grocery store is the Grande Épicerie on the ground floor of the Bon Marché department store in the 7th arrondissement. The splendid stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle are a must-see – it's near the Conciergerie, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned, on the Ile de la Cité. Buy chocolate or macrons at Pierre Hermé. Go to Ladurée for tea. If you like cookware, E. Dehillerin in the 2nd arrondissement is where all the chefs go to buy their copper pots – and Dehillerin ships! How ever you spend your perfect Saturday, we conclude it with glittering views of the "City of Lights" from our Bateaux Mouches tour boat on the Seine.
Sun, May 24 – Flea Markets (K)
Whatever you're looking for, you're sure to find it in one of the 14 markets of Les Puces Saint-Ouen. With a seemingly inexhaustible supply of vendors – over 3,000 of them – it is one of the largest antiques and collectibles markets in the world. This evening, the opulent Le Train Bleu restaurant in the Gare de Lyon will transport you back in time to the romantic grandeur of 1900s Paris, when the train was the only way to travel overland. Our "Au Revoir" Dinner Party starts with an apéritif followed by a three-course meal with French wine. (Dinner party)
Mon, May 25 - Au revoir! Bon voyage! (L)
Transfer to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport for flights homeward. Book your flight to depart after 12:00 noon.
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Route Map