Delve behind the former ‘Iron Curtain' to explore these stunning cities of the east.
Flourishes from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a melange of medieval charm are juxtaposed against some more sombre reminders of WWII.
Tour Operator: Insight Vacations
- An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
- Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
- A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
- Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
- Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
- Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
- Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
Day 1 - Welcome to Budapest
On arrival at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 10:00, 13:00 & 15:30. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day 2 - Delve into Budapest
(Relaxed Start) Stroll through the alleys of the old town of Buda with a Local Expert. Admire the incredible interior decoration of Matthias Church and take in the view from the Fisherman’s Bastion. A short drive following the Danube and you arrive at Gellert Hill. From the top, you share astounding panoramic views presided over by the Liberty Statue. Across the river, back in Pest, visit Heroes’ Square. The rest of the day is yours to browse the boutiques of Vaci Street. Perhaps visit picturesque Szentendre, a town known for its art, culture, museums and galleries?(BB)
Day 3 - Through the Tatra Mountains to Kraków
Take a gentle drive into Slovakia and through the breathtaking Low Tatra Mountains, where villagers still live in traditional wooden houses. Stop for lunch at Donovaly, referred to as the Slovakian St Moritz as it is the most well-known winter resort in the country. Continue north to see the picturesque Oravský Hrad Castle before crossing into Poland and continuing to historic Kraków.(BB / DW)
Day 4 - The Damsels and Dragons of Kraków
(Relaxed Start) Perhaps visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine in the morning? Later, join your Local Expert for a visit of Kraków – for centuries the seat of Poland’s kings. Ascend Wawel Hill to visit the cathedral. Walk past the courtyard of Jagiellonian University through the Old Town, to Europe’s largest and most beautiful town square. See the medieval Cloth Hall and visit the 14th century St. Mary’s Church (keep your eyes and ears peeled for the trumpeter in the tower). Then have some free time to explore. Maybe visit the Renaissance Trading Hall, host to many merchant stalls, with the Gallery of the National Museum upstairs?(BB)
Day 5 - To Auschwitz, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and Warsaw
Stop with a Local Expert in the city of Oświęcim, better known throughout the world by its German name, Auschwitz, the most infamous site of the Holocaust. Spend some reflective moments amid the remains of the concentration camp and the memorials to those who died. Travel north to Częstochowa to visit the 14th century Monastery of Jasna Góra, famous for the Black Madonna, said to have been painted by St. Luke. Continue across the Polish plains to the country's capital, Warsaw for the night. Dumplings are an Eastern European tradition so in the evening, enjoy a dumpling demonstration and degustation at a local restaurant. Once this culinary high art has been mastered, you will be treated to a delicious dinner featuring succulent local dishes plus beer or wine, tea or coffee.(BB / SE)
Day 6 - Exploring the Proud Polish Capital of Warsaw
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert in the morning to see the Old Town, Royal Castle, Palace of Culture and visit the Chopin Memorial in the Łazienki Park. Pay your respects at the Monument of the Ghetto Heroes and then the afternoon is free to enjoy at your own pace. Suggestions include a Chopin recital or visiting the Baroque Wilanów Palace.(BB)
Day 7 - Wielkopolska to Berlin
Your route leads westwards, across the rolling farmlands of the central plains, past Poznań, the ‘cradle of the Polish State' and continuing over the Oder River to enter Germany. The end destination is the vibrant capital of Berlin where you can try traditional Berliner cuisine.(BB)
Day 8 - The Spirit of Berlin
(Relaxed Start) Prepare to embrace the rejuvenated spirit of Berlin. Join a Local Expert for a drive along the Ku'Damm, past the Memorial church. Continue through the leafy Tiergarten to the refurbished Reichstag building and see the Brandenburg Gate. On the eastern side, take the Unter den Linden past the State Opera House to the Alexanderplatz. Spend the afternoon at leisure, shopping in the KaDeWe Department Store or exploring the new vibrant Potsdamer Platz.(BB)
Day 9 - Baroque Dresden and on to Golden Prague
Journey south to Dresden. Almost totally destroyed by horrific air raids in 1945, Dresden has now risen again from the ashes in a blend of old and new. See the reconstructed Frauenkirche and walk past the colossal ‘Procession of the Dukes' on the wall of the Royal Palace. Venture around the Catholic cathedral to view the tiered façades of the Opera and Baroque Zwinger Palace. After free time for lunch, head for the Czech border, high in the Ore Mountains and continue to the capital city of Prague.(BB / DW)
Day 10 - Prague, City of a Hundred Spires
(Relaxed Start) Prague has blossomed since the ‘Velvet Revolution', but its unique character remains unchanged. In the morning, a Local Expert will show you the amazing St Vitus' Cathedral, which is set inside the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle. Later, cross the river to explore the vast cobblestoned expanse of the Old Town square and see its famous Astronomical Clock. As night falls, why not head for a local restaurant to sample tasty Czech cuisine, as well as the famous local beer?(BB)
Day 11 - The Bohemian Beauty of Český Krumlov
A journey through the green Bohemian countryside will bring you to České Budějovice. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of a local brewery to sample the beer and discover the secrets of how this golden vintage is made. Continue on to Český Krumlov, a picturesque medieval town nestled on the banks of the Vltava. Walk the narrow cobbled streets and arch-covered footpaths, past colourful townhouses and centuries old inns. With a Local Expert, visit the fairytale red-roofed castle, considered by many to be the finest in the land. Your hotel is one of the most charming in the Czech Republic, set in a former 16th century Jesuit dormitory in the historic town centre. When all the day trippers have gone home, soak up the unique atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site on your Dine-Around evening. You will be offered a selection of restaurants amid the tangle of streets, high-gabled houses and old squares.(BB / DA)
Day 12 - Stately Vienna
Cross the border into Austria and enjoy a delightful drive to Vienna. The afternoon is free for you to explore this stately capital. In the evening, why not enjoy a delightful Austrian meal with the option to dine at a country mansion?(BB)
Day 13 - The Habsburgs of Vienna
Vienna owes much of its present-day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs. Join your Local Expert for a private visit of Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Then, take some great photos on a circuit of the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House and magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence. As night falls, experience an extraordinary concert of Viennese classical music combined with a delicious meal of traditional Austrian fare, with drinks included.(BB / CD)
Day 14 - Depart Budapest
A transfer arrives at Budapest Airport early afternoon. For those extending their stay, a stop is also made at the tour hotel in central Budapest.(BB)