Central Europe Highlights

A turbulant past, a captivating present and a continuously changing future, we visit countries that were once hidden behind the Iron Curtain. Learn about the Holocaust at Auschwitz, visit Vienna, one of the most musical cities in the world and indulge in the hot baths of Budapest.

Route Masp

Day 1 to 1 – Arrive Warsaw

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

Warsaw, Poland’s capital, has been revitalised as a tourist destination. The city was almost entirely destroyed in World War II but a lot of effort has gone into its rebuilding. Since the fall of communism many old buildings have given way to modern skyscrapers, the dilapidated old town has been brightened up, and entertainment and services transformed to match that of other western capitals.

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Home to various palaces, castles and citadels, Warsaw is noted for the Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science, as well as the marketplace at the 10th Anniversary Stadium, a converted festival site where you can buy all sorts of interesting items. Also recommended is a visit to the Old Town, which was rebuilt between 1949 and 1963 after being destroyed in World War II in the Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque styles of architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. You can visit the Historical Museum of Warsaw and Royal Castle at nearby Old Town Square.

Optional Excursions

Warsaw Uprising Museum – 18 PLN • Palace of Culture and Science Observation Deck – 20 PLN • Museum of the History of Polish Jews – 30 PLN • Lazienki Park and Palace – 40 PLN • Royal Castle Tour – 23 PLN • Walking Tour – Free • Wilanow Palace – 20 PLN

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 2 to 3 – Kraków

Poland’s more famous and cultural city is Kraków, which has managed to preserve centuries of amazing architecture and artistic traditions as most of the historic buildings and monuments emerged unscathed from World War II. Kraków was the royal capital for 500 years so a must-see is the royal Wawel Castle, a beautiful renaissance palace which now houses a museum. During the evening the cosmopolitan city offers a wild nightlife, with plenty of restaurants, music clubs and bars to explore.

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Kraków is our base to visit the UNESCO listed Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp, a sobering tribute to the people that perished there during the Holocaust. Situated close to the Polish town of O?wi?cim, the camp was originally designed for Polish political prisoners but became the most notorious camp of World War II because an estimated 1.6 million people of 27 nationalities, including 1.1 million Jews, 150,000 Poles and 23,000 Roma were killed by the Nazis.

Included Excursions

Guided Tour of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Optional Excursions

Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour – 130 PLN • Oskar Schindler’s Factory – 21 PLN • Saint Mary’s Basilica – 10 PLN • Galicia Jewish Museum – 15 PLN • Wawel Royal Castle – 25 PLN • Walking Tour – Free

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 4 to 4 – High Tatras Mountains

The High Tatras constitutes of a large mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland and is the highest mountain range of the Carpathians. The tallest mountain is Gerlach at 2,655 metres, located in Slovakia just north of Poprad.

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After making our way to Starý Smokovec (Nový Smokovec) we have time to relax and unwind. For the energetic there is an opportunity to go to the nearby mountains for some hiking. There are various paths ranging from gentle to highly demanding, winding among spectacular peaks and rock walls. Alternatively you can admire some of the beautiful natural sites of the region, such as the glacial lake of Strebske Pleso.

Optional Excursions

Summer Toboggan (Tatrabob) – 3 EUR • Hiking – Free • Water Park – 22 EUR • Bike Hire – from 12 EUR • Solisko Chairlift – 13 EUR • Furnicular ride – 7 EUR

Accommodation

1 night(s) in a guesthouse. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 5 to 5 – Overnight train to Prague

After getting our fill of the crisp mountain air we board an overnight train to Prague.

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 6 to 7 – Prague

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and you will have plenty of free time to visit the stunning City of 1,000 Spires, including the bustling Old Town Square where you can find a beautiful astronomical clock, the enchanting Charles Bridge where you can watch artists and buskers at work and Wenceslas Square. There is also time to wander the lofty heights of Hradčany Castle and St Vitus Cathedral for magical views over the city.

Prague is a town that loves to party so you may also want to experience the nightlife as there are many great bars and restaurants and plenty of pulsating night clubs to enjoy. Czechs have been brewing beer since the 9th century and invented the world’s first Pilsner, so Prague offers a great opportunity to sample some of the world’s finest beers.

Optional Excursions

Kutna Hora Day Trip – 700 CZK • Brewery Tour – 1200 CZK • Beer Tasting – 590 CZK • Hradcany Castle – 350 CZK • Jewish Museum – 300 CZK • Town Hall Clock Tower – 120 CZK • Boat Tour – 260 CZK • Mucha Museum – 240 CZK • City of Prague Museum – 120 CZK • Karlstejn Castle – 270 CZK

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 8 to 9 – Vienna

Welcome to Austria! Birthplace of some of the greatest classical musical compositions, Vienna charms with its cultural history and opulent beauty. Known as the ‘city of music’ many composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss were born or worked here and you can learn all about their works in places such as Haus der Musik and Mozarthaus, Mozart’s main apartment in Vienna which holds an insight into his celebrated life.

Perhaps you would like to catch a jaw-dropping orchestra performance at the Vienna Philharmonic, or watch a ballet or opera performance at the Wiener Staatsoper? You may also choose to visit the Schloss Schönbrunn, the palace of the Habsburg family, and discover the Baroque grandeur of the Austrian dynasty. Once you have delighted in the culture and beauty of Vienna, there are a host of a lively restaurants, cafes and bars to soak up as you watch the world go by in this vibrant city.

Optional Excursions

Albertina Museum – 13 EUR • Schoenbrunn Palace – 13 EUR • Spanish Riding School Morning Exercise – 15 EUR • Belvedere Palace – 14 EUR • Sigmund Freud Museum – 10 EUR • City Bike Tour – 29 EUR • Vienna Mozart Concert – from 49 EUR

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 10 to 10 – Budapest

After a short train journey we arrive in Budapest, Hungary’s stylish capital. It is known as the ‘City of Spas’ for its abundance of natural thermal springs. To fully explore the city why not book a few extra nights in the city to enjoy some of its sights?

Straddling the Danube River, the city is comprised of two very different historic cities, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. Highlights here include Castle Hill, Matthius Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Liberation Monument, the fabulous St Stephen’s Basilica and the much photographed Parliament Building.

Terror Haza (Terror House) is a popular museum recounting stories of espionage and atrocities committed during World War II and during the communist period. During your optional visit you can view very moving testimonial footage from survivors and visit old jail cells, torture chambers and interrogation rooms.

The Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and features stunning decorations. You can also wander around Central Market Hall and enjoy the intoxicating sights and smells of’Budapest’s pantry’ and get an idea of Hungary’s food culture – you can even buy chocolates by the kilo!

The perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing is in a traditional bath. The Szechenyi Medicinal Baths are one of the city’s more famous Neo Baroque-style baths with indoor and outdoor pools, thermal pools, saunas and massages in a beautiful setting. After a nice soak you can visit numerous restaurants and bars to visit on Liszt Ferenc for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Optional Excursions

Budapest Parliament Tour – 5200 HUF • Szechenyi Thermal Baths – 4900 HUF • House of Terror – 2000 HUF • Great Synagogue – 3000 HUF • Danube Cruise – 3900 HUF • Hungarian National Museum – 1600 HUF • Memento Park – 1500 HUF • Buda Castle – 1700 HUF • Fisherman’s Bastion – 700 HUF • Walking Tour – Free • Hop on Hop off Bus – from 5000 HUF

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 11 to 11 – Depart Budapest

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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