Experience the delights of eastern Europe over the festive season on this 11 day guided tour! Taking in some of the region's most exciting, historic and up and coming destinations, this coach trip is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas & New Year in Europe.
The fairy tale adventure begins in Munich and takes you though the panoramic countryside to visit the dazzling cities of Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Vienna and Salzburg.
Day two and three are spent in historic Prague, which is a fascinating city rich in art, and architecture and home to some of Europe's finest beer, and where we'll celebrate Christmas Day. Next up is Krakow, the ex-royal capital of Poland, for day four and five.
The beautiful and mysterious Budapest is the stopover for days six and seven, where visitors can sample the local cuisine and enjoy glorious views of the river, and the city from the Fisherman's Bastion. There are only a small number of attractions in the world that have as much historical splendour as Vienna. This is where the coach party spends day eight of the tour, before moving on to Ljubljana to ring in the New Year, and ending back in Munich.
Welcome to Munich! Join up at our starting hotel this afternoon and meet your Expat Explore tour leader and fellow travellers. A city that exhibits both prosperity and a certain amount of comfort and cosiness, Munich’s apparent contradictions will delight the avid explorer. Along with modern high-powered industry, designer shopping districts and sleek BMWs, you’ll find a wealth of cultural hotspots. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a certain charm that visitors find irresistible. Tonight, we’ll take you to a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German food and culture. Prost!
On our journey to Prague we'll stop off in Nuremberg. Bavaria’s second-largest city, you’ll find incredible architecture here, painstakingly restored using original stone after the bombings of the Second World War. Arriving in Prague this evening, you'll discover a beautiful city, boasting elaborate baroque, gothic, art nouveau and cubist architecture, and rewarding those who explore it with quirky bars, cobbled lanes and courtyards. You'll experience authentic Czech cuisine at our local restaurant for dinner on your first night in Prague. Get in the festive spirit, it's Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas! This morning, an expert local guide will introduce you to the city and help you get your bearings on a walking tour. The rest of the day is free for you to explore as you wish. Make sure you see the majestic Prague Castle, the famous Charles Bridge, the ‘Old Town’ and the Jewish Quarter. There is also a ‘Secret Garden’, which leads to a man-made grotto - see if you can find it! Prague's dramatic history is reflected in the beauty of the architecture of churches, opera houses, concert halls and parks. There are numerous beer halls in which to sample a local brew, and for those who wish to put your stamp on the city, visit the Lennon wall - a tribute to John Lennon and words of peace, which is added to on a daily basis by the thousands of visitors to the city. Prague also has one of the finest Christmas markets in Europe. Held in the historic Old Town Square, the atmosphere is incredible, with great shopping amidst the sound of carol singers and the smell of mulled wine and spiced gingerbread.
We hope you enjoyed Christmas in the Czech Republic! Leaving Prague behind us, we continue on to Krakow. The royal capital of Poland for centuries, Krakow today is home to some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture – and over 2.3 million artworks to complement its historic buildings and monuments. Enjoy a walking tour of the city with your Expat Explore tour leader, who will show you all the main sights and give you ideas of what to explore further during your free day tomorrow.
The day is yours to explore the city further if you wish. The renaissance cloth hall in the main market square, the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, or maybe sample the local cuisine such as Zurek, a very traditional Polish soup with a distinctive sour taste that is dished up in a special hollowed out loaf of bread. There is also the option of taking an optional excursion to the Krakow Salt Mine. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mine dates back to the Middle Ages and is a fascinating look at the area’s history. Descending underground, you’ll walk through 2km of tunnels, chapels, reliefs and freestanding sculptures carved from salt rock walls; along with underground lakes and archaeological displays.
On our way to Budapest, we stop briefly in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, a picturesque town with beautiful buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages. Then we’re off to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Blessed with natural beauty (it straddles the Danube River) as well as baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture, this is a city to behold. Get a good overview of it all with our Budapest driving tour when you arrive. Starting on the Pest side of the Danube, head across the river and stop at the Fisherman’s Bastion for spectacular views of the city and the river below. See the Houses of Parliament and drive along the river admiring the city – take note of spots to revisit tomorrow on your free day. Tonight’s meal is at a local restaurant, so savour the chance to try some of the local cuisine!
With traces of the past evident in the interesting and unusual details, this is your chance to get up close and personal with Budapest. Look out for remnants of the conflicts of WWII and the uprising of 1956, try Hungarian cuisine (there is so much more to it than just goulash), sample world-renowned wines, and soak your weary rambler’s bones in one of the city’s bath-houses – something Budapest has been known for since the Roman times, with some 123 thermal and 400 mineral springs from 14 different sources.
We leave Budapest and head for the grandeur of Vienna, stopping for a short break in Bratislava. Your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour to see some of the main sights, including a photostop at Bratislava Castle, which overlooks the city. On arrival in Vienna, we’ll take a driving tour. Few cities can show off such cultural and historical splendour and maintain a profile as an exciting, modern city, but Vienna does it well. Along with a musical past that includes luminaries like Mozart and Beethoven, Vienna has a buzzing modern culinary scene, cheerful, bustling pubs and bars, and a host of clubs and music venues in which to dance the night away. After the driving tour we'll enjoy an included dinner, before some free time to explore further.
Leaving Vienna behind, we head for the grandeur of Ljubljana, taking a comfort stop in the beautiful city of Graz. On arrival in Ljubljana, we’ll have a walking tour of this little gem of a city. Despite its small size, you’re sure to be entranced by the beauty of this city, which features a wealth of cultures, activities and sights. Ljubljana Castle overlooks the city, and dates back to the 16th Century. Tonight, ring in the New Year! Ljubljana's open-air celebrations are held throughout the city in public squares, with live music and events, before a beautiful fireworks display is launched from the castle hill as the clock strikes midnight.
Leaving Ljubljana behind, we stop off in picture-perfect Salzburg. Featuring gorgeous architecture, a formidable cliff-top fortress and imposing cliffs in the distance, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in a fairy-tale. This was also Mozart’s home-town - see if a little of the genius rubs off! We then continue on our journey to Germany, stopping off before we arrive in Munich at Germany's first ever concentration camp; Dachau. The museum houses photos and documents of the camps’ history from 1933 until it was liberated in 1945, and all displays are represented in an educational, honest way, and provide an educational experience regarding this darker period in Germany’s modern history. Arriving back in Munich, the evening is free for you to spend as you wish. Relax in your hotel, go for dinner in a local restaurant, or even visit another beer hall with your new-found friends on the tour.
Our Christmas & New Year adventure concludes in Munich after breakfast. We hope you've loved every minute of your Eastern Highlights tour, and we wish you a safe onward journey!
If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Please refer to the tour itinerary above for full details of what activities are included, which meals are included and what is excluded. We would recommend budgeting €25-€40 per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in Munich. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have several blank pages as Visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.