Tours Christmas & New Year Tours Eastern Highlights Christmas & New Year

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Summary

The many splendours of Eastern Europe await this festive season. Celebrate Christmas Day in Prague and New Year's Eve in Ljubljana. Start in Munich and visit Budapest, Krakow and Prague, with plenty of free time to explore! Experience Nuremberg, Bratislava, Vienna and Salzburg. Soak up the festive spirit of fantastic Christmas markets, taste delicious local cuisine and immerse yourself in unique cultures and history. This is the best time to experience Eastern Europe as the locals do. Get ready for twinkling Christmas lights, chestnuts roasting, gorgeous scenery and much more!

Highlights

  • Celebrate Christmas Day in Prague and New Year's Eve in Ljubljana
  • Visit Budapest, Krakow and Prague, with free days to explore
  • Experience Nuremberg, Bratislava, Vienna and Salzburg
  • Dine in an authentic German beer hall and Viennese wine cellar

Start Point

Hotel in Munich | 10:00 AM

End Point

Hotel in Munich | 10:00 AM
DAY 1: Start of tour in Munich

Welcome to Munich! Arrive at the hotel this morning and meet your Expat Explore tour leader. 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, Munich boasts a wealth of cultural hotspots. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a certain charm that visitors find irresistible. Embark on an orientation tour before enjoying some free time to explore. This evening, visit a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German food and culture.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 1: Start of tour in Munich

Welcome to Munich! Arrive at the hotel this morning and meet your Expat Explore tour leader. 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, Munich boasts a wealth of cultural hotspots. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a certain charm that visitors find irresistible. Embark on an orientation tour before enjoying some free time to explore. This evening, visit a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German food and culture.

Experiences

Munich orientation tour: Explore Munich with your tour leader on an orientation tour. Learn more about this wonderful German city and see highlights like Karlsplatz and Marienplatz.

Dinner in a German beer hall: Say “prost!” to the first night of the tour! Eat and drink like the locals do in a traditional German beer hall. Try classic German cuisine and sip on German beer.

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 2: Nuremberg - Prague

Hop on board the coach today and journey towards Prague. Stop off in Nuremberg on the way. This is Bavaria’s second-largest city, home to incredible architecture which was painstakingly restored using original stone after the bombings of WW2. Enjoy an orientation tour with your tour leader before free time for lunch. Arrive in Prague this evening and discover a truly beautiful city, boasting elaborate Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau and Cubist architecture, as well as quirky bars, cobbled lanes and courtyards. Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight and get in the festive spirit, it's Christmas Eve!

Experiences

Visit Nuremberg: Enjoy an orientation tour in Bavaria’s second-largest city. See the medieval castle and get a chance to explore the Old Town and shop at the Christmas markets in the town square.

Christmas Eve Dinner in Prague: Experience authentic Czech cuisine at the hotel on the first night in Prague. Take the option to try some famous Czech beer and toast to Christmas Eve on tour!

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 3: Prague (Christmas Day): Free Day

Merry Christmas! Start the day with a walking tour and follow an expert local guide to see all the must-see sights in Prague. The rest of the day is free to explore as you wish. Be sure to visit one of the finest Christmas markets in Europe which is held in Prague’s historic Old Town Square. Alternatively, join the Prague+ optional excursion to explore this magical city in depth. This excursion includes a visit to the Mala Strana neighbourhood, a lunch cruise on the Vltava River and a guided tour of the Prague Castle! Tonight, why not celebrate Christmas with an optional traditional Czech folk music show? Indulge in a traditional four-course dinner while enjoying a vibrant music and dance performance!

Experiences

Prague Guided Tour: Start off Christmas Day with a guided tour of Prague! A local guide will highlight all of the must-see sights and top attractions such as Charles Bridge and Old Town Square, while sharing insights into this incredible Bohemian city!

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 4: Prague - Krakow

Leaving Prague this morning, travel towards Krakow. The royal capital of Poland for centuries, today Krakow 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 tour leader. Discover some of the main sights and get some ideas of what to explore further during the free day tomorrow. Dinner will be served at the hotel tonight.

Experiences

Krakow walking tour: A real gem of Eastern Europe, Krakow has been the royal capital of Poland for some 500 years. Take a walking tour of the city and delight in some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture.

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 5: Krakow

This morning offers an included visit to Auschwitz concentration camp. A guided tour will offer great insight into the atrocities committed on these grounds and the significance of this camp during WWII. After the tour, why not join the optional excursion to the Wieliczka 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, walk through 2km of tunnels, chapels, reliefs and freestanding sculptures carved from salt rock walls; along with underground lakes and archaeological displays. Alternatively, explore on your own and discover the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle! Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight.

Experiences

Auschwitz concentration camp guided tour: Visit the concentration camp which was operated by Nazi Germany during WW2. Learn the history and see the sites of one of history’s most harrowing events.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 6: Banska Bystrica - Budapest

On the way to Budapest, stop in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, a picturesque town with beautiful buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages. Then it's 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! Tonight’s meal is at a local restaurant, so savour the chance to try some of the local cuisine!

Experiences

Visit Banska Bystrica: Enjoy a comfort stop in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. See the Old Town square and admire its historic architecture, some of which dates back to the late Middle Ages.

Dinner in Budapest: Savour local Hungarian flavours at one of Budapest’s best restaurants!

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 7: Budapest

Budapest is a widely-loved travel destination and today is your chance to find out why! Get a good overview on a driving tour this morning. See the Houses of Parliament and drive along the river admiring the city. The rest of the day is free! Take a dip in one of the city’s famous bathhouses - Széchenyi and Gellért are two of the most famous! Stroll through sprawling parks and wander along the Danube riverside which are beautiful in the colder seasons. Visit local Christmas markets to try Hungarian food and wine, enjoying the sights, smells and tastes and you go. Tonight, choose to see Budapest from the water on an optional Danube evening cruise!

Experiences

Budapest driving tour: Meet up with a local guide for a driving tour of the city and point out all the best-loved sights. Learn more about Hungarian culture, language and the city's fascinating history. Drink in incredible views from atop Gellert Hill and the Citadel, and make a stop at Heroes Square. Get an eyeful of other must-see attractions like the Hungarian Parliament Building, St Stephen's Basilica, the State Opera, the castle district, and more.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 8: Bratislava - Vienna

Leave Budapest this morning and head for Vienna, stopping first in Bratislava. Your tour leader will take the group on an orientation tour to see some of the main sights, including a glimpse of Bratislava Castle, which overlooks the city. On arrival in Vienna, embark on a driving tour. 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, enjoy an included dinner in a Viennese wine cellar! Afterwards, enjoy the option of attending a classical music concert.

Experiences

Bratislava orientation tour: Join your tour leader on an orientation tour to see some of the landmarks and historic sights of the city, including a photo stop at Bratislava Castle, which overlooks the city.

Walking and driving tour of Vienna: Vienna is known as the 'City of Music’ due to its classical heritage and the prodigies that worked there including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms to name a few. The tour starts at the Golden Mile on the RingStrasse (Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater). Then, discover the courtyards and passages around the Hofburg (Imperial Castle) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral which is Vienna’s geographic and historic centre.

Dinner in a Viennese wine cellar: Enjoy dinner in a special location tonight! Tuck into a delicious meal in a historic Viennese wine cellar.

Meals

BreakfastDinner

Accommodation

Hotel

On Tour Excursions

DAY 9: Graz - Ljubljana (New Year's Eve)

Leaving Vienna behind, head for Ljubljana, stopping in the beautiful city of Graz with some free time to explore. On arrival in Ljubljana, embark on 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.

Experiences

Visit Graz: Visit this bustling city and enjoy an orientation tour of Austria’s second-largest city with your tour leader. Graz is home to a charming Old Town, palaces and forts coupled with intriguing contemporary art.

Ljubljana tour: Meet up with an expert local guide for a walking tour of the city. On foot, encounter the inimitable scenery of the medieval old town, Preseren Square, City Centre, the Riverfront, Dragon Bridge and Cobblers Bridge. When the formal tour is done, enjoy some time to explore. A visit to the 13th-century St. Nicholas Church (its Baroque architecture is truly spectacular) is highly recommended.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 10: Salzburg - Munich

Leaving Ljubljana behind, visit the spectacular Lake Bled. Take some time to wander around or try the famous Bled Cream Cake! Hop back on the coach and stop off in the picture-perfect city of Salzburg. Featuring gorgeous architecture, a formidable cliff-top fortress and imposing cliffs in the distance, this is a true fairytale city. This was also Mozart’s home-town - see if a little of the genius rubs off! Arriving back in Munich, the evening is free to spend as you wish. Relax in the hotel, go for dinner in a local restaurant, or even visit another beer hall with your new-found friends on the tour.

Experiences

Visit Lake Bled: This beautiful lake in Slovenia is situated in the Julian Alps. The lake surrounds Bled Island located at its centre, and is overlooked by the medieval Bled Castle on the north shore. Enjoy some free time to explore this gorgeous area.

Salzburg comfort stop: Divided by the Salzach River, the west side of the centre is characterised by the medieval and baroque architecture of the World Heritage Listed Old City (Altstadt), which faces the 19th century New City (Neustadt). A fairytale castle overlooks the city upon a steep hill and against a background of scenic Alpine mountains.

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel


DAY 11: End of tour in Munich

This Christmas and New Year adventure concludes in Munich after breakfast. Expat Explore hopes you've loved every minute of your Eastern Highlights tour, and wishes you a safe onward journey!

Meals

Breakfast

What's Included

Accommodation

  • 10 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms
  • Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

Meals

  • 10 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners
    *Vegetarian options available for all meals on request

Transport

  • Modern air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet onboard
  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)

Tour Leader

  • Fully guided tour with experienced tour leader
  • Tour leader will accompany group throughout and manage all logistical details

17 Experiences!

  1. Explore Munich on an orientation tour
  2. Say “prost” in an authentic German beer hall
  3. Visit Nuremberg, a stunning Bavarian city
  4. Enjoy dinner on Christmas Eve in Prague
  5. Explore Prague on Christmas Day
  6. Embark on a guided tour of Auschwitz concentration camp
  7. Discover Krakow; Poland’s royal capital
  8. Visit the historic city of Banska Bystrica in Slovakia
  9. Taste Hungarian food at a local restaurant in Budapest
  10. See the sights of Budapest on a driving tour
  11. Visit Bratislava; Slovakia’s capital city
  12. Discover Vienna on a walking and driving tour
  13. Enjoy dinner in a Viennese wine cellar
  14. Stop in Graz; a picturesque Austrian city
  15. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Ljubljana
  16. Experience the scenic Lake Bled
  17. Visit the picturesque city of Salzburg

Accommodation

Hotels are chosen closer to departure date. We do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here.

Munich

Photos of the tour

Prague+

Discover the many fairytale sights within the magical city of Prague! Tour the impressive Prague Castle complex with a local guide and learn about its regal history before exploring the charming Mala Strana neighbourhood nestled at the foot of the castle. Then, take a cruise down the Vltava River and marvel at Prague’s enchanting buildings and bridges from the water. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet of Czech dishes while on board plus one included drink!

Optional Excursions

Unless marked as “Pre-Book”, all optional excursions can be booked on tour and paid for in cash (in the stated currency) to your tour leader.
Prices and availability are subject to change

Dates & Rates

2025 dates for this tour will go on sale soon! To book now with early access to the lowest price, please complete this enquiry form

Our pricing model: Lowest-priced seats are sold first, then the price increases slightly. The quicker you book, the less you pay. Select a date below to secure your seat.
Years
Start Date / End DateFlexible BookingStatusPrice Per Person
23 Dec 2024 - 02 Jan 2025Flexible booking date for 23 Dec 2024 - 02 Jan 2025Seats selling fast - Book now!€ 1,640 € 1,485
23 Dec 2024 - 02 Jan 2025Flexible booking date for 23 Dec 2024 - 02 Jan 2025Seats selling fast - Book now!€ 1,640 € 1,485

Number of travellers

Payment option

Flexible booking: flexible booking

Additional Information

For pre-departure and visa information, as well as frequently asked questions regarding preparing for and travelling on this tour, please visit our Help Centre.

Additional Information Help Centre

Reviews

Reviews powered by: Power Reviews

29 reviews
R
RobRoy Verified Buyer 2023-02-01
Awesome Christmas trip!
My wife and I had a really enjoyed this trip! The itinerary was really good. We had a great time at all of the locations. We would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, they were all great! It was awesome spending time in Europe for Christmas! Our tour leader Roma was fantastic! She was fun and we had a great time! She worked very hard organizing hotels, restaurants and tours! I'm not sure people realize how much work that is! She did a great job keeping this large group organized and happy, that was not easy. Thank you Roma for a wonderful trip! Our bus driver Arpaid was great! He got us down some narrow streets and parked at hotels where you would not think possible. He got our bags loaded and unloaded in no time. He was always where we needed him when we needed him. Thank you Arpaid for driving us through Eastern Europe! The local guides were great! The young lady that we had on our first evening in Krakow was really good. The woman on the first evening in Budapest was very good. T
I
Isabel Verified Buyer 2023-01-15
A great introduction to Europe
This was a well paced tour with plenty of flexibility to do your own thing. With two nights in most places there was time to get a sense of each and a good idea for spending more time in each for future travel. There was a good range of optional activities in which to participate, but no pressure to do so. Hotels were generally comfortable and well located (for the most part). Expect early starts on travel days, but they're needed to get to next destination with a little time to explore. Well worth it overall, and with an extra night in many places there's a respite/opportunity to sleep in the next day or on the bus, which was comfortable. Breakfasts were excellent - plenty of variety, some outstanding, and catering well to most dietary needs. Our tour guide, Roma, was brilliant - highly organised, a lot of fun, and a great leader. Our bus driver was amazing and a legend! I definitely recommend Expat Explore for this tour and will use them again.
B
Bernie Verified Buyer 2023-01-12
Fantastic
Great put together tour. It is one of the best that we have been on, sometimes a bit hectic but we all managed. Our tour leader Marty was fabulous, a source of information and made the trip really enjoyable. She was a person that you can associate with and talk to, highly recommended. Anyone thinking of doing this tour, don't hesitate just go. We didn't really experience much snow at all, but then we can't control the weather, but for touring Europe in the middle of winter was perfect.
S
Stephan Verified Buyer 2023-01-09
Worth Every Penny!
The tour met and exceeded our expectations. We did a similar tour a few years ago with another company. The big difference was our tour guide Marty. She was phenomenal. She was organized, engaging and her knowledge and stories of the places we visited was far superior than our last trip. We met and had fun interactions with people from Australia, South America, the Philippines etc and we became a small little family. I would highly recommend both the tour and Marty our tour guide.
m
michael Verified Buyer 2023-01-07
seeing the best of many captials at speed
the tour was generally very good, and the tour leader was excellent managing to communicate and get her messages through to all the tourist on the tour. It was a well run and on time. Very had to do, so credit to Roma