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Awe-inspiring architecture. Fascinating historical attractions. Lively local culture. This Eastern European tour has it all! Drink in the glamour and historical splendour of Vienna. Walk along the Danube in Prague at dusk. Drink a toast to life in a German beer hall & honour history at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Take immersive walking tours with local guides & enjoy free days in Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. Explore at a steady pace. Make new friends. Start ticking your bucket list! This is Eastern Europe at its finest.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to Munich! The first day of the tour is our arrivals day. Meet your fellow travellers, and depending on what time you arrive, head into Munich and see the sights on an orientation tour. 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 in Munich. 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 culture. Prost!
On our way to Prague, we take a comfort stop 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. Famous for its art, architecture, cobbled lanes and ancient chapels, this is also home to some of Europe’s finest beer. Prague is 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. Known for its brilliant beer and abundance of art, any exploration of Prague will be a rewarding one. After getting your bearings on a walking tour of the city with a local guide, experience authentic Czech cuisine at our local restaurant for dinner on your first night in Prague.
The day is yours to treat yourself to the fairy tale magic of Prague and maybe revisit some of the places you saw yesterday. 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. It is also worth noting that Prague is the home of absinthe. Some say that Vincent Van Gogh’s love affair with this drink is considered to be the most famed in history and a possible cause of his madness.
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. But before taking a walking tour of this treasure-trove of a city, we take a look at a darker time in Krakow’s history, with a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Originally constructed to hold Polish political prisoners in 1940, it went on to become a major site of the Nazi extermination of Jews transported to the camp from all over German occupied Europe. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, which is now a museum that gives a horrific reminder of the holocaust.
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. Alternatively, explore Krakow even further.
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 (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. Some of the most popular ones are Szechenyi Medicinal Bath.
We leave Budapest and head for the grandeur of Vienna, stopping for a comfort stop 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, explore a little more and take advantage of the fact that pretty much everything is just a short stroll away!
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! Shortly afterwards we press on for 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 as a reminder of your first day.
Our Eastern European adventure concludes after breakfast. We hope you've loved every minute of your Eastern Highlights tour, and we wish you a safe onward journey!
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