Highlights of Eastern Europe - Insight Vacations

Highlights of Eastern Europe (Summer 2017)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

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 somber reminders of WWII.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Budapest

    Enjoy your complimentary private VIP door-to-door transfer to your UK departure airport. 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.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    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?

  3. 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.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    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?

  5. 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.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. Day 14

    Depart Vienna

    A transfer arrives at Vienna airport at 08:00. On arrival at your UK airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your return private VIP transfer home.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Vienna: A private tour with a Local Expert showcases the sheer opulence of Schönbrunn Palace, rich in Rococo and glittering gold.
  • Budapest: With a Local Expert, visit Matthias Church and gaze out over the Danube and Parliament from the Fisherman's Bastion.
  • Kraków: The medieval heart of Kraków is rich in legend, a kind of Polish Camelot. Join an expert historian for an in-depth exploration of this historic 'Holy Grail'.
  • Auschwitz: Experience a powerful and moving visit to the memorial and museum of Auschwitz and a stop at Birkenau, which bears witness to the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust.
  • Częstochowa: Visit the 14th century Monastery of Jasna Góra, famous for the Black Madonna.
  • Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, experience a private tour through the atmospheric courtyards of Prague Castle.
  • Český Krumlov: Let a Local Expert lead you through a medieval labyrinth of private chambers, courtyards, kitchens and dungeons of the castle, so rich in history.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vienna: See the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles' Church.
  • Budapest: Enjoy skyline views from Gellért Hill. Walk through the cobbled streets of the medieval Castle Hill district. See the Parliament and visit Heroes' Square in Pest.
  • Slovakia: See Oravsky Hrad Castle and some of Slovakia's traditional wooden houses.
  • Czestochowa: Visit the Black Madonna in the monastery.
  • Warsaw: Visit the Old Town and Chopin & Ghetto memorials.
  • Berlin: See Tiergarten, Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate.
  • Dresden: Admire the mosaic on the Saxon wall of the castle. See Frauenkirche, Cathedral, Zwinger Palace and Opera House.
  • Prague: Visit the Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock.
  • Scenic Drives: Tatra Mountains.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Warsaw: Enjoy a demonstration of the traditional techniques of dumpling making with an expert chef. Then enjoy a hearty Polish dinner with a variety of local delicacies, including wine or beer.
  • České Budějovice: Tour a local brewery to discover the secrets of how this golden vintage is made, followed by a sampling.
  • Cesky Krumlov: For your Dine-Around evening, choose your own style of ambience and cuisine from a fine selection of restaurants in the atmospheric centre.
  • Vienna: Your Imperial Viennese Celebration Dinner is regal splendour on a plate. Enjoy a delicious three-course dinner with wine and a concert of classical music that pays homage to the genius of Strauss and Mozart.
  • 13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Budapest: The Corinthia blends classic hotel opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Located in the heart of the city, its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning.
  • Cesky Krumlov: The 5-star Hotel Ruze is everything you expect in Cesky Krumlov - centrally located, historic and grand, beautifully restored and renovated with period furnishings and decor.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • 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.

Optional experiences

Most Insight tours already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Tour Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your tour. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Danube Cruise Dinner & Drinks

The most leisurely way to discover this fairy-tale city is a private cruise on the Danube with a glass of fine Hungarian wine in hand. See Margaret Island, the Houses of Parliament, Castle Hill with its Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, the Citadel and the University. While cruising, enjoy a lavish, gourmet buffet meal of Hungarian specialties and unlimited drinks.

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: BUD0001

Parliament

Join your local expert for a tour of the Hungarian Parliament building, one of the largest and most ornate parliamentary buildings in the world. This impressive symbol of Budapest was the country's most expensive construction (they could have built a town for 40,000 inhabitants for the same cost!). With all of its gilded decorations and marble, it's often referred to as the 'Jewel box of the nation'. After the visit, we'll stop at the Kossuth Lajos square to see the Monument of the 1956 Uprising, then explore Liberty Square and take pictures of its monuments and statues. Finally, we'll see the Shoes on the Danube, a memorial dedicated to Hungarian Jews.

Adult Price: EUR 43.00

Code: BUD0005

Gundel Dinner

We dine at Hungary's most-famous restaurant Gundel, where crowned heads and glamourous glitterati have wined and dined over the past hundred years. We'll enjoy a delicious dinner as well as the world-famous dessert - the 'Gundel Pancake' - in these elegant surroundings.

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: BUD0007

Hungarian Dinner & Music

Gypsy music is entwined in the nation's cultural identity and Budapest is one of the few remaining European capitals with an active traditional music and folk dance scene. Tonight enjoy a sumptuous Hungarian dinner with drinks in a local restaurant while musicians serenade you at your table and put on a lively show that will leave you breathless!

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: BUD0004

Polka Party Dinner

Enjoy a generous selection of traditional Polish cuisine and drinks in the countryside outside Krakow. A local, beautifully-dressed folk group and live band will entertain you with songs and dances and you might even get to join them for a polka or two! Don't miss this enjoyable evening.

Adult Price: EUR 56.00

Code: KRA0004

Salt Mines Excursion

A visit to the 600 year old salt mines on the outskirts of Krakow, where we view an underground world of chambers filled with absolutely unique salt sculptures, sculpted by the miners themselves (placed by UNESCO on the World Heritage list).

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: KRA0001

Chopin Concert

The spirit of Warsaw and the music of Chopin go hand in hand. In a concert venue located in the centre of Warsaw, enjoy an exclusive private recital of his music performed by a celebrated Polish pianist. Champagne is served during the intermission.

Adult Price: EUR 46.00

Code: WAR0002

Warsaw as it Once Was

Visit THE landmark of Warsaw - the imposing Palace of Culture with your local expert. An elevator takes you to the 30th floor of Stalin's skyscraper for impressive views. Next, explore the Praga district, where the spirit of Warsaw prior to WWII survives. We'll delve into everyday life during communism and visit a recreation of a typical urban flat from those times. Experience the paradoxes of the times and the absurdities of everyday life.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: WAR0003

Wilanów Palace

To the Polish people, Wilanów is more than just a palace – it's a national treasure, the embodiment of an era from which much has been lost. Join a local expert for a guided visit to the ‘Polish Versailles’. Walk within the baroque royal residence to admire the stunning collection of furniture, portraits and china which forms part of the National Museum.

Adult Price: EUR 34.00

Code: WAR0001

Berliner Dinner & Entertainment

Berlin's eating establishments have enjoyed legendary status ever since the "Golden Twenties". This evening you are treated to traditional Berliner cuisine in a lively local restaurant with live music and drinks. Guten Appetit!

Adult Price: EUR 56.00

Code: BER0004

Highlights of Former East Berlin

We'll explore the shadows of the past with our local expert. Your tour of the former East Berlin includes visits to the staggering Holocaust Memorial and the Soviet Memorial next to the German Parliament. A highlight will be exploring a still intact section of the Berlin Wall. At Checkpoint Charlie, we'll follow in the footsteps of those brave souls who attempted dramatic escapes across the “Iron Curtain” into freedom.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: BER0007

Magical Prague

Enjoy as sights of Prague glide by during a private cruise on The Vltava River. Next discover on foot the hidden world of Prague's Malá Strana district accompanied by our expert local guide. Continue over famous Charles Bridge. A refreshment is included.

Adult Price: EUR 38.00

Code: PRA0005

Traditional Dinner & Folklore Entertainment

Hearty and delicious, Czech cuisine borrows heavily from its Central European neighbours, but also boasts a few unique twists of its own. In a local restaurant, enjoy a traditional Czech meal accompanied by the planet's most perfect pilsner. During dinner, lively musicians in traditional dress set the mood with songs and dances from Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: PRA0003

Hidden Treasures Of Old Vienna Walk

A leisurely walk with an expert historian unveils the hidden squares and tucked-away corners of the old city. See the Hofburg Palace, which was the official residence of the Habsburg Empire for more then 600 years. Admire the beautiful baroque Church of St. Peter's and the Column of the Holy Trinity. See the most important House of Mozart, where "Marriage of Figaro" was composed. Finally, visit St. Stephen's Cathedral where your local expert explains its importance to Austrian culture and history.

Adult Price: EUR 30.00

Code: VIE0004

Bridge of Spies, Sanssouci & Dinner

Our evening takes us to Potsdam, the summer home and royal residence to the Kings of Prussia. Here we'll see the ‘Sanssouci’ palace of the most celebrated Prussian king, Frederick the Great. We'll enjoy time for photos in the gardens and then continue to the Glienicke Bridge, the famous 'Bridge of Spies'. The bridge was used for spy exchanges between East & West during the Cold War. We'll cross the bridge on foot before continuing to historic Wirsthaus Moorlake, nestled on the banks of the Havel river, for an evening of traditional German fare.

Adult Price: EUR 63.00

Code: BER0008

Excursion To Szentendre With Micro Museum

A fascinating excursion takes you past the remains of the Roman settlement of Aquincum and alongside the Danube, to the picturesque riverside village of Szentendre. An orientation walk through the cobbled streets leads to the main square – an excellent place from which to explore. Szentendre houses a delightful array of craft-shops, art museums and galleries. Included is a visit to the Micro Museum, where impossibly tiny sculptures can only be viewed under a microscope. Ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?

Adult Price: EUR 27.00

Code: BUD0002

Dinner In A Country Mansion

Cross the Danube, passing the famous Prater Park en route to one of Austria's most famous restaurants. Former patrons include Napoleon, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Liz Taylor and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once through the door of this historic country mansion you're transported to a different world! Old memorabilia, autographed photos and other paraphernalia cover the ceilings, walls and even the rest rooms. Choose from traditional Austrian fare, enjoy unlimited drinks and be serenaded by musicians at your table. A fun-filled experience never to be forgotten!

Adult Price: EUR 62.00

Code: VIE0003

Accommodation

 

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Budapest (Central) - Hungary

Signature Hotel

Corinthia Hotel, Budapest

Radisson Blu Krakow

Krakow (Central) - Poland

Complimentary Wifi

The Radisson Blu Hotel is centrally located and is perfect for exploring local attractions such as Wawel Castle, Florian's Gate and St Mary's Basilica.

Sheraton Warsaw

Warsaw (Central) - Poland

Complimentary Wifi

Sheraton Warsaw Hotel & Towers, Located in the heart of the city, close to the Polish Parliament and the diplomatic district.

Steigenberger Hotel Berlin

Berlin (Central) - Germany

Complimentary Wifi

Steigenberger Hotel, Berlin

Lindner Hotel Prague Castle

Prague (Central) - Czech Republic

Complimentary Wifi

Hotel Ruze Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov (Central) - Czech Republic

Complimentary Wifi

Hotel Ruze, Český Krumlov

Hilton Vienna

Vienna (Central) - Austria

Complimentary Wifi

With views over the city and neighbouring Stadtpark, the Hilton Vienna is just a short walk from attractions like the Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

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  • 5 out of 5

    Tour Director Judy was Fantastic

    5/25/2017 Mark Caruso, Albuquerque, United States

    We recently returned from two week tour of Eastern Europe with insight's Judy as our tour director. This was our first Insight Tour. We have previously had 5 of the two week vacations on Trafalgar. So here is my comparison between Trafalgar and Insight. 1. They are sister companies, but Insight is a higher grade than Trafalgar. 2. All 5 star hotels on Insight, but usually 4 star on Trafalgar. 3. Less seats and less fellow passengers on the Insight bus as compared to the Trafalgar bus. 4. Because many of the meals, including all breakfasts, were in the 5 star hotels, the breakfasts on Insight tour were much better. For instance the price of breakfasts if not included with Insight at the Hilton Vienna was 35 Euros. It was truly a 5 star breakfast as were all the breakfasts on the Insight tour. Also, those dinners that were included in the hotels were also 5 star dinners. 5. We have had fantastic tour directors on Trafalgar and Insight. Our tour director on this Insight tour was Judy. She was the first female tour director we have had on Trafalgar or Insight. She really took good care of us and was phenomenal in her knowledge of the history, politics and culture of the areas we visited. In conclusion, I would highly recommend Insight Vacations for future travel. We really enjoyed the step up from Trafalgar. Don't get me wrong, Trafalgar was great. But now that we have seen the comparisons it is Insight for all of our future travel.

    11 out of 11 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great tour and Tour Director

    9/10/2016 Adriano Bicchi, Bundoora, Australia

    We found this tour a wonderful journey with plenty of history, architecture and views at every turn. Hotels were very central and comfortable with sightseeing sites almost at our door step. We had time to explore and savor the sites at our leisure. The best thing we found and what made the tour fantastic was our Tour Director Erin Robertson, we found her to be the best one in all our tours (5 with Insight and 5 with Trafalgar) She made as all feel very special.

    20 out of 22 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great tour

    7/29/2016 Gregory Bailes, Austin (TX), United States

    Our fourth Insight tour and couldn't be happier. We had a great itinerary and best tour director out of all 4 trips. I would highly recommend Insight.

    10 out of 10 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Eastern Europe Tour Feedback

    10/16/2015 Joanne Sullivan, Garland, United States

    The tour exceeded all of my expectations. From the time I arrived at the hotel until the time I left. I do not believe I have one negative thing to say. The accommodations were wonderful and I cannot say enough about the tour guide and bus driver. The tour guide was so knowledgeable and personable. I work as a director of project managers and I do not think I have ever seen someone as organized as Irena. The bus driver, Alex, was amazing. He made driving on the narrow streets of all of the cities and towns we visited seamless. I was never once concerned about my safety. I will definitely look to Insight vacations to arrange my next vacation. Thank you.

    26 out of 26 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Cities to enrich you

    9/27/2015 Lilena Pinault, Penticton, Canada

    Our tour of Eastern Europe was wonderful extravaganza of history, sights, food, and over all good fun. The folks on the tour as well as our driver and tour director enhanced the experience.

    10 out of 10 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    Feed your inner self

    8/2/2015 Heather Willson, Hoppers Crossing, Australia

    We did feed our hunger for art and history. Plenty of that we were also fed with the foods of the area - so much food! Visually stunning cities - Budapest, Prague and Cheky Kromlow. the tour guide was probably the best we have ever had. we've used Insight about 10 times but Karin Korolova went above and beyond! She gets our big thumbs up. Her attention to detail and personal touches were outstanding. The heat wave made some parts of the tour difficult, but Karin had an answer for everything.

    22 out of 22 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    An Awesome Experience

    7/20/2015 Christine Frederick, Holton, United States

    I enjoyed myself so much on the Highlights of Eastern Europe trip. The tour guide was so GREAT and her knowledge of the area, especially growing up in Slovakia, made it more special. The hotels were very good and the people at the hotels were very helpful. I was very impressed with Karin making sure that all details were covered during the entire trip. For the safety of the people on the trip, all concerns about what to do and NOT to do were mentioned, which made me feel very safe since I was traveling on my own. The biggest thing that made me feel very lucky to be where I was-my check-in bag made it to Vienna after I did. The airport did know where it was at every moment, but Karin and the first hotel went above and beyond to track and get it to the hotel as soon as possible, which they did!!!!! This is my second trip with Insight, minus husband, and I am looking forward to go on another trip in 2017. I highly recommend Insight Vacations for amazing trips to very special places in Europe. Next time around is going to Scotland and Ireland and I have already looked at Insights' trip-I need to save my money so I can book and go in 2017. Insight Vacations is the best way to see amazing places without having to worry about all the little details.

    23 out of 24 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Eastern Europe with Joey Maclean

    7/5/2015 Cathy Christiana, Middletown, United States

    Best trip ever with Insights and Joey Maclean as our Tour Director! Beautiful cities, scenery, fascinating history, wonderful cultural experiences! Well paced tour with lots of included sightseeing as well as free time to explore on your own. Can't wait for my next Insights trip!

    12 out of 12 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Highlights of Easter Eurobe

    7/3/2015 Marta Sonderberg, Chicago, United States

    This was our first tour bus trip and we were not sure how we were going to like it. Well, all I can say is that we both thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the trip. Our AAA Travel Agent was very helpfull and a pleasure to work with. The itinerary was full of history and breathtaking scenery and could not have asked for more. Our Tour Director was professional, funny, and had a wealth of knowledge of all the countries we visited. The Bus Driver was courteous, professional, and a great driver. All these professionals, along with the great accommodations and very comfortable bus help to make our tour a very memorable one. We could not have had a nicer time. We would highly recommend this tour and Insight Vacations.

    15 out of 15 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great Experience

    6/28/2015 Catherine Harrison, Green Bay, United States

    As we traveled on the Highlights of Eastern Europe we were amazed at the resilience of the people of the area of the world. Our guide, Carrie Ann provided such a picture of what life was like in these areas that we felt like we were there. So much information and opportunities to learn, great time. Carrie Ann and Alec, our driver were professional and informed. Our fellow travelers were prompt and respectful of each other which made our travels even better. Thanks to our travel agent, Dawn at Fox World Travel for laying out this trip for us. Cathy and Tom Harrison

    17 out of 17 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Eastern Europe Highlights

    6/15/2015 David Madill, Dingley Village, Australia

    Once again Insight have delivered all that was promised, with top class hotels in the centre of cities, excellent meals, an almost new coach, an expert driver, a very well organised tour director and a really worthwhile package of optional tours. Highlights were the 2 live classical concerts ( 1 Chopin, 1 Mozart/Strauss), the Krakow Salt mines and the river cruises. I would not class the visit to Auschwitz a highlight but it was a confronting and emotional experience which should not be missed. As long as you can manage a fair amount of walking, this trip is a definite YES.

    17 out of 17 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Thanks for Providing a Great Tour

    6/12/2015 David Jones, Belmont, Australia

    Eastern Europe is certainly a fascinating place and it is interesting to see how far some of these countries have moved from the Soviet era. We saw some fantastic places: the saltmines near Kraków, the city of Prague, the tragedy of Auschwitz and others. Our Tour Director proved herself time and again to be an expert organiser with exemplary interpersonal skills. The coach was fabulous: what leg-room! We travelled back roads and main highways but always (except Warsaw to Berlin) with well chosen/worthwhile stops. The included visits were top notch (i.e. Schonnbrun Palace). Along the way we were treated to endless "flourishes" (i.e. little local treats such as foods, drink, spices, etc.). Hotels were excellent and always well located to put you in or near the heart of the city. This gave easy access to personal exploration outside the optional/included tours. We did an Insight Tour 15 years ago and thought that they were good then, though the hotels were not central. Now the only reason we would look elsewhere is for smaller group tours. Thanks Insight (and Tour Director Erin) you provided a wonderful experience.

    20 out of 20 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Hugh's the man

    10/11/2014 Judy Davies, Dover Gardens, Australia

    My husband and I travelled with Insight for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a great bunch of people on our tour but we would like to make a special mention about our a tour guide Hugh McMillan. What an amazing man with a wealth of knowledge. We thought we had a good command of world history/events but Hugh taught us something nearly everyday. He was always there but never intrusive. Insight have a valuable resource in this amazing young man. I can imagine it's a tough gig for him but he does it with such aplomb.

    19 out of 19 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Highlights of Eastern Europe, 2014

    8/16/2014 Jean Petruszkiewicz, Hamilton, Canada

    My husband and I returned this week from our wonderful tour of Eastern Europe with Beata! We had very high expectations of this Insight tour based on our previous Insight tour and, well, from the moment we met Beata in Budapest, to our fond farewell in Vienna, our expectations were exceeded! Her historical, political, social and geographic knowledge of Eastern Europe astounded us as we toured the large metropolitan areas, as well as the towns and areas that are much less populated. Beata's attention to detail and our queries enriched our tour. Oh my, we could not forget the countless personal kindnesses that personalized the tour for us and the group. While we simply can not adequately give Beata the accolades she so richly deserves in this forum, we know we had the best and most memorable tour of Eastern Europe with her. Our bus driver, Karol from Budapest, was highly skilled and very patient. Whether driving on the highways or in large cities or manoeuvring narrow, windy roads, he expertly maneuvered the bus and ensured our journey was always safe and comfortable. And so now, as we relive our trip through photos, we will be planning our next Insight tour...so many choices!

    23 out of 23 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    We will return

    8/14/2014 Mariaan Murphy, Pretoria, South Africa

    We did not believe that we could enjoy another Insight tour more than the previous one, but they just keep getting better. Can't wait for the next Insight Vacation.

    20 out of 21 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Fantastic Experience!

    7/29/2014 Kathryn Sauer, Las Vegas, United States

    This trip was incredibly interesting. Our tour guide was a wealth of knowledge about the history of every place we went. He was able to tie together the events of WWI and WWII and how the places we visited were impacted. The optionals were wonderful. The hotels were located at the heart of each location so that free time was well spent. It is hard for me to imagine that I will use any other tour company other that Insight for a vacation.

    14 out of 14 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Highly recommend this tour

    7/27/2014 Hannah Dunn, Melville, United States

    Love this tour! Everything from seeing all the places and optional tours, tour director-Judit Surjan, hotels, food, and driver, Karl were top notch. Couldn't ask for more. Love Insight for what they put together- A PERFECT VACATION PACKAGE! Friends of my sister-in-law called two days after we got home. They wanted to know about the tour, Highlights of Eastern Europe. I have told them everything about the tour-tour director, sites, food, hotels,optional tours, etc. Needless to say, they have booked for Sept./Oct. 2015. Thank you Insight for wonderful memories and will be booking with you on all future trips.

    12 out of 12 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Highlights of Eastern Europe

    7/26/2014 Karen Zawacki, Estero, United States

    Great trip. Very interesting and beautiful. Jammed with information about pre and post war construction and reconstruction. Tour Guide Greg was excellent.

    7 out of 8 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    GREAT TOUR!!!

    7/25/2014 Joseph Columbo, Melville, United States

    My husband and I went on this tour and we had such a GREAT time. Each of the places we were at had so much history. We have come away with so much knowledge of the culture and history of each of those places. Hotels were great. The tour director, Judit Surjan was wonderful. She made sure that everything was taken care of prior to getting to the places. You didn't have to worry about anything. For example, she knew where all the currency exhanges were at each location and that is very important since this trip takes you to places that don't accept Euros. We are definitely looking forward to booking all future trips with Insight and we HOPE that one of the future trips will bring Judit and us together again.

    13 out of 13 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Eastern Europe Adventure

    7/24/2014 Rex Hagon, Toronto, Canada

    This was our first time taking any kind of organized tour and it was a 100% success! Historically we have chosen to plan trips by ourselves, and make the necessary land arrangements either before leaving or on the ground in the moment. What a treat to have everything arranged and planned—from hotel choice, bags-to-rooms, local experts, and selected meals. Judith and Karyl (our wonderful driver) worked seamlessly together so that we had nothing to do but enjoy the sights or relax during the rides. Judith brought a friendly, firm efficiency to her task of herding us cats, and provided a wealth of valuable information during the bus rides. While our agenda was full, it never became frenetic nor did we have the feeling that we were rushing an historical moment. In summary: · Good selection of cities to see and just the right “highlights” in each · Coaches were comfortable and roomy · Tour was well-organized and we felt there was good value for the cost · Food and hotels were of excellent quality. · Hotels really well situated – this was critically important! · Size of tour was 40 – that’s ok – might have been good with 30 people – but no complaints · Good balance between activity (tour days) with time in Coach (travel days). · Excellent rotation of seating in the Coach, and good frequency of “rest” stops on the travel days. · Sufficient balance between free time and scheduled tour time · Optional excursions were well-timed and of good value and of good variety – we enjoyed them but did not participate in all of them. Learnings going forward: · As this was our first tour - we did not expect Optional Excursions, and as a result had not budgeted for the cost. It would have been good to know about this. No biggie – more for Insight to better explain to future newbies. · Euros do not work in Poland or Hungary – you need to use their currency. Again, no biggie – we turned our Euros in as needed. · Good to have our Loyalty card along for those hotel chains where we stayed and where we could accumulate points. Thank you Insight for a memorable holiday. We are not hesitating spreading the good word on the fine job your crew did on our collective behalf. R. Hagon/D. Woolf

    27 out of 27 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Wonderful Eastern Europe!

    7/14/2014 Pamela Sampson, Epping, Australia

    If you are fortunate enough to have a Tour Director Like Beata and a driver called Sandor your 10/10 trip will escalate to a 12/10! Fantastic locations and hotels from the moment I arrived I felt "looked after". This was my 4th Insight vacation in 9 years they just keep getting better...thank you! Pam - Sydney Australia

    11 out of 11 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    Photo Travelog for the Highlights and Discovery of Eastern Europe April 28 - May 25, 2014

    6/2/2014 Youngsok Song, Northmead, Australia

    During our memorable trip to Eastern Europe, we maintained a Photo Travelog almost on a day-by-day basis. I thought it would be a good idea to share the travelog with you as our realistic review. When you open the link below, you will see a map showing blue marker pins. Click the head of a pin to see a quick note about the place and a link to an automatic photo slideshow from the visit. http://www.yntweb.net/eeu/ Enjoy it. Cheers, YS

    35 out of 35 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Awesome vacation

    5/3/2014 Brenda Zamojc, Burlington, Canada

    We took the highlights of Eastern Europe tour and it was amazing. We met lots of great people and were extremely pleased with accommodations. The tour guide Friederike was outstanding in her attention to detail and willingness to go out of her way to meet the needs of the members of the tour. She has a great sense of humour and made the trip all the more memorable for it. Fabulous bus driver as well. Highly recommend the tour.

    12 out of 12 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Eastern European Countries

    9/26/2013 Jeanette Poole, Garrettsville, United States

    Our tour was a 5 star despite the persistent rain and coolness. Our guide was very knowledgeable and positive. Appreciated his organization and sense of humor. The last concert and meal in the Augesburger palace was wonderful!

    24 out of 26 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    First Timers do not worry - it will be better, than you think

    9/25/2013 Harry Solterbeck, Ocean Grove, Australia

    We were not sure, how we would enjoy our first bust tour ever! However the selected trip into the Eastern European Block Contries was a little embitious to undertake by car.....and so we booked with Insight. What a lovely surprise, the trip was well planned and executed. The brand new Mercedes bus a delight to travel in - but the best of it all was a a skill full drive (thanks Alex). We were of course aware, were we would travel and in some cases it was new to us. The BIG difference was the charming, knowlegabel Tour Director - who added immermeasurable value and hours of well structured history lessons with a smile and great humour (Thank you - Kerri-Anne)

    32 out of 32 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    Highlights of Eastern Europe

    9/1/2013 Jaspal Sharma, Ardross, Australia

    We just returned from our trip and it was really good....the hotels were excellent..and breakfast...the bus comfortable with lot of leg room....It was not as slow pace as we would have wanted but we managed....The only place where we thought we could have spent more time was in Berlin...the tour guide for Berlin was hopeless ...we paid extra for Highlights of Former East Berlin which was just a waste as she did not do her job properly!! Insight need to look into that.....otherwise a good way of touching base with all the countries...

    40 out of 40 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Wonderful trip

    7/22/2013 Joanne Garec, Dunnville, Canada

    This is a good introductory trip to some of Europe's most interesting cities. Then you can decide which ones to visit more in depth in the future. Insight has the best hotels and the included meals and sight seeing were great.we have done 2 Insight trips and they seem to have wonderful guides as well.

    39 out of 39 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great Trip!!

    6/13/2013 Margaret Charleton, College Station, United States

    We loved our trip. The hotels were good and our tour guide was excellent. We learned a lot about Eastern Europe. The optional activities were also very enjoyable.We would highly recommend Heinz as a tour guide and this tour.

    19 out of 19 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Highlights of Eastern Europe

    5/20/2013 Geraldine Mullins, Garden City, United States

    My husband and I took the Eastern European tour. The tour was exactly what we were hoping for -a terrific itinerary, lovely hotels and a great group of people to spend 2 weeks with. I really can't begin to say, though, how much the trip was enhanced by our tour director, Greg. No question was ignored, nothing was too much trouble to help with - it seemed everyone on the trip had positive feelings toward him. He was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge regarding the countries we visited. He made the information extremely interesting. We really got a great deal out of the trip; and if any one is contemplating taking this tour, it is money well spent.

    50 out of 50 people found this comment useful

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