European Rhapsody

European Discoveries

Discovery Trip

European Rhapsody (Summer 2019)

Duration: 11 days Visiting: England, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Discover Europe’s grandeur and the legacy of the powerful Habsburg dynasty on this soul-stirring journey of Europe’s imperial cities. Be inspired by the family heritage of royalty as you meet a castle owner in the Rhine Valley and enjoy dinner at a family home in beautiful Budapest. Your journey culminates in timeless Venice with its romantic and lavish palaces.

  • Discover fairy-tale Germany, walking through the cobbled streets of Rothenburg with your Local Expert.
  • Step back in time in stately Vienna as your Local Expert brings the city’s elaborate Habsburgs heritage to life and enjoy a slice of Sachertorte at one of Vienna’s decadent cafes.
  • Learn about Venice’s fascinating gondola traditions from a gondolier during a private gathering.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to London.

    Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.

  2. Day 2

    Depart London by Eurostar to Amsterdam.

    At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar for a rail journey via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Once in Amsterdam, join your Travel Director in the evening for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests during a cruise, along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge. Disembark and venture to Humphrey's Restaurant Spuistraat for your Welcome Dinner.

  3. Day 3

    Legends along the Rhine.

    Cross into Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. Visit a castle set upon the Rhine, for a private estate viewing with a local guide dress in 19th century costume. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Continue to Würzburg where there is time to stroll through the heart of the Old Town and down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, admire the city at night and appreciate the mighty Marienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.

  4. Day 4

    Rothenburg and Golden Prague.

    In the morning, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Continue east to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, before reaching the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?

  5. Day 5

    Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.

    Join a Local Expert in the morning for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historic centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, to admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel that delights onlookers each hour. Then, the city is all yours to explore with the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps you may choose to rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal?

  6. Day 6

    Through Bohemia to Budapest.

    Start the day with a journey through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia. Journey through Slovakia and travel on to Hungary, following the River Danube to Budapest. Stand atop Gellért Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue stands in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. In the evening, join a Local Expert to enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's nighttime beauty as you float along the Danube.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    The flavours of Budapest.

    Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda with a Local Expert. Then, enjoy free time to browse the boutiques of Vaci Street. Continue your travels, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border and through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Vienna and the Habsburgs.

    In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Get your camera ready for a drive around 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, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament building. Later, join your Local Expert for a walk through Innere Stadt, the first district and historic core of Vienna. At a typical Viennese Coffeehouse, your Local Expert will share tales from a bygone era as you enjoy coffee and delicious Sachertorte - a Viennese chocolate speciality.

  9. Day 9

    Along the shores of Lake Wörthersee to Venice.

    This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain en route to the unique city of Venice. Your evening is truly a special experience, starting with a private boat to arrive at your central hotel. Your Celebration Dinner is at a local restaurant, where you can toast the wrap-up of your adventures with good food, wine and company. Finish in true Venetian style - sip Bellini cocktails at twilight whilst being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians, and admire the peace of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels. Return to your hotel along the Grand Canal.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    The magic of La Serenissima.

    Wake up to one of Europe's most romantic cities. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise along the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?

  11. Day 11

    Arrivederci Venice.

    Bid farewell to this enchanting city with departure transfers by water taxi, arriving at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is supplemented by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing at one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine.
  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
  • Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
  • Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the city's historic waterways, where wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
  • Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace as you explore the old town with your Travel Director. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke and see the Marienburg fortress.
  • Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, this majestic city is where you’ll join a Local Expert on a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle. Enjoy views over Vltava River before visiting Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock.
  • Budapest: Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca. From the heights of Gellért Hill, in front of the Citadella, see the mighty Danube with its many bridges linking Buda and Pest. Visiting the Central Market Hall is a foodie's dream. Accompanied by your Local Expert, wander three levels of stalls, brimming with mouthwatering salamis, spicy paprika, Hungarian wines and a whole lot of Pálinka.
  • Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Expert reveals why this is the historic core of the city. You will also tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you drive along the Romantic Road and later pass the areas of Bohemia and Carinthian Lake District.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Amsterdam: Toast to the travels ahead during your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine at Humphrey’s Restaurant Spuistraat, a trendy eatery located in the heart of the city and surrounded by 17th century homes.
  • Budapest: Enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's night time beauty as you float along the Danube.
  • Vienna: Traditional coffeehouses are still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers. Feast on delicious Viennese specialties alongside a local who shares tales from a bygone era.
  • Venice: Savour dinner at a local restaurant and then enjoy a short stroll to St Mark’s Square at twilight.
  • Venice: Sip Bellini cocktails alongside the canals, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Amsterdam: The Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam is a five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from the city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.
  • Würzburg: The Maritim Hotel Würzburg is situated directly in front of the banks of the river Maine and offers views of the imposing Marienberg fortress.
  • Prague: The brand new, boutique-style Hotel Royal Prague is a short drive from Old Town Square, set across from the Vltava River. It offers quiet and comfortable rooms, perfect for your two-night stay.
  • Vienna: Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
  • Venice: A hotel with traditional and modern elements, the Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio is complete with a door opening onto a canal.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way to the airport. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips 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 Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Prague By Night

A wonderful introduction to the “Golden City”. Begin with spectacular views over Prague and the Vlatava River from the heights of the historic Strahov Monastery. Then explore the cobbled streets of the lesser town by mini-bus of motorized train. Enjoy a short photo stop in the old Town Square. By night the atmosphere is magical. Finally, enjoy a drink and old Czech music as you cruise along the Vlatava – the perfect vantage point to admire Prague’s buildings and Monuments. (Occasionally this excursion may be operated without the river cruise at EURO 33).

Adult Price: EUR 51.00

Code: PRA0001

Czech Countryside Evening

Let's explore some Czech countryside, starting with a visit to Lidice, a town totally destroyed in World War II as an infamous act of retribution, with all it's menfolk murdered and the women and children taken away. See the memorials erected in their honour in a town rebuilt with international donations. Then on to a nearby village for a hearty and delicious Czech dinner. This is accompanied by famous Czech pilsners or local wine. Musicans and dancers ensure a lively atmosphere with traditional song and dance from Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Na zdraví!

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: PRA0002

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 58.00

Code: PRA0003

Gala Viennese Concert

Enjoy a wonderful concert of Viennese Classical music performed by highly acclaimed soloists and dancers. During this special evening, enjoy a glass of champagne along with some of the most famous works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (On occasion dinner will be included EURO 103)

Adult Price: EUR 58.00

Code: VIE0002

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

Vienna Woods & Heurigen Dinner

Escape central Vienna and drive out to the thickly forested hills which surround the city's western flank for a lively evening of food, wine and song. In a typical "Heuriger" village tavern, enjoy a wonderful dinner of authentic fare, complete with live Schrammelmusik and the famous full-bodied wines.

Adult Price: EUR 58.00

Code: VIE0006

Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens

The Imperial Summer Palace of Schönbrunn offers an amazing journey through the centuries of Hapsburg rule. It is perfectly preserved and richly decorated with treasures from around the globe. Each room has a story to tell, so of course, you’ll have a Local Specialist to bring it to life and VIP entrance to make the most of your time.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: VIE0012

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!

Adult Price: 71.00

Code: VEN0003

Experience Venice by Gondola Serenade

Glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways; full of character and colour. While your gondolier navigates the canals, you can take in the city’s elegant architecture. And they may even serenade you with an Italian classic.

Adult Price: EUR 44.00

Code: VEN0007

Accommodation

 

Park Plaza Victoria

London (Central) - England

Grand Hotel Amrâth 

Amsterdam (Traditional) - The Netherlands

The Grand Hotel Amrâth is your five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from Amsterdam city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.

Maritim Hotel Würzburg.

Wurzburg (Traditional) - Germany

The Maritim Hotel Würzburg is situated directly in front of the banks of the river Maine and offers views of the imposing Marienberg fortress.

Hotel Royal Prague

Prague (Contemporary) - Czech Republic

The brand new, boutique-style Hotel Royal Prague is a short drive from Old Town Square, set across from the Vltava River.

Hotel President

Budapest (Traditional) - Hungary

Hotel President is in an ideal location at the heart of the new city, Pest. Key sights such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, Danube River and St. Stephen Basilica are all within 5-10 minutes walk from the hotel's front door. Rooms and interiors are very trendy with splashes of bright colour and unique furnishings.

Hilton Vienna

Vienna (Contemporary) - Austria

Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.

Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio

Venice (Historic) - Italy

Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio Venice is a hotel with traditional and modern elements complete with a door opening onto a canal.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11477 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 09 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Please see comments above.

    Service: It was a wonderful vacation just really surprise that in some places the optional should of been included. Last time I took a Insight Vacation to Vienna the Palace was including but this time around in order to see the palace you had to pay. It just seems like some very good sights should already be included you should not have to pay.

  • 09 January, 2019

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I looked forward to visiting Prague, Budapest and Vienna. The two days and evenings in Vienna changed my views of Austria. There are quite a few one-nighters, but the tour offers a lot of sites in a comparatively compact 12 days.

    Service: This was another wonderful Insight tour. Bob Willemse, or Tour Director, was planning ahead, but did it in a nonintrusive way. Bob answered each question posed and interacted with everyone on an unbiased way. I did not feel like we were in shops to buy things everywhere. Although, if you were looking for gifts to take home, there was ample free time for that. The means were delicious!

  • 09 January, 2019

    TRIP:
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    Trip: everything is great. enjoyed every minute of it

    Service: i always thought that your service is th best. even when my wife and kids joined your 2015 tour, they have all praises for the service, and this yr i joined them, i can say that what they said back then was all true. i would recommend Insight VACATIONS TO MY FRIENDS

  • 29 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I would like to spend less time in the bus for the next trip . our trip was so interesting and fun, .thank you

    Service: They filled our expectations and beyond sometimes . I would like to spend less time in the bus for our next trip . So, our trip was interesting and fun. thank you

  • 28 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The only thing that would have been better was starting ‘farther east’, so we didn’t have one night in the first two stops. But getting to Prague, Budapest, and Vienna in less than a week (after Amsterdam and Germany) was still well planned and truly enjoyable.

    Service: Overall process of booking, arriving, and journey were superlative. The team from Insight made the vacation painless and therefore memorable.

  • 26 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Got to see a lot of the countryside and my Favorite was Vienna.

    Service: Great tour guide and list of excursions. The coaches were very comfortable and provided a very smooth ride.

  • 24 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The local experts were great.

    Service: Our tour director Brad was very good. He was very informative, helpful and amusing. Highly recommend him.

  • 23 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I wish I knew that there was an option to start earlier in London or to stay longer on the back end. I don't think that was very clear from the website as it was listed as different tours... I loved the places we went but I would have liked to stay 2 days in each city to get to see and do more

    Service: Brad went out of his way to ensure that we had everything we needed and more. He wanted us to give him feedback to ensure that our needs were met and they were. Great trip

  • 09 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Wonderful itinerary. Very memorable.

    Service: Fantastic! Our tour guide Andrew Ainscough was the best! Couldn’t have had a better tour guide. The itinerary was amazing and the additional excursions were fabulous. This was our second time on Insight and will not be our last. Thank you Insight for an extremely memorable vacation.

  • 09 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Would like to have spent more than one night in Budapest and didn't get to see too much of Germany either as only one night. Otherwise itinerary was good.

    Service: Very good - we could sit back, relax and know that everything was taken care of for us on our holiday. Very well organised tour and our tour guide was great. I would (and have already!) recommended Insight Vacations to friends and family

  • 08 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was a good itinerary given the distance covered.

    Service: We did not receive our tour information after registration - had to contact the New Zealand representative and get it emailed to us the day before our departure.

  • 27 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All details were looked after c are fully...tour director worked SO hard to make the trip great!

    Service: We had such a fabulous tour director...(bob)...the bus was very comfortable.

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