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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
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.
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.
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 for your Welcome Dinner.
Continue to Würzburg. On arrival, visit the imposing Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a Local Expert. Marvel at intricate decorations and lavish staterooms boasting with French, Austrian and Venetian influences.
Rothenburg and Golden Prague.
In the morning, see the mighty Marienburg Fortress – 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. 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?
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. Walk on the famous Charles Bridge and through the Old Town. An artisan baker shows you how the Trdelník or traditional Czech chimney cakes are made, and enjoy a tasting. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel 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?
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.
The flavours of Budapest.
Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda and admire sweeping views from the Fisherman’s Bastion with a Local Expert. Drive along the beautiful Andrassy Avenue to Heroes' Square. 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.
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. Explore Vienna with Insight Choice. Choose between a visit to a traditional Viennese Café to enjoy local specialities of coffee and sachertorte. Alternatively, listen to the musical masterpiece of Mozart as you take to the floor in a Viennese Waltz dance lesson.
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. This evening is truly a special experience, starting with a private boat to arrive at your central hotel. Stroll past the entrance doors of the famous Opera House to La Fenice restaurant for a magical Celebration Dinner. Indulge in traditional Venetian dishes that are enriched with inspiration from seasonal produce. Finish in true Venetian style - savour a cocktail at Café Florian 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.
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?
Bid farewell to this enchanting city with departure transfers by water taxi, arriving at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 and 09:30.
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.
London (Central) - England
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.
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.
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.
Budapest (Traditional) - Hungary
A new hotel located in vibrant downtown Budapest, Hilton Garden inn will provide guests with stylish and modern rooms complete with all the creature comforts. Located within walking distance from the famous Andrassy shopping street, restaurants, coffee shops and all major sights, this hotel is perfectly located for exploring Budapest.
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.
Venice (Historic) - Italy
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio Venice is a hotel with traditional and modern elements complete with a door opening onto a canal.