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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeRegional Journey
Welcome to Budapest.
On arrival at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 10:00, 13:00 & 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 and travel to the famous and elegant Gundel Restaurant. Your Welcome Dinner is a treat of mouthwatering Hungarian specialties, accompanied by specially selected Hungarian wine.
Delve into Budapest.
Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda with a Local Expert. Admire the facade of Matthias Church and take in the view from the Fisherman’s Bastion. Enjoy a short drive following the Danube and arrive at Gellért Hill. From the top, appreciate 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. In the evening, perhaps choose an Optional Experience to see this fairy-tale city as you cruise along the Danube and enjoy a meal of Hungarian specialties, served with drinks?
The 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 at scenic Donovaly. Continue north to see the picturesque Oravský Hrad Castle before crossing into Poland and continuing to historic Kraków.
The Damsels and Dragons of Kraków.
Perhaps visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine in the morning? Later, join your Local Expert to explore 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 Sukiennice Cloth Hall and visit the 14th century St. Mary’s Basilica, the most important church in the city, keep your eyes and ears peeled for the trumpeter in the tower. Then enjoy free time to explore. Maybe visit the Renaissance Trading Hall, host to many merchant stalls, with the Gallery of the National Museum upstairs?
Auschwitz and Częstochowa.
Join a Local Expert at Oświęcim, better known throughout the world by its German name, Auschwitz, infamous for its role during the Holocaust. Spend 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 Halka restaurant in the Old Town. Once this culinary high art has been mastered, enjoy a delicious Highlight Dinner featuring succulent local dishes.
The Polish Capital of Warsaw.
Join a Local Expert in the morning to see the Old Town, Royal Castle and Palace of Culture. Visit the Chopin Memorial in the Łazienki Park. Pay your respects at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and then enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace. Perhaps attend a Chopin recital or delve into Warsaw's communist past?
Wielkopolska to Berlin.
Your route leads westward, across the rolling farmlands of the central plains, past Poznań known as the ‘cradle of the Polish State’ and continue over the Oder River to enter Germany. Your destination is the vibrant capital of Berlin where you can try traditional Berliner cuisine.
The Spirit of Berlin.
Prepare to embrace the rejuvenated spirit of Berlin. Join a Local Expert for a drive 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 Museum Island. Spend the afternoon at leisure, shopping in Friedrichstraße or exploring the new, vibrant Potsdamer Platz.
Dresden and 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. Explore around the Catholic cathedral to view the tiered facades of the opera house and the 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.
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.
Prague has blossomed since the Velvet Revolution, but its unique character remains unchanged. A Local Expert will show you the amazing St. Vitus’ Cathedral inside the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle. Cross the Vltava 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?
Bohemian 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 fairy-tale, red-roofed castle, considered by many to be the finest in the land. When all the day trippers have left, 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.
Cross the border into Austria and enjoy a delightful journey to Vienna. The afternoon is free for you to explore this stately capital and later why not enjoy a delightful Austrian meal with the option to dine at a country mansion?
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 its 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, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence, Austrian Parliament Building and Karlskirche. As night falls, experience an extraordinary concert of Viennese classical music combined with a delicious meal of traditional Austrian fare, with drinks included.
A transfer arrives at Budapest airport in the early afternoon. For those extending their stay, a stop is also made at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest.
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.
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 drinks.
Adult Price: EUR 65.00
Take a trip back in time to learn of the incredible journey Budapest has taken to once again become the Queen of the Danube. With our local expert, we’ll begin with the moving memorial; “Shoes on the Danube Bank” before discovering Kossuth Lajos Square, situated next to the jaw-dropping Parliament building. We’ll visit the 1956 Underground Museum to hear about the local populace facing off against the might of the Soviet Union during the famous uprising of that year. From darker days to the golden age, we’ll stop in one of the city's many cafes before completing our historic stroll with a visit to the Basilica of St Stephen, whose treasures include the most important relic in Hungary, the miraculous Holy Right Hand of the country’s first King, St Stephen.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
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 55.00
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 59.00
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
Now a modern alpha city open to the world, it wasn't always the case for Warsaw in the second half of the 20th century. With our local expert, we'll discover the impact Communism had on Poland and its people. We start with a short photo opportunity at the iconic, previously-named Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science. We'll continue to Constitution square, built for the ruling elite and intended as the city centre of a new Warsaw. Here, we'll visit the fascinating Museum of Communism and learn what life was really like in the days of the People's Republic of Poland.
Adult Price: EUR 33.00
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
Explore the shadows of the past with our local expert and visit the staggering Holocaust Memorial. Stop for a photo at ‘Checkpoint Charlie’, location of the tense stand-offs between U.S. & Soviet forces during the Cold War. Then a real highlight as we visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. The memorial contains the last section of the Berlin Wall with a guard tower and preserved grounds and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s. Learn about this focal point of 20th-century history and of the fate of those who attempted to cross it.
Adult Price: EUR 32.00
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. n.b. This optional experience may be offered without dinner for €48.
Adult Price: EUR 63.00
Discover the hidden world of Prague's Malá Strana district on foot, accompanied by our expert local. Continue to the famous Charles Bridge, built in 1357, before enjoying a private cruise on the Vlatava. Enjoy a drink as you glide past the magical sights of Prague.
Adult Price: EUR 42.00
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 59.00
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 63.00
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
Budapest (Heritage) - Hungary
Located in the heart of the city, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest blends classic hotel opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning!
Krakow (Contemporary) - Poland
The stylish Mercure Kraków Stare Miasto is conveniently located at the heart of the city, just a 15 minute walk from the city's Old Town Square. Its trendy interiors are a reflection of how this historic city is evolving in modern times. Rooms are tastefully designed with a splash of colour, the perfect retreat after a day of exploring.
Warsaw (Traditional) - Poland
Centrally located in Warsaw's business district, The Westin Warsaw hotel is a convenient base to explore the city throughout your two-night stay. Spacious rooms with traditional-style furnishings will ensure a comfortable stay.
Berlin (Contemporary) - Germany
Hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie places you at the heart of the fascinating and historic city of Berlin. Within a short walk you'll discover trendy shopping areas and key sights like Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie. Having been recently renovated, rooms are comfortable, and designed in a modern, minimalist style.
Prague (Traditional) - Czech Republic
Stay in the quiet and breathtakingly beautiful Castle district near the aristocrats and Heads of State. Next to the famous Strahov Monastry, the Linder Hotel Prague Castle is set in a historic building dating back to the 16th century.
Cesky Krumlov (Historic) - Czech Republic
In the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Český Krumlov, you'll find the traditionally-styled Hotel Old Inn, nestled beside the city's main square.
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.