Magic of Eastern Europe
• Budapest • Vienna • Prague
On this outstanding leisurely tour we will visit historic cities, fairytale medieval villages, Gothic castles and interesting monuments in three of Europe's oldest countries.
Day 1: Depart
We depart for Prague, a non-stop direct flight from Toronto.
Day 2: Prague
We arrive in Prague and transfer to our hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
Day 3: Prague
Our coach and walking tour will show us the stunning sights of the Hradcany Castle district, with a visit to the majestic St. Vitus Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel (known for its incredible wooden staircase of astounding craftsmanship) and “The Golden Lane” - named after the goldsmiths who lived here in the 17th century. Some of the alchemists attempted to turn metal into gold here!
Day 4: Prague
We continue our guided walking tour with a stroll across the Charles Bridge to Lesser Town’s winding narrow streets, where we see the artisan houses, small 17th century palaces, the Jewish Ghetto and the famous astronomical clock. We will enjoy a 1-hour river cruise through the historic district, then an afternoon at leisure.
Day 5: Prague
At leisure in the Golden City. Prague is a very pleasant and lively city in which to stroll, so you may want to revisit Little Town and some of the quaint shops (best buys are crystal and garnet jewelry). Enjoy a coffee (and people watching) in Old Town Square. After dinner, why not visit one of the local pubs to enjoy the famous dark ales brewed here.
Day 6: Cesky Krumlov / Vienna
We depart Prague and drive to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cesky Krumlov. This picture postcard, beautiful fortified medieval town is surrounded by unspoiled countryside. Our walking tour will take us through the historic centre of narrow cobblestone streets winding along romantic nooks abundant with lively shops, cafes, and museums. Lunch is included. After our tour we will proceed to Vienna for a 4-night stay.
Day 7: Vienna
Our city tour of Vienna shows us the Opera House, Hofburg Palace and many other grand buildings and monuments built when Vienna was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. We visit the Schonbrunn Palace with its 440 rooms and magnificent interiors. The Grand Gallery is where Mozart gave his first royal concert. This evening we will dine at the Palace followed by a concert performance of the works of Mozart and Strauss in the Palace Orangery.
Day 8: Vienna
Our tour of the lovely Vienna Woods includes visits of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey and the former Imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling. Before returning to Vienna we enjoy a special dinner with musical entertainment and wine at one of Vienna's famous wine villages.
Day 9: Vienna
A day of leisure to enjoy this Imperial city. The city planning of The Ring makes for easy exploring. Try the coffee and Austrian torte - a local tradition. Your Tour Manager will be on hand with suggestions or you might like an optional tour to the countryside or the Abbey of Melk.
Day 10: Gyor / Bratislava / Budapest
En route to Budapest we stop in two charming cities: the old Hungarian city of Gyor, known as the “City of Waters”, and the capital of Slovakia - Bratislava. We will have short walking tours of both cities, through their quaint pedestrian Old Town centres abundant with statues, old city squares and 18th century pastel-coloured buildings. Later we arrive in Budapest.
Day 11: Budapest
Our city tour begins at the top of Gellert Hill with its magnificent view over the Danube River and the city. We visit the Castle District, where the Royal Palace housing the National Gallery is located, and then stroll to the Fisherman’s Bastion with a visit to the famous Mathias Church. We drive along the grand boulevards passing by the House of Parliament with a stop at Heroe’s Square. Included will be a coffee and Hungarian Pastry at the elegant 19th century Gerbeaud Coffee House - a mecca for pastry lovers. Then we stroll through the lively pedestrian streets of central Budapest. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight we enjoy a typical Hungarian dinner and folklore show.
Day 12: Danube Tour / Budapest
We take an excursion into Hungary’s history - to the Danube Bend, where the river is at its most alluring and the countryside delightful. First we visit Esztergom, the centre of Hungary’s Catholic Church, with a visit of the Cathedral. Next is the former royal residence of Visegrad. Finally we visit the artisan village of Szentendre, which remains as it was in the 18th century - baroque and painted in many colours. The cobbled main square is classified as a national historic monument. Lunch is included.
Day 13: Budapest
At leisure to enjoy Budapest on your own. As our hotel is a thermal spa you have free access to some of the facilities. You may also want to attend one of the many musical events the city is famous for. Tonight we enjoy a romantic Dinner Cruise on the Danube.
Day 14: Home
We fly home, direct non-stop to Toronto.
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