Imperial Capitals of Central Europe

Budapest, Vienna, Prague & Berlin

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
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Young Viennese violinist Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to visit four beautiful and historic Central European Capitals: Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin. You'll explore this complex, multicultural arena of historic, artistic, scientific, industrial and commercial importance, dating back to the Roman Empire. These cities are among today's hottest travel destinations, and if you visit them with Friendly planet, you will enjoy all their charm, beauty and culture without paying a king's ransom. But don't wait too long, because at these prices, our Central European Capitals tour will sell out quickly.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart New York. Your fascinating journey begins as you depart New York this evening on your overnight flight bound for Budapest, Hungary.

Day 2: Budapest. The capital of modern Hungary, Budapest is a lively and lovely city which lies on—and is divided by—the Danube River. Collect your luggage and set out on an orientation tour of the city. Continue to your centrally located hotel for check-in, then join your fellow travelers this evening for a glass of wine and a welcome briefing, followed by dinner. Atrium Fashion Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided.

A happy Friendly Planet traveler in Budapest Day 3: Budapest. Budapest is one of Eastern Europe's most fascinating cities, a large urban center that manages to strike a nice balance between nature and development. Hills, islands and parks coexist with theaters, cafes, monuments and other buildings in an eclectic array of architectural styles. Your morning sightseeing begins on the Buda side of the city on Castle Hill, where you'll find Buda Castle, which houses the National Gallery, the city's history museum and a contemporary arts museum.

Chain Bridge & Danube, Budapest Continue to the easily recognizable and colorful roof of Matyas Templom, Saint Stephen's Basilica, the largest church in the city, and the cone-shaped towers and terrace Fishermen's Bastion. The afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own. Consider taking the funicular (Siklo) up from Clark Adam Ter near the Chain Bridge or take a horse-drawn carriage tour of Buda. You'll also find many wonderful bathhouses, left behind by the Ottoman Turks who occupied the city for nearly 150 years, including the Gellert Baths in the historic Gellert Hotel, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Breakfast provided.

Coach ride in Szentendre Day 4: Budapest, Szentendre, & Vienna, Austria. After breakfast, depart from budapest for the scenic Hungarian countryside and the charming artist's town of Szentendre, gateway to the picturesque Danube Bend region, whose charming, Mediterranean-style architecture of the town centre makes it a popular site for tourists. Szentendre is a town of arts and museums that has attracted more than 100 artists who live and work there.

Hungarian Folk Musicians After your visit to Szentendre, board your coach and drive west to the border. Cross into Austria. and continue to Vienna, often called the "cultural capital" of Europe and known throughout the world for centuries as the city of great music. Vienna was home to such greats as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss, and its outstanding musical heritage continues to the present day through it's Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Boys' Choir and others. Hilton Danube or similar. Breakfast provided.

Schonbrunn Garden, Vienna Day 5: Vienna. Experience the city's glorious past on your panoramic morning tour, taking you along the Ring Boulevard, past Emperor Franz Josef's Hofburg Palace, center of the Habsburg empire for over 600 years and the main residence of the imperial family and the ornate State Opera, one of the world’s leading opera houses. Arrive at the magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, the baroque summer residence built for the Hapsburgs and one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria and a World Cultural Heritage Site since 1972.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore on your own and relax in a charming Viennese cafe. Breakfast provided..

Street performer in Telc  Photo by Ilona Jeníèková  © Day 6: Vienna & Prague, Czech Republic. After breakfast, leave beautiful Vienna by coach and drive to the quaint town of Duernstein, situated in the heart of the magnificent Wachau Valley on the banks of the Danube. Continue across the Czech border and drive through the rich farmlands and pastoral countryside of Moravia to the graceful Renaissance town of Telc, a World Cultural Heritage Site located at the midpoint of an ancient provincial route leading from Vienna to Prague. Enjoy time to explore this lovely old town before continuing to Prague, one of Europe's most vibrant and colorful cities. Diplomat Hotel or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Aerial view of Prague Day 7: Prague. The stunningly beautiful city of Prague was built on seven hills and served as a former capital of the Roman Empire. While the capitals of many other European nations were flattened or heavily damaged during World War II, Prague survived intact, and today, tourists and foreign expatriates descend on the City of a Hundred Spires to experience a dynamic city in the midst of transition to a fully modern society while framed in the beauty of past times.

Old Town Prague On this morning's tour, visit the 12th century Strahov Monastery which contains the Museum of National Literature housing Bohemia's most important collection of ancient manuscripts. Continue on to the impressive Prague Castle, the city's top tourist attraction, which is really more of a district (called Hradcany) than a building. Within the castle walls are Spanish Hall, with paintings by Brueghel, Durer, Holbein, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague's largest church, with its brilliant stained-glass windows and gargoyles, the Romanesque St. George's Basilica, and the Golden Lane with rows of tiny houses once occupied by craftsmen are also found at Hradcany.

Mala Strana "Lesser Quarter", Prague This afternoon is at leisure to visit the 14th-century Charles Bridge and explore the charming Old Town on your own. Breakfast provided.

Day 8: Prague. A day at leisure to relax at an outdoor cafe, shop the bustling markets or explore the fascinating Jewish Quarter on your own. Breakfast provided.

Rooftoop view of Dresden Day 9: Prague, Dresden & Berlin, Germany. After breakfast this morning, bid farewell to the "Golden City" as you board your coach for the drive across the border into Germany. Your first stop is Dresden, once known as the "Florence of the North" before it was devastated in fire-bomb raids at the end of World War II. However, in celebration of its 800th anniversary celebrated in 2006, many of its architectural gems have been restored.

Dresden Semper Opera House During your tour, you'll view some of the city's finest architectural gems such as the magnificent Semper Opera House, the recently restored Frauenkirche church, and the Zwinger, a late-baroque complex of heavily ornamented pavilions. Enjoy the pleasant views from the Bruhlsche Terrasse, a raised promenade along the Elbe River then continue driving north to the German capital of Berlin. Hotel Excelsior Breakfast & dinner provided.

Brandenburger Gate, Berlin Day 10: Berlin. The lively city of Berlin blends historic charm with contemporary flair. This morning's panoramic tour features both historic and modern city highlights such as the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin's most beautiful plaza; Charlottenburg Palace, the oldest remaining Prussian palace; Brandenburg Gate, the symbolic site of the German division; the Olympic Stadium and much more. After your tour, enjoy a leisurely, sightseeing cruise on the River Spree. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 11: Berlin/USA. This morning, bid Auf Wiedersehen to Berlin as you transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA. Your exciting journey ends as you touch down in New York. Breakfast provided.

Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Hungary, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Austria, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Czech Republic, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Germany, click here.

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