Day 1: Budapest - Arrivals and Welcome Cruise on the Danube River
On arrival at the Budapest Ferihegy Airport, you will be met by a private chauffeur for your transfer to our luxury riverside hotel in the center of the city. After some time to rest, we'll meet for welcome drinks and a tour overview meeting, then we'll enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the Danube River. We’ll see the twinkling lights of Budapest on the banks of the river, admire impressive buildings and monuments sitting right on the Danube and listen to famous Hungarian personalities talk about the history of the city, as we sip a festive welcome drink. In the evening, we'll attend a welcome dinner at one of the elegant riverfront restaurants of Budapest, get to know the other travelers and enjoy a lighthearted discussion about the city and the adventures that await us.
Day 2: Tour of Budapest and Szechenyi Baths
After a full breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, we'll start the day with a private tour of the Buda Castle District, the historical palace complex of Hungarian kings. We'll start with touring the photogenic Fishermen's Bastion and St. Matthias Church, then take a leisurely stroll through the Castle District, famous for its medieval, baroque, and 19th-century houses leading to the southern tip of Castle Hill and the palace building itself. Then, we'll take the funicular down to the Danube and cross the mighty river over the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Afterwards, we'll travel by the continental Europe's oldest metro to the Heroes Square, another must-see Budapest's landmark, where we'll relax over a lavish lunch at the famous Gundel restaurant. In the afternoon, we'll visit the Széchenyi Baths and Spa to experience one of the quintessential Hungarian pastimes: a relaxing spa visit at the end of a busy day.
Day 3: Budapest to Vienna and Tour of Medieval Vienna
Today, we'll leave Budapest and travel by a private bus to Vienna. After checking in to our luxury historical hotel in the center of the city and taking some time to refresh, we'll enjoy a leisurely guided walk through the medieval heart of Vienna with its highlights of St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg's Imperial Courts of the Habsburgs who ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire for over six centuries. The walk will end at a traditional beisl, a 500-year-old inn and a favorite of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Strauss and Mark Twain's, now a gourmet Viennese restaurant, where we'll first experience the traditional Austrian cuisine.
Day 4: Schonbrunn Palace, Belvedere Palace and Mozart Concert
Following a lavish breakfast at the hotel, we'll continue our exploration of Vienna with a tour of Schonbrunn, the Habsburgs' summer palace, which along with its enchanting gardens has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll enjoy an extended tour of the palace, followed by a walk through its gardens. We'll have free time for lunch at one of the many cafés on the palace grounds, and in the afternoon, we'll take a street car along the famous Viennese boulevards and the Ringstrasse, stopping to tour the beautiful Belvedere Palace, its gardens and to view the most celebrated works of Gustav Klimt. In the evening, we'll experience the quintessential Viennese pleasure: a Mozart music concert.
Day 5: Danube River's Wachau Valley: Krems and Melk
After all the history and all the pastries of Vienna, today we'll venture out of the city to the Vienna Woods and the picturesque Wachau Valley. In the morning, we'll take a scenic train ride to the baroque town of Melk on the Danube River. We'll visit Melk's Benedictine Abbey, then enjoy a leisurely lunch aboard a leisure riverboat, as we cruise along the Danube River lined with castles, vineyards and monasteries, before arriving in the beautifully preserved Gothic town of Krems. We'll explore this perfect medieval town with a local guide, stopping at one of the atmospheric Heurigens, a rustic wine tavern, where we can taste locally made wines and sample freshly prepared Austrian specialties. In the evening, we'll take the train back to Vienna's city center.
Day 6: Kunsthistorisches Museum and Vienna Opera House
Today, we'll get to know the many aspects of Viennese art and design. We'll start with a docent-led tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, renowned for the works of Bruegel, Rubens and for its celebrated Durer collections. For lunch, we'll have a chance to savor the original Sacher torte and other flavors of Vienna at the opulent Sacher Coffeehouse. In the afternoon we will take a docent-led tour of the Vienna State Opera, one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. The evening will be free to pursue our individual interests in Vienna.
Day 7: Vienna to Prague and Prague's Old Town
This morning, we'll leave Vienna and travel by a private bus to Prague. After checking in to our boutique hotel in the center of the city and taking some time to refresh, we'll enjoy a leisurely walk around Prague's Old Town, which will introduce us to the magic of the city, its stunning architecture, its history and its most celebrated sights. In the evening, we'll celebrate the city's artistic spirit with dinner at a rooftop restaurant famous for its Moravian wines and its view over the city of a thousand spires.
Day 8: Hradcany Castle and Classical Music Concert
This morning, we will continue our discovery of Prague with a tour of the Prague Castle. We'll start with a visit to St. Vitus Cathedral and learn about medieval crafts involved in building a cathedral, admire the varied styles of the Old Royal Palace and the Basilica of St. George, full of dazzling masterpieces of Gothic and Renaissance art. We'll watch the artisans perfecting their crafts, as we walk along the enchanted Golden Lane. After the tour, we'll enjoy a light lunch at the Lobkowicz Palace café serving traditional Bohemian specialties. Afterward, we'll stroll down to the Old Town through the Castle Gardens, the Wallenstein Gardens and Palace and the fairytale Little Quarter neighborhood. In the evening, we will top off the day with a classical musical concert at the celebrated Smetana Hall covered with art nouveau and Slavic motifs.
Day 9: Jewish Josefov Quarter and Farewell Dinner
Today, we'll enhance our appreciation of Prague with a private tour of the poignant Josefov Jewish District, including the Spanish Synagogue, the Old-New Synagogue and the historical Old Jewish Cemetery. We'll have the remainder of the day to explore Prague on our own and get in some last minute shopping. In the evening, we'll celebrate our Eastern European adventure with an elegant dinner at a traditional Czech restaurant.
Day 10: Prague - Departures
After breakfast, depending on your flight's time, you may have some free time for individual exploration of the city before your private transfer to the airport according to your departure time.
Itinerary specifics subject to change.
The Hungarian Rapsody | Lights on the Water - Budapest | Danube Bend | Herend Porcelain | Hungarian Cuisine | The Blue Danube | Mozart in Vienna | Antiquing in Vienna | Viennesse Pastries | Prague | Jewish Prague | Architecture and Art in Prague | Mozart in Prague | Bohemian Crystal | Czech Cuisine | Books & Movies