Central Europe – 5 countries

central europe 15 days
Special Tour 15 Days Availability: 2018-08-04
Vienna, Austria Europe
Travel through Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic

 

Experience the best of this old-world region on a journey through enchanting Central Europe. This two-week trip through five Eastern European countries offers an intriguing combination of urban centres, village life, and outdoor pursuits. Explore the old town in Krakow and get active in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains churches. Finish it off by indulging in Prague’s beer.


Start
Vienna, Austria
Finish
Budapest, Hungary
Destination
Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
Theme
Cultural Exploration
Physical rating
Grade 1 (Light walking suitable for all fitness levels)
Ages
18-39
Group size
Min 2, Max 15

 


 

14 NIGHTS

Hotel 6N, Guesthouse 2N, Apartments 3N, Pension 3N

15 MEALS

14 Breakfasts

1 Dinner

 

TRANSPORT

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Tram

 


WHAT’S INCLUDED

TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

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    • Soak up the royal history of Krakow’s Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through the city’s medieval main square

    • Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Step right into a fairytale in the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov before soaking up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague

    • So much of what is great about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city’s rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse

    • A sobering tour of Auschwitz concentration camp museum offers insight into one of the most tragic periods in human history
    • Enjoy a scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe’s second longest river is also one of its most beautiful

    • Hike in the picturesque Tatra Mountains and traverse the steep slopes via funicular, gondola and electric steam train

 


WHAT’S INCLUDED

MEALS

    • 11 BREAKFASTS


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WHAT’S INCLUDED

ACTIVITIES

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      • Cesky Krumlov Cycling trip (weather and season permitting)

      • Vienna Orientation Walk
      • Daily breakfast

      • The Underground City of Osowka – entrance

      • Guided visit to State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

      • Hiking in the Vysoke Tatry mountains (not between Nov and Mar)

      • Smokovec Funicular
      • StareSmoke Electric train
      • Gondola

      • Prague – Orientation walk
      • Must-see highlights and surprise extras

      • An expert Lead Traveller and local guides

      • Optional Add-ons and lots free time for your own explorations


Is this trip for me?

  • The journey from the Tatra Mountains to Budapest will be especially long, taking approximately 7-8 hours.
  • Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, and a snack bar (or vending machines).
  • On day 12 we plan to go for a day’s hike in High Tatra Mountains. To fully enjoy the day, you should have a basic level of fitness. Please also make sure you bring appropriate clothing and footwear; raincoat and sturdy trainers or walking boots are a must.
  • This trip is designed to give you a fair amount of free time so you can explore each destination at your own pace. We will, however, take you on regular orientation walks, so you’ll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

IMPORTANT NOTES

1. Airport arrival transfers are not included with this trip. If you would like airport transfers, please speak to your travel consultant.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip with the exception of day 3-4 Cesky Krumlov. Please speak to your travel consultant at the time of booking your trip.

Day 1: Vienna

Welcome to Vienna, Austria. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting.

Your base for two nights in Vienna is Magdas Hotel – a social project bringing refugees from all over the world to work together in one place. The building itself is a renovated former old people’s home and homeless shelter. The place is full of love, passion and unity.

Arrival Transfers
  • Not Included
Accommodation
  • Magdas Hotel or similar (1 night) –
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

 

Day 2: Vienna

 

Join your leader for a walk Vienna (approximately 2 hours). See the gothic looking St. Stephens Cathedral, the neo-classical grandeur of the Graben and the Hofburg Palace. Finish your orientation walk at the State Opera House.

You have the rest of today to explore Vienna and its surrounds.

Notes: Avoid long queues at Schoenbrunn Palace by pre-booking your tickets at: schoenbrunn.at. Also, the Spanish Riding School doesn’t operate throughout the summer months. You will need to book tickets in advance to see the performance of the Lipizzaners. Phone: +43 (0)1 505 77 66 55 or e-mail

info@viennaticketoffice.com to arrange tickets.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vienna – Orientation Walk (leader led)
Optional Activities
  • Belvedere Gallery – Lower Gallery – EUR13
  • Albertina Museum – EUR13
  • Sisi Museum – EUR14
  • Spanish Riding School practice – EUR28
  • St Stephen’s Tower – EUR5
  • Schoenbrunn Palace – EUR14
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum – EUR14
  • Leopold Museum – EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel – EUR10
  • Vienna Boys Choir concert – EUR70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 3: Cesky Krumlov

Travel by minivan to the Czech Republic in the morning (approximately 3.5 hours). Weather permitting, enjoy a cycling trip in the afternoon, across rolling hills and through tiny hamlets (approximately 2-2.5 hours).

Notes: During the cooler and winter months, cycling is often not possible. You’ll take an extended walking tour of the town instead.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cesky Krumlov Cycling trip (weather and season permitting)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 4: Cesky Krumlov

Today is a free day to explore Cesky Krumlov and its surrounds. Perhaps take an optional guided walking tour of the town, which includes commentary of the mysteries that lie behind every shopfront and house on the crooked little streets.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Brewery tour – CZK130
  • Guided walking tour – CZK300
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum – CZK160
  • Raft/canoe trip per person – CZK1200
  • Guided castle tour – CZK250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 5:Prague

Travel by bus to Prague (approximately 4 hours). On arrival in Prague, head out on an orientation walk with your leader, and spend the rest of your afternoon as you wish. Tonight you stay in an apartment, not a hotel. There’s no reception, no room service or daily cleaning service, no televisions or washing machines. The individual rooms are allocated based on the same gender travellers, however, the apartment itself will have been on a mixed gender basis.

Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Prague Discovery – EUR66
  • Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour – EUR68
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 6: Prague

Today is free to explore Prague. The city offers many possibilities, so perhaps discovering another great side of Prague: the longest-standing and respected jazz scenes in Europe. If you should find yourself out until the early hours in an atmospheric jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or Old Town Square as the sun rises for a magical photo.

Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jewish Quarter – CZK500
  • Kafka Museum – CZK200
  • Day Trip to Kutna Hora – CZK250
  • Mucha Museum – CZK240
  • Museum of Communism – CZK190
  • Prague Castle Entrance – CZK350
  • Sedlec Ossuary – CZK90
  • Church of St Barbara – CZK60
  • Town Hall Clock Tower – CZK250
  • Bike tour – CZK490
  • The Dancing House – Free
  • John Lennon Wall – Free
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Day 7: Prague

Today is another free day to further discover Prague on your own. A bike tour through the city is a great way to see a lot of the city’s sights and attractions in a short period of time. If you can make time, take a day trip out of town and visit Kutna Hora. The Bone Church (Sedlec Ossuary) is a particularly unique experience. Perhaps use your evening to head out for dinner with the group.

Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

 

Day 8: Gory Sowie

Heading north by train, arrive in the small town of Broumov from where you’ll cross the Czech–Polish border. From here you’ll be transferred in a private vehicle to the nearby small village within range of Gory Sowie (translated as the Owl Mountains). Today’s travel time will be around four hours in total. On arrival, check in to our pension situated at the foot of the highest mountain in the range – Wielka Sowa. On arrival, visit a nearby underground city from the tragic times of the II World War.

Find out yourself on an included guided visit this afternoon.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • The Underground City of Osowka- entrance
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Day 9: Krakow

Continue east today by private bus and journey to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) (approximately 4 hours). On arrival, learn more about the history of World War II at the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, with a guided tour of the Auschwitz Museum and Birkenau (approximately 2.5 hours). After this sobering day trip, carry on driving to Krakow (approximately 1.5 hours). Possibly the best known of all Poland’s cities, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its Old Town is a World Heritage-listed site. In the evening, perhaps head out for some good Polish grub.

Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided visit to State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure – Home Cooked Krakow – EUR60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information

Please note the day of visiting Auschwitz Museum will depend on tickets availability. We will do our best to secure tickets for today, but on rare occasions, your visit may be postponed until next day.

 

Day 10: Krakow

Today, explore the city in your own time. Discover Wawel Royal Castle, which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. Check out the 13th-century town square of Rynek Glowny and get a glimpse inside St Mary’s Basilica which features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece.

If you can tear yourself away from Krakow, head out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a network of tunnels and chambers some 135 metres below the ground. This is a salt mine that was in operation for over 700 years and is listed as the UNESCO world heritage site.

Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • History Museum – PLN8
  • Galicia Jewish Museum – PLN15
  • Schindler’s Factory Museum Tour – PLN65
  • Wawel Royal Castle – PLN25
  • Walking tour – PLN30
  • St. Mary’s Basilica – PLN10
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines tour – PLN145
  • Cloth Hall ‘Sukiennice’ Krakow – Free
  • Rynek Underground Museum – PLN19
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 11: Tatra Mountains

Say farewell to Krakow today and travel by local buses through southern Poland to Zakopane where you will switch on to a private transport (approximately 5 hours altogether). The trip may be long and a little slow, but the scenery of rolling hills and tiny villages is soothing. Tatranska Lomnica is your destination in Slovakia.

It’s a small alpine resort at the base of the Vysoke Tatry (High Tatra) Mountains. The Tatras, the highest range of the Carpathians, stretch for about 60 kilometres across the Polish-Slovakian border and are a trekker’s dream. The evening is free for you to enjoy as you please. Perhaps the best way to do it is to sit back, kick your feet up and soak in the atmosphere of this beautiful mountainous region.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 12: Tatra Mountains

Weather permitting, you will head out on a variety of transport in the mountain region, including a gondola, an electric train and or a funicular. There are many hiking options to choose from, depending on your energy and enthusiasm levels. You may notice that some parts of the forest have been destroyed. This was the result of a tornado-like storm in 2004 that decimated approximately 10,000 hectares of timberland. In the afternoon, head back to the accommodation and enjoy the balance of the day in this beautiful location.

Notes: There may still be considerable snow in April and May, which may prevent us from choosing the usual hiking route. Please ensure you bring extra warm clothes and waterproof boots in April. Having said that, the crisp, clear atmosphere and fewer tourists make this a fantastic time to visit.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hiking in the Vysoke Tatry mountains (not between Nov and Mar)
  • StareSmoke Electric train
  • Smokovec Funicular
  • Gondola, Tatranska Lomnica
Optional Activities
  • Summer Luge – EUR3
  • Bike rental- Tatranska Lomnica – EUR10
  • Spa treatment in Grand Hotel Praha (starting from price) – EUR20
  • Ski Museum – EUR3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 13: Badapest

You have an early start today for the long journey to Budapest. As there won’t be too much free time to explore on arrival, you could check in to the accommodation and then go for a brief walk around the city to get your bearings if you like.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bike Ride – HUF6000
  • Great Synagogue – HUF3500
  • House of Terror – HUF2000
  • Hungarian National Museum – HUF1600
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour – HUF3000
  • Parliament Tour – HUF5200
  • Pub Crawl – Starting from – HUF5000
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park – HUF5000
  • Thermal Bath – Starting from – HUF4500
  • Private Budapest: Best Beers of Budapest – UA – EUR97
  • Budapest Central Market – Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 14: Budapest

Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest. Known as ‘The Pearl of the Danube’, Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water. Perhaps take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to the castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building.

Note: Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check the opening times and plan your arrival into Budapest accordingly.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 15: Budapest
Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

 

Departure Transfers
  • Not Included

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