Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary
. Welcome to Budapest! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2 Budapest.
Your Local Guide takes you through Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan city. See elegant Andrassy Avenue, the Thermal Baths, and the world’s second-largest Jewish SYNAGOGUE. From the lacy lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion, enjoy a panoramic view of the sprawling city. Then, admire the 13th-century Matthias Coronation Church and HEROES’ SQUARE. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, a delectable optional Hungarian specialty dinner can be arranged. (B)
Day 3 Budapest–Esztergom–Bratislava, Slovakia
. Start the day in Esztergom, the capital of Hungary from the 10th through the mid-13th centuries and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Hungary today. Your guided tour features a visit to the ESZTERGOM BASILICA AND TREASURY, the largest church in Hungary. Continue to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, and explore the historical center of Bratislava on foot with your Local Guide. Marvel at the medieval towers and fortifications, of which St. Michael’s Gate is the oldest, the medieval Town Hall, gothic ST. MARTIN’S CHURCH, and many palaces, like Grassalkovich Palace, built around 1760 and now residence of the Slovak president, and Archiepiscopal Palace, now seat of the Slovak government. (B)
Day 4 Bratislava–Vienna, Austria.
Cross the nearby Austrian border and stop in the Vienna Woods for a special included excursion: [LF] enjoy a BOAT CRUISE on Europe’s largest underground lake. Arrive in Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Your guided sightseeing features a stop at the colorful and unusual Hundertwasserhaus, and a drive along the Ringstrasse. Pass the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards and famous HELDENPLATZ, and visit awesome ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL. (B)
Day 5 Vienna.
In the morning, [LF] join the locals at the historic Café Landtmann for Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). Balance of the day at leisure or join our exciting optional excursion to splendid Schönbrunn Palace. (B)
Day 6 Vienna–Ceský Krumlov, Czech Republic–Hluboká nad Vltavou.
Český Krumlov is a small town in southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly for its fine architecture in gothic, renaissance, and baroque style, constructed during the 13th through the 17th centuries. A guided walking tour shows you the main sites, then continue to [LF] your hotel, beautifully located on the Hluboká Castle grounds, for dinner and an overnight stay. (B,D)
Day 7 Hluboká nad Vltavou–České Budějovice–Prague.
Start with a guided visit of the CASTLE, then continue to České Budějovice for [LF] an exciting visit to the BUDVAR (Budweiser) BREWERY. Arrive in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. An optional evening is available to explore Prague by night. (B,D)
Day 8 Prague
. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the 1,000-year-old HRADČANY CASTLE GROUNDS, St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Town, the Jewish ghetto, and the ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK, once the envy of all Europe. This evening, a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at one of Prague’s fine restaurants. (B,D)
Day 9 Prague
. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)