Day 1 - Arrive Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, a city occupying both sides of the Danube
River and founded in 1873, when right-bank Buda and Obuda
joined left-bank Pest. Budapest’s broad avenues and turn-of-the-century architecture have earned it the name, “the Paris of
Eastern Europe.” Like Paris, it is a cultural mecca for writers,
artists and musicians. Transfer to your hotel, where you join
your fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
Day 2 - Budapest
This morning, cross the Danube River to explore the Buda
side of the city. Visit Matthias Church, the 13th-century
coronation cathedral of Hungarian kings, and Fisherman’s
Bastion, offering spectacular views of the city. Built in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles, the bastion is named
for the guild of fishermen who defended this part of the city
during the Middle Ages. Then, meet a Buda resident for
lunch in the gardens of her villa — an experience specially
planned for A&K guests. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure,
relaxing in your luxurious accommodations or exploring
this romantic city on your own, perhaps dining at one of
Budapest’s fine restaurants.
Day 3 - Budapest
Today, discover Pest, starting with a private visit to the Liszt
Academy of Music. Continue exploring the city as you view
Heroes’ Square and stop to see the Great Synagogue as well
as St. Stephen’s Basilica, whose south tower houses the largest
bell in Hungary. Then, visit the Central Market Hall to view
the vast array of food and crafts on sale throughout its three
floors, including cheeses, sausage and other local specialties,
and enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own. Later, visit
the Parliament Building before spending the remainder of
your afternoon at leisure. This evening, after dinner, embark
on a private cruise of the romantic Danube to watch the
glittering lights of Budapest drift by in the night, toasting
your journey on a memorable Scenic Sundowner experience.
Day 4 - Bratislava, Slovakia & Vienna, Austria
Journey overland to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, for a
guided walk through its old town, once a jewel of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Stop at a local restaurant for a Chef’s Table experience, where the esteemed chef greets you and
shares insights into the seasonal dishes you are to enjoy for
lunch. Then, Ride Like a Local, embarking by high-speed
catamaran for a quick cruise along the Danube River to
Day 5 - Vienna
Join your local guide for a walking tour of marvelous Vienna. At the Hofburg Palace — former seat of emperors and current residence of the president of Austria — visit the Imperial Treasury to admire its glittering collection of imperial regalia. Then, continue to the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Spend your afternoon at leisure. Dine at a local restaurant before attending a concert at the Mozarthaus Vienna, the historic house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in the 18th century.
Day 6 - Vienna
This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Vienna, viewing
the Prater and its Giant Ferris Wheel. See the Secession
Building and the famous Hundertwasser House, and then
visit the Belvedere Gallery, where you find many works by the brilliant and controversial symbolist artist Gustav
Klimt, including The Kiss. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant,
and then visit Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of
Habsburg monarchs. Spend your evening at leisure.
Day 7 - Popice, Czech Republic
Travel to Prague, stopping en route at the Sonberk winery in
the Czech countryside for a tasting of its signature vintages,
followed by lunch. Continue to Prague, where you check in
to your hotel, and then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8 - Prague
Today, explore the city’s Castle District, starting with the
towering, Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, which houses the tombs
of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, including
that of Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia — legendary subject
of the beloved Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas.”
Stroll the Golden Lane, the last surviving vestige of Prague
Castle’s 16th-century architecture, where the castle’s original
craftspeople lived and worked. Follow this with a private visit
to the Baroque library halls of the Strahov Monastery to view
its incredible frescoes, which reside amid detailed stucco
ceiling decorations. Stroll in the peaceful quiet, looking up
at the mural devoted to the intellectual progress of mankind,
and let yourself contemplate a bygone era. Then, admire
the religious artifacts at the Loreto Chapel, a remarkable
Baroque monument that remains a place of pilgrimage.
Cross the famous Charles Bridge, an iconic landmark of
Prague completed in 1402, to embark on a walking tour of
Josefov, the city’s Jewish Quarter, which remained a walled
ghetto until 1848. View the birthplace of Franz Kafka (part
of the Jewish Museum complex), best known for his
existentialist novel The Metamorphosis. Proceed to visit the
Old Jewish Cemetery, site of 12,000 graves, and the Old-New
Synagogue, Europe’s oldest active synagogue, completed in
1270. Afterward, enjoy your evening at leisure.
Day 9 - Prague
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Visit Pacinek Gallery for a Glass Painting Workshop,
and then explore the collections at the National Gallery.
Set Out on a Foodie Walking Tour, savoring tastes of
Czech cuisine, from pastries to goulash to beer.
Relax with a Spa Experience at your hotel, in a haven for
the body and spirit, choosing from an array of treatments.
Spend your afternoon at leisure. Tonight, gather for a
celebratory farewell dinner at a nearby local restaurant.
Day 10 - Depart Prague
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.