- All breakfasts and 2 lunches included. We have prebooked two lunches in traditional taverns and restaurants in Budapest and Vienna. Each specializes in local food and dishes typically include meat such as chicken, pork and even wild game, as well as other traditional offerings such as goulash, and most are accompanied by cooked vegetables. More international cuisine is available for those that wish, though choice across Central Europe for vegetarians can be limited. Evening meals can be taken at a restaurant of your choice, though the leader may arrange group meals for those that wish.
- New trip
- Winter Adventures
- Guided Group
Start Budapest; afternoon optional visit to the famous city thermal baths.
Start in Budapest. Often described as the Pearl of the Danube, Budapest is famous not only for the monuments reflecting its own 1,000-year-old culture, but also for the numerous thermal springs which have been enjoyed by its inhabitants and visitors since the Roman times, and even more so, during the Turkish occupation. We recommend starting the trip with a visit to the famous Rudas Bath (optional), probably the most popular traditional Turkish bath in Budapest dating back to the 16th century.
Morning guided sightseeing in Budapest; free afternoon and optional Danube cruise.
The mighty Danube literally splits the great city of Budapest into two halves, Buda, dominated by the Castle Hill Palace complex high above the river, and Pest, the bustling and more cosmopolitan centre of trade. The morning is spent sightseeing around the Castle Hill area, perched above the Danube. Our guided tour includes a visit to the famous Matthias Church and the interesting Hospital in the Rock, a former secret emergency hospital used during the Second World War and now converted into a museum. After a traditional group lunch (included), we enjoy a free afternoon for further individual sightseeing. In the evening there is an optional boat cruise on the Danube, offering close-up views of the spectacular Neo-Gothic Parliament building on the waterfront. Overnight in Budapest.
Transfer to Vienna; guided sightseeing with traditional lunch in Viennese café.
Early private transfer of approx. 3 hrs to Vienna. Grand buildings, museums and concert halls abound in Vienna, a city that was the capital of the Austro Hungarian Empire but also very much the music capital of the world for years, hosting the likes of Mozart and Beethoven. After a traditional lunch (included), we set off for a guided tour which includes a visit to St Stephen's Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, and the Sisi Museum. Our route will also take us through two of the most elegant shopping streets, Kohlmarkt and Graben. After the sightseeing we warm up in one of the traditional Viennese cafes, where we taste the famous Sacher cake. From mid November until Christmas Vienna is draped in lights and a number of traditional Christmas markets open in impressive settings, visited each year by around 3 million people. The highlights are numerous - choirs from around the world perform classic, folk and gospel music, and 150 stalls set up outside the Rathaus. Traditional wooden crafts sit alongside gingerbread creations, gluhwein, candied fruits and a variety of cakes and drinks. Overnight Vienna.
Free day: enjoy an extra full day of sightseeing in Vienna or take a day trip to Slovakia's capital Bratislava.
Free day to explore more of Vienna including the famous Schonbrunn Palace and the Mozart Museum. Alternatively, you may decide to take a short transfer (1hr by train) to another capital city of Central Europe: Bratislava. Now Slovakia’s capital, this neighbouring city has once been the coronation town of the Hapsburgs, and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. The old town and its picturesque streets enclose some elegant Baroque buildings worth seeing. In the evening spent in Vienna, there will also be an optional visit to a concert.
To Cesky Krumlov; visit the Old Town, its romantic castle and the colourful Christmas Market on selected departures.
In the morning we leave Vienna and cross over the border into the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic to Cesky Krumlov. The historic centre of Cesky Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Vltava River winding through it and boasts some fascinating architecture, including the famous castle, which we visit. During Advent, the backdrop of picturesque streets and Christmas Markets lit up by coloured lights and lanterns offers a truly traditional experience. Overnight Cesky Krumlov.
Transfer to Pilsen; tour of the town including the famous brewery. Optional visit to a beer spa.
One of the Czech Republic's most successful exports is Pilsner Urquell, produced in the town of Pilsen (or Plzen) since 1842. This is our destination today (approx 2.5hrs drive). We of course take a tour (and taste!) of the fascinating brewery, followed by an optional hearty traditional lunch. There is however a great deal more to enjoy here. Highlights include St Bartholomew's Cathedral on Namesty Republiky Square, which we visit during a guided tour of the town. Those who wish to try a different and original experience can opt to visit a unique beer spa located 20 minutes out of town in the Purkmistr cellars. A variety of spa treatments and packages can be booked (on request and depending on availability) and they include special beer or hops baths, complemented by different massages, sauna etc. Beer and hops are a unique source of vitamins and minerals that significantly support skin regeneration and increase its resistance to the adverse effects of the outdoors. Beer consumption during the bath is unlimited! Overnight in Pilsen.
On to the wonderful city of Prague for a day of sightseeing.
After a short transfer to Prague, we have a full day to enjoy this wonderful city that offers an array of magnificent buildings, museums, theatres and galleries, attesting to its fine history and importance going back through the Austro Hungarian Empire as far as the Roman domination of Europe. The guided tour will take us through the city's main attractions and landmarks, including Wenceslas Square and the Old Town. During the special Christmas departures, we can also enjoy the traditional choral performances and the magnificent lights of the Christmas tree, brought in from the Sumava Mountains in the south of the country. Alongside the grilled sausages and sweet 'mazenec' dough, the churches of Prague are also not to be missed as they are all elaborately decorated during this period. Overnight Prague.
Our trip ends in Prague.