Central & Eastern Europe Highlights
Day 1 Berlin
Arrive at any time. As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your Group Meeting this evening, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, which usually starts between 6 and 7pm. After the meeting, you may like to head out for a meal at a local restaurant with your group and leader.
Day 2 Berlin (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk with your CEO then free time for option to take a walking or river tour, or visit museums. The very name Berlin conjures images of the famous Berlin Wall. Two sections of the wall still remain on display- the East Side Gallery, where artists have decorated the remaining section of the wall, and the Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer). Down the street from the Berlin Wall is the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, a museum that documents the history of the wall, and interestingly, many of the different ways people tried to escape. Learn about all of the creative ways used to cross over to the other side. After, you can head over to the Brandenburg Gate, another spot of great historical significance. Here, hundreds of thousands of people were finally able to cross from the East side to the West after the fall of the wall. It has traditionally, and continues to be, a political rallying point for different groups and concerns. If you are still craving museums, Berlin has plenty! Visit the Pergamon Museum, home to one of the world's greatest collections of ancient architecture and art. Also give the Egyptian Museum (Agyptisches Museum) a try as it houses many old Egyptian artifacts and the Judishes Museum tells the story of the relationship between the Germans and the Jews throughout the last few centuries. Art lovers will enjoy the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin Museum with plenty of modern art that is sure to spark interest and curiosity. The Berggruen Collection at the Die Sammlung Berggruen is also a must-see. Here, see an extensive art collection of Picasso, as well as paintings by Klee, Cezanne and Van Gogh. For those interested in Berlin's government, past and present, visit the Reichstag, home to the German parliament. Here, you can go up to the glass dome for a view of Berlin, or learn about the fascinating history of the building. For more history from this grim period, visit the Topographie des Terrors, a row of old cellars where prisoners were tortured. See the hundreds of pictures from the era and read the newspaper clippings to get a better understanding of what went on in the cellars and throughout Nazi Germany. Finally, for an amazing view of Berlin, visit the famous Berlin Television Tower with a viewing room and cafe located 203 meters above ground, providing sweeping views of the city.
Day 3 Weimar (1B)
Take a high speed train to Weimar. Options include visit to Buchenwald concentration camp, Liszt Haus, Goethe National Museum and the Schloss Museum. Weimar is perfect for those interested in German culture and history, spotted with numerous museums and points of interest. Day 3 estimated travel time: High speed train 2.5hrs
Days 4-5 Dresden (2B)
Catch the train to Dresden where we take an orientation walk including a visit to a local market and Frauenkirche Church. Option to visit the Opera house or take a paddle wheel steamer on the river. Dresden is a stunning and historic city filled with churches, palaces, and stately buildings - which is amazing considering that on the night of 13 February 1945, the Allied forces bombed the city to bits. Estimated Travel time: 1hr train
Days 6-7 Prague (2B)
Today we head to the capital of the Czech Republic by train. Enjoy a Guided tour of the old town including the Jewish quarter, astronomical clock, charles bridge and Wenceslas square. Option to visit the Convent of St George, brewery, winery excursion or museums. Prague is regarded by many as the unspoilt jewel in Europe’s historic crown. We visit all the major sights of the Old Town and we have time to simply soak up the atmosphere of a unique community where every street, ghetto, inn or theatre tells a story. Just a stone's throw away is Charles Bridge, by day thronged with vendors and street musicians. At night, the bridge is less crowded, and it's much easier to appreciate the scenery as well as the ever-so-slightly sinister quality of the statues looming overhead. Cross the bridge and you'll find yourself in Mala Strana, a far less crowded district that offers the perfect atmosphere for some introspective wandering. If you can handle the stairs, climbing the hundreds of steps to the famous Prague Castle (known as Hradcany), you'll be rewarded with a glorious view of the city. Like Charles Bridge, the castle is best enjoyed at night, when there is dramatic lighting and few visitors. If you're in the area and want to experience traditional Czech pubs, which are guaranteed to be loud, lively, and packed with locals on any night of the week, this is the place to find restaurants serving traditional Czech cuisine such as fried pork cutlets, goulash, and dumplings. The Prague Ghetto, which includes the Jewish Cemetery and Synagogues is one of the famous areas of Europe where the Jews of the city lived and thrived before WWII and definitely worth a visit. Prague certainly has no shortage of breathtaking views and the next hill over from the castle, Petrin Hill, offers a less obstructed panorama-style view. If you're not in the mood for hiking uphill, you can always take a cable car all the way to the top. An alternative is an evening watching the sunset from the heights of the Letna Beer Garden, where you can sample Czech beer, world-famous for its superb quality and low cost, on a warm summer evening. Day 6 estimated travel time: Train 2.5 hrs
Day 8 ?eský Krumlov (1B)
Travel by private vehicle to the charming town of Cesky Krumlov. Here we visit the 400 year old Eggenberg Brewery, taste the local brew and learn what life was like for ordinary people and the nobility of yesteryear. Option to embark on a guided ghost story walk or visit the castle. The Old Town of Cesky Krumlov is a unique spiritual location and its ancient houses and historical figures are legendary. on our ghost walk we hear the stories that have been passed down through many generations. The city of Krumlov, first referred to in 1253 as "Crhumbenowe", had a mixed population of Czechs and Germans until 1938. Its name comes from an old German term: “krumben ouwe“ (crooked shaped meadow), which later evolved to Krumlov. In the 15th century Cesky (Czech) was added. The inclusion of Ceský Krumlov on UNESCO's List of Natural and Cultural Heritage was undoubtedly a turning point in the modern history of the town. The act of including the town itself sent a clear signal to the rest of the cultural world that South Bohemia has something unique to offer. Estimated travel time: Private transport 3hrs
Day 9-10 Vienna (2B,1L)
We drive across the border into Austria, where we take an orientation walk with the CEO. We also visit the historic Hotel Sacher for lunch and a taste of the world-famous Sacher Torte. It's a cultural experience as well as a delicious cake. Free time for optionals to visit the opera house, museums, Cathedral or the palace. We have time to explore at your leisure. Wander the elegant streets a little more, take in some of Europe's most distinguished art galleries, pay a visit to the stunning Lippizaner horses of the renowned Vienna Riding School, experience a joyful mass with the Vienna Boys Choir, or just settle yourself on a café terrace, order up a slice of mouthwatering Viennese cake and watch the world go by over coffee. Day 9 estimated travel time: Private transport 3hrs
Day 11 Budapest (1B)
Catch a train to our last stop: Budapest. Embark on an orientation walk followed by an opportunity to "take the waters" with the locals on a visit to the thermal bathhouse. Play chess on floating chessboards, relax in the whirlpools and explore the wonderful mosaic domes of the historic thermal steam rooms to understand this popular local tradition. Situated on a beautiful stretch of the Danube, Budapest consists of two parts: Buda and Pest. Buda is the older and more historical part of the city, with old narrow winding streets and medieval buildings. Here you can find Buda’s most ancient sights: the Royal Palace, St. Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and Castle Hill with its old town. You might like to have dinner in a local restaurant on Váci Utca, which is the bustling main street of Budapest. Estimated travel time: Train 3hrs
Day 12 Budapest (1B)
You are free to depart at anytime today.