Day 1 - Munich
Guten Tag! Welcome to Munich, Germany. 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. Please confirm with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception noticeboards. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Join your fellow travellers for a group dinner in the evening at a local restaurant of your leader's choice. If you arrive early in the day, have a wander around town and get a real sense of Bavaria. Munich is one of the prettiest cities in Europe, so walking around the city is just as rewarding. If you would like to visit some of the world class museums such as Royal Palace and Bavarian National Museum, or art galleries (The Alte Pinakothek art gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the world), please note that these may be closed on Monday, when this trip starts. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 - Prague
Leave the capital of Bavaria behind and cross the border into the Czech Republic. The bus to Prague usually takes around five hours, but there may be delays. On arrival into Prague, check in to your hotel, sort out necessities such as cash withdrawals and enjoy an extended orientation walk led by the tour leader. Anytime that’s left from that day is free for you to enjoy as you wish. Perhaps take a walk around the Jewish Quarter and pay respects at the Gothic looking Old Jewish Cemetery. This is Europe's oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, with 12,000 tombstones and 100,000 graves. Visiting The Museum of Communism can shade some light on this part of dark history shared by most of central European countries which somehow isn’t yet well known to the broader audience. Visiting town hall Clock Tower is a great way to finish off a busy day, before heading out for a dinner, and 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 magical photo opportunities.
Day 3 - Prague
This morning spend some time at Prague Castle, the biggest castle in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and the colourful Golden Lane. The rest of the day is free. 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. You certainly do not have to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy this activity. Other great options lie further field, if you can make some time. You can take a day trip to the region of Bohemia and visit Kutna Hora. The Bone Church (Sedlec Ossuary) is a particularly unique experience. In the evening, perhaps head out for dinner with your fellow travellers.
Day 4 - Cesky Krumlov
Depart Prague today and travel by bus to the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov (approximately 4 hours). This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and is like something out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov (pronounced 'Che-skee Krum-lov') means 'crooked meadow', which is befitting of a town that's nestled in a sharp bend of the Vltava River. Head out on an included cycling trip in the afternoon, across rolling hills and through tiny hamlets (approximate 2-2.5 hours). If you have time, explore the city's castle and its fabulous masquerade hall, or climb the tower for aerial views of the town.
Notes: During the cooler and winter months, cycling is often not possible. You'll take an extended walking tour of the town instead.
Day 5 - Cesky Krumlov
Today take a guided walking tour of the town which includes commentary of the mysteries that lie behind every shopfront and house on the crooked little streets. Learn about town’s brewing tradition that has existed in here for hundreds of years. For those seeking some more culture, and if there's time, a visit the Egon Schiele Art Centrum is well worth it. Here you can browse the gallery that's dedicated to that Austrian painter. If you are an adventurous spirit, jump in to a canoe and discover the town from a perspective of Vltava River.
Day 6 - Vienna
Depart Cesky Krumlov by minivan this morning and cross the border into Austria, continuing to the cosmopolitan city of Vienna (approximately 3.5 hours). Join your leader for a walk through the city's compact centre (approximately 2 hours). Stop at the gothic-style St Stephens Cathedral, wander past the grand neo-classical Graben and onwards to the Hofburg Palace. Finish your orientation of the city at the State Opera House, one of the world's most important opera houses and the heart of classical Viennese culture. Art lovers have a vast choice of museums, from the Albertina to those located in the Museum Quarter. In the evening, perhaps head out for some Viennese cuisine.
Day 7 - Vienna
You have the whole of today to explore Vienna and its surrounds. You might like to head out to Schoenbrunn for a guided audio tour of the summer palace, designed by Empress Maria Theresa. The Gloriette Monument has incredible views of Vienna and the palace gardens are free to all visitors, although there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Vienna is a beautiful city, so try to capture its essence as best you can while you're here. Perhaps take a spin on the famous old Prater Ferris Wheel or practice your canter at the Spanish Riding School.
Notes: Avoid long queues at Schoenbrunn Palace by pre-booking your tickets at: schoenbrunn.at. Also, the Spanish Riding School and the State Opera House don’t operate throughout the summer months of July and August. 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 [email protected] to arrange tickets.
Day 8 - Budapest
Journey across the border into Hungary by train, which should take around three hours to get to Budapest. Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. The grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by, while glamorous stores and glitzy restaurants make this one of the truly great cities of Europe. One unmissable activity is a soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. The pools vary in temperature, and some even feature whirlpools or seats where you can enjoy a game of chess.
In the evening, head out for an included farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 9 - Budapest
Your 'Highlights of Central Europe' adventure comes to an end today. There are no more activities planned and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there's not much time in Budapest, it's recommended that you stay an extra few nights so you can truly experience this beautiful city. If you need helping booking additional accommodation, our reservations team can help (subject to availability).
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money