This tour encompasses the big 4 of eastern Europe - Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Having two or three nights in each city will mean you have a chance to really discover the cities in depth. You'll also pop in to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for lunch!
Check-in to the hotel and head straight out into Berlin to get a feel for the city’s style before meeting up with your Trip Manager and getting to know your fellow Contiki travellers over dinner.
With two days in this historical hot spot, you’ve got time to find out what makes Germany’s capital one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world. It’s hard to believe that this funky town has had such a troubled past. We remember one of history’s darkest moments with a sobering visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial. Learn more as you walk around the site. Why not join a local guide for a tour? Learn about the East/West split at the Berlin Wall and check out the controversial Reichstag (German Parliament) as well as Tiergarten (one the world’s biggest parks), while your guide points out the little details and peels back the layers of history. Visit Checkpoint Charlie, where many East Berliners tried to escape to the West, and be reminded of Germany’s darker past at the Brandenburg Gate. With free time, get inspired by Berlin’s creative scene and check out its galleries and street art. As a world forerunner in contemporary art, Berlin’s walls are covered in cutouts and graffiti. Shopping-wise, this town has it all and is right up there defining style. Berlin is great for small boutiques, funky fashions and one-of-a-kind buys. Your Trip Manager knows Berlin’s ins and outs, so get some pointers before you splurge. Do as the Berliners do and grab a currywurst (a local favourite) and kick back at a Bierkeller (German beer house). Experience the world of espionage in an optional evening Cold War & Cold drinks with our Local Guide, and enjoy a fascinating look into the Stasi (what was once the East German Secret Police). Then top off your time in Berlin with some of your new friends and explore the city’s legendary nightlife. With cool cocktail bars and some of the best techno clubs in the world, there are heaps of fun choices on offer.
Heading south, we roll on to the region of Dresden, often dubbed 'Florence of the North' because of its beauty. This town completely rebuilt itself after being flattened in World War II. Your Trip Manager will show you Dresden’s signature buildings, like the Opera House, the domed Frauenkirche, the Royal Residence – once home to the Saxon Kings – and the massive Zwinger Palace, where the royals went to party! Lunchtime! Go local and hang out in a cafe, order some hearty German dishes with regional specialities like sour roast and potato soup. Then we head over the border and into the Czech Republic to Prague.
Prague is a beautiful and atmospheric city. It’s also pretty compact, so it’s best explored on foot. Get straight into Prague’s historic heart with our Local Guide. You’ll walk together over the landmark Charles Bridge, through Hradčany Castle, the home of the original Bohemian kings and to the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral along the way. Choose a cruise on the Vltava River, which runs through the heart of Prague, and take in stunning views of the city from the water. The Czech capital has a really mixed past so look out for signs of the Holy Roman Empire, the Bohemian Empire, the Nazis and the Communists. Free time means you can get deeper into Prague’s Old Town in your own time. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a jumble of little lanes, alleys and courtyards. Slow the pace down and give yourself a chance to uncover its hidden treasures. For our summer itineraries, why not have a go on two wheels and discover Prague with our Local Guide, who knows all the city’s ins and outs. Exploring by bike is the perfect way to get an overview of this compact city, as you hit the back alleys and side streets of the Old Town. Spend some time in the picturesque Old Town Square, where historic buildings and churches surround cafés that spill out onto the pavement. With some world-famous Czech pilsner in hand, park yourself at a table, people-watch and try out some of the traditional local dumplings. This is also the spot to pick up some famous Bohemian glass, beads or garnet and amber jewellery. For a bit of folklore and tradition, choose a Czech evening optional for a fun night with the group where you’ll see traditional dancing and try out local food. By night, Prague is loaded with all types of music, from jazz bars and hip DJs to opera. There is something for everyone, so make the most of it with the group, and finish your time here with a night to remember.
Back on the coach, travel to World Heritage listed Kutna Hora and choose to visit the chilling Sedlec Ossuary - a small chapel containing the bones of over 40,000 people arranged artistically to form decorations and furnishings inside. Your Trip Manager starts Vienna off by introducing the group to the city’s historical heritage. There’s the imperial grandeur of Schönbrunn Palace, the elegantly ornate State Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece.
Your Trip Manager starts the day by introducing the group to the city’s historical heritage. There’s the imperial grandeur of Hofburg Palace, the elegantly ornate State Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece. Cruise down Kärntner Strasse, Vienna’s main shopping spot and buy some traditional ceramics and materials for gifts back home Later today, there’s free time to check out magnificent squares and majestic palaces or the city’s art galleries. Take a break in a coffee house like the locals do, chill out in Vienna’s manicured gardens or wander along the Danube River. Get schnaps savvy with a behind-the-scenes look into this local liqueur’s production in an optional excursion to the Old Vienna Schnaps Museum. Tonight, it’s all about the culture at an optional dinner and concert. Up first is a traditional Viennese meal in the stunning grounds of Schönbrunn Palace. Follow this up with a classical music concert with former Vienna locals, Mozart and Strauss.
Cruise through Slovakia and pause for lunch in quaint Bratislava. We’ll then head into the compact, user-friendly old town and check out its medieval castle. Try some of the regional specialties like treska (cold fish salad) or some local cheeses. Next up: Budapest. With two cities rolled into one, this exotic town has a bit of everything. Buda and Pest sit on different sides of the river, but bring together the stunning buildings and atmosphere that makes Budapest so romantic.
Get an in-depth insight into Budapest on a sightseeing tour with our Local Guide this morning. On the Buda side of the river, from the Fisherman’s Bastion, you’ll get a full-blown view of the city and learn about Budapest’s history in a nutshell! Check out the colourful Church of St. Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge. Your Local Guide knows all about Budapest’s bumpy history and will tell you more with a visit to the Liberation Monument. Free time means a chance to treat yourself to a truly local experience: a spa and thermal bath. With outdoor thermal pools, healing waters, art nouveau architecture and spa treatments, this is the perfect way to unwind. For more of Budapest’s outdoor lifestyle visit St. Margaret Island in the heart of the city, a favourite among the city’s residents with its gardens, fountains, pools and ruins. Take in a different view of the city from the Danube River on a dinner cruise this evening, past night-time Budapest. Our Local Guide talks about Hungary’s heyday and points out the city’s important buildings from this period, which are lit up for the night. Try some Hungarian specialties, like goulash and enjoy some drinks. Launch into Budapest’s nightlife and live it up like the locals by heading to a beerhouse, a riverside bar or a happening club.
The tour ends after breakfast and it’s time to say farewell to your new friends.
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Trip Name: Berlin to Budapest (Until Mar 2018)
Duration: 11 Days
From Price: £680
Supplier Tour ID: WWIT/160625
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