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zGrand Capitals of Eastern Europe by Rail

13 days

Never more than 16 guests.

Overall Rating
based on 24 Reviews

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Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Visit the Zwack Distillery in Budapest and sample the liqueur created 200 years ago for an Emperor.
+ Relive Krakow’s World War II history at the pioneering Schindler Factory Museum.
+ Dine with a Polish family at their home in Lowicz.
+ Enjoy a rooftop cocktail reception at the Reichstag with special access to its iconic glass dome.
+ Learn to make traditional Czech Kolache at a private in-home cooking class.
+ Dine at the Municipal House, Prague’s grand Art Nouveau landmark.
+ Includes 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites c

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

Budapest, Hungary

Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel, ideally located in the heart of the city near the banks of the Danube River and the historic Chain Bridge. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers and our Hungarian-born Trip Leader Sandor Nagy for a congenial dinner featuring fine regional cuisine and wine.  Meals D

Day
2

Discover Budapest c

Your guided sightseeing tour of the “Queen of the Danube” shows you the historic landmarks and cultural icons of downtown Pest including Heroes’ Square and the Hungarian State Opera House. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Jose in the 1800’s, this stately theater is hailed as one of the most beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings in all of Europe. Then cross the river and ascend into the Buda Hills to visit the Matthias Church. Built in the 13th century in the heart of the Castle District, this splendid Gothic church was ravaged during wars with the Turks in 1541 and 1686. In the late 19th century, it was restored to its original splendor including a number of Gothic elements which had been covered for centuries and presumed lost. From the Fishermen’s Bastion, you’ll have inspiring views of the Danube, downtown Budapest and Parliament.  Meals B+L

Day
3

Out + About in Budapest

Most visitors to Budapest just marvel at the lavish façade and impressive Gothic spires of the Hungarian Parliament. But our specially arranged sightseeing takes you inside this architectural landmark for a guided visit of its sumptuously decorated interior, including the Grand Staircase and a tour of the priceless Hungarian Coronation Jewels. Later, a scenic boat ride brings you to the historic Zwack Distillery for a guided tour and a tasting of their famous Unicum, an herbal liqueur created more than 200 years ago for the Habsburg Royal Court. Enjoy a scenic tram ride back to downtown Budapest where the balance of your day is free to explore at your own pace. Not far from your luxury hotel, the Central Market is a must for culinary enthusiasts. It’s a great place to browse for gifts and souvenirs as you mingle with city residents going about their daily shopping.  Meals B

Day
4

Across Slovakia to Krakow, Poland

This morning’s scenic journey across Slovakia is enriched by the rich cultural insights and deep knowledge of our Trip Leader Sandor. Make your way through the lovely Tatra Mountains, part of the Carpathian Range, and continue onward into Poland. The day’s journey ends in Krakow where you’ll check in to the deluxe Sheraton Hotel, wonderfully located just a 10-minute stroll from the architectural landmarks of Old Town and Market Square.  Meals B+L

Day
5

Discover Krakow c

Poland’s former royal capital is a vibrant city filled with glorious architecture. Accompanied by Sandor and our expert Polish guide, your city sightseeing begins at Wawel Castle, a splendid Renaissance palace that was the political and cultural heart of the county in the 16th century. Continue with a guided walking tour through Krakow’s handsome Old Town to see the impressive Market Square, Renaissance-era Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Church. In the Kazimierz district, once home to the city’s vibrant Jewish population, you’ll visit the innovative Schindler Factory Museum where meticulously staged, multi-media exhibits provide a powerful “you are there” experience of life in Krakow during the Nazi occupation. After lunch, you’ll enjoy an excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mines c where, over the course of centuries from medieval times to the late 1900’s, salt miners carved vast subterranean galleries filled with ornamented chapels and statues. Now extensively illuminated, your guided visit offers fascinating insight into industry, spirituality and art across the ages.  Meals B+L

Day
6

Auschwitz c + First class rail to Warsaw

This morning’s guided visit to Auschwitz is an emotionally powerful experience. This was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps where more than 1.1 million men, women and children lost their lives. The memorial and museum were created in 1947 and include camp relics that offer raw insight into this tragic chapter of history.

Then head to the train station for your first class rail journey to Warsaw. Of course, our Trip Leader Sandor is with you to ensure a seamless, comfortable and enriching trip. Upon arrival in the Polish capital, you’ll be escorted to the Hotel Bristol, a luxury landmark in the historic heart of the city.  This evening, you’ll dine at Freta Gallery, a Belle Époque gem in Old Town.  Meals B+D

Day
7

Warsaw sightseeing + excursion to Lowicz

A morning tour with Sandor and our in-the-know Polish guide takes you through Lazienki Royal Park, which dates back to the 17th century and served as the opulent summer residence of the last king of Poland. Continue your sightseeing in the historic heart of the capital. Heavily damaged during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, a citizen-led reconstruction campaign restored much of Old Town c and today its churches, palaces and town square once again offer an outstanding survey of Warsaw’s architectural development from the 13th through the 20th centuries. You’ll learn more about the events of 1944 at the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising where interactive displays, archival photographs and ingenious video exhibits illuminate this dramatic chapter of Polish history.

Later this evening in the charming town of Lowicz, you’ll be greeted by a local family with a traditional bread and salt welcome. Sit down to a congenial dinner prepared by your hosts and delight in this genuine experience of daily Polish life before returning to your hotel back in the city.  Meals B+D

Day
8

First class rail to Berlin

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the station to embark on a scenic first class rail journey across Poland and into eastern Germany. Sandor is onboard once again to ensure a comfortable journey enriched by his insights and knowledge.  Upon arrival in Germany’s cosmopolitan capital, you’ll be escorted to the lavish Regent Hotel, perfectly located in the heart of town near Gendarmenmarkt Square. This evening, you’ll dine à la carte at an elegant restaurant close to your hotel.  Meals B+D

Day
9

The best of Berlin

Accompanied by Sandor and our native Berlin guide, you’ll enjoy a specially arranged tour of the Reichstag including unique access to the iconic glass dome designed by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster. Enjoy a private cocktail reception as you take in the panoramic 360° views of the city. Set in two innovative wings specifically built for the museum by architect Daniel Libeskind, the outstanding collections of the Jewish Museum trace two millennia of German Jewish history. Enjoy an inspiring visit to the Jewish Museum or spend time with you guide on Museum Island c, home to five outstanding museums that trace the development of human civilizations throughout the ages. This evening, you’ll dine à la carte once again.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Onward to Prague

Sandor is onboard with you once again to ensure seamless travel as you journey by first class rail from Germany to the Czech Republic. Delight in the lovely scenery including the remarkable Elbe Sandstone Mountains as you make your way to Prague. Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to the deluxe Pariz Hotel, an Art Nouveau landmark close to Old Town.  Meals B+D

Day
11

Glorious Prague c

Join Sandor and our expert Czech-born guide for a wonderful sightseeing tour beginning at Prague Castle. Founded in the 9th century, it’s one of the largest medieval castles in all of Europe. Among the impressive collection of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings that comprise the Castle are the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral and Lobkowicz Palace. Also on the castle grounds, you’ll stroll along the enchanting Golden Lane; set against one of the Castle’s imposing walls, you’ll discover 11 historic houses that date back more than 500 years. Though diminutive in size, the interiors of these buildings have been restored to depict the daily life of the artisans who lived and worked here centuries ago.

Continue to the opposite bank of the Vltava River for a guided walking tour through Old Town, home to splendid Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance landmarks including the medieval Town Hall with its marvelous Astronomical Clock and the Tyn Church with its distinctive twin towers dominating one side of the Old Town Square.  Meals B

Day
12

A taste of Prague

This morning, you’ll be invited into the home of a city resident for a delightful and congenial hands-on cooking class. Over lively conversation offering rich insight into local life and culture, you’ll learn how to make traditional Kolache, a buttery Czech pastry filled with a dollop of fruit jam or sweet cheese. After this engaging cultural experience and a chance to sample the treats you’ve made, the balance of the day will be yours to enjoy and explore as you wish. This evening, you’ll dine at a charming restaurant inside Prague’s historic Municipal House, one of Europe’s most significant Art Nouveau landmarks.  Meals B+D

Day
13

Depart Prague

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your homeward flight.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

St. Petersburg

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package with a choice of fine city-center hotels, breakfast daily, in-depth private car sightseeing expertly guided by our own resident staff, and chauffeured airport transfers

A Delightful Stay in London

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes 3 nights in your choice of city-center hotel, private airport transfers, daily breakfast, Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing with a Thames River Cruise, ticket for the London Eye and 3-day London Travel Card

Rome

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes 3 nights in your choice of city-center hotel, daily breakfast, chauffeured airport transfers and city sightseeing with your own private guide

MapSearch

Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on Lufthansa. Add extra nights.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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