Fly to Prague, meet your tour manager and transfer to the hotel in the city’s heart. Dependent upon your arrival time, enjoy a first dinner, choosing from a vast selection of eateries to suit all tastes and pockets.
A guided tour will introduce the exquisite, 13th-century Old Town and, across the River Vltava by the illustrious Charles Bridge, the left bank, dominated by Prague’s ancient castle.
Beneath this home to St Vitus’ Cathedral and the Royal Palace, are the narrow, cobbled streets of Mala Strana, or Little Quarter. Following the tour, the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your leisure, perhaps joining the optional river cruise, enjoying a buffet lunch and a peerless view of the city skyline, or taking in one of the city’s countless museums and galleries. In Old Town Square, crowds gather to watch the ancient astronomical clock strike the hour, with a procession of wooden figures just part of the mechanical display. Don’t miss Josefov, the fascinating former Jewish quarter once home to Franz Kafka, or Nove Mesto /New Town, at the heart of the famous Wencelas Square, Prague’s modern heart. This evening, grab another slice of Prague’s lively nightlife, maybe finding a bar serving famous Pilsner, or dining in one of a host of restaurants offering traditional Czech fare of soups, pork, dumplings, salads and delicious Austrian-style puddings.
Spend a free day discovering your own Prague, or join the optional excursion to the Czech city of Pilsen. The city is famed as the birthplace of the golden lager, and boasts some superb Renaissance buildings and a majestic Gothic cathedral in addition to the popular brewery. Return to Prague for a last evening.
Board the train for the journey west through the forested Bohemian countryside and on into Saxony and Dresden, for a two night stay (your luggage will be collected from the hotel in Prague and transferred directly to Dresden, where it will be waiting for you upon arrival). Begin your exploration of this lovingly restored Baroque treasure chest, perhaps enjoying the evening in the lively Neustadt area, or a riverside beer garden.
Discover Dresden’s restored glories, including the famous Frauenkirche, the Altstadt, Baroque Theaterplatz, the Residenzschloss and the Zwinger buildings’ pavilions and courtyards, south of the River Elbe. On the northern bank, Neustadt and neighbouring Aussere Neustadt brim with life. Don’t miss the view of the Altstadt from Neustadt’s riverside meadows. Following the tour, perhaps join an optional river cruise. Spend a second evening in Dresden, choosing between the traditional south, or the north bank’s more modern scene.
Board the coach for the journey north, with a morning visit to the famous Meissen porcelain works, Europe’s oldest, where a fascinating guided tour will explain the transformation of the raw clay into some of the world’s finest tableware and art collectibles. Continue on to the pretty town of Colditz, overlooked by the Renaissance castle that was enforced home to WW2 prisoners of war, whose attempts at escape have passed into folklore. The included guided tour will bring to life the tales of Allied ingenuity, before you continue on to Berlin for a final two nights. There’s so much to do in this ‘good-time’ city, and this evening you might choose between the restored Nikolaiviertel district, or Hackesche Hofe market’s ultra-trendy shops, bars and restaurants.
Join this morning’s included guided tour to get to know the city and its major landmarks. Highlights might include Norman Foster’s great Reichstag building, the gleaming new central station, the incredible Brandenburg Gate, marking the historic ‘division’ between east and west, and the poignant Jewish Memorial.
Stroll down great thoroughfare Unter den Linden; don’t miss Gendarmenmarkt, one of Europe’s most beautiful squares, while in former East Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee is a reminder of Socialist excesses. Another major landmark is the giant TV Tower offering a bird’s-eye view of the city and the former course of the infamous Wall (entrance payable). Perhaps visit the ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ museum, the Olympic Stadium on the city’s outskirts, or enjoy shopping – or window-shopping – on the famous ‘Ku’damm’. This evening, maybe take in lively Potsdamer Platz, a perfect end to a wonderful holiday.
Bid “Auf wiedersehen” to Berlin, and transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.