Historic European cities
Visit a string of cities on this hugely popular tour of central Europe. Begin your enthralling journey in the beautiful city of Prague, where there'll be a chance to visit Dresden on an optional excursion, then travel through Bohemia to grandiose Vienna, home to stunning palaces and the very best coffee and cake. Call in the cosmopolitan Slovakian capital of Bratislava, before concluding your holiday in Budapest, the majestic Hungarian capital on the banks of the River Danube.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Prague
Fly to Prague and transfer to your hotel. Depending upon your arrival time, there may be time to explore. A delightful, pedestrianised city, Prague is crammed with bars and restaurants to suit most tastes and pockets.
Day Two: Explore Prague
Considered one of Europe's most beautiful capitals, Prague has miraculously survived the turbulent centuries unscathed, leaving many impressive, historic sights to be explored. Join our guide for a walking tour that introduces the elegant Old Town - the city's heart since the 13th Century - and then crosses the River Vlatva via iconic Charles Bridge. Explore the steeply sloping left bank and the Hradcany District, dominated by Prague's ancient castle, great St Vitus' Cathedral and the historic Royal Palace.
Following the tour you're free to spend the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps in one of the city's 20 museums or over 100 fascinating galleries. And, this evening, why not join our optional dinner cruise and enjoy a buffet meal as the city slips past?
Day Three: Visit Dresden on an optional excursion
Continue exploring Prague at your leisure, today, or join us on an excursion to Dresden. Having suffered severe destruction by Allied bombings in 1945, Dresden has undergone a miraculous transformation to restore its former Baroque glory. See stupendous Frauenkirche, a historic treasure that lay in ruins after the war, the surrounding altstadt, the Residenzschloss - seat of Saxon kings and home to a priceless jewel collection - and the pavilions and courtyards of the Zwinger buildings. Cross to the northern bank of the River Elbe to explore Neustadt, home to several fascinating museums and boasting a fantastic view of the altstadt from its riverside meadows.
Day Four: Travel through Bohemia and explore Vienna
Leaving Prague behind, we'll board the coach and travel south into beautiful Bohemia, a rolling, romantic region of thick forests, medieval towns and majestic, hill-top castles. By early afternoon we'll have crossed in Austria to arrive in the great Imperial city of Vienna.
A guided introductory tour reveals the city's opulent Baroque palaces, striking St Stephen's Cathedral, the elegant shopping arcades and famous Ringstrasse (ring-road) of grand buildings overlooking great squares. See the buzzing Old Town and the world-famous Hofburg Palace - residence of the Austrian President as well as the famous Spanish Riding School and the Vienna Boys' Choir.
Day Five: Visit Schonbrunn Palace
This morning's optional excursion brings the chance to visit great Schonbrunn Palace, a former Imperial summer residence and one of Austria's most magnificent treasures. Explore the great apartments and opulent salons that once echoed with the music of the young Mozart.
Spend the rest of your day enjoying the highlights of Vienna. The city is famously the home of the Kaffeehaus, so make sure to include a rest stop at one of its many celebrated meeting places for coffee and cake.
Day Six: Visit Bratislava and continue to Budapest
Today we'll continue our journey south towards Hungary. En route, we'll pass through Slovakia to call at its charming capital, Bratislava. Perched on the banks of the River Danube, Bratislava boasts Baroque palaces, pretty churches and an old town of understated elegance. After some time to explore, re-board the coach to continue the journey to the Danube-side city of Budapest.
Day Seven: Discover Budapest and enjoy a Danube river cruise
Budapest is in fact two cities set astride the majestic Danube. The western 'half' is Buda, an elegant hillside of opulent buildings. Explore the medieval houses of the Castle District, the frescoes in medieval Matyas Church and the spectacular views from Fishermen's Bastion.
Across the famous Chain Bridge to the east, the city's other 'half' is Pest, a trendy, bustling hive of museums, galleries, thermal baths, restaurants and bars. See the Gothic Parliament beside the river and the colonnades and statues of Heroes' Square. Later this afternoon you'll be treated to an included Danube River Cruise, and then have the chance to join our optional folklore evening to enjoy traditional Hungarian food and music.
Day Eight: Fly back to the UK
Transfer to the airport to check in for your flight home after a fascinating tour through central Europe.
Please note that on some departure dates the itinerary is reversed. Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Changes to your hotels
This holiday is very popular, and we have limited rooms in the hotels described. If demand is high on a particular date we may accommodate you in an alternative hotel, of a similar standard, in a convenient location for the tour. Full details of your hotel will be sent with your Joining Instructions.
Currency on holiday
The local currency in Austria and Bratislava is the Euro. In Prague it is the Czech Koruna, and in Budapest it is the Hungarian Forint.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to your hotel, or the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.