House of Parliament, Budapest, Hungary Charles Bridge - Prague, Czech Republic

Self-Drive Budapest to Prague

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Exeter International White Glove Self-Drive Program Includes:

  • A pre-programmed GPS system for you to use while in Europe.
  • Every day will be set up for you and you can’t get lost!
  • 24-hours local help line available to you as you travel and manned exclusively by Exeter local staff.
  • Our expert advice in finding the perfect car for your trip. Your car will be waiting for you to pick up locally and will show you exactly where to return it when you are finished.
  • The freedom to deviate and explore on your own and then jump back into your planned itinerary at any time.

Accommodation: 

Budapest: Luxury Room for Two (2) nights at the Aria Hotel; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

Mikulov: Standard Room for Two (2) nights at the Hotel Templ; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

Cesky Krumlov: Deluxe Room for Two (2) nights at the Hotel Ruze; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

Prague: Deluxe Room for Three (3) nights at Kings Court Hotel; Tax and Buffet Breakfast included daily.

The following is just a suggested daily touring schedule. You will have complete control over your daily schedule and may change your plans at any time simply by telling your guide or by deviating from your Exeter-provided GPS itinerary. Your time in Europe is yours to enjoy as you like!

For custom luxury travel, tours and self drive programs to the Central European countries of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic, please contact one of our travel experts.

Central Europe Downloadable PDF

White Glove Self-Drive Downloadable PDF

Day 1
Arrival | Budapest

Upon arrival into Budapest, your Exeter International driver will meet you just after customs and baggage claim for the private transfer to your hotel. Please note that no airfare is included in your trip cost.

The remainder of your day is at leisure to settle in.

Your location allows for much of Budapest to be explored on foot and via the metro system. We recommend a stroll along the lovely Chain Bridge to the Budapest Funicular (vertical rail car). This takes you up the side of Buda’s historic Royal Palace, a former Hapsburg residence that was rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style after World War II.

Stroll through the castle area, known as Varhegy, to the Fisherman’s Bastion for the most impressive views of Pest, across the Danube. Here you’ll see the Matyas Church that also serves as a venue for concerts. The entire cobble-stoned area, lined with cafés and small shops, is perfect for spending the remaining time this afternoon.

Tonight you may opt to enjoy a public cruise on the Danube to see the beautiful sites on both sides of the river lit up for the evening.

Exeter Services: Transfer
Hotel: Hotel Andrássy

Day 2
Budapest | Budapest

This morning start with a visit to the magnificent House of Parliament - the country’s largest building and the symbol of Budapest, with its elaborate gilded dome. Stunning interiors combine sweeping grand staircases, original frescoes, paintings and sculptures.

The highlight of this visit is the viewing of the crown jewels of Hungary. One of the most notable items in the collection is the Holy Crown of Hungary, the only crown known today with the “holy” attribute, dating from the 11th century. This crown has had quite a history – seized by the U.S. Army in 1945, it was held in Fort Knox until 1978, when it was returned to Hungary.

This afternoon, explore the beauty of Central Pest with your guide. Start with the Market Hall. Built by Eiffel in the 19th century, the covered market boasts soaring metal columns, high walkways and beautiful produce shops – a meeting place for many and a place where you can enjoy authentic local flavor.

Continue to the Great Budapest Synagogue, the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorial. Budapest’s Jewish community became well integrated into Hungarian society and three synagogues were built in the 19th century. In 1944, a ghetto was created in Pest, followed by the deportation of thousands of Jews.

You can walk through part of the former Jewish neighborhood to see an old synagogue on Rumbach Street. Continue to the Great Synagogue, the largest and most impressive in its Byzantine and Moorish style architecture. Visit the Jewish Museum that is part of the synagogue. The Holocaust Memorial sculpture of a weeping willow was designed in memory of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who died under the Nazis in World War II.

Exeter Services: Full Day Guide
Hotel: Hotel Andrássy

Day 3
Burgenland & Mikulov | Burgenland & Mikulov

This morning check out of your hotel and pick up your rental car in the city center to begin your journey through the countryside. Your Exeter GPS system will be sent to you before you depart for Europe and all you need to do is plug it in and off you go!

You will have alternative routings, optional stops and suggestions for lunch along the way. Your journey today is routed through Burgenland, the area between Budapest and Vienna.

Given its location, Burgenland has been a part of Hungary, Austria and even the Soviet Republic at various points in time. Exquisite wineries (although the driver can’t drink!), castles and, most importantly, some of the best cuisine make it worthy of your attention. Your GPS today will have several great stops programmed in.

Continue on your way into the Czech Republic toward Mikulov through southern Moravia, featuring rolling countryside and tiny vineyards. Mikulov is a picturesque little town in Southern Moravia, which is known for its wine.

Driving Times (approximate): Budapest – Rust 2.5 hours, Rust – Mikulov 2 hours.

Exeter Services: None
Hotel: Templ

Day 4
Mikulov | Mikulov

Enjoy a half day guided tour of this beautiful little town, full of winding streets lined with Renaissance and Baroque houses.

Mikulov’s Jewish Quarter was once the seat of the Moravian Chief Rabbi. The thriving community used to have a well-known yeshiva, many synagogues and a large graveyard where many famous rabbis are buried.

Later today you may want to drive out of town to Valtice and Lednice, a beautiful UNESCO-listed complex that features two magnificent chateaus and several artificial ruins, temples, arches and colonnades. The two chateaus are linked by a 7 kilometer avenue of lime trees. Valtice Castle also offers wine tasting of a selection of Moravian wines. Both castles will be programmed in your GPS.

Exeter Services: Half Day Guide
Hotel: Templ

Day 5
Slavonice, Telc & Cesky Krumlov | Slavonice, Telc & Cesky Krumlov

Today drive through southern Moravia, heading into the heart of Bohemia. Along the way, you might like to stop at Slavonice. Slavonice has a beautiful renaissance city center with buildings dating back to the 14th century. We suggest that you park your car as it’s easy to explore all the highlights here on foot.

Continue driving to Telc, one of the most beautiful UNESCO listed towns in Moravia. After a fire that destroyed the city in 1530, the governor of Moravia brought in Italian architects and master builders to rebuild the town and its castle. The main square is surrounded by colorful arcaded houses and leads to the magnificent renaissance chateau. If the chateau is open today (closed on Mondays), you can join one, or all, of three separate tours.

Afterwards, continue onto Cesky Krumlov, your final destination today. Parking here is a challenge but full instructions will be given to you before you depart. After parking, stroll into the town to your hotel. The remainder of your evening is at leisure.

Driving Times (approximate): Mikulov – Slavonice 2 hours, Slavonice – Telc-Ceský 30 minutes, Telc – Ceský Krumlov 2 hours.

Exeter Services: None
Hotel: Hotel Ruze

Day 6
Cesky Krumlov | Cesky Krumlov

This morning your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for a walking tour.

The center of this South Bohemian town offers stately Gothic and Renaissance houses, a wonderful square where the life of the town thrives – narrow, winding cobbled-stoned streets, dignified monasteries and churches. We highly recommend a visit to the Egon Schiele Art Center – a very unique space. They have a collection of works by Schiele, of course, but each year they have a special exhibition based on a changing theme.

This afternoon, take an excursion on your own to Hluboká Castle. This present-day chateau was an early Gothic castle built around 1250. The castle has endured many changes throughout the centuries, but eventually became one of the finest castles in Bohemia. Today, in the former castle riding school, there is a gallery that holds an impressive exhibition of Gothic paintings and statues as well as Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th and 18th centuries.

From Hluboká Castle head back south to the charming town of České Budějovice. Stop into a historic pub for a pint of the original Budweiser beer! (Please note that drinking and driving is strictly prohibited, you will need a designated driver today.)

Driving Times (approximate): Český Krumlov – Hluboká 1 hour, Hluboká - České Budějovice 30 minutes, České Budějovice – Český Krumlov 30 minutes.

Exeter Services: Half Day Guide
Hotel: Hotel Ruze

Day 7
Tabor, Konopiste & Prague | Tabor, Konopiste & Prague

This morning, depart for Prague on your last day of driving.

Your first stop will be Tábor, established in the 13th century as a military camp for Hussite refugees from Prague. Today, Tábor’s lively Old Town is an enchanting village of maze-like streets and the perfect place to take a stroll en route to Prague. We suggest parking your car so that you can explore the town center on foot. If you are interested, make a stop into the Town Hall, which features a small Hussite Museum and wonderful architecture.

Continue on your way to Konopiště to visit its castle. Originally Gothic later refashioned in Renaissance style, this manor was home to the unfortunate Archduke Franz Ferdinand d’Este, whose assassination in 1914 in Sarajevo brought about the beginning of World War I. The manor houses an extraordinary collection of art and one of the richest and most interesting armories in Europe. After exploring the castle’s interior, enjoy the beautifully manicured gardens where quails, pheasants and peacocks roam freely.

End in Prague, where we suggest you go to your hotel, drop off your luggage and go immediately to the rental car center to return your car. There is no need to pay for parking and a longer car rental once in Prague and we will direct you to the nearest drop off point.

This evening is at leisure for you to enjoy Prague and your hotel is right in the heart of the Old Town.

Driving Times (approximate): Ceský Krumlov – Tábor 1.5 hours, Tábor – Konopiště 1 hour, Konopiště – Prague 1 hour.

Exeter Services: None
Hotel: Kings Court

Day 8
Prague | Prague

This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby for a half day of touring the extraordinary museums of the Castle District and Hradcany. Founded in the early 14th century, Hradcany Castle was rebuilt many times over the ages.

Start at the top of the hill and the extraordinary Strahov Monastery. Don’t miss the sweeping views over all of Prague and the Vltava River. Founded in 1140, it was one of the wealthiest and most prestigious of its time. This wealth enabled the monks to create the greatest and most ornate library of the Middle Ages and it remains completely intact today.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience
During your visit to the Strahov Monastery, you will be invited into the two main halls of the library (the Philosophical Hall and the Theological Hall) for a private VIP tour. Normally viewed by the public through the narrow doorways at the end of each room, you will be allowed to enter the rooms to walk among the ancient books and beautiful artifacts.

Next visit the Prague Castle Complex, which was commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa. She commissioned Nicolas Pacasi who created Schonbrunn in Vienna to design the interiors. Designed with courtyards inside of courtyards, it offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the Czech monarchy. Don’t miss the towering and wonderfully Neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral inside the complex.

This afternoon is at your leisure to explore on your own.

Exeter Services: Morning Transfer, Half Day Guide
Hotel: Kings Court

Day 9
Prague | Prague

Today tour Prague’s famous Jewish Quarter and the Old Town with your guide.

Start at the stunning Spanish Synagogue and the ancient Old-New Synagogue, which was built in the late 13th century, making it the oldest operational synagogue in Europe. Legend has it that the Golem created by Prague’s most famous rabbi, Rabbi Loew, is hidden in its attic. You can also visit the Old Jewish Cemetery, where more than 100,000 people have been buried, the oldest tomb known being of the writer Rabbi Kara.

Continue to the famous Old Town Square, where you can see the Astrological Clock that has become the symbol of Prague. Be sure not to miss the fairytale-like Old Town Hall Tower (1364) - you can even go to the top of the tower for a splendid view over the district.

Exeter Services: Half Day Guide
Hotel: Kings Court

Day 10
Departure | Departure

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight onwards.

Exeter Services: Transfer

On to Vienna!? You shouldn’t come home without seeing Vienna’s amazing museums, superb shopping and fabulous food. Vienna is an easy and convenient addition to this itinerary. Ask how you can incorporate Vienna into your self-drive program.

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