Paprika - Budapest, Hungary Kunsthistorisches Museum - Vienna, Austria

Culinary Central Europe

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The following is just a suggested daily touring schedule focusing on the culinary wonders of Central Europe. You will have complete control over your daily schedule and may change your plans at any time by simply telling your guide. Your time in Europe is yours to enjoy as you like!

For custom luxury travel and tours to Central Europe, please contact one of our travel experts.


Day 1
Arrival | Budapest Boat Ride in Budapest, Hungary

Upon arrival into Budapest, your Exeter International driver will be waiting for you outside of customs and baggage claim. Please note that no airfare is included in your trip cost.

You will be transferred to the historic and perfectly located hotel, in the center of Pest. On the way to the hotel, you will see sights of historical significance, including St. Stephen’s Basilica, a cross between Neo-Classical and Renaissance-style architecture completed in the late 19th century.

Over the centuries, Budapest flourished as a crossroads where East meets West in the heart of Europe. Ancient cultures such as the Magyars, the Mongols and the Turks have all left an indelible mark on this magical city. Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube River, are characterized by an assortment of monuments, elegant streets, wine taverns, coffee houses and Turkish baths. Upon arrival at your hotel, enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Exeter Services: Airport transfer

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 2
Budapest | Budapest Ala in Budapest at Fisherman's Bastion

This morning you will meet your driver and guide in the hotel lobby, as your destination today is a bit outside the city.

You will drive to the closest wine region to Budapest and one of the country’s youngest. The Etyek region is noted for its sparkling wine production and today your tour will focus on the area’s small family-run wineries and food producers. The village is located only 30 minutes or so outside the city.

Today you’re walking a gastronomic trail – “gasztrosétány” – which will give you the feeling of a progressive picnic. You’ll be stopping at the small shops of local food producers and tasting at each, along with different wines from a local vineyard.

Taste ham, bacon and sausages from a local meat producer. Enjoy cordial tasting at another location. Continue to an artisanal chocolate maker and then meet a local cheese producer. Your final tasting is at the winery itself and you’ll then sit down to enjoy a bowl of homemade goulash with freshly baked bread al fresco.

Return to the city this afternoon and enjoy your afternoon and evening at leisure.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (5 Hours)

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 3
Budapest | Budapest Budapest, Hungary

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This morning your guide will meet you at 10AM. Begin with a drive to the Budapest Market Hall, where the head chef of Gundel will meet you to select food for your culinary adventure. Built by Eiffel in the 19th century, the covered market boasts soaring metal columns, high walkways and beautiful produce shops. More than being a place where one can purchase some handcrafted and typical Hungarian souvenirs, it’s a market where locals go to purchase their produce and meats – a meeting place for many and a place where you can enjoy authentic local flavor.

After shopping, drive down beautiful Andrassy Avenue, admiring the gorgeous art nouveau architecture that lines the street. Your destination today is Gundel Restaurant – a Budapest institution. This turn-of- the-century restaurant features traditional Hungarian cuisine.

Begin your lesson into the best of Hungarian cuisine, with the head chef of Gundel. The chef speaks English and would love to talk to you, while he’s demonstrating your meal, about the culinary scene in Budapest.

The head sommelier will also meet you while food is cooking and will lead you to the lower level where you will find Gundel’s excellent cellar. The restaurant’s sommelier will lead your tasting, with accompaniments, of the best Hungarian wines.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 4
Vienna | Vienna Schnitzel at The White Chimney Sweep - Vienna, Austria

Today pack your bags and join your guide and driver for the journey to Vienna. Cross the border to Austria and come to one of our favorite small towns in the region: Rust. Located on the shores of Lake Neusiedl, this small town is famous for its wines and its storks, which come here to nest in Spring and Summer before departing to Africa.

You will then enjoy a stroll through the charming medieval town and then visit Heidi Shröck, one of the regions few woman vintners. You’ll enter her home and winery and can even step out into the fields with her. Then enjoy a tasting of some of her most popular varietals, including Noble Sweet wines.

Afterwards, enjoy lunch in one of the beautiful restaurants in Rust, a favorite is Hofgassl, located two doors down from Heidi Schröck at Rathausplatz 10.

One other favorite is Buschenschank Schandl, located just across the street from Heidi. Serving Austrian favorites in a contemporary way, it’s one of the top restaurants in the city.

For a gourmet experience, the restaurant Taubenkobel, not far away, is the top in the region. Reservations are required.

Lunch cost is not included.

Depart for Vienna and check in at your hotel upon arrival.

Exeter Services: Transfer with stop

Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 5
Vienna | Vienna St. Stephens Roof View, Vienna Austria

This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby. Vienna is a wonderful city to see on foot, as most major sights are located very close together. During your walk this morning with your guide, you will see the soaring St. Stephens Cathedral with its unusual colored ceramic tile roof. Your guide will take you through the interior of the cathedral and, if you have the energy, you can climb to the top of the steeple for a spectacular view over central Vienna!

Before visiting the Hofburg Palace, you’ll have a quick visit of the Hapsburg Imperial Crypt in the Capuchin Church. You’ll have a quick introduction to the entire Hapsburg ruling family before continuing.

Afterwards, you can continue your walking tour of the Hofburg Palace complex. Your guide will take you into the lavish private living quarters of Empress Elizabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph from the 18thand 19th Centuries. Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) was the Austrian’s Princess Di and prior to entering the Imperial Apartments, there is an exhibition of her life, which is quite interesting.

When you exit the Hofburg, your guide will show you some of the most famous coffeehouses of Vienna, including Demel, located not far from the Hofburg. Demel is the perfect place to stop for a rest and a snack.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon your local food insider will meet you in your hotel lobby. Today you will have a tour using public transport (and walking) of her favorite local markets and unique Vienna food producers. These aren’t big productions, but local family-run businesses. During the walk, you will not only taste samples of the food, you will learn more about Austrian everyday life and food culture.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours); Food Insider (4 Hours)

Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 6
Wachau Valley | Wachau Valley Wine Tasting - Wachau Valley, Austria

This morning, after meeting your guide in the lobby of your hotel, you will embark on a full-day excursion to the picturesque Danube Valley. You will journey through the Wachau Valley to admire one of the most magnificent river sceneries in the whole of Europe. The Wachau region has been settled for over 30,000 years and is nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the main wines growing regions around Vienna.

You will visit the Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Located above the town of Melk on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube, the abbey was originally founded in 1089 when Leopold II gave one of his castles to the Benedictine monks. A school was founded in the 12th century, and the monastic library soon became renowned for its extensive manuscript collection. This exceptionally well-preserved Benedictine abbey was the inspiration for Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose, which later was made into a movie of the same name. You will not want to miss the extraordinary library with its 2,000 volumes from the 9th to 15th centuries alone!

After touring in Melk, you will transfer back along the Danube to the small and perfectly preserved medieval town of Dürnstein. After some time for lunch (not included in the cost of your trip) you will see the ruins of the castle above the town, where King Richard the Lion Heart of England was held captive after his return from the Third Crusade in the 12th century. He was later released only after a huge ransom was paid.

Next, just outside Dürnstein’s town center, you will visit the Cellar Castle (Kellerschlössel)—a magnificent Baroque building from the early 1700s which was erected using plans of the architect and stonemason Jakob Prandtauer who also supervised the construction of the church in the Melk Abbey. The Cellar Castle has been the center of local wine production for centuries and now offers tours including the surrounding vineyards and the old and the new cellars.

Later today, you will board a boat and sail on the Danube to the town of Krems. First mentioned in the 10th century, Krems has a well-preserved medieval center with remains of the old town walls including the famous Steiner Tor (Stone Gate) from the 15th century, and the late-Gothic church. Transfer back to Vienna and your hotel for an evening at your leisure.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver, & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 7
Vienna - Prague | Vienna - Prague Charles Bridge - Prague, Czech Republic

This morning your driver will meet you for your transfer to the station to meet your express train to Prague (five hours). First class tickets are included. This route may also be covered via private car and driver with stops in the countryside at additional cost.

Late afternoon arrival into Prague, where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the city center.

Perhaps more than any other city in Europe, Prague has kept its pre-modern charm. Spared the destruction of the Second World War, the ancient structures of the city still exist in their original state. Prague is a walking city as it was designed over many centuries for the pedestrian and the horse. The inner city lacks major avenues as found in Paris or Rome, giving the city its unique character.

Exeter Services: Station Transfers

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 8
Prague | Prague Pub - Prague, Czech Republic

This morning your guide and driver will meet you for an overview drive of some of Prague’s top sites. Drive by the famous Dancing House and through the historical area of Vysehrad, with its 10th century fort. You will also observe modern local Czech life with a drive through the bustling residential area of Vinohrady, once covered by vineyards. You will then head towards the Castle District and Hradčany.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

Today you have a VIP visit to the Strahov Monastery. Here, you will be invited into the two main halls of the library (the Philosophical Hall and the Theological Hall). These two halls are always viewed by the public through the narrow doorways at the end of each room, but you will be allowed to enter the rooms to walk alone among the ancient books and artifacts.

Included today will also be a visit to the Prague Castle complex. This castle, designed with courtyards inside of courtyards, is a fascinating view into the lives of the Czech monarchy. You might want to step into the towering and wonderfully Neo-Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral inside the complex. As a side note, the castle complex and the cathedral are often very crowded with lines. Once in the castle territory, if the line is daunting, skip the cathedral. You can then visit Lobkowicz Palace.

We love a visit to the Lobkowicz Palace. The audio guide that you will use is recorded by Mr. William Lobkowicz himself, an American who reclaimed his lost family property. The tour will give you an insight into their life and their collection of paintings, decorative art, music scores (one with Mozart’s own handwritten notes), arms and armors. Don’t miss the original score of Beethoven’s Eroica!

Your day will end in the Malá Strana or Little Quarter, which is best known for the Wallenstein Palace and Church of St. Nicholas. Also, it is here in the Malá Strana that you will find many charming restaurants and unique shops full of Bohemian glass and the marionettes that are so famous in Prague.

Exeter Services: Vehicle & Driver (3 Hours); Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 9
Prague | Prague Jewish Cemetery - Prague, Czech Republic

Today your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby and will and take you through Prague’s famous Jewish Quarter and the Old Town. Visit the historic synagogues, including the stunning Spanish Synagogue and the ancient Old-New Synagogue, which was built in the late 13th Century, making it the oldest synagogue still in use in Europe. While in the Jewish Quarter, you may decide to visit the Old Jewish Cemetery, founded in the late 15th Century and still corresponding to its original medieval size. Over the centuries, more than 100,000 people are believed to have been buried here.

After your tour of the Jewish Quarter, your guide will take you through Prague’s storybook Old Town. You’ll want to see the beautiful expanse of the Charles Bridge but it’s a more magical experience to visit it very late or very early on your own, when it’s free of the souvenir stands and tourists. Your guide will give you a quick lesson of Prague’s history, evident in every building and small passage way of this 800- year-old city. Be sure not to miss the fairytale-like Old Town Hall Tower (1364) that stands above Old Town Square- you can even go to the top of the tower for a splendid view over the district.

Finally, you will enter New Town- which is new because it was only founded in 1348! Here you can visit Wenceslas Square, were over the many centuries demonstrations of civil discontent have taken place. At the top of the square you will see the imposing building of the National Museum and the Monument to St Wenceslas, the patron of the Czech lands, by sculptor Josef Myslbek.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon your chef will meet you in your hotel lobby. Begin with a 90-minute food walking tour of her favorite local (not touristy!) market. You’ll buy what you need for your strudel and explore some of the best of Austrian produce, cheese, delicacies and more. You’ll then head to her home kitchen where you will learn the secrets of strudel. From kneading and pulling the dough, to stuffing it with apples and spices, you will have a hands-on lesson and then, of course, enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours); Chef (4 Hours)

Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 10
Departure | Prague Aria Prague

This morning, after check-out, your driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your transfer to the airport to catch your onward flight.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

Extraordinary Experiences

Extraordinary Experiences

Discover our insider access Extraordinary Experiences.

The Experts

The Experts

Meet the Experts that will make your trip extraordinary.

Rovinj, Istria
View Our Destinations

View Our Destinations

Our specialty is in the countries that link East & West, both in Europe, and between Europe & Asia.

Family travel
View Our Trip Types

View Our Trip Types

How do you like to travel? View your choices here.