St. Stephens Roof View, Vienna Austria Strahov Library - Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic

Essential Vienna and Prague

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The perfect introduction to Central Europe, Essential Vienna and Prague  is designed to introduce you to some of the sites you need to see on your first trip to these countries, with the experience that only Exeter International can provide.

The Basics

  • Eight nights in city’s top hotels, inclusive of tax and breakfast
  • Private airport transportation to and from your hotel
  • Private Exeter Guide at your service as described in the program
  • Entrance Fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • 24-hour, English-speaking local assistance in case of emergency or changes

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

Download a PDF itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$7,050 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability.

Day 1
Arrive Vienna | Arrive Vienna Vienna, Austria

Arrival into Vienna, where your private driver will welcome you for your transfer to your deluxe hotel in the center of the city.

 

Vienna is a capital city of Europe that is often overlooked for her glitzier rivals – Paris, London, and Rome. As a travel destination, Vienna truly showcases something for everyone. It has an artistic and intellectual legacy that has shaped Western culture. From the monuments and palaces of the Habsburg legacy, to the great master composers, Mozart and Beethoven among others, and from the intellectuals of the Vienna Circle, to the birth of Secessionist art, architecture and design, Vienna is a must-visit.

 

Exeter Services
Arrival Transfer
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

Day 2
Vienna | Vienna St. Stephens Roof View, Vienna Austria

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Today, meet your guide at your hotel lobby because you have an appointment at the soaring St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its unusual colored ceramic tile roof. Your guide will take you through the interior of the cathedral and then you will head to the roof, literally! Take a special elevator and walk through the attic. You’ll then head right out on to the roof of the cathedral. This (safe!) walk will give you one of the more unusual perspectives of historic Vienna.

Before visiting the Hofburg Palace complex, 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. You have a choice of what to visit n ext.  Your guide could take you into the lavish private living quarters of Empress Elizabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph from the 18th and 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.

Alternatively, you could focus is on the Hofburg Treasury.  These chambers house a vast and opulent collection of Hapsburg treasures, from 10th Century regalia and relics of the Holy Roman Empire to the 18th and 19th centuries.  See treasures of the Order of the Golden Fleece, including one of the largest emeralds in the world, an agate bowl that was considered to be the legendary Holy Grail, and one artifact that was once believed to come from a unicorn!  This is one of the greatest Imperial collections of Europe. 

When you exit the Hofburg, your guide will show you some of the most famous coffeehouses of Vienna. For sheer beauty of the adjacent gift shop, Demel is perhaps the best choice. For an opulent atmosphere, you could visit Café Central, former haunt of Freud, Trotsky, Tito, and more.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

Day 3
Vienna | Vienna Schonbrunn Palace - Vienna, Austria

This morning, your guide will meet you to take the metro to the famous Schönbrunn Palace, the summer home of the Hapsburgs. The design of Schönbrunn is bound largely with the personality of Maria Theresa, one of the Hapsburg’s greatest Empresses. Originally designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer Von Erlach, Maria Theresa gave Nikolaus Pacassi the contract to expand the summer palace. The palace stands today as a combination of Austrian Rococo and Classic Baroque symmetry. Today’s visit is the highlight route – featuring approximately 20 of the most gorgeous rooms in the palace.

Afterward, as time allows, stroll with your guides through the gardens.  It’s always lovely to see the Privy Garden, the Maze & Labyrinth, the Orangery Garden and the Gloriette with viewing terrace, featuring a fantastic panorama of Vienna.

Afterward, head back to the center of Vienna with your guide.  We will share our favorite spots for additional sightseeing, shopping, dining and more.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

Day 4
Vienna- Day 4 options | Vienna- Day 4 options Vienna Zoo - Vienna, Austria

Option 1: Family Fun – Animal Lovers

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This morning, wake up early and meet your driver to head to the zoo at Schönbrunn. This is actually the world’s oldest zoo and, in our opinion, the best in Europe! Today you will meet your special zoo guide prior to opening. You’ll have an early morning tour of the zoo highlights via private golf cart, before enjoying breakfast at the Kaiser Pavilion.

Afterward, you can stay to enjoy more of the zoo on your own if you like. We will set up a return time with your driver, so you have transportation back to your hotel whenever you are ready.

 

Exeter Services
Zoo Transfers; Zoo Guide (1.5 Hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 2: Family Fun – Teens

This morning, your guide will meet you and take you around via metro and tram to see the amazing street art in Vienna.  Although most people associate Vienna with imperial splendor, some of the best amateur and professional artists have created fantastic murals and graffiti throughout the city. 

The banks of the Danube Canal are lined by concrete walls, and this has created one long blank canvas for artists. 

Summer days are super lively in Vienna, and if you’re game, and if the weather cooperates, you can have your guide show you the popular local hang-out – the Danube Island.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 3: Architecture & Design

This morning, meet your guide for a Secessionist and Design tour of Vienna.  Your walk with your guide will take you by several examples of Secessionist architecture in the center, including the American Bar, the Secessionist House and more.

You will step inside MAK – the Museum for Applied Arts.    This museum features design, including crafts from the Wiener Werkstätte, founded by Hoffmann and Moser.  Their permanent collection includes Vienna 1900, featuring design and decorative arts from 1890 to 1938.  The shop here is also a superb place to pick up design-oriented souvenirs.

Then walk with your guide through the area of the Naschmarkt – one of Vienna’s most famous food markets.  The buildings lining the street are all great examples of Hoffman’s work.

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You will head into one of the most stunning of these – Majolikahaus.  This apartment building was designed at the turn of the 20th century had has some gorgeous details of Art Nouveau style.  The entire façade is built of small ceramic tiles, known as majolica, that flow into floral shapes up the wall.  Today you will be invited inside a private apartment in this building.  Walk into a slice of Viennese history as you step inside these gorgeous rooms filled with Art Nouveau artworks, Olbrich-style furniture, along with works by Hoffmann and Loos.  You’ll be immersed in Vienna’s Fin de Siécle atmosphere!  Experience some light refreshments with your guide as you discuss Secessionism in Vienna before departing.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (6 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 4: Vienna’s Art Scene

Today, meet your guide and board the local tram to head to the nearby Belvedere Palace and Gardens. This palace, built as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, is situated on a gently sloping hill. The two main palaces (upper and lower) are linked by formal French gardens and both now house wonderful art collections. Upper Belvedere holds a wonderful collection of 19th– and 20th-century art, while the lower palace houses a fine collection of art and sculpture from Vienna’s Golden Age (approximately 1683 to 1780).

This is one of the most amazing collections of Klimt in the world and you will have ample time to explore the exhibition. Afterward, you might want to hop on the Ring Tram with your guide to take the short journey around the historic Ring that encircles Vienna. You’ll see all the most important buildings and monuments of the city in this one journey.

Afterward, your next museum is your choice.  Some of the fantastic options are:

Albertina

Bordering the pedestrian area is the fantastic Albertina Museum (also a great place to stop for lunch in their outpost of DO & CO). Since May 2009, the Albertina has had a permanent exhibition consisting of the Batliner Collection (covering Monet to Picasso) along with major works from the collection of Eva and Mathias Forberg. The collection spans Classical Modernism to the present.

Leopold Museum

If you’re in the mood for museums, you might want to take a stroll to the nearby Museum Quarter. This terrific area of Vienna houses several of the most important museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the largest museum in Central Europe for modern art and a great collection of Picasso, Klee, and more, and the Leopold Museum, featuring over 5,000 works of Austrian art including the world’s largest private collection of works by Egon Schiele.

Fine Arts Museum

The Fine Arts Museum is one of our favorite museums in Vienna.  Here you will find a vast array of paintings including Bruegel, Vermeer, Velazquez, Rubens and Rembrandt. 

In the same building you will find the Kunstkammer (Treasure Chamber).  The collection consists of the Hapsburg’s treasures assembled during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque.  The collection includes over 2,000 pieces of art, including gold, bronze, ivory, ostrich eggs, the horn of the (legendary!) unicorn and Cellini’s golden Saliera (salt cellar), often called the Mona Lisa of sculpture.  The salt cellar alone is insured for over $60 million.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (6 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 5: Jewish Heritage

This morning your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby for an exploration of some of the notable sites in Vienna’s Jewish history. Begin with a walk through what was once Vienna’s Jewish Quarter: Leopoldstadt. This former hub of Jewish life contained the city’s finest synagogues, along with a wide array of Jewish shops, clubs, theaters, and more. This was also the Central European stronghold of Zionism and Chassidism.   As you walk, you will see some of the monuments that dot the city center now, including the Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz and the Memorial against War and Fascism at Albertinaplatz.  There are two Jewish museums in Vienna’s center.  You might choose to visit one or both. 

The Museum at Judenplatz combines the Holocaust Memorial with the remains of a medieval synagogue and a museum about medieval Jewish life.  This museum also sometimes offers unique special exhibitions and your guide can detail what is available during your tour.  The Jewish Museum in Palais Eskeles is relatively new – having opened in 2011, and is, in our opinion, an essential visit for an understanding of Jewish life in Vienna.  In additional to temporary exhibitions, this large museum offers a look into Jewish life in Vienna, both pre-war and post-war.  One of the more moving aspects is the virtual access to Vienna’s synagogues that were destroyed in 1938.

If possible, your guide will also take you into the City Temple.  This was the only synagogue in the city center to survive WWII, as destroying it would have set fire to the attached buildings.  Admission here is tricky, so if possible, you will go inside.  Otherwise, you can see it from the outside.  For inside admission, passports are required.

It’s now possible to visit the former address of perhaps one of the most famous of Vienna’s Jewish residents – Sigmund Freud.  His former apartment has just been completely renovated and today you can have an in-depth look into his life, both public and private. 

 

Exeter Services
Guide (6 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 6:Vienna Shopping

Meet your guide this morning to explore some of Vienna’s unique shopping areas.  All touring today is on foot and via efficient public transportation.

Vienna actually has several shopping districts and your guide will discuss what will be the most interesting to you. 

Many guests often start in the fashionable first district.  This is where you will find chic and unique fine goods that are often still handmade from generations of craftspeople.  Think handmade hats, clothing, shoes, and more.  It’s also in this area where you will find Vienna’s Golden Quarter, featuring all the luxury European brands.  If you’d like a little history with your shopping, look for shops labeled K+K.  This means they were court appointed purveyors of their craft.

Many guests want to see more accessible local boutiques from local designers.  These are often found in the hip and trendy 4th and 7th districts.  From fashion and accessories to art and design, your guide will help you discover hidden shops that only a local knows.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

 

Option 7: Food Tour

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This morning, your local food expert 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
Food Insider (3-4 hours)
Hotel
Sans Souci Wien

 

Day 5
Vienna- Prague options | Vienna- Prague options Prague, Czech Republic

Option 1: Vienna – Prague via Private Driver

Today, meet your driver where you will be privately transferred to Czech Republic, in the wonderful city of Prague.

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
Transfer Vienna – Prague
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 2: Vienna – Prague Via the Danube Valley

Optional Cost:  from +$1650 additional.

 This morning, your driver will meet you for a journey out to the Wachau Valley, located about an hour outside of Vienna.

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Upon arrival, your local wine expert, Martin, will greet you. Your guide is the grandson of one of the area’s original vintners and he knows every little winery and vintner along the way. Your excursion today will take you literally up into the hills bordering the Danube as you drive through vineyards and small villages. Your guide will explain a bit about how the region was developed, the type of wines that are the specialty of the region and how different terrain makes different wines, even of the same varietal.

Your trip would not be complete without tastings at two local wineries. You’ll have ample time for lunch in the countryside, payable locally, before meeting your driver and heading to the wonderful city of Prague.

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
Wine Guide (4 hours); Transfer Vienna – Prague
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 3: Vienna – Prague via the Czech Countryside

Optional Cost:  from +$1375 additional.

This morning, your driver will meet you in the hotel lobby for a journey to Czech Republic.

Today you will experience the Bohemian countryside as you travel to Český Krumlov. Upon arrival, meet your guide and explore Český Krumlov and the Český Krumlov Castle.  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 and of course, the 13th century Rožmberk Castle – rich in history as well as arts and crafts that have been preserved throughout the centuries.  Don’t miss the splendid view in the castle garden of a large Baroque theater with period furnishings.

We also highly recommend a visit to the very unique space that is the Egon Schiele art center.  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, meet your driver again to reach your final destination, Prague!

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
Guide (3 hours); Transfer Vienna – Prague
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

Day 6
Prague | Prague 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 ancient Old-New Synagogue, which was built in the late 13th century, making it the oldest synagogue still in use in Europe.  A personal favorite is the Pinkas Synagogue, which is now a memorial to the nearly 80,000 victims of the Holocaust from Bohemia.  Especially moving is the exhibition of children’s drawings from Terezín.   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.

As you stroll, our guide will point out some of the interesting sculptures in Prague.  There are several thought provoking and somewhat controversial sculptures around the city.  You get little slices of Czech history and, in some cases, some interesting political commentary, too!

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

Day 7
Prague | Prague Strahov Monastery - Prague, Czech Republic

This morning your guide and driver will meet you for a quick transfer to the top of Castle Hill where you will have sweeping views of Prague.  Your driver will bid you farewell and the rest of your day is on foot.

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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 viewed by the public through a single narrow doorway, but you will be allowed to walk alone among the ancient books and artifacts.

Afterward, visit 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. 

The Lobkowicz Palace is one of our favorite visits in Prague and, for us, is a highlight of the castle complex. It’s one spot where we always recommend using the museum’s audio guide, as it is recorded by Mr. William Lobkowicz himself. After the confiscation by the Nazis and later, the Communists, the palace was been returned to the Lobkowicz family, one of the most powerful Czech aristocratic families whose history goes all the way back to the 14th century. The tour will give you an insight into their life and their collection of paintings, decorative art, porcelain sets, 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 Malá Strana or Little Quarter, with its charming narrow streets . It’s also here that you will find many unique shops full of Bohemian glass and the marionettes that are so famous in Prague.

 

Exeter Services
Morning Transfer; Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

Day 8
Prague- Day 8 options | Prague- Day 8 options Municipal House, Prague

Option 1: Family Fun – Local Family Visit

This morning, meet your driver for a journey outside the city.

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Today your destination is a family farm outside of Prague to experience local Czech life.  This couple left the hustle and bustle of the city to get back to the land and raise their children in a more natural environment.  Today you will explore their farmstead, both with traditional farm animals and even the odd llama! 

During your visit today, your family will enjoy a homemade organic lunch and learn a traditional handicraft while having time to interact with this special family. English is spoken by everyone in the family.

 

Exeter Services
Vehicle & Driver (6 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 2: Family Fun – Hiking

This morning meet your driver for a journey outside of Prague to Cesky Raj (the rock city – a UNESCO protected site).  You’ll be armed with route maps and can enjoy a day of hiking through this Bohemian Paradise – with otherworldly rock formations and castle ruins.

The Protected Landscape Area Bohemian Paradise was created in 1955 as the first nature reserve in the country and enlarged in 2002. You shouldn’t miss the symbol of this region, the castle Trosky. This Gothic castle was founded in the 14th century and its foundations have volcanic origins.

 

Exeter Services
Vehicle & Driver (6-8 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 3: Architecture & Design

Today, meet your guide and driver to dive into Prague’s rich heritage in architecture and design.

Start with an introduction to the Gothic and Renaissance parts of the Old Town Square which has buildings dating to the 1300s.  Since Prague was never bombed in WWII, the city retains its authentic historical features.  Then move to the Czech Reformist Movement and the drive for its own national identity, which sets the scene for the Modernists.

Continue to New Town and Wenceslas Square towards the train station Hlavni Nadrazi.  It’s not in the best of repair right now, but is an art nouveau masterpiece.  Also, the neighborhood of Vinohrady may be worth exploring purely for its elegant Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic architecture.  Drive by the famous Dancing House and through the historical area of Vysehrad, with its 10th-century fort.

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A private tour of the Municipal House has been arranged for you.  This magnificent building is an excellent example of the art nouveau architecture. It was built between 1905 and 1911 and features lavish decoration both inside and outside by famous Czech artists, including Alfons Mucha. It was here where the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed on 28 of October, 1918. Today, the Municipal House offers exhibitions but is also home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Its concert halls are some of Prague’s most impressive and significant concert halls, primarily due to their superior acoustics.

 

Exeter Services
Vehicle & Driver (4 hours); Guide (6 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 4: Shopping in Prague

Today your guide will meet you to explore the best Czech designers and start-ups located throughout the city of Prague.  Your tour is on foot and will utilize the efficient transportation system.

From the small streets of Old Town to the trendy new neighborhoods, your tour will focus on places only a local would know.  Don’t feel locked in to fashion.  Czech traditional products are also wonderful, including glass, crystal, garnets, marionettes and more.

 

Exeter Services
Guide (4 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

 

Option 5: Food Tour Prague

Today you will meet your guide today to discover the hidden secretes of Prague’s excellent food scene while also learning more about the traditional Czech pubs.

Your journey will utilize both public transport and walking, so be prepared to walk off all the calories you imbibe!  Taste freshly brewed beer from a local brewery.  Enjoy some of the tasty and beautiful open-faced sandwiches from our favorite shop. 

Discover traditional Czech gingerbread and more as you learn more about Czech history and local life today.

 

Exeter Services
Food Insider (3-4 hours)
Hotel
Aria Hotel Prague

 

Day 9
Prague Onwards | Prague Onwards Charles Bridge - Prague, Czech Republic

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

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