Aria Prague Dresden, Germany

Pre Founder’s Tour Prague & Dresden Extension

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

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Day 1
Arrival | Prague

Arrival into Prague, where you will be met by your driver for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city and in the heart of the historic district.

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: Airport Arrival Transfer

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Prague (Renaissance Room)

Day 2
Prague | Prague

Today your guide will meet you in your hotel lobby and will 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.

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: Four Seasons Hotel Prague (Renaissance Room)

Day 3
Prague | Prague

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.

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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 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. Here Maria Theresa commissioned the famous architect of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Nicholas Pacassi, to design the interior of the 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 because of the security measures in place. Once in the castle territory, if the line is daunting, skip the cathedral. You can then visit Lobkowicz Palace, also on the castle territory.

We love a visit to the Lobkowicz Palace to view the interesting exhibition The Princely Collection. This is a special treat, as the audio guide that you will use is recorded by Mr. William Lobkowicz himself. After the confiscation by the Nazis and later, the Communists, the palace has 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 Lobkowicz restored the palace into a wonderful private museum. 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 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.

Note: All touring today is on foot in largely pedestrian only areas.

Exeter Services: Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Prague (Renaissance Room)

Day 4
Prague - Dresden | Prague - Dresden

This morning after check-out, your driver and assistant will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your journey to the station to board your train to Dresden. First class tickets are included. Upon arrival in Dresden, meet your driver and assistant for your transfer to your hotel in the city center.

Protected for centuries by mighty fortifications, the Saxon capital of Dresden developed splendor and activity. Once known in the 18th century as the "Florence of the north" due to its priceless art treasures and exquisite architecture, Dresden is sure to enchant you. Your guide will take you to the Altmarkt, the city's central square since the 13th C. (destroyed in 1945). It owes its present handsome and imposing aspect to the use of typical Dresden Baroque architectural forms in the rebuilding, which began in 1953.

Your guide will also take you into the Frauenkirche. Originally completed in 1743, the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, was an architectural masterpiece for its time. The church’s most incredible feature was its bell- shaped dome of solid stone. Unfortunately, the church was reduced to rubble after Allied bombing in World War II and for many years it was left as a ruin. The church, originally built as Catholic, was rebuilt to reflect Protestant influences and was reopened in 2005.

No visit to Dresden is complete without a visit to the Zwinger, a beautiful Baroque structure housing several museums. We recommend a visit to the Old Masters Gallery, to see Dresden’s priceless art collection including Raphael’s famous Angels. You may also wish to visit the Porcelain Collection or the Armory.

 

Exeter Services: Train Station Transfers with Assistants; Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Taschenbergpalais Kempinski (Kurfürsten Deluxe Room)

Day 5
Dresden | Dresden

Today you will meet your guide and have the opportunity to visit one of Dresden’s treasures – the Green Vault. The Green Vault houses a one of a kind collection of gemstones, gold, ivory, objects d’art and historic treasures. Your guide will also take you for a stroll on the Brühl’s Terrace, a 930-meter-long promenade above the River Elbe, known as "Europe's balcony".

In the afternoon, your driver will take you to the station to board your train to Berlin. First class tickets are included. Upon arrival in Berlin, meet your driver and assistant for your transfer to your hotel in the center of the city, Mitte.

The largest and most modern of the Central European capitals, Berlin has reinvented itself since reunification into Europe’s powerhouse city. Each area has its own unique character, from the historical heart in Mitte to the hipster center of Kreuzberg. With over 80 museums from contemporary art to WWII history, and the outstanding Berlin Philharmonic—now joined by the Frank Gehry designed Pierre Boulez Saal concert hall— high culture predominates.

 

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours); Train Station Transfers with Assistant (Berlin)

Hotel: Regent

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