Four Seasons Prague Fishermans Bastion Budapest

Ultimate Central Europe

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

There are few places in the world that travelers find as enchantingly historical as central Europe.  Its old-world feel and history, wonderfully friendly people, and mouth-watering food makes it a bucket list location for many.   Spend a few days in Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary getting to know each, behind the scenes and through the eyes of locals with our expert guides.  

Highlights

  • Private Danube Cruise in Budapest
  • VIP Tour of the Strahov Monastary

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 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.

Central Europe Downloadable PDF

Day 1
Arrival | Arrival

Upon arrival into Budapest, your Exeter International guide will be waiting for you outside of customs and baggage claim. 

On the way to your hotel, you will pass by several sights including St. Stephen’s Basilica, a cross between Neo-Classical and Renaissance-style architecture completed in the late 19th century. Upon arrival at your hotel, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. 

Exeter Services: Transfer with Guide
Hotel: Aria Hotel 

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.

Tours of Parliament are

at a pre-set time and you must walk through with a larger group and a Parliament guide.

Next, drive across the lovely 19th-century Chain Bridge to the Budapest Funicular (vertical rail car),

which will take you up the side of Buda’s historic Royal Palace, the former Hapsburg palace during the

19-century and rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style after it was destroyed during World War II.

A stroll through the castle area, known as Varhegy, will take you to the Fisherman’s Bastion for the

most impressive views over Pest, across the Danube. Here you’ll see Matyas Church, a Neo-Gothic

reconstruction dating from 1874 and in which many organ and choral concerts can be heard. The

entire cobble-stoned area, lined with cafés and small shops, is perfect for spending the remaining

afternoon.

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

Day 3
Budapest | Budapest

Today can explore the beauty of Central Pest with your guide. Prior to visiting the Jewish Quarter,

your guide will take you to the Budapest Market Hall. 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.

Next, your guide will take you to the Great Budapest Synagogue, the Jewish Museum, and the

Holocaust Memorial. Since the 19th century, Budapest’s Jewish community became well integrated into

Hungarian society and three synagogues were built. In 1944, a ghetto was created in Pest, which was

later 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.

From here, your guide will take you to the Great Synagogue, the largest of the three previously

mentioned and impressive in its Byzantine and Moorish style architecture. You can also visit the Jewish

Museum that is part of the synagogue, and afterwards, walk over to the Holocaust Memorial. The

sculpture of a weeping willow was designed in memory of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who died under

the Nazis in World War II.

Enjoy this afternoon at your leisure to explore independently.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This evening your driver will meet you for the short journey to the river port. Tonight you will see

Budapest at its most beautiful – from the waters of the Danube with all the monuments lit in thousands of white lights. Enjoy all of this from a luxury private boat with your own skipper.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Guide & Driver (3 Hours)
Hotel: Aria Hotel

Day 4
Budapest-Vienna | Budapest-Vienna

This morning your driver will transfer you to the station to meet the express train (two and a half hours) to Vienna.

Early afternoon arrival into Vienna. Your private driver will welcome you and transfer you to your luxury hotel in the very center of the city. The remainder of the day will be at leisure.

Exeter Services: Transfers Only
Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 5
Vienna | Vienna

This morning, your private guide will meet you to take you for a short stroll into the Hofburg Palace Complex including the Spanishe Hofreitschule – the Spanish Riding School (approximately a 15 minutes on foot from your hotel).

Founded in 1572, it is the oldest and last riding school in the world where classic dressage is still practiced in its purest form. Its very name gives away the fact that the horses were of Spanish origin. The Lipizzaner is regarded as the oldest classic horse race in Europe. This morning, schedule permitting, you may visit a practice session of the Spanish Riding School.

Afterwards, you can continue on 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 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 – an interesting glimpse into royal life of her time.

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. An afternoon coffee and snack is one of the true treats of Vienna!

You will have this afternoon to explore on your own. Some of the finest shopping in Europe is in this quarter, including the best antique shops of the city!

 

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

Exeter Services: Guide (3 Hours)
Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 6
Vienna | Vienna

Today walk through Vienna’s famous Museum Quarter with your guide.

This terrific area of Vienna houses several of the most important museums. You won’t want to miss one of the finest art museums in Europe, the Museum of the History of Art (Kunsthistorisches Museum). The collection includes works by Bruegel, Vermeer, Velazquez, Rubens and Rembrandt, as well as a significant Egyptian collection and other antiques. This museum houses the personal art collection of the Hapsburgs, and the building itself was constructed for the sole purpose of housing the ever-expanding collection.

In the same building, your guide will take you into the newly opened Kunstkammer (Treasure Chamber), which was closed for 10 years and reopened in early 2013. The collection consists of the Hapsburg’s treasures assembled during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. Over 2,000 pieces of art are here, including the horn of the (legendary!) unicorn and Cellini’s golden Saliera (salt cellar), often called the Mona Lisa of sculpture.

After exploring these collections with your guide, the remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. If more palaces are of interest, both Schönbrunn Palace, the summer home of the Hapsburgs, and Belvedere Palace with its fabulous Klimt collection, can easily be arranged as independent visits.

Note: All touring today is on foot.

Exeter Services: Guide (3 Hours)
Hotel: Sans Souci

Day 7
Vienna-Prague | Vienna-Prague

This morning your driver will meet you for your transfer to the station to meet your express train to Prague (4.5 hours).

Late afternoon arrival into Prague, where your driver will meet you at the station to transfer you to your hotel located in the heart of the city. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Exeter Services: Transfers Only
Hotel: Kings Court Hotel

Day 8
Prague | Prague

Meet your guide and driver this morning. Your day will begin with an overview drive of Prague. 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. Afterwards, you will arrive at the Castle District. The original castle was founded in the early 14th Century, but it was rebuilt many times over the ages. As it is much easier to walk down the steep Castle Hill, you will want to start at the top of the hill and the extraordinary Strahov Monastery. When you first arrive at the monastery you will almost certainly be taken by the sweeping views it has to offer over all of Prague and the Vltava River. The monastery was founded in 1140 and 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.

You can also 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.

Your day will end in the Malá Strana or Little Quarter, best known for the Wallenstein Palace and Church of St. Nicholas. It is here in the Malá Strana that you will find many charming restaurants and unique shops full of Bohemian glass and the marionette souvenirs.

Exeter Services: Vehicle & Driver (2 Hours); Guide (6 Hours)
Hotel: Kings Court Hotel

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 are believed to 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.

Finally, you will enter New Town - which is new because it was only founded in 1348! Visit Wenceslas Square, where over the many centuries demonstrations of civil discontent took 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. Walk down the coronation route of Czech kings, the Royal Way, now a bustling pedestrian street lined with buildings from many different architectural periods. 

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

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)
Hotel: Kings Court Hotel

Day 10
Departure | Prague

Today your driver will meet you in your hotel lobby for your transfer to the airport for your departing flight. 

Exeter Services: Transfer Only

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