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Splendors of Budapest, Vienna & Prague (2016)
Limited to 18 guests
Days: 10 | From: $7,295
Day 1: Arrive Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, a city occupying both sides of the Danube River and founded when right-bank Buda and Óbuda joined left-bank Pest in 1873. Transfer to your hotel, where you join your A&K Resident Tour Director and fellow guests for a welcome dinner. Budapest’s broad avenues and turn-of-the-century architecture have earned it the name, “the Paris of Eastern Europe.” Like Paris, it is a cultural mecca for writers, artists and musicians.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest | Meals: D
Day 2: Budapest | Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion
Today, explore the Buda side of this city. Visit Matthias Church, the 13th-century coronation cathedral of Hungarian kings, and Fisherman’s Bastion, offering spectacular views of the city. Built in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles, the bastion is named for the guild of fishermen who defended this part of the city during the Middle Ages. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy your afternoon at leisure.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest | Meals: B L
Day 3: Budapest | Across the Bridge in Pest
Today, cross the Danube River to Pest, to privately explore the beautiful, neo-Renaissance Hungarian State Opera House, which was commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph and opened in 1884. Continue your city tour as you view Heroes’ Square and stop to see the Great Synagogue as well as St. Stephen’s Basilica, whose south tower houses the largest bell in Hungary. Then, visit the Central Market Hall, to view the vast array of food and crafts on sale throughout its three floors, including cheeses, sausage and other local specialties, and enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own. Later, visit the Parliament Building before spending the remainder of your afternoon at leisure. This evening, after dinner, embark on a private cruise of the romantic Danube, to watch the glittering lights of Budapest drift by in the night.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest | Meals: B D
Day 4: Bratislava, Slovakia/Vienna, Austria | Chef’s Table
Travel overland to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, for a guided walking tour of its Old Town, once a jewel of the Austro- Hungarian empire. Stop at a local restaurant where you enjoy a Chef’s Table experience, having lunch with its esteemed chef, who shares insights into seasonal dishes and his life as a restaurateur. Embark on a high-speed catamaran for a quick cruise along the Danube River to Vienna, Austria. Enjoy dinner at your hotel tonight.
Hotel Sacher Wien | Meals: B L D
Day 5: Vienna | Hofburg and Schönbrunn Palaces
Join your local guide for a walking tour of marvelous Vienna. At the Hofburg Palace — former seat of emperors and current residence of the president of Austria — visit the Treasury to admire its glittering collection of Imperial regalia. Continue to the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, before lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, tour Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of Habsburg monarchs.
Hotel Sacher Wien | Meals: B L
Day 6: Vienna | Visions of the Imperial City
This morning, enjoy a panoramic tour of Vienna, viewing the Prater and its Giant Ferris Wheel. See the Secession Building and the famous Hundertwasser House, and then visit the Belvedere Gallery, where you find many works by the brilliant and controversial symbolist artist Gustav Klimt, including The Kiss. Lunch and the afternoon are at your leisure to shop and explore independently.
Hotel Sacher Wien | Meals: B
Day 7: Prague, Czech Republic | Travel by Train
Depart by express train for Prague, alluring capital of the Czech Republic. Upon arrival, join your A&K Resident Tour Director for an introductory tour of the area and then enjoy a Scenic Sundowner at a popular restaurant, taking in great views of the Vltava River and the historic Charles Bridge, a stone Gothic structure completed in the early 15th century at the behest of King Charles IV.
Mandarin Oriental, Prague | Meals: B D
Day 8: Prague | Synagogues and Remembrance
This morning, embark on a walking tour of Josefov, the city’s Jewish Quarter, which remained a walled ghetto until 1848. View the birthplace of Franz Kafka (part of the State Jewish Museum complex). Best known for his existentialist novel, The Metamorphosis, Kafka is widely considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Proceed to visit the Old Jewish Cemetery, site of 12,000 graves, and the Old-New Synagogue, Europe’s oldest active synagogue, completed in 1270. After lunch, enjoy a private visit to the Estates Theater, a refreshing glass of fine sparkling wine and a mini concert (subject to rehearsal schedules). Built in 1783, this theater represents one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Prague and it was here, in October of 1787, that Mozart conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni. At the end of the afternoon, meet a local Czech artist, Tony Manto, at his gallery and learn about the art of glassblowing for an unforgettable Artisan Visit. Manto’s creations, made from local Czech iron, glass, porcelain and wood, are designed to inspire by appealing to all five senses.
Mandarin Oriental, Prague | Meals: B L
Day 9: Prague | Private Monastery Library Visit
Privately visit the Baroque library halls of the Strahov Monastery, and view its incredible frescoes, which reside amid detailed stucco ceiling decorations. Stroll in the peaceful quiet, looking up at the mural devoted to the intellectual progress of mankind and let yourself contemplate a bygone era. Then, admire the religious artifacts at the Loreto Chapel, a remarkable Baroque monument that remains a place of pilgrimage. Also, view the towering, Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, which houses the tombs of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors, including that of Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia — legendary subject of the beloved Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas. Cross the famous Charles Bridge, an iconic landmark of Prague completed in 1402. Walking past its statues of saints makes for a fitting conclusion to your visit to the historic central European capital, and sets the tone for a celebratory farewell dinner at a nearby local restaurant.
Mandarin Oriental, Prague | Meals: B D
Day 10: Depart Prague
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.
Take This Journey Private | This itinerary is also available as an independent journey, Signature Budapest, Vienna & Prague, with A&K local guides.
Luxury Small Group Journeys 2016
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