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Tailor Made Central Europe's Capital Cities (2016)
Days: 13 | From: $9,595
Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Day 1: Arrive Budapest, Hungary
Arrive in Budapest, where you are met by your Guardian Angel and transferred to your hotel.
Days 2-3: Budapest | Graceful Architecture
Cross the Chain Bridge over the Danube to Budapest, ascending to Castle Hill, where the former Royal Palace gracefully towers over the Danube. Explore the cobbled, colorful streets of this ancient royal district and visit Matthias Church, which has witnessed the coronation of many Hungarian kings. Enjoy panoramas of the city and river from the Fishermen's Bastion and nearby Gellért Hill before returning to your accommodations. The next day, discover the Pest side of the Danube, beginning at market hall, where you can admire the vast array of provisions and craft-wares on sale. Continue to the ornate Dohany Synagogue, the largest in Europe, and its Jewish Museum. See vast Heroes' Square, with its impressive Millennial Monument, and St. Stephen's Basilica, the city's largest church. Afterward, tour the third-largest parliament building in the world — the Hungarian Parliament Building — with its breathtaking interior and fascinating history.
Corinthia Hotel Budapest | Meals: B
Days 4-6: Vienna, Austria | Mozart’s Home
Drive to Vienna, stopping en route at the 1,000-year-old Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma. The history of the abbey — built on the holy mount of the Roman province of Pannonia (Mons Sacer Pannonia) — is as old as the history of Hungary itself. See its Baroque abbey and the abbey's 19th-century classical library with its 350,000 volumes, making it one of Europe’s richest monastery libraries. Upon arrival in Vienna — Europe's cultural capital, replete with stunning buildings and steeped in musical heritage — check in to your hotel. Spend the balance of the day at leisure. The following day, embark on a walking tour of Vienna. Stroll along the Ringstrasse with its elegant 19th-century buildings en route to the Hofburg Palace complex. Set in the heart of the city, it served as the winter palace of the Habsburgs. Within the complex, the Gothic Imperial Chapel is home to the storied Vienna Boys’ Choir. Later, see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, one of the most spectacular Gothic buildings in Europe. Decorated with ornate woodcarvings, sculptures and paintings, it was originally founded in the 12th century. On your last day in this scenic city, discover magnificent Schönbrunn Palace, the vast summer residence of the Habsburgs. Wander through its staterooms alongside your guide, witnessing the “Hall of Mirrors,” in which Mozart performed for the Empress Maria Theresa when he was only six years old.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna | Meals: B
Days 7-9: Prague, Czech Republic | Palaces & Cathedrals
Board the train and travel by first-class to the majestic city of Prague, set on the banks of the Vltava River. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. In the morning, set out on a walking tour through the cobbled streets of Old Town and the Jewish Quarter, birthplace of Franz Kafka. See the Gothic Town Hall in Old Town Square, famous for its astronomical clock. Afterward, visit the largest collection of Judaica in Europe, including the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Old New Synagogue. You may also enjoy a walk across the 14th-century Charles Bridge. Begin the following day in the Prague Castle District, seeing Hradcany Castle, which was the seat of Bohemian kings and holy Roman emperors. Today, it is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. Visit the richly decorated Cathedral of St. Vitus and the Basilica of St. George. Stroll along the Golden Lane, a row of tiny houses dating back to the 16th century. Also, visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Loreto, an important place of pilgrimage. Prior to returning to your accommodations, visit the Strahov Monastery, with its glorious Baroque details. While there, privately tour the ornate library.
Aria Hotel | Meals: B
Days 10-12: Berlin, Germany | Reflection & Inspiration
Bid farewell to Prague and drive to Berlin, stopping en route in the German city of Dresden. Take a walking tour of the city, seeing the Semper Opera, the New Green Vault at Dresden Castle and the priceless Grand Masters Gallery at the Zwinger Complex, which houses Rafael’s Sistine Madonna, as well as the works from other Italian, Flemish and Dutch artists. Upon arrival in Germany's capital — the former seat of great Prussian kings — check in to your hotel. In the morning, visit the Reichstag, the rebuilt home of German Parliament, with its lovely Norman Foster-designed dome. Continue to Potsdamer Platz. Desolate and divided by the Berlin Wall, the square’s redevelopment can be regarded as a statement of intent for the reunified city. Carry on to nearby “Checkpoint Charlie,” the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the years of partition. Then, visit Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church; its ruin stands as a dramatic reminder of World War II. On your final full day in Berlin, head to “Museum Island.” Explore the Pergamon, one of the world’s greatest museums; it contains a vast collection of ancient artifacts and antiquities, mostly discovered during 20th century archaeological excavations to the Near and Middle East. Take time to admire the Berlin Cathedral with its vast dome and extravagant Neo-Baroque interior prior to returning to your accommodations. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Hotel de Rome | Meals: B
Day 13: Depart Berlin
Transfer to the airport, where you board your homebound flight.