Imperial Capitals of Eastern Europe
3 Nights Vienna / Transfer Options to Budapest or Prague
3 Nights Budapest / Transfer Options to Vienna
3 Nights Prague / Transfer Options to Vienna
Sample Daily Itinerary & Options
Arrival at Vienna Airport or train station. Coach transfer with English- speaking assistant and porterage. According to flight or train arrival time, a brief city orientation tour could be followed by a light buffet lunch at the hotel or a 3 course lunch at a local restaurant. Either option can be arranged prior to checkin at a city center hotel. The rest of the day at leisure. That evening, a 3 course dinner with coffee and 1 glass of beer or wine at the hotel. A second and more festive option for the evening, a “Welcome To Vienna Party” at the hotel. A third option would be dinner at a Viennese Wine Tavern (coach or a very special streetcar transfer would be necessary for this final choice).
After breakfast, a full day city sightseeing tour including lunch at the famous Restaurant Griechenbeisl. The tour lasts about 6-7 hours including lunch and shows Vienna’s most important sites beginning along the Ringstrasse with its magnificent and impressive buildings. They include; the State Opera House, the Hofburg Palace (former winter residence of the Hapsburgs), the National Museums, the Parliament, the Burgtheater, the Musikverein (Vienna’s Philharmonic Orchestra), the University, the Votivkirche and Karlskirche (Vienna’s most beautiful baroque church). A highlight of the tour is an interior visit of the world famous Schoenbrunn Palace with its lavishly decorated rooms showing the glamour of past times. There will be plenty of free time after the tour.
That evening dinner can be on their own or at Restaurant Daniel which is a semi-elegant but cozy restaurant located in the city center next to one of Vienna’s fine musical theaters. The owner/chef guarantees the finest of Austrian and international cuisine in his 60 seat restaurant.
For those groups with larger budgets, and who plan far enough in advance, it is always possible to arrange a gala dinner event with classical music entertainment in one of Vienna’s many grand Palaces. It is, however, most cost effective with 50 or more people and the manner of dress must be most appropriate for a splendid evening such as this.
After breakfast, we recommend a half day excursion to discover “Medieval Austria”. The tour begins with a visit to the fortress of Kreuzenstein which was originally built in the 12th century. It was destroyed during the 30 Year’s War but rebuilt at the end of the 19th century by Count Wilczek who also founded one of the most valuable collections of medieval furniture. The guided tour through the fortress, which is still private property, gives the visitors a feeling of how our ancestors used to live. In the 14th century it was a privilege of aristocracy to hunt with wild birds such as; eagles, falcons and owls. Specially trained birds will perform this art in a special show at the fortress. Please be advised that the birds fly only in dry weather. If it rains, or during the entire winter season, the guests will instead see the medieval Altar of Verdun dating from the 12th century at the impressive Monastery of Klosterneuburg. At the end of the excursion guests would be transported back to the hotel. A late lunch would be on their own with the balance of the afternoon free for shopping and individual sightseeing.
A second itinerary option would be a full day coach excursion combined with a Danube River cruise through the beautiful Wachau Valley west of Vienna. A walking tour of the village of Durnstein and a tour of the Melk Abbey are also highlights of the program. A group lunch could be planned in a small village or town along the way.
Dinner can be on their own upon arrival back in Vienna or, may we recommend a group dinner at the Restaurant Sacher in the Hotel Sacher in the city center located just opposite of the Viennese State Opera and within a few minutes walk of other major tourist sites. The Hotel Sacher has become a world famous Austrian institution. The Sacher offers great tradition and atmosphere. Its long history can be experienced in rooms adorned with splendid collections of old oil paintings and valuable etchings. The Blue Bar is a popular meeting place and the Kaffeehaus is typical for Vienna with its 19th century furniture and portraits of the former royal family. It was in this cafe that the original dessert, the Sachertorte, was invented. Today this cake is enjoyed by visitors from all over the world. The historic marble hall offers an elegant setting for banquets, conferences and presentations with smaller private rooms also available for functions.
After breakfast, the coach awaits to take visitors on to their next destination, be it Prague or Budapest. As there is a choice to be made on how we get to this next location, let’s review those options.
First choice, would be to transport visitors to the appropriate Vienna rail station for a train trip (1st or 2nd class tickets are available) to Prague in about 5 hours, or to Budapest in 3+ hours. If this is your choice, a motorcoach will await their arrival at the rail station in either city and transfer them to their hotel.
Second choice, would be a full day motorcoach transfer. This option would Depend specifically on which city is next on the agenda. Listed below are those options.
VIENNA-BUDAPEST TRANSFER The motorcoach will proceed from Vienna to the Hungarian border then continue along the Danube River to Esztergom. This city was once the royal residence in the 13th century. It is still the ecclesiastical center (also the Archbishops’ See) and it commands a bluff overlooking the river’s most scenic stretch where it takes a dramatic turn to the south upon reaching Hungary’s northeastern mountains. Hence the area’s nickname: The Danube Bend.
Upon arrival, and after 2.5 hours coach ride from Vienna, guests will see The breathtaking Basilica of Esztergom with its Treasury. A short organ concert of Liszt’s Coronation Mass will be performed. This piece of music was specifically composed for the Basilica’s inauguration in 1856.
Afterwards, guests will board a rented boat for the final leg of the journey, sailing down the majestic Danube River to Budapest. Quaint riverside villages and medieval castles can be seen along the way. A light lunch can be arranged onboard along with liquid refreshments and entertainment, if requested. Recommended departure time from Vienna would be 8:30 AM with approximate arrival time at the Budapest pier of 3:30 PM.
VIENNA-PRAGUE TRANSFER There are actually two options to consider. One is through the Southern Moravia region of the Czech Republic to Telc. The historical and cultural importance of this lovely city is demonstrated by its status as a UNESCO listed city. The vast main square features gothic ramparts and gates, as well as gothic, renaissance and baroque houses. The castle with its original interior decoration belongs among the jewels of the renaissance. Telc is a perfect place to break for a group lunch as the drive from Vienna is approximately 2 hours with an additional 2 hours on the coach before reaching Prague.
The second option is through Brno, the capital of Moravia. Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic. It is an important center for industry, trade, congresses, fairs, culture and sports. The city is overlooked by the Dome of St. Peter and Paul, plus, the baroque fortification of Spielberg. The city center features renaissance houses, palaces and churches. A group lunch may be taken at the Spielberg Restaurant or a Moravian tavern resembling the style of Moravian farm houses. The drive from Vienna to Brno is about 3 hours. From Brno it is a drive of 2.5 hours along the highway to Prague.
Arrival at Budapest Airport or train station. Coach transfer with English- Speaking assistance and porterage. According to flight or train arrival time, a brief city orientation tour and/or lunch at a local restaurant can be arranged prior to hotel checkin at a city center location. The rest of the day is at leisure after hotel checkin. We usually recommend a 3 course dinner with coffee at the hotel so that our visitors can relax and refresh themselves for the next day’s activities.
After breakfast, a coach will be waiting to take visitors on a guided sightseeing tour that begins in Pest. Rakoczi Street is Pest’s main thoroughfare and the coach will pass St. Rokus Chapel with its relief commemorating the 1838 Great Flood that devastated the not yet united cities of Buda and Pest. The coach continues on past Eastern Railway Station which is one of the many fine examples of Budapest’s eclectic style of buildings. Beyond the station, we take a left turn onto Dozsa Gyorgy Street which was once the venue of grand Communist military parades. Dozsa is also the border of the city’s largest park. City Park is the favorite gathering place of Budapestians and it is also a treasure trove of the city’s finest museums, spas and restaurants.
A stop will be made at Heroes’ Square to see the kings and saints of Hungarian history. Heroes’ Square was built in 1896 as an entrance to the World Exhibition that was to commemorate Hungary’s millennium. It is also the starting point of the continent’s first subway. Other points of interest in Pest, include the beautiful Hungarian State Opera, St. Stephen Basilica and the majestic Hungarian Parliament Building along the Danube.
Before crossing the Danube River, the romantic hills of Buda come into view. We will cross over on the Margaret Bridge for a drive through Margaret Island. This magnificent recluse located in the middle of the river, between Buda and Pest, has been used as a recreational area since Roman times in the 2nd century A.D. The coach then climbs up Castle Hill to the historic heart of Budapest where gothic Matthias Church and the eclectic Fisherman’s Bastion offers a unique combination of sites and one of the best vantage points in Budapest. A half hour pause will be taken to sip coffee, buy souvenirs, relax and enjoy the view. From there, its on to Gellart Hill for the ultimate panorama of the majestic Danube River and the twin cities of Buda and Pest below. An interesting group lunch option after the tour would be at the Restaurant Fakanal. This is a very special venue as it is located on the first floor of the Budapest Grand Market Hall. It offers breakfasts and lunches that exclusively contain Hungarian products from the downstairs market stalls. A turn-of-the-century wood burning oven prevails in the restaurant and all the goodies are served in hot pots just like you would use in your kitchen at home. The food is what the typical Hungarian housewife would cook for her family. We highly recommend the buffet luncheon be washed down with wines made from Hungarian grape varieties along with fruit juices made from various domestic products like berries, peaches, apricots, apples or grapes.
There are many possible half and full day guided excursions to chose from. Please note the following examples and brief descriptions of each.
A spa visit can be arranged which lasts about 3 hours door-to-door. A coach arrives at the hotel and visitors are taken to the beautiful, Art Nouveau Gellert Baths. The complex consists of a splendid swimming pool, separate men’s and women’s baths, sauna, wet and dry steam chambers. Various massage and beauty treatments are offered.
A half day tour to Szentendre which is a jewel of a baroque town only 10 minutes north of Budapest in the picturesque Danube Bend region. Founded by Serbian settlers fleeing the Ottoman Turks onslaught in the 16th century, Szentendre is a charming town of cobblestone streets, galleries, museums, cafes and excellent shopping. It is possible to arrange a visit to the Margit Kovacs Museum of ceramics along with a group lunch or lunch on your own. The excursion is for approximately 4 hours.
A full day excursion to the Herend Porcelain Manufactory begins with a 2 hour drive through the picturesque Transdanubian countryside west of Budapest. The coach also passes along the famous vacation resort area of Lake Balaton which is central Europe’s largest fresh water lake, as well as, a celebrated wine region. Upon arriving at the Herend factory, which is normally closed to the public, an in depth tour is conducted. After the factory tour, there will be plenty of time to shop for Herend porcelain before departing for the village of Band. This is where the country’s most authentic inn is found. We recommend a group lunch at the inn along with local wine prior to returning back to Budapest.
Another recommended tour is a full day excursion to the beautiful baroque town of Eger which is located in the gentle hills of northeastern Hungary. It is the best preserved monument to the Turkish occupation of the country which lasted for over 150 years in the 16th and 17th centuries. Besides Eger’s impressive forts, towers and castle, the city is also famous for one of the most beautiful baroque basilicas in all of Hungary. Eger is the center of the northeastern wine region, especially for the famous Bull’s Blood. Small wineries are located in the outskirts of town with tastings of both wine and food possible. The drive from Budapest is 2 hours and 20 minutes each way. A group lunch in Eger is highly recommended.
VARIOUS THEME DINNERS can be arranged at local restaurants or historic buildings. A Monk’s Dinner is one such idea that is very popular. It is a candlelight dinner held at the Kiscelli Museum which is an impressive array of buildings dating as far back as the 16th century. Additional information and specific menus are available on request.
Another option for a special dinner would be at the Museum of Applied Arts. This museum is housed in one of the city’s landmark buildings and it is a classic example of Hungarian art nouveau architecture. Additional information is available on request.
Please note that building rental fees for special dinners and parties can sometimes be expensive for smaller groups. In all cases, whether it is for private group dinners at hotels, restaurants or in historic buildings or castles, local entertainment by roving minstrels or gypsy bands are both inexpensive and charming. Also note that quite often these venues are a good distance from the hotel and transfers may be required.
After breakfast, it is again time to transfer via motorcoach to the Budapest Airport for the flight back to the U.S., or to the train station for a rail journey on to Vienna, or to the Budapest pier for a combination boat ride and coach tour to the next destination, which is most likely to be the lovely and majestic city of Vienna. Specific details of a full day touring transfer from Budapest to Vienna transfer are listed in the 3 day Vienna program.
Arrival at Prague Airport or train station. Coach transfer with English- speaking assistance and porterage. According to flight or train arrival time, a brief city orientation tour and/or lunch at a local restaurant can be arranged prior to hotel checkin at a city center location. The rest of the day is at leisure after hotel checkin. We usually recommend a 3 course dinner with coffee at the hotel so the visitors can relax and refresh themselves properly.
Another option for dinner on arrival night, or on another evening during the group’s stay, would be “to throw a beer party” at U Fleku Brewery. The U Fleku is one of the oldest private breweries in all of Prague dating back to 1499. With its gothic “Knight’s Hall” and the typical medieval Bohemian ambiance (dark wood and cast iron decorations). It offers a perfect environment for an enjoyable and fun-filled evening with lots of home brewed dark beer and local folk entertainment. The U Fleku Brewery does not sell their beer anywhere else because it contains no preservatives. So enjoy it while you can.
After breakfast, we recommend a half day guided city sightseeing tour by motorcoach. It begins with a transfer to the Prague Castle district where our visitors will view the old Royal Palace with Vladislav Hall, St. Vitus Cathedral and the romantic Golden Lane with its minute medieval houses where alchemists used to live during the reign of Rudolph II. After the Castle district tour, visitors move on to the Old Town and walk through Celetna Street along the old “Royal Route” past the Municipal House and Powder Tower to Old Town Square. Key buildings include St. Nicholas and Tyn Churches, as well as, the Old Town Hall with its ornate Astronomical Clock. Visitors continue along Paris Street to the Jewish Quarter where they will hear about the turbulent history of the Prague Jewish Ghetto. The tour ends here with coach transportation back to the hotel. The remainder of the day is for shopping and individual sightseeing. A group lunch can also be planned.
Half day Prague city tours can be extended to concentrate additional time in the Castle district, the Charles Bridge and/or the Old Town areas. Another suggested theme for a city tour would focus on Mozart’s historic association with the city of Prague. This could also include a visit to the Villa Bertramka which hosts a small museum to the composer.
Besides having some of the best beer in the world, Prague is also famous for its cut-glass and bohemian crystal. The top shops will ship it for a reasonable price back to your home, although, it is always recommended to purchase their insurance.
Dinner can also be arranged for the group at the hotel or in a local restaurant that is often within a 5-10 minute walk from their hotel. Transfers can be arranged, if necessary.
Now that everyone is familiar with Prague, there are many half and full day excursions that can be arranged for group visitors. Full day programs are usually from 9-12 hours in duration as coaches often need to travel on secondary roads to get to the destination and back. This is very time consuming. As the vast majority of visitors to Prague are thrilled with the city and its very user-friendly atmosphere, we usually recommend a half day excursion from the city in the morning or afternoon to visit castles and picturesque villages. A planned group lunch is also possible as part of the day’s program.
Half day excursion to Ruckl Glass Factory. This excursion is to the glass works in the nearby town of Nizbor, a 1 hour drive southwest of Prague. Visitors get acquainted with the traditional method of glassblowing and cutting. They will also have a chance to purchase souvenirs in the adjacent shop. The Ruckl family, who emigrated from St. Gallen, Switzerland to Bohemia, has been associated with glass blowing for centuries.
Half day excursion to Konopiste Chateau. After a 45 minute drive from Prague, visitors reach the Konopiste Chateau. This is one of the most famous and visited sites outside the city. Originally a gothic castle in French style modified in the first half of the 16th century, it undertook a major reconstruction after 1889 when it became a seat of Franz Ferdinand d’Este, the Hapsburg Crown Prince who was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. The tour of the castle now displays the famous d’Este armory including an extensive collection of historical weapons and paintings from its last noble owners.
Half day excursion to Nelahozeves Chateau. Visitors will travel through the Czech countryside to the Nelahozeves Chateau which is now the property of Prince Lobkowicz. This castle houses a private art collection that includes; “Haymaking” by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, “The Virgin and Child with Saints Barbara and Catherine” by Lucas Cranach, “Hygieia Nourishing the Sacred Serpent” by Ruebens, plus, the largest and possibly The greatest pair of paintings from Canaletto’s English period, “The River Thames”. The collection also includes rare medieval reliquaries, books, a range of decorative arts, and most incredibly, the original score to the Eroica Symphony dedicated to Prince Lobkowicz.
Half day excursion to Open Air Museum and Melnik Chateau. This Beautiful and scenic open air museum represents 30 exposits of old farm houses and other buildings from different areas of the Czech Republic that date as far back as the 17th century. Among the exhibits is a school class and fully equipped buildings of different kinds of professions which provide insights into the country lifestyle during the last few centuries.
The open air museum can be combined with the Melnik Chateau which is 30 miles from Prague in Northern Bohemia where the Moldau River joins the Elbe River. First built in Romanesque and then Gothic styles, Melnik Castle was the residence of the Queens and Princesses of Bohemia. It was later renovated in Renaissance style by Popel Lobkovic and finally in the Baroque style by the counts of Czernin. Wine making, which started here in the 13th century, remains very much a tradition in the castle’s vaulted cellars. In the splendid rooms above, present owners, Prince and Princess Lobkovic, are pleased to display their superb furniture and paintings collected by the family for over 300 years.
Full day excursions can be arranged to Cesky Krumlov (11-12 hours in duration) and to the spa town of Karlovy Vary (9-10 hours in duration). Full tour descriptions are available upon request.
A farewell dinner at Prague’s premier dining establishment, the Bellevue Restaurant, is highly recommended. The Bellevue offers a stunning view of the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge along with its elegant world class service and fine cuisine. The restaurant offers piano classics and a live jazz combo on Saturday evening and for their Sunday champagne brunch. Coach transfers from the hotel may be necessary.
After breakfast, its time to move on. A motorcoach arrives to escort visitors to their preferred choice of transfer options. We can offer a coach transfer to the Prague Airport for those visitors returning back to the U.S., to the Prague train station for their upcoming rail journey to Vienna, or they can remain on the motorcoach for a full day “touring transfer” to Vienna via Brno, or via the UNESCO listed city of Telc. Whichever option they may chose, rest assured that a wonderful and entertaining day lies ahead.
Please note the following:
- Additional hotel overnights, group meals and land services may be scheduled in any of these cities.
- EuroWorld Holidays, Ltd. and our DMC partners always strongly suggests that groups chose 4/5 star hotels that are centrally located. There are some excellent hotel values, especially in Vienna and in Budapest. When planning a group program in Prague between April-November, it is critical that there is at least 9-12 months advance notice, or more. It also helps to be flexible with your dates as the limited supply of preferred hotel rooms in Prague is outstripped by unbelievable demand.
- We would discourage spending less than three nights in each city.
- It is also possible to combine two cities instead of three cities. A minimum of 6 nights in one city allows groups to enjoy an in-depth visit to the city of their choice.
- On a three city program, we recommend that groups begin and/or end in either Prague or Budapest due to logistical practicalities. A touring or straight transfer from Prague to Budapest, or reverse, is doable, but it also tends to be a very long day. This long transfer is also best accomplished by transitting through the Vienna area.
- EuroWorld Holidays, Ltd. has an extensive library of personal photos of Prague, Vienna and Budapest that are available for promotional purposes to confirmed group programs.
- Tours, excursions, group meals and activities can be planned around specific themes or interests.