Central Europe Cultural Tour

Germany – Czech Republic – Austria

Intro image

You will start the tour in Berlin – not only the capital of Germany, but currently also one of the most progressive and trend-setting cities in the world. Zwinger Gallery in Dresden is another must-see cultural institution. Nelahozeves, birth place of famous composer Antonin Dvorak, and Franz Kafka’s Prague are another stops on your tour exploring Central European culture. Do not miss unique baroque theater with revolving auditorium in Cesky Krumlov and enjoy spectacular Melk Abbey. And at the end, as a piece de resistance Vienna – imperial city famous for its Opera, waltz and Sacher torte and birthplace of Sigmund Freud and Gustav Klimt.

 

Arrive in Berlin from India and relax for a while. Later in the afternoon you will receive information about Berlin and learn to use the city's public transportation system.

You begin your day with a walking tour through the historic heart of Berlin. At Brandenburg Gate, you will hear how locals felt on the day in 1989 when the Berlin Wall suddenly became irrelevant. Continue walking past thought-provoking memorials tracing this city's most tumultuous century, from World War I to today. For lunch, a member of Berlin's extensive Turkish immigrant community will introduce you to some traditional Turkish specialities, the city's most popular ethnic cuisine. After a full day of sightseeing, you'll be set free to take in more of Berlin's vibrant culinary scene, or simply relax at a neighbourhood beer garden.

This morning you will trace the path of the poignant Berlin Wall Memorial and explore more of ever-changing East Berlin. You will visit a cold-war metro "ghost station" and a once destroyed Jewish neighbourhood, now renewed with a flourish, sampling some of Berlin's finest finger foods along the way. Your morning ends at the workshop of heroic Otto Weidt, with the rest of your afternoon and evening free to live like a Berliner.

Today you will board a bus and head south to the delightfully Baroque Dresden. You will start your visit with a walking tour of the reborn-from-the-ashes city, including the city's greatest symbol of pride: the inspiring Frauenkirche, destroyed during World War II and rebuilt since the 1990s with donations from around the world. From there you'll be free to contemplate the priceless pieces in the Zwinger Museum's Old Masters Gallery, Royal Palace, and Green Vault.

You will continue south to the Czech Republic today, stopping in the fortified town of Terezin, which was converted into a concentration camp in 1941. Today it's the Terezin Memorial, and you will go inside to learn its story. Just down the road, you will find a completely contrasting experience in Nelahozeves, birthplace of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, where you will stop for lunch and a tour of the Renaissance castle perched high above the River Vltava. Later in the afternoon you will arrive at your hotel in Prague's Baroque Old Town. After settling in, you will take an orientation walk through the Old Town, including the wonderful pedestrian Charles Bridge.

You will enjoy a full morning of sightseeing with your local guide, beginning with a walking tour of Old Town Square. After learning about the Velvet Revolution, the people's march that toppled the Communist regime in 1989, your morning will end in the proudly preserved Josefov neighbourhood, with its Old Cemetery and historic synagogues. You'll be free to explore more of the Josefov neighbourhood (with your Jewish Museum in Prague pass) before joining a guided tour of the classy concert halls and salons of Prague's Municipal House and a visit to the Mucha Museum. Tonight, you'll be free to make your own discoveries in Prague.

This morning you will hop on a local tram to take you across the River Vltava and up the hill to the most massive castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. You will tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, and Golden Lane. Is Prague really home to the best beers in Europe? You will find out by sampling one during lunch at the Strahov Monastery brewery, followed by free time for more sightseeing on your own. This evening will be a great time to catch a classical concert in one of Prague's many venues.

Today you will hop on your bus and head for the centuries-old town of Cesky Krumlov. Your first stop is the castle fortress and one of Europe's best-preserved, and still-functioning, 18th-century Baroque theatres. Later this afternoon you'll have time to explore this photogenic old town with cobbled lanes — maybe even join an afternoon rafting expedition for an easy and fun rafting experience.

After an early morning drive to the Danube Valley, you will tour the artistic treasures and Baroque wonders of Melk Abbey and cruise Austria's prettiest stretch of the Danube: the Wachau Valley. Then you will set course for the one-time capital of a powerful empire — and your tour's grand finale — Vienna. Tonight, you will enjoy an orientation walk.

Let's begin with a walking tour of Vienna's historic core, starting with St. Stephen's Cathedral. You will continue by tram to the elegant Belvedere Palace for a tour, including a roomful of Gustav Klimt's wildly gilded — he called them "erotic" — paintings. (Ponder The Kiss and decide for yourself.) Your afternoon is free to explore a world-class museum or two, or slow down to enjoy sipping a coffee in the city where Europe's café scene was born.

This morning you will stroll through Vienna's most sophisticated sights: the elegant Opera House (when available), the royal Hofburg Imperial Apartments, and jewel-filled Hofburg Treasury. The rest of your day is free to explore more of Vienna's highlights, and maybe stop to savour every chocoholic's dream: Viennese Sacher torte. Tonight, you can enjoy your last dinner at a traditional Viennese Heuriger - numerous songs have been dedicated to heurigers and they have served as a backdrop for many films. However, in the legendary comfortable atmosphere, they primarily offer the Viennese and their guests entertainment, fine Viennese wines and the fitting culinary accompaniment. A place in which to feel good, in which everyone is warmly welcome!

Breakfast is provided, but there are no activities today. It's a breeze to reach Vienna's airport by train, bus or taxi. You'll have easy connections back home.

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