Three of Europe's loveliest and historic cities await you on this leisurely-paced tour which offers three-night stays in each extraordinary location. Fine dining in centuries-old establishments will add to your cultural experience. In the "Golden City" of Prague, tours of the city will include the Jewish Quarter, Hradcany Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Town and the unique astronomical clock. After a scenic ride through the countryside, you'll arrive in Vienna, where you'll enjoy a classical music concert featuring the works of the great composers who were inspired by Vienna's charms. See Schoenbrunn Palace, home to the Habsburg dynasty for more than 200 years and enjoy a special cruise on the Danube River through the Wachau Valley, one of Europe's most beautiful areas. In the beautiful city of Budapest, you'll see Fishermen's Bastion, Mathias Church and historic Old Buda, and enjoy excursions to the picturesque Hungarian Great Plain countryside. A spectacular horse show, followed by a Hungarian feast in a traditional setting, will thrill you. A special Renaissance dinner will bring an end to this remarkable cultural tour.
Day #1 Overnight Flight - Great sightseeing, traditional entertainment and a fabulous Hungarian horse show highlight your amazing tour of the Imperial cities of Central Europe. Your cultural experience of a lifetime begins with an overnight flight to Europe.
Day #2 Arrive Prague, Czech Republic - After arriving in Prague, variously called the "Golden City" or "The City of 100 Spires," the remainder of your day is at leisure. You will come to adore Prague, whose historic center has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites since 1992. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.
Day #3 Prague - Your introduction to this fairy tale city begins with a panoramic tour as you drive through the city to the amazing Hradcany Castle. Walk the famous Golden Lane with its delightful miniature houses, including one that was the residence of Franz Kafka. View St. Vitus Cathedral as well as the lovely statue-lined Charles Bridge. The afternoon is at leisure to independently explore the city, shop for famous Bohemian crystal, or visit one of the city’s many outstanding museums, such as the Lapidarium, home of stone sculptures dating from the 11th century to the present.
Day #4 Prague - Today you visit Prague’s Old Jewish Quarter. See its historic Jewish Museum and Europe's oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, founded in 1478. Continue to explore this fascinating area with a leisurely walking tour through the old town. Don’t miss the famous Orloj, which functions as a clock, calendar, primitive planetarium and showcases a parade of the Apostles. This evening you are invited to a wonderful dinner of culinary delights at one of Prague’s historic restaurants.
Day #5 Prague - Vienna, Austria - A scenic ride through the countryside takes you from Prague into the grand city of Vienna, the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the remainder of your day at leisure, you may choose to sample a scrumptious strudel or Sachertorte at a traditional “kaffeehaus.” Perhaps you will visit a fascinating museum or see the Old Quarter from a horse-drawn “Fiaker,” a well-appointed horse-drawn carriage whose driver traditionally sports a bowler hat. Tonight, you may choose to join an optional dinner followed by an unforgettable classical music concert featuring many fine melodies from the great composers.
Day #6 Vienna - A city tour features the baroque marvels of Schoenbrunn Palace, the summer retreat of the Habsburg dynasty for more than 200 years. Touring Vienna’s city center, see the gothic St. Stephan’s Cathedral and behold the beautiful architecture, scenic parks, and gothic spires that fill the city. Enjoy a memorable evening, with entertainment, in the picturesque wine-making village of Grinzing.
Day #7 Vienna - Danube River - Melk - Vienna - Travel along the banks of the Danube to the medieval town of Durnstein where you board your boat for a scenic Danube River cruise. "Waltz" across one of the most breathtaking bodies of water in the world, immortalized by Strauss, and travel through the historic Wachau Valley. Later, visit the 11th century Melk Abbey, famous for its production and collection of manuscripts. A leisurely ride through the Vienna Woods concludes this marvelous day.
Day #8 Vienna - Budapest, Hungary - Your journey continues to Budapest, the "Queen of the Danube," and truly one of the world's most beautiful cities. Buda, decidedly more rugged in terrain, sits on one side of the river, and Pest is on the gentler opposite bank.
Day #9 Budapest - Domonyvolgy (Horse Show) - Travel to the picturesque Hungarian Great Plain countryside, called the "Puszta," and visit a typical horse farm in this land which some say is "flat as water." Learn the unique culture and history of the Csikos, or Hungarian horsemen, whose equestrian lineage reaches back 1000 years. Watch in amazement as they put on a spectacular horse show for your pleasure. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Hungarian feast, including goulash soup, in a typical setting against a backdrop of wonderful gypsy music.
Day #10 Budapest - Szentendre - Visegrad - Budapest - An informative city tour features the Mathias Church, site of many coronations of kings. Also visit the Fishermen’s Bastion with its white walls, towers and arcades for spectacular views. Continue to historic Old Buda and Gellert Hill, followed by the Parliament. At Heroes Square, admire the imposing Millennium Monument, completed in 1904, which memorializes the 1000th anniversary of Hungarian dominion. Later, visit the beautiful baroque town of Szentendre and travel to the former Renaissance capital of Visegrad to enjoy a magnificent view of the Danube Bend and the Borzsony Mountains. Travel back in time with a visit to a 14th century castle where knights with colorful costumes and authentic weaponry recreate the days of chivalry. This evening, enjoy a special Renaissance-style dinner and re-enact the days of medieval times. Complete with wine and music, this highlight will end your fascinating cultural journey.
Day #11 Budapest - Depart for Home -