Grand Tour of Central Europe: A Customized Two-Week Trip

A 15 day trip to Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary & Poland 
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Central Europe has a character all its own; historical, eclectic and above all, vibrant. The region is the perfect destination for anyone who loves beautiful architecture, mouth-watering food, great beer and wine, history, and culture. This sample two-week itinerary features Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Krakow as overnight destinations, with additional daytime stops in the gorgeous cities of Dresden and Český Krumlov. You’ll have everything you need to make your trip memorable. We will take care of all the details, including accommodations, train tickets, transfers, city tours and additional excursions from Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Krakow. You also have the option of personalizing your tour, with a number of side trips available to cater to your interests, from visits to historic locales to sampling the local cuisine. There is also the option of traveling between cities by private car or van transfers. You’ll be staying in unique boutique hotels, charming B&Bs and spacious apartments ranging from a three to five star level. These are conveniently located and provide an authentic, local feel. You’ll discover the must-see gems of Central Europe, and have a fantastic time doing it. 

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General Information

Photos
illuminated glass dome of the reichstag in Berlin
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1:

Your Germany tour begins in Berlin, the heart of modern Germany. When you arrive at the airport, you’ll be met by our driver and taken to your centrally located accommodation. You can spend the rest of the day doing whatever you like, either relaxing in your accommodation, or exploring the captivating city.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2:

Berlin is a constantly evolving city with an infectious cosmopolitan atmosphere that emphasizes creativity and fun. The largest city in Germany, Berlin has developed at an incredible pace since the fall of the Berlin Wall. You can look forward to a vibrant nightlife, bustling cafés and restaurants, incredible street art, and fantastic museums and galleries. On your group tour, you will also see eye-catching palaces and many interesting historical sites, like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall Memorial.

Every neighborhood in the city has its own distinct character to explore. We can also arrange a private walking tour, but after your group tour, you’ll be well prepared to see the rest of the city on your own. Remember, Berlin is big, so take advantage of the fast and easy public transport system to ensure you see all the places on your list.

What’s Included: group tour, accommodation

Day 3:

Your second full day in Germany is the perfect time to get out of the big city and explore Berlin’s cultured neighbor, Potsdam, which has been the German center of scientific research since the 19th century. You’ll have a half-day group tour to explore the historic sections of the city, including the Russian Colony “Alexandrowka”, and the Dutch Quarter, with charming red brick houses built in classic Dutch style. You can also enjoy a walk through the marvellous gardens of Sanssouci Palace. The largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany, this palace is considered a German version of the Versailles. While smaller than its French counterpart, this former summer palace of Frederick the Great was built in Rococo style as a place for relaxation.

At the end of your tour, you’ll be driven back to your accommodation in Berlin, where you’ll spend the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps sampling one of the many international restaurants.

What’s Included: private transfer to Potsdam for a half-day tour, accommodation

Day 4:

Today you’re headed to the heart of Central Europe, the beautiful city of Prague. Your private driver will pick you up at your chosen departure time for the scenic drive south. If you’d like, you can stop along the way in Dresden, a unique city that has been brought back to life after being devastated in World War II. It’s a great place to stop for lunch and a little exploration. The wide streets and modern facades make it a fascinating blend of old and new, and a stroll along the Elbe River is both relaxing and scenic. When you’re done, your driver will take you to your accommodation in central Prague.

What’s Included: private transport to Prague with a stop in Dresden, accommodation

Day 5:

Prague is known as the City of 100 Spires, and it’s easy to see why: the skyline is spiked with churches and gold-tipped towers that are both fascinating and unique. Largely untouched by World War II, the historical center of Prague has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It’s one of the most visited cities in Europe, and for good reason. Prague can be appreciated at any time of year, whether on a summer day with sunlight illuminating the city’s vibrant colors, or during the winter, when the rooftops glisten under a fresh coat of snow. You’ll love exploring the serpentine streets of the Old Town, and climbing the hills surrounding the city for a panoramic view.

Prague’s main historic sights are situated on the so-called Royal Route between the Old Town Square and Prague Castle, crossing the Vltava River on the legendary Charles Bridge. To make the most of your visit, we will book a private walking tour so you can get in touch with all the history and romanticism of this wonderful city as well as get oriented. The three-hour tour covers the Old Town area, Malá Strana and up to the castle.

You’ll then spend the afternoon at your leisure. Since the tour concludes at the castle, we suggest taking your pick of an additional castle tour or enjoying one of the temporary exhibitions on the castle grounds. You could also stop at a pub for a pint or two of the famous Czech beer, and some local color.

What’s Included: private walking tour of Prague, accommodation

Day 6:

On your second full day in Prague, you’ll escape the city for a visit to the Bohemian countryside. Your private driver will pick you up after breakfast and drive you through the rolling landscape on your way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and charming former silver-mining town of Kutna Hora, famous for the Sedlec Ossuary, a church decorated with 40,000 human skeletons. You have to see this place to believe it. The ornate creations are absolutely stunning, and unlike anything you’ve seen before. You’d never think bones could be so beautiful, but the artistry and craftsmanship of the ossuary is simply incredible.

Besides the church, Kutna Hora also features a delightful main square, and the breath-taking St. Barbara’s Cathedral. Built to honor the patron saint of miners, St. Barbara’s was started in 1388 but not completed until 1905. Its sharp spires and flying buttresses make it a distinct part of the skyline. Another interesting stop is the Italian Court, where you’ll find the Mint Museum, which was once the seat of the Central Mint of Prague. It’s fascinating to learn how these classical coins were made.

On your way back to Prague you can extend your day trip with a choice of stops. These include a visit to a “Skanzen”, an open-air museum that recreates an old Bohemian village, or you can stop for a bite to eat at the early 20th Century Chateau Kotera, named after the architect Jan Kotera, the founder of Czech modernist architecture. Both are stops of historic interest that offer a glimpse into the unique and vibrant history of the country.

What’s Included: private transfer to Kutna Hora, accommodation

Day 7:

Another magnificent capital city awaits you today, as you depart Prague for Vienna, the former center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Your private driver will pick you up at your accommodation in Prague and drive you to your centrally located accommodation in Vienna, with an optional stop in the fairytale UNESCO listed town of Český Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. This tiny city is truly special. Walking through the cobblestone streets is like stepping back in time to a land of knights and castles. Built on a U-shaped curve in a meandering river, Český Krumlov features a gorgeous castle that seems to ascend out of the stone cliffs. There is a brewery and fantastic restaurants here, as well as quaint shops featuring the work of local artisans. This is Bohemia at its best: beautiful, unique, and perfectly preserved. After you’ve explored all that the city has to offer, your driver will bring you to your accommodation in Vienna.

What’s Included: private transfer to Vienna, with a stop in Český Krumlov, accommodation

Day 8:

Vienna is a gracious old world city overflowing with grand palaces, churches, parks and museums. Set on the banks of the majestic Danube River, the historical center of Vienna is  on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and preserves an ambiance of historic charm and luxury. Lovers of culture will feel right at home with Vienna’s timeless art, music, famous cafés and pastry shops. Often regarded as the world’s music capital, Vienna is where Mozart and Beethoven made history, and several museums and monuments memorialize their work. This vibrant artistic tradition continues today, with musical and theater performances throughout the city. After breakfast, you’ll have a group tour of the stunning Old Town, including the imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its ornately detailed roof.

After your tour, you’ll have the rest of the day to yourself. To explore further in Vienna, you’ll want to make use of the city’s efficient and inexpensive public transport system. A favorite of ours is riding the tram on Ringstrasse, which encircles the Old Town. Along the way, you’ll get to see many of Vienna’s famous buildings from the comfort of your seat. Be sure to visit the impressive Schonbrunn Palace with its gorgeous gardens, as well as the Spanish Riding School, home to the famed Lipizzaner stallions, some of the most elegant in the world. Another tour option takes you out on the Danube River outside the city to the picturesque Wachau Valley. And don’t forget to set some time aside to lounge in one of Vienna’s famed grand cafés. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to try the famous Sacher Torte, probably the most famous cake in the world. It was invented at the Hotel Sacher, which is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and cake as you people watch.

What’s Included: group tour of Vienna, accommodation

Day 9:

Today you’ll travel by train from one imperial city to another. Your next destination, Budapest, is a bewitching city that should not be overlooked. A driver will pick you up at your accommodation in Vienna and take you to the train station. If you’d prefer the comfort of door-to-door service as well as the opportunity to see another capital city along the way, we can arrange a private driver to take you instead, and on the way you’ll stop for a few hours in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. You will have the opportunity to tour the city with your driver and then some free time to enjoy lunch on your own. In the mid-afternoon you would continue on to Budapest.

If you arrive by train, you will be met at Budapest’s Keleti Train Station by our driver. Your accommodation is located in Budapest’s city center.

What’s Included: train to Budapest, transfer to your hotel, accommodation

Day 10:

Budapest is a sprawling city split by the mighty Danube River into two halves, ancient Buda and modern Pest, which are linked by a series of bridges. Both sides of the river claim places on the UNESCO World Heritage list, including the highlights of Buda Castle, the Danube Embankment and Andrassy Avenue. The Pest side of the city is well laid-out, with broad avenues along the lines of the Parisian system, and several ring roads and avenues radiating from the center. Central Budapest can be traversed by foot, but there is also excellent public transport. Best of all, since the sites are spread throughout the city, it’s easy to escape the crowds of tourists.

Your first full day in Budapest will start with a private walking tour of some of the must-see destinations, including the Chain Bridge, and the Royal Palace. After this introduction, you can explore the city on your own. You’ll definitely want to hike or ride the funicular to the magnificent Buda Castle, with its fabulous views and impressive history. Take a luxurious stroll down Andrassy Avenue, not only for some potential shopping, but also to see the massive Heroes Square and the beautiful Opera House. If you want to sample the real life of Budapest, take your pick from one of the many spas on both sides of the river, and enjoy a soak in one of the legendary baths. A cross between a spa center and a public pool, these baths are a unique part of Budapest’s culture. You’ll find young and old here, swimming, lounging, and even playing chess at special boards built into the water. It’s a relaxing way to end your first day in the city.

What’s Included: private walking tour of Budapest, accommodation

Day 11:

Lovers of good food and wine will feel right at home in Hungary, which takes its gastronomic culture seriously. Accordingly, your last full day in Budapest will be devoted to food and wine. You’ll start with a tour of the Grand Market Hall, the oldest indoor market in the country. Here you’ll learn about the building itself, which was opened in 1897, and you’ll also indulge in some of the highlights of Hungarian eating and drinking. It doesn’t get more authentic than this. You’ll taste meats, cheeses, and other delicacies, then visit some small speciality shops with locally sourced goods, finishing up at a butcher’s shop where several traditional Hungarian dishes will be served. No day in Budapest is complete without dessert, so you’ll also visit a traditional patisserie to indulge in a few decadent cakes. The tour concludes with a guided tasting of three quintessential Hungarian wines. It’s a fantastic day of Hungarian cuisine that will leave you feeling happily satisfied.

What’s Included: tour of the Grand Market Hall, with tastings of foods and wines, accommodation

Day 12:

A pleasant drive awaits you today. A private driver will pick you up in Budapest and bring you to your accommodation in Krakow. The journey will be scenic, as you’ll go through the beautiful countryside of Slovakia, including the picturesque Tatra Mountains, which rival the Alps for their imposing cliff faces. When you arrive in Krakow, your driver will bring you straight to your centrally located accommodation.

What’s Included: private transfer to Krakow, accommodation

Day 13:

Although it is Poland’s third largest city, Krakow is by far the most popular tourist destination in the country. Formerly the royal capital of Poland, Krakow came out of World War II unscathed, unlike the rest of the country. One look will tell you why the historical center of the city has earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Old Town is full of charm and houses Main Market Square, the largest square in Europe. Your Krakow stay will begin with a private half-day walking tour. This will get you orientated in the city and make sure you don’t miss any of the most important sights. Then you’ll have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure.

The former Jewish Ghetto known as Kazmierz provides a fascinating look into Jewish life during World War II, and also has great cafés, restaurants and nightlife. If you’re a music lover, check out one of the city’s venerable jazz clubs. You’ll also want to sample the local cuisine, or simply let your curiosity lead you as you explore the city’s twists and turns.

What’s Included: private tour of Krakow, accommodation

Day 14:

Your last full day in Poland will be filled with a trip to Auschwitz. More than one million people were killed here, in the most infamous concentration camp of World War II. This is a highly emotional tour, to be sure, where the history of this atrocity comes to life in chilling detail. It is a must-see for anyone who wants to know the truth about the Holocaust. We will arrange tickets for you on a group excursion that includes transport to and from the camp and a guided tour.

If you would prefer an alternative activity, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, with its grand chambers and artwork all carved from salt, is a fun option.

What’s Included: private transfer to Auschwitz with tour, accommodation

Day 15:

Today, our driver will pick you up at your accommodation and bring you to the Krakow Airport for your departing flight, and the conclusion of your grand Central European tour.

What’s Included: airport transfer

Be sure to browse the travel reviews for Germany and read about the best Europe travel agents.

Price

What's Included 

  • Berlin airport transfer
  • 3 nights accommodation in Berlin
  • Berlin group city tour
  • Potsdam bus tour
  • Berlin - Prague private transfer with a Dresden stop
  • 3 nights accommodation in Prague
  • Prague private walking tour
  • Kutna Hora private day trip
  • Vienna - Prague private transfer with a stop in Český Krumlov
  • 2 nights accommodation in Vienna
  • Vienna private walking tour
  • Vienna train station transfer
  • Vienna - Budapest train
  • Budapest train station transfer
  • 3 nights accommodation in Budapest
  • Budapest private walking tour
  • Budapest - Krakow private transfer
  • 3 nights accommodation in Krakow
  • Krakow private walking tour
  • Trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Krakow airport transfer
  • Pre-trip assistance
  • On-site assistance
  • Excursion booking assistance and advice

What's Not Included 

  • Entrance fees
  • Meals (except breakfast, or when included in an activity)
  • Tips

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates!