Royal Cities of Central Europe: Tour Prague, Budapest, and Croatia

A 15 day trip to Croatia, Czech Republic & Hungary 
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Bask in the old beauty of Europe as you travel from Bohemia to the Adriatic. Explore Prague and Budapest, both exquisite capitals draped around a river and then move to Zagreb and Split, Croatian cities of sublime surprise.  Finish with Dubrovnik, an iconic city-republic encased by millennia-old fortifications. It will not just be the destinations, as your will entranced by the journey as you island hop, pluck fresh oysters and wine taste while river cruising, seeing amazing waterfalls, taking in a ghoulish chapel and relaxing in sublime old villages.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
View of Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
Parliament building Budapest, Hungary.
Zagrab towers at sunrise.
View of bridges in Prague, Czech Republic.
The medieval astronomical clock located in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Old Town square in Prague, Czech Republic.
Charles Bridge is a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sedlec Ossuary, known as the Church of Bones in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.
A tram crosses a bridge in Budapest, Hungary.
A castle in Croatia.
King Saint Stephen statue at Matthias Church, Budapest, Hungary.
Stari Grad in Hvar in Croatia.
Blue cave, Croatia.
The Golden Gate in Split of Diocletian's Palace Croatia.
Sedlec Ossuary, the bone church, in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic.
Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Kastel Gomilica is a historic island near Split, Croatia.
Hungary, Budapest.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Bohemia, Prague, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Cubist House of the Black Madonna, Kutna Hora, Sedlec Ossuary, Budapest, Central Market Hall, Danube River, Zagreb, St Catherine’s Church, St Mark’s Square, Rastoke, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Split, Trogir, Diocletian’s Palace, Adriatic Sea, Hvar, Jelsa, Stari Grad, Napoleon Fortress, Vrboska, Blue Cave, Green Cave, Vis islands, Palkeni islands, Ston, Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Old Town, Pile Gate, Dubrovnik City Walls, Cavtat, Konavle

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Prague – First Impressions of Bohemia

Prague rises evocatively around the Vltava River with cathedral spires and palace facades stretching across the rolling hills. Historical bridges connect the two sides, postcard points that provide a great first impression of the city. These bridges have seen both beauty and war, their sturdy presence a reassuring constant in the very heart of Bohemia. Touch down in Prague, and you will be transferred to a five-star hotel close to the river. Many of the city’s core attractions are within walking distance, and this first day will be all about taking a stroll without your guide. Tomorrow you will get to know the stories and how to distinguish the Baroque from the Gothic, but this first evening is all about your first impressions of Prague and its ineffable Bohemian culture.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Prague – A Historical Walking Tour of Prague and Its Castle

Explore Prague at a relaxed pace, a three-hour walking tour ensuring that you feel the city’s history. Admire the harmony of architectural styles on the Old Town Square, explore the inimitability of the city’s central churches, wander down cobbled lanes, and hear the stories that accompany medieval-era structures. There are stories of pride, as well as tales of resistance and revolt, not to mention the mysteries that remain unsolved. After lunch, you can take a walk through Prague Castle and its interior, and then onwards to St Vitus Cathedral, St George’s Basilica and the Old Royal Palace. The stories will keep coming, and as you stop at a cafe close to the hotel, it will feel as though you have covered a thousand years in a day.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Prague – Day Trip to Kutna Hora and its Bone Chapel

Kutna Hora is another piece of old-world Bohemia, a UNESCO World Heritage town as sublime as it is surreal. Filled with chandeliers constructed from human bones, extravagant old palaces, and a massive silver mine, you can take a private day trip to immediately step back into the Middle Ages and into a town as unorthodox as Bohemia itself. Sedlec Ossuary is the centerpiece, an eery Gothic church decorated by more than 40,000 human skeletons. Skulls gaze from the ceiling, femurs make up a coat of arms, and none of it is intended as a memorial. This is religious art, the Bohemian way, as unusual an experience as donning a medieval cape and descending into the abandoned silver mine. On today’s tour, you will also explore the Gothic at Santa Barbara Cathedral and discover a royal palace once inhabited by kings like John the Blind, Premysl the Ploughman and Vladislaus the Jagiellonian.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Budapest – The Royal City on the Danube

Look only at the postcards, and Prague and Budapest can appear similar. Both are royal cities dominated by magnificent regal architecture and sliced in half by a famous river, yet these capitals are very different in feel. Budapest bares its history with pride, primarily in the sheer scale of its old buildings. You will immediately sense that this city played an integral role in Europe’s history, with an almost overpowering grandeur gazing down at you from the riverbanks. You will fly from Prague to Budapest and have a day at leisure, soaking up a city that will surprise you at every turn.

What’s Included: accommodation, airport transfer, breakfast

Day 5: Budapest – Culinary Tour of Budapest and Its Neighborhoods

History is unmissable in Budapest, as is the architectural grandeur. You will not need a historical tour because you are surrounded by the past, and it’s stories everywhere you go. So instead, take a private culinary tour of the city with food providing a focus to go beyond the famous attractions. Taste your way through the spectacular Central Market Hall, and then stroll through different neighborhoods. You will likely find a kosher bakery, an old candy store, spices from the east and artisanal chocolates all on the same lane, and then there will be the more traditional as you enjoy a tasting in a historical Hungarian butcher. Complete your culinary tour by tasting wines from different Hungarian regions, and then return to your hotel with both a full stomach and a very keen impression of the city’s past.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Budapest – A Relaxed Day in the City and Evening Danube River Cruise

Spend today exploring more of Budapest. Walk across the bridges between Buda and Pest, finding the city’s two contrasting characters. There is evidence of both the Ottomans and the Austrians, along with the other splendors this royal city provides. Your day is self- guided, and one great option is to spend the morning at one of the old spas, with Gellert Baths the most famous example. In the evening, you can cruise on the Danube, a live orchestra keeping you company as the palace walls are illuminated after dusk. You will dine on the boat while being treated to the contrasts of the Buda and Pest river banks.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Zagreb – Walking the Old and New of the Croatian Capital

Missed by many and misunderstood by most, Zagreb is a city that connects Central Europe with the Adriatic. Cultures come together, as do art and cuisine, making for a very intriguing first day in Croatia. It’s a 3-hour private transfer from Budapest to Zagreb, and you will spend your afternoon on a walking tour to get to know both the old and the new. Walk beneath the Stone Gate, gaze up at the Baroque edifice that is St Catherine’s Church, take a coffee on St Mark’s Square and feast your eyes on the roof of St Mark’s Church. Try zagorki strukli on route, a dumpling-like specialty filled with cheese. Dinner reservations have been made for the evening for a chance to try Croatian cuisine.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Rastoke to Plitvice Lakes to Split – Waterfalls and Wonder as you Travel to the Coast

Croatia loves to surprise. The Adriatic coastline is well known, yet the interior offers wonders that are rare to find in Europe. Travel to Rastoke, an 18th-century village flanked by a stunning collection of waterfalls. Watermills dot the river, along with the most unusual of houses. From Rastoke, you journey upriver, into the thick green landscapes of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that likes to arouse all the senses. Waterfalls thunder into green lakes, fresh fragrances tantalize in the forest, and you are surrounded by a surreal work of nature. Explore on your own as there are countless different walking trails that lead you to different cascades. Lunch will be very traditional at a restaurant in nature, and then after the national park, you will continue southwest to the first of four nights in Split.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Split – Discovering Split and Trogir

Now you are on the Adriatic and Trogir is a delightful place to start. Built by the Romans and the Venetians, the city is a mazy realm of Renaissance architecture and decorous churches. Each of the central lanes is just a few meters wide, but when you descend through this labyrinth, you reach a wide seaside promenade dominated by cafes and bars. Spend the morning on a guided walking tour of Trogir, and then have an afternoon in Split with a local guide to show you the intricacies and inimitability of Diocletian’s Palace. Your evening will be free with Riva Harbor a perennial favorite for Split visitors, a place where you can dine and watch the world go by along the sea.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Split – Wine Tasting and Konoba Dining on a Hvar Island Day Trip

Take the fast catamaran across the Adriatic to Hvar, and you will be greeted by a guide for a full-day tour of the island’s charms. Stari Grad is a magnificent sight, a quiet 2,400-year-old town made by thick stone slabs and charmingly simple architecture. Jelsa showcases old fishing life while Napoleon Fortress provides superb views over the island and sea. Explore the island’s interior and then go wine tasting at a small vineyard, before a traditional konoba lunch based on ancient recipes. Konoba is a word for restaurant in coastal Croatia, and now refers to the old farmhouse and fishing style of food, and you will enjoy the change in pace. Finish your tour with some free hours in Stari Grad before taking a fast catamaran back to Split.

What’s Included: accommodation transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 11: Split – Cruising the Vis and Pakleni Islands

A second day will be spent on the Adriatic Sea as you go island hopping through the archipelago. Cruise into the Blue Cave and admire the strange underwater color that is created by light pushing through a hole beneath the surface. Swim in the Green Cave with the water illuminated by tiny cracks in its ceiling. Stop at a cove on Ravnik Island, and then have an afternoon in and around the Pakleni Islands where fresh seafood combines with quiet beach hours. You will cruise back into Split late in the afternoon, just as the city’s atmosphere is getting livelier. By now you will know Split’s old town very well, and perhaps have a favorite place for a sundowner drink.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Ston to Dubrovnik – Oysters Experience, Old-World Wines, and Terracotta Roofs

Oysters can be plucked from the rocks in Ston and then tasted with your toes in the salty waters. Epic city walls can be walked here as well, providing dramatic views over medieval churches and olive groves. Ston’s salt works are the oldest in the world that are still in use, and a wonderful place for understanding the historical and the natural way to produce salt. Enjoy a seafood lunch here as well, with the mussels from Ston as famous as the oysters. You can also stop by an old winery with a selection of cultivars tasted in a picturesque tasting room. All of this is part of the journey as you travel south along the coast to Dubrovnik, for the first of three nights within the Old Town.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 13: Dubrovnik – A Dreamy Royal City on the Adriatic

Walking through Dubrovnik is like opening a treasure chest. Around every corner, you turn and each street you walk you unravel another gem. A traditional barber shop may be perched on a marble road as imposing city gates curve above your head. Small boutiques sell cloth and buttons alongside Baroque cafes and glamorous restaurants. Almost every building is topped by terracotta tiles, and your eyes are captivated as you walk almost two kilometers along the city walls. This is the iconic city-republic, encased within a thousand years of fortifications. You will explore slowly on a walking tour, and then take the cable car to Mt Srd and the panorama of Dubrovnik and its coastline.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 14: Dubrovnik – Villages of Konavle Day Tour

The forests and mountains around Dubrovnik have a history as long as the republic. From the Romans to the Slavs and Venetians, the Konavle region is another destination for really feeling the history. On your private tour you will begin in Cavtat, where Bukovac’s art provides the centerpiece of many impressive buildings, and then drive to small villages that are tucked into mountain folds and surrounded by wild olive groves. You will stop for a village-style lunch, a culinary experience that has far more to savor than the region’s famous olive oil. Return to Dubrovnik by late afternoon and a final night of pleasure in the Old Town. It’s particularly atmospheric after dark, when the cobbled alleyways are lit by small iron lanterns.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 15: Dubrovnik – Departure

Enjoy a final morning in the Old Town before departing to Dubrovnik’s international airport and your departure home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, breakfast 

Price

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!