25 October 2016
Starting in Munich, before heading to Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna and Budapest, this tour takes in the very best of central Europe's historic architecture, spectacular museums and picturesque landscapes. You'll have the chance to see world-famous landmarks and works of art, and to wander atmospheric cobbled streets and fairytale castles, as well as having plenty of time to relax in beautiful surroundings.
Your tour begins in Munich, where you'll be able to admire the historic city gates and the breathtaking Residenz palace before taking time out in the lush Englischer Garten or one of the many beer halls.
Today you'll travel by bus to Prague, nicknamed the "City of a Hundred Spires" for its spectacularly varied architecture, which ranges from the medieval buildings of the Old Town right through to Frank Gehry's avant-garde Dancing Building. Watch the spectacular sunset from the Charles Bridge, then head to the Old Town to make the most of the city's vibrant nightlife.
Today you'll have the chance to visit Prague Castle, the biggest in the Czech Republic, and home to St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. Afterwards, you can stroll through the Jewish Quarter to learn more about the history and culture of Prague's Jewish community.
This morning you'll travel by bus to the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. As you stroll the cobbled alleyways, many of which date back to the 13th century, and visit the picturesque hilltop castle, you'll feel like you've stepped into the pages of a fairytale. Weather permitting, you'll take a cycling tour of the surrounding countryside; if you're visiting during the winter you'll instead take an extended walking tour of the town.
Today you'll have the chance to explore the castle, with its spectacular Masquerade Hall, and perhaps climb the tower to be rewarded with glorious panoramic views of the town. There'll also be the chance for an optional guided walking tour of Cesky Krumlov to learn the stories hiding behind every shop front and house, or to visit the local brewery to learn about the town's age-old brewing traditions. Weather and time permitting, you'll also take a relaxing raft or canoe trip on the river that winds through the centre of Cesky Krumlov.
This morning you'll depart Cesky Krumlov by minivan, crossing the border into Austria and on to Vienna, where you'll enjoy a guided walk through the compact centre of this grand and cosmopolitan city. You'll visit the breathtaking 14th-century St Stephen's Cathedral, stroll along the Graben, Vienna's most famous street, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Habsburg emperors. You'll take time out to relax at the monument to Empress "Sisi" Elizabeth in the Volksgarten before continuing on to the Ringstrasse and finishing your tour at the State Opera House.
Today you can take your pick from Vienna's huge range of museums and galleries. You may like to take the short walk to Belvedere Palace to see Klimt's famous "The Kiss", or head to the Secession Building to see his panorama "Beethoven Frieze". Alternatively, you may like to head out to Schoenbrunn to visit the summer palace designed by Empress Maria Theresa, or take a spin on the famous Prater Ferris Wheel.
This morning you'll travel by train to Budapest, where you'll spend the afternoon exploring the grand boulevards and glamorous boutiques. Art and history buffs will be spoilt for choice here, with museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, where the permanent collections include works by Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Goya and El Greco. You may like to head out to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Whatever you do, don't miss the chance to take a soak in one of the many hot thermal baths for which the city is famous.
On your final day you're free to continue exploring the city until it's time to start your onward journey.
Standard fr £1462pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated