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Grand Imperial Cities

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Discover what turned these former Habsburg and Prussian cities into four of Europe's greatest destinations.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
12 days From $3,095 per person

2021 Tour code: GR-HUCA-21

About the tour

From castles and cathedrals to famed bridges and amazing sites that recall the past, this tour provides a rich opportunity to delve deep into Central Europe. This journey explores the magnificent intricacies of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Berlin. In each city, we enjoy a thoughtful mixture of scheduled tours and time for independent exploration - a combination that allows each guest to get the most of the experience. See the sites, feel the history and enjoy exciting extras along the way, including a dinner cruise along the Danube, as you make your way through these former Habsburg and Prussian cities.

Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Vienna

Your journey begins in Vienna, the magnificent city of Mozart, where we spend the next three nights at the Marriott Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Sightseeing in Vienna

This morning we enjoy a city tour of Vienna, taking in the city's Imperial architecture on the famous Ringstrasse - a wide avenue that encircles the Old City of Vienna. Our tour takes us past many of Vienna's finest ornate buildings including the impressive Hofburg Palace, a vast complex of buildings that demonstrates the awesome power and wealth commanded by the Habsburgs, who used the palace as their ruling headquarters for six centuries. We pass the impressive Opera House, one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament Building. Later today we visit spectacular Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Imperial family, situated within beautifully landscaped parkland. We enjoy a slice of the famous Apfelstudel and coffee in an elegant Viennese cafe before a guided tour of the palace, followed by time to stroll through its elaborate gardens.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - At Leisure in Vienna

Today you are free to explore at your own pace. Vienna's glorious Gothic cathedral, the Stephansdom, is located at the very center of the city. By climbing the 553 steps to the top of the cathedral you will be rewarded with one of the best views of the city. Alternatively, a ride on the giant Ferris wheel in Prater Gardens offers a more laid-back way to achieve a superb view across the city.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Vienna to Budapest

We leave Vienna, traveling by rail across the border into Hungary. Our destination is Budapest, a city of two halves divided by the mighty River Danube and sewn together by a collection of beautiful, elegant bridges including the famous Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent crossing to link the two halves of the city. The flatter, lively region of Pest looks across the water to its older, historical neighbor, the hilly Buda which rises up away from the banks of the river. Budapest was once the joint capital of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire. Tonight, enjoy dinner in a Traditional Hungarian restaurant before embarking on a spectacular illuminated Budapest by night coach tour, tracing the Danube south. Our enchanting evening is filled with stunning views of the city after dark, including the Chain Bridge and spectacular Gellert Hill.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Budapest & the Children's Railroad

This morning we enjoy a guided coach tour, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the neo-Gothic Parliament building that was designed to resemble the Palace of Westminster, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church, and Fishermen's Bastion. Later we enjoy a ride on the  Children's Railroad, a service operated by Hungarian school children who consider it a great honor to be chosen to help run it. The line runs through beautiful woodland in the hills above Buda and presents wonderful views of the city.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - At Leisure in Budapest

Today is free for you to explore Budapest at leisure; take the opportunity to view some of the city's main sights. Perhaps visit one of the famous spa-houses which are dotted around the city, such as the marvelous Gellért thermal bath which was built in 1918. Alternatively, simply stroll through historic streets, admiring the magnificent architecture and old-world grandeur. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Budapest to Prague

We depart Budapest by train, traveling through Slovakia and the city of Bratislava to the Czech Republic. We arrive in Prague and spend three nights at the Vienna House Andels Prague. In 'the city of a hundred spires', where copper-domed churches line the banks of the River Vltava and where architectural styles from across Europe blend together to create one of the continent's most beautiful cities.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 8 & 9 - Sightseeing in Prague

During a guided tour through the narrow streets of the Old Town, we discover some of Prague's most famous sights. We begin at Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. We also walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues along its walls and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus' Cathedral. This afternoon and Day 9 are spent at leisure to continue exploring the stunning city of Prague. 

Includes
  • Day 8: Breakfast
  • Day 9: Breakfast
Days 10 & 11 - Prague to Berlin

This morning we leave Prague, heading through the Bohemian countryside into Germany, tracing the route of the River Elbe on our way to Berlin. On arrival in Berlin, we embark on a tour of this once divided city. We soak in the main sights including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a section of the Berlin Wall, which once divided East and West Berlin. Day 11 is yours at leisure. 

Includes
  • Day 10: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 11: Breakfast
Day 12 - Tour Conclusion

After breakfast this morning, you are free to depart Berlin at your leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can select your class using the dates and prices tool.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie

NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

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Continental Hotel, Budapest

Continental Hotel, Budapest

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Vienna House Andel's Prague

Vienna House Andel's Prague, Prague

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Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel

Imperial Riding School Renaissance Hotel, Vienna

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Trains

The Children's Railway
Eurostar
Thalys

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Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2021/22 Global Rail Adventures

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