Berlin to Venice Trip Notes

Berlin to Venice

Last Modified: 17 May 2016
Berlin to Venice
Trip code: AMRB
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Take the long road through Bohemia on this adventure-filled tour from Germany to Italy. Travelling from historical landmarks and medieval squares to magical hilltop castles and romantic canals, this is an architectural extravaganza that cannot be missed. Wander among imposing Iron Curtain relics in Berlin, experience bohemian hospitality in an underground Prague bar and stroll the banks of the sparkling River Danube on a visit to Budapest. With the freedom to choose your own adventure in each city, you'll be captivated by the mysteries that are revealed on this tour of Central Europe.
Table of Contents
StyleMeals introductionFinish point description
ThemesMealsFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?TransportEmergency contact
Why we love itMoney mattersVisas
MapGroup leaderWhat to take
ItinerarySafetyClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerJoining pointHealth
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Group sizeAlternate joining pointResponsible Travel
Your fellow travellersAlternate joining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
AccommodationAlternate joining point instructionsFeedback
Accommodation NotesFinish point
Style
Basix
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, as well as some short distances to the hotel (no longer then 30min), so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- In many of the location we will be using different modes of local transport; trams, buses or metro; as this is often an adventure in itself, it may also bring some challenges – running up and down the stairs in metro stations or sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters. Please make sure you’ll prepare yourself for that!
- This is a Baisix trip; please make yourself familiar with our Basix style of travel; full of fun, flexibility and plenty free time to explore as you please.
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. Single supplement is not available to purchase on this trip.
- Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that are pushed together. In addition, please note that hotel rooms in many European hotels are rather small. Still, we have sourced the best option in each destination in order to provide as much comfort as possible.
Why we love it
- Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex history. See remaining fragments of the famous wall that once divided the city in half
- Soak up the royal history of Krakow's Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through its medieval main square
- Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Soak up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague before stepping right into a fairytale in the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov
- So much of what is great about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse
- Enjoy a scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe’s second longest river is also one of its most beautiful
- Escape city life on the peaceful shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake
Map

Itinerary
Day 1-2 Berlin
Guten Tag! Welcome to Germany. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on the first day of the trip. There are no activities planned until this important meeting so feel free to arrive at any time during the day. Please check the hotel notice boards or with reception about where and when it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arriving at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

In your free time, perhaps check out the remaining fragments of the Wall scattered around the city, dropping by Checkpoint Charlie to see where the main gate between East and West Berlin used to stand. Or visit the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic Reichstag building or the powerful Holocaust Memorial. There also is some great street art in Berlin, especially around the neighbourhoods of Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain (where our hotel is). In the evening, you might like to get out and mix with the local hip young things in one of the city's many bars. On the second evening of the trip, you'll board an overnight train for Krakow in Poland.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Storyline of Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Hidden Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Stories From Friedrichshain: An Interactive Theatre Tour - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Food and Art in Funky Kreuzberg - EUR63
  • Museum Pass, 3 Day Ticket - EUR24
  • Bike Tour - EUR20
  • Jewish Museum - EUR8
  • National History Museum - EUR8
  • Pergamon Museum - EUR13
  • River Cruise Sightseeing Tour - EUR25
  • Berlin Zoo and Aquarium - EUR20
  • Berliner Dom - EUR7
  • Berlin TV Tower - EUR13
  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum - EUR13
  • German History Museum - EUR8
  • Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz - EUR8
  • Reichstag (time slot must be booked online in advance) - Free
  • Schloss Charlottenburg - EUR21
  • Story of Berlin Museum - EUR12
  • Topography of Terror - Free
    Accommodation
    Hostel (2 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3-4 Krakow
    Arrive into Krakow, your base for the next two nights. Step back in time as your wander the World Heritage-listed old town, shopping for amber jewellery or local crafts. Discover Wawel Royal Castle which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. Check out the 13th-century town square of Rynek Glowny and get a glimpse of the impressive St Mary's Basilica (which features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece). Another beautiful church is the neo-Gothic St Francis' Basilica, which boasts some of Poland's best Art Nouveau. This city is also home to the second oldest university in Central Europe, Jagiellonian Univeristy (the oldest is in Prague). It counts Copernicus and Pope John Paul II among its alumni.

    If you can tear yourself away from Krakow, head out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a network of tunnels and chambers some 135 metres below the ground. This is a salt mine that has been in operation for over 700 years. The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, pits and chambers, all hewn by hand from solid salt, with beautifully adorned chapels and underground lakes. Don't miss a look at the elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings in the Blessed Kinga Chapel. Alternatively, you might like to take a sobering day trip out to Auschwitz and Birkenau, the sites of some of the Holocaust's worst atrocities. Perhaps end the day in one of Krakow's many cellar restaurants for a plate of pierogis and a drink.
    Optional Activities
    • Urban Adventure - Communist Krakow Adventure - EUR37
    • Urban Adventure - Polish Krakow Adventure - EUR37
    • Urban Adventure - Jewish Krakow Adventure - EUR39
    • Urban Adventure - Home Cooked Krakow - EUR38
    • Bike tour, day or night - PLN60
    • Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN15
    • History Museum - PLN8
    • St. Mary's Basilica - PLN10
    • Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
    • Wieliczka Salt Mines - PLN84
    • State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, transport and guided tour from - PLN50
    • Walking tour - Free
      Accommodation
      Hotel (2 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 5-6 Prague
      Take a minivan trip to the town of Ostrava (approximately 2.5 hours), then board the train to Prague (approximately 3 hours). Prague's architecture can be traced from the Middle Ages through to the avant-garde of the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building). Spend time at Prague Castle, the biggest in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. Wander through the old Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the city's formerly large Jewish community.

      The Old Town at night is truly special. There are many great restaurants and pubs, some in old vaulted cellars. The nightlife in Prague is some of the best in Central Europe. Whether dance clubs, beer-halls or underground absinthe bars are your thing, there's something for everyone. The city also boasts one of Europe's most respected jazz scenes. If you find yourself out until the early hours in a jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or the Old Town Square as the sun rises for magical photo opportunities.

      The group will stay in private separate apartments in the city centre. You may be a short walk from other group members or your leader. Each apartment has 2-3 rooms with one or two shared bathrooms. Most of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens if you'd like to cook. Note that the apartments are not hotels – there's no reception, room service, daily cleaning service, televisions or washing machines. What they do feature is plenty of charm in an unbeatable location.
      Optional Activities
      • Urban Adventure - Prague Discovery - EUR64
      • Urban Adventure - Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour - EUR63
      • Urban Adventure - Bohemian State of Mind - EUR58
      • Bike tour - CZK490
      • Jewish Quarter - CZK480
      • Kafka Museum - CZK200
      • Day Trip to Kutna Hora - CZK250
      • Mucha Museum - CZK240
      • Museum of Communism - CZK190
      • National Museum - CZK120
      • Prague Castle - CZK350
      • Sedlec Ossuary - CZK90
      • Church of St Barbara - CZK60
      • Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK105
        Accommodation
        Private apartment (2 nt)
        Day 7 Cesky Krumlov
        Depart Prague and travel by bus to Cesky Krumlov (approximately 4 hours). This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and appears to be plucked straight out of a fairytale. Wander the cobbled alleyways of the old town and admire the buildings. Climb up to the castle perched on a hill and check out its fabulous Masquerade Hall. Sensational views can be seen from the tower. Weather and time permitting, take a relaxing 2–3 hour rafting or canoeing trip along the river that runs right through town. A tour of the historic brewery is recommended – it will give you a glimpse into brewing traditions that have existed here for centuries.
        Optional Activities
        • Brewery tour - CZK130
        • Canoe Trip - CZK700
        • Guided walking tour - CZK300
        • Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK160
        • Raft/canoe trip - CZK1400
        • Guided castle tour - CZK250
          Accommodation
          Hostel (1 nt)
          Day 8-9 Vienna
          Take a minivan and a bus to the cosmopolitan city of Vienna. Art lovers will be delighted by the vast array of museums on offer, including the Albertina, the Leopold, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Modern Art. Those with an interest in 19th and 20th century Austrian art should visit the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt's painting 'The Kiss'. Check out the colourful Hundertwasserhaus or admire the dome of the Secession building. Perhaps visit Hofburg Palace, once the imposing winter retreat of Habsburg royals and now the official residence of the Austrian president. Climb the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral, take a spin on the Prater Ferris Wheel or catch a dressage show at the Spanish Riding School. Head to Schoenbrunn Palace, which was designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues by pre-booking your tickets at schoenbrunn.at.

          After all this sightseeing, you might like to indulge in a traditional Viennese coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with a spot of Mozart, Bach or Schubert at the opera house.

          Note: The Spanish Riding School doesn't operate throughout the summer months. You will need to book tickets in advance to see the performance of the Lipizzaners. Phone +43 (0)1 505 77 66 55 or e-mail info@viennaticketoffice.com to arrange tickets.
          Included Activities
          • Vienna Orientation Walk
            Optional Activities
            • Albertina Museum - EUR13
            • Belvedere Gallery - EUR13
            • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR12
            • Leopold Museum - EUR13
            • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
            • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
            • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
            • St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
            • Vienna Boys Choir - EUR70
              Accommodation
              Hostel (2 nt)
              Day 10-11 Budapest
              Travel from Vienna to Budapest by train (approximately 3 hours). Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest's grand architecture and boulevards evoke a bygone era. With so much to see and do, hiring a bicycle is a great way to move between the sights. Head out to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in one of the city's many hot thermal baths. The baths feature pools of varying degrees; some even have whirlpools or built-in seats where you can relax or play a game of chess. Perhaps take one of the tourist boat trips along the Danube River for spectacular views of the Parliament Building, the Castle District and the bridges linking Buda to Pest. The spectacle is particularly beautiful at night.
              Optional Activities
              • Urban Adventures - Budapest Custom Tour - EUR35
              • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
              • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
              • Bike Ride - HUF6000
              • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
              • House of Terror - HUF2000
              • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
              • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF2900
              • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
              • Pub Crawl - HUF5000
              • Thermal Bath - HUF4500
              • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
              • Budapest Central Market - Free
                Accommodation
                Hotel (2 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 12-13 Bled
                Take a train (approximately 8 hours) to the town of Bled, situated on Slovenia's stunning Lake Bled at the edge of the Julian Alps. There are many outdoor activities available here to get the blood pumping, such as rafting, caving, canoeing and swimming. Why not hire a bike and head four kilometres out of town to Vintgar Gorge, where you can take a walk through a beautiful natural canyon. Perhaps explore Bled Castle, perched atop the cliff overlooking the lake, or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Another option is to take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated in a glaciated valley. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear, you may even see out to Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia (note that the weather on top of Mt Vogel varies greatly; it's a ski resort in the winter). For a taste of the local cuisine, some Bled cake is a must, made of vanilla, custard, cream and pastry.
                Optional Activities
                • Mountain Bike Hire - EUR15
                • Pletna Boat Trip - EUR12
                • Canyoning - EUR60
                • Bled Castle - EUR10
                • River rafting - EUR55
                • Bus and cable car trip to Mt Vogel - EUR25
                • Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
                  Accommodation
                  Guesthouse (2 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 14-15 Venice
                  Travel by train through stunning scenery to one of the world's most unique cities, Venice (approximately 5.5 hours). A city of canals, Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. Enjoy free time to explore. The best way to do this is by foot, taking in all the famous sights – the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (the ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco with its golden Basilica, and of course the evocative Bridge of Sighs. Wander the cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas, crossing hundreds of tiny bridges. There are shops, markets, galleries and churches around every corner. Don't miss taking a gondola trip through the romantic canals or sampling a slice of region's desert speciality, tiramisu (coffee-soaked sponge cake).

                  On the final day of the trip, there are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                  Included Activities
                  • Venice - City Orienation Walking Tour
                    Optional Activities
                    • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR18
                    • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
                    • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
                    • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
                    • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
                    • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR8
                    • Concerto - EUR32
                    • Gondola Ride - EUR80
                    • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
                      Accommodation
                      Hotel (2 nt)
                      Itinerary disclaimer
                      ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                      OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                      BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
                      Physical rating

                      Included activities
                      Vienna Orientation Walk
                      Venice - City Orienation Walking Tour
                      Group size
                      Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                      Your fellow travellers
                      GROUP TRAVEL
                      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                      SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                      A single supplement is not available to be purchased on this trip.
                      Accommodation
                      Guesthouse (2 nights), Hostel (4 nights), Hotel (5 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Private apartment (2 nights)
                      BASIX STYLE ACCOMMODATION
                      As this is a Basix trip, accommodation is often on a multishare basis with shared bathrooms. Multishare includes triple and quad rooms or even dorm rooms. Couples may be required to share with other couples and you may be sharing with group members of the opposite sex. Couples or people travelling together may be separated due to rooming configurations. Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges. On occasion, additional beds may be fold-away or portable beds.

                      OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                      The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                      CHECK-IN TIME
                      Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                      PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                      If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                      VENICE ACCOMMODATION
                      Please note that the accommodation we use in Venice is located in the suburb of Mestre, which is a short train ride away from the city centre and the lagoon of Venice.
                      Meals introduction
                      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                      Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                      There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)
                      Meals
                      4 breakfasts
                      Transport
                      Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Train

                      TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                      Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
                      Money matters
                      The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.

                      The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.

                      You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.

                      When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.

                      Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.

                      You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.

                      For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.

                      The local currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN).

                      The local currency in the Czech Republic is the Koruna (CZK).

                      The local currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF)

                      SPENDING MONEY
                      When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                      TIPPING
                      If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                      Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.

                      Budget for meals not included: 180.00

                      EMERGENCY FUNDS
                      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                      Group leader
                      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                      Safety
                      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

                      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                      BIKE HELMETS:
                      Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.

                      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                      SCAMS
                      Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.

                      VENICE GONDOLAS
                      Please note, life jackets are not provided on Gondolas in Venice.
                      Joining point
                      Plus Hostel Berlin
                      Warschauer Platz 6-8
                      Berlin
                      GERMANY
                      Phone: +49 (0)30 311 698 820
                      Joining point description
                      Hostel Plus is located in Berlin’s fashionable Friedrichshain district. The building is a charming former schoolhouse yet the interior decor is modern. Twin rooms contain 2 single beds or 1 bunk bed, an en-suite bathroom, hair dryer, flat screen tv, air-conditioning and WiFi access. The hostel has it's own restaurant and bar and there's also an indoor swimming pool and sauna on site.
                      Joining point instructions
                      From Tiegel Airport:

                      Buy an Einzelfahrausweis (single ticket) for approximately €2-3 or a Tageskarte (day pass) for approximately €7 (not forgetting to validate your ticket), and take the Express Bus TXL to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. The bus journey will take about 20 minutes.

                      From Berlin Hauptbahnhof:

                      Head to the dedicated S-Bahn (fast suburban train) platforms, and take any of the following trains:
                      S3 - Direction: Erkner
                      S5 - Direction: Strausberg Nord
                      S7 - Direction: Ahrensfelde
                      S75 - Direction: Wartenberg
                      Pass through five stations - Friedrichstrasse, Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, Jannowitzbruecke and Ostbahnhof - and then get off the train at Warschauer Strasse. The train journey will take about 20 minutes.

                      Exit the station (there is only one exit), and turn left onto the bridge over the railway tracks.
                      Walk past the entrance to Warschauer Strasse U-Bahn (underground) station, and turn left into the short pedestrian tunnel. On exiting the tunnel, PLUS Berlin is directly in front of you on the opposite side of the road.

                      Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
                      If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall, in front of the airport's exit doors.
                      In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +49 30 2016 3040

                      Alternate joining point
                      For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                      03 Sep 2016 (AMRB1609032), 24 Sep 2016 (AMRB1609242)
                      A&O Berlin Friedrichshain Hotel
                      Boxhagener Str. 73
                      Berlin
                      GERMANY
                      Phone: +49 (0)30809475400
                      Alternate joining point description
                      Alternate joining point instructions
                      If you arrive to Berlin by plane:
                      Airport Tegel TXL: Use bus X9 until station Zoologischer Garten . Change to the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 and go to station Ostkreuz (10 stops).
                      Airport Schönefeld SXF: Take the S-Bahn, line S9, to station Ostkreuz (9 stops).
                      By train
                      Central Station DB: Take the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 to Station Ostkreuz (7 stops).
                      Station Ostbahnhof DB: Take the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 to Station Ostkreuz (2 stops).
                      To get the latest information on public transportation in Berlin: www.bvg.de (Berliner Verkehrsgesellschaft (BVG))
                      By bus
                      Take the subway line U2 until station Zoologischer Garten, (5 stops). Change to the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 and go on to station Ostkreuz (10 stops).
                      Walking direction
                      From Ostkreuz it is 3 min. to walk: From exit Sonntagstraße walk on and turn right into Lenbachstraße. Go ahead to Boxhagener Straße. There you'll find our hostel.
                      Finish point
                      Hotel Mondial
                      Via Rizzardi 21
                      Venice
                      ITALY
                      Phone: +39 041930167
                      Finish point description
                      Hotel Mondial is located in the mainland district of Marghera, just 100 metres from the Venezia Mestre Railway Station. Venezia-Tessera Airport is only 10 minutes away. Please note that we are not located on Venice island, but public transport to and from the island is frequent and affordable.
                      Finishing point instructions
                      If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.

                      Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. Maximum waiting time: 30 minutes from the expected time of pick up. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone numbers: +39 333 411 2840 or +39 338 204 4390.

                      Emergency contact
                      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

                      For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                      Peak Europe: +49 8677 918 66 57
                      Visas
                      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                      EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
                      Australia: No - Not required
                      Belgium: No - Not required
                      Canada: No - Not required
                      Germany: No - Not required
                      Ireland: No - Not required
                      Netherlands: No - Not required
                      New Zealand: No - Not required
                      South Africa: Yes - in advance
                      Switzerland: No - Not required
                      UK: No - Not required
                      USA: No - Not required

                      Please note that this trip transits through Croatia en route to Slovenia. Some nationalities require transit visas for this journey.

                      Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them, except when we transit through Croatia on our way to Bled. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.
                      What to take
                      PACKING
                      On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                      TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                      It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                      LUGGAGE STORAGE
                      Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

                      WATER BOTTLE:
                      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                      On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.
                      Climate and seasonal information
                      Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                      Health
                      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
                      Travel insurance
                      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                      When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                      A couple of rules
                      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                      Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                      Responsible Travel
                      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                      The Intrepid Foundation
                      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                      http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                      Feedback
                      After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                      http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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