Find some good times and great classic cities.

Experience the charm, sophistication and elegant feel of Central Europe on this 15-day classical exploration from Vienna to Budapest. Bask in the tradition of vivacious Vienna, discover the hidden fairy tale gem of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Prague off your list and be one with nature in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains. Learn a thing or two in historic Krakow and round off your central crusade with time spent braving Budapest. With an expert leader to lead the way and plenty of time to explore at your own pace, get the low-down on some of the highlights of Europe’s centre – medieval architecture, rolling countryside and varied cuisine all await.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Vienna, Austria
Finish
Budapest, Hungary
Destinations
Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
AMSB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • Stay in old-school style while supporting a social cause during your time in Vienna. The city’s quirky Magdas Hotel is committed to helping local refugees earn a living through employment.

  • Embark on a hike through the lesser known but no less stunning Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. With a range of trails available, you’ll be high above the valley floor admiring the vistas in no time.

  • With so much to do and see in Krakow and surrounds, you have the power to choose your own adventure. Wawel Castle? St Mary's Basilica? Auschwitz? Wieliczka Salt Mines? You decide.

  • Discover the magical Cesky Krumlov on two wheels with a leader-led cycling tour around town with your small group, passing by medieval buildings, verdant countryside and the flowing Vltava River.

  • Get the low-down on Budapest’s classic charm, café culture, and eclectic neighbourhood vibes during your time here. Have you actually been to Budapest if you didn’t go to a ruin bar?

Is this trip right for you?

  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

  • In some train stations and most of our accommodation there are no lifts or escalators. Please be aware that you will have to carry you own bags up and down stairs and on and off public transport. It is recommended you pack lightly. You can find some packing guidelines in the 'packing' section in the trip notes.

  • To fully enjoy the day hike in the Tatra Mountains you should have a basic level of fitness, however you can opt out of this activity should you wish not to partake. Please make sure you bring appropriate clothing and footwear, plus raincoat and sturdy trainers or walking boots are highly recommended.

  • If you have more time to explore the region you may want to check out our trip ‘Journey through Central Europe & Romania’ (trip code AMSCC). This trip heads further east and explores Romania and Bulgaria. Or you may want to consider our trip 'Vienna to Dubrovnik' (trip code AMSNC), continuing down the Balkans peninsula through Belgrade, Sarajevo and ending in Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast. Most departure dates are designed to create these perfect combos.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vienna, Austria. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you do happen to arrive early, why not walk around to get your bearings or, better yet, take a spin on the famous Prater Ferris Wheel nearby for a bird’s eye view. Your base for the next couple of nights is Magdas Hotel – a social enterprise dedicated to supporting refugees in a united and compassionate workplace in Vienna. Magdas employs staff from across the world, so expect to hear many accents from a range of backgrounds. The hotel itself is an eclectic mix of styles, décor and furniture, and used to house a homeless shelter before being renovated for its current purpose. Be sure to check out your surroundings and have a chat to some of the staff! After your important meeting, why not use tonight to get you know your travel pals over some dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Join your leader for a walk through the city's compact centre this morning (approximately 2 hours). Stop at the gothic St Stephen’s Cathedral, wander past the neo-classical Graben and have a look at the Hofburg Palace. Continue along the Ringstrasse and then finish your orientation walk of the city at the State Opera House – one of the world's most important opera houses and the heart of classical Viennese culture. This afternoon is then free for you to keep on checking out the sights of the city. Art lovers have a so much choice when it comes to museums, such as the Albertina, located in the Museum Quarter. Otherwise, you might like to head out to Schoenbrunn for a guided audio tour of the grand summer palace, designed by Empress Maria Theresa. Tonight is also all yours too – it might mean snatching a last-minute ticket to an opera performance or getting some of your crew together for a twilight picnic in one of the city’s many parks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Vienna - Belvedere Gallery (Lower Gallery) - EUR14
  • Vienna - Albertina Museum - EUR18
  • Vienna - Sisi Museum - EUR15
  • Vienna - Spanish Riding School Practice - EUR28
  • Vienna - St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
  • Vienna - Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR18
  • Vienna - Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR15
  • Vienna - Leopold Museum - EUR14
  • Vienna - Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR12
  • Vienna - Vienna Boys Choir Concert - EUR70
  • Vienna - Belvedere Gallery (Upper & Lower Gallery Combined Ticket) - EUR25
  • Vienna - Belvedere Gallery (Upper Gallery) - EUR16
  • Vienna - Food, Coffee and Market Tour Urban Adventure - EUR98
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you wish to visit the Schoenbrunn Palace today, be aware that 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.
Depart Vienna by minivan in the morning and cross the border into the Czech Republic (approximately 3.5 hours). Your next stop is the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. Cesky Krumlov means 'crooked meadow', and that makes sense because it’s situated on a tight bend of the Vltava River. Swap a vehicle for two wheels on a cycling trip this afternoon across rolling hills and through tiny hamlets (approximately 2-2.5 hours). If you have time later on, you could explore the city's castle and its fabulous masquerade hall, or climb the central tower for panoramic views over the town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cesky Krumlov - Cycling Trip (weather and season permitting)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
During the cooler months in shoulder season or in rainy weather, cycling is often not possible. You'll take an extended walking tour of the town instead.
Today is a free for you to enjoy as you please. Perhaps take an optional guided walking tour of the town, which lets you in on the mysteries that lie behind every shopfront and house on the crooked laneways. For those who want a bit more culture, you could visit the Egon Schiele Art Centrum and browse the gallery that's dedicated to the Austrian painter. If you’re after something more active, jump into a canoe and check out the town from a different perspective – on the Vltava River.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cesky Krumlov - Brewery Tour - CZK130
  • Cesky Krumlov - Guided walking tour - CZK300
  • Cesky Krumlov - Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK200
  • Cesky Krumlov - Rafting or Canoe Trip (per person) - CZK1200
  • Cesky Krumlov - Guided Castle Tour - CZK300
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Cesky Krumlov in your dust and travel by bus to Prague (approximately 4 hours). On arrival into Prague, head out on an orientation walk with your leader so you can get your bearings of the local neighbourhood. For your free afternoon and evening, why not discover another great side of Prague – its music! The city has one of the longest-standing and respected jazz scenes in Europe, with jazz clubs playing into the early hours of the morning. Otherwise, have a wander along Charles Bridge or Old Town Square for some magical photo opportunities.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Prague. The city offers many possibilities, so perhaps take a walk around the Jewish Quarter and pay your respects at the Gothic-inspired Old Jewish Cemetery. This is Europe's oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, with 12,000 tombstones and 100,000 graves. There is also the Museum of Communism, which details the struggles of many European countries and their political rule in the 19th and 20th centuries. Tonight, be sure to check back in with your group and perhaps organise some dinner and drinks in one of the city’s renowned beer halls – it’s a perfect way to Czech off another day in Prague.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Prague - Jewish Quarter - CZK500
  • Prague - Kafka Museum - CZK260
  • Prague - Mucha Museum - CZK300
  • Prague - Museum of Communism - CZK380
  • Prague - Castle Visit - CZK350
  • Prague - Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK250
  • Prague - Bike Tour - CZK490
  • Prague - The Dancing House - Free
  • Prague - John Lennon Wall - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You have one more free day in Prague as there is so much to see. You might like to spend some time this morning at Prague Castle – the biggest castle in the Czech Republic – where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and colourful alleyway of the Golden Lane. Otherwise, a bike tour through the city is a great way to see a lot of the sights and attractions in a short period of time, plus you’ll work off some of that hearty Czech cuisine you’ve been digging into. Or hop on one of the Urban Adventures on offer. If you can make time, why not take a day trip out of town and visit the medieval Kutna Hora – if you do get there, the Bone Church (Sedlec Ossuary) is a particularly unique experience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Prague - Prague Discovery Urban Adventure - EUR74
  • Prague - Beer and Czech Tapas Tour Urban Adventure - EUR75
  • Prague - Food by Foot Urban Adventure - EUR95
  • Prague - Prague Parks and Views Urban Adventure - EUR89
  • Kutna Hora - Church of St Barbara - CZK120
  • Kutna Hora - Sedlec Ossuary & Bone Church - CZK90
  • Kutna Hora - Day Trip (by public transport) - CZK250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Your leader can help yo book your Urban Adventure, or you can pop online and book it directly on their website: urbanadventures.com.
Heading north by train, arrive in the small town of Broumov from where you'll cross the Czech–Polish border. From here you'll be transferred in a private vehicle to a small village near to Gory Sowie (Owl Mountains). Today's travel time will be around 4 hours in total. On arrival, check in to your accommodation, situated at the foot of highest mountain in the range – Wielka Sowa, then visit a nearby underground city from the tragic times of the WWII. Osowka is a mysterious underground complex where people from concentration camps were forced to work in order to create huge systems of concrete corridors, fortifications and halls. As the work was kept in secret, until now there is many theories trying to explain what the underground city was meant to be used for. Find out yourself on an included guided visit this afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Osowka - Underground City Visit and Guided Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Continue east today by private vehicle and head to Krakow (approximately 5 hours). Possibly the best known of all Poland's cities, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its Old Town is a World Heritage-listed site. Take part in a leader-led orientation walk with your group, and once you know your whereabouts, you could go and discover one of the biggest – and arguably most beautiful – medieval squares in Central Europe. Tonight is again all yours to do as you please – a good idea is to make your way to the Jewish Quarter for its laidback vibes and good food.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Krakow - Rynek Underground Museum - PLN24
  • Krakow - Cloth Hall 'Sukiennice' - Free
  • Krakow - Schindler's Factory Museum Tour - PLN65
  • Krakow - Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN17
  • Krakow - History Museum - PLN8
  • Krakow - St Mary's Basilica - PLN10
  • Krakow - Walking Tour - PLN30
  • Krakow - Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, explore the city in your own time. 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 inside St Mary's Basilica which features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece. There's also the lovely neo-Gothic St Francis' Basilica, which has some of Poland's best Art Nouveau. In Krakow, you will also find the second oldest university in Central Europe. Jagiellonian University 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 was in operation for over 700 years and is a World Heritage-listed site. Today is also an opportune time to book in to visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, if this interests you. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance. At night, pull up a pew and indulge in a plate of pierogi and a few beers to say cheers to another day.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Krakow - Made in Krakow Shopping Urban Adventure - EUR86
  • Krakow - Markets and Flavors of Krakow Urban Adventure - EUR77
  • Krakow - Food by Foot Urban Adventure - EUR73
  • Krakow - Home Cooked Krakow Urban Adventure - EUR65
  • Oswiecim - State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau - PLN155
  • Wieliczka - Salt Mines - PLN145
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you would like to visit the museum at Auschwitz-Birkenau it is highly recommended that you pre-book your visit before you leave home, as tickets sell out very far in advance. To do so please visit the official museum website. You can also ask your leader to help you book a time slot at the beginning of the trip, but there is no guarantee tickets will be available then. A guided visit is madatory and takes approximately 2.5 hours. A transfer to the museum can be booked on shorter notice.
Say farewell to Krakow today and travel by local buses through southern Poland to Zakopane where you will switch for private transport (approximately 5 hours total). The trip may be long and a little slow, but the scenery of rolling hills and tiny villages will keep your eyes occupied. Tatranska Lomnica is your destination in Slovakia. It's a small alpine resort at the base of the Vysoke Tatry (High Tatra) Mountains. The Tatras – the highest range of the Carpathians – stretch for about 60 kilometres across the Polish-Slovakian border and are a hiker’s dream. The evening is free for you to enjoy as you please, and perhaps the best way to do it is to sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful mountainous region.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, head out on an included hike in the High Tatra Mountains. The most known route is about 6 kilometres in length and it is normally completed in 3 hours, including stops on the way. The route includes gradual hill ascents and descents and walking on gravel and uneven rocky surfaces with some slippery sections. The pace and distance will be decided on the day, depending on weather and group abilities – parts of it will involve travelling by funicular, gondola and electric train. During the walk, you may notice that some parts of the forest have been destroyed. This was the result of a tornado-like storm in 2004 that decimated approximately 10,000 hectares of timberland. In the afternoon, head back to the accommodation and enjoy the remainder of the day in this beautiful location.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Tatra Mountains Hike (not between Nov and Mar)
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Smokovec Funicular
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Gondola
Optional Activities
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Summer Luge - EUR3
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Bike Rental - EUR10
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Spa treatment in Grand Hotel Praha (from) - EUR20
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Ski Museum - EUR3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike won’t be very challenging, but a basic level of fitness will help you to enjoy it to the fullest. An alternative and easier route can be suggested by the tour leader to those that do not wish to complete the long walk. We recommend a good pair of comfortable shoes and clothes for unpredictable mountainous weather. It's also a good idea to bring a day pack with water and snacks for you along the way. There may be still be considerable snow in April and May, which may prevent you from choosing the usual hiking route. Please ensure you bring extra warm clothes and waterproof boots in April. Having said that, the crisp, clear atmosphere and fewer tourists make this a fantastic time to visit.
You have an early start today for the long journey to Budapest. As there won't be too much free time to explore on arrival, perhaps check in to the accommodation and then go for a brief walk around the neighbourhood to get your bearings. The grand architecture and boulevards, café culture and interesting laneways make this one of the truly great cities of Europe. Take the evening as an opportunity to relax after a long day of travelling. Visiting one of Budapest's many restaurants or eclectic ‘ruin’ bars in the Jewish Quarter is a sure-fire way to have a good night out with your crew.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The journey from the Tatra Mountains to Budapest will be quite long, taking approximately 7-8 hours by private vehicle.
Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest. Known as 'The Pearl of the Danube', Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water. Perhaps take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to Buda Castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building and the Pest side of the city. You could head 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 to soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. The pools vary in temperature, and some even feature whirlpools or seats where you can enjoy a game of chess. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours. See urbanadventures.com for more information.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Budapest - Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Budapest - Pub Crawl (starting from) - HUF5000
  • Budapest - Best Beers of Budapest Urban Adventures - EUR74
  • Budapest - Parliament Tour - HUF6400
  • Budapest - Bites & Sights Food Tour Urban Adventure - EUR79
  • Budapest - Central Market - Free
  • Budapest - Szechenyi Thermal Baths (starting from) - HUF4500
  • Budapest - Buda Castle Explorer Urban Adventure - EUR55
  • Budapest - Hungarian National Museum - HUF2600
  • Budapest - Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Budapest - Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Budapest - House of Terror - HUF3000
  • Budapest - Great Synagogue - HUF4850
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check the opening times and plan your time in Budapest accordingly.
Your adventure ends after breakfast today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel's check-out time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Bicycle, Metro, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights), Pension (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Cesky Krumlov - Cycling Trip (weather and season permitting)
  • Osowka - Underground City Visit and Guided Tour
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Tatra Mountains Hike (not between Nov and Mar)
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Smokovec Funicular
  • Tatranska Lomnica - Gondola

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of Central Europe trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
- Day 3-4 Cesky Krumlov
Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

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