Highlights of Eastern Europe

Overview

Highlights of Eastern Europe

Discover a speedier start to your holiday with this fly option, and enjoy a grand tour of some of Europe’s greatest cities, featuring Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Touring in Eastern Europe can be a truly fascinating experience, with each city different from the next. What’s more, during your holiday you’ll be fully escorted ensuring you see all the right places.

What’s Included

  • 11 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • 9 evening meals
  • Flights to Berlin, returning from Prague
  • Airport transfers in Berlin & Prague

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Bristol - Berlin

Fly to Berlin where you will be transferred to your hotel in Berlin for a two-night stay. Included meals: Dinner

Day 2: Berlin

This morning we travel in to the centre of Berlin on our included excursion. Having re-gained its pre-war status as the capital of Germany, Berlin now thrives on its exciting new architecture, youthful vibrancy and rich cultural diversity. The city has a cosmopolitan buzz that makes it one of Europe’s top city destinations. Berlin is a city with something for everyone, from fantastic gastronomic experiences, art, shopping, culture, history and much more. Why not take the optional sightseeing tour to introduce you to the city’s array of famous sights. During the “cold war” period the city was divided between east and west but is once again the flourishing capital of the unified Germany. Our guide will explain about the changes that have taken place since the unification of the city as well as pointing out and explaining the interesting stories behind many of the buildings. We see the sights of former West Berlin including the famous street of the Kurfurstendamm with its cafes, theatres, cinemas and art galleries and amongst others the newly refurbished Reichstag building, the home of the German Parliament. We pass by the Brandenburg Gate and continue into former East Berlin where we see the famous Unter den Linden Street with the Cathedral and Humboldt University. The remainder of the day is at leisure, and with such a chequered past there is plenty for you to see and explore. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Berlin - Warsaw

We depart our hotel early this morning as we make our way east towards Poland, and the capital city of Warsaw. During our journey we will pass the city of Poznan, where the first Polish state was created over a thousand years ago. We reach Warsaw this evening for a two-night stay Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Warsaw

Today we travel into the centre of Warsaw for free time. Although the beginnings of Warsaw go as far back as the 12th and 13th century, the city was forced to completely rebuild after its near-total destruction during World War 2. The symbol of the capital’s rebirth was an unprecedented post-war re-creation of the Old Town, which in 1980 was put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. To introduce you to the sights why not join our optional guided sightseeing tour (included on Silver Service & Luxuria). You will see the 'Royal Route' with its aristocratic residences, statues and historic churches before visiting the Old Town, the Castle Square the Barbican and such historical sites as the Ghetto Memorial, the Chopin Monument and the Belvedere Palace. Our local guide will provide an informative commentary, and reveal many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities that have shaped the often-tragic history of this fascinating city. The remainder of the day is at leisure in this remarkable city. Explore the streets of the Old Town with atmospheric alleys, squares and cosy cafés. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Auschwitz/Birkenau Complex

Today we drive south to the old Polish capital of Krakow. En route we spend time at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex. A site of great importance to the Holocaust story, Auschwitz will forever be seen as the centre of a vast plan to exterminate a whole race of people. Rudolph Hess was given the assignment of expanding the camp to accommodate 30,000 prisoners. In this process he built an annex that would hold 100,000 prisoners of war. As the prisoners arrived, approximately 25 percent were then and there determined to be “fit for work” and allowed to live a bit longer. The great majority of Jews, however, who were deported to Auschwitz - men, women and children - were immediately sent to their deaths in the gas chambers of Auschwitz II - Birkenau. When the SS realized that the end of the war was near, they attempted to remove all evidence of the atrocities committed there. They dismantled the gas chambers, crematoriums and other buildings. They burned documents and evacuated all the prisoners who could walk to the interior of Germany. The number of victims was approximately one million, only 667 prisoners escaped; 270 were recaptured and executed. Those who were not evacuated where liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. Auschwitz is an emotive symbol of terror and genocide; we stop here to pay a remembrance visit where so many needlessly lost their lives. We arrive at our hotel in Krakow this evening for a two-night stay. Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Krakow & Wieliczka Salt Mines

We start our day with an included guided sightseeing tour of Krakow. As the ancient capital of Poland, the city was the royal residence for centuries, and the only major city in the country to escape major damage during World War II. Its assembly of monuments are listed by UNESCO as one of the world's twelve most significant historic sites. During the tour we will see the magnificent Wawel castle, (entrance not included), impressively situated on a hilltop overlooking the Vistula river. The rest of the day can be spent exploring the city at your leisure. Alternatively, why not join our afternoon optional excursion to the town of Wieliczka and the oldest salt mine in Europe. The mines are an impressive underground world of salt lakes and galleries extending to a depth of 327m with approximately 300km of tunnels stretching over an area some 10km wide. They are a masterpiece of generations of miners who have created a subterraneous world of chambers and lakes, where galleries, halls, chapels and numerous sculptures have been carved in the salt rock. The mine is beautifully maintained and this is a visit not to be missed. The journey starts at the Danilowicz Shaft where we meet our guide and then descend via some 380 steps to 64 meters below ground. Our guide takes us on a fascinating journey through the magnificent chambers revealing the history and the secrets of the mine. At the end of our visit we return to the surface by the miners lift. Included meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Poland - Budapest

We leave Poland this morning and head south into Slovakia. Our scenic journey will take us through the Tatra Mountains, the central, highest and most beautiful section of the Carpathian mountain range. We continue into Hungary and to its capital, Budapest arriving early evening for a two-night stay. Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed 'Paris of the East'. To introduce you to this beautiful city, why not join our optional Budapest by Night excursion? In the company of our guide we take a tour of Budapest for a chance to see the famous sights of the city by night. We start with a walk through the park to the castle where we enjoy a short Organ Concert and a glass of champagne in the chapel. From here we continue to Heroes Square for a photo stop and then see the medieval castle wall before joining the coach for an illumination drive on the Pest side of the city. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Budapest

Today you will have the full day to discover the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The city is composed of two historically independent communities, Buda and Pest, separated by the majestic River Danube. Our optional guided sightseeing tour (included on Silver Service & Luxuria), will introduce you to the city’s array of spectacular sights. We start with a panoramic view of the city from the top of the Gellert Hill and then continue by foot to the Liberty Statue, built in remembrance of the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi forces during World War II. We re-join our coach and travel to the Pest side of the city to see the City Park and Heroes Square. We drive down Andrassy Avenue where we see the grand State Opera House and the beautiful St. Stephens Basilica. Our next stop is Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city where we leave our coach and visit the old medieval city. To further enhance your day, why not join the optional Danube Lunch Cruise this afternoon? The Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga, which flows through central Russia. Classified as an international waterway, the Danube originates in the town of Donaueschingen in the Black Forest of Germany. It then flows southeast for almost 3,000 km passing through four central European capitals before emptying into the Black Sea. Our cruise, during which commentary will be provided, will take you along the majestic Danube River allowing you to take in the spectacular views of Budapest. A sumptuous lunch of traditional Hungarian dishes is provided, alongside a complimentary drink from the bar. Alternatively, spend the rest of the day at leisure exploring the city at your own pace. Maybe take a stroll by the river or visit the tempting stores of the Vaci Utca Street, ensuring that your time in this wonderful city is certainly something to remember. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Vienna

We leave Budapest today and head over the border into Austria, reaching Vienna at approximately midday. The Imperial City of Vienna is without question one of Europe’s great cities, and as the home of the former Habsburg monarchy and the present day capital of Austria, it has much to charm the visitor. There is a lot of walking involved to see all the sights, so why not let us introduce you to Vienna on our optional guided sightseeing tour by coach and on foot. Our guided tour will begin by coach, where we will be taken along the Imperial Boulevard known as the Ringstrasse. Here you will see the Hofburg Palace, the Parliament building, the Opera House, National Theatre and City Hall. During our tour we will also see the majestic Danube River, and later as we pass by the Prater amusement park a chance to view the famous “Giant Wheel” built over 100 years ago, and today one of the most well-known landmarks of the city. There will be frequent stops during the drive, where you will have photo opportunities and the chance to admire Vienna at its very best. Our guide will provide commentary throughout, revealing the history; culture and stories of without question one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Following the tour you will have time at leisure to explore independently before travelling to our overnight hotel. This evening an optional Vienna Supreme Concert will be available. The Vienna Supreme Orchestra and its soloists will offer you a truly magical evening where you can experience the happiness, optimism and flair of this wonderful city. Immerse yourself in the delightful Viennese music, be enchanted by its elegant waltzes, refreshing folk polkas and its many romantic arias and duets. Experience works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and, of course, the Strauss Dynasty, the masters of operetta all within a wonderful, intimate venue. A complementary CD will be yours to take home as a souvenir of this delightful evening. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Prague

This morning we begin our journey towards the Czech Republic, reaching Prague at approximately lunchtime. There will be free time this afternoon for you to explore the centre before we continue to our hotel where we will stay for the next two nights. This evening why not join our optional evening in Prague excursion? Accompanied by our local guide we travel by coach to Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe. We take a stroll through the courtyards viewing the exterior of the imposing St. Vitus Cathedral. We walk to the main parade entrance where the soldiers stand guard and take in the lovely views of the city. We then continue by coach to the Strahov Monastery for the best views of the Old Town and also to sample a glass of special beer from the monk’s own brewery. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Belgium for an overnight stay.

Day 11: Prague with Guided Walking Tour

Today we travel into the centre of Prague where we have an included morning walking tour to introduce you to this beautiful capital, affectionately known as the ‘Golden Town’. The many historic buildings, grand squares and elegant landmarks such as Wenceslas Square, the famous astronomical clock and Charles Bridge make it a lovely place to explore on foot, and our local guides informative commentary will reveal many of the stories behind the buildings and personalities which have shaped the history of this magnificent city. Afterwards why not join an optional cruise on the Vltava River with lunch included. Lasting for approximately two hours, the cruise, during which a commentary will be provided, will take you along the majestic Vltava River past spectacular views of the famous sights of the city. Lunch will be served on board with a selection of warm and cold Czech specialties for you to enjoy. So sit back on the sundeck and admire the outstanding views of the city of a hundred spires. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore the sights further at your leisure. This evening we offer you the opportunity to join our fantastic optional Tram Tour, a perfect way to spend your final night in Prague. We will travel through the city at a leisurely pace so settle back in your seat with a glass of sparkling wine and watch the many monuments of the glittering Golden City drift by the window. Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Prague - Bristol

Transfer to Prague airport for your return flight to the U.K. Included meals: Breakfast

Hand Picked By

Les Bannerman

Leger holidays offer a huge selection of fully escorted holidays worldwide with travel by luxury coach, air, rail or even cruise. They offer convenient local pick-up points from many of the towns where we have MMT shops. Here, we have showcased their stunning Alpine Adventure tour aboard their Luxuria coach. Luxuria offers the ultimate level of comfort with deluxe armchair-style seats, each with its own interactive touch screen offering a wide choice of entertainment. I can’t think of a better way to travel!

Les Bannerman

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates from April 2020 - May 2020
  • Board Basis: Mixed meal plan
  • Duration: 13 nights
  • Departure Airport: Bristol
  • Guide Price: From £1,349pp
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