Road Scholar : Home
Treasures of Imperial Cities: Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague

Program Number: 12259RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/9/2015 - 6/26/2015; 9/16/2015 - 10/3/2015; 10/6/2015 - 10/23/2015; 10/27/2015 - 11/13/2015; 5/17/2016 - 6/3/2016; 6/21/2016 - 7/8/2016; 8/30/2016 - 9/16/2016; 9/27/2016 - 10/14/2016; 10/25/2016 - 11/11/2016; 11/1/2016 - 11/18/2016;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Czech Republic/Poland/Hungary/Austria
Price starting at: $4,781.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Arts, Misc.
Meals: 43; 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

From the elegance of a Chopin waltz in Krakow to the grandeur of the Habsburg’s summer palace in Vienna, embark on an exquisite journey to learn about Central Europe’s most artistically rich cities and the great thinkers and creative geniuses who called them home. Private concerts, viewings of world-class art collections and in-depth discussion of some of Europe’s leading intellectuals create a detailed portrait of these royal capital cities.


• Enjoy a private concert at the Strahov Monastery and visit the monastery gallery, one of the best fine arts collections in the Czech Republic.
• Admire the illuminated city of Budapest on an evening river cruise along the Danube, passing such important sights as Parliament, Chain Bridge and Castle Hill.
• Explore Schonbrunn Palace, the former imperial summer residence and one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria.

Activity Particulars

Terrain includes cobblestones, city streets, uneven ground, short uphill walks, and flights of stairs. Participants should expect to use public transportation.

Date Specific Information

6-9-2015, 9-16-2015, 10-6-2015, 10-27-2015, 5-17-2016, 6-21-2016, 8-30-2016, 9-27-2016, 10-25-2016, 11-1-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Krakow (Poland), 5 nights; coach to Budapest (Hungary), 4 nights; coach to Vienna (Austria), 3 nights; coach to Prague (Czech Republic), 4 nights; departures.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Krakow (Poland)
5 nights

Discover the impressive art collections of Krakow, where a maze of cobblestone alleyways contains the largest concentration of historical monuments and cultural treasures in Poland. Visit the Sukiennice Museum, housed in the famous Cloth Hall, and the Gallery of Polish Art of the 20th Century. At Collegium Maius, one of Europe’s first universities, see the room dedicated to Nicolaus Copernicus who graduated from the school in the 1490s. Enjoy an evening concert of music by Frederic Chopin, Poland’s most famous composer.

Coach to Budapest (Hungary)
4 nights

Learn about Hungary’s colorful history during a guided field trip to one of Budapest’s oldest and most important sites, the Castle District. Admire the magnificent rooftop of the National Bank of Hungary and the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau, both of which serve witness to the Hungarian Art Nouveau movement. A stroll along Andrássy Avenue enlightens you on the Golden Age of Budapest. Visit the former apartment of composer Ferenc Liszt, Heroe’s Square and the City Park. End your time in Budapest with a moon-lit dinner cruise on the Danube.

Coach to Vienna (Austria)
3 nights

A lecture introduces Vienna and the major cultural institutions created by the Hapsburg dynasty. Visit one of these great museums, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and see first-hand how the Habsburgs brought together the most precious and important paintings of the celebrated Old Masters. Get a taste for fashionable Vienna with a lunch at Café Central, former meeting point for Europe’s intellectuals and artist. A flutist and accompanying musicians take you through the Vienna Classic period in a presentation on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Coach to Prague (Czech Republic)
4 nights

Explore centuries of Prague architecture on foot across the 600-year-old Charles Bridge, and along twisty streets past the stone houses of Prague’s Old Town to the banks of the Vltava River for an evening boat excursion. A field trip to the Museum of Czech Music is highlighted by a lecture on the great composers: Antonin Dvorak, Gustav Mahler, Bedrich Smetana and more.

Krakow: Four-star hotel overlooking Old Town. Budapest: Comfortable family style hotel. Vienna: Four-star hotel near the government district. Prague: Three-star hotel in quiet part of town a short walk or tram ride from city center and historic sites.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Julia Auer

Julia Auer is an unusually versatile performer. After studying musicology at the University of Vienna she also completed her studies of the flute and musical pedagogy at the University of Music. She has devoted much of her time and interest to intensive research in historical sources and instruments, and she is a member of several Early Music groups. Julia now performs on a variety of flute instruments and is working on a thesis concerning orchestral instrumentation in the 18th century.
Walter Auer

Walter Auer is the principal flute of the Wiener Philharmoniker, a position he has held since 2003. Before coming to Vienna, he served as the principal flute with the NDR Radio-Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover with Dresden Philharmonic for one year. Walter began flute lessons at the age of 10, and was awarded first prize in youth competitions several times. He also was a member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. Later, he studied at the University “Mozarteum” in Salzburg and finished his studies at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra-Academy in Berlin. Walter has played numerous concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and frequently appears as a soloist in recitals and concerts around the world. He is in demand as coach and teacher, and teaches master classes in Europe, Australia, Asia and the U.S. As a passionate chamber musician, Walter Auer is also a member of Orsolino Quintett Berlin and Wiener Virtuosen.
Bettina Mandl

Bettina Mandl was born in Vienna and grew up surrounded by the splendid architecture and history of her hometown. After earning her degree in economics from the University of Vienna, she began to give lectures and lead educational excursions. Her main focus in Vienna is art nouveau, especially the works of the architect Otto Wagner.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Inn
  Krakow, Poland 5 nights
   Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
  Budapest, Hungary 4 nights
   Austria Trend Hotel Ananas
  Vienna, Austria 3 nights
   Ibis Praha Mala Strana
  Prague, Czech Republic 4 nights
 Hilton Garden Inn
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of Kraków with views of Wawel Castle over the Vistula River, the Hilton Garden Inn is an easy tram ride from the Old Town, the Market Square and the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Many museums and art galleries are also within walking distance.
  Contact info: Marii Konopnickiej 33
Krakow,  30-302 Poland
phone: +48 12 3999 000
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, safe, mini fridge, iron, free Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, fitness area, air conditioning, laundry services and facilities, Pavilion Pantry Market, safe, computer room in lobby and free Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel is located in the center of Budapest. Stylish and equipped with modern amenities, this hotel is perfect for pleasure and business travelers alike. It is within walking distance from museums, the Sports Arena and the railway station.
  Contact info: Rakoczi ut. 58
Budapest,  1074 Hungary
phone: +36 1 462 81 00
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, air conditioning, tea & coffee facilities, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, concierge, business services, laundry services, safe at reception and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Austria Trend Hotel Ananas
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The four-star Austria Trend Hotel Ananas is conveniently located next to the Pilgramgasse underground station, only two stops from the bustling city center of Vienna. Some of Vienna's cultural highlights, including Charles Square, Ring Boulevard, the Vienna State Opera and Vienna's largest market, Naschmarkt, are all within a 20-minute walk from this elegant and relaxing hotel.
  Contact info: Rechte Wienzeile 93-95
Wien,  1050 Austria
phone: +43 1 546 20
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, hardwood floors, under-the-floor heating, individually controlled air conditioning, mini bar, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, business corner, air conditioning, souvenir shop and free wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ibis Praha Mala Strana
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Ibis Praha Mala Strana is just a few minutes from the heart of the city, where you can find the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square, cozy restaurants and bars. It is also conveniently located next to one of the biggest shopping centers in Prague.
  Contact info: Plzenska 14
Praha 5,  150 00 Czech Republic
phone: +420 222865777
  Room amenities: Each room has a flat screen television, telephone, WIFI Internet access, air conditioning and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lobby bar with free WIFI Internet access and computer corner, laundry services (for a fee), and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Krakow, Poland. 5:00 PM at the hotel. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Prague, Czech Republic. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Ibis Praha Mala Strana the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: By train from all major cities in Austria and abroad.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Krakow
  Nearest city or town:  Katowice
  Nearest highway: A4 (Cracow-Katowice)
  Nearest airport:  Cracow/Balice
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. It costs approx. 90 Polish zloty, and takes about 30-40 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Prague
  Nearest city or town:  In town
  Nearest highway: D1
  Nearest airport:  Prague/Ruzyn
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the hotel to the airport. Cost is approx. 600-650 CZK.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Tuesday, June 9)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome to Krakow / Orientation
(Wednesday, June 10)
 Morning: Arrival in Krakow's John Paul II Balice International airport (KRK). Meet group outside of customs and transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: 5:00 PM Welcome to Krakow, residence of Polish kings and the first European city to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. For centuries Krakow flourished due to its political status, and as a leader in the development of commerce, craft, art and science. A cradle of Polish culture, Krakow is truly a romantic city with a labyrinth of charming restaurants, coffee-shops, and museums. Orientation through the Old Market Square often called "Krakow's saloon."
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Wawel Castle and Cathedral / Wieliczka Salt Mine
(Thursday, June 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: The 16th century brought Krakow to a state of unprecedented splendor. Hear a lecture: "Krakow - City of Art and Culture." Then take a guided field trip of the Wawel Castle and Cathedral, a testament to the golden times in the "City of Kings," and the political and cultural center of Poland until the early 17th century. Explore the Royal Chambers featuring rare ancient treasures, period furniture and Polish and European paintings. Admire the collection of 16th century Flemish tapestries, some of which were designed by Michael van Coxcie, the "Flemish Raphael." The breathtaking interior of the Cathedral stands as a collective work of Italian genius including Georg Pench, Santi Gucci and Hermann Vischer, and Sigismund's Chapel, designed by Bartolomeo Berecci, has been hailed by art historians as the "most beautiful example of the Tuscan Renaissance north of the Alps."
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a world-class attraction. Over 700 years, many generations of Polish miners created this amazing underground world. Exceptional in its beauty, the mine contains rich interior chapels, galleries and underground salt lakes. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Renaissance Sukiennice - Cloth Hall
(Friday, June 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Throughout the Middle Ages, many first-rate artists worked in Krakow and created what you see today. Visit the Collegium Maius, one of Krakow's gems, and one of Europe's first universities. The astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who revolutionized European science, remains the most illustrious of Krakow's graduates, along with Pope John Paul II. This museum boasts splendid historic rooms, a great collection of old European art, and unique science instruments. It is also a sort of cultural repository for Poland; famous Poles donate their awards to be displayed here. Then explore the Old Market Square, one of the largest medieval Europe squares in existence. Its surroundings have remained unchanged for almost 700 years. Visit the church of St. Mary's, home of the wooden altarpiece by Veit Stoss, the world's greatest Gothic sculptor; Stoss' work can be seen weaved throughout the entire city. Then visit the Renaissance Sukiennice, also known as the Cloth Hall. One of the city's most recognizable icons, it is also the location of the Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art, a division of the National Museum. The gallery consists of four rooms: The Bacciarelli Room (Enlightenment), The Michalowski Room (Romanticism, Towards National Art), The Siemiradzki Room (Around the Academy), and The Chelmonski Room (Realism, Polish Impressionism, Beginnings of Symbolism).
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore on your own.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Auschwitz & Birkenau
(Saturday, June 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Oswiecim with the Auschwitz & Birkenau Museum, the symbol of the holocaust. Then return to Krakow.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time on your own. Your program staff can give you additional ideas of what to see and do.
 Dinner: Dine in the Kazimierz District, the ancient heart of Jewish Krakow. Taste Jewish cooking delicacies and enjoy a nostalgic Klezmer music concert.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Icons of Polish Modernism and Avant Garde
(Sunday, June 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A key time period that is fundamental to understanding the Polish mentality is the years of WWII. The tragedy of the Holocaust appears in Polish art to this day; an ever-present point of reference and eternal memento. Visit the Gallery of Polish Art of the 20th-Century, an exhibition that is provocative and challenging at times, and very traditional at others. The core of the exhibition focuses on the exploration of mainstream 20th-century Polish art, and is made up of works by Wyspianski, Malczewski, Pankiewicz, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Kantor. Become acquainted with Josef Mehoffer, an artist during the Art Nouveau (Secession) Period, and one of the leading Modernist artists in Poland. Explore the Mehoffer House Museum, the former artist's home, where everyday memorabilia, paintings, prints, designs of stained glass windows, textiles and furniture are on display.
 Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon. Your program staff can give you additional ideas of what to see and do. Before dinner, attend a concert: “Frederic Chopin, a Poet of the Piano.” Chopin is the very symbol of Polish music. In the art of sound, the beauty of his music is an exceptional phenomenon - something bordering on the miraculous. The style, rich in lyricism, moods, emotions and their nuances, earned F. Chopin admiration all over the world.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Welcome to Budapest
(Monday, June 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel by coach from Krakow to Budapest.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Budapest. Transfer to hotel for check-in and get settled.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: General information meeting.
Accommodations: Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Gellért Hill
(Tuesday, June 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Take in a lecture by an acclaimed speaker: "The History of Hungarian Art." Then transfer by coach to Gellért Hill for a short stroll around the Citadella area. Get a feel for the city's structure, and marvel at the spectacular bridges along the Danube.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon take a guided field trip to the Liszt Academy, an Art Nouveau gem. Founded in 1875, the academy was moved to this magnificent building in 1907, and is now one of Budapest's most beautiful concert venues. The building is also the center of Hungarian musical training. Then take a field trip to the Castle District. Take a guided walk in the Civilian Town, the northern part of the district, including a visit to the Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church. During your walk, learn about the medieval history of the city.
 Dinner: Buffet dinner at Rakoczi Grill House.
 Evening: This evening you may wish to attend an optional concert. Your Group Leader will give additional information during the program.
Accommodations: Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Hungarian Art Nouveau / National Szechenyi Library
(Wednesday, June 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided walk in the historical downtown of Pest, including the neighborhood of the Parliament and a visit to St. Stephen's Basilica. Learn about the Hungarian Art Nouveau movement during an excursion of the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau, and wonder at the magnificent rooftop of the National Bank of Hungary, also a testament to Art Nouveau.
 Lunch: Lunch in downtown Budapest.
 Afternoon: We will return to the Castle District to visit the famous National Szechenyi Library, situated in the building of the former Royal Palace. A local expert will give you a private tour, including a viewing of a medieval handwritten manuscript.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Andrássy Avenue / The Golden Age of Budapest
(Thursday, June 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning learn about the Golden Age of Budapest during a stroll along Andrássy Avenue, situated above the Millennium Underground Railway. Explore the former apartment of world-famous composer Ferenc Liszt at the Old Music Academy, and visit Hero's Square and the City Park.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area on your own. You may wish to visit the Szechenyi Thermal Bath. If so, bring a bathing suit!
 Dinner: Boat trip on the Danube with a farewell buffet dinner.
 Evening: Spend the evening relaxing and enjoying the city view from the water during your boat trip on the Danube.
Accommodations: Mercure Budapest Metropol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Welcome to Vienna
(Friday, June 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We travel by coach from Budapest to Vienna. Late morning arrival in Vienna, the capital of Austria. Check in at the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: We convene for a general orientation meeting, followed by a first acquaintance with the Inner City. Guided excursion by bus along the Vienna Ring Boulevard. It was back in the 19th century when Emperor Franz Joseph decreed the demolition of Vienna's medieval fortifications and ramparts to make room for the city's expansion. This 'Boulevard of Splendor' is lined with many of the most important political and cultural institutions such as Parliament and Town Hall, Royal Palace, the prestigious State Opera and Burgtheater, University and - of course - the Museum Quarter. We will then explore the winding streets and spacious squares of the old town around St. Stephen's Cathedral, the ancient core of Vienna - from the medieval lanes and alleys to the steel and glass Haas House in front of the Cathedral that dates back to the 13th century.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Attend an evening concert of the Mozart Ensemble in the Sala Terrena. Works by Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven. The "Sala Terrena" is the oldest concert hall in Vienna, where Mozart himself performed many concerts. It is decorated with beautiful frescos in the style of the late Venetian Renaissance. It is also the perfect setting for performances of Viennese classic chamber music of the 18th century.
Accommodations: Austria Trend Hotel Ananas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cultural Vienna
(Saturday, June 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A morning lecture gives us an introduction to Cultural Vienna and its historical background. This cosmopolitan center, which incorporates Eastern European, Oriental and Western modes of thinking, has been a melting pot for cultural identities throughout the centuries. The Habsburg dynasty created Vienna's major cultural institutions. One of them is the Kunsthistorisches Museum - Museum of Fine Art, which we will visit after the introductory lecture. The Museum houses one of the greatest art collections in the world revealing the royal taste of the Habsburg rulers. Over the centuries they brought together the most precious and important paintings of the celebrated Old Masters.
 Lunch: Get a taste of fashionable Vienna in the city’s most famous coffeehouse, the splendid Café Central, part of the Palais Ferstel, which once housed the Vienna Stock Exchange and the Austro-Hungarian central bank. The Café was a meeting point for Europe’s intellectuals and artists.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided field trip to Schönbrunn Palace, glamorous summer residence of the Habsburg family. Schönbrunn Palace together with its ancillary buildings and extensive park is by virtue of its long and colorful history one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria. Scheduled as a listed monument, the whole ensemble, including the palace, the park with its numerous architectural features, fountains and statues and not least the zoo - the oldest of its kind in the world - was placed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Austria Trend Hotel Ananas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Great Musicians of the Vienna Classic
(Sunday, June 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore the very diverse lives of three of Vienna's most famous composers during this morning's lecture. While Mozart initially enjoyed great success as a freelance composer and then struggled, Franz Schubert led a rather introverted life, only known for his renowned "Lieder" to his contemporaries. Johann Strauß, however, was one of the first global superstars of music. All three composers were contributors to the most Viennese of musical forms - the Viennese waltz. Listen to a delightful selection of works by these composers. Later in the morning, you will have a guided bus excursion of the Jugendstil landmarks of Vienna. The turn of the 20th century was a period of intellectual ferment; it was the time of Freud, writer Arthur Schnitzler, of Secession and Jugendstil with such artists as Gustav Klimt and architects as Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner. They created revolutionary new styles. We will leave the city center and drive to the Vienna suburb Penzing, where Otto Wagner created a jewel of Vienna Jugendstil Art Nouveau; the astonishing Steinhof Church which occupies a fantastic site on the Baumgartner heights.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own. Enjoy lunch in one of the many Viennese cafés.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon to discover Vienna on your own.
 Dinner: We will enjoy our final dinner in Vienna at one of the traditional restaurants in the old town.
Accommodations: Austria Trend Hotel Ananas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Welcome to Prague
(Monday, June 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We transfer from Vienna to Prague by coach. En route, we take an excursion to Trebon - a charming and perfectly preserved South Bohemian historical town with a rich history that goes back to the 12th century.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Prague. Check in at hotel and settle in. There will be a general information meeting.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Ibis Praha Mala Strana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Music in the Czech Republic
(Tuesday, June 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Excursion to the Museum of Czech Music with a lecture focusing on such artists as Smetana, Dvorak, Martinu, Janacek, Mahler and others.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Old Town and Jewish Ghetto. Experience the very special atmosphere of Prague’s twisty narrow streets and alleys, first stone houses, churches, palaces and monasteries.
 Dinner: Boat excursion with dinner.
Accommodations: Ibis Praha Mala Strana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Architecture of Prague
(Wednesday, June 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A morning discussion and lecture on the architecture and fine arts of Prague, featuring all important Prague styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Classicism, Neo-styles, and particularly concentrating on architecture of the 20th century – Art Nouveau, Cubism, Functionalism.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Prague Castle.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we will explore Prague's breathtaking architectural treasures: Prague Castle, Lesser Town, and the Charles Bridge.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Ibis Praha Mala Strana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 17: Strahov Monastery
(Thursday, June 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Excursion to the Strahov Monastery, a place where the knowledge of the Czech nation has been concentrated since 1140. We enjoy a private concert.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area on your own.
 Dinner: Enjoy a farewell gourmet dinner in the pearl of Art Nouveau, the Municipal House of Prague.
Accommodations: Ibis Praha Mala Strana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Departures
(Friday, June 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Prague Ruzyne International airport (PRG) for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Budapest Holocaust Memorial Center
The Holocaust Memorial Center is dedicated to showing the suffering, persecution and massacre of the Hungarian nationals - mainly Jews and the Roma - who experienced the Holocaust. The museum displays artifacts and documents, and recounts personal stories of Holocaust survivors. For additional information, visit
  Hungarian National Gallery
The Hungarian National Gallery houses the largest collection of fine arts in Hungary. Located in the beautiful former Royal Palace of Buda, the gallery is an exquisite representation of Hungarian art through the ages. For additional information, visit
  Szechenyi Baths, Spa, Swimming Pool
The Szechenyi Baths, Spa, and Swimming Pool is the largest wellness complex in Central Europe. It uses curing thermal water, and is located both outdoors and in historic buildings.
  Vienna Belvedere Palace
See Gustav Klimt's legendary painting, "The Kiss," as well as major works by Schiele und Kokoschka at this magnificent gallery. The building has a baroque palace complex and extensive gardens.
  Leopold Museum
The Leopold collection is one of the most important collections of modern Austrian art in the world. More than 5000 exhibits were collected by Rudolf and Elisabeth Leopold over five decades, which were consolidated in 1994 to become the Leopold Museum Private Foundation. This museum contains the largest Egon Schiele collection in the world, together with major works by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Richard Gerstl and Albin Egger-Lienz, and holds masterpieces of the Viennese Secessionist Movement, the Viennese Modernist Movement and the Austrian Expressionist Movement. For additional information, visit
  Sigmund Freud Museum
For almost half a century, from 1891 to 1938, Dr. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, lived and worked in his home before he was forced to emigrate following the Anschluss. This house, which was both his office and private apartment, is now a museum. Thanks to Dr. Freud's daughter Anna, the museum holds the original furniture from his waiting room, nearly eighty pieces of Freud's collection of antiques and some of his personal belongings. Also available for viewing in the museum's media room are the few existing original film and sound recordings of Sigmund Freud and his family. For additional information, visit
  Spanish Riding School
Housed in the Imperial Palace, the Spanish Riding School is the only institution in the world which has practiced for 430 years and continues to cultivate classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the haute école. The objective is to study the way the horse naturally moves and to cultivate the highest levels of haute école elegance the horse is capable of through systematic training. The result creates an unparalleled harmony between rider and horse, as only Vienna's Spanish Riding School achieves. Performances, morning exercises and guided tours are available. For additional information, visit
  Krakow Schindler's Factory Museum
The Schindler's Factory Museum of Krakow is a new branch of the Historical Museum of Krakow, created in the administrative building of the former Oskar Schindler's Factory of Enameled Vessels. It presents the history of Krakow during the Nazi Occupation. For additional information, visit
  Stained Glass Museum
The unique Polish Stained Glass Museum not only hosts a permanent exhibition, but also demonstrates the process of creating stained glass which has remained unchanged for centuries. The structure of the building was built specially for the needs of the Krakow Stained Glass Company S.G. Zelenski, and the house's interiors and workshop's equipment have retained their original character. For additional information, visit
  The Bishop Erazm Ciolek Palace
A branch of the National Museum, the Bishop Erazm Ciolek Palace shows a collection of old Polish art. The first floor houses the exhibition of the Art of Old Poland from the 12th-18th centuries, including art from medieval Poland, and Renaissance and Baroque art. On the ground floor there is the exhibition of Orthodox Art of the Old Polish Republic. For additional information, visit
  Prague Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia
The Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia is a wonderful exhibition of medieval art in Bohemia and Central Europe, spanning from 1200 to 1550 AD. For additional information, visit
  Mucha Museum
Situated in the 18th century Kaunitz Palace, the Mucha Museum displays the work of Alphonse Mucha, most widely known for the posters he made for Sarah Bernhardt in the fashionable world of fin-de-sičcle Paris. On display are over 100 paintings, photographs, charcoal drawings, pastels, lithographs and personal memorabilia celebrating the life and work of this Art Nouveau artist. For additional information, visit
  Sternberg Palace
The value of European art from the Classical Era to the close of Baroque is seen on permanent display, at the Sternberg Palace. For additional information, visit
  Trade Fair Palace
The Trade Fair Palace holds magnificent art from the 20th and 21st centuries. An English audio-guide is available, and a glass panoramic elevator enhances your view of this art all the way to the 5th floor. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889

Author: Frederic Morton

Description: A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court.

A Time of Gifts

Author: Patrick Leigh Fermor

Description: Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy.

Bury Me Standing

Author: Isabel Fonseca

Description: This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.

Cadogan Guide Vienna, Prague and Budapest

Author: Cadogan Guide

Description: Three authors teamed up for this in-depth cultural guide to the history, architecture, artistic heritage and sights of these three capital cities.

Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.

Central Europe Map

Author: Freytag & Berndt

Description: This colorful regional European map, like the sister map Europe Grand Tour (EUR185), covers from Paris and Amsterdam to Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Rome and Dubrovnik.


Author: Claudio Magris

Description: Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.

Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

Author: Simon Winder

Description: Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers the legacy of the Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue.

Dvorak and His World

Author: Michael Beckerman

Description: A fascinating view of the Czech composer's personal life and his influence on the world around him.

Gottland, Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechosovakia

Author: Mariusz Szczygiel

Description: A cultural history told through a collection of stories about human survival during Czechoslovakia’s 80-year existence. Szcygiel focuses on artists, writers and performers who responded with craftiness when confronted with the absurdity and pressures of their eras.

Kingdom of Auschwitz

Author: Otto Friedrich

Description: Otto Friedrich's slim book is an intensely personal account of the infamous Auschwitz death camp. He covers the entire history of Auschwitz in short chapters punctuated with eyewitness accounts and testimonies.

Mozart, A Life

Author: Paul Johnson

Description: Challenging myths surrounding Mozart’s health, religion and relationships, biographer Paul Johnson shows the great composer’s lasting impact on the musical world with insight.

Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990

Author: Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)

Description: This inspired anthology of writings by the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel collects 25 essays, letters and speeches written between 1965 and 1990, including those that directly influenced the Polish Solidarity movement.

Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City

Author: Peter Demetz

Description: Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.

Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)

Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life.

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire

Author: Andrew Wheatcroft

Description: With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.

The Hare With Amber Eyes

Author: Edmund De Waal

Description: Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of his remarkable family, a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in early 20th-century Paris and Vienna.

The Haunted Land, Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism

Author: Tina Rosenberg

Description: In this groundbreaking book, a journalist reports on how the newly democratized people of East Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have confronted the horrors of their former governments.

The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

Author: Timothy Garton Ash

Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.

Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: Donald Daviau

Description: Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city.

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