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12259
Eastern Europe

The Best of Central Europe: Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague

Immerse yourself in the exquisite artistry of four of Europe’s great cities, gaining a comprehensive understanding of historical monuments, cultural treasures and world-class art.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12259RJ
Length
18 days
Starts at
5,899
Flights start at
925
Eastern Europe

The Best of Central Europe: Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague

Immerse yourself in the exquisite artistry of four of Europe’s great cities, gaining a comprehensive understanding of historical monuments, cultural treasures and world-class art.
Length
18 days
Starts at
5,899
Length
18 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
5,899
Flights start at
925
Program No. 12259RJ

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To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 6 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Sep 13 - Sep 30, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Sep 20 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Oct 4 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Oct 11 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
5,999
Nov 1 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
5,899
Apr 11 - Apr 28, 2023
Starting at
6,649
Apr 18 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
6,649
May 2 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
6,749
May 9 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
6,749
May 16 - Jun 2, 2023
Starting at
6,749
May 23 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Jun 6 - Jun 23, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Jun 13 - Jun 30, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Jun 20 - Jul 7, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Sep 5 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Sep 12 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Sep 19 - Oct 6, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Oct 3 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Oct 10 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
6,749
Oct 17 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
6,649
Oct 31 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
6,499
Nov 7 - Nov 24, 2023
Starting at
6,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 6 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Sep 13 - Sep 30, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Sep 20 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Oct 4 - Oct 21, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Oct 11 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
6,999
Nov 1 - Nov 18, 2022
Starting at
6,799
Apr 11 - Apr 28, 2023
Starting at
7,649
Apr 18 - May 5, 2023
Starting at
7,649
May 2 - May 19, 2023
Starting at
7,799
May 9 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
7,799
May 16 - Jun 2, 2023
Starting at
7,799
May 23 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Jun 6 - Jun 23, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Jun 13 - Jun 30, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Jun 20 - Jul 7, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Sep 5 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Sep 12 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Sep 19 - Oct 6, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Oct 3 - Oct 20, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Oct 10 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
7,799
Oct 17 - Nov 3, 2023
Starting at
7,649
Oct 31 - Nov 17, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Nov 7 - Nov 24, 2023
Starting at
7,399

At a Glance

From the elegance of a Chopin polonaise 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.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Please note that although the activity level of this program is Keep the Pace, it is a long program, traveling to four different countries over the span of 18 days. Terrain includes cobblestones, city streets and uneven ground; short uphill walks; standing at museums; many unavoidable stairs; use of public transportation.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy a private concert at the Strahov Monastery and explore the monastery library.
  • Admire the illuminated city of Budapest on an evening river voyage along the Danube River, 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Anna Karteczka-Kusiak
Anna has spent time living around the world to hone her language skills. After graduating with a degree in Customer Service, Anna embarked on a career as a traveling educator that took her to a wide variety of countries including Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, France, Ukraine and Baltic and Balkan countries. She is an instructor in Krakow and greater Europe, leading groups in English, French and Polish. “I’m extremely glad to link my work with my personal interests: history, travelling, culture and meeting new people.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Anna Karteczka-Kusiak
Anna Karteczka-Kusiak View biography
Anna has spent time living around the world to hone her language skills. After graduating with a degree in Customer Service, Anna embarked on a career as a traveling educator that took her to a wide variety of countries including Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, France, Ukraine and Baltic and Balkan countries. She is an instructor in Krakow and greater Europe, leading groups in English, French and Polish. “I’m extremely glad to link my work with my personal interests: history, travelling, culture and meeting new people.”
Profile Image of Monika Pazera
Monika Pazera View biography
Monika Pazera was born in Nowa Huta, a district of Krakow. While growing up, she witnessed the degeneration and final years of the communist system in Poland. She studied journalism and Russian studies at Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland. A passionate traveler, she’s especially drawn to Eastern Europe and countries like Russia, Georgia and Armenia.
Profile Image of Daniel Draskoczy
Daniel Draskoczy View biography
Daniel was born in Szeged, Hungary and currently lives in Budapest. He holds a bachelor’s in history and Italian language and culture and a master's degree in international relations. Besides Hungary, Daniel has lived in Italy, Poland and Spain. Since 2011, he has worked as a travel director on European rivers and has worked as a manager on bus expeditions. Daniel is a licensed group leader in Hungary and has been leading groups in Budapest since 2015.
Profile Image of Jana Pivonkova
Jana Pivonkova View biography
Jana Pivonková was born in Tábor in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic. After studying at a hotel school in Prague, she worked at a travel agency in Cedok for 14 years and also organized sporting events for soccer, tennis, and ice hockey. Jana has been leading English- and German-speaking groups around Prague and abroad for over 30 years, and has worked with Road Scholar for over 20 years. She loves history, gardening, dancing and the accordion, and her travels include Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia and Japan.
Profile Image of Anna Pivonková
Anna Pivonková View biography
Anna Pivonková grew up in Prague and studied German at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. Anna is a passionate drummer – she plays the West African drum djembe and accompanies African dance lessons. Apart from music, she is interested in history, architecture and modern art, especially if related to Prague. She is a licensed Prague group leader who loves meeting new people, good conversation and traveling.
Profile Image of Zuzanna Waligora
Zuzanna Waligora View biography
Zuzanna Waligora hails from a town located in the Beskidy Mountains and has lived in Krakow for ten years since completing her studies in travel, recreation, and English. Her love of travel started when she spent 11 months in Elyria, Ohio, as an exchange student, attending the local high school and living with an American host family. She loves the ability to look at her own heritage with a fresh perspective, as well as meet people and learn about cultures that are new to her.
Profile Image of Janina Naskalska-Babik
Janina Naskalska-Babik View biography
Janina Naskalska-Babik was born in Krakow, where her family has lived for three generations. She is passionate about sharing her beautiful hometown and has been a licensed city leader for 10 years. She is intrigued by the history and heritage of the constantly changing Krakow, especially by its almost vanished, once lively and large Jewish community. Janina also keeps a photo blog documenting her discoveries called Krakuska Krakow City Guide. She is married to another local, and they have two children who keep her busy.
Profile Image of Lukas Husa
Lukas Husa View biography
Dr. Lukas Husa was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, where he still lives. He studied history with a specialization in economic and social history at the University of Vienna, completing his master’s degree in 2014. He studied at both the University of Vienna and Chiang Mai University in Thailand for his PhD. While pursuing his academic studies, he also studied to be a travel leader in Vienna and Austria. Dr. Husa has greatly enjoyed showing people from all over the world his beautiful home.
Profile Image of Tímea Howard
Tímea Howard View biography
Timea Howard was born in Budapest and has lived there for all her life. Timea pursued a degree in business management and worked in advertising for 20 successful years. Following a life-changing ski accident, she decided to pursue her love of Budapest, history and languages by becoming an official group leader. Since receiving her certification as a group leader in 2015 in English and Italian, Timea has shared her city with visitors from all over the world.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Kingdom of Auschwitz
by Otto Friedrich
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.
Danube
by Claudio Magris
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.
Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City
by Peter Demetz
Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Paul Wilson (Editor)
This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life.
A Time of Gifts
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
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.
Central Europe Map
by Freytag & Berndt
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.
The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg
This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.
The Haunted Land, Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism
by Tina Rosenberg
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.
Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
by Simon Winder
Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers the legacy of the Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue.
A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889
by Frederic Morton
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.
Budapest 1900
by John Lukacs
Written by a distinguished historian and native son, this richly detailed portrait of the city at its zenith includes hundreds of illustrations.
Budapest, A Cultural History
by Bob Dent
This brilliant guide introduces the history and traditions of this Central European cultural capital, with emphasis on its most important artists and architects.
Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Donald Daviau
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.
Mozart, A Life
by Paul Johnson
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.
The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
by Andrew Wheatcroft
With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.
Lonely Planet Central Europe
by Lonely Planet
With dozens of maps, color photographs and sections on history and culture, this practical guide introduces Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and their neighbors.
The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
by Timothy Garton Ash
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.
Bury Me Standing
by Isabel Fonseca
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.
Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990
by Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)
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.
The Hare With Amber Eyes
by Edmund De Waal
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.
Dvorak and His World
by Michael Beckerman
A fascinating view of the Czech composer's personal life and his influence on the world around him.





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