15596
Eastern Europe & Russia
Central Europe Discovered: Prague, Bratislava and Budapest
In these cities of rich cultural and social history, discover art, architecture and Old World charm, and build a deeper understanding of the region’s tradition and heritage.
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Program No. 15596RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
3,629
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16 days
15 nights
37 meals
14 B 11 L 12 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Prague, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Prague
D
Hotel Ibis Prague Old Town

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 PM.

Afternoon: Arrive at hotel and settle in. Meet at 5:00 PM for a general meeting and introduction to the program. Your Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner in the Pearl of Art Nouveau, the Municipal House. Unless otherwise noted, dinners on this program are typically a set menu. Please also note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Evening: Free time to rest and get over jetlag, or explore the area on your own.

DAY
3
Prague City Excursion
Prague
B,L
Hotel Ibis Prague Old Town

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: A walking excursion brings us through the Old Town, a unique part of Prague, where we find the impressive Old Town Square, the center of all events since the early Middle Ages. The stone houses, churches, palaces, and monasteries in combination with the twisty narrow streets and alleys create a very special atmosphere. We will also see the Charles Bridge, one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe, adorned on both sides with a total of thirty Baroque statues.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Unless otherwise noted, lunches on this program are typically a set menu.

Afternoon: Discussion and lecture on Prague's architecture. Learn about the important architectural styles found throughout Prague, such as; Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Classicism, Neo-styles, Art Nouveau and Cubism.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure. There may be a cultural event you can attend. Your program staff will provide further details on the program.

DAY
4
Prague Castle, Dinner Cruise
Prague
B,L,D
Hotel Ibis Prague Old Town

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning explore the Prague Castle complex on foot, where the Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of the Czech Republic (and Czechoslovakia) have had their offices. Prague Castle is one of the largest castles in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records it is the largest ancient castle) and dates back to the middle of the 9th century.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in the Prague Castle area.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Prague. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Enjoy your buffet dinner on a boat excursion down the Vltava River.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Kutna Hora, Sedlec Ossuary
Prague
B,L,D
Hotel Ibis Prague Old Town

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Our morning excursion takes us to Kutna Hora, a town renowned for its silver mines. The historical center with its former mint and the Cathedral of St. Barbara is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Kutna Hora.

Afternoon: Excursion to the oldest part of Kutna Hora: Sedlec. Explore the Cemetery Church of All Saints with its famous Ossuary, also known as the Bone Church. In 1278, King Otakar II of Bohemia sent the abbot of Sedlec on a diplomatic mission to Jerusalem. When leaving the Holy Land, the abbot took with him a handful of earth from Golgotha, which he sprinkled over the cemetery of Sedlec monastery. Consequently, the cemetery became famous, not only in Bohemia but throughout Central Europe.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Brevnov Monastery, Jewish Ghetto
Prague
B,L,D
Hotel Ibis Prague Old Town

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We depart for an excursion to the Brevnov Monastery, the oldest monastery in Bohemia. Here, we listen to a lecture on the history of the religious situation in the Czech Republic. Learn how radical changes in religion have affected the Czech Republic from the past to the present.

Lunch: In the Benedictine Wine Cellar of the Brevnov Monastery.

Afternoon: We will visit the Jewish Town, with its many synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery, Europe's oldest Jewish burial ground. The former Jewish Ghetto is a noteworthy quarter of Prague that boasts worldwide significance. We will then enjoy a classical concert in the St. Salvator Church near Charles Bridge.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant near Charles Bridge.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Bratislava
Bratislava
B,L,D
Mercure Bratislava Centrum

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Departure for Bratislava.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Lednice.

Afternoon: Welcome to Bratislava. Arrive at hotel and settle in. We will become familiar with one of the youngest capitals in Europe, the city of Bratislava, situated on the banks of the Danube River. Bratislava has been a mixing pot of various nations and nationalities who lived together in peace and harmony. During our walking excursion through the Old Town we will feel the atmosphere of the capital's elegance and charm.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Explore Bratislava
Bratislava
B,D
Mercure Bratislava Centrum

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Our lecture will discuss the history and politics of the Slovak Republic. We will also hear from “the other side” about the split of Czechoslovakia. We will consider what joins and what divides two Slavonic nations that are so geographically and historically close, and in what ways they choose to maintain their identities. In the Bratislava Castle, founded in the 11th century, we will have an opportunity to admire a panoramic view of the town. The Cathedral of St. Martin, where Maria Theresa was crowned Queen of Hungary, stood witness to a golden era in Pressburg (Bratislava's former name) when the city served as capital of the Kingdom of Hungary over the course of 300 years.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to discover Bratislava on your own. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Vienna
Bratislava
B,L,D
Mercure Bratislava Centrum

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: After a short bus transfer, you will spend an exciting day in Vienna. Enjoy an expert-led field trip to Schönnbrunn Castle, the residence of the Habsburg family.

Lunch: At a typical Viennese restaurant.

Afternoon: Take an expert-led walk through the inner city to see some of Vienna's highlights, including the State Opera, Stephan's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Danube cruise
Budapest
B,L,D
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We cruise on the Danube river to Devin Castle.

Lunch: At a country restaurant in Devin.

Afternoon: Continue to Budapest by coach. Arrive at the hotel in Budapest.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: Following dinner your local staff will offer an optional excursion to show you how public transportation works in the city, as well as an introduction to the neighborhood of the hotel and of downtown Budapest (1 hour).

DAY
11
Budapest City Excursion
Budapest
B,L,D
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Listen to a lecture on the history of Hungary. Follow 1100 years of Hungarian history, beginning in 896 when the Hungarian tribes arrived at the Carpathian basin through modern day. After the lecture, begin your personal exploration of Budapest with a pleasant walk in the City Park area to see some of its sites and famous buildings.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led sightseeing excursion as we travel by bus and on foot to Buda and Pest, the former separate towns of the now united Budapest. Walk on Hero's Square, a summary of the 1000-year history of Budapest; admire the castle in the district of Buda, a World Heritage Site; and venture over bridges and avenues to learn about different architectural styles and everyday life in this cosmopolitan city.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Memento Park, Folk Art Museum, Meeting Local People
Budapest
B,L,D
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will be presented with a sociology program starting with a narrated coach ride to Memento Park, where you will learn about how people live in Hungary today. Topics to be covered will include work, education, housing, health, society, politics and other important factors. The vivid lecture continues with a visit to the Statue Park, where you can see the gigantic monuments of Communist dictatorship which were removed from the streets of Budapest.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led excursion through a private Folk Art Collection. On display are ethnographic artifacts, historical photographs, manuscripts, folk music recordings, and films, making this collection the largest private collection on traditional Hungarian folk culture in Hungary.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: Putting the theory of our morning lecture into practice, we will embark on a journey through different homes in Budapest to talk informally with family members and see how they live. If you wish, you may bring a small gift to the family you visit, perhaps something that is representative of where you live. Please note that this is not required.

DAY
13
Jewish History Walk
Budapest
B,L,D
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Jewish history walk (1.5 hours). Budapest has the largest Jewish community in Central Europe and today we will explore their former district. On our morning field trip, we will pass synagogues, memorial statues and historic buildings as we learn about their past and present.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy at your leisure. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: Enjoy an evening concert and lecture. Three musicians will explain and play very old, traditional Hungarian instruments. Learn about the origin of Hungarian music, and the different territories the music comes from.

DAY
14
Kecskemét, Ócsa
Budapest
B,L
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Take an expert-led excursion to the Great Plain, the most typical Hungarian landscape. Visit the Kodály Institute and learn about Zoltán Kodály's music and teaching method. Then see the pretty art-nouveau buildings in Kecskemét during a walking excursion in the city center.

Lunch: Enjoy a country-style lunch at a local restaurant in Kecskemét, the regional center of the area.

Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon in the small town of Ócsa, where you will visit the 13th century church, village museum and village center. The town of Ócsa is a wonderful reflection of traditional rural life.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Group Discussion, Free Time
Budapest
B,D
Hotel Benczur

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Informal group discussion with local experts.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy at your leisure. Perhaps you would like to go to the spa, or visit a museum.

Dinner: Farewell buffet dinner on a river cruise on the Danube. Enjoy a hot hearty soup and a selection of cold meats, salads, desserts, fruits, and a glass of wine or beer.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Departures
Budapest
B

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room or take a packed breakfast to go.

Morning: Transfers to the Budapest Liszt Ferenc airport (BUD) for departures. This concludes our program. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures.






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