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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 15596RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
3,629
Flights start at
1,150
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16 days
15 nights
39 meals
14 B 12 L 13 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Prague, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Prague
D
Angelo Hotel Prague

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 hotel dining room. Unless otherwise noted, dinners on this program are typically a three-course 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 by Historical Tramway, Dinner Cruise
Prague
B,L,D
Angelo Hotel Prague

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: The program begins with an introduction to Prague and the Czech Republic. Then attend a discussion and lecture on the history of the Czech Republic. Follow the Czech Republic's timeline from communism to freedom and democracy. Special attention will be given to Czech / Slovak relations.

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

Afternoon: Expert-led excursion of Prague by historical tramway, passing the embankments of the Vltava River, Charles Bridge, National Theatre, Lesser Town and Wenceslas Square. (Guided transfers to/from tramway by coach.)

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Prague Old Town
Prague
B,L,D
Angelo Hotel Prague

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Expert-led visit to the backstage of the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Expert-led field trip to Old Town. Witness the historical center of Prague on a bus transfer to Paris Street (Parizska Street) with its elegant boulevard and Art Nouveau houses. Take a leisurely walk down Paris Street, and then past the area of the former Jewish Ghetto to the 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. Transfer back to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: Free evening to attend a cultural event on your own if you wish. The program staff will provide ticket and transfer information when you are on the program.

DAY
5
Hradcany Castle
Prague
B,L,D
Angelo Hotel Prague

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Discussion and lecture on Prague's architecture. Learn about the important architectural styles found throughout Prague, such as; Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Classism, Neo-styles, Art Nouveau and Cubism. Afterward, depart to Hradcany Castle, or Prague Castle, home of Bohemian kings and a textbook of Prague architecture itself!

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

Afternoon: Standing tall amidst the magnificent Hradcany District, Prague Castle is said to be the biggest castle in the world. Let generations of Prague architecture unfold before you as you take a short expert-led walk in the Prague Castle complex. Then enjoy a coffee break in the garden.

Dinner: At a local restaurant next to the hotel. Presentation of Czech cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Brevnov Monastery, Cultural Event
Prague
B,L,D
Angelo Hotel Prague

Breakfast: 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: Free afternoon to explore on your own. Shuttle assistance will be available. 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 dinner and music in the Pearl of Art Nouveau, the Municipal House.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Departure for Bratislava.

Lunch: In Lednice.

Afternoon: Welcome to Bratislava. Arrive at hotel and settle in. We set out on an expert-led coach excursion to 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 excursion through the Old Town we will feel the atmosphere of the capital's elegance and charm.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava
B,L,D
Mercure Bratislava Centrum

Breakfast: 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: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Leisurely walk in the Old Town, and a bus ride to pass by the Main Square, St. Martin's Cathedral and the Church of St. Clare. Take a coffee break in one of the elegant cafes from the times of the Austrian monarchy. Free time to rest and pack for the next day.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Breakfast: 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 pass by some of Vienna's highlights, including the prestigious State Opera, Stephan's Cathedral and the Imperial Palace.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Tata
Budapest
B,L,D
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer by bus to Budapest. En route, stop in the pretty town of Tata.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Tata.

Afternoon: Enjoy a short walk around Tata's castle situated next to the Old Lake, and Eszterházy Palace. Then take a short ride via local train to see the surrounding area. Continue to Budapest by coach and arrive at the hotel in the afternoon.

Dinner: Hotel dining room with an introduction to the program.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Budapest City Excursion
Budapest
B,L,D
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Breakfast: 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led sightseeing excursion as we travel by bus to Buda and Pest, the former separate towns of the now united Budapest. Admire the castle in the district of Buda, a World Heritage Site, as we venture over bridges and avenues to learn about different architectural styles and everyday life in this cosmopolitan city.

Dinner: In the hotel or at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Great Plain, Ócsa
Budapest
B,L
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: An expert-led excursion to the Great Plain, the most typical Hungarian landscape. Enjoy the beauty of 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. Hear about the rural architecture and arts, and experience some crafts.

Lunch: In Ócsa.

Afternoon: Visit one of the 200 underground wine cellars (a national monument) and taste the local wine. Please be prepared to walk down and up from the cellars, on uneven ground. Return to Budapest.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Hungary Today, Free Time, Meeting Local People
Budapest
B,D
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will be presented with a sociology lesson to inform us about how people live in Hungary today. Topics to be covered will include work, education, housing, health, society, politics and other important factors.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Budapest 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. Perhaps you would like to go to the spa, or visit the Main Market Hall.

Dinner: 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
14
Hungarian Music
Budapest
B,L,D
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Learn about Hungarian music during a field trip to the Museum of Music History. The museum is situated in the Castle District of Budapest. Please be prepared to do some extra walking on cobblestones, as well as getting in and out of a taxi.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, followed by a tea party to share experiences from the previous night's home visits.

Afternoon: Free time to enjoy Budapest 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: In the hotel or at a local restaurant.

Evening: Meet local musicians and enjoy a concert.

DAY
15
Group Discussion, Jewish History Excursion
Budapest
B,L,D
Danubius Hotel Astoria

Activity note: For the dinner cruise, please be prepared to walk a short distance on cobblestones, climb 15 stairs without railings, and walk on a ramp to embark the boat. Your program staff will be there to help.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Informal group discussion with local experts.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Budapest has the largest Jewish community in Central Europe. On our afternoon field trip we will visit the beautiful main synagogue (the second largest in the world) and learn about the Jewish community past and present.

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.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Departures
Budapest
B

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

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.