Imperial Capital Cities
Low Deposit £50pp
Explore the amazing capital cities of central Europe. Discover the region's rich heritage of art, history and culture, and savour its world-class castles, palaces and museums, from Berlin to Budapest.
Fly to Berlin today then transfer to the 4* Park Inn Alexanderplatz for a two night stay. The next morning you undertake a guided tour of this historic city, taking in such wondrous sights as the famous Brandenburg Gate, the 19th century Reichstag Building, built to house the Imperial Council of the former German Empire, and the ruins of the Wall which once split this city down the middle. The afternoon is at leisure for you to continue exploring Berlin.
You may like to visit the imposing Opera House, home of the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Alternatively, the fantastic Pergamon Museum features a wealth of wonderful exhibits including lifesize replicas of Ishtar Gate and the Altar of Zeus. The museum is located on the UNESCO World Heritage protected Museumsisland.
Perhaps you may like to stroll through Berlin's Old Quarter en route to the impressive Charlottenburg Palace, the largest royal palace in the city and the only remaining from the period of the Hohenzollern family dynasty.
Following a leisurely morning, travel by train to Prague for three nights at the 4* Hotel Diplomat. On Day 4, you are treated to a walking tour of the 'Golden City' of Prague today. Admire the magnificent medieval Charles Bridge and the cobbled Old Town Square, as your local guide leads you around some of the most important and interesting parts of Prague's history. The tour also takes in the city's castle complex, with spectacular views across the city.
Day 5 is at leisure. With many of its historic attractions centrally-located and easily accessible on foot, Prague has plenty to offer. Maybe visit Wenceslas Square, the site of many historic events, including the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, or Josefov, also known as 'the Jewish Quarter.' Located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River, Josefov's history dates back to the 13th century, when it was first used as a Jewish ghetto. Despite its torrid past, the area is filled with stunning Jewish architecture, and makes for a pleasant destination for a scenic afternoon walk.
Take a train to Vienna, Austria's incomparable capital and the former seat of the Hapsburg Empire. On arrival you are treated to a delightful guided tour, seeing the city's imperial architecture lining the famous Ringstrasse, as well as the narrow houses of the idyllic Old Town. You spend two nights here in Vienna, at the 4* Acrotel Wimberger.
Today is free for you to discover more of Vienna. You could visit the Stephansdom, the city's cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is famed for its stunning tiled roof, patterned with brightly coloured chevrons and Viennese eagles, almost resembling a mosaic. From the spire, you can enjoy a superb panorama, soaking in the glory of Vienna.
Travel by rail over the Hungarian border to Budapest. Straddling the Danube, this fantastic capital is one of Europe's finest cities, and is famed for its superb bath houses in Turkish, Art Nouveau and modern styles. You spend three nights here at the 4* Hotel Bristol. The hotel is situated only 5 minutes from Keleti railway station, on a quiet side street adjacent to Rákóczi út - Budapest's main thoroughfare.
On Day 9, you take a guided tour of Budapest, seeing the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Hero's Square. Flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art, this is one of the major squares in Budapest, witnessing many political demonstrations and noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You will also visit St Stephen's Basilica. The basilica took over half a century to complete, partly due to disruption in 1868, when the cathedral's dome collapsed in a storm.
The tour also includes Fishermen's Bastion, which features a neo-Gothic masquerade in a beguiling medieval style, despite only dating back to 1905. Built by architect Frigyes Schulek, its seven gleaming white turrets represent the Magyar tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin towards the end of the 9th century.
Today is free in Budapest; you may wish to visit the famous Szechenyi baths or 'Café New York', widely regarded as one of the most beautiful coffee houses in the World. Tonight, take a fabulous dinner cruise on the Danube, before a coach tour of the sights as they are illuminated against the night sky.
After breakfast today, you transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, where your holiday concludes.
Why not extend your holiday spending seven nights gently cruising home from Budapest on our exclusive 5-Star Danube cruise, Tour Code: DLR19. The price for a seven-night cruise add-on is only £1,475 in a C4 classic stateroom, with upgraded cabins available. Please call for further information.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 16 verified reviews
Well organised and Irene was a very good tour guide and looked after us very well.
Amazing organisation from the moment we arrived to our final departure. Tour led by highly skilled professional, efficient , knowledgeable and effective guide Irene Barlow. Great balance of group activity, (the guided tour on our first day in each city) and then free time to explore individual interests .
Everything well organised down to the last detail. John Grimshaw was an excellent tour manager (host) we were a super group and all got on very well. Obviously we preferred some cities to others, Budapest stood out by a mile but glad to have visited the others. Guides also brilliant, helpful and knowledgeable. The holiday probably had the right balance of guided tours and free time.
Tremendous holiday with very good guides.On the down side we found it stressful getting on and off the trains with our luggage.Some people (not in our party) were occupying our seats which caused a long hold up with our queue which stretched out onto the platform. Although this was not our fault.It might be advisable to tell future groups still waitng to board to get on the train at ANY vacant door then make their way to the booked seats through the train corridors. Also on arriving at one station before we could disembark, people (not in our party) began boarding which caused choas as we tried to disembark with our luggage.Perhaps it might be wise to advise future groups to be ready at the door to disembark BEFORE the train pulls into the station thereby preventing people on the platform from boarding.
Hotel locations were to far out of the main city expetiences
The tour was very well programmed from start to finish. Arranged tours provided good information on each city and there was plenty of time to personally explore the cities on our own. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
The whole package was excellent. It was well lead by our tour guide Bridget. She supplied lots of extra information on things to do and places to go.
Booking process very straightforward and the personal contact before the trip by tour manager was very welcome. Actual trip was very good way of experiencing the cities visited.
Excellent trip to four lovely cities.
We were most impressed by this tour of the 4 cities. A very good mix of conducted tours and free time. We would never have seen half of the sights without the tour guides. It was a bit challenging at times but we had expected that.
See four incredible capitals at the crossroads of Europe