Day 1: Australia – – Frankfurt
Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and board your international flight that takes you to Frankfurt in Germany.
Day 2: Frankfurt
Your flight lands in Frankfurt and a transfer collects you from the airport and takes you to the hotel for check in. This sprawling metropolis is the largest city in Hesse. Meet up with your Tour Director upon dropping your bags in your room and head out into the city for an orientation tour. This outing takes you around Frankfurt’s financial centre and into the medieval Römerberg. The Römerberg is a historical market and public square, and is located in the heart of the Frankfurt’s Old Town. It is also the location of the Römer, a 15th-century city hall whose medieval façade was restored following damage sustained during World War II.
Day 3: Frankfurt – Berlin (B)
Swap one of Germany’s most cosmopolitan cities for another as you leave Frankfurt and set out for Berlin. The German capital city wears many hats: it is bold and edgy, modern and boundary-pushing, steeped in history and tradition. The magnetism of Berlin appeals to all travellers, no matter if it is design, cuisine or culture you seek. You have free time to explore this diverse destination upon arrival and checking into the hotel.
Optional: Berlin by Twilight with Dinner
Spend your first evening in the German capital with an evening of hearty cuisine, wine and beer and traditional music on this experience, which follows a drive around the city to see its sights at sun down. Additional cost applies.
Day 4: Berlin (B)
Gain understanding into how Berlin has become the city it is today on this morning’s orientation, led by a local guide. This trip will take you to some of the city’s most remarkable locations, including the Reichstag, Berlin State Opera, Tiergarten, Unter den Linden and Brandenburg Gate. You have free time afterwards to explore Berlin however you like, whether you head to one of the world-class museums, sights such as the Berlin Wall or Checkpoint Charlie, or to eateries offering platefuls of traditional German cuisine.
Optional: Berlin’s Secret Past Revealed
This guided city tour is led by a local expert and touches on sights such as the Holocaust Memorial, remaining points of the Berlin Wall, the Checkpoint Charlie site, and other locations around the city associated with World War II and the Cold War. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Traditional Lake District Dinner
A scenic drive takes you to the outskirts of Berlin; an area once designated as royal hunting grounds. Head to a chalet-style restaurant for a sumptuous dinner of German specialities. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Berlin – Poznan – Warsaw (B, D)
Say ‘auf wiedersehen’ to Germany as the tour crosses into Poland. The first stop of the day is Poznan, the historical capital of Poland and the city where nation of Poland was first established. Meander its lively market square and see the town hall – take note of the hall’s clock, topped with an iron depiction of two goats locked in battle. Continue to Warsaw, the current capital of Poland.
Day 6: Warsaw (B)
A local expert is your guide into Warsaw’s past and present this morning. This sightseeing tour encompasses St. John’s Archcathedral, the Royal Castle in the Old Town, and the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, infamous for the role it played during World War II.
Optional: Wilanow Palace
Visit the former summer home of King Jan Sobieski Iii. This magnificent Baroque pile was built in the late 17th century, and today houses a grand collection of furniture, portraits and china. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Warsaw Five Senses tour
Head slightly off the well-trod tourist trail by discovering Praga, one of Warsaw’s coolest neighbourhoods. Tour its Vodka Museum (the first of its kind in Poland), and also get to sample a range of Polish delicacies in between nips. This is followed by a scenic drive through the city. Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Warsaw – Czestochowa – Auschwitz – Krakow (B, D)
The tour sets out for Krakow today. Enroute there is a stop in the pilgrimage city of Czestochowa to see the Paulite Monastery at Jasna Gora, known for its shrine to the Virgin Mary and the image of the Black Madonna. The second visit of the day is at Auschwitz. The former concentration camp is a moving reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. Continue to Krakow. This city is known as the cultural and intellectual hub of Poland, and one of its most lively sights is Rynek Glowny (Main Square) in Krakow’s Old Town. Listen out for the hourly drone of the St. Mary’s Trumpet Call. This traditional anthem is played by a trumpeter who occupies the highest tower of the eponymous church. The noon trumpeting is even broadcast across Poland via radio!
Day 8: Krakow (B)
Learn about the folklore behind Krakow’s creation (it involves a dragon and a shoemaker) on this morning’s orientating outing, led by a local guide. See Wawel Castle and hear more about the city’s medieval legacy before having time to wander the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Old Town and wider Krakow with independent exploration.
Optional: Farmhouse Dinner and Polka Party
Take up the opportunity for a night of traditional Polka music and traditional dance, all enjoyed while feasting on a dinner of mouth-watering Polish cuisine. Drinks are included. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Wieliczka Salt Mines Exploration
Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just outside Krakow’s city boundaries, and admire the unique sculptures found at this 800-year-old salt mine. You will also get a glimpse into chambers, chapels and the salt chandeliers as you follow a guide to depths of 135 metres underground. Please note that as this excursion involves reservations and entrance fees, any cancellations incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Day 9: Krakow – Budapest (B)
Navigate the peaks and valleys of the Tatra Mountains (the natural border between Slovakia and Poland) as the tour departs on the journey to Budapest in Hungary. This elegant city occupies both banks of the Danube (one originally called Buda, the other Pest) and today boasts a rich mix of cultural influences – Magyar, Jewish, Slav, German, Turkish and gypsy, all included.
Optional: Danube Cruise with Dinner
Sail along the delightful Danube and take in the landmarks that line both sides of this famous river. Dinner is served aboard and covers a menu of Hungarian specialties (drinks included). This evening experience is a wonderful opportunity to see the city in all of its illuminated glory. Additional cost applies.
Day 10: Budapest (B, D)
A local guide shares the legend behind Budapest’s early days as a city, and also takes you around to see some of the Hungarian capital’s preeminent sights, such as Fisherman’s Bastion, Heroes’ Square and Matthias Church. Head up Gellert Hill to learn about the peak’s namesake, and then enjoy an afternoon of free time.
Optional: Szentendre and Light Lunch
Join a guide to head out of the city centre and to the nearby medieval town of Szentendre. This hamlet is situated on the banks of the Danube and is home to cobbled streets, ancient structures and an abundance of beautiful outlooks. Watch on at a goulash-making demonstration and enjoy a sample of this national dish for lunch (including drinks and dessert). There is an opportunity to shop for embroidery, ceramics and paprika afterwards. Additional cost applies.
Day 11: Budapest – Gyor – Vienna (B)
Bid Budapest goodbye as the tour traverses the hilly landscapes of Transdanubia to Gyor, a city located on one of the most important roads in Central Europe. Gyor marks the halfway point between Budapest and Vienna, and the latter is your destination for today. You arrive in the Austrian capital later in the afternoon, and have free time to begin your discovery of this ever-elegant city as you like.
Optional: Visit to the Hungarian Parliament and Gundel
Fit in one more excursion while in Budapest with a guided tour through the Gothic Revival building that houses the current-day Hungarian Parliament. This ornate building is one of the most notable sites in the city – and one of the most popular to visit with tourists. It is then onto Gundel, a Budapest restaurant dating back to 1894 and known for its pancakes. Past diners at Gundel have including royalty and presidents. Please note that this excursion involves reservations and entrance prepayments, so any cancellations will incur a 50% cancellation fee. If Parliament is closed, a visit to the Opera House will take its place. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Viennese Dinner with Music
Spend your first night in Austria at an atmospheric restaurant, dining on traditional Viennese cuisine and listening to performances by local musicians. Additional cost applies.
Day 12: Vienna (B)
You have this morning as leisure time to wander Vienna’s grand avenues and boulevards however you like. You might choose to visit one of the city’s incredible museums or palaces. Meet up with a local guide later on today for a tour around some of Vienna’s most notable imperial landmarks, including Parliament, Opera House, Hofburg and City Hall. There is free time once again following the tour – perhaps the perfect opportunity to refuel with a coffee and slice of cake at a local bakery.
Optional: Dinner and Viennese Concert
Embrace the melodies of one of Vienna’s hallmarks – classical music – with an evening performance of works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This concert follows a sumptuous dinner with drinks, and guests receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine (juice is also available) during the performance interval. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens
Follow in the footsteps of Austria’s Hapsburg dynasty with a visit to the opulent Schonbrunn Palace. Wander the richly decorated rooms and apartments, and meander the immaculate grounds of the palace gardens. This outing is led by a guide and includes VIP entrance. Additional cost applies.
Day 13: Vienna – Brno – Prague (B, D)
Move from Vienna into the Czech Republic today. Make a stop in Brno, a city whose landscape features a mix of modernist buildings and medieval structures, before arriving in Prague in the afternoon. The capital of the Czech Republic is fondly called the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’ thanks to the towers, turrets and steeples scattered across its cityscape.
Optional: Beautiful Prague by Night
Join a local guide for an evening tour through Prague (conducted in a private vehicle and on foot). See Charles Bridge and wind down with a nightcap in a restaurant located in the Old Town. Additional cost applies.
Day 14: Prague (B)
This morning’s sightseeing tour has you check off Prague’s top landmarks, including Prague Castle, Cathedral of St. Vitus and Old Town Square. Along the way, your guide will offer insight into the history of Prague, including why it was spared from destruction by Hitler during World War II. The afternoon is yours as free time.
Optional: Scenic Vltava Cruise with Lunch
Board a scenic cruise for a trip along the River Vltava and hear tales of local legends, myths and folklore as you sail. A lunch of local cuisine is served aboard. Additional cost applies.
Day 15: Prague – Rothenburg – Frankfurt (B, D)
Follow the Romantic Road back into Bavaria and to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Appreciate the medieval architecture of the Old Town on an orientation tour. Later on, arrive back in Frankfurt and have the afternoon to squeeze in last-minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping. A farewell dinner is your chance to share highlights and stories with your travelling group. Tonight is your final evening of the tour.
Day 16: Frankfurt – – Australia (B)
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and, at the necessary time, take a transfer to the airport. Board your flight to begin your return journey to Australia.
Day 17: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.