Europe’s Imperial Cities – Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Prague, Budapest and Vienna. These imperial cities are architecturally magnificent, each with rich and distinct heritages of art, history and culture. On this very special tour, savour world-class castles, palaces, cathedrals and museums, then return home having enjoyed some unique experiences.
On the banks of the lazy Vltava river, the ancient Bohemian capital is a maze of treasures. Wander the winding streets past ancient chapels and cute cafes. The skyline is a canvas of spires and domes, all watched over by Prague’s spectacular castle. Inside the castle complex is Golden Lane, a storybook street of tiny dwellings. This quaint lane is a must-see, especially as Franz Kafka lived in number 22. Prague is a wonderful city to relax with a beer as horses trot by pulling carriages. Sip a beer as a procession of apostles will emerge from the oldest operational astronomical clock in the world each hour.
A city full of spectacular and eclectic architecture, Budapest is simply stunning. Exuding grandeur and with a collection of fascinating monuments, visiting Budapest is a necessity. After exploring the city, perhaps take the historic funicular to ascend Castle Hill. There you can potter the cobbled streets of colourful buildings and enjoy spectacular views of Budapest. The Hungarian capital has an abundance of hot springs, therefore visiting thermal bathhouses is a popular pastime.
Vienna is an especially beautiful city. With an air of elegance, Vienna is flooded with history but has a contemporary edge. Home to music, cafes, waltzes, parks, pastries and wine, it begs to be explored. Enjoy famous sights such as St Stephen’s Cathedral, State Opera House, Museum Quarter, Hofburg Palace, Parliament, City Hall, Burgtheater, Prater Park and its famous Ferris wheel. Embrace the cafe culture and watch the world go by while indulging in delicious desserts.
Dates throughout 2023
Travel to Prague
Take a short sea crossing to Calais and travel through France and Germany making 2 overnight stops before arriving in Prague on day 3.
Straddling the River Vltava, the ‘Golden City’ of Prague is unlike anywhere else in Europe. The old town is a maze of cobbled lanes, hidden courtyards and glimpses of hidden gems. Take a guided walking tour and discover the city’s stories and the secrets. Overlooking everything is Hradcany Castle and St Vitus Cathedral, high up on their hilltop. Charles Bridge, always busy with tourists, provides the link from the Old Town Square, home to the city’s famous Astronomical Clock. Watch the world go by with a locally-brewed beer in bustling Wenceslas Square, the heart of the modern city centre.
Bratislava and Budapest
Today we drive south east, via the Czech city of Brno. Crossing into Slovakia we stop in the capital, Bratislava, before following the valley of the River Danube to Budapest, where we stay for two nights.
Budapest is a fascinating city of two halves. In the medieval old town Buda, high on the hill overlooking the mighty Danube, you’ll find the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and cobbled streets. A delightfully quaint funicular makes it easy to reach the top. On the opposite bank of the river lies Pest, a treasure trove of architecture and design, vibrant and lively, with museums rich in cultural and historical treasures. Sitting on the banks of the Danube is the famous, majestic, domed Parliament building, considered one of the most magnificent in the world, and don’t miss St. Stephen’s Basilica, the State Opera House and the imposing Heroes Square. Daytime and evening river cruises on the Danube can be arranged.
Travel to Vienna
Today we head to Vienna, following the ‘Danube Bend’, one of the most beautiful stretches of the river. We travel via Esztergom with its spectacular basilica, and Győr, known as the ‘town of rivers’ with an historic Old Town full of Baroque mansions and churches. We cross into Austria and arrive in Vienna, our base for three nights.
With a musical heritage that includes composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Johann Strauss (father and son), Brahms and Mahler, among countless others, it’s little surprise that Vienna is known as the ‘City of Music’. Add in the remarkable Schonbrunn Palace, St. Charles Church, Parliament, The State Opera House, the Spanish Riding School, Prater Park and its famous giant ferris wheel, and Hofburg, the home of the Vienna Boys Choir, and you have all the ingredients for two days of magical exploration. Perhaps take a guided walking tour of the main sights to set the scene. An optional half day excursion takes you to Helligenkreuz Abbey and the hunting mansion of Mayerling.
Return to the UK
We leave Vienna and begin our journey back to the UK, making two overnight stops en route.
Holiday Inn Congress Centre Prague ****
This centrally located hotel is a 6-minute walk from Vyšehrad transit station. Rooms feature minibars, free Wi-Fi, TVs, and tea and coffee making equipment. There is also a restaurant with a summer terrace overlooking a garden. Other amenities include a cafe and a bar.
Mercure Budapest Korona ****
Located a 2-minute walk from Kálvin Tér metro station, this hotel has an international restaurant, and a casual bar. There’s also a spa area with an indoor pool and a sauna. Rooms feature Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minibars, and tea and coffee making facilities
City Hotel Stockerau ****
Located on the edge of the Weinviertel, in the heart of the festival city of Stockerau, this family-run hotel is only a 15-minute drive from Vienna. Guest rooms offer you a quiet relaxing atmosphere and some feature balconies.
Ibis Praha Old Town, Prague ***
Located in the heart of Prague, just 100 yards from the old town and surrounded by restaurants, boutiques and cafes. All rooms provide air conditioning, Wi-Fi and a work desk. Coach parking is available around 15 minutes away from the hotel.
Danubius Astoria Hotel ****
Inspected by Greatdays staff in February 2018
Situated in the centre of Budapest close to the metro, Astoria is a traditional hotel. The rooms are elegant with antique style furniture and have minibar, safe, TV, telephone, air conditioning and hairdryer.
Mercure Wien Westbahnhof ****
The hotel is situated next to the City West train station with many shops nearby. The hotel features a lobby, bar and sauna. The rooms are equipped with TV, telephone, fridge and hairdryer.
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|Dates||Half twin||Single Supplement|
|Dates throughout 2023||From £695.00 per person||From £312.00 per person|