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A journey through the cultural gems of Central Europe, from Bavaria to Budapest

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  • All tours and excursions mentioned in the itinerary
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At a glance

Start your comprehensive cultural journey through the centre of Europe in Bavaria, specifically, Munich.

Before enjoying a tour of the city’s highlights from the National Theatre to the Royal Residence, discover a side to this country’s history which cannot be ignored, with an eye-opening visit to Dachau concentration camp, which served as a model for all later concentration camps during the Holocaust of World War II.

Head over to the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace and the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, for a welcome reminder of the beauty in the world. Finish the day with dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus, where traditional German cuisine is accompanied by live Bavarian music and dance.

You’ll then make your way to Salzburg where you’ll head to Getreidegasse for a visit to Mozart’s birthplace, before a trip to the picture-perfect Lake Hallstatt which is framed by the Alps and decorated by coloured houses and foliage on its shores.

Enjoy an evening dinner and Mozart concert in the Baroque hall of St. Peter Stiftskeller before heading to Vienna the following day where you shall discover Austria’s beautiful capital on a private city tour. You’ll also enjoy a Danube Valley tour where you’ll visit medieval castles and impressive monasteries nestled in the spectacular landscape before heading to Budapest.

Delve into a tour of Hungary’s essential cultural highlights such as the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Jewish Quarter, the Matthias Church and the Parliament building. Finish this jam-packed journey with a Danube excursion taking you to the lesser-known, but equally mesmerising towns of  Esztergom, Visegrád and Szentendre.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1- 4

Munich

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Airside departure assistance

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel

Accommodation in Munich

Dachau concentration camp Dachau concentration camp

On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a 'school of violence' for the SS, under whose command it stood. In the 12 years of its existence, over 200,000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidiary camps. 41,500 were murdered. On April 29, 1945, American troops liberated the survivours. The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau.

The Bavarian state government provided financial support, and between 1996 and 2003, a new exhibition on the history of the Dachau concentration camp was created, following the leitmotif of the 'Path of the Prisoners'. Included is a private visit of the memorial Dachau and the chance to watch the documentary 'The Dachau Concentration Camp'.

Munich highlights tour Munich highlights tour

You will see the old town district and attractions like the Old and New Art Gallery (Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek), the National Theatre and the Royal Residence, the Marienplatz Square with the Old and New town Hall and the Mariensäule Column, the church of Saint Peter and the famous Viktualienmarkt Square with its fine food stands.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Garmisch-Partenkirchen

En route to Neuschwanstein castle, you shall visit Oberammergau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, picturesque towns in a typical fascinating Bavarian scenery. The citizens of Oberammergau have a long tradition of painting frescoes on their houses, some depict scenes from “Hansel and Gretel,” “Little Red Riding Hood” (at Ettaler Strasse 48 and 41, respectively) and other fairy tales, while others depict beer hall joviality and other typical snippets from Bavarian life. Meanwhile Garmisch-Partenkirchen has so much Bavarian charm and enjoys incredible natural surroundings. There are lots of outdoor adventures to experience in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, both in winter and in summer. A true paradise for nature lovers, a blissful retreat for connoisseurs. Outdoor activities at the foot of the highest mountain in Germany have their own unique charm. Hike through the gorgeous mountain landscape, ski down well-groomed slopes, immerse yourself in the crystal-clear mountain lakes or go snowshoe hiking in remote areas.

Neuschwanstein Castle Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was
opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.

Dinner at Hofbräuhaus Dinner at Hofbräuhaus

Enjoy a dinner at famous Hofbräuhaus, where cuisine is accompanied by live Bavarian music and dances in the festival hall. Taste its renowned self-brewed "Hofbräuhaus" beer with its refreshing, bitter flavor and its typical Weisswurst veal sausages. The Hofbräuhaus is a symbol of Munich’s hospitality and the Bavarian gift for creating a snug and cozy atmosphere. Beer lovers from all over the world come here to enjoy its famous beers. More than any other, the Hofbräu Original embodies the special atmosphere of the beer-making capital of Munich.

Transfer to Salzburg via Lake Chiemse Transfer to Salzburg via Lake Chiemse

On your way to Salzburg, you'll enjoy a boat ride upon Lake Chiemsee as well as a visit to Herrenchiemsee Palace. The Lake is like a delightful painting, where islands and mountains reflect perfectly in the pristine waters below. Here, let yourself by carried away on a steam ship to the picturesque islands, over to Herrenchiemsee Palace. Affectionately referred to as the 'Bavarian Sea', Chiemsee is Bavaria's largest lake, covering an area of 80 square kilometres.

Stopping at Herrenchiemsee Island, here you'll enjoy a horse and carriage ride to discover the castle facade which is an identical copy of the Palace of Versailles followed by an interior visit. /p>

Days 4 - 7

Salzburg

Accommodation in Salzburg

Mozart House Mozart House

One certain house in the Getreidegasse always draws particular attention: No. 9, the house in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. Salzburg's most famous son came into this world on 27 January 1756 and he spent his childhood and much of his youth there. In 1773, the family moved to the house we know today as the 'Mozart Residence', standing on Makartplatz Square.

Sound of Music tour Sound of Music tour

Salzburg’s most popular tour for over 35 years, this is a combination of both historical city spots and breathtaking lakes and mountain areas. Start with a trip to the Mirabell Gardens, which is shown in many scenes where Maria and the children were seen dancing around the statue of Pegasus, the winged horse, as they pranced around the gardens singing “Do-Re-Mi”. You will also visit The Gazebo/Hellbrunn Palace where Rolf and Liesl sang “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and Maria and the Baron sang “Something Good”. Next up is the Palace of Leopoldskron the historical 18th Century palace where the boating scene took place, the terrace was also where the family drank ‘Pink Lemonade’ with the Baroness Schröder plus many other scenes were filmed here. The tour will also take you to Nonnberg Abbey, Lake Wolfgang, the village of St Gilgen, and the Church of Mondsee: The Sound of Music Wedding Church.

hallstatt-town-austria
Lake Hallstatt Lake Hallstatt

The houses along the shores of Lake Hallstatt are seemingly stacked one on top of another in such a picturesque fashion, that there is replica of Hallstatt found in China. In this small town, time seems to have stood still for the many historically listed houses are lovingly maintained and preserved. One unique tradition of the region is the painted human skulls, which can be viewed in the charnel house. The adjacent Catholic parish church and its winged altar are also well worth seeing. Those looking for a bit of excitement and wanting to enjoy the breath-taking Alpine panorama of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt should visit the ‘World Heritage Skywalk’ which hovers 350 meters above the roofs of Hallstatt.

Evening dinner and Mozart concert at St. Peter Stiftskeller Evening dinner and Mozart concert at St. Peter Stiftskeller

There is hardly a letter from Mozart or one of his operas in which food is not mentioned which is reason enough to hear Mozart's wonderful and unique music accompanied by exquisite culinary specialties. Enjoy an evening reminiscent of one from 1790 in the Baroque hall of St. Peter Stiftskeller, lit by candles, alongside a dinner based on historical recipes, listening to a concert with musicians in authentic costumes and the mind blowing music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Transfer to Vienna via Artstetten Transfer to Vienna via Artstetten

En route to Vienna, enjoy a stop over at Artstetten, where you will visit the Imperial Castle which was used as family and summer residence by the imperial family and is the final resting place for Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg, the current resident's Countess Alix `Harambure-Fraye great-grandparents. Both were victims of the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914. Come and see the family crypt, get your private reception with a member of the family and listen to their stories. Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine with one of the family members.

Days 7 - 10

Vienna

Accommodation in Vienna

Vienna city tour Vienna city tour

Vienna is famous for its many cultural events, classical concerts, imperial architecture, coffee houses, cosy wine taverns, and very special Viennese charm. Discover Austria's beautiful capital on a private city tour, visiting St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the most important Gothic structures of Austria, as well as the Mozart house, where W.A. Mozart spent the happiest years of his life, penning perhaps his most popular opera "The Marriage of Figaro". Following on from this, you'll enjoy a coffee break in one of Vienna's renowned traditional cafés with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. Then you shall visit the most significant historical sights of Vienna, such as the Ringstrasse with its numerous magnificent buildings, e.g. MAK, State Opera, Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural History as well as a interior visit of the Upper Belvedere Palace's Austrian Collection.

Danube Valley Excursion Danube Valley Excursion

This day trip takes you from Vienna to the Wachau, a picturesque valley along the Danube, known for its excellent wine. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and here you'll see many medieval castles, impressive monasteries and a breathtaking landscape. Through this romantic scenery full of history and legends the Danube winds its way past charming old villages and steep vineyards. The old castles tell us about the former importance of this trade and traffic-way, one of them - Dürnstein - is especially famous, because here King Richard Lionheart was imprisoned, while waiting for his ransom to arrive from England, raised by his faithful Minstrel Blondel. During an enchanting boat trip on the Danube (Melk-Dürnstein) the history comes alive. The heart of the Wachau is the old wine-merchants’ town Krems. To complete this day of highlights you will visit Melk, the “Cradle of Austria“, the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, a pearl of the Austrian Baroque.

spanish-riding-school-vienna-austria
The Spanish Riding School experience The Spanish Riding School experience

Enjoy a cocktail (or alternative beverage) in the reception room along with a an introduction to the history of the Spanish Riding School, followed by a rehearsal performance.

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills (haute école) has been preserved and is still practiced in its original form. Here you shall be treated to an unforgettable experience by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses, which move in perfect harmony with the music. The Spanish Riding School and its world-famous Lipizzaners offers the highest standard of horse-riding art in the Baroque ambiance of the Imperial Palace.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

First class Railjet train transfer to Budapest

Days 10 - 13

Budapest

Accommodation in Budapest

Budapest's Jewish Quarter Budapest's Jewish Quarter

Enjoy a walking tour of Jewish Budapest, once the largest Jewish community in Eastern Europe. The Jewish quarter is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list of sights and this tour will show you not only the religious traditions but also other cultural contributions and Hungarian history. Explore the largest synagogue in Europe (Dohany), which leads through the cemetery and the memorial garden, as well as other precious places
of worship and leads your attention to hidden Jewish symbols across the neighborhood. Look for faded names of former Jewish stores, Jewish symbols and menorah decorations on balconies.

Matthias Church Matthias Church

Visit the Roman Catholic Matthias Church, located in the heart of Budapest's Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015. Although no archaeological remains exist. The church hosted several coronation ceremonies, royal weddings and baptisms and witnessed many turbulent events of the country.

Fishermen's Bastion Fishermen's Bastion

Fishermen's Bastion is renowned as one of the top attractions in this charming city. The lookout towers and the decorative fortifications were built in the 19th century to serve as a lookout tower for the best panoramic views in Budapest.

Great Market Hall Great Market Hall

Visit the Great Market Hall and taste some great Hungarian cuisine. You can get all sorts of goods on the three floors of the Great Market Hall, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fantastic salamis, pickles, fresh fish, Hungarian paprika, Tokaj wines, various souvenirs, and even home style meals. If you are merely feeling peckish, there is an abundance of Hungarian snacks such as Langos, found in the upper floor food stands and eateries. If you love fresh goods, people watching, shopping, or just sightseeing in amazing places, you will love the Great Market Hall.

Budapest Parliament Budapest Parliament

Over in Pest you’ll find the Gothic revival-style Parliament building perched on the edge of the Danube. This is Europe's largest Parliamentary building, and it houses one of Hungary’s greatest treasure: the Holy Crown of St Stephen. As the millennial celebrations of 1896 approached, the nation's demand for representation channeled the conception of a unique Parliament building. The Palace of Westminster in part inspired the design, but a well-known Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, laid out the plans in their entirety. The building stretches 268 meters in its length, along the Danube embankment. Ornamented with white neo-gothic turrets and arches, it forms the most outstanding landmark of the Pest side horizon. Statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders decorate the outer walls. The unique interior design includes huge halls, over 12,5 miles of corridors, a 96-meter high central dome, and 691 rooms.

Tour of Esztergom Tour of Esztergom

Visit the industrial town of Esztergom, the capital of medieval Hungary, found by the Danube outside of Budapest. The settlement was the capital of Hungary from foundation of the state until 1301, and home of the Roman Catholic church in Hungary. In Esztergom you visit the Basilica, the largest one in Europe, and Hungary’s highest building. Built between 1822 and 1856, it is beautifully renovated, with a rich treasury of ecclesiastical art.

Visegrád Visegrád

Visit Visegrád, a town fortified in the middle ages and guarding the important trade route along the Danube, which is dominated by the Citadel on the highest mountaintop. Here you visit the Citadel featuring a historical exhibition about the fortress and of the Holy Crown.

Szentendre Szentendre

Head to Szentendre, a Mediterranean artists’ town just 20km of Budapest founded by Serbs that became a thriving little village of galleries, ateliers, museums. Szentendre is also called the 'town of churches' as it is home to a dozen spires of various denominations, from Greek Orthodox to Catholic. It is also home to a wealth of Museums and a nice walking and shopping street, as well as a promenade by the riverside. Entrances to the Marzipan museum is included on this tour and from Szentendre, you will return to Budapest by a scheduled boat.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the airport

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