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On this holiday discover the historic European capital cities of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague and travel between them by a combination of rail and road. In Mikulov see the Jewish Cemetery and enjoy a wine tasting.
Explore Tour Leader
6 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our adventure begins in the Hungary's capital city, Budapest, where we spend the night. Situated on a beautiful stretch of the Danube River, the city consists of two parts: Buda and Pest. Buda is the older, more graceful part, with cobbled streets and medieval buildings, whilst the latter is the modern business centre.
For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 4:30pm for the welcome meeting and, utilising local transport, they will to take us on an orientation walking tour of the main sights of this impressive city. We'll see the Basilica of Saint Stephen and the Parliament buildings before crossing the Chain Bridge to the Castle District and Watertown. Here lie Buda's most ancient gems - Castle Hill with the Old Town, Fisherman's Bastion and the Royal Palace. After the tour for those that wish there will be the chance to go for dinner.
If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Budapest Airport (BUD).
There is a lot to see and do in Budapest; if you can spare the time, we suggest arriving a day early to make the most of this fascinating city. Alternatively, you could consider combining this holiday with the Krakow to Budapest Adventure to make a two-week holiday.
Please note that if you wish to join the orientation tour today, you must arrive at the hotel by 4.30pm. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least one hour to clear the airport. It's around 45 minutes' drive from the airport to the hotel, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 2.30pm. Should you miss the meeting, your Leader will leave you information giving the meeting time for the next day in the hotel reception and will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
Hotel Papillon (or similar)
After the journey from Budapest we will spend a nice leisurely afternoon in historical Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. It used to be the capital of the former Hungarian Kingdom and was known as 'Pressburg' and went through tough times at war with the Ottoman Empire. We will walk through the Old Town's maze of pretty Medieval streets and squares surrounded by numerous cafes and trendy bistros. We pass by Michael's Gate which is the only remaining old entrance to the city, the pretty Main Square, Neoclassical Primate's Palace and Cathedral of Saint Martin. After the walk you can continue your discovery by visiting one of the oldest castles in Slovakia or by enjoying a birds eye view from city's most famous landmark, the so-called UFO bridge, which affords views over the 'panelaky' typical communist era blocks of flats and various other fairly radical urban projects.
Hotel Matysak (or similar)
This morning we take a short train ride (about 1 hour) to Austria's capital, Vienna, where we enjoy a walking tour of the Old City with a local guide. This should offer a good initial overview of the history and the structure of the city. Sights during the walk will include the Karlsplatz, Heroes Square, Hofburg (Imperial Palace Complex), Imperial Treasury, National Library, Spanish Riding School, Vienna's ancient housing estates, Saint Stephens Church and the Opera. We won't have time to enter any of these places on our tour but afterwards you will be free to return to visit any that you wish. You can choose to return to Bratislava by train at your leisure (we will provide a return ticket) or you may prefer to book a boat trip back along the Danube River (taking approximately 2 hours).
We start our day with a train trip (taking around 1 hour), followed by a short bus journey to the beautiful town of Mikulov. Filled with history embodied in architectural monuments, this small town offers something for everyone. Situated in the very heart of the wine region, it has plenty of walking paths with local and family run wine cellars or wine tasting centres along the way. En route to Mikulov we stop at Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe and here we will take a walk around the castle park of Chateau Lednice.
In the afternoon we visit the Jewish Cemetery in Mikulov with centuries old tombs and it is the final resting place of many prominent rabbis. Following our visit we'll enjoy a wine tasting of Mikulov's local produce.
Hotel Galant (or similar)
A train journey takes us to our final destination of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. Our train travel today will involve a change of trains and take approximately 4.5 hours in total. Twelve centuries have adorned it with a labyrinth of old streets and wonderful palaces and bridges. We enjoy a guided city tour, which will take in some of the main highlights including the Old Town Square and City Hall, set amid antique houses and arcades. Other sites include the Astronomical Clock, Powder Tower and Prague Ghetto, which includes the Jewish Cemetery and Synagogues. We also see Charles Bridge, the most handsome bridge over the Vltava River and the area of Hradcany which contains the castle of the Bohemian Kings.
Hotel Lunik (or similar)
On our second day in Prague you are free to enjoy the city at your leisure. You may wish to head by local train to the 700 year old Konopiste Castle. The castle was once owned by Archduke Ferdinand, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered the start of World War I. A boat trip on the Vltava River is another possibility. There are also many classical music concerts to be found. If the timing is right, you may be lucky to see a performance in one of the old atmospheric churches. There the option of visiting the Bunker Museum, where a range of Cold War relics are on display from an age when paranoia and spying was at an all-time high, which is housed in a former communist bunker underneath the city.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Prague.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Prague at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Prague Airport (PRG).
The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Most rain falls during the summer. The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position.
2 Pin Round
Summer days are generally quite hot and sunny with usually between 9-10 hours of sunshine daily. Winter days are usually quite windy and temperatures are regularly around or just below freezing. Night time temperatures can drop quite low in the hills whilst most rain falls in spring and early summer. Sudden rain showers can, however, occur at any time of the year.
Summers are short in the mountains. July to August is the hottest period, when daytime temperatures average 20-22°C, though it may be much cooler in the early morning or late evening. During the winter, snow and ice is not uncommon, with snow generally starting in December and continuing to early February. Mountain weather is notoriously changeable and it can be cold at any time of year, so be prepared.. Early July is the best time for flowers.
Vienna: Spanish Riding School performance tickets £22.00 per person. This optional is subject to availability and performances may sell out. We recommend booking tickets in advance through the official website, from 1pm onwards on the day you are visiting Vienna - https://www.srs.at/en/tickets-events/ Prague: Theatre tickets £5.00 to £60.00 or concert tickets £15.00 to £70.00 per person. Train to Konopiste £3.00 and a guided tour of Konopiste Castle £8.00 per person. Boat trip on Vltava River including dinner £20.00 per person. Also allow about £10.00 for various museum and site entrance fees during the trip.
Summers can be hot so pack cottons and light weight clothing with warmer layers for the evenings and a rain jacket, just in case. Medium weights in spring and autumn are recommended along with a windproof and waterproof jacket. If you are travelling in winter then wrap up warmly - layers work best including a hat, gloves and scarf.
Comfortable trainers or sandals for city sightseeing and relaxing. If you're travelling in winter then bring good non-slip footwear as the cobbled streets can be slippery underfoot when they're wet or icy.
One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
This trip is at a full on pace, including several train journeys with shorts walks and/or stairs between platforms, stations and accommodation, so for this reason please take care to make sure you can comfortably carry your own luggage throughout the trip.
Bring a water bottle, a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses and a torch just in case of emergencies. Don't forget your camera.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Slovakia: Visas are not required by UK, US, Canadian, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Austria: Visas are not required by UK, US, Canadian, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Hungary: Visas are not required by UK, US, Canadian, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Czech Republic: Visas are not required by EU, Canadian, US, Australia, New Zealand and Japanese citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Please note that you should carry your passport with you at all times when in Czech Republic for identification purposes as police officers may fine or arrest you if you fail to do so.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
This trip is designed to acquaint you with the highlights of four fascinating countries in 7 days. There's so much to enjoy and a lot of ground to cover, so please be prepared for the busy nature of this enthralling and varied holiday.
Nothing compulsory but we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Tickborne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.