Highlights of Central Europe tour
Description of Highlights of Central Europe tour
This journey through Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary reveals the incredible highlights to be enjoyed at the heart of mainland Europe. From the beauty and bustle of Munich to the sleekness of Vienna, and from the architectural triumphs of Prague to the contrasting twin cities of Budapest, see how history, folklore and tradition weave into the fabric of modern life.
You'll visit centuries-old castles, discover lush greenery in urban jungles, be ravished by Bohemian fairytale towns, marvel at European art masterpieces and sip wine splashed with romance in atmospheric underground cellars – perhaps with a helping of jazz.
After a quick dip into the Bavarian capital of Munich, cross into the Czech Republic to Prague. This lively historic capital is full of contrasting sights - the poignant old Jewish quarter, a fascinating Museum of Communism, the majestic Prague Castle or the famous St Vitus Cathedral. Add excellent restaurants and great bars! There are also some excellent free time options, from a cycle tour of the city to a day trip to explore the wider region of Bohemia.
The next day discover the Czech jewel that is Cesky Krumlov – a 13th century fairytale town tucked into a bend of the Vltava River, overlooked by one of Europe's most beautiful castles. Be sure to visit its unique historic theatre, and also discover the town's links to the artist Egon Schiele.
Your next beautiful capital is Vienna, where you can visit Empress Maria Theresa's gorgeous Summer Palace and gardens, take a spin on the city's famous Prater Ferris Wheel, or practice your canter at the Spanish Riding School! And be sure to take time in one of the city's renowned cafes.
Heading into Hungary, you'll arrive in Budapest – another strikingly beautiful but distinctive capital that has been undergoing a renaissance in recent years, with fabulous new restaurants and characterful 'ruin bars' popping up in newly hip neighbourhoods. Its grand architecture and boulevards evoke a bygone era in a city split by the Danube into two contrasting halves of Buda and Pest. Don't miss a chance to relax at the end of your trip with a soak – and perhaps a game of chess - in Budapest's renowned thermal baths.
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PlanetAs one of our comfort trips, you’ll enjoy real hassle-free travel. Whilst experiencing a couple of bumps along the way is no big deal, it’s fine to prefer a smoother ride. That’s why we sometimes use private transport and taxis to get you from A to B.
We still use public transport where possible though, including bus, tram, Metro and train, which means a journey from Vienna to Budapest is not only more environmentally friendly but great fun too! Also, by choosing something like a cycling trip around the small medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, we’re having a lesser impact than those visiting such places on big tour buses. Small things we do when we visit a place can make a big difference to the local people.
Waste in general is an issue we’re all aware of. As we specialise in small group travel, we choose to travel Central Europe in groups of no more than 12 people (9-10 on average). This way our impact on our destination is minimal, as is the waste we produce and leave behind. In addition, we realised that plastic is not so fantastic and therefore we give out canvas bags to our all travellers at the start of each departure. We encourage the use of these bags every day – wherever you’re going. Whether it’s to shop for souvenirs and snacks or simply to carry around your daily essentials.
Another great way to reduce the use of plastic is to carry a refillable water bottle. These days reusable bottles are available everywhere and while traveling Central Europe refilling them is never a problem because the tap water is safe to drink.
As a company we aim to contribute to the environmental preservation of the destinations we visit and to reduce any negative impacts our operations may have. This translates to actions such as using local transport where safe to do so in order to reduce emissions, observing all national and marine park visitor rules and operating a ‘take in, take back out’ waste management system, to name but a few examples. Through our inhouse foundation we also invest money into environmental initiatives that benefit the planet, including restoring kelp forests to help reverse the effects of global warming and protecting endangered species such as sea turtles and elephants.
PeopleEuropean capitals like Prague, Budapest and Vienna see large numbers of tourists every day. On the one hand it’s an important income generator for the local economy, but we also need to remember that the local people may get tired of their neighbourhoods being flooded with visitors. We need to acknowledge that in these world-famous destinations many ordinary people are going about their daily lives.
By limiting our group sizes, we’re minimising our impact on this. We also choose to shop in the local markets, teaching our clients basic words and phrases in each local language and educating them about local customs. This shows we’re respectful of and grateful to the communities we visit.
When visiting all these places we also want the local communities to benefit. In that respect, we avoid big hotel chains and instead opt to stay in charming, often family-owned accommodation. We also have great local knowledge and therefore you can expect our leaders to suggest small, off the beaten track restaurants for lunch or bars for an evening drink. It is a great way to support local businesses and the best way to try some of the authentic local products. In the same way, when we go for a sightseeing walk in Vienna or to discover mighty Prague Castle, if we decide to catch a taxi, our leader is most likely going to call someone who he/she knows. This may sound like a small thing, but to our friends and neighbours it may make a considerable difference.
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