On arrival at Leonardo Václav Havel Airport Prague, you will be met by our local representative in Czech Republic for a brief meet and greet. Later, proceed to your city centre hotel in Prague for check-in.
The capital and largest city of Czech Republic, Prague is one of the leading cultural centres of Europe with a rich and long history. Saved from the vast bombing during the world wars, Prague preserves its historical buildings that were inspired by Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture. It is the favourite haunt of culture enthusiasts who come here to get immersed in its history, music, art and architecture. The Vltava river splits the city into two halves, which remain connected by 18 bridges including the world famous and historic Charles Bridge. What’s more is that the city serves some of the best beer in the world.
Overnight stay at your city-centre hotel in Prague.
SEGV’S RECOMMENDATION – Soak in the glorious views of the city as you float past major city landmarks on a cruise down the Vltava river. Enjoy cool winds rustling through your hair as you stand on the deck seeing the most popular sights of Prague. The Vltava river is the longest river in Czech Republic and flows through the city, bifurcating it into two halves connected by bridges. You can opt for a regular 1hr sightseeing cruise over the river or if you are looking for an even more enchanting experience, opt for a 2 hrs. dinner cruise with live music onboard.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for a city tour of Prague.
During this tour we are going to see all of the most interesting historical sights of Prague such as the Powder Tower, one of the city’s medieval gateways; the National Theatre; and bustling Wenceslas Square, the scene of the protests that marked the 1989 Velvet Revolution. We then enter Prague castle which is one of the largest castles in the world existing since ancient times. It has been the seat of power from where Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors and later presidents have ruled the country. After visiting the Castle, we shall walk down to Charles Bridge. This charming stone arch bridge connects Prague Castle with the old town is decorated with baroque style statues of saints. We shall then visit the bustling Old Town Square. Here you will be amazed by the Astronomical Clock which runs a wonderful procession of the 12 Apostles at the turn of every hour.
Rest of the evening is free for you to explore Prague at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at hotel in Prague.
SEGV’S RECOMMENDATION – In the evening, visit Wenceslas Square. Here, you can enjoy shopping, or a drink at local bar or pub, and even try your luck at a Casino. Wenceslas Square is a lively spot day and night. The most famous Prague pubs and restaurants are located here. The square is decorated by the St Wenceslas Statue and is surrounded by magnificent buildings such as the National Museum. Try the local beer, indulge in people watching while sipping coffee at a small cafe or shop till you drop – Wenceslas Square has something for everyone.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will check-out from the hotel and proceed to Krakow. The drive through the country side is spellbinding, and en-route we will stop at Olomouc for lunch and a casual stroll through its old town.
Olomouc is a beautiful Czech city with a relaxed vibe, great architecture, and picture-perfect sites. We will visit the Old Town area here, where we will enjoy our lunch and see the Holy Trinity Column, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This intricately carved column was built to commemorate the end of the plague that led to widespread destruction all over Europe. Also, check out the town hall built in baroque style, pretty pastel houses, and the fantastic fountains that dot this city.
After lunch, we will continue our drive to Kraków and upon arrival check in at our hotel there.
Kraków is a city in southern Poland that served as the country’s royal capital between 1320 to 1611. Lying on the major trade route between England and Hungary, Kraków developed into an important economic and cultural centre. However, the city lost its sheen once the capital shifted to Warsaw and later became subjugated by the Germans during World War II. The people of Kraków are known for celebrating their excellent cuisine and arts.
Rest of the evening is free for you to explore Kraków at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Krakow.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for a tour of Kraków’s Historic Centre which is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. This region served as the former capital of Poland.
We will begin the tour with a visit to Wawel Royal Castle, Poland’s most important cultural symbol. The principal residence of Polish kings, its magnificent rooms and state halls are decorated with paintings, tapestries, armour and period furniture. Here, we shall also visit the marvellous Wawel Cathedral, where coronation ceremonies, weddings, and funeral ceremonies of Polish kings were held. After the tour of Wawel
castle, we will proceed to Krakow’s Main Square. Built during the 13th century, it is renowned for its vibrant street life and is one of the largest squares made in Medieval Europe. We will visit many interesting sights here, such as the Cloth Hall, the historic trading spot which attracted merchants from faraway places, and the beautiful St Mary’s Basilica with its stunning altarpiece.
After the city tour, we will proceed for an awe-inspiring tour of the famous Wieliczka salt mine. A nine-level deep labyrinth of tunnel and chamber, the mine is one of the oldest industrial production sites in Europe and has been operational since the 13th century. The underground galleries are decorated with lifelike statues and beautiful works of art built from salt. There is even an underground chapel and salt lake inside the mines. This fascinating guided tour helps you uncover the secrets in this mysterious world of salt beneath the ground.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kraków.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will check out from the hotel and proceed to Budapest. We will stop en-route at Banska Stiavnica in Slovakia for lunch and exploration.
One of the most beautiful town’s of Slovakia, Banska Stiavnica, was once the centre of gold and silver mining in Europe. As the rich reserves started getting depleted, mining gradually declined in the region. However, the town preserves its rich culture as musicians, painters and photographers dot the town centre. The old town, surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, has nice restaurants, bars and shops.
After lunch, we will continue on our way through the countryside to Budapest. Upon arrival, we will check-in at our hotel there.
Budapest is the capital of Budapest and home to almost one-fifth’s of the country’s population. Fondly called “Queen of the Danube”, it is not one city but a combination of two – Buda and Pest. Located on either side of the river Danube, the two are connected by a series of bridges. Situated above a vast network of underground hot springs, tourists throng to Budapest to take a dip in the numerous thermal baths that dot the city. The water in the thermal bath is rich in minerals and is known for its healing properties.
Rest of the evening is free for you to explore Budapest at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at hotel in Budapest.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for a unique floating bus tour of Budapest to explore the city’s iconic places on both land and water without changing vehicles.
The floating bus tour starts with a visit to St Stephen’s Basilica named after the first king of Hungary. This tall neoclassical building preserves the king’s mummified right hand, which is considered an object of devotion by the people. Next, we will visit Heroes Square. The square is decorated with giant ornamental statues of valiant people who played a significant role in Hungarian history. After the tour on land, the boat jumps into the majestic Danube river for the next leg of the sightseeing tour. Marvel at the Széchenyi Chain bridge, the first bridge across the Danube river that connected the settlements of Buda and Pest. Also, see the Buda
Castle, the palace designed in baroque architecture that was home to the Hungarian royal family.
After the floating-bus tour, we shall continue the sightseeing tour with a visit to Hungary’s parliament house. This is the largest building in Hungary and one of the oldest legislative building in Europe. During this short 1 hour tour, your guide will show you around the glorious chambers of the lower and upper house, the richly decorated staircases and the wonderful cupola room which houses awe-inspiring crown jewels and the Hungarian holy crown. The tour ends at Gellert Hill. Enjoy spellbinding panoramic views of the city from the hill top.
Rest of the evening is free for you to explore Budapest at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Budapest.
SEGV’S RECOMMENDATION- A dip in a thermal pool is a great way to relax and redeem the medicinal benefit of the minerals in the water. Budapest is lucky to have several such thermal pools that get their water from underground hot springs. The Gellert thermal bath and swimming pool in the iconic Gellert hotel is the city’s most popular and beautiful thermal bath. It has both indoor and outdoor baths with temperatures ranging from mildly warm to very hot. The turquoise ceramic studded pools and bright sunlight piercing through the glass roofs offer an exceptional setting to relax in the pool. You can also enjoy a fantastic treatment in the Gellert spa.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will check out from the hotel and proceed to Ljubljana. Enroute, we will visit Lake Balaton.
Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. It is 77 km long and 14km wide at the widest point. It is a popular holiday destination, attracting crowds who come here to swim, enjoy a cruise and relish the wines produced in the surrounding wine-growing region. We will take a cruise down the lake, and soak in the region’s beauty that has inspired artists, writers and poets.
After the lake cruise, we will continue our travel to Ljubljana. Upon arrival, we will check-in at our city-centre hotel there.
Ljubljana is the political and cultural capital of Slovenia. Although it’s the largest city in Slovenia, it is one of the smallest European Capitals. However, the city’s small size is foreshadowed by the youthful energy of the 50,000 university students who study here at the country’s largest university. Completely rebuilt in 1895, after a devastating earthquake destroyed the city, it carries a modern appeal.
Rest of the evening is free for you to explore Ljubljana on your own.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Ljubljana.
After breakfast, we will check-out from the hotel. First, we will visit the famous Postojna Caves near Ljubljana.
Postojna caves, a vast network of limestone caves, tunnels and galleries, is a fascinating world under the ground. The caves will mesmerise you by their sheer size and the astounding natural karst formations. A train tour on the specially built train track will reveal the murmuring rivers and towering mountains within these caves. A visit to these caves is definitely an unforgettable out-of-the-world experience.
After the Postojna caves tour, we will proceed to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Upon arrival, we will check-in at our hotel there. Enjoy a spellbinding hike around the National Park.
Plitvice Lake National Park is one of the most beautiful natural attraction in the world. This lush green forest is endowed with 16 gorgeous lakes that are connected by waterfalls, the highest being 78-m high. The colour of the lakes varies from blue to grey, depending on the mineral content in the water. Spread across 73,000 acres, this unspoiled landscape is a wonderful natural wonder that one can simply not get enough of.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Plitvice Lakes National Park.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will venture into the National Park for a hiking tour.
Hiking in the National Park is the best way to capture the true beauty of the park. The hiking trails pass through wooden walkways that have been built above the lake to connect different parts of the forest. The views from these walkways is simply surreal. The park also has boats to ferry you across the lakes and electric trains that will take you into far-reaching corners of the park.
After the hiking tour, check-out from the hotel and transfer to Split. Enroute, we will stop at Zadar for lunch. Zadar is a beautiful town located on the Adriatic Sea and is steeped in rich history. The town was heavily fortified between 14th and 15th century to protect the townsfolk from attacks by the Turks. However, due to aerial bombings, it faced massive destruction during World War II. We will enjoy a pleasant lunch in its main square and listen to the music created by the waves in its one-of-a-kind sea organ.
After the lunch, we will continue our drive towards Split. Upon arrival, we will check-in at our hotel there. Split is one of the most vibrant Croatian cities. In 3rd Century AD, the roman emperor Diocletian built his palace here, then a desolate peninsular region, to spend the final resting years of his life. Today, a busy commercial and cultural centre, Split is the second-largest city in Croatia. The city is popular for its great food and wine and has a number of great museums to check-out. It is the venue for one of Europe’s largest music festivals which attracts lakhs of people to the city.
In the evening, we will enjoy a walking tour of Split’s most famous monument, the Diocletian Palace. This magnificent fortress complex with 72ft high walls having temples, a military camp and the king’s residence is a sight to behold. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best surviving examples of a Roman Palace.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Split.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the city of Dubrovnik and explore its most popular sights on a sightseeing tour.
Fondly called the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik is considered the most picturesque city in Croatia. The sightseeing tour begins at the iconic Stone Walls of Dubrovnik that protect the city. These 25m high stone walls surround the city and are a source of pride for the residents as they have never been breached. Next, we will visit the Old Town, and learn the history of its popular sites such as Onofrio’s fountain, the bell tower and the Dubrovnik Cathdral. The city of Dubrovnik was the setting for the “King’s Landing” portrayed in the popular HBO series – “Game of Thrones“. Your guide will also share exciting trivia about the show’s shooting during the tour and show you the places where iconic scenes of the series were shot.
You will have some leisure time here to explore Dubrovnik on your own. Later, we will return to Split.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Split.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will check-out and transfer to the city of Zagreb. Upon arrival in Zagreb, we will proceed for check-in at our city centre hotel there.
Zagreb is Croatia’s political capital and also the country’s largest city. It’s strategic location, connecting Central Europe with the Adriatic Sea, allowed Zagreb to flourish and turned it into a major commercial centre. The city majorly comprises three parts – the thousand-year-old Upper Town, the 19th century Lower Town, and New Zagreb which was built post World War II. It is said that the city has more museums per square ft than any other city in the world.
After freshening up at the hotel, we will proceed for a city tour of Zagreb.
We shall begin the sightseeing tour with a visit to Zagreb’s Upper Town. Here, we will visit Virgin Mary’s chapel inside the Stone Gate. The chapel holds a painting of the Virgin
Mar which is considered sacred as it was the only painting that survived a great fire that destroyed all others in 1731. Next, we shall visit Zagreb Cathedral in Kaptol. The Cathedral is the tallest building in all of Croatia and it’s Neo-Gothic design with twin spires has made it the biggest landmark of Zagreb. After the cathedral, we shall visit the Dolac market, the largest Open-Air Farmer’s Market in Zagreb.
The evening is free for you to explore Zagreb at your own leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Zagreb.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to Franjo Tuđman Airport in Zagreb to catch our flight back to India.
Arrive home with pleasant memories of your “Gems of Central and Eastern Europe” tour organised by State Express Global Voyages, which we are sure you will treasure for a lifetime.