Beginning in Krakow and ending in Regensburg, with a little taste of Vienna in between, this is a travel experience at its very best, exclusive for the 21-45 aged traveller. We’re talking tours of the Berlin Wall, we’re talking bike rides on the Danube, we’re talking a classical concert in Vienna and obviously, we’re talking some spa action in Budapest.
Starting our trip in the artistic capital of Poland, we’ll find a city of cherry trees & history & beauty. With gardens aplenty and a population of less than a million, it will be easy to feel at home here by the Vistula River. To settle in we’ll visit Wieliczka Salt Mine, where we can see chapels carved out of rock salt.
In a town where unassuming 14th century cobbled lanes can spit you onto a sprawling Romanesque castle, seeing as much as possible with the aid of a bike should be mandatory. Also on offer today will be a trip to Schindler’s Factory, where Nazi occupation of Krakow can be understood. Those keen to sneak a drink or two could visit a lush & local beer garden like Mleczarnia.
Tonight we have the chance to craft our very own traditional boiled dumplings known as pierogi, which means today we should hit the streets and clock up some walking. Whether its designer boutiques showcasing many Polish designers, or visiting the Jewish district of Kazimierz there is plenty to see and do in this charming town.
Feeling well versed on all things Poland, we’ll hit the streets in search of the capital of Hungary, where we get two cities for the price of one; this beauty is split by the River Danube. Making our way south we’ll slice through Slovakia, ogling at dreamy hill towns like Zvolen. We’ll then cross the border & pass Duna-Ipoly National Park, soon finding our final destination. Having found our nest, the delightful Budapest, we’ll kick back with a soul soothing spa visit. Thermal bathing has been tradition in these parts for hundreds of years – being culturally immersive has never been so indulgent.
Today we can tap into the tingles with a safe house experience, then tackle the city with a past & present tour. Those doing their own thing could venture to District VII of Elizabeth Town, finding gritty pubs & graffiti walls covering the traditional Jewish quarter. If the night hours need honouring, we can head recovered derelict Eighth District of Józsefváros, where we’ll find basement bars & live music venues amidst the cafes & vintage shops.
With an evening of traditional dining & cooking ahead of us, this city will prove itself a culinary hotspot. Work it all off with a bout of exploring, or for those about to pop you can drift up Castle Hill by historic funicular.
This morning we will bid farewell to our land-fairing friends, and hop on board our cruise for 8 days, 4 countries, one sweet as river boat and a whole heap of like minded travellers - let's do this! We'll kick things off as we mean to go on tonight with a welcome party complete with tasty Hungarian street food, then who's up for a slice of Budapest nightlife? We reckon the legendary ruin bars are calling...
Majestic, sprawling, bohemian, post-modern - just some of the words we could use to describe Budapest. But hey, we'll leave you to make your own judgements. What we will do, however, is take you to one of our favourite spots, the covered market, where chef will introduce you to some of Hungary's most iconic flavours, including its favourite spice, paprika. Of course this IS the city of spas and a hot bed for geothermal activity, so naturally soaking in various water temperatures until you resemble a prune is likely high on the agenda. If we can tempt you away, our Optionals include visiting some seriously gorgeous libraries, and braving the aptly named House of Terror museum. Tonight, we'll feast like Kings on the produce we bought earlier from the market.
With its small town charm, Czech beer, bohemian cuisine and art deco cafes, Slovakia's capital city doesn't disappoint. An hour long walking tour will get you fully orientated, then feast your eyes on our ME Time Optionals on how to make this pit stop one to really remember - wakeboarding, anyone? Onboard, chef will be teaching us all a thing or two about his favourite Austrian desserts. Docking early evening, we'll get our first glimpse of spellbinding Vienna, getting excited for what tomorrow will bring.
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll get you orientated with Austria's elegant and artistic capital city with a guided walking tour of the highlights, plus a tram ride around the Ringstrasse. Then, the choice is yours, and we've got plenty to tempt you with - an opera music/Viennese cooking class (at the same time, incredibly), a unique dining experience in Vienna's giant ferris wheel, and even an after hours (read - no tourists) tour of the Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of the imperial family. And if all THAT wasn't enough, tonight is all about one thing - classical music. This is what Vienna is best known for, so opt to join us for a performance at Klosterneuburg Abbey.
Pulling into tiny Dürnstein this morning, expect to hear a collective 'ooohhh'. House goals are everywhere around here, as you'll discover as we stroll to the village and make our way to the castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart was once help for ransom. The views up here are incredible, so enjoy! Pulling into Melk around lunchtime, you'll have the option to check out Melk Abbey, which boasts a 900 year old history and has a library any book nerd will literally drool over, or you could take advantage of our on board (and free to use) bikes by freewheeling around the Wachau Valley and surrounding villages. Of course, like many other European countries, Austria has a dark and often deeply saddening past, so today you'll also have the chance to venture to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which operated from 1938-45, to learn more."
Rolling in here around breakfast time, it's time to see what your cycling legs are really made of. To bike the route from Engelhartszell to Passau, or to chill on deck? C'mon, you know you've got it in you - 20 miles of flat, picturesque bike trails accompanied by a local guide sounds pretty good to us... You made it, and its only just lunchtime - virtual high five bike crew! Once in Passau the adventures don't stop there, with a hike to two scenic viewpoints overlooking the town, admiring the town's baroque cathedral and crooked lanes on route.
Having cast off from Passau late last night, we'll pull into Straubing just as you're waking for breakfast - pretty handy, eh? Spend your morning roaming the town's ancient sites and gothic streets with a local guide, or sampling traditional Bavarian cuisine (and beer, lots of beer) on our aptly named beer & meat Optional. 2000 years of history accumulates in Regensburg, and we're going to give you the low down in just one hour - how's that for the short version? And as for motor heads, this place is the home of BMW, so it would be rude not to pay a visit to the factory to learn about German's finest piece of engineering. Tonight is our last as a group, so let's go out on a high, and given the fact that Regensburg offers the highest concentration of bars per square mile, it won't be difficult...
After one more blissful sleep, we're sad to say it's all over. River cruising, you're our new favourite way of travelling…
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Trip Name: Krakow to Budapest plus the Danube Flow
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: $2,968
Supplier Tour ID: CEKBDF/205410
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