. Welcome to Berlin! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Day 2: Berlin
. Sightseeing with a Local Guide in the once-divided metropolis includes the Ku’damm, the restored Reichstag, a picture stop at monumental Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, Charlottenburg Palace, and the 210-foot Victory Column in the vast Tiergarten park. Visit the KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH (on Sunday, inside guided visit not possible), drive along Unter den Linden boulevard, and pass the German State Opera House and Checkpoint Charlie. To enhance your stay, exciting optional excursions are available to historic Potsdam, and to sample Berlin’s fine restaurants and nightlife! (B)
Day 3: Berlin–Poznan, Poland–Warsaw.
Cross the Polish border, enjoy vistas of rural life in the fertile central plains, and take a break in the historic river port of Poznan on your way to Warsaw. (B,D)
Day 4: Warsaw
. Your Local Guide will tell you about the tormented, often tragic history of this important gateway city between East and West. See the medieval Stare Miasto (Old Quarter) with its market square and 14th-century CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN, the “wedding cake” Palace of Culture and Science, neoclassical Lazienki Palace, and the remnants of the Jewish ghetto. In the HISTORICAL MUSEUM a moving film shows the city before and after wartime destruction. An optional excursion to Wilanow Castle is available. (B)
Day 5: Warsaw–Czestochowa–Auschwitz–Krakow
. A fascinating morning: visit JASNA GÓRA, the monastery near Czestochowa, and admire its BLACK MADONNA, which is venerated as the “Queen of Poland” and has become the country’s national symbol. Next stop in Auschwitz to visit what is left of the CONCENTRATION CAMP, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. Evening arrival in Krakow. (B,D)
Day 6: Krakow
. Morning guided sightseeing in ancient Krakow features the Market Square, the 14th-century Jagiellonian University, and ST. MARY’S CHURCH. Take pictures of impressive Wawel Royal Castle, then enjoy a [LF] special visit to the OSKAR SCHINDLER FACTORY, made famous in the movie Schindler’s List. How about tonight’s optional Polish dinner and folklore show? (B)
Day 7: Krakow–Banská Bystrica, Slovakia–Budapest, Hungary
. A scenic drive through the heart of mountainous and densely wooded Slovakia, where brown bears still roam free, brings you to Banská Bystrica, a picturesque medieval town with fortifications. Arrive in Budapest, where a private [LF] DINNER CRUISE tonight is the perfect introduction to this fascinating city. (B,D)
Day 8: Budapest
. Your Local Guide takes you through Eastern Europe’s most cosmopolitan city. See elegant Andrassy Avenue, the Thermal Baths, and the world’s second-largest Jewish synagogue. From the lacy lookout towers of Fishermen’s Bastion, enjoy a panoramic view of the sprawling city. Then, visit the 13th-century MATTHIAS CORONATION CHURCH and Heroes’ Square. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, a delectable optional Hungarian specialty dinner can be arranged. (B)
Day 9: Budapest–Vienna, Austria
. Drive through the Hungarian plains to Vienna, once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire. Meet your Local Guide and start your sightseeing with vistas of Prater park with its giant Ferris wheel. Then, drive along the elegant Ringstrasse. Pass the impressive State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards and famous Heldenplatz, and visit awesome ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL. (B)
Day 10: At Leisure in Vienna.
A whole day at leisure offers you the opportunity to join exciting optional excursions to the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, the Vienna Woods, a concert, or to just explore this magnificent city on your own. (B)
Day 11: Vienna–Telc, Czech Republic–Prague.
In the morning, an optional excursion to historic Schönbrunn Palace is available. Then, cross the Czech border and enter Moravia. Stop in one of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic, Telc, where a [LF] special lunch with local specialties awaits you. In the afternoon, drive through the rich farmlands of Moravia and Bohemia to Prague. Tonight is your chance to join an optional outing to explore Prague by night. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Prague
. Guided sightseeing includes a visit to HRADCANY CASTLE GROUNDS. Also see St. Vitus Cathedral, the Old Town, the Jewish ghetto, and the ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK, once the envy of all Europe. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight you can try out traditional dishes at one of Prague’s fine restaurants. (B)
Day 13: Prague–Dresden, Germany–Berlin.
Re-enter Germany and stop in Dresden, the former capital of Saxony. Badly damaged by Allied bombing in February 1945, the city has since been restored to its baroque splendor. During your walking tour, admire the architecture of the Zwinger Palace and Semper Opera. Next, return to Berlin, where a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 14: Berlin
. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)