Welcome to Munich! The first day of the tour is our arrivals day. Meet your fellow travellers, and depending on what time you arrive, head into Munich and see the sights on an orientation tour. A city that exhibits both prosperity and a certain amount of comfort and cosiness, Munich’s apparent contradictions will delight the avid explorer. Along with modern high-powered industry, designer shopping districts and sleek BMWs, you’ll find a wealth of cultural hotspots in Munich. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a certain charm that visitors find irresistible. Tonight, we’ll take you to a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German culture.
Prost! Airport transfer, dinner.
Day 2: Munich - Prague
On our way to Prague, we take a comfort stop in Nuremberg. Bavaria’s second-largest city, you’ll find incredible architecture here, painstakingly restored using original stone after the bombings of the Second World War. Famous for its art, architecture, cobbled lanes and ancient chapels, this is also home to some of Europe’s finest beer. The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square is a ‘must see’ – the intricate puppetry and show performed on the hour draws hundreds of people throughout the day and night. For dinner, experience authentic Czech cuisine at a local restaurant on your first night in Prague.
Day 3: Free day - Prague
The day is yours to treat yourself to the fairy tale magic of Prague and maybe revisit some of the places you saw yesterday. See the majestic Prague Castle, the famous Charles Bridge, the ‘Old Town’ and the Jewish Quarter. There is also a ‘Secret Garden’, which leads to a man-made grotto – see if you can find it! Prague’s dramatic history is reflected in the beauty of the architecture of churches, opera houses, concert halls and parks. There are numerous beer halls in which to sample a local brew, and for those who wish to put your stamp on the city, visit the Lennon wall – a tribute to John Lennon and words of peace, which is added to on a daily basis by the thousands of visitors to the city. It is also worth noting that Prague is the home of absinthe. Some say that Vincent Van Gogh’s love affair with this drink is considered to be the most famed in history and a possible cause of his madness.
Day 4: Prague - Krakow
Leaving Prague behind us, we continue on to Krakow. The royal capital of Poland for centuries, Krakow today is home to some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture – and over 2.3 million artworks to complement its historic buildings and monuments. But before taking a walking tour of this treasure trove of a city, we take a look at a darker time in Krakow’s history, with a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Originally constructed to hold Polish political prisoners in 1940, it went on to become a major site of the Nazi extermination of Jews transported to the camp from all over German occupied Europe. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, which is now a museum that gives a horrific reminder of the holocaust.
Day 5: Free day - Krakow
The day is yours to explore the city further if you wish. The renaissance cloth hall in the main market square, the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, or maybe sample the local cuisine such as Zurek, a very traditional Polish soup with a distinctive sour taste that is dished up in a special hollowed out loaf of bread. There is also the option of taking an optional excursion to the Krakow Salt Mine. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mine dates back to the Middle Ages and is a fascinating look at the area’s history. Descending underground, you’ll walk through 2km of tunnels, chapels, reliefs and freestanding sculptures carved from salt rock walls; along with underground lakes and archaeological displays. Alternatively, explore Krakow even further.
Day 6: Krakow - Budapest
On our way to Budapest, we stop briefly in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, a picturesque town with beautiful buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages. Then we’re off to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Blessed with natural beauty (it straddles the Danube River) as well as baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture, this is a city to behold. Get a good overview of it all with our Budapest driving tour when you arrive. Starting on the Pest side of the Danube, head across the river and stop at the Fisherman’s Bastion for spectacular views of the city and the river below. See the Houses of Parliament and drive along the river admiring the city – take note of spots to revisit tomorrow on your free day. Tonight’s meal is at a local restaurant, so savour the chance to try some of the local cuisine!
Day 7: Free day - Budapest
With traces of the past evident in the interesting and unusual details, this is your chance to get up close and personal with Budapest. Look out for remnants of the conflicts of WWII and the uprising of 1956, try Hungarian cuisine (so much more to it than just goulash), sample world-renowned wines, and soak your weary rambler’s bones in one of the city’s bath-houses – something