peles castle romania

Istanbul To Budapest

  • 15 days
About

An incredible journey that starts in Istanbul crosses the border and travels through the ancient land of Transylvania past citadels and mosques, churches and cathedrals, towards Budapest and what was the old Austrio-Hungarian Empire. Along the way see old medieval Saxon towns such as Sighisoara and Sibiu, see Plovdiv – the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe that goes back 8000 years, and Bucharest with its mix of styles from ancient to modern.

You should experience it because...

This tour is a wonderful trip that explores the past cultures and treasures of the Ottoman Empire from Turkey through to Hungary, with time to experience firsthand some of the activities from that era such as Grand Bazaars and Turkish baths, and roman amphitheatres and Romanian village life.

A Transylvania Tale

Brasov is surrounded on three sides by the Carpathian Mountains and is home to Bran Castle, famous for being ‘Dracula’s Castle’

Soak in a traditional neo baroque-style medicinal bath at the Szechenyi Medicinal Baths in Budapest.

Wander round Budapest’s Central Market Hall and enjoy the intoxicating sights and smells of ‘Budapest’s Pantry’.

Places covered 15 Days
  • Day 1 & 2 Arrive Istanbul – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 3 & 4 Istanbul to Edirne – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 5 & 6 Plovdiv, Bulgaria – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 7 Bucharest, Romania – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 8 & 9 Brasov, Romania – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 10 & 11 Sighisoara, Romania – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 12 Baia Mare, Romania – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 13 Debrecen, Hungary – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 14 Budapest, Hungary – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 15 Depart Budapest
  • Days Details
  • 1 & 2 Arrive Istanbul – sightseeing and attractions Istanbul is an enchanting fusion of East and West. Narrow alleys are flanked by wooden Ottoman houses that sit closely to modern restaurants and bars in down-town Istanbul. Must-sees are the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. The Blue Mosque, also known as the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, is nearly 400 years old and is still an active mosque that non-Muslims can visit for free outside of the five daily prayers. St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) was built 1500 years ago and was the largest enclosed space in the world. The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is the oldest and largest closed bazaar in the world, housing lots of little shops within 60 alleyways. It used to be the city’s main trading centre of ceramics, jewellery and leather goods. Treat yourself to a soak in a traditional Turkish bath surrounded by opulence and grandeur. And board a ferry on the Bosphorus to look back at the beautiful twinkling lights of Istanbul at night.
  • 3 & 4 Istanbul to Edirne – sightseeing and attractions Edirne is where three countries meet – Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. There is an abundance of history here, and you certainly won’t get tired of strolling past the main sights in the old quarter that include mosques, towers and museums. A visit to the Selimiye Mosque that dates back to the 16thcentury, is a must, with its four striking 71m high minarets and an interior that will take your breath away - with beautiful colourful calligraphic decorations that are made even more striking from the light from the dozens of windows. Unesco added the mosque to its World Heritage list in 2011.
  • 5 & 6 Plovdiv, Bulgaria – sightseeing and attractions Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe that goes back 8000 years. The town is small and easy to walk around and has a cultural feel with its art galleries, winding cobbled streets and bohemian cafes. This lovely old town, largely restored to its mid-19thcentury appearance, is packed with atmospheric house museums and galleries and has eminent artists still living and working there. See an incredible mix of Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Bulgarian antiquities. Visit the Roman Amphitheatre – the best-preserved in the Balkans, and still used for performances. Also, take time to visit St. Marina church and a mosque leftover from the Ottoman Empire. Walk the hills that overlook the town – the best time to do this is at sunset.
  • 7 Bucharest, Romania – sightseeing and attractions Continue on to Bucharest and discover the incredible contrasts of Romania’s cultural capital. The architecture here is an eclectic mix of medieval, communist and modern, with undertones of a Parisian style. In fact, it has its own Arc de Triomphe. Bucharest is home to Romania’s best museums, from the Museum of the Romanian Peasant that showcases traditional country life, to the Palace of Parliament (the world’s second-biggest building) that reflects the country’s communist era. Orientate yourself with a Bucharest city tour – a double-decker bus that runs every 15 minutes along the major north-south route from Piata Unirii – one of the largest squares in central Bucharest, to the National Village Museum. Buy tickets on board. End the day with traditional song and dance at Caru’ cuBere, Bucharest’s oldest beer house, with a colourful belle-epoque interior and dazzling stained-glass windows.
  • 8 & 9 Brasov, Romania – sightseeing and attractions Brasov is a fabulous base for exploring the surrounding countryside, where the air is fresh and the people are friendly. Surrounded on three sides by the Carpathian Mountains, it was a perfect place for a medieval settlement and much of the Old City, founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, has been restored. Visit the fortress of Cetatuia Brasovului, and wander up Rope Street – the narrowest street in Europe, or visit Rasnov Castle. Take a trip to the nearby Bran Castle – said to be Dracula’s Castle – and picture yourself in one of the Dracula films .... If you dare!
  • 10 & 11 Sighisoara, Romania – sightseeing and attractions Located in the historic region of Transylvania, this townwas once a Saxon settlement established in the 12th century. Take a tour of the Sigisoara Citadel and the many sights within the Citadel. Also worth a visit is the Orthodox Cathedral, Cornesti Church, and Vila Franka – a traditional restaurant serving local dishes with panoramic views over the valley. It was here, in the Piata Cetatii that Vlad Tepes (Dracula) was born in 1431. The Casa Dracula, his home until he was four, is now a restaurant. Hidden away behind the Church of the Dominican Monastery is a statue of Vlad Tepes. Visit the History Museum, located inside the Clock Tower, with its small rooms that wind up to the 7th floor. And climb the 172 steps to the Church on the Hill – a 17th century Lutheran church and the town’s highest point.
  • 12 Baia Mare, Romania – sightseeing and attractions Enjoy the delicacies from the town’s open-air food market before exploring the town’s 15th century medieval fortifications. Baia Mare is one of the most important mining centres of Romania with over 2000 years of gold and silver mining. The town is well-preserved and the oldest house here dates back to 1440. The house is the lasting reminder of the Transylvanian prince Lancu de Hunedoara who built the home for his wife Elisabeta.
  • 13 Debrecen, Hungary – sightseeing and attractions Debrecen is Hungary’s second-largest city, and its name has been synonymous with wealth and conservatism since the 16thcentury. Flanked by the golden Great Church and the historic Aranybika Hotel, Debrecen’s central square sets the rather subdued tone for this city. There are lots of museums to visit and thermal baths to try out in this ‘Capital of the Eastern Plain’ and a colourful flea market that sells everything from socks to live animals.
  • 14 Budapest, Hungary – sightseeing and attractions Budapest is Hungary’s stylish capital and known as the ‘city of spas’ for its abundance of natural thermal springs. Straddling the Danube River, the city is comprised of two very different cities, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. There are lots of sights to see including Castle Hill, Matthius Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Liberation Monument, the fabulous St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the much photographed Parliament Building. Terror Haza is a popular museum recounting stories of espionage and atrocities committed during World War II and during the communist period. The Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and features stunning decorations. Don’t miss a wander around the Central market hall and enjoy the intoxicating sights and smells of ‘Budapest’s pantry’ – you can buy chocolates by the kilo here! Take a traditional spa bath at the Szecheynyi Medicinal Baths – one of the city’s more famous neo baroque-style baths with indoor and outdoor pools, thermal pools, saunas and massages in a beautiful setting.
  • 15 Depart Budapest
€ 2,875 per person (Prices are in Euros and exclude international flights)
Price Per Person in Twin Sharing Accomodation
(Prices are in Euros and exclude international flights)

All rates mentioned are an approximate price per person on a twin-sharing basis, and are based on a minimum of 6-9 adults travelling together. Rates are subject to change based on the number of passengers and the time of year. (Flights, visas, travel insurance, lunches & dinners, personal expenses not included. There may be some itinerary activities not included also – please ask).

Inclusions :

- Traditional ,Boutique or Heritage accommodation where possible or Quality accommodation (on a twin-sharing basis) in centrally located 4*Hotels .

-Meals – breakfast in all destinations

- Internal Travel by rail - ferries - coach as applicable

-Guided sightseeing excursions as per the itinerary

-First arrival and last departure transfers

Most Holidays are based on Independent Travel . Holidays could be Customised to your requirements and you could choose to upgrade to Selfdrive or Exclusively Private basis .

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Eastern Europe crosses lots of boundaries and covers lots of countries - bask in Mediterranean sun one minute and ski in mountain ranges the next. Explore the southern coasts of Slovenia, Albania & Croatia in the warm summer months. Enjoy city breaks and travelling in the Czech Republic, Hungary & Poland in spring, summer and autumn, with many Xmas markets and concerts in full swing in the crisp winter. Romania’s mountain ranges are ski-tastic between December to March, and the Baltic States enjoy warm sunshine & long evenings in the spring. Not forgetting outdoor festivals galore throughout the summer.

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About Us
Freedom Holidays is passionate about creating inspirational tailor-made travel to Europe and beyond. Our business is your pleasure and our expert and dedicated team is here to listen to your travel needs down to the ‘nth’ degree, leaving you ‘free’ to enjoy your holiday of a lifetime with no gimmicks, no hassle, and no stress. What makes us different? With 14 years experience of providing quality tailor-made customised holidays with an ‘off-the beaten-track’ themed approach, we take you to well-known destinations as well as far flung locations (or a mixture of both), leaving you safe in the knowledge that you will be looked after every step of the way.
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Our accreditations
  • accreditation-Visit Norway.png
  • accreditation-IATO.png
  • accreditation-SLH.png
  • accreditation-i_feel_slovenia.png
About Us
Freedom Holidays is passionate about creating inspirational tailor-made travel to Europe and beyond. Our business is your pleasure and our expert and dedicated team is here to listen to your travel needs down to the ‘nth’ degree, leaving you ‘free’ to enjoy your holiday of a lifetime with no gimmicks, no hassle, and no stress. What makes us different? With 14 years experience of providing quality tailor-made customised holidays with an ‘off-the beaten-track’ themed approach, we take you to well-known destinations as well as far flung locations (or a mixture of both), leaving you safe in the knowledge that you will be looked after every step of the way.
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