traditional polish smoked cheese oscypek on outdoor market in zakopane

The Best Of East & Central Europe

  • Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow Zakopane, Budapest13 days
About

Take this fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of 4 European countries and dive in to their diverse cultures, ancient histories & charming traditions.

A journey through the fascinating cultures of East and Central Europe and experience incredible art, sculpture, architecture, literature and folklore, as well as an opportunity to witness the war-torn landmarks of Warsaw and Krakow, and a visit to Hungary’s Budapest with a relaxing river cruise on the Danube and a splash in some of the oldest spa baths in the world. This tour starts in Berlin and journeys on to Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, Zakopane, and ends in Budapest.

You should experience it because...

From ‘East meets West’ in Poland and ancient meets modern in both Berlin and Prague, to magnificent medieval architecture in Krakow, and rustic folklore and traditions at Zakopane, this tour is an incredible journey through east and central Europe and saves the ‘best til last’ in Budapest with a memorable 20th century spa experience.

Ancient architecture, fascinating folklore, charming traditions

The Reichstag, with its glass dome created by Sir Norman Foster, is the quintessential example of Berlin’s mixture of old and new architecture.

In the Old Town of Prague, wander through the Jewish Quarter and visit the cemetery, which dates to the 15th century.

See Warsaw Rising at a beautiful modern museum housed in a restored redbrick power station that traces the city history through interaction, exhibits and displays.

Zakopane is the winter capital of Poland with an Arts & Crafts flavour and a tradition of charming wooden architecture - stroll along Krupowki Street, one of the best-known Polish promenades.

Places covered 13 Days
  • Day 1 Berlin attractions and sightseeing
  • Day 2 Berlin attractions and sightseeing
  • Day 3 Berlin to Prague via Dresden
  • Day 4 Prague - Castle - Old Town - Charles Bridge
  • Day 5 Prague - day trip Karlstegn Castle
  • Day 6 Warsaw – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 7 Krakow – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 8 Krakow – Auschwitz – Welicksa Saltmine
  • Day 9 Zakopane – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 10 Zakopane – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 11 & 12 Budapest – sightseeing and attractions
  • Day 13 Depart
  • Days Details
  • 1 Berlin attractions - optional Charlottenburg Palace dinner and show Don’t miss the city must-sees such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall Memorial – a football-field-sized memorial to the murdered European Jews.For a walking tour with a difference, head north of Berlin for a tour into the past at Sachsenhausen, one of the main concentration camps in Nazi Germany.The Pergamonmuseum is an aladdin’s cave of treasures and opens a fascinating window onto the ancient world and is the one museum in Berlin that should not be missed.Bargain hunt at the busy flea market – Flohmarkt am Mauerpark – right where the Belin Wall once ran.Settle in for an evening at the grandest of Berlin’s surviving nine former royal palaces - Charlottenburg Palace, set in a beautiful palace park. Enjoy dinner, a self-guided palace tour and a concert.
  • 2 Berlin attractions and sightseeing See the Brandenburg Gate – a symbol of division during the Cold War – now a landmark that epitomises German reunification and often serves as a photogenic backdrop for festivals, concerts, and parties.Prater is Berlin’s oldest beer garden (since 1837) and has kept much of its traditional charm. Enjoy a cold beer beneath the ancient chestnut trees.Visit the bunker where Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945 alongside Eva Braun, when Berlin was burning and Soviet tanks were advancing.Take a half-day walking tour and visit some of Berlin’s infamous third reich sites from Wilhelmstrasse to the former Prinz-Albrecht Strasse and the site of Hitler’s bunker.Berlin’s main contemporary art museum – Hamburger Bahnhof - is in an old railway station full of an Aladdin’s cave of paintings, installations, sculptures, and video art.Enjoy a cabaret evening at the intimate 1912 Bar Jeder Venunft – an art-nouveau mirrored tent that puts on song and dance shows, comedy and chanson evenings.
  • 3 Berlin to Prague via Dresden A baroque masterpiece, split by the Elbe River, Dresden is often overlooked on the trail between Berlin to Prague.Stop here to see unique treasures, including the rebuilt Frauenkirche Church. The church was completed in 1743, but the Stone Bell supporting its huge dome was destroyed in 1945. It lay in ruin until the fall of communism, when it was rebuilt from original plans.The Zwinger – part park and part baroque showpiece, is a calm patch of ground in modern Dresden.Arrive Prague.
  • 4 Prague - Castle - Old Town - Charles Bridge Prague is a European hotspot of history and heritage. In 1989 the Velvet Revolution freed the Czechs from communism and bequeathed to Europe a gem of a city.Prague’s main historic sites are located on the so-called Royal Route between the Old Town and Prague Castle, crossing the river on the Charles Bridge.Modern sculptures mix with stunning ancient architectures from the soaring verticals of Gothic and the exuberance of Baroque to the elegance of art nouveau.Take in some of the city’s art galleries, there is art all around from the Gothic altar pieces in the Convent of St. Agnes to the magnificent collection of 20th century surrealists and cubists in the Veletrzni Palac.Pubs abound in Prague. For a slightly more upscale experience, try one of the Kolkovna chains that serve litres upon litres of fresh Czech brew.
  • 5 Prague - day trip Karlstejn Castle Rising above the village of Karlstejn, 30km southwest of Prague, this fairytale medieval castle is in incredibly good shape, and the views from here are spectacular.This is one of the biggest castles in the world (according to the Guinness Book of Records – the biggest ancient castle) at about 570m in length and around 130m wide.Here, the Kings of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Emperors, the presidents of Czechoslovakia, and the Czech Republic, have all had their offices.Take a guided tour that passes through the Knight’s Hall, Charles IV’s Bedchamber, the Audience Hall, and the Jewel House.
  • 6 Warsaw – sightseeing and attractions Start a tour of Warsaw at the Royal Castle, a former Mazovian stronghold.Spend the rest of the morning exploring the evocative back streets of the Old Town, then head to the New Town for lunch.Let the food digest while retracing your steps and wandering down ul Krakowskie Prezedmiescie and ul Nowy Swiat before crossing town to the Warsaw Rising Museum.There are two new museums worth a visit to – one on Chopin and the other on Jewish history.The Lazienki Park is a beautiful place of manicured greens and wild patches.Once a hunting ground attached to Ujazdow Castle, Lazienki was acquired by King Stanislaw in 1764 and transformed into a splendid park complete with palace, amphitheatre, follies and other buildings.If you prefer to see Warsaw from an expert’s eye, take a City Sightseeing Tour that takes you to the Ghetto Memorial, the Monument of Warsaw Uprising, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Grand Theatre, Chopin’s Monument, the Belvedere Palace, and the Old Town.Take in the view from the top of the Palace of Culture & Science and finish off the day with dinner at one of the many restaurants south of Al Jerozolimskie.
  • 7 Krakow – sightseeing and attractions Get your first glimpse of Krakow’s main market square – the largest square in Europe.As the royal capital for 500 years, Krakow city was able to absorb much history and talent over the centuries and is today a treasure trove of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.No other city in Poland can boast so many historic buildings and monuments or such a vast collection of artworks.Wawel Castle is Krakow’s centerpiece and a must-see, as is Wawel Cathedral, that has witnessed most of the coronations, funerals and entombments of Poland’s monarchs and strongmen over the centuries.Stroll through the Old Town with its soaring Gothic churches and gargantuan Rynek Glowny (main market square). And visit the Collegium Maius, built as part of the Krakow Academy and the oldest surviving university building in Poland and one of the best examples of 15th century Gothic architecture in the city.Just outside the Old Town is the former Jewish quarter Kazimierz, its silent synagogues reflecting the tragedy of the recent past.Enjoy a night of dinner and entertainment in Krakow at Michalik’s Cave, once a favourite bohemian hangout among Krakow’s creative crowd. Start with a folk music concert and dance show followed by a traditional Polish dinner.
  • 8 Krakow – Auschwitz – Welicksa Saltmine About 14km southeast of Krakow are the Wieliczka salt mines – an eerie world of pits and chambers where everything within its depths has been carved by hand from salt blocks. The mine was included on Unesco’s World Heritage List in 1978.You can visit three upper levels of the mine, walking through the pits and chambers. Some have been made into chapels, others are adorned with statues and monuments. An underground sanatorium has been established at a depth of 135m where chronic allergic diseases are treated by overnight stays.Pay a visit to the Krakow Saltworks Museum accommodated in 14 worked-out chambers on the third level of the mine. From here a fast mining lift takes you back up to the real world.Spend half a day at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum that commemorates the lives of those who died in the concentration camp during the Holocaust of World War II.
  • 9 Zakopane – sightseeing and attractions On to Zakopane, nestled in the foothills of the Tatras, and a few hours drive from Prague. This is Poland’s most fashionable mountain resort and known for its beautiful mountain villas dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The father of this craze for all things wooden was the architect Stanislaw Witkiewicz (1851-1915). And the first of several magnificent wooden villas that he built in the area, the Willa Koliba, now houses the Museum of Zakopane Style.Take a ride on the Funicular cable car from central Zakopane that climbs 300m to Gubalowka hill, and offers incredible views of the mountain range, the beautiful forests, and the wooden villas below.
  • 10 Zakopane – sightseeing and attractions Not far from the northern end of Krupowki Street stands the remarkable Willa Koliba, the first of several wooden villas designed by Witkjewicz in his Zakopane Style. The museum is a must for architecture fans, particularly admirers of the Arts & Crafts movement, which swept through the US and Britain at the turn of the 20th century.About 2km south of the centre are two more examples of the Zakopane Style. The Villa Pod Jedlami was built in 1897 for the Pawlikowski family, and the Jaszczurowka Chapel is considered Witkiewicz’s greatest achievement. The folk interior is well worth the trip.The beautiful emerald-green lake of Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea) is about 12km southeast of Zakopane. Hope on a bus and take the leisurely 9km long road to the lake from the drop off point.Enjoy a dinner in the rustic settings of a typical mountain cottage with music – cheerful songs accompanied by violins and highlander merry-making – and tasty treats of goats cheese and vodka shots, and ‘highlanders’ tea’ which is dark and loaded with white spirit.
  • 11 & 12 Budapest – sightseeing and attractions After a drive of approximately 5 hours, arrive in the beautiful city of Budapest - 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.The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is the city’s oldest and probably most beautiful bridge. Named in honour of its initiator, Istvan Szechenyi, it was in fact built by a Scotsman.One of the best ways to see the city’s sights are at night on a combined walking tour and river cruise on the Danube. Budapest’s UNESCO World heritage magnificent buildings and monuments are brilliantly illuminated at night, making the city appear even more spectacular than by day.
  • 13 Depart
€ 2,375 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 4-6 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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Capture summer magic in the lakes and mountains of Austria & Italy or take an iconic spring rail tour for a combination city and culture break. Walk in Slovenia’s Tatras mountains in the summer, and enjoy Slovakia’s rich medieval culture & charming rural landscapes from May to August. Not forgetting the stunning winter skiing in the Carpathian mountains as well as the magnificent Swiss & Austrian Alps. Add to this city breaks galore in Germany, Hungary & Poland, with spring Rhine cruises, year-round Budapest spas, and summer Polish cultural tours - central Europe is a must-visit destination all year-round.

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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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  • accreditation-SLH.png
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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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