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Learn about Central Europe’s rich history and see its historical sites as you travel through the heart of Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Starting from Germany, visit the eclectic capital Berlin and Weimar, where culture has been thriving through names like Goethe and Schiller, Bach and Liszt, Modernism and Bauhaus. In Poland, discover Jasna Góra Monastery in Czestochowa, an important pilgrimage spot. Visit Warsaw and Krakow, and stop in Auschwitz to see what is left of the concentration camp, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. Explore the Imperial city of Vienna, Austria, the city of waltz, elegant cafés and the Hapsburg heritage. Get to know Budapest, Hungary, with its predominantly Art Nouveau city center and imposing Parliament building. Prague, in the Czech Republic, boasts Charles Bridge, one of Europe’s oldest stone bridges, and Bratislava, Slovakia, built on the bank of the Danube, features a castle and a charming old town. Before returning to your starting point in Germany, spend some time in Nuremberg, the Bavarian city that, in spite of its troubled past, is keeping the best traditions alive, such as brewing beer, grilling sausages and enjoying life. Sightseeing with a Local Guide—a local expert who knows the history, culture, and secrets of the city—is included in Berlin, Warsaw, Kraków, Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. This is a comprehensive Central Europe tour, ideal for smart travelers who want to turn their travel dreams into reality.
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WEIMARVisit BERLIN Guided sightseeing POZNAN Visit WARSAW Guided sightseeing JASNA GÓRA Guided Monastery visit AUSCHWITZ Guided visit KRAKÓW Guided sightseeing BUDAPEST Guided sightseeing VIENNA Guided sightseeing PRAGUE Guided sightseeing MUNICH Orientation drive ROMANTIC ROAD Nördlingen & Rothenburg visitNotes:
December 3 & 10 Departures - include visit to Berlin, Budapest, and Prague Christmas markets.December 29 Departure - New Year’s Eve in Berlin including festive dinner.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN FRANKFURT AREA, GERMANY Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
FRANKFURT AREA–WEIMAR–BERLIN Our first stop today is in Weimar, one-time intellectual heart of Germany and host to such luminaries as Luther, Cranach, Bach, Liszt, Schiller, and, of course, Goethe himself. It was at one time rightly known as the “Athens of Germany.” Continue through Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt all the way to Germany’s capital city, Berlin. Today’s Distance: 357 mi/ 575 km
BERLIN On this morning’s included guided tour, learn how the city is no longer divided but every bit as fascinating. Once the city of contrasts with its West and East side separated into two different worlds by a wall, Berlin has developed into a harmonious blend of old and new. It has preserved the old buildings, such as the State Opera House and Brandenburg Gate; its Neoclassic-style boulevards, such as the Kurfürstendamm and Unter den Linden. This is now complemented by brand new buildings in the most daring, contemporary architectural styles. It is once again Germany’s capital and one of Europe’s most lively and interesting cities.
BERLIN–POZNAN, POLAND–WARSAW Drive east to Poznan, one of Poland’s oldest trading centers, and admire its Renaissance market square. Continue to Warsaw, capital of Poland. Today’s Distance: 367 mi/ 590 km
WARSAW The included sightseeing tour is an excellent introduction to Warsaw, magnificently reconstructed after wartime destruction. Today, its wide avenues contrast strikingly with the narrow lanes of the old section.
WARSAW–JASNA GÓRA–AUSCHWITZ–KRAKÓW Two encounters with history on your southbound journey today. First, Jasna Góra in Czestochowa, the monastery that withstood the repeated onslaught of overwhelming Swedish forces during the religious wars of the 17th century. Since then, its Black Madonna has become the country’s national symbol. In the afternoon, visit what is left of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, a chilling reminder of the Holocaust. Evening arrival in Kraków. Today’s Distance: 289 mi/ 465 km
KRAKÓW This, they say, is Poland’s most beautiful city. For almost 500 years it was the country’s capital, and today, it is without a doubt its cultural capital. Join the included morning sightseeing in ancient Kraków, for centuries the residence of Polish kings. See the Market Square, the Jewish Quarter, St. Mary’s Church, and visit Wawel Cathedral. Free time later to explore this interesting town at your own pace and mingle with the locals.
KRAKÓW–BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Travel through three countries today. First, south to the Tatra Mountains of Poland, then through scenic Slovakia, and finally into Hungary. Your destination is Budapest, the liveliest Eastern European capital. Today’s Distance: 245 mi/ 395 km
BUDAPEST Budapest is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, from Gothic to Baroque; Neoclassical to Art Nouveau, but also full of history, a food capital, and surprisingly rich in thermal waters. Discover all of this and more during the included guided city tour.
BUDAPEST–BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA–VIENNA, AUSTRIA Journey northwest and cross the border into neighboring Slovakia. Stop in Bratislava, its intriguing capital on the banks of the Danube, to explore the medieval Old Town. Continue west and enter Austria, arriving in magical Vienna. Today’s Distance: 174 mi/ 280 km
VIENNA Join the included city sightseeing tour for an introduction to the major sights: the State Opera, Parliament, the ornate Rathaus (Town Hall), and views of the Hofburg Imperial Palace from Heroes’ Square. You’ll have plenty of time to discover Vienna on your own.
VIENNA–PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC Morning at leisure or join an optional excursion. This afternoon, cross the Czech border into Moravia, then through the rich farmlands of Bohemia to Prague. Today’s Distance: 208 mi/ 335 km
PRAGUE The wealth of Gothic and Baroque architecture perhaps inspired Dvorak and Smetana, both Prague composers. The included guided sightseeing features landmarks such as the Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge, and the Old Town Square with the astronomical clock. Your Tour Director may suggest an optional evening excursion with traditional Czech music and entertainment.
PRAGUE–NUREMBERG–GERMANY, FRANKFURT AREA This morning visit Nuremberg with its pretty market square and Our Lady’s Church before heading towards the Frankfurt Area. Today’s Distance: 323 mi/ 520 km
FRANKFURT AREA Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"Many people have ancestors from Central Europe. Maybe you do, as well! Come discover this unique part of the world. I love showing travelers the spirit of these countries through history, culture, and lifestyle. Born in Hungary, I know this region well, and am sure you'll enjoy each moment. You'll return home with the greatest memories and a little piece of my heart! Don¿t call it a dream, call it a plan!"
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"I decided to become a Tour Director in order to see the world-and lose weight. Unfortunately, the latter is impossible in Slovenia and Croatia, because the food is incredible. Still, it was worth a try! Since those early years I've discovered that the reality of travel is better than I ever imagined. Every day is different, and there is always something new to see and learn."
Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"When I am on tour, I enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge of culture, history, geography, art and gastronomy. I always enjoy the diversity of the people who decide to come and travel. It is impressive to see people from very different backgrounds, willing to learn about the new cities, countries and regions. And, of course, not only learning, but also enjoying each other's company, having fun together and forming new friendships which will often last for a lifetime. I am very glad that I chose to become a Tour Director."