Take a journey of discovery to nations that were part of Europe’s Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. With their independence reborn and now at their most vibrant, these lands combine countless medieval delights with a sense of joyfulness that will seize your imagination. Come with us on this memorable 12-day tour and visit buzzing Frankfurt and Munich; trace Germany’s wondrous Romantic Road; relish the Baroque jewel of Salzburg; and admire the lovely cities of Ljubljana, Budapest, Vienna and Prague.
Begin your journey around Eastern Europe on board your trans-Atlantic flight to Germany.
Meet your Ritz Tours representative at Frankfurt airport and set off on an orientation coach tour of this lively metropolis. Best known as a commercial and financial powerhouse, Frankfurt, in reality, presents many other facets, including graceful Baroque architecture, buzzing squares and fine churches. After your brief tour, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. You may wish to unwind at your hotel, get to know the city at your own pace.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Leonardo Royal Hotel|4
This morning, leave Frankfurt and travel to beautiful Baroque Wurzburg, the northern starting point of the fabled Romantic Road. See the main sights of this photogenic town including its rebuilt St. Kilian Cathedral, Old Main Bridge and City Hall. Have your camera ready to capture the beautifully restored Wurzburg Residenz, the Baroque castle that towers over the town. Next, continue to the Bavarian capital of Munich, famed for its imposing squares and monuments, and its annual Oktoberfest beer festival. If time allows, enjoy a city tour taking in highlights such as the Old Town Hall at the Marienplatz and the onion-domed Cathedral Church of Our Dear Lady. Your day concludes with a convivial German Pork Knuckle Dinner to savor this delicious local specialty.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Holiday Inn Munich Unterhaching|4
Begin today with a sightseeing tour of Munich if time prevented it yesterday. Then relish the scenery as we drive to the southern-most stop on the Romantic Road, the enchanting city of Fussen. Delight in the awe-inspiring view of the iconic, hilltop Neuschwanstein Castle, set amid the foothills of the Alps. Built in the 19th century by the reclusive King Ludwig II, this fairy-tale folly was the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Afterward, continue through ravishing scenery to Austria and Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Austria Trend Salzburg West|4
Today, begin your tour of the Baroque gem of Salzburg at the entrancing Mirabell Gardens. Admire the tranquil reflecting pools, Hedge Theater and Dwarf Garden and Mirabell Palace at this rapturous spot immortalized in the film “The Sound of Music”. It’s easy to imagine Maria and the von Trapp children singing on the Palace’s staircase! Afterward, cross the Salzach River to explore the delight-filled Old Town. Enjoy free time to wander as you please, perhaps absorbing the panoramic views from the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress or visiting the townhouse where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born, now a museum. Alternatively, join our optional excursion St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang to experience the idyllic Austrian Lake district. Later, bid goodbye to Salzburg and travel south to Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Plaza Hotel Ljubljana|4
Often called the “Much Loved City,” olden Ljubljana never fails to delight. Framed by snow-capped mountains, this postcard-perfect city brims with lovely bridges, monuments and Baroque architecture. Enjoy an orientation tour, seeing medieval Ljubljana Castle, the exquisite Old Town, City Hall, Robba Fountain, St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Main Square and the Tromostovje “Triple Bridge.” Next, travel to the incredible Postojna Caves*. Visit the world’s largest known karst cave network to ogle its spectacular limestone stalagmites and stalactites. Then, cross into Croatia for an overnight stay in Plitvice.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Hotel Jezero|3
Today, be blown away by the natural wonders of Plitvice National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Park’s interconnecting lakes, mountains, waterfalls and forests will take your breath away. Flora and fauna lovers will be fascinated by the rich variety of wildlife and plants found here, including a staggering 126 species of birds. Later, arrive at the Hungarian capital of Budapest in time to relax and enjoy a Traditional Hungarian Dinner complete with musical entertainment.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget|4
Budapest is named after its two original cities: Buda and Pest. Today, step into a world of Hungarian history and culture on a sightseeing tour. See the picturebook Fisherman’s Bastion*, Matthias Church*, the grandiose Parliament Building, and the Royal Palace, sometimes known as Buda Castle. Then, join a Danube River Cruise* and sail the fabled river to Pest. Board a coach here to visit Heroes’ Square and admire its iconic statues celebrating the Magyar chieftains who first settled here in the 9th century. Afterward, travel to Vienna and enjoy time in the “City of Music” at leisure, perhaps to shop, relax or explore independently. In the evening, why not join us for an optional Mozart Concert?
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Austria Trend Hotel Ananas|4
After breakfast, view the splendors of Austria’s capital on our city tour. Visit the 18th-century Schonbrunn Palace, dubbed the “Beautiful Spring Palace,” admiring its stately gardens, statuary and Gloriette belvedere of what was the summer residence of the Hapsburgs. Enjoy a scenic drive around Vienna’s showpiece sights, including the Vienna Opera House, circular Ringstrasse Boulevard, City Hall, Parliament Building, and the beautiful Hofburg Palace. Say a fond farewell to Vienna as we continue our journey to Prague.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Hotel International Prague|4
The 1,000-year-old capital of the Czech Republic is eulogized for its spectacular, cookie-cutter skyline and fairy-tale architecture. Today, spend time relishing the sights of this, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities on our fascinating tour. Explore the palaces, cathedrals and gardens within walled Prague Castle including the revered Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. Cross the statue-lined Charles Bridge to the Old Town Square to view its legendary Astronomical Clock and evocative Jewish Quarter. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you please.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Hotel International Prague|4
This morning, travel through picturesque West Bohemia to the handsome spa town of Karlovy Vary. The perfect place to ease down your journey, this stately town nestles in lush hills and is named after the Holy Roman Emperor Charles (Karl) IV, who reputedly discovered its springs in 1358. Take a walking tour and learn about the springs’ lauded curative powers and how they have been used to treat ailments for centuries. Later, rejoin our coach for our return to Frankfurt.
Hotel As Per Itinerary: 253|Movenpick Hotel Frankfurt Center|4
Today, transfer to Frankfurt airport and contemplate the many memorable sights of your tour as you board your homeward flight.
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