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Eastern Europe for Solo Travelers: Budapest to Prague

10 days |  13 days with Poland extension
10 days |  13 days with Poland extension
Group size1528 travelers
Physical activity
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Bask in the glories of Imperial Europe, from castle grounds to market squares.

The baroque and the brutalist. The medieval and the modern. Eastern Europe’s contrasts complement one another, making it a destination unlike any other. With your fellow solo travelers by your side and a Tour Director leading the way, you’ll experience the region like a local. Top-tier cities like Budapest and Prague await you, as do under-the-radar gems like Bratislava. Wrocław, Kraków, and the solemn remains of Auschwitz are just some of the powerful places you’ll visit on the extension to Poland. And the only decision you’ll have to make on tour will be determining which stop was your favorite.

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in a private room at handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 2 food tastings
  • 3 sightseeing tours
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Included highlights

  • Hungarian State Opera House
  • Budapest’s Matthias Church
  • Primate’s Palace in Bratislava
  • Prague Castle
  • Charles Bridge walk
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Budapest.

Budapest3 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Budapest
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Hungary! Touch down and transfer to your hotel. Then, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a mixer before sitting down for a welcome dinner, served with beer or wine.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Budapest
Included meal: Breakfast

Divided by the River Danube, the once-separate towns of Buda and Pest merged in 1873 to form one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting and lively capitals. Today, you’ll have a chance to explore the city of Budapest, diving into its beautiful architecture, distinct culture, and intriguing history alongside a local guide.

  • Trace this nation’s stormy past at Heroes’ Square, a sprawling plaza adorned with statues of national leaders and the legendary seven chieftains of the Magyars.
  • Tour the lavish interior of the Hungarian State Opera House. If you’re wondering how to best define “opulence,” you’ll find it in the auditorium: Rich golds and crimsons carry the eye to statues symbolizing operatic voices and the virtues, all watched over by delicately painted murals.
  • Cross the Danube and ascend Castle Hill. Topped by the UNESCO-listed Buda Castle, this outcrop was the historic home of the Hungarian Kings for more than 800 years until the title was dissolved after World War I.
  • Bask in breathtaking views of the city from the neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion, so named for the band of fisherfolk who guarded this part of an old castle’s walls.
  • Visit the medieval Matthias Church, once the site of Hungarian and Habsburg coronations. You’ll know you’ve arrived once you see it: Its colorful, scale-like roof and gothic facade are things of beauty.

If you want to spend a few hours delving into Budapest’s history under fascist and communist regimes, tack today’s excursion onto your itinerary. Alternatively, use your free day to soak away your stresses in one of the city’s popular thermal baths.

Budapest: A Walk Behind the Iron Curtain

From $135 per person

Day 4: Free day in Budapest
Included meal: Breakfast

Hungarian wine country, and all its curiously complex varietals, lies beyond Budapest. Use your free day to roam the restful northern shores of Lake Balaton—one of the nation’s principal growing regions—with your group on an optional excursion, or stay in town and visit the Hungarian Parliament Building on your own. With its symmetrical structure, several spires, and finely detailed facade, the Országház—as it’s called in the Magyar language—is the country’s most famous landmark. (It’s also Hungary’s biggest building!)

Lake Balaton Wine Tasting & Lunch

From $220 per person

Bratislava2 nights
Day 5: Transfer to Bratislava & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

Today, you’ll head northwest, leaving Hungary and tracing the Danube all the way to Bratislava, Slovakia. Fringed by vineyards and filled with buildings from different eras, this compact capital makes for great exploration. Leave your bus, meet your local guide, and hit the streets for an in-depth walking tour.

  • Begin in the Old Town, the medieval core of the city. Stroll between pastel-colored homes and past Bratislava’s eponymous castle. Distinguished by its rectangular walls and four corner towers, it has loomed over the Danube from its rocky perch since the ninth century.
  • Enter the neoclassical Primate’s Palace, a stately structure with pale pink walls that serves as the mayor’s seat. Pass through the four columns framing its entrance and make your way to the historic Hall of Mirrors. Over the centuries, the room has witnessed the signing of peace treaties and the meeting of parliaments; today, the Bratislava City Council convenes there.
  • End your afternoon at a local cafe, tasting traditional Slovak pastries. (Don’t miss the kolache, sweet dough rolled with spiced walnuts and baked to perfection.)

For an out-of-this-world dinner, beam up to Bratislava’s famous UFO with your groupmates during this evening’s excursion. Alternatively, make your own plans—and maybe try to squeeze in a show at the Slovak Philharmonic. The state orchestra plays at a baroque, 18th-century concert hall, in surroundings as elegant as the strains its musicians send floating through the air.

Bratislava UFO Tower Dinner

From $185 per person

Day 6: Free day in Bratislava
Included meal: Breakfast

Catching the cozy smells of Vienna’s coffeehouses on the wind? Follow your nose further up the Danube on today’s excursion to spend some time in Austria’s famous capital. Or, stay behind for a restful day in Bratislava. You can explore at your leisure—but if you have the chance, pay a visit to St. Martin’s Cathedral. Formerly part of the city’s fortifications, this understated Gothic church hosted Hungarian coronation ceremonies for more than 260 years.

A Day in Vienna

From $145 per person

Prague3 nights
Day 7: Transfer to Prague & evening cruise
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive through the pastoral landscapes of the Czech Republic’s Central Bohemian Region en route to Prague, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

After settling into your hotel and freshening up, reconvene for an evening cruise along the Vltava. As the country’s longest river, it traces a line from the Bohemian Forest up through Prague to the great River Elbe. Take to its serene waters aboard a cruise ship and marvel at the City of a Hundred Spires from its decks. You’ll sail past Prague’s famous bridges, dining on authentic Czech dishes as you go. After having your fill of food and live music, dock once more and draw your day to a close.

Please note: The dinner cruise depends on the water levels of the Vltava. In the event of cancellation, it’ll be replaced by an included dinner on land.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Prague
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

Today, develop a deeper understanding of Prague’s history on a guided sightseeing tour, led by a local guide.

  • Begin with a visit to Prague Castle. Considered the largest ancient castle on the planet, this 1,150-year-old structure utilizes Gothic, Romanesque, and other architectural styles over its grounds. It isn’t just a relic, either: Once the seat of Bohemian kings, it currently serves as the presidential residence.
  • Admire the vaults of St. Vitus Cathedral, the final resting place of Rudolf II, Charles IV, and other Holy Roman emperors.
  • Walk down to the red shingles and baroque buildings of the Malá Strana district. Originally founded by royal decree in 1257, the “Little Quarter” stands opposite the Old Town, just across the Vltava. Pop into a local cafe for a cup of coffee before continuing down to the riverbank.
  • Cross Karlův Most—the elegant Charles Bridge. Hewn from Bohemian sandstone and lined by statues of Catholic saints, it has connected Malá Strana to Prague’s Old Town since the 15th century.
  • Stroll through the Old Town Square to the Old Town Hall. There, on its southern wall, you’ll find Prague Orloj—the city’s famous astronomical clock. First hung in 1410, it’s the oldest timepiece of its kind still in use, marking each passing hour with a mechanized “Walk of the Apostles.”

Interested in lofty views and lovely brews? Join your Tour Director on the afternoon’s optional excursion for a survey of Prague’s baroque highlights and brewing heritage. For self-guided sights, head to the edge of the Malá Strana and scale Petřín Hill by foot or funicular. Your goal: the Lookout Tower. Its 299 steps provide a challenge, but unfettered views of Prague from 208 feet in the air provide ample payoff.

Baroque Prague & Beer Tasting

From $130 per person

Day 9: Free day in Prague
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

How would you like to spend your final full day on tour? To see more of the Czech countryside—as well as UNESCO-listed churches, chapels, and landmarks—pick up today’s optional excursion to the town of Kutná Hora. If you’d rather stay in Prague, make a point of walking the Jozesof quarter. A living testament to the tribulations endured by Prague’s Jewish community, this former ghetto contains a number of centuries-old synagogues and the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in all of Europe.

Whatever you choose, you’ll meet up with your group in the evening for one final meal. Toast your trip during a farewell dinner, served with beer or wine, before turning in for the night.

Kutná Hora

From $139 per person

Flight Home
Day 10: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Gear up for a big travel day: Either transfer to the airport for your flight home or hop on your bus to continue your journey in Poland.

Extension to Poland
Poland has enough medieval monuments and Gothic cathedrals to rival any European destination, but its recent history deserves attention, too. This enriching extension incorporates all of it, highlights and hidden gems alike. In just a few days, you’ll venture from the halls of Książ Castle—the Neuschwanstein of Poland—to the charming squares of Wrocław, and from the dark confines of Auschwitz to the lively markets of Kraków.
Wrocław1 night
Day 10: Wrocław via Książ Castle
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Bid Prague farewell and make your way to Poland. After an included lunch at a local restaurant, detour to regal Książ Castle. Incorporating Gothic, Baroque, and rococo elements, this clifftop castle is known as the Pearl of Lower Silesia. After your audio-guided tour of its grounds, you’ll understand why.

  • Learn about the rise and fall of the noble families who once called Książ home as you explore some of its 400 rooms.
  • After walking through its luxurious interior, join a guide and descend beneath the castle. There, you’ll encounter the underground remnants of a Nazi construction project that used concentration camp inmates as forced laborers. Uncover this piece of subterranean history as you walk through its tunnels, learning about the castle’s German occupation and its role in Project Riese.

From there, continue to the day’s final stop. Pronounced “VROTS-wahf,” the Silesian capital of Wrocław is considered one of the prettiest cities in all of Eastern Europe. Before turning in, set off on a short walk with your Tour Director and breathe in some of its charm.

  • Begin in the heart of the city and amble through the medieval Market Square—one of the biggest in Europe. Surrounded by colorful houses, the Rynek (as it’s known locally) also boasts the two largest city halls in the country.
  • Pass by the Hansel and Gretel Houses, two tenements on the corner of the Market Square. Connected by a stone gate, they’ve stood “holding hands” since the 15th century, prompting locals to give them their fairytale name.
  • Speaking of fairytales, keep an eye out for gnomes! Sculpted from bronze and scattered throughout the city, these little statues symbolize Poland’s resistance against communist oppression. Rumor has it that more than 300 have popped up around Wrocław; try to find as many as you can before calling it a night.
Kraków2 nights
Day 11: Kraków via Auschwitz-Birkenau
Included meal: Breakfast

En route to Kraków, pay a visit to one of the most chilling sites in Europe: Auschwitz-Birkenau. Before the arrival of the Soviet Red Army in 1945, Nazi soldiers at this concentration camp systematically murdered more than 1.1 million people, mainly individuals of Jewish descent. Rather than tearing it down, the Polish government preserved the camp, converting it into a poignant memorial to those who were killed in the Holocaust.

Upon arrival, you’ll take a guided tour of the grounds, passing its barracks, fences, and gas chambers—all reminders of the tragedies that unfolded there less than 100 years ago. Afterward, drive to neighboring Birkenau, part of the larger camp complex, to continue your tour and reflect on what you’ve seen before continuing to Kraków.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Kraków
Included meal: Breakfast

Straddling the Vistula River at the base of the Carpathian Mountains, the former royal capital of Kraków still influences Polish life as a cultural hub. Get to know it with help from a local guide.

  • Visit the city’s WWII-era Jewish Ghetto and the neighboring site of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, which employed Jewish workers who would’ve been sent to extermination camps during the Nazi occupation of 1939-45.
  • Visit Wawel (“VA-vel”) Cathedral, the final resting place of Casimir III the Great, a 14th-century king fondly remembered for his prolific building projects and astute diplomacy. This active Catholic church, built in the Gothic style, stands on its namesake hill—home to the Wawel Royal Castle, which contains over 1,000 artworks.
  • Stroll through Glowny Square, Europe’s largest market. On weekends, it floods with vendors, offering a great chance to sample local specialties. If you’re feeling ambitious, buy a ticket and climb the Town Hall’s tower for an incredible view of the square and its surroundings.
  • Pass the beautiful Sukiennice, or the Kraków Cloth Hall—often regarded as the world’s oldest shopping mall. Then, round out your sightseeing tour at Jagiellonian University, the oldest institute of higher learning in Poland.

Enjoy a free afternoon in Kraków to explore on your own. Later on, reconvene for a farewell drink in the evening. Celebrate your trip with your groupmates, then head back out into the city for some more wandering. Alternatively, tack on the night’s excursion to learn how to prepare pierogies and file the recipe away for use back home.

Polish Cooking Demonstration & Dinner

From $149 per person

Flight Home
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

Hotels

We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
Hotel Novotel Budapest Centrum
Hotel Novotel Budapest Centrum

This historic art nouveau hotel is located in downtown Budapest. Guests enjoy the fitness center, bar, and beautiful Palace Restaurant. Nearby, you’ll...

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AC Hotel by Marriott Bratislava
AC Hotel by Marriott Bratislava

This posh hotel is located within the Old Town of Bratislava. Guests enjoy rooftop terrace, fitness center, and casino. Nearby you’ll find Bratislava ...

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NH Prague City
NH Prague City

This modern hotel is located in the Smíchov district of Prague. Guests enjoy a gym and sauna, restaurants with terraces, and a tennis court. Nearby, y...

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Novotel Wrocław Centrum
Novotel Wrocław Centrum

This chic hotel is located in the heart of Wrocław. Guests enjoy the sauna, lounge-bar, and on-site coffee house. Nearby you’ll find the historic Mark...

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Hilton Garden Inn Kraków
Hilton Garden Inn Kraków

This hotel is located steps away from the Kazimierz neighborhood. Guests enjoy spa packages, a fitness center, and bicycle rentals. Nearby, you’ll fin...

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Flights

Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights

FAQ

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