The rumors you've heard about Eastern Europe are true - all of them. Castles, Communism, beer, beauty, irresistibly unique, massive nightlife, and even the opportunity to write Mom and Dad about all the history you'll learn. Spend 10 days exploring Eastern Europe’s most fascinating cities; cruising the Danube River and relaxing in the thermal baths of Budapest, writing a page in the newfound originality of Krakow, signing the John Lennon Wall in Prague, and getting medieval in Ljublana. The East is the most fascinating, rapidly changing region in Europe, hosting the greatest parties and best atmosphere at the cheapest prices!
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The trip departs Florence from the Santa Maria Novella train station. The meeting point is inside the International Ticketing Hall opposite tracks 8 and 9. Please meet your trip leader 20 minutes prior to departure. Travel to Budapest is by private luxury coach with A/C, DVD, and bathroom. We make one 45 minute stop. Upon arrival to Ljubljana, we will immediately check into our accommodation.
Friday morning at 10:00* we will depart on a private walking tour of historic Ljubljana. The tour will last approximately 2.5 hours. Afterwards, you will have free time to grab lunch and explore this beautiful, historic city. For those interested, your Bus2alps trip leader will set up an optional local dinner followed by drinks at local bar for later at night.
Saturday morning we will check out of our accommodation and depart for Lake Bled. Located a short distance away, Lake Bled is a beautiful Alpine Lake with plenty of activities. It is also home to the magnificent Bled Castle. We will depart Lake Bled for Budapest. After checking into our accommodation in Budapest, your Bus2alps trip leader will be happy to take you out on the town for the night.
Sunday morning we will meet at 11:00* for a 3.5 hour walking tour of Budapest with a professional Hungarian guide who grew up in Communist Hungary. Breakfast will be available prior to the walking tour. The walking tour is a great introduction to the city and to Magyar history and culture. Major sights on the tour include St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, Parliament building, Castle Hill/Royal Palace, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The tour is subject to arrival time and may be switched to Saturday. If it is switched, your trip leader will show those interested to the Great Market Hall or one of the thermal bath houses. The afternoon is free to explore Budapest and its many activities. Bus2alps recommends going Caving (available Friday only), joining the Communist Walking Tour (available Friday only), visiting the thermal baths, or going on a Danube River Cruise. The Caving tour starts at 15:45. Your trip leader will show you to the Caving meeting point at 15:15. The Communist Walking Tour departs at 15:30 from the same meeting point as the Budapest Walking Tour.
Sunday night we will go out for a traditional Hungarian dinner. Meet in reception of our hostel at 21:00*. Afterwards, you can join your trip leader to check out some of the great bars and underground clubs that Budapest is known for.
You are free to explore Budapest today. We recommend a visit to the Great Market Hall to try its great local cuisine and do some souvenir shopping. Get there early as the Hall closes down at 14:00. This is the perfect day to also visit one of the many fantastic thermal baths. Bus2alps recommends checking out the opulent Gellert Baths, located across the Danube from the Market Hall or the Szechenyi Baths, located near Heroes Square. Those of you looking to take in more of the city, your trip leader will lead you down Andrassy Utca, Budapest’s version of the Champs- Elysees, to the impressive Heroes Square. From Heroes Square you can access the city park, and the Szechenyi Baths. At night you are free to try one of the many restaurants in the area. Meet at the hostel at 23:00 to check out Murphy’s Music Bar, a large party complex with many diverse rooms playing different music genres.
We will depart Budapest for Krakow. We will check in to our accommodation upon arrival in Krakow. Krakow is one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities, with Europe’s largest market square, incredibly cheap and delicious food, and Europe’s highest concentration of bars (300 located near the town square). At night, head out for a typical Polish meal of pierogies, stuffed cabbage, and other assorted treats. There will then be a Pub Crawl to enjoy many of the over 300 bars.
Wednesday morning we will head out on a walking tour of Krakow at 10:00. The walking tour will explore the home of Pope John Paul II, Europe’s largest market square, Krakow Castle, and other various sites. The afternoon is free to visit many of Krakow’s up and coming museums, art galleries, or take a day trip out to the incredible Salt Mines. At night there will be an optional group dinner at a local Polish restaurant. Afterwards, you will be free to check out the night scene, or to wander around the beautiful medieval streets.
We will check out of our accommodation and depart Krakow for Prague. En route to Prague we will make a stop at the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, the most known of World War II. We will spend several hours at the site where you will have the option of a guided tour. We will depart Auschwitz-Birkenau for Prague. We will arrive in Prague and immediately check into our accommodation. After check-in, you will have the option to go out to one of Prague’s raging nightlife spots.
Friday morning, after some time for breakfast and to freshen up, we hook up with the best walking tour in the city, Sandemans New Prague Walking Tour. Our 3-hour tour will cover all the main sites and stories of Prague’s fascinating history while we explore Old Town, New Town, and the Jewish Quarter. The rest of the day is yours to explore Prague at your own pace. Options are endless: shopping sprees, monuments and museums, sipping on the local brew, and heaps more! If you’re looking for a great meal, your trip leader can point you in the direction of the Czech Kitchen, the best place to try traditional Czech cuisine at a really cheap price.
Friday night we take you out for a night on the town with the Clocktower Bar Crawl, the biggest bar crawl in Prague. We skip the tourist traps and hit Prague’s best local bars and clubs, and end up at an underground club that is open until dawn.
Saturday morning your trip leader will take you across the river to Mala Strana so that you can visit the Castle, Kafka Museum, the John Lennon Wall, and Charles Bridge. For a further in depth look at the Prague Castle, you can join the New Europe Castle tour. Thursday afternoon after the Bus2alps Walking Tour, your trip leader will take you to U Fleku, Prague’s most famous beer hall, for a 3-course Czech meal complete with a half liter of U Fleku’s home brewed beer! After lunch, you are free to visit the rest of this magnificent city, shop at the Palladium or pick of some souvenirs in the Old Town. At night, we will head to Lucerna, a video music club hosting the best 80’s/90’s night around.
On Sunday we will check out of our accommodation and depart Prague for Florence. We will make one stop en route for food. We will return to Florence after 3,000 miles, 7 countries, 4 incredible cities, and the best vacation of your life.
Walking Tours: There will be a walking tour of the highlights of each city on this tour. The tours are geared towards young travelers and use comedy and popular analgoies to relate how incredible these cities are to you. The walking tours help connect these well connected cities, and will help you better understand the significance of European history on present day society.
New Europe Tours: New Europe offers several specialized tours in each city on this tour that supplement the overall city tour. Everyone with Bus2alps receives a big discount on the tours.
Clock Tower Pub Crawl: The top Pub Crawl in Prague, and one of the best in Europe, all Bus2alps group members get a Free T-Shirt, VIP and priority entrance for each bar, and a champagne toast at the start.
Auschwitz Guided Tour: Somber, chilling, but a very important part of Europe history.
Wieliczka Salt Mine: One of the world’s oldest companies, the salt mines stretch for 3.5 km below the town of Wieliczka, and is one of the coolest day trips from Krakow.
Caving: Get a little dirty exploring the labyrinth of the Matyas cave system of Budapest. During this 3-hour tour you get to climb on walls, crawl through narrow passages, and see just what is going underneath the city. Be sure to bring boots or tennis shoes.
Bike rentals: In all cities on this tour it is possible to rent bikes, or even join an organized bike tour. Bus2alps is able to organize discounted rentals in certain cities. Check with your trip leader.
Danube River Cruise: A beautiful and fun way to see the city of Budapest.