This is a trip for a refined type of traveller, not content on the same tired view. They can’t find satisfaction eating Hungarian goulash; they need to try cooking it too. There’ll be no tired icons on the Berlin to Budapest, and we won’t be queuing in lines. We’ll be too busy sampling Czech craft beer & soaking up Krakow’s salt mines.
Ready and raring for a banquet of cultural travel, we’ll round up in Germany’s chic capital. With more museums than rainy days per year, Berlin is a place worth knowing about. We’ll introduce its inner workings with an Alternative Berlin Tour, uncovering its many facets & elusive underground.
Today we can cruise Berlin the vintage way, taking a tour in the official cars of the DDR. When hunger strikes, the carnivores could spend some time differentiating bockwurst from kinderwurst from fleischwurst. Meanwhile the more vegan inclined could sample a jackfruit burger or cashew bolognese at the solar powered organic hotel of Amaranth.
If yesterday’s independent food roamings whet the appetite for something more substantial, then todays offer of a progressive food tour should provide ample satisfaction. Later you could let kilos settle by sipping tea in a palace at the Tajik Tearoom, or by walking the abandoned building of Museumswohnung museum where you can see remnants of the communist era.
This morning we leave our beloved German culture hub, trading it in for the rapidly evolving capital of the Czech Republic. Before we take a look at progressive Prague & modern day Czech life, we’ll cast minds back to some of Europes darkest days with a stop at Terezin Concentration Camp. With our sombre stop behind us we’ll journey forwards arriving in the famously pretty city of Prague. With fairy-tale streets meeting hipster hangouts and graffiti, it’s not hard to understand the current allure of this beguiling city.
The history of Czech beer supposedly dates back to the year 993, when brewing took place in a monastery. With such cultural significance & historical roots, it seems only manners to do some Czech beer tasting. We will also have the option to take on the city by pushbike, allowing us to navigate narrow alleys & quaint corners otherwise forgotten.
Today we can take a trip to the UNESCO town of Kutna Hora, where gothic architecture, human bone chandeliers, & a silver mining history can be found. Staying city side, you could catch the tram to outer neighbourhoods like Vršovice, where you’ll realise Prague’s panache is best found beyond the Old Town. Here you’ll see the city’s transformation from seemingly abandoned to abounding in style, with great coffee haunts & streets lined with communal pianos.
If you picked up any Czech we’ll be saying our ‘ahoj’ this morning, as we leave Prague and make our way into Poland. After sliding due east and crossing the Czech / Poland border, we’ll pass through pretty towns like Katowice before hitting the brakes in Krakow. Arriving in the artistic capital of Poland, we’ll find a city of cherry trees & history & beauty. With gardens aplenty and a population of less than a million, it will be easy to feel at home here by the Vistula River. To settle in we’ll visit Wieliczka Salt Mine, where we can see chapels carved out of rock salt.
In a town where unassuming 14th century cobbled lanes can spit you onto a sprawling Romanesque castle, seeing as much as possible with the aid of a bike should be mandatory. Also on offer today will be a trip to Schindler’s Factory, where Nazi occupation of Krakow can be understood. Those keen to sneak a drink or two could visit a lush & local beer garden like Mleczarnia.
Tonight we have the chance to craft our very own traditional boiled dumplings known as pierogi, which means today we should hit the streets and clock up some walking. Whether its designer boutiques showcasing many Polish designers, or visiting the Jewish district of Kazimierz there is plenty to see and do in this charming town.
Feeling well versed on all things Poland, we’ll hit the streets in search of the capital of Hungary, where we get two cities for the price of one; this beauty is split by the River Danube. Making our way south we’ll slice through Slovakia, ogling at dreamy hill towns like Zvolen. We’ll then cross the border & pass Duna-Ipoly National Park, soon finding our final destination. Having found our nest, the delightful Budapest, we’ll kick back with a soul soothing spa visit. Thermal bathing has been tradition in these parts for hundreds of years – being culturally immersive has never been so indulgent.
Today we can tap into the tingles with a safe house experience, then tackle the city with a past & present tour. Those doing their own thing could venture to District VII of Elizabeth Town, finding gritty pubs & graffiti walls covering the traditional Jewish quarter. If the night hours need honouring, we can head recovered derelict Eighth District of Józsefváros, where we’ll find basement bars & live music venues amidst the cafes & vintage shops.
With an evening of traditional dining & cooking ahead of us, this city will prove itself a culinary hotspot. Work it all off with a bout of exploring, or for those about to pop you can drift up Castle Hill by historic funicular.
Today marks the sob worthy conclusion of our time going deep on Europe’s most budding cultural cities. With a newfound appreciation for the less travelled spots, we’ll say goodbye & make plans for our next worldly ventures.
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Trip Name: Berlin to Budapest
Duration: 13 Days
From Price: $1,994
Supplier Tour ID: EXBH/205246
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