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Grand Imperial Cities

13 Days from £1,995per
The holiday was a great success and thoroughly enjoyable .
Mr J Urquhart
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You are viewing the 2020 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: HUC20)

Four 'must-see' cities on one rail tour

Fascinating grand imperial cities and high-speed intercity train journeys showcase the turbulent history of Central Europe. Discover what turned these former Habsburg and Prussian cities into 4 of modern Europe's greatest destinations.

  • Vienna, including a city tour
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Apfelstrudel and coffee in Vienna
  • Budapest including a city tour
  • The Children's Railway
  • Budapest Illuminated tour
  • Prague including a guided tour
  • Berlin including a city tour
  • Free time in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Berlin
What’s Included
  • Heritage Rail Excursion
    First and Standard class rail travel available
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
    Throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room

Grand Imperial Cities 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 Vienna

To Vienna

This morning, we begin our voyage towards Central Europe on the Eurostar from St Pancras International to Brussels. We continue from Brussels to the city of Frankfurt, where we spend tonight.

On Day 2 we continue travelling south through Germany as we make our way towards the Austrian border. Our journey takes us to Vienna, the magnificent city of Mozart, where we spend the next three nights at the Marriott Imperial Riding School Renaissance.

  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal (First Class only), Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna


This morning we enjoy a city tour of Vienna, taking in the city's Imperial architecture on the famous Ringstrasse - a wide avenue that encircles the Old City. We pass many of Vienna's finest ornate buildings, including the impressive Hofburg Palace, a vast complex of buildings that demonstrates the awesome power and wealth commanded by the Habsburgs, who used the palace as their ruling headquarters for six centuries.

We also see the impressive Opera House, one of the leading opera venues in the world, as well as the grand Parliament building. Later today we visit spectacular Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Imperial family, situated within beautifully landscaped parkland. We enjoy a slice of cake and coffee in an elegant Viennese café before a guided tour of the palace, followed by time to stroll through its elaborate gardens.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Belvedere Palace, Vienna

At leisure in Vienna

Today you are free to explore at your own pace. Vienna's glorious Gothic cathedral, the Stephansdom, is located at the very centre of the city. By climbing the 553 steps to the top of the cathedral you will be rewarded with one of the best views of the city. Alternatively, a ride on the giant Ferris wheel in Prater Gardens offers a more laid back way to achieve a superb view across the city.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 Budapest

To Budapest

We leave Vienna, travelling by rail across the border into Hungary. Our destination is Budapest, a city of 2 halves divided by the mighty River Danube and sewn together by a collection of beautiful, elegant bridges including the famous Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent crossing to link the two halves of the city. The flatter, lively region of Pest looks across the water to its older, historical neighbour, the hilly Buda which rises up away from the banks of the river.

Budapest was once the joint capital of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire. Tonight we experience the city from a different perspective enjoying a 3 course meal with included drinks in a traditional Hungarian restaurant before embarking on a specular illuminated Budapest by night coach tour, tracing the Danube south. Our enchanting evening is filled with stunning views of the city after dark, including the Chain Bridge and spectacular Gellert Hill.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 Children’s Railway
Children’s Railway

Budapest and the Children’s Railway

This morning we enjoy a guided coach tour, introducing us to Budapest's main sights. We pass impressive buildings and monuments on both sides of the Danube, including the Neo-Gothic Parliament building that was designed to resemble the Palace of Westminster, the magnificent State Opera House and St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion. Later we enjoy a ride on the Children's Railway, a service operated by Hungarian schoolchildren who consider it a great honour to be chosen to help run it. The line runs through beautiful woodland in the hills above Buda and presents wonderful views of the greenery which surrounds the city.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 Budapest

At leisure in Budapest

Today is free for you to explore Budapest at leisure; take the opportunity to view some of the city's main sights. Perhaps visit one of the famous spa-houses which are dotted around the city, such as the marvellous Gellért thermal bath which was built in 1918. Alternatively, simply stroll through historic streets, admiring the magnificent architecture and old world grandeur.

  • Breakfast
Day 8 Prague

To Prague by rail

We depart Budapest by train, travelling through Slovakia and the city of Bratislava to the Czech Republic. We arrive in Prague and spend three nights at the Vienna House Andels Prague. In 'the city of a hundred spires', copperdomed churches line the banks of the River Vltava and architectural styles from across Europe blend together to create one of Europe's most beautiful cities.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 9-10 Prague

Sightseeing in Prague

During a guided tour through the narrow streets of the Old Town, we discover some of Prague's most famous sights. We begin at Hradcany Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe. We also walk across the 14th century Charles Bridge, which has 75 statues along its walls, and pass the Gothic spires of St Vitus' Cathedral. This afternoon, and Day 10, is at leisure to continue exploring the stunning city of Prague.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
Days 11-12 Reichstag, Berlin
Reichstag, Berlin

To Berlin

This morning we leave Prague, heading through the Bohemian countryside into Germany, tracing the route of the River Elbe on our way to Berlin. On arrival in Berlin, we embark on a tour of this once divided city. We soak in the main sights including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a section of the Berlin Wall, which once divided East and West Berlin. Day 12 is yours at leisure.

  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast
Day 13 Eurostar

Berlin to London

Bidding farewell to mainland Europe, we travel by high-speed rail to Brussels, via Cologne, where we join the Eurostar service to St Pancras International. On arrival in London, your tour concludes.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal (First Class only)

Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • First Class rail travel throughout (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
  • Standard Class departures also available. Please see departure details in the pricing grid or call for further information
  • All rail and coach transfers

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 12 nights' hotel accommodation including 1 outbound overnight stay in Frankfurt, 3 nights at the 4-Star Marriott Imperial Riding School Renaissance in Vienna, 3 nights at the 4-Star Continental Hotel in Budapest, 3 nights at the 4-Star Vienna House Andel's in Prague and 2 nights at the 4-Star NH Collection Berlin in Berlin

Delicious meals included

  • 17 meals including 12 breakfasts and 5 dinners, including a farewell meal in Berlin

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Evening coach tour of Budapest's illuminated city sights
  • City tours of Vienna, including apfelstrudel and coffee, Prague and Berlin
  • A guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace
  • A city tour of Budapest with a journey on the Children's Railway

NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfer

  • Inclusive luggage transfers throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
  • To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) - prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking. View more information.

Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

What our customers think

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Tour Rating

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Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
Grand Imperial Cities

Four 'must-see' cities on one rail tour


Europe & UK by Rail 2020

The definitive guide to our 2020 summer & winter rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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