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Grand Imperial Cities

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The tour was a great success and thoroughly enjoyable .
Mr J Urquhart
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You are viewing the 2019 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: HUC19)

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 four of Europe's greatest destinations.

  • Vienna, including a city tour
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Budapest including a city tour
  • The Children's Railway
  • Apfelstrudel and coffee in Vienna
  • Budapest Illuminated tour
  • Prague including a guided tour
  • Berlin including a city tour
  • Free time in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Berlin
What’s Included
  • First Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

Grand Imperial Cities 2019Tour 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 in First Class 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 of Vienna. Our tour takes us past 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 pass 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 beautifully landscaped parkland. We enjoy a slice of the famous Apfelstudel and coffee in an elegant Viennese cafe before a guided tour of the palace, followed by time to stroll through its elaborate gardens.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
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

Scenic rail journey to Budapest

We leave Vienna, travelling by rail across the border into Hungary. Our destination is Budapest, a city of two 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. The city and its buildings have been restored to their very best in what is now one of Europe's finest, grandest and most picturesque cities. We spend the next three nights here at the Hotel Continental. You have some time this afternoon to begin exploring Budapest at leisure before we dine together in a local restaurant where we receive a Tokaj wine reception on arrival.

  • 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 school children 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 city.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 Chain Bridge, Budapest
Chain Bridge, Budapest

Evening tour of Budapest

Today is free for you to explore Budapest at leisure; take the opportunity to view some of the city's main sights or simply stroll through historic streets, admiring the magnificent architecture and old world grandeur. Tonight we experience the city from a different perspective with a speciality evening meal and an evening coach tour of the illuminated city sights, including the Chain Bridge and spectacular view from Gellert Hill.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
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 Courtyard by Marriott Flora. In 'the city of a hundred spires', where copper-domed churches line the banks of the River Vltava and where architectural styles from across Europe blend together to create one of the continent'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 spent at leisure to continue exploring the stunning city of Prague.

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

To Berlin

This morning we leave Prague, heading northwards through the Bohemian countryside into Germany, tracing the winding route of the River Elbe through a region known as Saxon Switzerland on our way to Berlin, where we stay for two nights at the Maritim Hotel Berlin. We pause en route for a visit to Lübbenau in Spreewald, a picturesque oasis just outside of Berlin. This UNESCO protected biosphere is populated with pretty meadows, dense woodland and meandering rivers; a stark contrast to the nearby metropolis.

On the morning of Day 12, embark on a fascinating sightseeing tour of this once divided city. We soak in the main sights of Berlin, including the incredible Brandenburg Gate, a section of the Berlin Wall, which once divided East and West Berlin, as well as the Reichstag, the meeting place of the current German parliament. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell meal at our hotel.

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

Berlin to London

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

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal
  • Eurostar Meal (First Class only)
Airport waiting room

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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 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 Courtyard by Marriott Flora in Prague and 2 nights at the 4-Star Maritim Hotel in Berlin

Delicious meals included

  • 20 meals including 12 breakfasts and 8 dinners, including 1 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

Not Included

  • Flights and Airport transfers


What our customers think

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Tour Rating

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Dimitri Zgonis
Vaugnel Fletcher
Yung-Mei Choi
Grand Imperial Cities

Four 'must-see' cities on one rail tour


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