Explore three fascinating cities on this 11-day tour
Free standard class return tickets to London from your local station, on selected 2019 European holidays by rail when you book between 15th February 2019 and the 10th May 2019.
Magnificent architecture, iconic monuments and rejuvenated cities combine on a Berlin, Dresden and Prague tour, visiting three of the Continent's most important and most beautiful destinations on a journey into history.
We meet at our exclusive Departure Office in St Pancras, before boarding the Eurostar to Brussels. Here we change trains and travel by high-speed rail to Cologne. The final leg of our journey takes us to Berlin, where we spend three nights at the 4-Star Maritim Hotel and enjoying a welcome drink on arrival.
Our first full day in Germany's capital begins with a coach tour around the once divided German capital, admiring impressive Imperial buildings and introducing the sights of the former East Berlin. Following the tour, you have plenty of time to explore at your own pace and the opportunities are nearly endless.
Within easy reach is the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and Unter den Linden avenue, which leads past the State Opera House to the soaring TV tower and World Clock. Alternatively, perhaps stroll past the shops, bars and restaurants in the west of the city, or pay a visit to Checkpoint Charlie and the engrossing history of the Berlin Wall.
A morning coach tour past the Wannsee Lakes brings us to Potsdam, a former imperial city with some magnificent examples of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, whose entire centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the day we visit the inspirational Sanssouci Park. 'Sanssouci' means 'carefree' and the park was designed as a leisure retreat for Frederick the Great. The park is home to a number of beautiful royal buildings, including Sanssouci Palace and the magnificent New Palace, where we enjoy a guided tour.
After time to explore the park and its wonderful gardens, we return to Berlin. The following day, we leave Berlin for the journey by rail to Dresden, one of Germany's most beautiful cities, known as the 'Florence of the Elbe'. Here we spend three nights at the NH Collection Dresden Altmarkt. On arrival, a guided walking tour introduces the city's famous sights including the Baroque Zwinger Palace, the grand Semper Opera House, and the rebuilt and reconsecrated Church of Our Lady.
Today we embark on a vintage steam train ride through the Saxony countryside to visit the exquisite Palace of Mortizburg, a former hunting castle of the Saxon royal family. Originally built in 1542, the castle was remodelled in the 1720's by a Saxon monarch named Augustus the Strong and sits in vast parkland countryside containing several ponds, which create a lake around the palace. After enjoying a guided tour we return to Dresden, where your afternoon is free. You could visit the magnificent Old Masters' Gallery. Here you can see close to 750 paintings dating from the 15th to 18th centuries. It includes the prominent Italian Renaissance works and other pieces from Dutch and Flemish painters. Amongst the collection you can see the Sistine Madonna by Raphael, Sleeping Venus by Girgione and Titan's The Tribute Money. The gallery also houses outstanding works from Spanish, French and German artists.
Alternatively you might like to see the Green Vault, which is a historic museum home to a diverse variety of exhibits. Founded in 1723, the Vault is said to hold the largest collection of 'treasures' in Europe.
On Day 6, we take a coach excursion to Colditz, where we take a guided tour of the iconic Castle. Built high on a crag above the sleepy town, the Renaissance fortress has served as a hunting lodge and hospital during its long history but its most famous period came during the Second World War, when it was one of Europe's most notorious PoW camps. A constant battle of wits between Allied prisoners and German guards resulted in more than 300 daring escape attempts; incredibly; just thirty prisoners were successful. We visit the castle's museum, which includes a variety of escape devices. Visitors can also descend to the tunnel built by French prisoners.
Bidding Dresden farewell, we travel by train through a picturesque region of dramatic crags, peaks and rocky gorges known as Saxon Switzerland. After travelling through the Bohemian countryside, we reach the Czech Republic and Prague, the 'City of 100 Spires'. The next day we enjoy a guided tour of the city, starting in the Castle district. We visit the castle itself, as well as St Vitus' Cathedral. We stroll down to Charles Bridge to marvel at Prague's wonderfully preserved Old Town. Here our guide will introduce the atmospheric Old Town Square, with its astronomical clock and Tyn Church. Day 9 is at leisure for you to continue exploring under your own steam. Perhaps you'd like to visit the popular Prague Zoo?
Alternatively, you could see the Lesser Quarter, one of Prague's most historic quarters. Other options include the Petrin Tower, an observation tower offering tremendous views over the city, you may also like to return to the Castle District - the buildings here representing virtually every architectural style of the last millennium and are one of Prague's most famous draws. Whatever it is you wish to see, Prague is one of Europe's most popular and varied destinations.
Gourmet restaurants, cocktail bars and trendy cafés are easy to find. If you are looking for something more authentic, you can feast on pork and dumplings washed down with beer in a traditional pub.
Many of Prague's main sites are just a short journey away and trams and public transport are available throughout the city. Day passes may be purchased for the extensive tram, bus and metro network. You can take a leisurely stroll along the Vltava River, or possibly cruise gently through the city, the most relaxing way to see the sights.
Departing from Prague we travel by coach back into Germany heading for Nuremberg. Here we spend our final night at the Maritim Hotel, situated a short walk from the city's Old Town and close to the stunning Cathedral building. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell meal together at our hotel.
We journey back via Cologne to Brussels. In the Belgian capital we connect with the Eurostar to London.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Explore three fascinating cities on this 11-day tour