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Grand Imperial Cities

(Tour code: HUC17)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.


Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £75 per person when booking your Europe, UK and Ireland Summer 2017 holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Vienna, including a city tour
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Budapest including a city tour
  • The Children's Railway
  • Sacher-torte and coffee in a traditional Viennese Cafe
  • Dinner cruise on the Danube
  • Prague including a guided tour
  • Berlin including a city tour
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meal
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge
    Total Group Porterage on selected departures

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Day 1

To Cologne

Enjoy a drinks reception at our dedicated Departrure Office before 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 beautiful city of Cologne, where we spend tonight.

  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
Day 2

On to Austria

We continue travelling south through Germany, passing through some of the country's magnificent cities, including Bonn, Frankfurt and Nuremberg as we make our way south towards the Austrian border. Our journey takes us to Vienna, the magnificent city of Mozart, where we spend the next three nights at the Mercure Hotel Biedermeier.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna
Day 3


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 Sacher-torte 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
  • Tour of Vienna
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Sacher-torte and coffee in a traditional Viennese Café
Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Day 4

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
  • Free Day
Day 5

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 where we receive a Tokaj wine reception on arrival. You have some time this afternoon to begin exploring Budapest at leisure before we dine together in a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Children’s Railway
Day 6

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
  • Tour of Budapest
  • Journey on the Children's Railway
Chain Bridge, Budapest
Day 7

Evening on the Danube

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 dinner cruise on the Danube and an evening coach tour of the illuminated city sights, including the Chain Bridge and spectacular view from Gellert Hill.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Danube dinner cruise
Day 8

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

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. Day 10 is spent at leisure.

  • Guided City Tour
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Free Day
Reichstag, Berlin
Days 11-12

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. Here we stay for two nights at the Maritim Hotel Berlin. En-route to the hotel there will be an introductory sightseeing tour of this fascinating city. Day 12 is spent at your leisure in fascinating Berlin.

  • Guided City Tour
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast
  • Day 12 - Free Day
Day 13

Berlin to London

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

Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Lynne Broadley
Julie Longfield
Phil Conde
Kathryn Cambridge



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