Budapest - Itinerary

Arrive in Budapest; meeting, assistance, and transfer by private car and guide to the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel, formerly the Gresham Palace. Enjoy deluxe rooms at this fabulous hotel located on the Danube promenade. After check-in, enjoy a privately guided orientation tour of this beautiful city, including a back stage tour of the State Opera House, built in the neo-Renaissance style and restored to its original splendor. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy all of the delights of this city’s beautiful boulevards, castles, and museums. Considered the most sophisticated of Central European capitals, this lively and charming city divided by the Danube has retained its special Hungarian flavor over the years.

Begin the day with a half-day city tour by private car and guide of the majestic capital of Hungary. See the medieval Castle District, Fishermen’s Bastion, Matthias Church, Heroes’ Square and Gellert Hill, which boasts magnificent panoramic views of the city. Visit the magnificent Parliament building, the city’s most famous landmark, whose beautiful neo-Gothic structure is mirrored in the Danube in the same way that the British Parliament is mirrored in the Thames. Following a break for lunch, continue on a tour to the former residence of famous Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. The renowned house on Csalán Road is now a museum that attentively guards Bartók's personal belongings and regularly evokes his spirit through his music. Located in the outskirts of the hills on the Buda side, the museum’s exhibition calls to mind the creator, the ethnomusicologist and the performer, but in particular it recaptures the outstanding personality; the man who wrote his masterpieces throughout the 1930’s: the Sonata For Two Pianos, the Contrasts, the Divertimento for Paul Sacher and the Chamber Orchestra of Basel, and the Violin Concerto dedicated to Zoltán Székely in his tiny upstairs workroom. Enjoy a private concert before returning to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Today features a full-day excursion by private car and guide into Hungary’s History. This tour will take you to Visegrad, the former Royal residence, where you will get a fascinating view of the Danube Valley. Then you will visit Esztergom, Hungary’s first capital, where St. Stephen was crowned in 1000 AD as the first Christian King and founder of the nation. Continue to Szentendre, the charming artist’s colony in the Danube Bend. Szentendre is one of Hungary's most attractive villages. The Serb settlers of the 18th century have left their legacy in Szentendre's many Orthodox churches. Walk through the quaint, winding streets lined with shops. Return to Budapest. This evening enjoy dinner reservations and private transfers to the famous Gundel Restaurant which has hosted presidents, kings, and queens from all over the world with its legacy of old-world grandeur and elegant cuisine, and, of course, gypsy music.

Transfer by private car to the airport for your short flight on Czech Airlines to Prague; meeting, assistance and transfer by private car and guide to the incredible Four Seasons Hotel, located near the Charles Bridge. Your deluxe room will afford you the most spectacular views of this beautiful city. Hardly any other city has been adorned with words of praise to the extent Prague has; it has often been called "Golden" and "incomparable." Resting on the sloping banks of the Vltava River, the main artery of Bohemian waterways, Prague's cobblestone streets are connected by arching and ancient stone bridges, contrasting with the cosmopolitan atmosphere of modern Prague. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town Square, where you can admire the Astronomical Clock and the gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn. Or, you may wish to take a private tour of the Presidential Palace of Prague Castle to see rooms intended for the reception of official guests. In these rooms important state events take place and they are not open to the general public. Some of them served as state rooms and dwelling quarters for the sovereigns in the 16th century. Visit the 16th century Spanish Hall and the Rudolph Gallery. This exclusive visit is subject to the approval of the President’s office.

Your full-day city tour by private car and guide features all of the historical districts of the city with their famous monuments, including Prague Castle, the Old Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the enchanting Charles Bridge. Visit the newly opened Lobkowicz Palace with its huge exposition of art collections. Walk through the old Jewish Quarter and see the Jewish State Museum, a vast network of buildings and synagogues. Continue on a tour to the Strahov Monastery and Library. The second-oldest monastery in Prague, Strahov was founded high above Malá Strana in the year 1143 by Vladislav II. It is still home to Premonstratensian monks. Over the centuries, the monks have assembled one of the world's best collections of philosophical and theological texts, including illuminated (decorated with colored designs) manuscripts and first editions. Private visit includes Theological and Philosophical Halls which are not open to the public. The oldest manuscript is dated 860! You may also choose to take a truly unique tour of the Estates Theater led by Orchestra conductor and Famous Czech actor Pavel Vondruska. The theater was the site of the world premier of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in October 1787, with Mozart himself conducting! Part of this unforgettable experience is a private chamber concert with a Chamber Quartet playing Mozart’s or any other works, while you enjoy a glass of champagne.

Morning tour to Nelahozeves Castle, privately owned by the aristocratic Lubkowicz family. Built in the 16th century, the castle represents the pinnacle of Renaissance Bohemian architecture with one of the finest private art collections in Central Europe. The Lobkowicz picture gallery offers a sample of six centuries of European art, ranging from the Renaissance to the end of the 1930’s. The castle has works by Rubens, Pieter Breugel the Elder, and Canaletto as well as the original scripts of Beethoven’s 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th symphonies. Nelahozeves Village is also the birthplace of the legendary Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak. Your tour will include wine tasting and you will enjoy lunch in the castle restaurant. Or you may wish to take a tour to Terezin, the former Nazi Concentration camp, led by a Terezin survivor. This emotional journey can only be done in a few countries and only for a few more years as the survivors have endured so much in the time-span since World War II. Visit the small fortress; the museum; the Magdeburg Barracks; the Hidden Synagogue; the Crematorium; and the Jewish cemetery with its impressive Menorah Sculpture surrounded by symbolic, nameless graves; while your guide gives a first-hand account of his life there.

Drive through the lush, picturesque villages and cultural wealth of Southern Bohemia. Stop at the magical medieval town of Cesky Krumlov – one of the most remarkable historical urban areas in Europe with its excellently preserved Gothic and Renaissance buildings. Cesky Krumlov was founded in the 13th century and is situated in the beautiful countryside of Southern Bohemia, full of little villages and ponds. The town, called the “Pearl of Bohemia,” has preserved its medieval atmosphere. The historical center of the town was added to the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1992. Enjoy the two dominant features in the town – the Castle, built in the Renaissance style (the second biggest castle in the country after Prague Castle), which houses rich historical collections, and the beautiful Gothic Church of St. Vitus. Then pass through the medieval town of Ceske Budejovice, founded in the 13th century as a King’s town, now known worldwide as a home of the famous brewery Budweiser. Enjoy many typical medieval streets, galleries, pubs and shops. Return to Prague. This evening enjoy reservations and private car transfers to the beautiful Bellevue Restaurant with its outstanding views of the Castle Area all aglow at night.

Transfer by private car and guide to the airport for your departure flight.