Day 1 Depart USA
- An orientation tour and lunch that welcomes you to Budapest
- A detailed and personalized exploration of the history and culture of Budapest
- Discovering the Ottoman past in Eger
- Watching the sun set over Lake Balaton
You depart on your overnight flight for Budapest, the capital of Hungary. This charming capital is bisected by the Danube River with hills and valleys on the Buda side and the flat, low-lying Pest on the other. The riverside panorama has been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Day 2 Welcome to Hungary
Upon arrival and after clearing customs you will be met by your guide and taken to your waiting car. Although we will explore the city in more detail, this morning you will get an orientation tour of the key parts of the city. You will stop for lunch and begin to become at home with this most charming of European cities. You are then taken to your deluxe hotel where you have a chance to relax and freshen up. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Day 3 Buda and Pest with the Danube in Between
After a good night's rest you are ready to meet your guide for a personalized exploration of both parts of the city, divided by the Danube but connected by nine bridges the oldest being the Szechenyi Chain Bridge built in 1849. You start your visit on the Buda side beginning with the Castle district and a visit to Matthias church, Budapest's most famous church and dating back to the 13th Century. You will then visit the Fisherman's Bastion, a neo-Romanesque edifice with seven towers built on the medieval walls and offering spectacular views of the city. The views continue as you travel to Gellert Hill where you enjoy lunch. In the afternoon you explore Pest including Heroes' Square, Vajdahunyad Castle, Andrassy Street, the Opera House, St. Stephen's Basilica and the Parliament building before returning to the hotel. This evening we are pleased to host you at the Marvabymenyasszony Restaurant where you will enjoy a dinner with wine, gypsy music and a folklore show.
Day 4 Scenic Danube Views
After breakfast you will leave the city for an excursion to Danube Bend, considered one of Hungary's most beautiful regions. Your first stop will be Esztergom which is the center of the Catholic Church in Hungary. You will have a chance to visit the Basilica before moving on to Visegrad once a royal seat where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful panoramas in the country. After lunch at a local restaurant you drive to Szentendre a picturesque baroque town noted for its winding streets. The town is noted for its artists and the many museums including the Kovacs Margit Ceramics museum which you will visit before returning to Budapest.
Day 5 Godollo and Eger
After breakfast your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you out into the Hungarian countryside to the town of Godollo. There you will visit Castle Grassalkovich which was the most popular residence of Emperor Franz Joseph's wife Elizabeth, better known as "Sisi". As with many Hungarian buildings it was built in the baroque style. The palace has been renovated and twenty six rooms have been restored and opened to the public including the royal apartments the grand hall and Franz Joseph's study. The next stop will be the town of Eger which is surrounded by hills covered with wines from whence comes the famous "Bull's Blood" red wine. Eger is also one of the most beautiful towns in Hungary with a Turkish past due to the Ottoman invasion and a more recent baroque era under the Hapsburgs. While in town you will visit the needle-like Minaret remaining from Turkish times, the Basilica and the Lyceum Episcopal with its library and chapel. This evening you will be taken to an area known as the " Valley of the Beautiful Ladies" where you will be our guest at an event known as the " Election of the Wine General" during your three course meal you will be introduced to five different wines of the region and expand your knowledge of Hungarian wines.
Day 6 The Heritage of the Puszta
After breakfast, you will depart the city for the Hortobagy Puszta, the most well known part of the Great Hungarian Plain (known as the Puszta). This national park allows you to become acquainted with the region's flora and fauna. You will visit the Museum of the Shepherd where you enjoy a carriage ride, a thrilling equestrian show and have a chance to view some of the unusual and indigenous animals including long-horned Hungarian Grey cattle, stud horses, spiral horned Racka sheep and buffalo herds. After the visit you will have a lunch with wine at a local Csarda restaurant before driving to Kecskemet where you will have a personally guided tour of the city including the town hall, built in the art nouveau style the Cifra Palace and the music academy of Ferenc Liszt. You will then check in, and enjoy dinner in, your hotel.
Day 7 Exploring Kalocsa and Pecs
Your first visit today will be to the charming town of Kalocsa where you have a personally guided tour of the town's architectural and historical highlights. After breakfast, you will depart for Pecs where you arrive about lunch time. After lunch in a local restaurant your guide will take you on an intimate and informative tour including Kossuth Square, the Mosque of Pasha Ghazi Kassim and the Mosque of Yakovali Hassan with its minaret. Next you will visit St Peter's Cathedral and the Famous Museum of Zsolnay Porcelain before finishing your day at the ancient Roman burial chambers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8 Cruising Lake Balaton and the Danube
Following breakfast, your guide will be waiting to take you to Lake Balaton which is the largest lake in Central Europe often referred to as the Hungarian Sea since Hungary has no access to a port. Arriving at Lake Balaton you board a ferry boat to Tihany Peninsula, one of the Lake's most scenic and historic areas. Upon arrival and following lunch you will visit the Benedictine Abbey where you can find the royal document prescribing the foundation of the church. You will then return to Budapest for some free time. This evening, be our guest for a farewell dinner cruise on the Danube where you have the chance to enjoy the food, the illuminated monuments accompanied by music.
Day 9 Return to USA
Your guide will be waiting to take you to the airport and assist in your check in. Your flight arrives back in the USA later the same day.
Available Year Round
Private Sightseeing Tour - Hungary's Cultural Contrasts ULHU03 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Budapest, Eger, Kecskemet, Pecs
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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