Budapest – Vienna – Prague
Budapest, 2 nights Prestige Hotel
Vienna, 1 night Intercontinental / Marriott Hotel
Prague, 3 nights Art Nouveau Palace Hotel
6 breakfasts (B)
Your land tour includes:
Private arrival and departure transfers
Deluxe hotels in Budapest, Vienna & Prague
Breakfast daily at the hotels
Private licensed guides
Private touring and sightseeing
Complete program with insights to the Jewish history in Central Europe
All taxes and fees
Your land tour does not include:
Air into Budapest and out of Prague
Departure taxes, fuel surcharges, and airport improvement fees
Porterage at airports and hotels
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Early check-in/late check-out
Travel insurance though not included is highly recommended
Gratuities of a purely personal nature such as laundry and valet service
Tipping to guide, driver and hotel staff
E. & O.E
These departures are guaranteed (2 travellers minimum)
No deposits are required!
We can accommodate pre/post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.
Passport & Visa
No visa is required for this departure. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
For information or reservations contact Janice Snider.
Day 01 Monday Arrival in Budapest
Welcome to Hungary! Upon arrival transfer to the hotel in the heart of this grand city that houses the largest Jewish Community in Central Europe. Get a first-hand introduction to this majestic capital during an orientation tour of Buda which includes views from Castle Hill where emperors of the Austro-Hungarian Empire once ruled one of Europe’s most powerful entities. Pass the Royal Palace located on the top of Castle Hill in Buda which today houses the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Széchenyi Library. Pass the ornate and recently renovated St. Matthias Church also known as the Coronation Church. Enter Fisherman’s Bastion built in the 19th century to serve as a lookout tower. Today it is one of the most visited sights in Budapest. Next is the Citadel which was built on the highest hill in the city for military purposes in order to repel rebel attempts. En route to Pest which is separated from Buda and Obuda by the Danube River we stop and visit the Mediaeval Jewish Prayer House, a 14th-century synagogue recently rededicated. A stop will also be made at the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial commemorating the heroic Swedish diplomat whose heroic efforts rescued thousands of Jews. Check-in at your luxurious hotel in the heart of the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Prestige Hotel.
Day 02 Tuesday Budapest
We begin the day by discovering the Jewish sites of Budapest. Visit the birthplace of Theodore Herzl born on a street in the Jewish quarter of Pest. Herzl was the first president of the World Zionist Organization. See the Jewish Museum attached to the Dohany Street Synagogue housing a religious and historical collection of items. Known as the Great Synagogue, the lavish Dohany Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe. The centerpiece of the interior is the large rose window with the Star of David. Franz Liszt once played the 5000 pipe organ built in 1859. With the help of film star Tony Curtis, Europe’s largest synagogue, the Dohany, was restored. In the rear courtyard of the synagogue, we find the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs made by Imre Varga honouring the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Resembling a weeping willow, its leaves are inscribed with the names of the victims. Next walk in the former Jewish area still filled with several Synagogues (including Kazincy and Rumbach) and small shtiebls (little house). Later we drive past the impressive Opera House and Parliament en route to the moving “Shoes by the Danube” Memorial found on the east bank of the Danube. Sculptor Gyula Pauer created the memorial to honour the Jews who were ordered to take off their shoes and were shot at the edge of the water by Fascist Hungarian Militia belonging to the Arrow Cross Party.
The afternoon is spent visiting the quiet and colourful Baroque town of Szentendre about 21 km from Budapest that has attracted artists from all over Central Europe with its museums dedicated to various artists. It is also home to several museums. A special treat here is a visit to the Szanto Synagogue believed to be the smallest synagogue in the world built to honour the memory of a Jewish family and the members of the Jewish community who perished during the War. Return to Budapest in the late afternoon. Prestige Hotel. (B)
Day 03 Wednesday Budapest – Vienna
Departing Budapest we drive through Hungary’s countryside towards the Austrian border – symbolically dividing Eastern and Western Europe. Continue to Vienna famed for its world-class music, art, and blend of Baroque and contemporary architecture. Visit the imposing Schoenbrunn Palace located in Hietzing, Vienna. Although only 42 rooms of the sumptuous1, 441 room Schoenbrunn Palace are on display to the public, you will get a glimpse of the luxuriant lifestyle experienced during this era. The Summer Residence of the Hapsburg Dynasty is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later we drive along the Ringstrasse, one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world past the State Opera and Museum of Applied Arts. A stop will be made at the Hofburg Palace now the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Being one of the largest palace complexes in the world, today it is the home of several museums. Continue via City Hall and Musikverein (famous center for Classical Music) to your hotel in the heart of the city. Intercontinental / Marriott Hotel. (B)
Day 04 Thursday Vienna – Prague
Our day begins with a Jewish tour of Vienna at the controversial Monument Against War and Fascism by Austrian sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka standing on Albertinaplatz since 1988. This thought-provoking walk-in landmark serves as a reminder of the darkest time in Austrian History and is dedicated to all of the victims. Continue to the official Holocaust Memorial at Judenplatz in the center of Vienna Old Town. This vast square features a poignant Holocaust Memorial. Several Jewish organizations have returned to the surrounding buildings. Along its narrow quaint streets see Vienna’s landmark St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its towers with its ornate spires thrusting into the sky. The tallest tower known affectionately as “Steffi reaches a staggering 136 meters. We arrive at the Wiesenthal Center dedicated to the research and documentation of all aspects of anti-semitism. Our next stop is the Stadttempel, Vienna’s main synagogue hidden from view from the street because of an edict issued by Emperor Joseph II. Damaged during Kristallnacht in 1938, it was the only synagogue in Vienna not destroyed! Moving on we come to Morzinplatz in what was once the Hotel Metropol and later became the former home of the Gestapo Headquarters where unthinkable crimes took place. Names like Freud, Mahler, Schoenberg, Buber, and Zweig will forever be associated with Vienna’s prominence.
This afternoon we focus on Schoenbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the Hapsburg Dynasty and its surrounding Gardens. Schoenbrunn is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Vienna’s top attractions. Beside the private apartments and state rooms that are open you will also see the 18th-century interiors dating from the time of Maria Theresia. The gardens and palace have been the location for many films and television productions. Check-in at the hotel in the late afternoon. Intercontinental/Marriott Hotel. (B)
Day 05 Friday Prague
Today features a full day Jewish tour beginning in the uniquely-preserved Jewish Quarter which survived due to the Nazi’s intention of making Prague a museum of the “Vanished Jewish Race.” This area is actually an unmissable sight for tourists of all religions. Stroll the streets and visit the Maisel, Spanish, Pinkas, and Klaus Synagogues and the oldest existing synagogue still offering services, the Old-New (“Alt-Neu”) Synagogue. Prague’s Jewish Museum uses these synagogues as exhibits boasting one of the world’s greatest Judaica collections. Visit the 15th century cemetery burial place for many of Prague’s famous Jews including the legendary Rabbi Loew. The day finishes with an excursion to Terezin (Theresienstadt) some 30 miles north of Prague was originally a holiday resort reserved for nobility. This former fortress was transformed to a notorious “model” concentration camp. Tour the barracks and the Ghetto Museum which contains art and poetry created by imprisoned Jewish children. Later we visit the Magdeburg Barracks which housed the offices of the different departments of the Ghetto’s Jewish self-administration as well as flats of some of the Ghetto’s leading office holders. They were also known as a venue of major cultural events, lectures and meetings. Return to Prague in the late afternoon. Art Nouveau Palace Hotel. (B)
Day 06 Saturday Prague
Enjoy a full day at leisure or join an optional tour. Our first stop is the Saint Cyril and Methodius Cathedral where the brave heroes hid after having assassinated Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, eventually committing suicide after a fierce battle with German troops. Then, crossing the historic Charles Bridge we walk the Lesser Town to Prague Castle built in the 9th century situated on top of Hradcany Hill on the West Bank of the Vltava River. It is the largest ancient castle in the world. Visit the imposing Castle consisting of many architectural styles is now the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic as well as several government offices. See the stunning Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral located within Prague Castle which contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings before returning to Old Town. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the colourful streets of Prague. Art Nouveau Palace Hotel. (B)
Day 07 Sunday Prague – CANADA/USA
Breakfast then transfer to Prague Airport for your flight back to Canada/USA. (B)
B=Breakfast L=Lunch LL= Light Lunch D=Dinner