Day 1: Berlin
This eclectic town is really the star of the East Europe circuit. Not traditionally popular, this city has a gritty edge to it that its other neighboring cities lack. Often missed on the common tourist’s trail, this city will win you over with its raw beauty, its classical architecture, its street art, its night life, its iconic food spaces, and its intense history.
We start day one at our stay, a quaint B&B near the city centre. We head out for a walking tour of the historical centre of the city at 1pm. We cover WWII battlefields, Berlin Wall, Historical architectural stars, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstad, Holocasut memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and some more, all in 2.5 hours. An early afternoon steeped in the history of the city will be followed by some leisure time where you can roam the streets of the city, check out the street art or go shopping at the more upmarket part of Friedrichstrasse.
The evening sees us head to the tiny and quaint Absynthe Depot in the Mitte district nearby. It’s a small place to buy absinthe and also drink some with locals, start up some conversations and enjoy the experience of being in an absinthe depot.
Experience: Walking tour of Berlin’s Historical centre, Visit to the Absynth depot
Day 2: Berlin: City at large
This day we start the day with a cycle tour of the Berlin wall and an understanding of the history of the wall and the subsequent art on it. It’s a guided tour.
At 2 pm, we start a tour to the alternative part of Berlin, Street art, street food, community projects and exciting urban culture . We will have our chance at the currywurst at one of the stalls, a famous German street food. It takes us to the heart of Europe’s culture capital that is Berlin, not the glosied version of it but the real version.
Post lunch the day is at leisure. Explore the many cafés that the city offers, the eateries, perhaps stop by at the oldest restaurant in Berlin, or try the Weinerei bars where one can pay as much as one wants for their drinks. The photoautomate booths all over the city will be a perfect way to take home souvenirs of your experiences in polaroid. Enjoy walking about the city.
Experience: Cycle tours of the Berlin Wall, a Walk of the alternate part of Berlin with focus on street art and food, local urban culture.
Day 3: Berlin To Prague
An early morning train will take us to the beautiful city of Prague. It's fashionable, it's chic, it's trendy, and it's hard to believe that this country staged the velvet revolution 25 years ago, which resulted in the dissolution of the cold war. The city is also the historical capital called Bohemia and thus understandably here, the unconventional is conventional. Your stay will not focus so much on the historical sites, as much as it will on the eclectic local way of life.
Post lunch at the Old Town Square, we start a walking tour at 2pm, which will cover the historical sites of Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Charles’ Bridge, Old Jewish Quarter, Old New Synagogue and more. This 2.5 hour tour will give us a glimpse into the history of the city and post that we can relax by heading to one of the many beer gardens in the city.
The evening is at leisure to walk around the city, try the local food like pork roast, or the delicious Trdelnik dessert.
Experience: Walking tour of the historical sites, visit to a beer garden, local city walks near Charles Bridge
Day 4: Prague
On the second day post breakfast as we head to walk around, we realize that the city is almost fairytale like, with its spires, and its red roofs, its baroque architecture and its gothic churches. Unharmed by the World War, the city has a magical aura about it, where it has retained its old architecture.
Start your day by heading to the Jewish quarter of Josefov to see where Kafka lived. Go further and enjoy a picnic at Letna Park, which overlooks the whole city. Pack a few sandwiches to head to the park and enjoy the day like locals.
Throughout the day we keep a track of the hard-hitting sculptures of David Cerny that we will see along the Old Town, Mala Strana, as well as the TV Tower, while we walk around the city.
We spend the afternoon in Mala Strana, which is a sure draw with its renaissance style gardens, easy going life, and beautiful architecture.
An evening exploring a former, real-life Nuclear bunker should round off our day well. Yes, you heard that right. A 1950’s nuclear bunker still exists in the heart of the city centre. Go for the experience, not everyone can say that they discovered an actual Nuclear Bunker from the Cold War era.
Experience: Visit to the old Jew town, enjoy a picnic at Letna Park, and a walk to Mala Strana where we enjoy dinner, Catch David Cerny’s art, Walk around the city, evening in a nuclear bunker (all DIY)
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic in a garden
Day 5: Prague to Vienna
A 4-hour train ride will get you to Vienna. This beautiful city breathes imperialism, boasts of gorgeous palaces, a royal history and a vibrant art and culture setting. Vienna is also well-known for its musical influences, since all the greats, namely Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Strauss, Brahmm were either born here, lived here or spent considerable time in the city to get influenced by it, or influence it.
The city’s culture is also very vibrant thanks to the many coffee shops where locals love to sit and philosophize, or the many pubs where one can get fresh brews. The local eateries serve traditional fare with great pride, and at the same time the infrastructure, in terms of public transport, makes it an incredibly easy city to move around.
As with the other cities, we begin acclimatizing to the city with a walking tour which runs us through the history of the city and the influences of its culture and art. This walking tour takes us to St. Stephens Cathedral, Mozart’s last home, Franciscian square and many more.
The rest of the day is at leisure. Vienna is one of the very few cities in the world which has vineyards within its city limits, so you can easily go or a wine tour.
In the evening, enjoy a walk through Vienna at night and end the evening at a wine tavern.
Experience: Walking tour of Vienna, day at leisure with wine tours or street food tours as you please (not included in the tour price), enjoy an evening walk on the streets of Vienna to take in the sites of Vienna at night.
Day 6: Vienna City
Start your day in the Schonbrunne Palace, visit the vast grounds and enjoy the architecture of this marvel, home to the royal family which has inspired many movies and many other architectural masterpieces. Post that the day is at leisure. Visit the Hunderwasser, take a walk around, try some street food like Eitridge. You can also enjoy a classical concert at the Schonbrunnne in the evening (additional price).
Experience: Visit to Schonbrunne (DIY), Local walks.
Day 7: Vienna to Budapest
Buda and pest are twin cities on either side of the Danube. They come together to form Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The Buda Hills on the west and the Great Plains in the east, form an excellent background to this beautiful city in the East of Europe. Much of how the city looks is what it was intended to look like aeons ago, the city has retained its grandeur and has not let modern way of life take over completely. Also the city offers plenty to do, from caving, thermal baths to river cruises and hikes, to Ruin Bar crawls.
We take an early morning train ride to the city of Budapest and settle into our stay, which is in the city centre on the Pest bank of the Danube. We step out for a local lunch and start the visit to this beautiful Hungarian town. The walking tour will be a great way to be introduced to this city, and decide which are to spend more time in.
The evening post 5pm is at leisure. One can walk around the city taking in the sights, or relax at a roadside bistro to watch people go by.
Experiences: Walking tour in Budapest. evening at leisure, soak in the city
Day 8: Budapest: Caving And Ruin Pubs
Budapest is well known for its baths, but little do many know that due to the presence of these thermal springs the city has an intricate system of caves under it. Some of them are glossed over and are famous tourist traps, but some are still looking to expand the cave system with more skill and aplomb. A caving expedition with a leading caving instructor from Budapest is organized for this day. It’s a 3 hour tour which includes crawling, and climbing inside a limestone caves of the Pal-Volgyi cave system in the Duna–Ipoly National Park. It's quite the adventure!
The rest of the day is at leisure but in the evening we'll go for a quintessential pub crawl in all the ruin pubs of Budapest. A phenomenon that started in Budapest a decade ago, when larger industrial spaces were converted into pubs, with furnitures from sales, grandmother’s houses and local sourcing, it looked over globally too and Ruin Pubs became the “in thing”. It all originated here. So we take a tour of 6 such pubs as a part of a tour and enjoy the subculture of these places.
Experience: Caving in the Duna-Ipoly National Park, Ruin Pub crawl
Day 9: Budapest: Baths and More | Cruise on the Danube
A great way to recover from an evening of pub-hopping, is a dip in one of the legendary baths in Budapest. Amongst the many at Budapest, we head to the one at Gellert Hills, called Gellert Baths which also boasts of some stunning architecture. We spend the first half of the day at these healing springs, and then can choose to spend as much time as we please here.
The day is at leisure and in the evening we have a river cruise in the Danube to look forward to. An hour long cruise along the Danube, watch the spectacular views of the architecture on the banks of Buda and Pest. The tour ends with a Blue Danube Waltz played on the boat.
Experience: Baths of Budapest (DIY), River cruise on the Danube
Day 10: Budapest to home