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Jewels of Bohemia: Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary 2015

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Trip Extensions

Post-trip: Vienna, Austria

City of waltzes and Habsburg glory, Vienna still charms with elegant architecture, thriving arts, and lush gardens. Witness the Ringstrasse, sip local vintages in the wine district, and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site Schoenbrunn Palace. Plus, you’ll enjoy ample leisure time to make discoveries on your own in this enchanting city.

It's Included:
Bus transportation from Budapest to Vienna
Accommodations for 5 nights in Vienna
9 meals—5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners
4 small group activities
Services of a resident, English-speaking OAT Trip Leader
NEW for 2015: Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and luggage porters
All transfers
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    After breakfast, we’ll ride from Budapest to Vienna. En route, we’ll pause for a visit at Pannonhalma Abbey, one of Hungary’s oldest historic sites. Dating from AD 966, the hilltop abbey is home to a Gothic Basilica with a 13th-century crypt, a library boasting 360,000 volumes, including the oldest Hungarian text, and a botanical garden with hundreds of tree and bush species. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue to Vienna, arriving this afternoon. After check-in at our hotel, we enjoy an orientation walk led by our Trip Leader. The balance of the day is at leisure.

    Dinner is on your own this evening.

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    After breakfast, our Vienna city tour features the Ringstrasse, probably the greatest achievement of the Emperor Franz Joseph. This boulevard encircling the Innen Stadt was mapped out in the 1860s along the ramparts Joseph II had begun clearing 80 years prior. The Neo-Classical buildings along the Ringstrasse bring together all the greatest architectural styles in an exuberant celebration of all that seemed possible during the Industrial Revolution. After our tour, lunch is on your own.

    Then, enjoy independent discoveries of Vienna this afternoon, perhaps taking in one of the city's renowned museums. and when the weather agrees, the entertainment moves outdoors to the sidewalks.

    We gather this evening for dinner together with local vintages in the Grinzing wine district at an authentic Heurigen restaurant. The Heurigen tradition began when Emperor Joseph II passed a law stating that small local winemakers were allowed to serve their vintages and food to members of the public so long as they sold only wine of their own making. Many people then opened the gardens of their own homes and small estates, and visiting one of these establishments became a traditional outing for the city dwellers. It's a rich tradition that is maintained today. After dinner, we return by motorcoach to our hotel, pausing at 1,500-foot-high Kahlenberg Mountain for city views at night.

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    This morning, we explore the magnificent Belvedere Palace, which is actually two palaces set amidst a splendid park. Both palaces are home to museums featuring Austrian art from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and we’ll explore one of the renowned galleries as well as the gardens.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, the afternoon is at leisure. Make discoveries at your own pace in the city that served as home and inspiration to some of the world's greatest artists, thinkers, and musicians. You'll see statues of Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler throughout the city, monuments to the integral nature of music in Viennese life. The numerous performances of the Vienna State Opera House are the constant talk of the town, and its performers are treated like celebrities. The strains of waltz music emanate from the many cafes, and when the weather agrees, the entertainment moves outdoors to the sidewalks.

    Dinner is on your own this evening.

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    The day is free to relax or explore on your own, or you may join our optional Jewish Heritage of Vienna tour, which features museum visits and several sites associated with Vienna's Jewish community that flourished from medieval times up until the early years of World War II. Tour highlights include the rich collection of Judaica at Vienna's Jewish Museum, which also chronicles the complete story of Viennese Jewry, and a visit to the city's only surviving pre-War Synagogue, the Stadtempel. We'll also visit the Judenplatz, the main square of the Jewish community in Vienna for nearly 500 years. This optional tour also includes lunch.

    Lunch and dinner are on your own.

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    This morning, we hop aboard the local subway to visit the expansive summer estate of Habsburg royalty, Schoenbrunn Palace (whose name means “beautiful spring”). Featuring 1,400 rooms, meticulously maintained gardens, and an architectural legacy that stretches back to the 17th century, the palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our visit includes a tour of palace highlights and free time to spend exploring the palace's stunning park.

    We toast our adventure with a Farewell Drink tonight before we enjoy our Farewell Dinner together in a local restaurant.

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    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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