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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
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2017 Jewels of Bohemia: Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary

Czech Republic: Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Slavonice • Slovakia: Bratislava • Hungary: Budapest

89% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

15 Days from only $3795 including international airfare

Courtesy Small World Productions
Vienna and the Danube

Revel in the iconic staples of Viennese culture, from coffeehouses to dance floors, with travel expert Rudy Maxa.

Courtesy CNN
Vienna's 21st century coffee house

Discover Vienna’s treasures—from a modern coffee shop to Beethoven’s final resting place.

Courtesy CNN
Berlin's hidden charm

From concert halls to curry stands, Berlin’s locals show you their favorite side of the city—which you can visit on our trip extension.

Courtesy Emeric Visuals
Wandering in Vienna

Take a virtual stroll through today’s Vienna—and discover its seamless blend of modern style and Old-World allure.

©2014 The New York Times
36 Hours in Vienna
We’ve been working with independent international filmmakers to provide you with videos that portray the people, culture, and lifestyles of the countries you're interested in visiting. We believe this video offers a unique perspective on Vienna.
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14 DAYS FROM $2795 Small Group Adventure Only
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Journey with O.A.T. into Central Europe’s Bohemian heartland to discover the history, culture, and landscapes of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary—and prepare to enter an enchanting world of fairy-tale castles, Gothic cathedrals, and picturesque towns. In the Czech Republic, a region noted for its hearty Bohemian beers, witness the spires of Prague, the medieval splendor of Cesky Krumlov, and traditional ways of life in the Renaissance village of Slavonice. In Slovakia, sample its fine wines and discover the youthful optimism of Bratislava, the forested country’s historic capital. Then, enjoy an audience with the “Queen of the Danube,” and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Budapest, the lovely Hungarian capital infused with the vibrancy of a fiery paprika. Throughout this adventure, delve deeply into Bohemian culture through interactions with the warm and friendly inhabitants of three of Central Europe’s true hidden gems.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • Did you know that you have control over the way you want to fly with us? O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other ways you can personalize your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Upgrade your seat: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. 
    • Fly the way you want to: When you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • You can extend your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Stay for a day, a week, or even a month in a favorite locale. Or consider arriving a few days early in Prague for a fresh start or staying overnight in a connecting city like Amsterdam before or after your adventure to break up a lengthy flight. Our Adventure Specialists can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. One of the most common trips combined with Jewels of Bohemia is Crossroads of the AdriaticAnd now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many O.A.T. travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Berlin & Dresden, Germany and Vienna, Austria. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 5 nights from only $1495

    The imperial city that gave rise to the Third Reich before being split between East and West, Berlin is a hotbed of history which has blossomed anew in the era of reunification. And Dresden, Germany’s artistic hub for centuries before the destruction of World War II, has risen from the ashes, fully restored and gleaming. We’ll discover both these enduring cities and witness the fruit of their resilience.

    View Extension Itinerary
Prague Budapest Expand All
  • Depart the U.S. today on your overnight flight to Prague, Czech Republic.

  • Upon your arrival in Prague, an O.A.T. representative will meet you at the airport and assist you to your hotel. You'll get to know your Trip Leader and small group, including those arriving from the Berlin & Dresden trip extension, during a short orientation walk around the neighborhood and a Welcome Drink. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

  • After breakfast, we'll set off on a guided walking tour of Prague, a magical city nestled in a bend of the Vltava River, whose spires have endured to create one of Europe's most romantic skylines. While other European capitals were leveled during World War II, Prague survived virtually intact. Among the structures to remain remarkably undamaged was Prague's great landmark, Prague Castle—the world's largest ancient castle complex and still the seat of political power. Built during the ninth century, Prague Castle has evolved over the centuries, blending Romanesque, Gothic, and even Spanish architectural styles. Today, it is a sprawling complex of breathtaking enormity and a symbol of Czech unity.

    After concluding our tour, we'll enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant, followed by free time. Perhaps you'll visit Josefov (Prague's Jewish Quarter). The Prague Ghetto and vibrant Jewish community have contributed to Prague's character since the tenth century. This evening, dinner is on your own.

  • Today begins with an enlightening discussion about some of the successes and controversies relating to the development of Czech statehood and democracy. Then, we'll discover the Prague metro before setting out for a cruise along the Vltava River. After the cruise, you may take advantage of an optional tour that features a tour of the Ruckl Crystal Factory, which includes lunch at a local restaurant in the nearby city of Beroun and returns to Prague in the afternoon. Please note: Optional Tour will not be available if this day falls on a Sunday or a holiday

    Travelers not taking the optional tour will have lunch on their own and time to pursue individual discoveries in Prague. Perhaps you'll choose to walk along Baroque streets of Mala Strana, the "Little Quarter" that is linked to Prague's Old Town (Stare Mesto) by the Charles Bridge. Originally an eighth-century market town, today Mala Strana is a quaint neighborhood of cobbled streets, boutiques, and Baroque churches and palaces.

    Dinner on your own this evening in Prague.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, we begin our overland journey to Cesky Krumlov, stopping along the way to visit the Vojna Memorial. Located in the middle of a forest, Vojna was originally built by German POWs after World War II as a labor camp to work in the nearby uranium mines. With the communist takeover in 1948, Vojna transitioned into a notorious forced labor camp for political prisoners. Today, the Vojna Memorial is a powerful reminder of the many Czech victims of the communist regime. Afterwards, we'll stop for lunch at a restaurant in Pisek, a picturesque Bohemian town founded in the 13th century on the banks of the Otava River.

    Upon arrival in Cesky Krumlov, we'll check in to our hotel and then head out to a local restaurant for dinner.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, a local guide will accompany us on a walking tour of Cesky Krumlov, one of Europe's most picturesque locales. Nestled inside a narrow loop of the Vltava River, this romantic town with its hilltop castle was once a wealthy trading center and a favorite of European nobility. Today, its confection of red-gabled roofs, elegant bridges, and storybook castle lures lovers of history, culture, and architecture alike. Established in 1250 by the Lords of Krumlov, the 14th through 16th centuries brought a period of great splendor to Cesky Krumlov, which became a stop along one of the main trading routes to Italy. We'll walk the winding, cobbled streets to admire the splendidly preserved historic buildings of the medieval town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and ascend to the top of the hill to stroll through the courtyards and gardens of Cesky Krumlov Castle, a Renaissance jewel that encompasses more than 40 buildings, a castle brewery—and live bears who roam the castle's moat. We'll also visit the recently opened Castle Museum, which features precious artifacts previously hidden in castle depositories.

    After an included lunch at a local restaurant, we'll ride to the village of Vetrni, where we begin a peaceful rafting excursion along the Vltava River. We'll paddle about three miles on the gentle waters of the river, with six travelers and an instructor in each raft. This trip is easy enough for the novice but passes through countryside that will charm the more experienced rafters as well.

    Dinner is on your own this evening in Cesky Krumlov.

    Please note: Early spring and fall departures may not offer the rafting excursion, and adverse weather conditions may preclude rafting at any time of year.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, we'll journey outside Cesky Krumlov to visit Vyssi Brod Monastery, a Cistercian monastery with roots that stretch back to the middle of the 13th century. Considered the spiritual center of South Bohemia, the monastery also features a richly decorated library that dates back to the Baroque period. (Please note: If today falls on a Sunday, Zlata Koruna Monastery will be visited instead of Vyssi Brod, along with other minor itinerary changes for this day.) Then, we'll head to Lipno Lake, a body of water created by damming the Vltava River. Here, we'll enjoy a "treetop hike" along a long wooden walkway for magnificent views of the surrounding Sumava countryside, the massive lake, and the distant Alps. After our hike, we'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Cesky Krumlov.

    The rest of the day is at leisure, with dinner on your own.

  • After breakfast, we depart Cesky Krumlov for an overland journey to Slavonice. En route, we'll stop in southern Bohemia's regional capital, Ceske Budejovice, to visit the famous Budweiser Budvar Brewery. While the history of brewing in Ceske Budejovice dates back to the 13th century, Budweiser Budvar was founded here in 1895 (the U.S. brewer chose the name Budweiser in 1876 because it was synonymous for superior beer). After our brewery tour, we'll stop in Trebon, an ancient walled town set among rolling hills and ancient fish ponds. Established in the middle of the twelfth century, Trebon has been a popular center of Czech fish farming since the Middle Ages and remains a picturesque spa town. There is also a brewery here that has been producing Bohemia Regent lager since 1379. We'll stroll through the magnificent park surrounding Trebon's Rennaisance-era chateau, and visit the town center to admire the series of pastel-colored burghers' houses and ancient fortifications.

    After lunch at a local restaurant, we arrive in Slavonice and check-in to our hotel. Then, we’ll visit a nearby village to meet a local family. Our hosts will show us around their garden and then we'll settle in for genuine Czech hospitality as dinner guests in the home of a local family.

  • After breakfast, we journey outside Slavonice to experience A Day in the Life of a rural Czech farming village—either a goat farm in Penikov or a horse farm in Placovice. We’ll meet with the farm owner (or a family member), help out with some of the chores, and learn about everyday farming life during a Home-Hosted lunch. Later, we’ll enjoy a glimpse into the Czech Republic’s future during a visit to a local school (when in session) where we’ll talk with the headmaster and engage with the children in their classroom.

    Then, we return to Slavonice, a charming village near the Austrian border whose streets have changed little since the 13th century. Slavonice is renowned for its collection of Gothic and Renaissance homes adorned with sgraffito wall designs, many dating from the 14th to 16th centuries. You'll have free time to explore the medieval streets before we gather together for a festive dinner at our hotel's restaurant complete with traditional Moravian music.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, we'll begin our journey to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. En route, we'll stop for a visit to Trebic, an ancient Moravian city that is home to one of Europe's best preserved Jewish ghettos—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jewish and Christian cultures co-existed here from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century, and our stroll will take us to Trebic's ancient synagogue. Then, we'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Lednice. Over the centuries, the region surrounding Lednice (and its twin town of Valtice) has been carefully landscaped with a series of woodlands, lakes, streams, gardens, and tree-lined chateaux—all of which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll explore Lednice Castle, an immense structure built in the Neo-Gothic style; and then we'll get to wander among the tropical plants in the Castle's original iron-framed greenhouse.

    After checking into our hotel in Bratislava, our Trip Leader will take us on a brief orientation walk of our surroundings. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Just as in the Czech Republic, the Velvet Revolution spelled the end of communism for Slovakia, a densely forested country with towering mountains in Central Europe's heartland. Its capital, Bratislava, is situated along the Danube in Slovakia's southwestern tip, close to the border with Hungary and Austria. Our morning walking tour will focus on Bratislava's compact Old Town, home to a variety of 14th- and 15th-century structures that include the Old Town Hall, the Neo-classical Archbishop's Palace, and St. Martin's Cathedral, a Gothic coronation church where several Hungarian Habsburg kings and queens were crowned. As a stark contrast to Bratislava's vestiges of imperial grandeur, we'll visit a section of town featuring blocks of housing projects that serve as symbols of the days of communist-era oppression.

    We'll also enjoy a glimpse of life in contemporary Slovakia when we visit a local home for coffee and refreshments. Then, lunch is on your own, followed by an afternoon at leisure—perhaps an opportunity to check out the sweeping views of the city from the ramparts of Bratislava Castle, whose origins stretch back to the days of the Roman Empire.

    The region surrounding Bratislava is renowned for its quaint villages and the vineyards on the fertile slopes of the Little Carpathians, so this evening we'll journey outside the city to enjoy dinner and a wine-tasting in the cellar of a local vintner.

  • After breakfast, we depart Bratislava and begin our journey to Budapest, Hungary. En route, we'll stop at the Roman city of Carnuntum, which began as a Roman army camp along the Danube River in what is now Austria. At its peak, some 50,000 people lived here, and after 1,700 years Carnuntum's ancient glory is currently being recreated from the site's extensive ruins.

    Crossing into northwestern Hungary, we'll stop for an included lunch in Gyor, an ancient city situated at the confluence of the Danube, Rába, and Rábca rivers. We'll also take a stroll to admire the Baroque and Neo-classical structures in Gyor's pedestrian-only historic core before continuing to Budapest.

    Dinner is included in a local restaurant this evening in Budapest.

  • After breakfast, we embark on a morning city tour of the undisputed "Queen of the Danube." Budapest is divided by the beautiful river, with Pest (the left bank) to its east, and Buda (the right bank) to its west. We'll see the medieval building at Buda's Castle Hill, where a massive castle complex and its ramparts high above the Danube have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a stroll through the city's covered market, enjoy lunch on your own and the afternoon at leisure to explore independently. You may wish to head to the turreted Fisherman's Bastion for panoramic views of the city, or spend some time at the famous Chain Bridge, which was first opened in 1849 to link the two provincial towns of Buda and Pest, and now stands as a symbol of Hungarian liberty. Or, in Heroes' Square, you can witness a memorial to the great leaders in Hungary's history that is dominated by the great Millennium Monument.

    After time for dinner on your own, we'll gather for an hour-long evening cruise on the Danube River—an opportunity to witness Budapest's monuments brilliantly illuminated, from Pest's Danube Promenade to the Buda Castle District.

  • After breakfast, we'll take a subway ride to Parliament Square, home to one of Europe's oldest legislative bodies, the imposing riverside Hungarian Parliament Building. In the square, we'll learn about the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, a time when students and workers took to the streets of Budapest in the first major threat to Soviet control of the region. Then, we'll have an included lunch at a local restaurant, followed by time for independent discoveries in Budapest. 

    This evening, we'll enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate our Bohemian journey.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, begin your post-trip extension to Vienna, Austria.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Vienna, Austria

    5 nights from only $1345

    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.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Jewels of Bohemia: Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary

Read Travel Planning Guide

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