Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Vienna:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America. Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure.
- We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next seven days.:
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Day 2 :
- Walking tour through old Vienna:
Vienna was, for 600 years, the glittering capital of the Hapsburg Empire. Today it is the capital of Austria. Vienna has an incomparable musical heritage and is the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms, and Johann Strauss.
- Schönbrunn Palace:
Stop just outside the city center for a visit to the 1,441-room Schönbrunn Palace, which was designed for the Habsburgs before becoming the imperial summer palace during Maria Theresa's 40-year reign. It was the scene of great ceremonial balls, lavish banquets, and fabulous receptions held during the Congress of Vienna (one of these included a performance by a 6-year-old Mozart). Our tour will include the State Apartments and a stroll through the Imperial Gardens.
- Hotel check in:
Our centrally-located Vienna hotel will be our home for the next two nights. We will have breakfast at the hotel daily.
This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 3 :
- St. Stephen’s Cathedral:
During the course of our tour in Austria, we will gain from the knowledge and insight of one-half-day local guides. Explore the Old City with a visit to St. Stephen's Cathedral, one of the greatest Gothic structures in Europe. St. Stephen’s is rich in woodcarvings, altars, sculptures, and paintings. One of the paintings depicts the scene of the double marriage between the Hapsburg, Bohemian, and Hungarian dynasties in 1515 that laid the foundation of the Austrian Empire.
- Hofburg Palace:
Part of the palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. Built in the 13th century and expanded in the centuries since, the palace has housed some of the most powerful people in European and Austrian history, including monarchs of the Habsburg dynasty and rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was the principal imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was their summer residence. While at the Hofburg Palace, explore the Imperial apartments and Imperial treasury, which contains a valuable collection of secular and ecclesiastical treasures covering over a thousand years of European history.
- Dinner in Vienna:
Enjoy Austrian fare in a local restaurant.
- First concert performance:
Your first concert performance will be today. Venue options include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the United Methodist Church, the Residence of the Canadian Ambassador, and Haus Gustav Klimt. Other possible venues may include the Karlskirche, The U.S. Embassy, Perchtoldsdorf, a Medieval Fortress, Esterhazy Palace, or Schönbrunn Palace.
Day 4 :
Travel to Prague
- Palaces and Gardens of the Belvedere:
Before leaving Vienna, explore the Palaces and Gardens of the Belvedere, the former summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Belvedere consists of two palaces linked by a formal garden. The Museum of Austrian Baroque Art is housed in the elegant rooms of the Lower Belvedere. Explore the Orangery, which houses the Museum of Austrian Medieval Art, including Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings and sculpture.
- Walking tour of Prague:
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is built on seven hills astride the Vltava River. The beauty of Prague is legendary; Goethe described the city as “the most precious stone in the crown of this world." Climb to the top of the Old Town Bridge Tower for magnificent views of Prague Castle and the Little Quarter.
- Tyn Church:
Visit the Tyn Church—the main cathedral of the city since the 14th century. It dominates the city skyline with its church towers and spires.
- Hotel check in:
For the next two evenings, we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Prague hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
Experience European cuisine at a local restaurant.
Day 5 :
- City Tour:
During our stay in Prague, we will gain from the knowledge and insight of one-half-day local guides. Explore Wenceslas Square, one of the main city squares and the center of both business and cultural communities. Many historical events occurred there and it is a traditional setting for demonstrations, celebrations, and other public gatherings. The square is named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia.
- Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral:
Explore Prague Castle, the spectacular centerpiece of the old city, founded in the 9th century. Inside the Castle, we will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, the city’s most distinctive landmark, built in 1344 on the orders of Charles IV.
- Royal Palace:
We continue with a stroll down Golden Lane, one of Prague’s most charming streets, and conclude our afternoon with a visit to the Royal Palace, the seat of the Bohemian princes.
- Second concert performance:
Your second concert performance will be today. Sacred venue options include St. Vitus Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn, St. Francis Chapel, The Klementium, St. Giles’s Church, St. Thomas’ Church, Letensky Chateau, the Hotel Olympic Garni, St. George’s Basilica, or the Church of St. Salvator. More secular venues include the National House at Vinohrady, Majakovsky Hall, Old Town Square, The Novotneho Lavka Concert Hall, the Boat Restaurant, Marovia, Hlahol Concert Hall, Podebrady Spa, or the Ramparts of Prague Castle—all places for beautiful concerts attracting large crowds.
Day 6 :
Travel from Prague to the Dresden Area
En route from Prague to the Dresden Area, stop in Theriesenstadt, a former military fortress composed of a citadel and an adjacent walled garrison in the town of Litoměřice District.
- Arrive in Dresden:
Dresden is a world-class city of art and culture, and has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony. It is located in a valley on the River Elbe and offers a host of impressive sights, with its award-winning modern buildings, and the “Blue Wonder” bridge. Dresden was almost completely destroyed by the Allied bombings towards the end of World War II, but has undergone significant restoration work to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city.
- Hotel check in:
Our hotel in Dresden will be our base for the next two nights. While here, we will enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 :
- Walking tour:
During the course of our tour in Germany, we will gain from the knowledge and insight of one-half-day local guides. Enjoy a City Center Walking Tour, highlighting many of Dresden’s most important landmarks and monuments, including the Sächsische Staatsoper, the Hofkirche, the Residenzschloss, the Fürstenzug, and the Frauenkirche.
- Zwinger Palace:
Spend time at the Zwinger Palace, a massive, beautiful Baroque building, with a stunning inner courtyard surrounded by galleries. We will view the works in the Old Masters Gallery, one of Europe’s most impressive and important collections of Western European painting, including Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. We then continue onto the Rüstkammer, which exhibits armory and arms from the 16th century, before exploring the Albertinum and the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister collection.
- Dresden Castle:
Visit Dresden Castle, one of the oldest buildings in the city and the former residence of the electors and monarchy. The castle has many architectural styles including baroque and neo-renaissance. Much of the castle was destroyed during WWII, however it has been rebuilt to its former glory and houses a fascinating collection on exhibit for all to enjoy.
- Third concert performance:
Your third concert performance will be today. Venue options include the Kreuzkirche, which is home to the Kreuzchor, a famous choir.
Day 8 :
- Departure from Dresden:
Our enjoyable and rewarding tour will come to an end as our tour manager/guide accompanies us to the airport for the return flight home.