Eastern Europe Explorer
- Rail travel between destinations throughout the former Eastern Bloc
- Gorgeous cities Gdansk, Dresden, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade
- Cesky Krumlov, one of Europe’s prettiest small towns
- Car transfer from Cesky Krumlov to Linz in Austria
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Take the train rather than flying
- Standard class rail travel
- Economy class flights into Gdansk and back from Belgrade
- 14 nights’ hand-picked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Private transfer from Cesky Krumlov to Linz
- Private transfer from Szeged to Belgrade
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Fly today from London to the Baltic coast of Poland. On landing at Lech Walesa International Airport, transfer to the Admiral Hotel (or similar) for your 2-night stay.
One of the most picturesque cities in Poland, the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk, has played major roles in history, particularly in the 20th-century.
Both World War II and Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement are commemorated by world-class museums. The Old Town was rebuilt after 1945, and is a rabbit-warren of streets and lanes flanked by tall patrician and merchant tenements, while enormous gates defend the entrances.
Make an early start this morning on a EuroCity service to Berlin, crossing the river Oder into the former East Germany along the way. After an hour or so at Berlin’s impressive main station, catch a connecting train south to Dresden. On arrival, check in for a 2-night stay at the NH Collection Altermarkt (or similar) and head out to explore the city.
TMR RECOMMENDS – Stop over for a night in Berlin (pictured), a city synonymous with the Iron Curtain that once divided Europe. We have a range of suitable hotels within easy walking distance of the station which we can add to your holiday itinerary.
Known as the Florence of the Elbe, Dresden has been spectacularly reconstructed since the horrors of World War Two, which saw the city razed to the ground by an Allied bombing campaign in 1945.
The journey to Prague takes in a very picturesque route along the valley of the Elbe River. The train line twists and turns in time with the river in an area dubbed “Saxon Switzerland” thanks to its picturesque nature. After crossing into the more industrial landscape of the northern Czech Republic and the city of Usti nad Labem, the train picks up speed as it heads across the countryside of Bohemia into the capital, Prague, where you will be checking in for 3 nights at the Hotel Botanique (or similar).
The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague sits proudly on the Vltava River. Dubbed “the City of 100 Spires,” it is renowned for its Old Town Square, with colourful baroque architecture.
The famous Charles Bridge links the Old Town to the Mala Strana district on the western bank of the river, where the topography is much hillier, looking up towards the majestic castle that dominates the skyline.
You can either board a direct morning service shortly after 8am or you can opt for something more around the middle of the day with an easy platform change in Ceske Budejovice. On the approach to Cesky Krumlov, the scenery becomes more and more picturesque as you pass through the wooded hills of Southern Bohemia. On arrival, head to the Bellevue Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay.
In the afternoon you will be transferred by car, using our partners at MyDayTrip, across the border to Linz in Austria. On this car journey you have the opportunity to stop off at Rožmberk nad Vltavou (pictured), dubbed as Cesky Krumlov in miniature! When you reach Linz, take an evening RailJet service direct into Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. This train has a restaurant car with an extensive menu available, so you can have dinner on board as you pass through Vienna. When you reach Bratislava, you’ll be staying at the Skaritz Hotel & Residence (or similar) for 2 nights.
Slovakia’s capital since its peaceful split from the Czech Republic in 1993, Bratislava sits astride the River Danube and boasts a magnificent castle and charming Old Town. Dating from the 18th century, the Old Town is car-free and contains a plethora of bars, restaurants and boutiques.
Make your way back to Bratislava’s main station today for your EuroCity journey of around 3 hours to Budapest. The train first traverses Slovakia’s southern plains, before hugging the Danube along the pretty “Danube bend” as you follow the mighty river downstream. You arrive at Budapest Nyugati (west) station, which is in the heart of the city – check in at the Opera Garden Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights.
The Hungarian capital Budapest, is found downstream on the Danube from Bratislava. Its 19th-century Chain Bridge, amongst others, links the hilly Buda district with the flatter Pest on the eastern bank. Visitors can take a funicular that climbs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town. Trinity Square plays host to 13th-century Matthias Church as well as the turrets of Fishermen’s Bastion, which provide those famous views across the river to the iconic Parliament building (pictured).
Depart Budapest today on a Hungarian InterCity service travelling due southeast to the city of Szeged near the Serbian border. Here, you will be met by a car and driver from our friends at MyDayTrip once again, who will take you across the border into Serbia, with the destination of Belgrade. The journey includes a stopover at the city of Novi Sad (pictured), the capital of the Vojvodina District. When you reach Belgrade in the evening, you will be driven straight to the Hotel Moskva (or similar) where you will be spending the final 2 nights of your holiday.
Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and was once capital of the whole of Yugoslavia. Its most iconic landmark is Beogradska Tvrđava, which is a monumental fortress situated where the Sava River flows into the mighty Danube. The fort is evidence of the Belgrade’s strategic importance to the empires of Rome, Byzantium, Austria and latterly Serbia – today it plays host to a number of museums and Kalemegdan, a large park.
Today it’s time to head home, as you make your way to Nikola Tesla International Airport for your flight back to London.
TMR RECOMMENDS – Extend your holiday from Belgrade – maybe head south to Montenegro, Macedonia or Greece, all of which are served by direct trains from Belgrade. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even extend to Istanbul, via Bulgaria.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Hotel Admiral features a 24-hour front desk service and is located a 15-minute walk from Gdańsk Główny Train Station and around 450 yards from Gdańsk Old Town and offers air-conditioned rooms with free wireless internet. Each room at Admirał includes satellite TV and elegant furniture. There also are modern bathrooms with showers or bathtubs. The restaurant offers Polish and European cuisine and serves buffet breakfast. Drinks can be enjoyed in the Kapitański Bar.
This 4-star hotel lies on the Altmarkt Square in Dresden’s Old Town, offering modern air-conditioned rooms with free high-speed Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a gym with a roof terrace. The bright and spacious rooms feature classic décor with dark wood interiors and floors. All rooms also feature hypoallergenic bedding and wooden flooring.
This is a comfortable, central property within easy walking distance of the Old Town. The 214 guest rooms are furnished in a contemporary style with free wireless internet and tea/coffee making facilities. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of dishes throughout the day.
Hotel Bellevue is situated in a car-free zone of Český Krumlov’s historic centre and just a 2-minute walk from Krumlov Castle. This 16th-century building offers rooms with free Wi-Fi. The spacious rooms have satellite TV, work desks and safety deposit boxes. All have been tastefully decorated in light colours. Guests can visit Le Jardin Restaurant, which serves French-inspired dishes, complemented by a well-stocked wine cellar.
The Skaritz Hotel & Residence in the heart of Bratislava’s car-free Old Town offers you large rooms and apartments, free internet and free access to the sauna. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature LCD satellite TVs, MP3 and DVD players and slippers. Tea and coffee facilities are also available in the rooms. In the gourmet restaurant of the Skaritz hotel you can enjoy original Prespork dishes, which represent a mix of Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and Austrian cuisine.
The Opera Garden Hotel is located in a pedestrian street in the heart of Budapest, just a few blocks away from the Opera House and Andrássy Street and it offers homemade products for breakfast and a rooftop terrace with a garden, overlooking the Basilica. All rooms and apartments are sound proofed and feature a fully equipped kitchen, a 32-inch LCD TV and free wireless internet access. Beds are equipped with comfort-foam mattresses. The bathrooms are provided with L’occitane toiletries. Art Cool air conditioning is available in each unit.
Hotel Moskva is housed in an Empire-style building considered a local landmark. Ideally set on Belgrade’s main street, it offers an a la carte restaurant and the well-known pastry shop. Elegantly decorated rooms feature air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Sauna, hammam are hot tub are available free of charge.
Upgrade your accommodation
The Aria Hotel is a luxurious property located in the heart of Budapest. Bedrooms are designed around music themes and feature multimedia systems, an iPad and a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary capsules. Other facilities include a swimming pool, spa, restaurant, rooftop bar and complimentary music library.
The hotel offers a stylish atmosphere unparalleled in the Slovak capital with a centralto the and the . The restaurant is flooded with light and offers you a generous and healthy breakfast buffet, a late risers’ breakfast, a delicious lunch menu, a show-cooking buffet and fine à-la-carte dining. The is accessible exclusively for all guests staying in the executive rooms. It is located on the and has a terrace with superb views of the old town.
Blending the sumptuous decor of royal Budapest with the five star comfort of a modern hotel, the Corinthia Hotel boasts luxurious facilities including a classic spa area with steam baths, hot tubs, mud baths and an indoor swimming pool. There are also three restaurants, a lobby bar and a cafe.
If you have extra time to spare, we can arrange rail travel out to Gdansk and back from Belgrade to London. You will need at least a couple of overnight stops in each direction in order to make the journey comfortably. Let us know if you would rather travel overland and we can give you a suggested itinerary and price for this option.