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Imperial Capital Cities

(56 reviews)

See four incredible capitals at the crossroads of Europe

11 days From £1,299 per person

2020 Tour code: 20IPF

About the tour

Explore the amazing capital cities of central Europe. Discover the region's rich heritage of art, history and culture, and savour its world-class castles, palaces and museums, from Berlin to Budapest by rail.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Fly to Berlin

Fly to Berlin today then transfer to the 4* Park Inn Alexanderplatz for a two night stay. The next morning you undertake a guided tour of this historic city, taking in such wondrous sights as the famous Brandenburg Gate, the 19th century Reichstag Building, built to house the Imperial Council of the former German Empire, and the ruins of the Wall which once split this city down the middle. The afternoon is at leisure for you to continue exploring Berlin.

You may like to visit the imposing Opera House, home of the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Alternatively, the fantastic Pergamon Museum features a wealth of wonderful exhibits including lifesize replicas of Ishtar Gate and the Altar of Zeus. The museum is located on the UNESCO World Heritage protected Museum Island.

You could also enjoy a stroll through Berlin's Old Quarter en route to the impressive Charlottenburg Palace, the largest royal palace in the city and the only remaining from the period of the Hohenzollern dynasty.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
Fly to Berlin
Days 3-5 - To Prague by rail

Following a leisurely morning, travel by train to Prague for three nights at the 4* Hotel Diplomat. On Day 4, you are treated to a walking tour of the 'Golden City' of Prague today. Admire the magnificent medieval Charles Bridge and the cobbled Old Town Square, as your local guide leads you around some of the most important and interesting parts of Prague's history. The tour also takes in the city's castle complex, with spectacular views across the city.

Day 5 is at leisure. With many of its historic attractions centrally-located and easily accessible on foot, Prague has plenty to offer. Maybe visit Wenceslas Square, the site of many historic events, including the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, or Josefov, also known as 'the Jewish Quarter.' Located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River, Josefov's history dates back to the 13th century, when it was first used as a Jewish ghetto. Despite its torrid past, the area is filled with stunning architecture, and makes for a pleasant destination for a scenic afternoon walk. The beer houses are also well worth a visit, for the huge variety of different ales and lagers which Prague has to offer.

  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Day 6 - To Vienna by rail

Take a train to Vienna, Austria's incomparable capital and the former seat of the Hapsburg Empire. On arrival you are treated to a delightful guided tour, seeing the city's imperial architecture lining the famous Ringstrasse, as well as the narrow houses of the idyllic Old Town. You spend two nights here in Vienna, at the 4* Acrotel Wimberger.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Vienna At Leisure

Today is free for you to discover more of Vienna. You could visit the Stephansdom, the city's cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece is famed for its stunning tiled roof, patterned with brightly coloured chevrons and Viennese eagles, almost resembling a mosaic. From the spire, you can enjoy a superb panorama, soaking in the glory of Vienna. Alternatively, Scönbrunn Palace has long been a staple of the Viennese visitor's itinerary, a glorious palace with extensive and well-manicured gardens.

  • Breakfast
Days 8-9 - By train to Budapest

Travel by rail over the Hungarian border to Budapest. Straddling the Danube, this fantastic capital is one of Europe's finest cities, and is famed for its superb Turkish, Art Nouveau and modern style bath houses. You spend three nights here at the 4* Mercure Castle Hill Hotel. Tonight, enjoy a speciality evening meal and an evening coach tour of the sights as they are illuminated against the night sky.

On Day 9, you take a guided tour of Budapest, seeing the famous Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Hero's Square. Flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art, this is one of the major squares in Budapest, witnessing many political demonstrations and noted for its iconic statue of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You will also visit St Stephen's Basilica. The basilica took over half a century to complete, partly due to disruption in 1868 when the cathedral's dome collapsed in a storm.

The tour also includes Fishermen's Bastion, a neo-Gothic masquerade in a beguiling façade style, despite only dating back to 1905. Built by architect Frigyes Schulek, its seven gleaming white turrets represent the Magyar tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin towards the end of the 9th century.

  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast
Day 10 - At leisure in Budapest

Today is free in Budapest; you may wish to visit the famous Szechenyi baths or 'Café New York', widely regarded as one of the most beautiful coffee houses in the world.

  • Breakfast
Budapest Chain Bridge
Day 11 - Return Home

After breakfast today, you transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, where your holiday concludes.

  • Breakfast
Return to the UK

Additional information

Extend your holiday

Why not extend your holiday spending seven nights gently cruising home from Budapest on our exclusive 5-Star Danube cruise, Tour Code: DLR19. The price for a seven-night cruise add-on is only £1,475 in a C4 classic stateroom, with upgraded cabins available. Please call for further information.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin

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Mercure Castle Hill

Mercure Castle Hill, Budapest

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Diplomat Hotel, Prague

Diplomat Hotel, Prague

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Regional Rail

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Extend your European holiday
UK rail connections
London hotels


91% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 56 verified reviews

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Submitted 01/11/2019

It was well organised and met our expectations

Mr B Snelling

Submitted 02/11/2018

Every thing on this holiday was excellent from our tour representative to the itinerary, hotel accommodation and the various modes of transport. Would recommend to friends and colleagues

Mr P Makepeace

Submitted 26/10/2018

I felt that by the end of the tour I had had too much. It was a pleasure to stop rather than want more.

Mr G Stokes

Submitted 26/10/2018

Very good. Well organised and manages. Lots of interest.

Mrs S Thomson

Submitted 19/10/2018

Well organised and Irene was a very good tour guide and looked after us very well.

Mrs P Barlow

Submitted 12/10/2018

Amazing organisation from the moment we arrived to our final departure. Tour led by highly skilled professional, efficient , knowledgeable and effective guide Irene Barlow. Great balance of group activity, (the guided tour on our first day in each city) and then free time to explore individual interests .

Katiefrom Rail Discoveries
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to leave feedback! It sounds like your holiday was a fantastic experience.
Escorted Holidays by Rail: Europe, UK & Cruise 2020

Escorted Holidays by Rail: Europe, UK & Cruise 2020

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Imperial Capital Cities

See four incredible capitals at the crossroads of Europe


Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
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