Throughout history, much of the world has been ruled by empires. To be considered an empire it must be a large expanse of political terrain run by a monarch, an emperor or an oligarchy. Many monarchies still play an important role in history and in Europe, the British crown is the best known, but, in the past, France, Austria and Germany played on an important social, political and economic role.
We’ll show you part of imperial Europe on this trip, ending in Vienna with deep traces of the Habsburg dynasty. The House of Habsburg (also called the House of Austria) was one of the most influential and powerful royal houses in Europe. The Habsburgs occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire continuously between 1438 and 1740. They also occupied at different times the thrones of the kingdoms of Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, England, Hungary and Croatia, and the Second Mexican Empire. A secondary branch of the Habsburg Empire was the Spanish empire that dominated South America and became extinct in 1700 with the death of Charles II.
Vienna was the dynastic capital, except from 1583 to 1611 when it moved to Prague. In Vienna, Budapest and Prague we will follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs and learn how the longest dynasty in the history of Europe lived. But first we will visit Germany to know the Empire that was strengthened with the disappearance of the House of Habsburg. This was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia and ruled by Bismarck. Under the leadership of Prussia and Bismarck, Germany had become a nation and a world power.
Come with us and live your real adventure!
Arrival in Berlin and reception by your guide at the airport, who will help you with the entrance procedures to the European Union, will welcome you and accompany you to the hotel. Check-in and free time for private activities. In the afternoon, guided tour of the main sights of the divided city until 1989. Do you want to start getting to know Berlin from the heights, orient yourself well in the city, distinguish from a bird’s eye view its monuments, neighborhoods and parks? We take you flying over Berlin. Our tour begins on the heights of the Panorama Punkt a tower on the Potsdamer Platz 100 meters high where you will reach the top in 20 seconds, with the fastest elevator in Europe. There you can see the panoramic view of a city of power and culture. Our guide will accompany you on a journey through the history and present of a unique city, the capital of the twentieth century, where two world wars and the construction of the Wall were organized, and where Nazism reached its most terrible expressions. Among others, we will see the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamerplatz, Alexanderplatz, the Reichstag (German Parliament), the monument to the Jews and the Holocaust, the wall park, where we will see the remains of the wall that divided the city until 1989 and Charlotenburg Castle. We will finish the tour in the Ku’damm, the center of the former West Berlin where you can enjoy your time walking its historic streets, visiting famous shopping centers such as the Kadewe or the famous Gedächtniskirche Church, symbol of the horror of the last war that was left on purpose unrepaired. Back to the hotel. Overnight.
After breakfast, we will go to the city of Potsdam, the capital of the state of Brandenburg, which played a very important role during the German monarchy. Potsdam was the residence of the Prussian kings and the German Emperor (Kaiser) until 1918. His planning embodied the ideas of the Illustration Era: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was conceived as “a picturesque and pastoral dream” that would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason. We will visit the Sansoucci Palace in Rococo style and the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. We will walk along the steps to continue with the visit to the Neues Palais, the new palace and you will marvel at the Chinese Teahouse. Return to Berlin and free time for shopping or relaxing. In the evening, we will head to the Brandenburg Gate, the icon of the city to take night photographs and enjoy the surroundings. Later we will go to the Sony Center, a modern shopping center with many bars and cafes where we will spend a fun evening tasting your favorite drink (not included). Return to the hotel. (B)
Breakfast and departure to Dresden, the former capital of Saxony, along the Elbe River, that was almost totally destroyed during the bombings in World War II. Guided tour of this beautiful imperial city, where you can learn the details of its unique and exciting history: the glory of its intense past, the history of the terrible bombing it suffered in 1945, life in the socialist period and the strategy of its rebirth from 1990. We will visit the Prague Avenue with its immense prefabricated buildings (Plattenbau), an unequivocal symbol of the socialist project during the German Democratic Republic and where the demonstrations started the process that would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the German Democratic Republic. Then we will continue to the Old Market Square (Altmarkt) to talk about the bombing of Dresden in February 1945 and how we remember today that firestorm that consumed almost the entire city and caused the death of thousands of people. We will see one of the largest murals in the world: the house of Wettin Princesses´ parade and we will cross the famous Bridge of Augustus. One of the most outstanding churches in Europe could not be missed, the delicate Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche). The visit will culminate in front of the emblematic Semper Opera House, one of the most famous operas in Europe. Here you will enjoy the magnificent Baroque landscape offered by one of the most beautiful palaces on the continent: the Zwinger Palace. In the afternoon, we will continue to the capital of the Czech Republic. Once in Prague, check-in and overnight at the Hotel. (B)
After breakfast, we begin our guided walking and bus tours of the city and embark on a journey back in time to Prague Castle, built during the ninth century and commonly known as one of the largest castles in the world. We will see attractions of the New Town and the Old Town of Prague such as the National Theatre, Rudolfinum, the Dust Gate, Wenceslas Square and the Dancing House. Once we arrive at the Castle, we will have free time to tour the area and enjoy lunch at our own pace. The local guide will show us some interesting details linked to the history of the Habsburgs before we continue the tour to the old part of the city. We’ll cross the Vltava River over the historic Charles Bridge and immerse ourselves in Prague’s incredible history and culture as you enjoy a snack and travel in style on a Vltava River cruise. We will walk through Palach Square, Parizska Avenue and the Jewish city of Prague. We continue to the Old Town Square to see the old Town Hall and the world famous Astronomical Clock dating from the fifteenth century. End your amazing day in front of the State Theatre, which hosted the premiere of W.A. Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni! At the indicated time, we will meet again to go together for dinner (not included).. (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Our next destination is the city of Budweis, the city where the most famous brewery in the country and the world is located. Upon arrival we will visit the factory where we will see the brewing process from the beginning to its bottling and we will taste different types of beer directly from the storage tanks. We continue our journey to Český Krumlov. Located on the banks of the Vltava River, this city was built around a castle of the thirteenth century that has architectural elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style.
This feudal city was a former center of a large property of powerful noble families who played an important role in the political, economic, and cultural history of Central Europe. As it remained almost intact, it has preserved the design of its streets, which is typical of planned medieval towns. Český Krumlov also experienced considerable ecclesiastical development illustrated by the great fifteenth-century church of St. Vitus and monasteries of various preaching and itinerant orders. Finally we continue our trip to the capital of Austria. Once in Vienna, check-in and overnight at the Hotel. (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning visit to the city of Vienna, a Central European city on the banks of the Danube and in the foothills of the Alps. Its historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since the sixteenth century Vienna has been universally recognized as the “musical capital of Europe”. Today we will take a walking tour of the city seeing the highlights of the city, among others, the Stephansdom Cathedral, the historic center with the Hofburg and the City Ring marveling at its architecture and important buildings such as the opera. In the afternoon, we head to Schönbrunn, the summer residence of the monarchy. In the possession of the Habsburgs from 1569 until the end of the monarchy in 1918, Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in Europe. The palace has a total of 1441 rooms, of which 45 can be visited. The interior facilities are Rococo style. Schönbrunn’s Hall of Mirrors saw Mozart perform musical pieces when he was just a child prodigy. Today, the palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its great historical importance, its unique character and its magnificent construction. At the end of the visit, we will return to the hotel in Vienna and you will have time at your disposal: Accommodation in Vienna. (B)
After breakfast we will leave the hotel in direction to Budapest, capital of Hungary that welcomed Hungarian royalty in various occupations in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the modern and contemporary era until 1944 when the monarchy disappeared in Hungary. Upon arrival, visit the city which is divided into two areas, “Buddha” where the old city is located and “Pest” modern and commercial area. We start with the hill of Buda Castle to see the vast Danube and the expanse of Pest, the Old Town, Matthias Cathedral, the Fisherman’s Bastion and others. We will continue the tour on a beautiful bus tour along the Danube River. Yes! , you read very well. This unique tour of Budapest explores the city by land and water without needing to change vehicles! RiverRide is a 1-hour, 40-minute sightseeing tour during which you can gaze at Budapest’s sights from the comfortable seat of a bus, first through its busy streets and then from the water of the Danube, Budapest’s iconic river, and one of the world’s most famous rivers. You’ll never forget the magic of admiring the views of the elegant city as the small waves sway you. Upon returning to the mainland, we will go to a local restaurant for lunch (not included in the program) and then return to Vienna.
Upon arrival in Vienna, we will head to the most famous Hotel in the city, the Sacher Hotel where we will have the opportunity to taste its emblematic chocolate cake. Experience the famous Viennese Sacher-style coffee culture in a perfect setting and with the typical viennese café atmosphere. Return to the hotel. Free time for private activities. Are you interested in classical music? Vienna offers a variety of concerts that we can book for you. However, we suggest a visit to the opera, not only for the building and architecture, but for its program with the best operas in history. Please let us know your interest to buy the right tickets. (D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Day free for private activities. On time transfer to the airport for tor flight back home. Our guide tand will help at the airport with all formalities. End of our services. (D)