Central European Classics: Budapest to Prague aboard the Danube Express

8-day Escorted Tour


The Tour

Central European Classics, Budapest to Prague by Luxury Train, equals excitement and romance. It’s a new trip on the Danube Express. What could be more romantic than coursing through the lush landscapes and charming cities by train? Lovely stops along the way allow you to visit  architectural masterpieces and gain insight into modern European culture and traditions. Enjoy dining on board and off this luxe train. This short journey is perfect for those who might want to test out the Danube Express.  Or, it can be combined with the  7-day Castles of Transylvania tour. Click here for more information.

The Itinerary

Day 1: Budapest, Hungary
Arrive today in Budapest, where you will be met and transferred to the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in the elegant surroundings of this art nouveau landmark, where you can meet your fellow travelers on this highly anticipated journey.

Day 2: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is actually two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace dominates the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest. Our city tour includes the Royal Palace, St. Mathias Church, and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We will also see the Citadel, the Opera House, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Heroes Square, and the City Park.

The rest of the day is at leisure so you can stroll along the banks of the Danube, visit the historic Great Market Hall with its endless variety of delicious foods and wines, or head to one of the city’s famous thermal baths for a rejuvenating dip. Alternatively, you can relax at the hotel and indulge in the hotel’s luxurious spa with infinity-edge pool, or make use of the state-of-the-art fitness center. This evening, we will enjoy a beautiful dinner cruise along the Danube with Budapest sparkling in the evening.

Day 3: Keszthely, Hungary
After breakfast, join the Golden Eagle Danube Express at Nugyati station after a reception in the Imperial Waiting Room and head to Keszthely on the western shore of Lake Balaton. The train is scheduled to be steam-hauled for the first part of our journey.

At Keszthely we take a tour of the Festetics Palace, a beautiful Baroque palace built on castle ruins in 1745 and expanded 150 years later. Alternatively, you can enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on the calm waters of Lake Balaton. We re-join the train early evening and have dinner on board as the train heads for Austria.

Day 4: Bratislava, Slovakia & Vienna, Austria
This morning, we arrive into Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. We will visit the medieval Old Town (Starý Mesto), where we will stroll through the cobbled streets of 18th century pastel buildings with the stunning Bratislava Castle perched high above the city on a hill overlooking the Danube. Close to the castle, set among the many hillside luxury villas, is the imposing Soviet War Memorial at Slavín to learn about the city’s strategic position just behind the Iron Curtain.

We return to the train for lunch on board and travel the short distance across the Iron Curtain to Vienna. We have an afternoon to savor the captivating Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna. Our tour of Austria’s capital city includes the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse, and the awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Tonight, we enjoy a concert at the fabulous privately owned Lichtenstein Palace.

Day 5: Krakow, Poland
Once a royal capital with an extraordinary history, and now a lively university town with fashionable bars and restaurants, Krakow is a fascinating city with beautiful monuments and an exuberant atmosphere. Highlights of the city include Wawel Hill, home to the Wawel Castle — an impressive blend of Gothic original architecture and a Renaissance Palace — and Rynek Glówny, also known as the Main Market Square because it is Europe’s largest medieval square. You can explore the city at your leisure in the afternoon and perhaps make the trip across the River Vistula to Podgórze, site of the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow and home to the Schindler factory – much of the film ‘Schindler’s List’ was filmed here.

On our day in Krakow, we also offer a number of included touring options as part of our Freedom of Choice program outside of the city environs. Close to Kraków is Auschwitz-Birkenau, now a poignant museum that was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II, where an estimated 1 million people perished.

Day 6: Prague, Czech Republic
We arrive into Prague this morning after breakfast, where we leave the Golden Eagle Danube Express and spend time to enjoy one of Europe’s most magnificent cities. We will stay at the luxurious five-star Four Seasons hotel for two nights, renowned for its unique architectural structure and enviable location, just steps from the historic Charles Bridge.

Prague is one of the most beautifully preserved cities in Europe. It spans the Vltava River and is dominated by the 9th century Prague Castle, a stunning sight that can be seen almost anywhere in the city. Our tour takes in the Old Town Square with its many historic buildings and Astronomical Clock, the historic 14th century Charles Bridge, and the Jewish Ghetto.

Day 7: Prague, Czech Republic
This morning in Prague, discover on your own the hidden treasures of this wonderful city. Stroll the medieval cobbled streets, relax in the ancient squares, and admire the many architectural treasures of this ‘City of a Hundred Spires’.

After lunch we join a vintage tram to travel through the city and Wenceslas Square, then up the hill to the magnificent Prague Castle, the largest medieval complex in Europe and the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral. The castle and its surrounding architectural gems occupy a hillside overlooking the city and river. Our tour includes the delightful Golden Lane and the Changing of the Guard at the castle entrance.

You have the option to join our Freedom of Choice tour to Municipal House, originally built to be an administrative and cultural center. Located just inside the Old Town, it was built on the area once occupied by the former Royal Court before it moved to Prague Castle. We’ll have a Czech afternoon tea here and then visit its beautiful concert hall.

Day 8: Prague, Czech Republic
Following breakfast, your included transfer will take you to the airport for onward flight departures. There is also an option to extend your stay in Prague for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.


2021 Dates:

June 28-July 5

The Prices

2021 Pricing Double Single Deposit
Deluxe Class $11,495 $17,295 $2,000
Superior Deluxe Class $14,295 $23,895 $2,500

All pricing is per person.


Tour priced in US Dollars.

This tour is a perfect add-on to the Castles of Transylvania.  Book now for an extended 12-day journey from Istanbul to Prague.

to top

The Highlights

Travel through five European countries, with three nights on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express
Sightsee in Budapest
Visit Bratislava and the Soviet War Memorial at Slavín
Enjoy concert at Lichtenstein Palace in Vienna
Explore Krakow, with an optional tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum
Enjoy tram tour of Prague
2-night stay at glorious Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Budapest
2-night stay at five-star Four Seasons Hotel in Prague for 2 nights

Latest News:
Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on the Danube Express and other of our World’s Top 25 Trains™.

Parliament Building in Budapest.
Parliament Building in Budapest.
Society of IRT President Eleanor Flagler Hardy aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo
Society of IRT President Eleanor Flagler Hardy aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo
Beautiful dining car set for the evening meal on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.
Beautiful dining car set for the evening meal on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.
The lounge car on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.
The lounge car on the Golden Eagle Danube Express. IRT Photo by Angela Walker.