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The Grand Tour - The Imperial Cities

The Grand Tour - The Imperial Cities

Experience Imperial Europe through great rail journeys, history, culture and elegance. From the vibrancy of Berlin to the beauty of Dresden and the Bohemian Prague to the grandeur of Vienna, this wonderful tour has it all.

15 Days From £2699

 

DEPARTS

Thursday 20 August 2020

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy time sightseeing in Germany’s capital - Berlin

  • Spend time in the UNESCO city of Potsdam with a guided tour of Sanssouci Palace & Park

  • Experience the historic city of Dresden

  • Steam on the Lössnitzgrundbahn

  • Cruise along the Elbe and Danube

  • Guided tour of Colditz Castle

  • Tour the Meissen Factory

  • Sightseeing tour and vintage tram ride in Prague

  • Lunch onboard a leisurely cruise along the Vltava river

  • Discover Austria’s capital – Vienna

  • Visit the magnificent Schönbrunn Palace

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • 14 nights’ bed, breakfast & evening meal, 1 lunch

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

DAY 1

We depart London St Pancras by Eurostar to Brussels and onward by high-speed train to Wuppertal for a welcome evening meal at the InterCity Hotel.

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DAY 2

This morning we take a rail journey on Wuppertal's fascinating and unique Schwebebahn - also known in the Railtrail office as the 'Dingle Dangle Railway'. This afternoon we travel to Germany's capital - Berlin, where we check into our centrally located hotel for the next three nights, the Maritim Pro-Arte.

B, D

DAY 3

Today begins with a guided sightseeing coach tour of Berlin, which covers this unique city's turbulent past. The tour will introduce the main sights of this once divided city, including 'Checkpoint Charlie', the remains of the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate. The afternoon is then free to explore independently. Perhaps head to Museum Island, home to a complex of world-renowned museums.

B, D

DAY 4

Today we visit the UNESCO city of Potsdam, home to the royal palace of Sanssouci. Sanssouci was the summer palace of Frederick the Great and was designed in 1745 as a private residence for Prussia's King, away from the court in Berlin. We have a guided tour of this grand Rococo palace and park as well as free time to explore the city itself.

B, D

DAY 5

This morning we travel by EC train to Dresden where we are based at the Westin Bellevue Hotel for the next three nights. Upon arrival into Dresden, we enjoy an orientation guided tour of this historic city. We pass the transparent VW factory and have a brief stop in front of the three Elbe castles close to the Blue Wonder bridge before we take a stroll through the historic city centre past the 'Procession of Princes' (the longest porcelain image in the world) and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).

B, D

DAY 6

It's back to the age of steam today as we take a return rail journey on the popular Lössnitzgrundbahn from Radebeul to Radeburg, a delightful rural 17km line which still operates as a public service. This afternoon, we take to the water as we enjoy a leisurely cruise along the river Elbe to Pillnitz where we have time to have a stroll around Pillnitz Park Gardens before making our way back to Dresden.

B, D

DAY 7

Today we visit Meissen, the famous home of porcelain, where we also include a visit to the Meissen porcelain factory with its museum, special exhibition and demonstration workshops. Our day concludes with a guided tour of the famous World War II 'prisoner of war' camp - Colditz Castle. Be amazed at the bravery shown and just how small the escape tunnels were.

B, D

DAY 8

Our relaxing train journey brings us into Prague around mid-afternoon where we transfer to our hotel for the next three nights, the Hotel Taurus. Our evening meals will be taken at a local restaurant.

B, D

DAY 9

Today begins with a guided vintage tram tour of the city through Prague New Town, Old Town and Small Town, Vltava river bank and finish near Prague Castle. The tour continues with a sightseeing walking tour of Prague. The city is an architectural gem which has survived virtually untouched for over 300 years. We walk down from the Castle, across the famous Charles Bridge and enter the Old Town Square which is one of Prague's most historic places. Time for a lunch break is included during the tour which concludes mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day is free for individual sightseeing.

B, D

DAY 10

This morning is free to spend at leisure. You may wish to explore the Old Town Square with the oldest working astronomical clock in the world or stroll across the 15th Century Charles Bridge. We reconvene in the afternoon for a relaxing cruise along the Vltava river with lunch served onboard.

B, L, D

DAY 11

This morning, our train journey takes us towards Brno in the south of the Czech Republic before we cross the border, into Austria and onwards towards Vienna. Our hotel for the next three nights is the Austria Classic Hotel.

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DAY 12

A combined coach and walking sightseeing tour gives a wonderful impression of the most significant sights of Vienna. We drive along the Ringstrasse with its numerous magnificent buildings, such as the state opera house, the museum of fine arts and the museum of national history, the cultural district museums quarter, the Hofburg (former Habsburg winter residence), the parliament, the city Hall and the Burgtheater, to name a few. We stop near the Imperial palace for our relaxing walk strolling through the inner courts of this complex, you will see also Michaelerplatz, Kohlmarkt, Graben and Kärntner Strasse and apart from experiencing the flair and the beautiful inner city, the highlight for you may be the visit to one of the most famous landmarks of Vienna: St. Stephen's cathedral, which is regarded as the core of the city. The afternoon is free for independent general sightseeing at leisure.

B, D

DAY 13

This morning we transfer to Schönbrunn Palace for our guided tour of this magnificent palace, once home of Maria Theresa and the summer residence of the Habsburgs. We have time to stroll around the vast park and immaculate gardens before we make our way on to our cruise along the river Danube.

B, D

DAY 14

Today we make our way back into Germany by train and onto Nuremberg where we spend our final night at the InterCity Hotel, close to the station. There may be time this afternoon for you to explore Nuremberg's medieval city walls or to visit the transport museum near to the station, should you wish.

B, D

DAY 15

After breakfast, we travel by high speed train via Frankfurt to Brussels and onward by Eurostar to London.

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B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

HOTELS

InterCity Hotels, Wuppertal & Nuremberg

Convenient and comfortable 3-star and 4-star hotels across Germany in good locations for the city and station.

 

Maritim Pro-Arte Hotel, Berlin

A 4-star design hotel with great facilities such as bars, restaurant, swimming pool and sauna. The rooms all have TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Situated on Friedrichstrasse, the Pro-Arte couldn’t be closer to Berlin’s cultural epicentre.

 

The Westin Bellevue Hotel, Dresden

A stylish 4-star hotel centrally located in an 18th Century building on the bank of the river Elbe. The rooms are all warmly decorated with seating areas, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a spa with a sauna and indoor pool.

 

The Hotel Taurus, Prague

This upscale 4-star hotel is ideally located for the Metro system in Prague. The warm, elegant rooms feature flat screen TVs, tea & coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a cosy lounge area for reflecting on the days adventures.

 

Austria Classic Hotel, Vienna

This 3-star hotel is located in a 19th Century building close to Vienna’s Praterstern station. The comfortable bedrooms all have flat screen TVs, desks and free WiFi. The hotel has a cosy bar, courtyard and a spa area with sauna.

 

 

FARES

From London St Pancras International:

Standard Class rail travel

throughout, including

Standard Eurostar

£2699

First Class rail including Standard Premier Eurostar

£3199

Single Traveller Supplement

£499

Join Berlin Day 2 Leave Vienna Day 14

£2299

Single Traveller Supplement Days 2-14

£449


 

14 nights’ bed, breakfast & evening meal

Rail travel throughout

All transfers, excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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Name Address Contact Details
Berlin/Vienna Berlin/Vienna
London St Pancras Int London St Pancras Int (LNE)

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