Celebrate the warmth, colorful tradition and shimmering sense of expectation that can only be found in Europe’s most legendary Christmas markets. This remarkable trip takes you to the finest ones in Prague, Vienna and Budapest and, en route, it offers a lovely, more intimate contrast with smaller-town fairs in Cesky Krumlov and České Budějovice in the Czech Republic. You’ll almost feel like you’re time traveling as you explore cities that have remained remarkably unchanged over the centuries. And with your friendly local guides, you’ll learn about the vivid history, experience rich cultural traditions, and get just the kind of advice you want if you’re shopping the stalls or looking for the perfect wooden toys, Bohemian crystal or even fresh-baked holiday pastry. There’s no more perfect way to capture the season’s spirit…and immerse yourself in a holiday shopping expedition like no other!
Imperial Prague (1 night) is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and after meeting we’ll spend an easy afternoon discovering its bridges, cobblestone alleyways and magnificent Old Town. Of course, we will enjoy our first Christmas Market this evening!
DAYS 2-3 – CESKY KRUMLOV
The next day we visit with artisans at a local brewery for a tasting. Cesky Krumlov (2 nights) is a remarkably preserved village now recognized as a historic site. We’ll explore both Cesky Krumlov and Ceske Budweiss during one of the most beautiful times of year.
DAYS 4-5 – VIENNA
There is no finer expression of the power and glory of Imperial Vienna that Schönbrunn Palace, and it is the spectacular centerpiece of a day full of memorable activities. Enjoy a privately guided tour of the 22-room apartments of Emperor Franz Joseph and his charming wife, Elisabeth, known as Sisi. It’s truly one of the world’s most remarkable residences, the ultimate expression of the Habsburgs who ruled a vast swath of Europe for six centuries.
The most romantic of all of the Viennese holiday markets happens right here in front of the palace. A giant Christmas tree is silhouetted against the baroque palace façade. Usually, there are 60 stalls or so and in keeping with the setting, the offerings are especially opulent.
DAYS 6-7 – BUDAPEST
We proceed to Budapest (1 night) where the day ends with a promenade along the Danube. In a fascinating daylong exploration, we ramble from the Royal Palace in Buda to Europe’s largest synagogue and a district overflowing with cafes and musicians in Pest. On our final morning, we part company after breakfast with time for you to shop or explore on your own.
Starting Point:Prague – 12:00 pm – Lobby oh Hotel Pariz
Ending Point:Budapest – 9:00 am – Lobby of Prestige Hotel
Dates & Prices
The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won’t be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.Talk to an expert
Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
Why Choose Classic Journeys
Travel + Leisure has awarded Classic Journeys the #1 World’s Best Tour Operator multiple times and says, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here’s what that access means for you.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it’s closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you’re exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World’s Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you’re visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It’s your guarantee that you’ll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
We spend years cultivating personal relationships with our hoteliers to provide you thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region. Here is a sampling of our favorite hotels on this tour.
- Award-winning accommodations at luxury boutique hotels
- Memorable meals that include all breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 4 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
Wine on Us
- In many regions, we uncork wonderful local wines at every dinner, compliments of Classic Journeys.
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Perfect Pairings Dinners
- A special dinner prepared by one of our favorite chefs with a procession of wines tailored to each course.