Enquire About This Tour Code EETB Baltics Adventure
Duration: 17 Days Route: Tallinn to Budapest Style: Adventure Tours Price: US$2,569.00
Just to the west of Russia the three former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania offer an exciting, off-the-beaten track travel experience. Beginning the tour in Tallinn, with its Unesco-listed Old Town, gothic churches, medieval castles and palaces, we continue to Riga, famous for its Art Nouveau architecture and vibrant nightlife scene. Then experience the romantic city of Vilnius, with its fine food, postcard-perfect historic centre and art galleries heading South, in to Poland and the Czech Republic, stopping at some iconic capital cities.
Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Tallinn
The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.
Our next stop is Tallinn, Estonia's capital. Famous for its enchanting historic centre, the city is a popular holiday destination on the Gulf of Finland. Roam the cobbled streets and explore scenic ruins or climb the hill of Toompea, which is filled with medieval buildings, 14th century churches, turrets, spires and enticing alleyways.
Tallinn also offers alluring boutique shopping similar to that found in Swiss cities. The city is full of artists and artisans so you may also find wonderfully made glass, weaving and pottery here. The café scene is thriving and you can find everything from sunlit street cafés to Art Deco style bakeries. Within the walls of the Old Town there are lots of excellent restaurants to enjoy and a thriving nightlife, with clubs open until the wee hours. Estonians are true beer lovers so you might like to try an authentic local brew.
Optional Excursions: Explore Toompea – free of charge • Kalev Spa Hotel morning/afternoon swim – €6.90/€9.90 • Visit Kadriorg Park – free of charge • Kadriorg Palace – €4.80 • St. Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church – free • Dominican Monastery – €8 • Tallinn City Museum (also called the Linnamuuseum) – €3.20 • St. Olav’s Church (also called Oleviste) – €2 • The Town Hall – €3 (additional €2 to climb the tower) • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – free
Day 2 to 3 - Riga
Riga is more than 800 years old and its clever blend of medieval centre and modern city infrastructure will enchant you. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town has its own particular charm, while the city is also famous for its fascinating Art Nouveau architectural heritage which you can discover as you wander the streets of this ‘Paris of the East'. A must-do is a visit to Riga's most famous Gothic church, St Peter's, thought to be about 800 years old. Its famous spire has been rebuilt three times in the same form since 1667, with its latest rebuild completed in 1973. Climb the spire and enjoy spectacular views over the city.
Optional Excursions: St Peter’s Tower – €7 • City tour bus – €15 • Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum – €1.50 • Wander the Art Nouveau District – free • Central Market, housed in old WW2 hangars – free • St. Peter’s Lutheran Church – €3 • The House of Blackheads – €3 • The Dome Cathedral – €3 • Latvian War Museum – €1.50 • Riga Castle
Day 4 to 5 - Vilnius
The capital of Lithuania, Vilnius boasts an attractive baroque Old Town that is the largest in Eastern Europe and is praised as the 'New Prague'. Located on the edge of the Neris River, with its pine covered hills, friendly people, and blend of old and new, this is a picturesque city well worth exploring. You will have time to explore the main sights of the city including Gediminas Castle on the top of Gediminas Hill and Cathedral Square at the base of the hill, which is dominated by Vilnius Cathedral and its 57 metre-tall belfry.
While you’re exploring the square between the cathedral and the tower you should hunt for the secret stebuklas (miracle) tile. The tile marks the southern end of the 2 million person, 650 kilometre long human chain between Tallinn and Vilnius, which was formed in protest against Soviet occupation in 1989. Local legend has it that if you find the pretty mosaic-covered tile you should stand on it and turn around three times clockwise while making a wish, which shall then be granted.
Included Excursions: KGB Museum
Optional Excursions: Hot air ballooning – Lt 400/€119 per person • Wander the Jewish Quarter – free • Go to Uzupis, the breakaway “republic” east of the Old Town – free • Take an alternative walking tour (3 hours) – 'free for tips'
Day 6 to 8 - Warsaw
Warsaw, Poland's capital, has been revitalised as a tourist destination. The city was almost entirely destroyed in World War II but a lot of effort has gone into its rebuilding. Since the fall of communism many old buildings have given way to modern sky scrapers, the dilapidated old town has been brightened up, and entertainment and services transformed to match that of other western capitals.
Home to various palaces, castles and citadels, Warsaw is noted for the Soviet-era Palace of Culture and Science, as well as the marketplace at the 10th Anniversary Stadium, a converted festival site where you can buy all sorts of interesting items. Also recommended is a visit to the Old Town, which was rebuilt between 1949 and 1963 after being destroyed in World War II in the Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque styles of architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. You can visit the Historical Museum of Warsaw and Royal Castle at nearby Old Town Square.
Optional Excursions: Explore the Old Town – free • Warsaw Rising Museum – PLN 14 • Palace of Culture and Science – free (viewing tower PLN 20) • Wander the Jewish district – free
Day 9 to 10 - Kraków
Poland’s more famous and cultural city is Kraków, which has managed to preserve centuries of amazing architecture and artistic traditions as most of the historic buildings and monuments emerged unscathed from World War II. Kraków was the royal capital for 500 years so a must-see is the royal Wawel Castle, a beautiful renaissance palace which now houses a museum. During the evening the cosmopolitan city offers a wild nightlife, with plenty of restaurants, music clubs and bars to explore.
Kraków is our base to visit the UNESCO listed Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp, a sobering tribute to the people that perished there during the Holocaust. Known in Polish as Oświęcim, the camp was originally designed for Polish political prisoners but became the most notorious camp of World War II because an estimated 1.6 million people of 27 nationalities, including 1.1 million Jews, 150,000 Poles and 23,000 Roma were killed by the Nazis.
From Krakow we take an overnight train to Prague.
Included Excursions: Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Optional Excursions: Wander around Kazimierz Jewish area – free • Explore Wawel Hill and Castle complex – free • Entrance to Wawel Castle state rooms – PLN 17 • Royal private apartments – PLN 24 • Crown treasury and armoury – PLN 17 • Entrance to cathedral – PLN 10 • Visit Wieliczka Salt Mine – PLN 65
Day 11 to 12 - Prague
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and you will have plenty of free time to visit the stunning City of 1,000 Spires, including the bustling Old Town Square where you can find a beautiful astronomical clock, the enchanting Charles Bridge where you can watch artists and buskers at work, Wenceslas Square and the world’s only Cubist lamppost just around the corner from the square. There is also time to wander the lofty heights of Hradčany Castle and St Vitus Cathedral for magical views over the city.
Prague is a town that loves to party so you may also want to experience the nightlife as there are many great bars and restaurants and plenty of pulsating night clubs to enjoy. Czechs have been brewing beer since the 9th century and invented the world’s first Pilsner, so Prague offers a great opportunity to sample some of the world’s finest beers.
Optional Excursions: Explore Hradcany, a lovely neighbourhood behind the Prague Castle – free • Tour the Hradcany Castle complex – CZK 350 • Climb the mini Eiffel tower – CZK 50 • Wander the Jewish/Kafka Quarter – free • Take a boat cruise on the Vltava River – around CZK 250 • Go to Kutna Hora, an hour’s train ride from Prague – CZK 120 return and visit the famous Bone Church (CZK 50) and beautiful St Barbara Cathedral (CZK 50)
Day 13 to 13 - Prague & Overnight train to Poprad
In the evening we will take an overnight train to Poprad, the main gateway to the High Tatras Mountains in Slovakia.
Day 14 to 15 - High Tatras Mountains
The High Tatras constitute a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland and is the highest mountain range of the Carpathians. The highest mountain is Gerlach at 2,655 metres, located in Slovakia just north of Poprad.
After making our way to Stary Smokovec (Novy Smokovec) we have time to relax and unwind. For the energetic there is an opportunity to go to the nearby mountains for some hiking. There are various paths ranging from gentle to highly demanding, winding among spectacular peaks and rock walls. Alternatively, there are many attractions to amuse you for the next two days such as the glacial lake of Strebske Pleso, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins of Spissky Hrad and the Renaissance buildings of fortified Levoca.
Optional Excursions: Various hiking options – free • Gondola ride to Lomnicky Peak (2634 metres) – €30
Day 16 to 16 - Budapest
We then travel to our final destination, Budapest. You will have the rest of the afternoon to explore Hungary's stylish capital. However, with travel times sometimes extended due to traffic, you may want to book post-tour accommodation to make sure you have enough time to see all the sites of this fascinating and beautiful capital city.
Straddling the Danube River, the city is comprised of two very different historic cities, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. Highlights here include Castle Hill, Matthius Church, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Liberation Monument, the fabulous St Stephen’s Basilica and the much photographed Parliament Building.
Terror Haza (Terror House) is a popular museum recounting stories of espionage and atrocities committed during World War II and during the communist period. During your optional visit you can view very moving testimonial footage from survivors and visit old jail cells, torture chambers and interrogation rooms.
The Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and features stunning decorations. You can also wander around Central Market Hall and enjoy the intoxicating sights and smells of ‘Budapest’s pantry’ and get an idea of Hungary’s food culture - you can even buy chocolates by the kilo!
The perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing is in a traditional bath. The Széchenyi Medicinal Baths are one of the city‘s more famous Neo Baroque-style baths with indoor and outdoor pools, thermal pools, saunas and massages in a beautiful setting. After a nice soak you can visit numerous restaurants and bars to visit on Liszt Ferenc for an enjoyable evening's entertainment.
Optional Excursions: Danube Cruise – €16 (drinks only). You can expect to pay approx €30 for dinner aboard. • Hop on, Hop off bus – HUF 6000 • Szechenyi baths – HUF 3600 • House of Terror – HUF 2000 • Basilica of St Stephen – free • Castle Hill – HUF 1700 • Hungarian National Museum – HUF1600 • The Great Synagogue – HUF 1600 • Royal Palace & Parliament – HUF 2520
Day 17 to 17 - Depart Budapest
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Day by Day Itinerary
|Day 10||Overnight train to Prague||B|
|Day 11||Prague||Czech Republic|
|Day 13||Overnight train to Poprad||B|
|Day 14||High Tatras Mountains||Slovakia|
|Day 15||High Tatras Mountains||B|
(B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner included)
For tours that include the option of a single supplement, a ✔ will indicate in which destinations single rooms are available. The detailed and day by day itineraries above are provided in good faith and it is our intention to adhere to the published route. Changes may be made before or during your tour for operational or safety reasons or to incorporate improvements. Impromptu changes may also occur whilst you are travelling as a result of one-off circumstances such as an excursion being closed on a particular day, weather conditions or transport. Delays are rare but occur occasionally and for this reason and the reasons above this itinerary should be considered as a guide only. Published transport times are approximations and may vary depending on local conditions.