As the name implies, this European tour features some of Europe’s capital cities. You’ll spend two nights in Paris, capital of France; Brussels, capital of Belgium; the Amsterdam area, capital of the Netherlands; Berlin, capital of Germany; Prague, capital of the Czech Republic; and Vienna, capital of Austria. You’ll also spend one night in Bremerhaven, Germany, an important Hanseatic port city.
In each of the capitals, you’ll see the sights with a Local Guide, a knowledgeable local who will share with you history, culture, and ins and outs of the city. Sightseeing highlights include seeing the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, and Eiffel Tower in Paris; the Grand’Place—the central square surrounded by baroque guild houses and the gothic Town Hall—in Brussels; Prague’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410, and Charles Bridge, dating to 1357 and one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe; and Vienna’s State Opera House and Hofburg, the palatial complex at the heart of Vienna. In Amsterdam, you’ll also see the city on a canal cruise—the best way to see Amsterdam!
In addition to the capitals, this European tour also features stops in some of Europe’s smaller—but fascinating—cities. In Antwerp, see the world’s largest diamond district and the 14th-century Cathedral of Our Lady, which dominates the city center with its 400-foot-tall spire and artwork by Rubens. In Dresden, the German city that suffered tremendous damage during the air bombings in February 1945, your guided sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Zwinger Palace Glockenspiel, where 40 bells sound every quarter of an hour. In the Czech Republic, enjoy walking through the medieval old town in Tábor, founded in 1420 as a city where everyone is equal.
For value-minded travelers, this is the perfect vacation to see some of Europe’s fascinating capitals!
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the French capital. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers.
Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see these sites during the included city tour. In the company of an expert Local Guide, view the famous Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, and much more. In the afternoon, feel like a French aristocrat on the optional walking tour through the opulent Palace of Versailles. Tonight, consider joining the optional dinner at a typical restaurant. (B)
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Paris before heading to Brussels, capital of Belgium and major centre for international politics since WWII. Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Join your Local Guide this morning and explore this vibrant city that is headquarters of the European Union. Along the way, hear about the ornate Grand’Place and see the tiny yet world-famous Manneken Pis statue. The afternoon is free to make your own discoveries. (B)
Start the day by getting to know the international port city of Antwerp. See the centuries-old Diamond Quarter, the largest diamond district in the world; the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1663; the 14th-century Cathedral of Our Lady with its triptychs by Rubens; and much more. Cross the border into South Holland and stop in Rotterdam, the “Gateway to the World,” for an introduction to Europe’s busiest port, boasting an eclectic tapestry of architectural styles. Later, arrive in Amsterdam, vibrant capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (B)
Today, enjoy a CANAL CRUISE to see the city from water level, then watch skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTRE. Continue the discovery with a Local Guide showing you the city highlights. Maybe get to know the beautiful Dutch countryside on an optional excursion. (B)
Depart Amsterdam and stop in Groningen, an important trade centre in the 13th century that today is hailed as the “World Cycling City.” In the centre of town, admire the Martini Tower with its 62-bell carillon, the Spanish Moorish synagogue, and much more. Reach Bremerhaven for a guided visit of the interactive GERMAN EMIGRATION CENTRE, Europe’s largest museum about emigration, particularly German emigration to the United States. (B,D)
Travel to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, which majestically straddles the Weser River. Attractions here include the opulent Town Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the massive, 15th-century statue of Roland, the city’s protector; the oldest wine cellar in Germany, the Ratskeller, whose wine list boasts more than 650 German wines; and the bronze sculpture of the Bremen Town Musicians from the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairytale. You’ll see the highlights on your included guided walking tour, then it’s on to the city of Berlin! (B)
On the included guided tour, learn how Berlin is no longer divided but every bit as fascinating. Once a city of stark contrasts, since the fall of the wall, Berlin has developed into a harmonious blend of old and new. It has preserved the old buildings, such as the State Opera House and Brandenburg Gate; its neoclassic-style boulevards, such as the Kurfustendamm and Unter den Linden; and it has created brand new buildings in the most daring, up-todate architectural styles. It is once again Germany’s capital and one of Europe’s most lively cities. This afternoon, maybe join an optional excursion. (B)
Travel southwest toward the Czech border to Dresden, hailed as the “Jewel Box” city for its splendid baroque and rococo centre. With four nature reserves and 63% of the city consisting of green areas and forests, Dresden is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe. On your included guided sightseeing tour, see the ZWINGER PALACE GLOCKENSPIEL with its bells made by the famous Meissen porcelain factory, as well as many other city highlights. Cross into the Czech Republic and head towards Prague. Your Tour Director can suggest optional excursions, including a fun evening of traditional Czech music and entertainment. (B)
The wealth of gothic and baroque architecture in the “Golden City” of Prague inspired local composers Dvorak and Smetana-and will inspire you, too, today during your included guided sightseeing tour. See the Jewish Quarter, Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with its fantastic Astronomical Clock, and more. (B,D)
Visit Tabor this morning, founded in 1420 as an egalitarian peasant commune. Walk through the pretty Old Town with its narrow cobblestone streets to its main square. In the afternoon, cross the Austrian border to arrive in Vienna, Austria’s capital. This evening, how about an optional classical concert? (B)
Once the seat of the mighty Habsburg Empire and home to Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, Hadyn, and Mozart, Vienna blends ornate baroque architecture with an irresistible musical heritage-you can almost hear the classical music as you stroll its streets. There’s much to enthrall you today on the included guided sightseeing tour. Admire the fabulous State Opera House, Hofburg Palace, and Parliament. Later, maybe try some of Vienna’s heavenly Sachertorte at a traditional coffee house, or you could join the optional excursion to Schonbrunn Palace. This evening the included Viennese farewell dinner might be just the ticket. (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)