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Itinerary: Best of Berlin, Prague & Vienna in 12 Days

Beginning in Berlin and ending in Vienna — with Prague, Dresden and the Danube in between — our dozen-day adventure explores the very heart of Europe. From the music of Strauss and the idealism of the Velvet Revolution to the dynasty of the Hapsburgs and the tragic wars of the last century, these remarkable cities have sparked the dangers, hopes, and beauty of Europe — yesterday and today.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Berlin

We'll have a get-acquainted meeting at around 5 p.m. at our hotel, followed by a neighborhood walk and dinner together. Sleep in Berlin (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Berlin's Historic Legacy

After climbing Berlin's glassy Reichstag dome, a local guide will lead us through the historic heart of Berlin's Nazi and Communist history — including the Brandenburg Gate. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy some of Berlin's many world-class museums, such as the stirring Jewish Museum or the Gemäldegalerie for paintings by the masters. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Berlin's Eastern Heart

Today we'll meet a local guide for a walk through Berlin's Jewish sites and Museum Island. We'll end on the famous Unter den Linden with a visit to the German History Museum. The rest of the day is free for more museums (Pergamon Museum for ancient Greece; Egyptian Museum for ancient Egypt), or for strolling, people-watching and shopping. Later in the afternoon we'll enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Spree River. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Baroque Dresden

Today we head south to Dresden, where we'll see the art treasures in the Old Masters Gallery housed in the beautifully-Baroque Zwinger. You'll have free time to explore more of the city dubbed "Florence on the Elbe," and to visit the Frauenkirche, destroyed in WWII and now completely rebuilt. Sleep in Dresden (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 5: Arrive in Prague

En route to Prague we'll take some time to reflect with a walking tour of the Terezin Memorial, once a fortress later turned into a Prison of the Gestapo. We arrive in Prague, in the early evening to settle into our hotel and have a short orientation before dinner. Sleep in Prague (3 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Days 6 & 7: Timeless, Lively Prague

We have two days to settle into fun-loving Prague. With our local guide leading the way you'll gape at the perfectly-preserved Old Town Square, explore the evocative Jewish Quarter and tour Prague Castle. Our local guide will also take us on a historical walk of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, the march that would topple the Communist regime. In the evenings, you can refresh yourself with Europe's best beer, enjoy classical concerts or experience the quirky and uniquely Czech Black Light Theater. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Delightful Český Krumlov

Today we'll hop on our bus and head for charming Český Krumlov. Most of the day is yours to explore the delightful old town of shops and cobbled lanes, characteristic little restaurants and easy canoeing options. Sleep in Český Krumlov (1 night). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 9: Danube River, Melk and Vienna

After an early morning drive along the prettiest stretch of the Danube, we visit the striking abbey at Melk. Then it's on to grand and elegant Vienna, where a panoramic bus tour will show us the delights of Europe's waltz capital. Sleep in Vienna (3 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Classy Vienna

We'll start our day with a walking tour of this refined, graceful city. Our focus will be a guided walking tour of Empress "Sisi" and her impressive Imperial Palace, the Hofburg. We'll also take some time to visit the world's best opera house (when available). The remainder of the day is free to explore more of Vienna's highlights or savor every chocoholic's fantasy: Sacher Torte. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Hapsburg's Vienna

We begin the day with a tram ride out to the Belvedere Palace to have a look at Klimt's famous art nouveau masterpieces. We continue with a walking tour examining more of Vienna's art nouveau influences, ending at the famous Naschmarkt. The afternoon is free to explore more of this romantic capital, such as its world-class museums, or merely sip coffee in Europe's most classic café scene. Tonight we'll meet for our last dinner and celebrate our time together. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Vienna's airport by shuttle, bus or taxi.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.