Experience the rich legacy of imperial splendour, which lives on in the architecture and atmosphere of these gracious cities.
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Fly to Munich where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night.
This morning, take a trip to Nuremberg, Bavaria's second largest city and site of the 1945 war trials when Nazi leaders were held to account for war crimes. Girded by medieval walls, its old quarter has been largely reconstructed after the bombings of World War II. Admire its Gothic churches, cobbled squares and half-timbered houses, all crowned by a massive castle that was home to Germany's Holy Roman Emperors. Afterwards, continue to the Czech capital, Prague, for two nights. (B)
Spend the day getting to know UNESCO-protected Prague, often described as the 'City of a Thousand Spires'. Founded around 400 BC, its golden age came in the 14th century, when Charles IV was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Today, let your guide lead you round its highlights pointing out the handsome National Theatre and vast Old Town Square, home to the city's famous Astronomical Clock. The story goes that its maker, Master Hanus, was blinded after crafting it to ensure he could never create another. This afternoon make the most of this magical city by joining an interesting optional excursion. (B, D)
Travel through beautiful Bohemia and Moravia on your way to Austria's capital, Vienna. Baroque splendour meets the eye everywhere in this great city, which was the seat of the Hapsburg Empire for centuries and boasts an unparalleled musical heritage. After lunch, join our optional city sightseeing tour and travel the city's Ringstrasse boulevard to see its beautiful Baroque buildings, including the State Opera House, Heldentor and Parliament. Admire the Hofburg, the imperial palace until 1918 and marvel at St. Stephen's, the soaring cathedral. Tonight, round everything off on our optional Viennese evening, which includes a classical music concert in a spectacular setting. (B)
Explore Vienna under your own steam this morning, perhaps shopping on bustling Kärntner Strasse or sampling the city's famously rich Sachertorte chocolate cake and apple strudel in a classic coffee house. Later, drive to Budapest, Hungary's capital, for two nights. (B)
Spend this morning discovering the 'Pearl of the Danube', which is divided into two halves - cobbled Buda to the west and bustling, commercial Pest to the east - by the great river. Today, soak up the delights of both of these very different districts on our included sightseeing tour. Explore the narrow lanes and medieval architecture of Buda, home to the city's Royal Castle, Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church. And marvel at Pest's Gothic-style Parliament building, its intricate facade reflected in the Danube's waters. You'll also see Margaret Island, a lush island laid out with beautiful parks and gardens. (B)
Sit back and enjoy the scenery today as you trace the Danube back into Austria and to Melk. This delightful town is dominated by a huge, hilltop Benedictine Abbey. Originally a castle, this sparkling monastery is one of Europe's largest and commands sweeping views over the town and river. Keep your camera handy later as you travel through glorious mountain scenery to Salzburg for one night. (B)
Straddling the Salzach River, Salzburg is a Baroque gem and the birthplace of Mozart. But its fame as the setting for 'The Sound of Music' often rivals these illustrious claims to fame. This morning, take our optional 'Sound of Music' tour to see some of the Old Town landmarks that featured in the legendary film. This afternoon, journey through Lake Chiemsee on your way to Munich for a traditional Bavarian farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)
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