Christmas Markets of Eastern Europe

15 days Special Event, Multi-country
Each winter, the cities of Eastern Europe burst into celebration as artisans, crafters and other vendors take to the streets with their festive wares. You’ll take in the sparkling atmosphere as you journey along the Danube from the two-sided city of Budapest to Vienna, unrivaled for its beauty and majesty. Then, visit the castles and cathedrals of Prague and explore medieval Kraków before ending in modern Warsaw.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 wine tasting

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Eastern Europe

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Budapest.

Budapest 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Budapest

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Hungary! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Budapest & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover the major landmarks of the city that straddles east and west.

• Trace this nation’s stormy history at Heroes Square

• Tour the lavishly decorated Hungarian Parliament building

• Cross the Danube and ascend Castle Hill

• Take in the breathtaking views from Fisherman’s Bastion

• Visit the medieval Matthias Church, once the site of Hapsburg coronations 

• Get an introduction to Budapest’s lively Christmas markets and explore the bustling stalls on your own

Enjoy a free evening in Budapest or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Unicum Liqueur & Wine Tasting with Dinner $95pp* Details

Go right to the source to take a taste of Hungary's national drink, Unicum liqueur. A secret formula of more than 40 herbs, the recipe has been protected by the Zwack family since 1790 and it's story follows the turbulent history of the area. When the family escaped communism and lived in exile in the U.S., a trusted friend in Milan kept up production. You'll learn more about this fascinating legacy at the Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors' Centre in Budapest, where you can sample the apéritif and view the museum's staggering collection of miniature bottles. Then, enjoy a Hungarian dinner accompanied by wine pairings chosen by a local sommelier who'll be on hand to tell you about each selection.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 4: Free day in Budapest

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Budapest on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Budapest Bath & Spa Visit $59pp* Details

The area’s thermal springs were a major attraction to the Romans who once inhabited the area around the Danube. Today, Budapest locals and visitors alike indulge in the luxurious pools and relaxing treatments on offer. You’ll enjoy full use of a local spa’s facilities, including a thermal pool swimming pool, sauna and steam room. You may choose to upgrade your experience by adding a beauty, body, skin or face treatment.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Vienna 3 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Vienna via Szentendre

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Travel west through the Danube basin and stop in Szentendre, where you’ll have free time to stroll through the small-town Christmas markets. Then, continue on to Vienna, home of chocolates, cafes, parks and pastries.

Later, enjoy dinner in Vienna with fellow travelers, followed by a mulled wine tasting at one of the city’s Christmas markets.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Vienna

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get transported back to the Age of Empires on a guided tour of Vienna. 

• Enter Schönbrunn Palace, the Rococo Hapsburg home with impressive gardens

• Travel down the Ringstrasse, Vienna’s tree-lined thoroughfare 

• See the Parliament building, the Vienna State Opera and the grand Hofburg Palace

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Viennese Heurigen Evening $99pp* Details

After a brief drive, your first stop is Vienna’s Prater Ferris Wheel. Take a breezy ride to the top, which offers a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Next, continue to the picturesque village of Grinzing. At a local restaurant, you’ll indulge in a festive night of music, food and entertainment. Dinner will feature dishes typical of traditional Austrian Heurigens, or wine taverns. During your meal, you’ll have the chance to try some of the tavern’s own locally made wine—the perfect addition to your cozy Old-World setting.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 7: Free day in Vienna

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Vienna or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Bratislava $89pp* Details

Walk through Bratislava’s Old Town on a guided tour of the Slovakian capital. Stroll along cobblestone streets in the shadow of Brastislavsky Hrad, the hilltop 18th-century castle overlooking the Old Town. Then, tour the famous Hall of Mirrors inside the pink Primates’ Palace, where Napoleon and the Austrian emperor signed the Peace of Pressburg of 1805. Lunch is included. Please note: Depending on the day of the week, you may visit St. Martin’s Cathedral instead of the palace.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Prague 3 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Travel to Prague

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive through the pastoral landscapes of Bohemia on your way to Prague, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

• Stop in Moravia to enter Lednice Palace, a gorgeous chateau on the Austrian border

• Enjoy free time to explore the medieval city of Mikulov

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Prague & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover why Prague is known as the “City of One Hundred Spires” on a guided tour. 

• Visit Prague Castle, from which Charles IV governed the Holy Roman Empire

• Admire the soaring Gothic vaults of St. Vitus Cathedral

• Ride a historic tram from Castle Hill down to the Vltava River

• Cross the elegant Charles Bridge for breathtaking views of the city

• Stroll through Old Town Square to view the 15th-century Astronomical Clock

Then, learn about the city’s Christmas markets from your local guide before taking time to explore on your own.

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Walking Tour of Prague's Jewish Quarter $79pp* Details

Follow a local guide on a walking tour of Josefov, Prague’s Jewish Quarter, nestled between the Vltava River and Old Town Square. Discover the Quarter’s remains, which survived devastation during World War II and oppression during the Communist era. Afterward, pay a visit to the Jewish Museum of Prague, housed in a collection of former synagogues, one of which displays the names of all the Czechs sent to concentration camps. Along your tour, learn about the Golem myth, a story forever entwined with Prague’s Jewish history. You’ll also see sights once frequented by Franz Kafka, the enigmatic author of The Trial and Metamorphosis, who made his home in Prague. Lunch is included.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 10: Free day in Prague

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Prague on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Chateau Sychrov $139pp* Details

Chateau Sychrov

Visit Chateau Sychrov, a 17th-century Baroque estate north of Prague. Take a guided tour through the estate, paying special attention to the elaborate carvings along the stairway, in the chapel and in the dining room. Then, tour the gallery of French kings and the chateau’s manicured grounds. Later, attend a private recital of classic Czech music and an included dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $149)

Kraków 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Travel to Kraków

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Pass through the dramatic landscapes of Moravia before reaching the historic Polish city of Kraków.

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Kraków & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

Meet your local guide for a tour of Kraków, Poland’s former royal capital.

• Discover Wawel Hill, perched high above the Vistula River

• Visit Wawel Cathedral, where Polish kings were crowned

• Stroll through Glowny Square

• Pass beautiful Sukiennice Cloth Hall, the Jagiellonian University and Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory

• Get an orientation to Poland’s best Christmas markets and take free time to explore

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Auschwitz $39pp* Details

This excursion takes you to some of the most chilling sites in Europe: the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau. More than 4 million people were systematically exterminated in these camps by the Third Reich during World War II. Liberated by the Red Army in 1945, Auschwitz has been turned into a poignant memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Take a guided tour which includes views of chambers and prisoner buildings. Afterward, drive to nearby Birkenau, the second portion of the larger Auschwitz concentration camp complex. Embark on a guided tour before returning to Kraków.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Warsaw 2 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Travel to Warsaw

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning to explore Kraków before setting off for Warsaw, Poland’s capital city.

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Warsaw & Christmas market visit

  Included meals: Breakfast

On a guided tour, get to know Warsaw, a city all but destroyed during World War II and painstakingly rebuilt since 1944.

• Enter the Palace of Culture and Science, Poland’s tallest building, and take in sweeping views of the surrounding city

• Behold the Chopin monument at Lazienki Park and walk through the Old Town

• Visit the Jewish Ghetto and the Jewish Memorial

• Discover Starego Miasta Square’s Renaissance facades and Baroque townhouses

• Enjoy Warsaw’s best Christmas markets in your free time

Get to know Warsaw on your own this afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Chopin Recital & Dinner $99pp* Details

This evening, enjoy an exclusive private recital featuring the music of Frédéric-François Chopin. Born in 1810, Chopin is widely considered the world's best composer for piano, an instrument that's featured prominently in his compositions. Tonight, experience Chopin’s genius firsthand as a pianist plays some of his greatest masterpieces. Then, sample local specialties at one of Warsaw’s finest restaurants during an included dinner.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to explore Berlin.

Add Berlin Starting from $399 pp

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this city pulses with life. The cobbled streets of the German capital date back 750 years; yet a fresh vibrancy pervades the boulevards, the markets, the hundreds of trendy night spots and the thousands of pubs and restaurants. This revitalized Berlin—also known as the "New York City" of Europe—is an essential destination for every traveler.

Berlin 3 nights

Day 15: Travel to Berlin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Board your train to Berlin, once the gateway to Eastern Europe and now capital of reunified Germany

Day 16: Sightseeing tour of Berlin

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the monuments of Berlin’s intricate past as well as the signs of its re-emergence as a vibrant cultural center.

• Discover the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of a reunited Berlin

• See the Holocaust Memorial and East Side Gallery

• Journey down Unter den Linden, the city’s most elegant boulevard, passing the Reichstag and Museum Island 

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - World War II Walking Tour $59pp* Details

Take a walk through history on this insider’s tour of Berlin during World War II, detailing the rise and fall of Hitler and the Third Reich. You’ll start in the Wilhelmstrasse area and see the building that once housed the headquarters of Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe. You’ll also view the former headquarters of the infamous SS and Gestapo, the massive Reich Chancellery and the Propaganda Ministry. Finally, stand directly above Hitler’s Führerbunker as your guide details the last days of World War II in Europe. Lunch is included.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Day 17: Free day in Berlin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring Berlin on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Potsdam $69pp* Details

Travel to Potsdam, the residence of Prussian Kings and German Kaisers until 1918. Once the royal playground of Prussian King Frederick the Great, Potsdam was also the location where American, British and Soviet leaders drew up plans for the postwar administration of Germany at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. A local guide will escort you through Cecilienhof Palace, built by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in the early 1900s and the site of the Potsdam Conference’s iconic photograph of Truman, Churchill and Stalin. After exploring the palace and gardens, your guide will introduce you to the historic center of Potsdam.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Day 18: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Kraków, Poland
  • Warsaw, Poland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

  • This tour visits Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany (on the tour extension). In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.    

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including  paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs. * Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Relations Team at 800.597.0350.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Budapest and depart from Warsaw (or Berlin on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • A train ride from Warsaw to Berlin is included with the tour extension.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • To ensure you’re comfortable for outdoor sightseeing and celebrations, we recommend packing a warm coat, hat and gloves, as well as rainwear.  
  • We also suggest packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can easily be layered.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or special performance. 


  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 
  • Check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.


  • Hungary claims goulash as its national dish, but also is known for excellent salamis, cheeses, nut-flavored pancakes, freshwater fish and preserved fruits.
  • Austria is known for its savory Wiener schnitzel and excellent wild trout, carp and crayfish. Save room for dessert—especially the strudels of fruit and nuts elegant chocolate cakes, such as the world-famous Sachertorte.
  • Czech food is hearty, and you’ll find large portions of veal, beef and potato dishes. Some of the world’s finest beers: the original Budweiser and Pils.
  • When in Poland, fill up on favorites like kielbasa and pierogi. Don’t miss out on trying the bagels—they were born here.
  • (Tour extension) German food is hearty and substantial. Among the specialties are dumpling stews, sauerkraut, sausages, smoked cheeses and dark breads. Bavaria produces some of the world’s purest beers and exceptional white wines.


  • All countries on this tour operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E or F plugs with two or three small, round pins. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • Your hotels on this tour may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However these amenities cannot be guaranteed.


  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time Zones

  • The countries on this tour are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). 
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.


  • You will use the Polish zloty, Czech crown, Hungarian forint and the euro (in Austria, as well as Germany on extension).
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.


  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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