• Charles Bridge in Prague
  • poland-krakow-artisans
    Artisans in Kraków
  • Kraków's Main Market Square
  • School Visit in Eger, Hungary
  • hungary-budapest
    Budapest
  • croatia-plitvice-lakes
    Croatia's Plitvice Lakes
  • Rovinj
    Rovinj, Croatia
  • slovenia-lake-bled-boat-ride
    Slovenia's Lake Bled

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days Tour

Starting in beautifully-preserved Prague, for 16 days you'll experience the rich diversity of Eastern Europe, from the energetic cities of Kraków and Budapest to tradition-rich "back door" towns and villages across the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia — including the waterfall wonderland of Plitvice and the picture-perfect Alpine beauty of Lake Bled.

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • The services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Eastern Europe come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 23 group sightseeing events • Historic Prague walking tour, including Josefov neighborhood • Prague Castle tour • St. Vitus Cathedral • St. George's Basilica • Strambeck visit • Czech Moravian folk performance • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp tour • Kraków walking tour • Kraków's Wawel Cathedral • Kraków's St. Mary's Church • Kazimierz and Podgórze neighborhood walking tour • Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum • Levoča visit • Eger orientation walk • Hungarian village school visit (when available) • Hungarian wine tasting • Pest walking tour • Walking tour of Buda's Castle district • Matthias Church • Danube cruise • Plitvice National Park hike • Adriatic happy hour • Lake Bled boat ride (weather permitting)...and more
  • All group transportation from Prague to Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • 15 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Eastern Europe guidebook, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Prague

We'll meet at 3 p.m. to get acquainted and preview the adventures ahead. This afternoon we'll jump right in and enjoy a walking tour through our neighborhood and Prague's colorful Old Town Square. We'll continue on to the Josefov neighborhood and learn about the rich heritage and enduring struggles of Prague's Jews. We'll end our evening over a hearty dinner together. Sleep in Prague (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: Royal, Prestigious Prague

This morning we'll hop aboard a local tram to take us across the Vltava River and up the hill to the most massive castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. We'll tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane. You'll then have free time for lunch and the remainder of the day for more sightseeing on your own. This evening is a great time to catch a classical concert or experience the quirky and uniquely Czech Black Light Theater. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: The Czech Countryside

We'll leave the city and drive east into mountainous Moravia, stopping in the beautifully Baroque hill town of Stramberk, where we'll enjoy some free time for lunch and exploration. Then we'll continue on to our rustic lodge deep amidst the beautiful Beskydy Mountains. Your guide will take you on a hilltop walk, admiring wooded trails, pristine views and spinning tall tales of local legends. Tonight we'll enjoy a Moravian feast along with traditional entertainment provided by a local folk troupe. Sleep in Pustevny (1 night). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: Lessons of the Past

Today we'll cross into Poland, where we’ll enjoy lunch together and a bit of free time in the postcard-perfect village of Pszczyna. This afternoon a local guide will lead us through the concentration camp sites of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Europe's most moving memorials to the Holocaust. Tonight's destination is the surprising city of Kraków, Poland's cultural crossroads and melting pot. We'll take an orientation walk to the lively, historic market square and enjoy a traditional Polish dinner together. Sleep in Kraków (3 nights).  Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Historic Kraków — Then and Now

This morning we'll meet a local guide and wind our way through the story of Kraków. We'll marvel at Wawel Castle, the spiritual home of the Polish nation, and Wawel Cathedral, the resting place of Polish royalty and saints. We'll visit historic St. Mary's Church — the only tower in the world where a bugler has played every hour for the past 600 years (and boy is he tired). We'll learn about the life and impact of local legend John Paul II, as we trace his footsteps on our walking tour through the heart of Kraków. Your afternoon is free to discover more of this pleasant city on your own. Visit a museum or two, or go rent a bike! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Jewish Kraków

After a free morning to enjoy the delights of Kraków’s Old Town, we'll meet up for a walking tour through the Kazimierz district. Depopulated by Nazis and neglected by Communists, today Kazimierz is undergoing a major renaissance. Here we’ll learn how, for hundreds of years, Poland was the center of Jewish culture for all of Europe. We’ll end our tour in the Podgórze neighborhood, with a visit to the museum that best captures Poland's shattering WWII experience: Oskar Schindler's Factory. For this evening, you are free to check out Kazimierz’s now-bustling restaurant scene, and one of Europe’s hottest neighborhoods for live music. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Scenic Drive into Hungary

Today's drive takes us across Slovakia — the geographic center of Europe — and into the scenic Tatras — granite mountains that seem to burst up from the center of the earth. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the small town of Levoča, and then continue on to the rolling hills of Hungary's famous "Bull's Blood" wine-growing region. Tonight in the town of Eger, where the townspeople (with some help) turned back an Ottoman invasion of central Europe in 1552, we'll share a family-style Hungarian feast. Sleep in Eger (1 night). Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 8: From Villages to Capital

This morning you'll have time to soak in Eger's Baroque beauty or soak yourself in Eger's baths. Later we'll visit a school in the nearby village of Recsk, where we'll sit down and chat with a local teacher and enjoy lunch together in the cafeteria (when available). Then we'll learn about the region's deservedly-famous wines with a tour and tasting at the local Kohari Winery. Our destination this evening is Budapest, the mighty Magyar capital on the Danube, where after an orientation walk, we'll enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Budapest (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: Bustling Budapest

The rich history of Pest has created a city that's a puzzle of Baroque, classical, and modern architecture. On our walking tour this morning we'll crane our necks beside Europe's largest parliament building, and learn how Hungarians coped with half a century of fascist and communist tyranny. This afternoon you'll be free to wander through the Great Market Hall — an architectural gem and the city's largest indoor market — and treat your senses to a few paprika-infused delicacies. We'll regroup later on, ending our day together with a relaxing cruise on the Danube. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Historic Budapest

Today we'll focus on the Buda side of the Danube, starting with a funicular ride up the steep Castle Hill for bird's-eye views of sprawling Pest, and a walking tour that takes us past the imposing Royal Palace and into Budapest's greatest church, the sumptuously-gilded Matthias Church. When we've finished here, your guide will be happy to arrange, for those who are interested, a chance to soak in the ornate and traditional public Thermal Baths. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Natural Wonders of Croatia

After breakfast we'll drive out of Hungary and into Croatia. Just across the border, we'll be welcomed with a fresh, family-prepared lunch in a pleasant farm setting. Then we'll drive on to our destination, the deep greens and blues of Croatia's water wonderland and one of Europe's premier nature preserves: Plitvice Lakes National Park. Sleep in or near the National Park, surrounded by the quiet of nature (1 night). Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 12: From the Forests to the Sea

This morning we'll hike along rustic boardwalk trails connecting the idyllic forests, travertine stone cliffs, clear blue lakes and gushing waterfalls of Plitvice National Park. We'll learn how the park is creatively managing to protect its delicate environment, including the use of electric trams and boats. We'll take a lunch break to replenish ourselves, then give our legs a rest as we drive to the Istrian peninsula on the Adriatic Sea and the enchanting seaside town of Rovinj, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous. 

Day 13: Free Day in Rovinj

Take a "vacation from your vacation." The entire day is yours to enjoy the sun, gelato, seafood, and lazy ambience of Rovinj. Wander through the narrow streets, watch local fishermen bring in the day's catch, or head to the beach for sun and a swim. We'll compare notes at an informal happy hour early this evening. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 14: Julian Alps and Lake Bled

Today we'll head to the azure jewel of Lake Bled in the midst of Slovenia's Julian Alps. Along the way, we'll stop and enjoy lunch together before continuing on to our final destination beside a pristine lake ringed by forests and hiking paths. Sleep in Bled (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 15: Lake Bled's Chapel-Topped Island

Today we'll take a traditional pletna boat ride together to Lake Bled's chapel-topped island, where local tradition requires each would-be husband to carry his bride up the 99 steps from the boat dock to the altar (four in five are successful). Your afternoon is free to hike to the castle and its panoramic viewpoint, take a scenic walk around the lake (stopping for a creme cake), or rent a bike to explore even more. Tonight we'll rendezvous for a special dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Na zdravje! No bus. Boat: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 16: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Ljubljana's airport is just 30 minutes away, and there are nearby train connections to Munich, Vienna and other European cities. Whatever your plans, your guide will help you get on the right track. Na svidenje!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Dana

Springfield, OR

Tour: 10/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. As a group, we seemed to gel the first night at dinner, due in part, I think, because most of us had previously taken a Rick Steves tour, so we had common things to talk about from the beginning. We were also a small group and, with he exception of one, of the same generation (seniors). The and weather was terrific - how did you manage that?? Free time was ample and local tours were interesting. Most importantly, our tour guide was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several times I found myself saying wow: Parliament Building in Budapest glistening in the sun, flinging open my drapes in Rovinj and finding the blue Adriatic just beyond my window, and the waterfalls of Plitvice National Lakes Park. However, I would have to say, as we drove into Lake Bled, and I looked up and saw Bled Castle high on the cliff, I uttered a most audible "Wow!""

Lesley

Blue Ash, OH

Tour: 10/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the organized aspect of the tour however the amount of free time we had was perfect and very much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Budapest my all time favorite city"

Don

Chemainus, BC

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

OVERALL EXCELLENT-with Marijan. First class planning of itinerary, and introduction to each larger city, facilitated our free time ability . His histories of each of the countries we visited were invaluable, and as my wife said, if Marijan had been our high school History teacher , many years ago,we may have had more lively,and interesting lessons ! The fact that he had personal experiences from growing up on Raab in Croatia,and now living in Slovenia, just further heightened our learning--

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE CIVILIZED SMALL, PEDESTRIAN CITY OF LJUBLJANA-WITH IT'S WONDERFUL PLAZAS, BEAUTIFUL (FREE) CONCERT AT THE MUSIC ACADEMY,GOOD PEOPLE AND FOOD"

Ronald

Lancaster, NY

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I first of all wish to comment on our tour guide Marijan. He was excellent beyond all expectations and the local guides were very good too. Personally, this was my first tour and it was a little bit too regimented for my taste. There were two very big hotels that I didn't think fit the Rick Steves model.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Marijan's explanations of every detail of where we are"

Joyce

Chemainus, BC

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed our tour, the group and our guide tremendously, learned lots about the history, culture and languages of various cities and stop sites. It was a fun holiday experience, knowing that we were in good hands with our trusty, knowledgeable guide and our expert bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia was an amazing place to visit and Ljubjlana a delightful city to discover."

Linda

Englewood, CO

Tour: 09/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have never been on a your before, but have always used The Rick Steves Books when we have travelled to Europe. I was so impressed with this Tour . Every detail was attended to, our guide was outstanding. There was not one single hitch. I learned so much about Eastern Europe, and was acutely made aware of the vigilance needed by all of us to not see history repeated. I was honored to share this tour with so many smart curious and lovely travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many!! I loved the tour of the forest and the cave. I think one WOW moment was seeing the beauty of Lake Bled"

Joel

Kewaunee, WI

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know how this tour could possibly have been improved. It was everything that it claimed to be. Peter was an outstanding guide and teacher. The group was interesting and fun to travel with. The tour was well put together with just the right amount of city, country, organized, and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kraków square, both above ground and below in the museum, was my "wow". What a great mix of local color, entertainment, good food, great beer, culture and history."

Judy

Eston, SK

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour with a group and I truly believe we were spoiled and will be unable to try any other tour company in the future. We picked the EE tour as we felt it was somewhere we really wanted to go to, but didn't have the energy or time to map out and plan such a route. It was so nice to have all this done for us, just show up and enjoy! And we did both! It was our first with Rick Steves but not our last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the trips away from the cities were our "wow" moment. The parks, the caves , the countryside and scenery as we traveled from one country to the next."

Carol

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was such an amazing experience...history, social, fun, educational, inspiring...it hit all the right notes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was regularly overcome with the capacity of the human spirit of this area to overcome the adversity of just the 20th century."

Michael

Vadnais Heights, MN

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations in history, culture, food, people, guide and itinerary. The history was presented not with facts (though there were facts), but with stories and relevancy. We got "close" to the culture with the lunch stops along the way. The food was so tasteful and fresh. The people on the trip were all interesting to talk to and easy going. Our guide, Peter was absolutely a treasure to travel with and the itinerary went from lots of history, castles, cathedrals to nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The deep history of the countries and what they have been through not only in the 1000-1400s, but also in recent history - since the 1990's. I also was really moved by Mucha's Slav Epic in Prague."

Margaret

Kewaunee, WI

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was extremely positive. I had limited experience in traveling with a tour group. I was somewhat apprehensive but open to trying it. My uneasiness was quickly put to rest because of Peter's excellent communication and organizational skills. Our group was cohesive and respectful. We had a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falls at Plitvice were amazing."

Margaret

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Eastern Europe 16 days tour was quite a trip! I felt we covered a lot of territory and each day was another adventure. I enjoyed our professional and helpful guide, Katka. It was great to have the charm and diversity of each city and country visited. I especially enjoyed the smaller group. We made some wonderful new friends,on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" moment was the last night. I got a picture with Katka and I wearing our favorite European designer top. Lake Bled was quite a finale...Breathtaking..Enjoyed hiking to top of castle and then around the lake. Another "wow" moment was Krakow,and Pope John Paul II residence and parish church."

William

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide was outstanding (Katerina). Excellent itinerary. Budapest is the most beautiful city I have visited in Europe. Prague and Krakow were interesting. The visit to Auschwitz was very impactful. It is hard to believe the cruelty and evil that was there. Croatia was a beautiful country, the most beautiful countryside. Loved the Dalmatian Coast and Lake Bled was awesome.However, the physical execration was more than I expected. We were tired.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest!!!!!!"

Bruce

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I broke my leg in April and was wondering if I could endure this kind of trip. I did!! I participated in all except for the salt mine tour and did lots of walking (about 75 miles). I dropped my camera on the bus when exiting and was very pleased that our driver found it and turned it in. The tour had a great mix of things to do and see. Everything was not cookie cutter! Katka and Booyan were great!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The accordion player welcoming us at our farewell dinner - signifying that we as a group were important and that we finished a great trip as group. The stop at the school was fun. Having a capucino at Frania Cafe/Laundry. Touring Jagiellonian University Museum. The lodging in Croatia. Lake Bled overall experience."

Scott

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived 2 days early to Prague to get acclimated (I recommend this) and met our wonderful guide on Day 1. She did a fabulous job of showing off her city. Each day was like a new gift waiting to be opened and it seemed like each gift was better than the last. I really like the way the tour helped us to understand the history of each place and use a local guide to tell us about it wherever we went. Each of the guides did an excellent job. This was our first R S tour, but not our last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is a new WOW moment every day! I really liked the view of BudaPest lit up at night, but Plitvice National Park in Croatia is one of the most beautiful places I have visited."

Mike

Simcoe, ON

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gave us a great introduction to "Eastern" Europe and certainly took us to places we wouldn't have been able to visit on our own. In addition to the wonderful places we had a chance to visit, we once again became fast friends with a great group of like-minded travelers. This is a secret benefit of travelling with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If pressed to stick to one Wow moment, I would have to say the main square in Krakow. We first visited it at night and within minutes of arriving was treated to a large group of roller skaters being escorted through the streets of Krakow by a contingent of local police. The sights and sounds were wonderful. A close second would have to be our incredible hike through Plitvice Lakes National Parks to see the waterfalls. Being from Canada we have lots of natural wonders but nothing like that."

Rebecca

Waynesboro, VA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely one of the best! Our guide, George, was just outstanding. His warmth, enthusiasm, and attention to detail made the trip delightful. Everyday was full of surprises. George kept us engaged even on the bus with his history lessons and personal stories. Our bus driver, Sam, was very helpful, an excellent driver, and an amiable gentleman. Our group was fantastic! We enjoyed the comradary and getting to know everyone. The itenerary was perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow was repeated every time we entered a new destination! Extraordinary cities, beautiful small towns, and paradise spots at the end of the tour! We couldn't improve this itinerary. We learned so much about this part of Europe. It is a gem!"

Carolyn

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Each tour I've been on gets a "special name". Having charted 142 miles, this was "the walking tour". I can't believe I walked that much...was the pedometer really right?!! We had a great balance of planned time and free time, big cities and small villages. More bus time than I've experience before but we handle our bus tops trying the different flavors of Magnum Bars! I especially enjoy the small villages and running into fellow tour members making me feel a bit like a local.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming to realize what it must have been like to live "behind the Iron Curtain". On a lighter side, I loved our lazy day sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Prague watching the world go by! I especially enjoyed big cities Prague and Krakow and the natural beauty of Rovinj and our walk through the amazing waterfalls of Plitvice National Park."

Anne

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know how Rick Steves does it time after time but he attracts the BEST people. The strangers who meet at the beginning of the tour quickly become extremely fun and interesting travel companions. The days are well planned and run close to schedule. This tour was an especially good blend of cities and history and then beautiful nature heavy locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were all the usual "WOWS" - Budapest at night, Plitvice National Park, Rovinj, and ending up in post card perfect Lake Bled. But as I look back on the tour, I am constantly moved by the history I was exposed to. A large part of the shocking history of WWII and the Communist occupation took place during my lifetime. Listening to our guides talk about their own experiences and those of their families made me fully cognizant of how completely different their life experiences were from mine"

Valerie

Middletown, OH

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfectly planned & worked like clockwork. George took care of us very well. I was amazed at how little I knew about Eastern Europe & then conversely, how much I learned on this tour. It was an amazing tour with an amazing group of people. Loved every second of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry there wasn't just one!! All the cities Prague, Krakow, Budapest were all "WOW" to me, as was Rovinj etc etc."

Joanne

Alamo, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time! Our guide, George, was excellent. The driver, Sam, and the bus all to ourselves was a big plus. I enjoyed both the city tours and sights as well as the beautiful natural sites we saw. We had a good mix of structured tours and time to explore on our own. It was great to have a lot of local guides, admissions to various venues, and meals all included and arranged for us. And as a solo traveler, it was very nice to have a compatible group to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really enchanted by our walk through the lakes and waterfalls at Plitvice National Park in Croatia. While the cities were much as I expected, I had no idea about the beautiful scenery, and just how cool it was to walk on the trails and boardwalks that wind along the edges of the lakes and even over rapids and the lips of some of the falls. Awesome!"

Gerald

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like I learned more about other cultures than most other tours I have been on. In many ways it was like being in school again. It was filled with beauty, history, knowledge, sadness, and wonder.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest. What an amazingly beautiful city."

Donald

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was one of the best of the 9 tours I have been on. George was an outstanding guide, the countries were interesting, we learned lots about the experience of the people behind the Iron Curtain after WW2 that we had not heard before, and (although Rick can't claim credit for this) we had really good weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I rarely experience a "wow" moment on the tours, rather, I look at the tour as a whole to determine how I experienced it."

Cheryl

Rochester, NY

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour and guide of Eastern/Central Europe was exceptional. We were able to absorb and understand much of the history, culture and beliefs of each country visited, through the eyes and voices of our main guide, and local city guides. Liked the progression of places visited, starting with smaller, charming and more easily, navigable cities, while we got our bearings and confidence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prague-Architecture of the buildings was the most beautiful, delicately detailed ever seen. Krakow- the history with the underground museum, the tower clock with the live trumpet player waving. Melk Bar. Best were the regal horses decked in feathered headdresses pulling pristine, white carriages. Budapest's Parliament building lit up on the Danube River at night, and Farmer's Market. Plitvice National Park waterfall. Bled Gondola ride."

John

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A few things come to mind, actually. We were both really taken with Krakow, more than we expected to be. Walking out onto the main square... wow. The Skocjan Caves are an obvious wow. The unexpected 4-star upgrade we got in Rovinj is another wow. But one of my favorites was the local festival we happened upon in Stamberk, CZ. We got exposed to local (very local, as it turns out) history, traditions, baked goods, and moonshine. And the Moravian bluegrass band... just wow!"

Jane

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. I learned so much about a part of the world that I didn't know much about. The balance of the big cities and small towns was really good. Being able to visit a school in Hungary and the winery were real treats. All the hotels were very good and the dinners were too. There was a lot of walking which turned out well (after all that food we ate!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One Wow moment is hard -- Krakow is a lovely city, what a beautiful square and the carriages driving around. All very romantic. It's an easy city to get around in. Eger and the surrounding area was a real treat along with the wine tasting. Nighttime boat ride on the Danube. The Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia was beautiful and was the coastline. And also Lake Bled. Too many wonderful things to name just one."

Terri

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Tour experience ( after having gone on a Mega tour 40 years ago) I loved the small group. We had a fabulous tour guide , Marijan who filled us with a wealth of knowledge and interesting commentary which really helped pass the time on the longer bus rides. The local tour guides we had in the major cities we visited also added a lot to our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I had a favorite WOW moment as I really enjoyed it all ! I could DEFINATELY go back to Prague, Krakow and Budapest and spend a week in each place."

Judith

Woodinvillle, WA

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on other small group tours with other tour companies.. This one was exceptional. Our leader,Marijan,was able to share so much information about "Central Europe"',past and present. He answered all of our questions and led us to discovering each destination to the fullest. The other people on-the tour were kind and adventurous; Just the sorts of travelmates we like to hang out with. We intend to travel with a Rick Steves tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Still too many to narrow down. Loved small towns Eger and Rovinj. Impressed by the lively pedestrian squares and festivals we encountered. These people know how to party! Auschwitz/Birkenau and seeing the deserted Jewish quarters in Prague and Krakow were unforgettable experiences. The Plitvice Lakes National Park was one of the most magical places I've visted."

Joseph

Park Ridge, IL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. Our main tour guide, Marijan, was excellent and he was well supported by others within the individual cities. As this was our first exposure to Eastern Europe, it was a pleasurable education. The deep history and pride within the various regions made it all a pleasure. I truly enjoyed learning about the local culture. The group of approx. 20 persons was very manageable and made it comfortable on the bus and when dining as a group. Thank you for the experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wenceslas Square. Walking down the square from the National Museum and Wenceslas Monument was a journey back in time. Our guide helped us to feel the Czech pride as she recalled when student, Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest the invasion by the Soviet Union in 1968 and the defeat of the USSR hockey team in 1969. You could almost hear the jingling from hundreds of thousands of keys during the Velvet Revolution of 1989."

Linda

Chicopee, MA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful experience, an unparalleled opportunity to learn about life behind the iron curtain and life in those countries now. Rick Steves' tours allow Americans the thrill of living and experiencing Europe as locals, staying in small hotels, eating local foods, visiting important sites and learning about them from local guides. On this tour, we were privileged to have one of Rick's best guides, Etelka, plus many local guides in all the countries we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Adriatic with my new old friends!"

Ruth

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was very interesting, visiting the former Nazi and Communist held counties. The large cities we visited were wonderful, Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. The beautiful serenity of Pitvice and Bled were a peaceful change from the busy cities. Our Group was a wonderful mix and we all blended well. All enjoyed sharing the experience with each other. Mitch our bus driver was fantastic. He could get us into places we couldn't get a car in. Very good driver and lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Pitvice Lakes National Park. There had been so much rain all the waterfalls were so full. There was water every where. Our guide said she had never seen it so full before. We loved the hike around the lake."

Brigitte

Rancho Murieta, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of our favorite tours! Starting with our tour guide, Etelka, she did an excellent job keeping us entertained and on the move. Thank you for that! We had a very nice, fun, and interesting group of people on the tour, which helped in making our trip even more special. We really enjoyed all the sights, the wineries and Tony, loved his music, and the school with all its very special and playful youngsters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Skocjan caves were definitely a wow moment, we also loved Prague and Krakow with its lively squares. Budapest's market was very impressive. Lake Bled was beautiful, relaxing, and perfect for our last day. Went on the giant ferris wheel, awesome view from the top, my first time every! Ruth talked me into it! Dancing the polka with Etelka on our last night was a lot of fun!"

Sonia

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

If you exclude the accommodations the tour was one of the best we've ever been on. Normally we travel w/Tauck and I have to say I was impressed w/RS. "Would" I like to travel w/RS' again? YES! "Will" I travel again w/RS'? No, not unless the hotels are upgraded. We became friends w/2 other couples who also felt the same way. All of us are planning a trip together in 2015 w/Tauck. We would pay more for a RS' tour if the hotels improve, contact us if you upgrade, you're worth switching to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but I'll never forget the time at Auschwitz. It challenges & awakens one's soul, it opens your eyes & spirit as to how much suffering the Jewish people went through. Our guide at Auschwitz spoke w/such deep passion for the people who lived & died there, it was almost as if one could feel their spirits around us saying "Never forget us and never forget what happened here. Leave this place a better person, enjoy your freedom, and make the world a kinder place"."

Merrill

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience surpassed all out expectations. Etelka was a remarkable guide. Knowledgable, perfect english and at the end of the tour she became a friend too. Her disposition is upbeat which set the tone for all of us! Our friend was estatic when he learned she was our guide! She was his guide twice on the Eastern Europe tour! The tour itself was great. The right balance of touring and free time. We enjoyed everyplace we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be the impact we felt as individuals and as a group on that dreary day we went to Auschwitz. However leave it to Etelka to then schedule a 2 fun activities. Wine tasting and when she dressed up as a Hungarian, country man. Lightened things up for sure!"

Maxine

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and first time we've traveled to Eastern Europe. Being world travelers and taking one big trip per year, either on our own or with a tour group, we always love the camaraderie with the groups and this one was no exception. There were definitely no "grumps", but just wonderful companions! The itinerary was just right and the amount of free time given us perfect. I especially liked the combination of seeing "big cities" and countrysides/national parks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but seeing the Skocijan Caves in Slovenia was quite something. I had visited caves before but this one is amazing and is the largest underground cavern in the world! People with a severe fear of heights might pass it up, though! Another "wow" was seeing the Plitvice Lakes National Park and waterfalls in Croatia, a beautiful respite from all the historical sites. The "hike" was actually a pleasant, easy walk. Due to the recent floods, some of the boardwalks weren't passable."

Thomas

Birchwood, WI

Tour: 09/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip far exceeded my expectations from the perspective of planning, sites, lodging, transportation and trip guide. I learned a great deal as well. A lot of my preconceptions about Eastern Europe were changed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled."

Elizabeth

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 09/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour - from the tour leader to the bus driver, to all the other tour members. 1st tour, so we were nervous, but it was wonderful. Peter was excellent, knowledgeable and always ready to help. Interesting countries, from behind the Iron Curtain, with years of history that we learned about. Bus was large, clean and comfortable. Hotels were a pleasant surprise in their quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj - such a welcome respite from traveling almost every day - just a wonderful time for R & R. The weather was great and we had no idea that the Adriatic would be so beautiful. The hotel was tops, and it just gave us a needed break from the road. That said, the ancient cities we visited were amazing too. So much history that we knew nothing about before the trip. Hard to pick just one that was a favorite - they were all so interesting."

Beverley

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First and foremost our guides were the best in the world! George Farkas and Saso Golub are bright, intelligent, witty, wonderful, kind and thoughtful. They knew their history and were very informative. We really got a feel of the countries we visited. Eastern Europe was more than I expected. It is beautiful beyond words, the people are interesting and the towns are charming. This trip was everything I expected out of a Rick Steves' tour and more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was a "wow" moment, however, turning a corner on our walking tour of Budapest and seeing the Parliament building."

Judy

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George and Sasho were wonderful guides. The rhythm of the trip[INVALID]-walking and riding the bus[INVALID]-and then the vacation from the vacation was perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The salt mine in Krakow and the school in Hungary. Both were events that I would not have seen if touring myself."

Mary

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! I learned so much about the the history and culture of the countries we visited. The tour was a good mix of city and rural/seaside. George and Saso are both amazing guides and it was a bonus to have 2 guides, from different countries to talk about their culture and recent history. Everything on this tour was so well planned. I felt like I was able to make the most of every minute. And there was a good balance between group activities and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was full of "wow!" moments. Walking along the Danube after dark was magical, and hiking through Pletvice National Park was an experience I'll always remember."

Jeffrey

Brinnon, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have been a loyal Rick Steves traveler for nearly 20 years, following advice for itineraries, lodging, etc. in detail. I used to be his kids' pediatrician. This was the first tour I have taken however. My only concern was my age (72)as most other tour members were late 50's and 60;s. The distances walked were not a problem but the pace was. I can walk forever at my own pace but found the constant speed walking, then standing to catch our breath a problem. Guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the whole city of Krakow, and the lovely villages at Rovinj and Bled."

Susan

North Bend, OR

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth R.S. tour and again, very enjoyable. I met great people on our tour, saw wonderful sights, heard great music, ate yummy food, rode in comfort. Thank you for a well-organized trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved Krakow, Poland! My grandparents emigrated from Poland, & my father had taught me some Polish while I was growing up. So, to hear some familiar words, & see such a beautiful city was a delight. I could have stayed longer. Would have liked to see more sight associated with St. John Paul (who is obviously loved in that city,) but time didn't allow. Did bring some Bison grass vodka back for my grown sons to try."

Susan

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was so interesting, stimulating, and easy because we were coached throughout the experience about the countries we visited and how to navigate on our own as well. It was SOO very helpful to have all-day passes provided for the metros and trams so we could easily explore cities on our own. Nice balance between cities and countryside - very much appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was the unbelievable scenery at Lake Bled, Slovenia. We had the opportunity to explore the area on our own, including time to rent a car and drive the beautiful road to see the Julian Alps, as well as to walk around the lake. It was an enchanting ending to the 16 day trip."

Peggy

Reston, VA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The activities and organizational aspects of the tour were all very good but I was most impressed by the quality of the educational and cultural experience. I learned so much about the history, the geography and the people of a region of the world that was hidden behind the blackness that was the "iron curtain" for so many of my growing up years. The guides were all local, knowledgeable and willing to share personal experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments. I had anticipated the beauty of Prague but Krawkow, Budapest and the Adriatic were a wonderful surprise. the caves, I could have done without - this was really pushing the envelope for a 60ish group but otherwise really enjoyed the opportunity for outdoor hikes or local visits to vineyards, picnics, etc."

Nora

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your organization is so lucky to have George and Saso, as well as all the individual special guides we had on this trip!! The personal experiences they related, in answering our questions to further understand many situations was outstanding and lead to a more comprehensive history of all of Eastern Europe. To think that there was this great "hole" called Yugoslavia when we learned about it in school and to now comprehend what that was, and why, and the differences now was phenomenal. Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The school visit to speak English with the middle school students The vacation from vacation in ...augh, I can't find the name of the island in Croatia.... The concerts in the churches!"

Marvin

Eagan, MN

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George, our guide, was fabulous! His information and stories while on the bus helped make that time productive. Finally, I understand why some wish the old Communist regime would come back. Each of the local guides and also Saso, the assistant guide, did a great job covering their areas of expertise. There wasn't a bad tour the whole trip. I can't forget the wonderful job Mitch did driving the bus safely the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments so it is hard to single out just one. I think the time in Krakow was a huge surprise. I did not expect the city center to be that fabulous, and our hotel was merely a couple minutes walk to the main square. Dinner on the square, horse drawn carriages clip clopping by and music playing made for wonderful evenings. I completely lost track of what day it was."

Jay

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George was fantastic. Besides the usual historical, cultural, and political insights, he constantly thought of ways to make the experience more special for each of us. The local guides were superb, and added personal anecdotes that brought their stories to life. Mitch, the driver, was a virtuoso; allowing us to read or converse without giving a thought to the task of driving. The countries themselves were fascinating, and the range of experiences was perfect. Outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow at night! Rovinj from our balcony! Budapest parliament at night! Too many."

Aryn

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 08/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On this trip I wanted to see much of eastern europe. I did! What I did not expect to receive is an understanding of what was happening under the iron curtain all of those years. They really enlightened my mind and my eyes on all that happened in Eastern Europe. Although it was fast and there was so much to do, I felt like I was able to see it all and go on my own when ever I wanted. The structure was city to nature to city to nature to relaxing. Just great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments on this trip. Among the nature wow moment was the trip to the caves in croatia, the tallest and craziest caves I may ever see, and seeing the waterfalls in a croatian national park. Budepest and its metro, city, and buildings was also another wow moment for me."

Mary

Sussex, NJ

Tour: 08/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great as always.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Forest was beautiful even in the pouring rain."

Linda

Sequim, WA

Tour: 08/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I enjoyed the tour very much. I learned so much about a part of Europe that I had not visited before - about the history and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice was totally unexpected in its awe inspiring beauty - even in the rain!"

Jack

Sussex, NJ

Tour: 08/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized. Enjoyed all of the areas visited. Felt tour gave a good overview of Eastern Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Skocjan caves."

Ralph

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fascinating trip to a part of the world that I grew up thinking I would never see. As a westerner who grew up knowing that there was a "different world" behind the Iron Curtain I had many preconceived ideas about this part of Europe. Although much has changed since the fall of Communism, my preconceptions were still very much in place. I rapidly updated my concept of this part of Europe. I no longer consider it to be Eastern Europe. It is the "Heart of Europe".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall effect of hearing and seeing the how this area dealt with Communism and is now living with a Capitalistic type system. I was stunned by the beauty of the countryside and the high quality of the highway system. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of many old buildings. In Budapest my wife and I spent two lovely hours eating lunch and sipping coffee/dessert in a Café complete with frescoed ceilings and a pianist who played classic American Jazz. It was divine."

Russell

Waxahachie, TX

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having been on (5) other Rick Steve's tours, my wife and I were looking forward to another wonderful tour. We were not disappointed. Our tour guide Peter was born to be a guide. The itinerary was great. One day we were in the mountains and the next on an island near the coast. The major cities we visited were full of sights to see. The food we ate together as a group was memorable. A taste of local cuisine at a gourmet level. Looking forward to next year's adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The (4) main memorable places we visited were: - Krakow - Budapest - Plitvice (Waterfalls) - Rovinj (Islands) Prague is amazing too. We visited it last year also. Bled was a close runner up. I would like to do this tour again someday."

Philip

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our second tour with Rick Steves and never imagined that it could have been better than the first, but it was. Your team was professional, helpful, always smiling and patient with the numerous questions they've probably answered a hunderd times. Thank you Rick Steves for the ease at which you opperate the tour and the care free experience it provides for the traveler. I will be back again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow Poland, who would have thought that Krakow would have been the delight it turned out to be. Quite honestly when we booked the tour we thought it was just a stop along the way to get us to Budapest, my wife and I couldn't have been more wrong. The entire experience there was a memory maker, from the old city square, culture, food, Chopan concert, to just the friendly natured and appreciative Poles. And the hotel location, who could have wanted more, Krakow was simply awesome."

Walter

Annandale, VA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful balance of old-world cities and off-the-path villages and natural places. The tour quickly dispelled many unfounded preconceptions I had formed of what to expect in the countries once behind the Iron Curtain. Very educational and invigorating. A 'must do' for anyone with a sense of history and desire to experience a grand variety of culture, beauty, and inspiration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were overwhelmed with the vast, easily accessible classical musical events offered virtually every day in Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. Most notable was in Krakow, Poland, where we attended a classical performance at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. While waiting outside, we were delightfully graced by the stunning voice of a lone woman singing heavenly operatic pieces to passers-by for whatever coins they would spare. She so belonged inside performing for a most appreciative audience."

Walter

Appleton, WI

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the experience. For my wife and I it was the exactly the right type of travel. We have taken a tour with another company which was not a good experience. We found this to be the perfect mix of history, activity, and culture for our tasts.The others on the tour had a simmilar nature to us, and we really bonded. I think we made some life long friends. All in all an excellent experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have purposly waited to fill out this evaluation so the scenery could settle a bit and I could put the trip in perspective. I think the wow moment came when I got to know my fellow travelers and guide. I'll ember them longer than some of the scenery. I suspect this is not the intent of the question however. As far as cities go I liked Krakow the best. I really enjoyed the folk dancers we saw in Pustevny. But the best scenery was by far Plitvice. Absolutely magnificent ."

James

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 08/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great balanced tour with large cities, Krakow, Budapest, small towns Eger, Bled, etc.and natural wonders: Plitvice National Park, the caves in Croatia,etc.!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be walking through Plitvice national Park with all its waterfalls nd other things."

Delores

Fowler, CA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was excellent. Each city we visited included an informative preview as we traveled by bus and each tour gave us great insight to the history of the country. We certainly did our share of walking, but all of us survived well. The contrast of city and country sights was also a special part of the tour. I would highly recommend this tour to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was coastal Croatia. Staying on the island at the hotel, enjoying the view across the water was great. Even the sudden storm that caused a change of dinner plans was a memory making experience. There were many wow moments on this trip including Auschwitz - Birkenau, leaving an impression that will remain in my mind forever. The guide, Thomas, shared from his heart as he led us through the tragedies of this event."

Nicole

Providence Village, TX

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour showed us what evil people are capable of, the resilience of the human spirit and what we must learn from history. I can honestly say that this tour changed my perspectives on so many things. I was astounded by the beauty of the Czech Republic, sorrowful at Auschwitz, incredibly proud of the Polish people and amazed by the Hungarians as they pick up the pieces from the fall of Communism. Croatia and Slovenia taught me about the complex social issues of the Slavic People. AMAZING!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a whole, the history of the region was a "WOW" moment. I honestly believed I knew some history, but the entire trip I learned more and more that I had never known. I came home researching and continue to learn about the region. This tour changed my perspective on so many things, and I am eternally grateful for the oppurtunity to see these amazing countries."

Richard

Fowler, CA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more than I expected and I attribute that outcome largely to the efforts of our guide, Katkah.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Slovenia was certainly a high point for me in view of the fact that both my mother and father's parents immigrated from Slovenia in the early 1900's. One specific high point was the Skocjan Caves and the wine tasting afterwards. As a retired science teacher I was not only impressed but awestruck by the total experience. The warmth and friendliness of the folks putting on the wine tasting was also a very memorable time. We had some fun sharing when I told them my Slovenian name."

Rich

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent in three big ways: great guide, really fun group, and an interesting, beautiful part of Europe to explore. All surpassed our expectations. Our family had a wonderful time on this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW wasn't just a moment [INVALID] it was traveling with a special bunch of tour members who really enjoyed doing things together. There was lots of laughter during meals and people happily spending their free time with one another. No cliques, no grumps. The friendly tone set by our guide helped spark this camaraderie as well. We've been on several Rick Steves tours [INVALID] all with great guides and groups [INVALID] but this gang was exceptional."

Kelli

Vestal, NY

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Eastern Europe tour changed my life. So many of my "Cold War" conceptions of how were blown up during these sixteen days. Eastern Europe was a beautiful vibrant place that I plan to visit again someday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow!"

Ruth

Olympia, WA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful experience on this tour. The history was fascinating, the architecture of the cities outstanding, and the beauty of the countryside blew me away. Our guide, Katka, took excellent care of us and provided us with a lot of fun. Our group members were committed to the "no whining" pledge and turned any mishap into fodder for a great story and adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from -Prague was my favorite city and I think Plitvice National Park was my favorite scenic wonder. In both places I walked around with my eyes stretched wide open and had to keep reminding myself to close my mouth, which was tempted to fall open in awe. Another "wow" moment - our guide at Auschwitz was outstanding! His ability to communicate the horror of that place without being melodramatic and tell the story as if it was the first time he was speaking of it was outstanding."

Daniel

Bothell, WA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an incredible variety, from large, historically important cities (Prague, Krakow, Budapest), to educational experiences (Auschwitz-Birkenau) to the incredible natural scenery (Pitivice National Park, Skocjan Caves, Lake Bled). The bus driver, Bojan, was professional, experienced and personable, our guide George was amazing, and ALL of the tour members interacted extremely well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's very difficult picking one particular "wow" moment. However, here is one that stands out: SKOCJAN CAVES (Slovenia). The sheer immensity and volume of the main cave is simply awe-inspiring and impossible to appreciate unless one has been there. Added to that is the huge canyon below, through which the raging river flows. The walk across the bridge on the far end was amazing, with the river directly below."

Maxwell

Atherton, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful experience! This tour exploded some of my mis-conceptions about eastern Europe. The group was great and George, our leader, was truly outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several 'wow' moments. The two best were: Krakow and Plitvice Lakes National Park. Both just blew me away."

Mary

Beaufort, SC

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were extremely pleased with all aspects of this tour. The pre-tour prep was solid. And our guide George was exceptional! We enjoyed our traveling companions, the talks by George as we traveled, and our driver's contribution too. The sights and experiences were wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name!"

Carey

Pacific Palisades, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very helpful to have all the logistics managed for you: bus and driver, hotels, metros, tour sites, restaurants, special events etc. Our group interacted well- we had "no grumps" and it was a pleasure to get to know the people on our tour. Fascinating corner of Europe with interesting people, cultures, history & cuisine. We packed a lot into every day with 3-4 hour walking civic tours. Good balance between structured events and open time in the afternoon to explore on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Near Eger, Hungary - we visited Kohary Winery set in a beautiful countryside, tasted their savory vinos while "Toni" serenaded us with his virtuoso violin melodies. Everything was right with the world in that timeless setting. Fun to dance afterwards and the winemaker gave us a tour of his press & cellars with barrel samples."

Linda

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fabulous trip! We were a little nervous since this was our first long tour but everything exceeded our expections. The intinerary was excellent with a good mix between city and smaller locations plus plenty of free time. George, our guide, was amazing. He often went the extra mile with his recommendations and helping us arrange extra activities. Boyan, our driver, was always professional and drove very safely. The trip logistics/arrangements were flawless-everything went as promised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many including Plitvice Lakes National Park, evening cruise on the Danube, visit to the winery, Rovinj, etc."

Peter

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip. It was full of history, nature, architecture, art, music, and even dancing. We were part of a well traveled cohesive group of people and led by the most fabulous guide on earth - George.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride on the Danube in Budapest was awesome."

Susan

Atherton, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellant

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was going to Krakow, Poland and visiting a little museum above the town square. There are only three rooms not very large but breathtaking. I was ably to stand and inhale the brushstrokes of the polish artist. This was the moment!"

John

Beaufort, SC

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned with many interesting places to see and activities do and ran smoothly. The variety was refreshing. The local guides seemed well chosen. Our tour leader interacted well with the group and with each individual. The talks he gave on the bus brought life to the importance and history of what we were seeing. He also gave information on what was available for our free time and how to use the public transportation to get there. Even our bus driver was excellent+informative.

Dennis

San Lorenzo, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well informed and easily understandable guides; George Farkas was energetic, always upbeat,and very knowledgeable. The cities were great, loved the tours, and George gave us plenty of suggestions for our free time. The bus was also very comfortable. The stop in Rovinj was so nice that I would rather have had one more day there. Aall in all, a great tour and experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole city of Krakow."

Kris

San Lorenzo, CA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best way to see Eastern Europe. perfect combination of culture, history and natural beauty . ready to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow"

Kristen

Montesano, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I LOVED my tour through Eastern Europe! This was my first tour, and I would recommend it anyone without a doubt! Our guide, Etelka, warmly welcomed us from day one and continued to entertain us throughout the entire trip with great stories and smiles. I also had fun getting to meet new friends within our tour group. As for the tour, I enjoyed seeing the old architecture, bustling cities, quiet countrysides, and the chocolate & gelato! If you're deciding, you should go on this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Szechenyi Baths! The warm water and gorgeous architecture of this place was amazing! I wish I were soaking in that inviting, warm water right now! I will also say that swimming in the Adriatic Sea in Rovinj, Croatia and in Lake Bled, Slovenia was a lot of fun also!"

Betty

Montesano, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour more than met my expectations. I wasn't sure what it would be like to share such close surroundings with a bunch of strangers [INVALID] but they were great and it was fun to bump into them when we were off touring on our own. Our guide, Etelka, was a highlight of the trip. Her stories of growing up under communism were fascinating, her enthusiasm for life and her genuine interest that each person had a memorable trip was a breath of fresh air!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I spent my birthday in Rovinj, Croatia and Etelka, Kristen, Dana, Julia and Mira sang Happy Birthday to me in Hungarian. I loved it all - The Golden Lane in Prague castle; Toni the Hungarian Gypsy violinist; Bath's in Budapest for my aching bones; Mitch our bus driver, etc."

Sue

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a fantastic trip. From big city Prague to national park and then to the sea. A great trip with a lot of scenic views and everything from castles, caves to bribing the passport officers!! Oh, yes we did:) I will say a couple of the guides were long winded and on hot days that was not fun! ( Budapest guide)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the walk thru Plitvice, I could do it everyday! We hit it perfectly, going thru backwards, no crowds, the place to ourselves! I took so many photos."

Marie

Seaside, OR

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had a near perfect balance of old and new, large and small, group and individual, bus and walking, coming and going, history and present, cities and nature. I simply cannot imagine trying to do this kind of tour without the framework of a group - and specificallty without the overall philosophy that is deeply embedded in all Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent in Auschwitz will forever be etched in my mind."

Rebecca

Davis, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour and our guide, Eltelka, was a big reason for it. I always enjoy learning about history, art, culture etc but hearing her personal stories (and those of the other guides) really brought it to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a single moment. I enjoyed my first morning walk in Prague through the Old Town Square and onto the Charles Bridge. Going to the opera in the Estates theater was special too. Visiting Auschwitz was profound< I will be thinking about it for a while. I loved Krakow, but the highlight was hearing classical music played by the Krakow Chamber Orchestra in the St. Peter and Paul Church. Budapest was amazing too.The baths and the evening cruise were hits! These are just a few "wow" moments"

Debra

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the combination of city and country-side stops. Loved the combination of free time and group tour time. Loved the city specific tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wine tasting in Hungary"

Jeffrey

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite traveling extensively, I had never been on an organized tour before. I had always thought organized tours were for "old" people who, for various reasons, were unable or too scared to venture out on their own. I was certainly wrong! The tour was a perfect mix of "organized" and "do it yourself" really! It would have taken me hours and hours to plan this trip on my own. The experience would never have been as rich as it was, what with the excellent local guides and focused sight-seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My children were collecting T-shirts from each of the countries on our tour. While waiting for a late ferry to the island with our hotel, we were discussing the T-shirt situation (we didn't yet have one for Croatia and we were leaving for Slovenia early the next morning). Our guide, Etelka, reported that she "knew of a store not far from the boat" and she would take the kids quickly a buy a T-shirt in the 10 minutes before the ferry was to depart. She ran with my children to buy T-shirts! Wow!!"

Lee

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 4th tour & Etelka was by far my favorite guide. She was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinya was so fun & beautiful. Didn't miss Rab island at all."

Judy

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, great guide, good driver, good tour members. A rich variety of sights and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the night boat trip in Budapest was beautiful."

Robin

Fresno, CA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time in Eastern Europe. There was a wonderful balance of education and relaxing. Etelka did a great job of helping us understand what Eastern Europe was like during communism and under their current state. We learned about the countries and cities, but also took time to relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Plitvice Lakes National Park. It was a beautiful park and I enjoyed going on the hike. There was a waterfall around every corner. It was just the right kind of hike, not to hard or too easy."

Dennis

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour (our 7th) Enjoyed having a smaller group (19).Guide was excellent as usual.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice Nat'l Park"

Maria

Albany, OR

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Eastern Eruope tour was absolutely amazing! Our guide,Peter, did a phenomenal job sharing his vast knowledge of history, answering questions and giving suggestions, and being " militant optimistic"! This tour provided a superb mix of exploring big cities, appreciating and enjoying the beauty of the land, and participating in varied activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour offered so many wonderful experiences that are in the "wow" category. The quaint town of Rovinj, Croatia with it's twisting cobblestone streets and breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea was so charming! Don't miss the spectacular Salt Mine tour in Poland....complete with a cathedral 400 feet underground and massive chandeliers all carved from salt!"

Nohora

West Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip. Well organized and the guide Peter was professional, kind and knowledgeable. All of the tour members were courteous, capable and amicable

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the entire trip. It exceeded my expectations"

Ann

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an absolutely incredible tour! I felt that the itinerary was planned out very well- it combined and alternated big cities wth smaller towns in such a way that we were able to explore a variety of places without getting overwhelmed. This tour combined popular big city experiences with small town local experiences. I think this tour did a great job of showing us the must-do's as well as letting us experience and see the local life.

Cathy

Lakewood, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great experience. Peter was a perfect guide and went above and beyond to care for all of us. Our group was small, but not too small. Our bus was comfortable and we could spread out. Our hotels were comfortable and similar to what we are accustom to when traveling on our own. There was plenty of variety in our activities, and we had just the right amount of time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Luckily, Peter was traveling to Vienna after the tour as were five of us. Our trip was interrupted because of a late train and without his help, it could have been very unpleasant. He stayed with us the entire way right up to helping us get our tickets when we arrived at the Vienna Metro. I couldn't have been more impressed with his actions."

Margaret

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As an 80 year old, who has had the good fortune to travel extensively, I decided to take two of my granddaughters aged 15 and 25 along. This trip proved to be the trip of a lifetime for all of us. Peter left no questions unanswered whether historical, political, cultural or just simply changing money - dealing with 5 different currencies was a concern for me as well as many different languages. Not for Peter. He made everything informative, fun and easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was very well planned all the way and with many highlights. At the end of the trip we couldn't wait to swim in the Adriatic in beautiful Rovinj."

Stewart

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic trip! The tour exceeded our expectations. We had a wonderful guide and an outstanding tour group we could not have asked for a better group of traveling partners. We wanted to learn about the history, people, and culture of the Heart of Europe, enjoy the food, take in the scenery, experience the sights, and just soak in all of the places that were new to us. We enjoyed so many of the places we visited, it will be hard to decide which ones we want to visit again in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among my favorite wow moments was the spectacular midsummer fireworks show in Krakow. It takes place on the shortest night of the year, and just happened to correspond to one of our nights in Krakow. The fireworks show included laser lights and music and was set up along a quarter mile of the Vistula River-- one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen. Other wow moments include Plitvice National Park, seeing Auschwitz, swimming in the Adriatic, and soaking in the baths in Budapest."

Ralph

Simsbury, CT

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Peter, our guide, was terrific. Lots of detail, great with questions. Always looking out for us. Took initiative at very turn. Involved himself with us thoroughly. Our fellow travelers were wonderful. Thoughtful, intelligent, energetic, lighthearted, inquisitive, sociable. All of it! Trip sites wonderful. Varied. Much natural, cultural, historic beauty. Great mix of free time and group visits. Couldn't ask for more. Thank you, one and all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! Hard to choose here. Really, it don't think I can single any one thing out. There was for me a kind of wide, collective "WOW"."

Mary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic. My two children enjoyed the entire experience as much as my husband and I did. The itinerary was very balanced between cities and small towns, and I loved the "nature stops" (Plitvice & the caves near the end).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the main square in Krakow for the first time, the beauty of Plitvice National Park, Slovenian pastries, nights in Rovijn...and so many more!"

Susan

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The countries on our tour were new to me so I was looking for an overview of the region, an understanding of the cultural, historic, and geographical similarities and diversity within the six countries. Mission accomplished and much more. I especially appreciated the format of the tour which showcased small towns and countryside as well as major cities, the Adriatic, and the Slovenian Alps. Walking tours gave us a great introduction to each city and other whole-group activities were varied

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great moments that I couldn't pick a favorite. They were as varied as a mountain sunset, five different versions of goulash, view from the Charles Bridge, sitting in the central square in Stramberk after sampling the local gingerbread treat, the energy within the Main Market Square in Krakow, the wine-tasting complete with music, the painted walls of Matthias Church, the Shoe Memorial, deserted homes in Croatian villages, the view from Bled Castle."

Carol

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful start to finish. Great tour members. OUTSTANDING guide. Variety of big cities to small villages, somber Auschwitz & Birkenau, beautiful Plitvice Park, caves, mountain top stay to Craotian coast, wonderful Lake Bled. Enjoyed every aspect. Nice ratio of free time to guided time. Enjoyed having some free mornings as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There has to be a favorite?? Plitvice park was just amazing at every turn in the trail. I live in the pacific northwest and I don't believe I have ever seen so many waterfalls in one place."

Donna

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was fabulous. The tour had the right mix of cities and the natural world. We had opportunities to meet and get to know the people who live in this part of the world, including at meals, wine tasting, and a visit to an elementary school. The pace of the trip was fine. We had opportunities to explore and be on our own along with plenty of guided walks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several "wows": a concert in the Municipal House in Prague, St. Mary's cathedral in Krakou, night-time cruise in Budapest, Szechenyi Baths in Budapest, walking in Plitvice national park among lakes and waterfalls, view of Rovinj from the top of the bell tower."

Sandra

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Eastern Europe tour is ambitious in scope in terms of the history of the area as well social, cultural and natural features. We took the tour because we were interested in the area but didn't feel up to being able to create a comparable tour on our own. I think this was a wise choice and I doubt if we could have come close to having as good a time if we were planning it ourselves. Hotels were good and close to city centers and the meals were largely very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Catching sight of Rovinj from our hotel on the island and wishing we could stay longer. I never tired of the view."

Ralph

Spokane Valley, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked it. This was my first trip to Europe, so everything was new and different. All the Hotels were fine and the food was great. I cannot imagine a better agenda for covering a lot of eastern(central) Europe in 16 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a career as a forest manager, so I enjoyed the country side and small towns more than the big cities. I was surprised to see how much of these countries were forested. I am glad we went to Croatia and were able to see what the ravages of war had inflicted on the country."

Beth

Ottawa, IL

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. Enjoyed the exciting cities, and the beautiful countryside. So much history and culture to absorb. Marijan did a great job of helping us understand it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved seeing Budapest at night. The boat ride down the Danube was spectacular."

Randy

Keizer, OR

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katerina our tour guide was very knowledgable , organized,dedicated yet fun and personable. As well, our bus driver Bojan sp? was increadibly skilled and personable.It was a pleasure to share this period of time with them at the helm. As I am normally an independent traveler and this was my first experience as a member of a tour group I appreciated the small size of our group of 14.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Plitvice National Park was certainly an eye opener and a pleasant break from the Big Cities. Incredibly beautiful waterfalls, enhanced by Katerina's( our tour leader )forthought to begin at the opposite end of the trail thus avoiding the large crowds for the most of the hike. Most enjoyable time indeed!"

Alison

Bellingen,

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Tour really met our needs. The City and country experiences balanced well. The countries we visited gave us a good understanding of History and Culture of Eastern Europe. The Scenery was spectacular in many places along the way-

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Krakow-small city with a wonderful feel Loved Pltvice Lakes National Park Prague and Budepest were overwhelmingly beautiful Our holiday on the Istra Peninsula-Rovinj-just lovely Slovinia-visit to the Skotjan caves/winery and Lake Bled fabulous and last but not least our lovely driver Boyan from Slovinia-very professional in everyway."

Brent

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the variety that the tour included. Activities ranged from museums to villages to Auschwitz to caves to hiking to beaches. Modes of transportation varied from tour bus to all types of public transportation to rowboats, cruise ships, ferries. And we were fortunate to have a group of 14 that normally is 28. Also very nice mix of "free" time and planned/touring time. Great variety of options to do during the free time with excellent planning/orientation included.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a one favorite wow. Big city "wows" were how lively and youthful Krakow is and how ornate and massive buildings in Budapest are. Impressed with all the large city squares."

Cheryl

Franklin Furnace, OH

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

i most enjoyed the big cities, prague, budapest, krakow the best. i like historic buildings. i liked that i was able to see the famous painting (lady with Ermine). i didn't even know that it was there. i am a nature lover myself, so the parks, lake, caves, was nice to divide the time with. because Budapest was such a big city, i like having the tour guide take us to the big sites in the morning, it got a little hot in the afternoon and we didn't make it back to spend more time there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i really enjoyed the boat cruise in Budapest. i like seeing the city lit up, the atmosphere on the boat."

Carolyn

Twin Falls, ID

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katerina was deightful, and a surpurb tour guide. She puts alot of thought, energy, thoughtfulness in her tours. Espically nice was the special treats she had for each country. Our group was small (great) and everyone was interesting. I enjoyed every minute of the tour. I only wish I had arrived a few days earlier as their is too much to see in Prague in the short time we where here. (Maybe a suggestion in the intro. letter to do so)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had looked forward to - 2 places I had seen on my 365 day calendar- one was St. Gellert (Hotel) Thermal Bath and Swimming pools that were beautiful and a short walk from the Hotel. Also I had read about the Plitvice Lakes area so was thrilled to be experiencing the beautiful area. I really enjoyed the free time at the Hotel Istra off the coast of Rovinj. After the fast pace of traveling it was nice to relax in the sun and swim in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. The whole trip was a thrill for"

Rhonda

Mt Vernon, IL

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour opened my eyes about an area I was only exposed to in formal education. There is nothing like first hand experience. I rated this tour as very good because my first tour Best of Europe in 21 Days was outstanding every single day whereas this tour had some days that were not outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were in Prague. I loved all of it. The fact that it is a very walker friendly city was an added plus. There were many "wow" moments in Prague. Specifically, I really liked seeing the John Lennon wall, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square, and the Dancing House."

Catherine

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was relaxing to be on the tour where most decisions are made and tasks performed for you. The tour was well planned and organized, had a nice balance of city and country, as well as time with the group and on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz, Birkenua, Oscar Schindler Museum and the exhibit of children's drawings at the Old Synagogue in "Praha", each an experience not to be missed."

Amy

Satellite Beach, FL

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our tour completely from beginning to end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were several "Wow" moments, I enjoyed the evening river cruise down the Danube,the Plitvice National Park and the visit to the elementary school in Recsk, Hungary."

Charles

Kenosha, WI

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time on this tour. I thought the flow of the tour was perfect. The first 10 days of the tour were very busy what with covering the cities of Prague, Krakow and Budapest. Then we moved on to Plitvice National Park and the pace slowed down, great timing. Then for me the 2 days in Rovinj at the Hotel Katarina was one of my big highlights. I understand that Robyn who works out of the office in Edmonds was responsible for making the move to this hotel, nice call Robyn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kind of hard to have just one "wow" moment on this trip. The night river cruise in Budapest with all the buildings and bridges lit up will certainly make you go "wow", and then there's the waterfalls at Plitvice National Park. Water is coming out of the ground from everywhere, its flowing over countless waterfalls and running under your feet as you walk along boardwalk paths. One minute the rushing water is so loud you can't hear yourself think and then the trail makes a turn and silence. "wow""

Jordan

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour not only led us to beautiful and intriguing places, but also was chock-full of history and architecture. We enjoyed the variety of cuisines throughout the span of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On a bridge, over a deep narrow canyon -- inside a cavern! At Skocjan Caves NP in Slovenia."

Karl

Concord, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good to outstanding. It wasn't the ultimate - We had that experience when we went on the 17 day best of Italy tour in 2008!!! This trip had many memorable moments, lots to see and do, and the exposure to a part of Europe that culturally I hadn't given a lot of thought to before the trip. So it was fun to learn a lot about their history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW in a sad sense was the tour of Auschwitz - when we got to the rooms with personal belongings (the hair) was disturbing. Krakow was a very pleasant surprise. We had a free morning and sat by the Cathedral and there was a celebration going on, with the choir playing. It was very peaceful and enjoyable. Eating dinner at Rovinj was one of the best romantic evenings we had. Having the most beautiful sunsets while enjoying a delicious meal with the person closest to you - Awesome"

John

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an eye-opening tour! These people have been through so much! Over the last 1000 years and then again since WW2. And to see how vibrant their cities are today. And we had the perfect guide to give us context to the events and places that we saw. Peter was "The Best" in helping us interpret the history and culture of the 6 countries that we visited. If he was a university prof, I wouldn't have missed a lecture. Plus he was fun and thoughtful and engaged with all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than a "Wow Moment" I would like to refer to a "Wow Factor,: and that was the quality of the guides on this tour. Starting with our exceptional guide Peter, but including the local guides and most of the site guides, they were able to provide historical and cultural context to the interesting areas, communities and sights that we were visiting. They usually presented their information with passion or with humour; but always in an engaging way, adding greatly to the depth of the tour."

Jeffrey

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was great! As always, we saw and understood much more than we would have if on our own, and we met nice folks that had a love of travel in common.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the closest I came to "wow" moments was when we were immersed in the beauty of the falls in Croatia, Swimming in the Adriatic Sea under Moon Light in Rovinj and the amazing vistas from the top of the Castle at Lake Bled. Those are sights that will stay with me over time. Oh...a real "wow" moment....the sour cherries over ice cream desert we had for dinner at the restaurant in Rovinj. Why does ice cream taste so much better "over there"?"

Nancy

Pittsford, NY

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day was a new experience to be savored. The destinations, hotels, cuisine, and back door happenings with Peter made each day remarkable. I looked forward to the historical background and language lesson before each country. Learning how to use the local transportation was beneficial to feel like a local. Practical tips on what to see and do with free time were extremely helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Danube River cruise in Budapest was so wonderful we went the next night as well. Lake Bled in Slovenia is 1,000 times more beautiful than Lake Placid in New York. Ringing the bell in the church tower on the island and having lunch at the castle overlooking the lake with the Julian Alps as the background were my most memorable moments."

Scott

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip. Our tour companions were the best and we had a great guide in George. He was never rattled even when best laid plans had to change on the fly. Who expects the electricity to go off just as you are boarding the streetcar? The tour was an excellent mix of big cities and small towns and nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course Lake Bled and Rovinj were beautiful as were the waterfalls at Plitvice but if you can stretch "wow" to overwhelmed, I was hit by Auschwitz-Birkenau. The tour book said it was big but it was huge and to think of the horror that happened there."

Gordon

Marana, AZ

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, it was great. Our tour guide was fantastic; the choice of places to visit was varied, each adding a new wrinkle to the Eastern Europe experience; the pace was just right; and the amount of information shared and the variety of things we learned was tremendous, putting into historic perspective the places we saw. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was better than the previous. Each experience seemed to build upon the previous ones. The trip was greater than the sum of its experiences. Therefore, there were too many "wow" moments single out. By the time we arrived at Rovinj, I needed the rest from the pace of "wow" moments. Yet Rovinj was a wonderful "wow" of its own."

Eileen

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a fantastic introduction to an area in Europe where we might have hesitated to travel in on our own. Now we can't wait to go back! It was a good mix of urban and nature, city and village, complicated history and exciting futures. I enjoyed the city introductions then being left to our own devices to choose how we spent our time. The local tours hit the highlights and a couple of fun folk dance events that we normally wouldn't have picked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Budapest by public transit after the Castle tour, four of us hopped off at Margaret Island. We stumbled upon the Music Fountain and returned later that night for a repeat show after dark. I really enjoy public spaces and public art so this was a great random find."

Bruce

Tigard, OR

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't know of any Rick Steves tour that I wouldn't expect to enjoy, but I have to admit that Eastern Europe was at the top of my wife's bucket list, not mine. I must say that this tour had to be an experience of a lifetime, far exceeding my expectations. Having grown up with the Iron Curtain limiting my education about the history and widely varied cultures of countries of the tour, I would say I couldn't have placed most of them on the map.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment lasted the entire tour. I had no idea what a void I had in my knowledge of Europe until exploring and learning about these countries and their people. We all have a basic understanding of the history of France, England and the rest of western Europe, but it doesn't really all fit together until a person gets the "rest of the story"."

Linda

Marana, AZ

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous trip. George did so much to help us understand the culture, history, geography and politics of the 6 countries that we visited. All of the stops were amazing - great local guides, charming accommodations, wonderful group dinners. The walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park cannot be adequately described - one has to experience it! This tour was a great combination of big city and countryside experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were absolutely amazed that after our orientation to each city (Prague, Krakow, Budapest) that we really were able to navigate the public transportation systems easily. "WOW - I can do this!""

Linda

Mcfarland, WI

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time and will definitely consider Rick Steves' tours for future travels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We especially loved Rovinj-the town, the evening meal and the hotel and grounds on St. Katarina's Island."

Joel

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful guide George, who grew up in the area and knew the history very well. We met interesting people in the tour group and had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We spent a day in Budapest with another couple just wandering around with no real plan. We used the day pass for public transit as a free shuttle to view the city. Stumbled upon some wonderful things including a dancing water display synchronized to music on Margaret Island. We liked it so much we came back at night to see it again with its night time light show."

Elizabeth

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. It was a great balance of historic cities with lots of interesting sights,charming small towns, and stunningly beautiful countryside. We had a very cohesive tour group who were fun to spend time with. Even the travel days on the bus were enjoyable with great lunch stops. I never would have attempted going to six countries in 16 days on my own but the tour made it easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was crossing Lake Bled on a sunny, crisp early AM in a Pletna boat with our tour group. Looking across the placid, crystal clear lake with the snow covered mountains in the background and gorgeous scenery all around me took my breath away. Lake Bled has got to be one of the prettiest places I have ever been. A close second was Plitvice Lakes National Park. What a magnificent example of God's glorious creation!!"

Jeanne

Norwell, MA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely everything about our tour was exceptional,especially our guide, George. Though we chose the tour for the cities included, we were equally impressed with all the local venues and people we met. They gave us a genuine flavor of the countries. All the hotels and restaurants were outstanding. Because so many in the group wanted to visit The Salt Mines in Krakow, George arranged a tour, including transportation for us. This meant successfully rearranging 2 other scheduled tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing it was my birthday, George asked if we could celebrate at lunch. He provided champagne for a toast, which made me feel very special."

Ronald

Norwell, MA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience exceeded expectations. Not only did I enjoy the "big cities" we visited, but also came away with a deeper understanding of Eastern Europe because of our interaction with the people we met in the various "small towns" we visited. Our tour guide George did a fantastic job "meshing us into a cohesive unit" with his "buddy system" approach. He was continually enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable (as were all our tour guides", and very quick to solve any issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was during our lunch stop at a small farm in Croatia. That's when George approached my wife and asked her if it was okay with her if we recognized her birthday with a champagne toast. What showed to me is that on a Rick Steves' tour, it's people that matter the most!!"

Thomas

Modesto, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide,George,and the composition of our tour group made our experience excellent. George's enthusiasm proved to be the highlight of the trip for me.Eastern Europe was a pilgrimage for many of us to see our forebears' home countries, learn much more about the history ,culture and beauty of the area than I anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was an overall impression rather than any one moment. The combination of some magnificent cities with rural experiences was very satisfying."

Alan

Mechanicsburg, PA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed our tour guide and my fellow travelers. I also appreciated how careful our bus driver was. I basically got what I wanted out of the trip. It was evident to me that much thought has been put into constructing the itinerary. I particularly enjoyed the restaurants chosen. However, I thought there was a bit too much standing around listening to excessive details about every church and statue we saw. Sometimes less is more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly enough it was the drive through the villages in Croatia, seeing how nearly every house still had bullet holes indicating how the war was really neighbor against neighbor. I enjoyed the free time we had to walk around Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. And I enjoyed the countryside in all the countries that we drove through."

Robert

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and I really enjoyed the experience. The itinerary was well planned, the balance between guided tours and free time was about right, and recommendations for sightseeing and restaurants were generally excellent. Would definitely recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most amazing sights were the Plitvice Lakes and the Skocjanske Caves. Have never seen anything like those places, especially the caves. The realm of the Hobbit actually exists!"

Diane

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was wonderful in every way. Our guide Katka was knowledgeable, articulate and fun to be around. The group of people we traveled with were really fun and shared many common interests with us too. The tour was the right amount of everything for my taste. The right number of organized tours, the right amount of time on our own, the right people, the right number of cities, the right cities, and the right number of national parks or more rural areas. Activities were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I hadn't realized/put together in a concrete way that the people of eastern Europe really lived with terrorism from 1940 to 1989. What a shame! Katka brought this home to us both in terms of her knowledge of history and cultures but also because she lived with communism until she was 16. What an amazing experience and how terrible to realize what her life might have been like if communism hadn't fallen in 1989."

Faith

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "guided tour" and it was great to have someone else be in charge! I really liked the mix of group activities and free time. All the guides were great and the fellow tour members were a really nice bunch. I also liked the "down time" in Rovinj that came just at the right moment!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think driving into Budapest was the most unexpected delight with all the amazing buildings right one after the other!"

Richard

Columbia, SC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, a fantastic travel and learning experience. I knew before the tour began that there were going to be several long travel days, but being on a bus with a seat to myself and with some unique stops on those long travel days, time passed quickly between stops. Tasting different food from all these different countries was really a treat. Being located in centrally located hotels enhanced our experiences in every city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though I had seen Plitvice before, it remains a "wow" moment. And, this time the views were quite different. Due to recent floods in the area, several times we had to take high trails before descending--giving a whole new, and more strenuous, perspective to the park. The natural beauty and serenity of Lake Bled was also two days to remember."

James

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

For a tour, it is the best that you can get. Small group that didn't overcrowd the bus, making the road cruising pretty confortable. Great drive through the Hungarian countryside, which was definitely the highlight of the journey, with the lunch at a village middle school and wine tasting. Unfortunately Auschwitz was a let down. It was resumed to a quick stop on the way to Krakow and no time at all to explore it a little bit on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice was really good."

John

Denver, CO

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best tours I have taken. There was a great combination of guided tours and free time. Our guide, Katerina, provided us with loads of information, some of the most interesting being about her life under communism. The hotels were better than expected, and the provided meals were generous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour!"

Virginia

Dripping Springs, TX

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded my expectations, and I have been dreaming of it for years. It's an excellent mix of cities, history, architecture, nature. I learned so much about every city and country visited, from 1400's through today. It was extremely interesting to hear about life under and AFTER Communism from guides that experienced both. Also learned so much about the present. Loved experiencing all local foods and wines! Had WONDERFUL time with fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it is hard to say, but here are my top 4 WOW's: Plitvice National Park waterfalls Touring Auschwitz and Birkenau Lake Bled scenery St. Mary's Cathedral in Krakow"

Ron

Columbia, SC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned. Guide was most knowledgable and helpful. Most strenuous of the five tours I have taken. Guide gave us a printed outline of the tour with her information. Never gotten before but most useful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the school and having lunch with students and staff."

Donna

Napa, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Due to the nature of the region's history, there were more somber elements to this tour than other two I went on. Not a complaint, just an observation. Much to ponder. Bathroom breaks seemed too frequent and too long. Having two consecutive destinations---Rovinj and Lake Bled---that provided so much leisure, seemed like too much leisure. The added tour of Lipica stud farm was a let-down, compared to Vienna Lipizzaners. Glad to have seen it, but recommend you don't include in future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz was profound. Interacting with the children in Recsk was a special experience, as was dining on their cafeteria food."

Erik

Aumsville, OR

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and executed. Well paced with a nice variety of experiences. The hotels and restaurants were all nice choices. The local guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Park was once-in-a-lifetime. Although I have seen many waterfalls, I have never seen anything like this, and I never expect to. Although, strictly speaking, it was not on the tour, the Danube Folk Ensemble in Budapest was extraordinary. I was not expecting very much from a folk-dance performance, but I was awestruck. Extremely sophisticated and polished. It would not be out of place in Carnegie Hall. Please recommend this optional experience to future tour participants."

Cynthia

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How lucky I am to be able to travel like this. A trip that ran the gamut of great experiences. From the depths of human tragedy at Auschwitz to folk dancing with apple-cheeked country people in the Czech Republic, throw in a few great wine tastings, lots of expert information on history and culture, and then, then, the beauty and awesomeness of mother nature. What a treat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The simultaneous intake of breath from our entire group when we turned the corner at the Skocjan Caves, heard the river pounding below us, and knew that we were in a world none of us had ever experiened before."

Anthony

Kirtland, OH

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned a great deal about the history of the countries in the Heart of Europe, saw many beautiful sites (both urban and rural), ate wonderful foods and did all this without having to worry about any of the logistics of a major trip. With many meals included, all of the hotel and travel arrangements handled by Peter and Eszter and the expert driving of Bojan, I did nothing but relax, enjoy, learn and socialize with other folks on the trip. Thus, my overall experience was very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Park was a wow. The fact there are two lakes with water flowing down from one to the other was both beautiful and unusual. Though it rained the entire time we were there, it was truly a grand experience. Krakow was a close second. What a wonderful city to explore."

Stephen

Pleasant Hill, CA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have travelled in Europe frequently but this was our first R. Steves' tour so we very curious as to how it would measure up. In a word it was great! Our guides added a unique and valuable perspective that you miss traveling solo. The tour was a good blend of organized activities and down time, must-see city sites (Prague, Krakow, Budapest) and natural wonders (Plitvice and Skocjan caves), five course restaurant meals and open air picnic lunches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think Krakow was the biggest surprise of our trip. We were "expecting" Prague to be spectacular and it was but Krakow was equally remarkable with a youthful vibe and less crowds. I also enjoyed the "back door" experiences, particularly the visit to the school in Hungary and the wine tasting at the Egri vineyards in Hungary and the picnic/wine tasting in Slovenia."

Erin

Pleasant Hill, CA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fabulous! It was a great way to see a lot and I found it to be a very efficient use of our time. We didn't have to spend time figuring out the public transportation or where to park or even checking into hotels. There was a perfect balance of structured time and free time. The itinerary was a nice balance of big cities and rural areas. Our fellow tour members were lovely and I never heard a single complaint from anyone. In addition, no one was ever late. Amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest surprise was Krakow. It has a very youthful vibe, the biggest square I have every seen in Europe with a lot going on. We listened to free opera in the square all three nights we were there. The city is easy to navigate and romantic! The locals we spoke to were so pleased we were visiting their city. To top it off it was inexpensive. I came home and told all my kids they should honeymoon there! Other highlights: Lunch with Hungarian school children and Plitvice and the Slovenian Cave."

Carol

Orlando, FL

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting the "Heart" of Europe changed my whole perspective on that region. I had some preconceived ideas that were totally changed. The countries were very old world with distinct architecture. The people were friendly and happy to have us visit them. The cities were very clean and the people took pride in their businesses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were in Krakow for the 650th anniversary of Jagiellonian University. They had an opera in the market square in the evening. To stand with so many people and enjoy the opera with them was an experience we will always remember. That same day were we in St. Mary's Cathedral when the Prince of Luxembourg visited the cathedral."

David

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Between good and outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What you can't see on your own. Like visiting with the kids at the Hungarian school, picnic lunches prepared by the locals, etc."

Maureen

Spokane, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th Rick Steves tour and I am just as thrilled as I was with the 1st. Our guides were so knowledgeable and easy to listen to, the accommodations were unique and comfortable, and above all, our fellow travellers all shared the same expectations and desires for a memorable, fun filled, educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow was the most suprising destination of the trip. I had no idea how beautiful the city is---especially lit up at night. Previous impressions were of a dusty, ruin filled city but we were amazed at the green park around the perimeter, the cleanliness of the streets, the friendliness of the people and the overall beauty. Lake Bled was also a great experience---even though we had been there on the Adriatic tour, it is such a beautiful place, we really enjoyed it a second time."

Laurel

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed every part of the tour. Peter and Eszter were so knowledgeable and helpful. I especially enjoyed hearing their own stories growing up in the region. The opportunities to visit places we would have never had on our own, such as the school, added so much to the tour. We appreciated the recommendations Peter and Eszter gave us for restaurants, shopping,and sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Budapest was my favorite. The views of pest from the castle, the lights along the river on the cruise, the ruins pub and the book cafe were the best. I was captivated by the city atmosphere."

Robert

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour with Nick Steve's and it was wonderful. The 2 guides Peter and Eszter were knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and had a sense of humor. They were tremendous and are the main reason I will do another Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just being in countries that were behind the iron Curtin and meeting people who lived under that form of gov't. Was so impressed at how well that have done with such a big change in there society."

Barbara

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our May trip to the "Heart of Europe" was great. I came to learn and understand a great deal more about both the historical and current issues facing the countries we visited. Our guides were great (Peter and Estzer) and the local guides that were with us were wonderful; they all added a perspective for what occurred in the past and the impact on what is currently happening in these countries. Prague, Krakow, and Budapest were amazing; but equally wonderful were Eger, Rovinj and Lake Bled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As you might imagine, this is a difficult question to answer. Visiting the Jewish ghettos in Prague and Krakow and Auschwitz was incredibly sad/disturbing to face first hand the cruelty that we do to our fellow person - this was such an important part of this trip. The willingness of the guides to share their families experiences under Communism was so important to me in understanding what the "coming down of the wall' really meant in their lives; it amazes me how naive I have been."

Karen

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 10/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would describe this trip as a real cultural and historical experience. I didn't really know what to expect of these countries and cities following communism and this was a great introduction. Some are further along than others but each location had its own distinct character and historical point of view and the tour strives to allow one to experience it all. A great combination of cities and natural beauty. It's a lot of ground to cover. Thank you for ending the trip at Lake Bled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitivice Lakes National Park in Croatia was breathtaking. Reminded me of picture-taking in Venice; a different view, colors and texture around every turn. Of course, mother nature and a beautiful fall day helped! In Budapest, the Danube river cruise at night with all the buildings and bridges lit up was a visual delight. And of course, Auschwitz is not a "wow" moment in a good way, but I'm glad I had that sobering experience. I will remember it always."

Randy

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyable, lots of fun, memorable, interesting & engaging tour members & staff

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Danube Cruise at night; Plitvice; Chopin Concert-on Krakow square,Lake Bled,Jewish Quarter-Prague. I enjoyed them all."

Carol

Maple Grove, MN

Tour: 09/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. Not knowing much about this part of the world and having grown up in the 50's& 60's when the communist ruled Eastern Europe with the iron curtain blocking almost all information & communication, I found this tour to be most educational, informative, & interesting. It was wonderful to see the colorful & vibrant people & cities and tour & learn about them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments. One WOW day was the morning visit to the school, interacting with the teacher and students then driving to the winery for wine tasting in the afternoon, a gorgeous warm,sunny day. The students were so enthusiastic and curious about the USA. The owners of the winery (husband & wife) were so warm & welcoming. Tony serenaded us with his violin. We danced on the veranda. It was magical! The Auschwitz tour was a WOW moment in a very different way. It was a somber,tearful day."

Sara

Roswell, GA

Tour: 09/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was just what we expected: very comprehensive and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was impressed with the beauty of Budapest. The architecture of Prague was nice too, but hard to appreciate in the rain. I especially enjoyed the musical concerts (not included in the tour) that we attended in both Prague and Budapest. The salt mine in Krakow (not included in the tour), the caves in Slovenia and Plitvice National Park in Croatia were amazing experiences I'll never forget."

Mary

La Mesa, CA

Tour: 09/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We so enjoyed being on a trip that we did not have to do the driving. This was our first tour of any kind and knew that we would only go on a Rick Steves Tour. Learned so much about the countries and enjoyed everyone in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our guide took us out the first evening in Krakow to see the square. It was the most beautiful square I have ever seen at night."

Jack

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great Tour

Weather

Czech Republic / Prague


Poland / Kraków

Kraków Weather


Hungary / Budapest


Croatia / Split


Slovenia / Ljubljana

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Czech RepublicPolandHungaryCroatia, and Slovenia: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Prague and out of Ljubljana (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe. Ljubljana, the nearest airport to the tour’s end point, has convenient train and flight connections to Munich, Vienna, Venice and other major cities. Your travel agent can help you find what works best for you.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Prague before your tour begins, use Rick Steves Eastern Europe guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Czech (although many locals speak English well), and get over your jet lag with fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Prague that we will not be doing as a group (see your guidebook for details): the museums of Prague’s Jewish Quarter, Mucha Museum, Museum of Medieval Art, Havelská Market, National Museum, Toy and Barbie Museum, boating on the Vltava River.

Packing

There are some great opportunities for hiking on this tour. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction. Also, if you are planning to take a dip in the Adriatic Sea, pack along a swimsuit and a lightweight microfiber towel. Lastly, bring a small flashlight – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.