• prague-spires-dusk
    Prague Spires
  • Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral
  • prague-beer-tasting
    Beer Tasting in Prague
  • budapest-chain-bridge
    Chain Bridge in Budapest
  • budapest-great-market-hall
    Budapest's Great Market Hall
  • Széchenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Prague & Budapest in 8 Days Tour

We've brought together Eastern Europe's must-see cities — Prague and Budapest — for an eye-opening eight-day adventure. You'll explore Prague's mighty castle, swirling Baroque churches, fascinating Jewish Quarter, and sample what may be Europe's most refreshing beers. Then it's on to cosmopolitan Budapest, with its unexpected elegance, hidden courtyards, remarkable markets, and tales of a tumultuous history — an experience that's spiced with surprising cuisine and a panoramic cruise along the Danube. Join us for the Best of Prague & Budapest in 8 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Prague and Budapest come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 21 group sightseeing events • Prague Castle tour • St. Vitus Cathedral • St. George's Basilica • Old Town orientation walk • Municipal House tour • Mucha Museum • Jewish Museum in Prague pass • Spanish Synagogue • Josefov Neighborhood Jewish Quarter walking tour • Velvet Revolution walking tour • 3-day Prague transportation pass • Cultural performance • Budapest bus orientation tour • Buda Castle district and Matthias Church tour • Pest walking tour • St. István's Basilica • Great Market Hall • Hungarian cooking class • Hungarian State Opera tour • Heroes Square walking tour • Danube cruise...and more
  • All group transportation from Prague to Budapest
  • 7 nights accommodations (4- and 3-night stays) in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Prague & Czech Republic and Rick Steves Budapest guidebooks, 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 in our hotel around 4 p.m. to get acquainted and go over the week's schedule. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our Old Town neighborhood and over the historic Charles Bridge — one of Europe's most entertaining promenades — followed by a hearty dinner together. Sleep in Prague (4 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Prague of Kings and Nobles

This morning we'll hop on 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. To see for ourselves whether Prague really is home to the best beers in Europe, we'll walk to a nearby monastery's brewery for a refreshing mug and lunch together. Then you're on your own to wander back down to the Old Town, where you'll be free for the evening. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Jewish and Art Nouveau Prague

Today we'll take a walking tour through the Josefov neighborhood, once the site of Prague's Jewish Ghetto — and still one of the most evocative Jewish districts in all of Europe. For a thousand years one of the leading centers of Judaism, the neighborhood is studded with thought-provoking museums, fascinating synagogues, and a Kafkaesque, dream-like cemetery. After free time for lunch, we'll take a tour of the classy concert halls and salons of the city's Municipal House and continue our Art Nouveau education at a museum devoted to the local master: Alfons Mucha (whose stained glass you will have already admired inside St. Vitus Cathedral). Your evening will be free for dinner on your own. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Revolutionary Prague

We'll start our day with tales of Prague’s past struggles with communist occupation, the significance of the Prague Spring and the emergence of Václav Havel. We’ll then retrace the footsteps of Prague's celebrated Velvet Revolution, following the events of November 17, 1989, through the modern city to Wenceslas Square, where thousands of Czechs held up and rattled their keys, telling their communist leaders, "The time has come for you to go home." We'll return to the present in time to enjoy dinner together and catch a cultural performance, perhaps a classical concert or experience the quirky and uniquely Czech, Black Light Theater. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: On to Budapest

This morning we'll board our coach for the drive to Budapest. En route we'll pass through the rolling hills of ancient Moravia and modern Slovakia, catching our first glimpse of the wide, blue Danube as we approach the capital city that straddles both banks of the river. Upon arrival this afternoon, we'll drive up Buda's steep Castle Hill for bird's-eye views of "twin city" Pest across the river, and introduce you to Budapest's greatest church: the sumptuously-gilded Matthias Church. When we've finished here, we'll settle in to our hotel and enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Budapest (3 nights). Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Bustling Budapest

Pest — the larger, more sprawling half of Budapest — is a puzzle of Baroque, classical, and modern architecture. On our walking tour this morning we'll crane our necks beside Europe's largest, most ornate parliament building, and learn how Hungarians coped with half a century of fascist and communist tyranny. At St. István's elaborate basilica, we'll hear why, once a year, locals parade the saint's millennium-old fist around the city. Then we'll explore the city's Great Market Hall (Nagyvásárcsarnok), where we'll treat our senses to a few paprika-infused delicacies followed by a Hungarian cooking class and lunch. Later tonight we'll regroup and relax with a cruise along the Danube. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: Elegance of Empire

This morning we'll tour the caked-in-splendor home of the Hungarian State Opera. Built in the 1880s, when Budapest was co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Hungarians took every opportunity to make their opera house more opulent than anything the Viennese could muster. You'll see they succeeded. Then we'll ride on the oldest metro in continental Europe, on our way to Heroes Square to see and learn about the bronze-cast, larger-than-life players in Hungary's national story. This afternoon your guide will be happy to arrange a chance to soak in the ornate public Thermal Baths (yes, you'll have plenty of time to soak it all in!). Tonight we'll rendezvous for a farewell dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Egészségedre! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Budapest's Ferihegy Airport and three busy train stations can connect you to practically anywhere in Europe, and your return home. Whatever your plans, your guide will help you get on the right track. Viszontlátásra!

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 Prague & Budapest in 8 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

Jonathan

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience was excellent. Would have liked a slightly smaller group size but realize financial constraints dictate minimum size. For the non-Jewish in the group there could have been a bit less of the Jewish experience (or it could have been made optional during free time).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First meeting with tour leader."

Jennifer

Marshall, MI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great tour! Our guide, Jana, was so knowledgeable and friendly. She made our whole group feel welcome right away. Learning the history of Prague and Budapest firsthand from guides who lived in the cities really enhanced the trip. Their willingness to share personal stories made it feel like a visit with friends rather than a tour. I only wish the tour had had equal time in Budapest and Prague.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Matthias Church in Budapest was amazing! We saw several churches on in Prague and Budapest but the painted interior stood out for me. Starting our time in Budapest overlooking the river and city from St. Matthias and Fisherman's Bastion was a stunning introduction to the city."

Mona

Newton, MA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I have traveled with Rick Steve's and was quite happy with the experience. Jana our tour guide was amazing. She was knowledgeable, caring, and fun to be with. She certainly set the tone. The group was varied and we all seemed to enjoy each other. Prague and Budapest were lovely cities and I felt like I learned a lot about each city, its history, and its architecture. Prague seemed to be better organized - each tour was a specific topic. Budapest was more jumbl

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wonderful moments on the trip but I guess the one that stands out the most is the concert at the Villa America. It was a true WOW! A private (and high quality) concert in such a beautiful setting. Prague was such a wonderful city to walk around. I loved our tour of the Municipal House. The Spanish Synagogue and the Pinkas Synagogue were quite meaningful. In Budapest the cooking class, the baths, and the ruin bar stand out to me."

Caren

Jamaica Plains, MA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a seasoned traveler this was my first tour experience and I am so glad I chose Rick Steves. It was a wonderful adventure from start to finish and made all the better because of our exceptional leader, Jana Hronkova, who was a warm, caring, organized, articulate, and knowledgeable guide. Our group was varied in age, geography and interest, and we all melded together like an extended family. Prague and Budapest were interesting, beautiful cities, sharing common histories and challenges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's hard, there were many, but would have to say the most unexpected and magnificent experience was our "private" Dvorak concert at Vila Amerika. It captured the old city charm and culture of Prague on our farewell night. The exceptional operatic performances and ambiance of the salon were breathtaking! Other wows in Prague included touring the Municipal House and the Spanish Synagogue. In Budapest, it will be hard to forget our cooking class and the afternoon at the thermal baths!"

David

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was another wonderful & compelling tour. The guides & my fellow tour participants were exceptional, fun and easy to be with. Jana, the main guide was knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful. The local guides were passionate and smart and did a great job as well. I was moved by the stories about the ways the Eastern Europeans survived both the Nazi and the Communist totalitarian governments. Hearing those stories gave me a better appreciation of the freedom we take for granted in the U.S.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As noted above - touring the communist museum & hearing the stories of the Nazi occupation helped me to better understand & appreciate how these gracious & friendly people managed to live under these totalitarian systems. It reminded me that at any time we are susceptible to being twisted by corruption, power, fear & greed into forgetting our humanity & turning against each other in horrific ways. While things aren't perfect in the U.S., we at least still have the capability to change."

Lynn

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely enjoyed my first Rick Steves European tour, and have only positive things to say about my experience. I've traveled to Europe before, but this was my first time as part of a tour, so I was somewhat apprehensive. However, my apprehension was completely unfounded, as the group dynamics were very good. The tour also mixed an ample amount of individual time with the guided group time, which allowed me to spend additional time exploring those sights that held special interest for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was blown away by the history of the cities we visited. I realized how little I knew about how the cities were settled, how old they were, and the changes they underwent over time. Prague, in particular, was striking in both the beauty and age of its buildings. I truly appreciated the local guides and their knowledge of history, as they were able to add context to the things we saw. That was just one of the things that made the tour so special."

William

Marshall, MI

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well organized. The guides were pleasant and knowledgable and provided helpful information. The cities were beautiful and the hotels centrally located. The sights and tour group made the trip well worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a wonderful trip with my family."

Maria

Glendora, CA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great. Prague is a great city. We visited Kutna Hora on our own and it was a spiritual experience. Not creepy at all! I would suggest you contemplate including it as part of the trip. Budapest is an elegant city and George just shined showing us "his city". I wish we had an extra day in Budapest

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment happened when George met us in the hotel lobby at 4:00 o'clock in the morning to make sure that the taxi that he had pre-arranged was there on time to take us to the airport. That was beyond my expectations!"

Jovina

Punta Gorda, FL

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour, mostly because of the historical interest generated by the guides. The activity level was good and the free time was well spaced.We would have preferred less time in Prague and more in Budapest. We thought Budapest the more interesting and accessible city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oddly enough, we were pretty wowed seeing the horrid Hilton Hotel next to the lovely church on the castle hill in Budapest. What a testament to the cold war mentality."

Larry

Luxembourg,

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another fantastic Rick Steves trip, with great guides, well situated lodging, and nice mix of group and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Prague old town square early in the morning, as the sun is coming up, and it's void of crowds. The view of Budapest, including the Danube and Parliament building, from the castle hilltop."

Fred

Springfield, NJ

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our sixth Rick Steves' tours and one of the best. Our guide George and his assistant, Jana, were both home grown and valuable assets. They shared wonderful stories and provided us with insider tips and assistance. Prague and Budapest were presented to us in an exciting manner. The cultural sites that we covered as a group captured the essence of each city. George encouraged us to strike out on our own during our free time to visit the remaining key sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the Spanish synagauge in the Jewish Quarter in Prague and happy and relaxed cafe lifestyle of Budapest."

Vivian

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Honza was an excellent tour guide - bringing the history of Czech Republic to life as well as sharing contemporary life with us. We loved the variety of activities - opera, historical sites, boat trips, etc. Honza was great at helping us learn our way around so during free time we were comfortable touring independently. He was a great resource for ideas of things to visit, restaurants, key Czech words, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I realized the horror of the Sudetenland annexation to Hitler. Prague is a beautiful city because it was never bombed during the war. The cost was very high - all the Jews were handed over to Hitler. What a high price to pay. On a more positive note, you feel like you are walking on a movie set from the 1800s in a lovely city, Prague."

Shirley

Minster, OH

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Honza Vihan, our amazing tour guide, made this trip outstanding. His vast knowledge and intelligence, excellent communication skills, pleasant personality, caring attitude toward everyone in the tour group, and overall sense of responsibility about his role as tour guide were really exceptional. So good to have a native Czech as our leader, too! We also had a nice amount of free time to do our own activities and to dine on our own, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was emotional and educational as I followed our tour guide, Honza Vihan, as we traced the steps he took on Narodni Street toward Wenceslas Square during the 1989 Velvet Revolution. His personal, passionate, and profound explanation brought tears to my eyes. The narrative he provided was his very own experience! Honza was on that Square as a young teenager to make a difference! Now 25 years later, as a husband and father, he shared this with me and our tour group. So powerful!"

Carl

Winston-salem, NC

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We enjoyed both Prague and Budapest. We could not have had a better guide than Honza, and the city guide in Budapest was superb. These are not cities on my bucket list, but I'm glad we made the tour. Honza's experience made both cities and countries come to life. I'm still not a big fan of the food there, but..now I have a better feel for these cultures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the visit to Buda, and the great view of Pest looking across the Danube."

Robert

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Honza was a wonderful host and leader. As promised, he moved us along quickly, and then spent plenty of time explaining history, architecture and society. His home town, Prague, was of principal interest to him, but he also did very well in Budapest, leading us to a wonderful gulyas hands-on cooking experience and a wonderful final night's dinner in a famous, old restaurant. For the local history and flavor, Elemer was very knowledgeable. The accommodations-top-notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honza's first-hand experience with the Velvet Revolution in 1989 as a 14-year old, accompanying his older sister on the march to Wenceslas Square. What an experience- to be a part of history at its most dynamic."

Bruce

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting to see a part of the world I had never been to before. Very knowledgeable tour guides. Also really liked the suggestion from the Travel consultant at Rick Steve's to visit Cesky-Krumlov, accommodations at Castle View apartments were the best of the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Prague Castle Complex."

Dennis

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was everything I expected and more. It was my wife and myself first tour in Europe and with Rick Steves, although we have toured Europe on our own 3 or 4 times. I can't imagine any tour having a outstanding rating, so I would rate this one very good if it were listed on the survey. Anyway, the guides,accommodations, and the tour were top-notch. The tour group were a bunch of great people. We had a lot of fun together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to narrow it down to one! The cooking class was a lot of fun and the food we prepared turned out to be quite good!"

Marilyn

East Brunswick, NJ

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All important sites were shown to us.small group helped it be that more Intimate.everything coordinated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both cities were wow but my personal wow was at the Pincus Synogue."

Phil

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing!Prague's old world charm was magnificent! Budapest is an incredible cosmopolitan city. Having afternoon's off to do some exploring on our own worked well. The restaurants and pubs Istvan took us to were excellent...the food and drink were fabulous! Well done!!! As for our group, we were all similar in age, and got along really well. And the part you're not gonna wanna read...there were only 14 of us! It was the perfect sized group!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many...but spending an afternoon in the cooking school in Budapest was the "wow" moment!! Wasn't expecting that!"

Nancy

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I totally enjoyed my tour.I felt like by the end,I had a understanding of the history, culture and the unique characteristics of both Prague and Budapest.The over all experience was magical. I had wanted to go to Prague for years because I had heard some many people say it was wonderful, and I was not disappointed. The cobblestone streets, the old churches,the shops and restaurants were all amazing.Budapest was a My fellow travelers were delightful as were our trusty guides, Istvan and Rebecca

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a hard question to answer. The views from all the towers and high places were wonderful, but I think for me it was the size and outstanding features of the churches and opera we visited. They were breathtaking.I took a lot of pictures inside and out. The ornateness of the alters and the details in the architectu, the stained glass windows, and the tile floors, and colors and designs ,and the statues.just all the intricut details and human energy that went into each one was awesome to me."

Sue

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I knew that the tours of the castles, churches, bridges, etc would enhance the sightseeing experience. What I didn't expect was the outstanding meals. Considering we were a group, I thought every restaurant was fabulous. And the recommendations for sight-seeing and meals for our free time were also first-rate. I also was fascinated to hear about the guides' personal experiences living under communism.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough one. Prague and Budapest are both beautiful cities. I would have to say the view of Prague from the castle complex was breath-taking. The "cooking lesson" in Budapest was a nice break from sightseeing, yet allowed us to experience something new. Really enjoyed that. The Danube river cruise was beautiful."

Emily

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour and once again, we were not disappointed. I like the local-guided walking tours, the mix of organized and free time, the use of public transportation, and getting to know other travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Prague, it was the personal experiences and information shared by Lenka when she told us about life under the Communists and the Czech Republic's eventual freedom. In Budapest, I loved seeing the lighted buildings on our Danube cruise."

Charles

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour with Rick Steves' and we enjoyed the special guided tours in both cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day provided a "wow" experience of sights, sounds, scenery and food."

Claudia

Oakland, CA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The location of our hotels could not be better. They were clean. The included breakfasts were wonderful, lots to choose from. The staffs at the hotels were very helpful and quick to respond to any issues. Our group was small (13) which was excellent. It was easy to get to talk to everyone. The restaurants chosen for our group were great and the food all fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moment was when our group went to a Hungarian cooking school and made our own lunch - from soup to dessert - and we each received a free cook book."

Gerri

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting, informative and fun! I knew so little about the history of these 2 countries and Katka was the perfect guide to lead us. I gained perspective on the varied past, saw beautiful sites and had gun experiences with our tour members. And the accommodations and food were excellent. This was my first Rick Steves' tour (used consulting services before) but it won't be my last. I liked the amount of free time with good advice from Katka on how to use it well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Prague Castle complex and the views of the city. Prague is a stunningly beautiful city."

Ben

Lexington, SC

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Kata was outstanding. She is a walking history book and paid close attention to every detail.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Realizing first hand the difficulties the two country's experienced under Hitler, then Stalin."

Vicki

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In preparation I read some history and in depth current event books. Although critical dates and facts stuck in my head, I felt so small the first day I walked in Prague. I was mesmerized by the cobblestones and the lintels above doors; and that was before I looked up. The architecture, history and people - I loved it all. Katerina was wonderful, and represents her country and profession very well. I plan on returning to both Prague and Budapest for a longer stay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking across the Charles bridge. I pretended we were in an earlier century and I was headed to the castle."

Rebecca

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A year ago right now, I knew very little about the Czech Republic and Hungary. I had heard how beautiful both were--but they were just names to me. Being on this trip with our knowledgable guide, Katka, experiencing the culture, learning the past and recent history, and reading Prague Winter by Madeline Albright has changed me. I now have a deep appreciation for that part of the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think arriving at Buda Hill right at sunset and taking pictures across the Danube of the Parliment was my WOW moment. Even the pictures I got on my iPhone are spectacular."

Ann Marie

Easton, MD

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have travelled independently for many years with my husband and friends. This was my first tour, ever, and it was one of the best travel experiences of my life. The balance of free / managed time was perfect. Our guides, especially Katerina, added an element of personal experience and knowledge that I otherwise would have missed that added to an outstanding trip. It felt as though I spent a week+ in school and that's a very good thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moments are a toss up between two. Crossing the Vltava at night for the very first time, as we approached Stare Mesto. "Spectacular", I declared! "I don't know this word!", exclaimed the taxi driver. And, hearing the personal stories of all our local guides. I felt humbled and enlightened by their experiences and what they had to share."

Eric

Tigard, OR

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip! The guides were excellent and informative and very responsive to the group. Katka was outstanding both in the information she provided and how well she kept us organized and on task. Accomodations were very nice and their locations were perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were just too many to narrow it down to one."

Steven

Sparta, MI

Tour: 10/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour allowed us enough insight to feel very comfortable traveling by ourselves during the scheduled free time. We attended an opera and a concert on our own with confidence gained by the tour's orientation walks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The public baths of Budapest were pure joy. the "ruin pubs" of Budapest were also an unexpected boon. Prague had some of the best "street food" that I've tasted."

Thomas

Key Colony Beach, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides. Very knowledgeable and helpful. The use of pulic transportaton ws excelent. It provides a good understandng of the cities and allows the travelers to meet locals

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Baths in Budapest"

Robert

Holland, MI

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Eszter was great. Highly energetic and very knowledgable. I enjoyed the group of people that we were with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hearing from a tour guide who lived through communism"

Sandy

Key Colony Beach, FL

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first group tour and I appreciate all the planning that I did not have to do. I must say that I am used to using my Ricky guide and local tours to see the sights at my own pace so being on someone else's schedule took a bit to get used to. I applaud the effort made by the this tour to teach each of us how to see the city in our free times on our own by providing guide books and local bus/subway passes. I so much enjoyed meeting and spending time with the other travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the night cruise in Budapest - simply beautiful! But my most memorable moment was touring the House of Terror and realizing what the people of Hungary and Czech had gone thru while I enjoyed my easy life in the US. This realization came from not just this one museum but as a series of reflections from visiting the Jewish ghetto, stories of the Nazis and then personal stories of life under Soviet rule and the Velvet Revolution"

Claire

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Prague and Budapest were both really fun cities. Quite different from each other and the time spent in each was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prague Castle was great! Astronomical Clock was a fun highlight. Crossing Charles Bridge was an experience not to be missed. Concerts in Prague are plentiful and worth an hour. None of these things were included in the tour: Thermal Baths in Budapest. The House of Terror was scary and sobering. Well worth seeing. Don't miss having a drink at the New York Cafe and Gerbeau! Don't miss walking along the Danube, seeing the shoes, and crossing the Chain Bridge."

Shirley

Kidron, OH

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful week of history, great food (I like the food in Budapest better than Prague), fellowship with wonderful people and great beer...and wine!! There was just the right amount of planned events and free time. We are planning the next trip with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Must I choose one? I loved our local tour guide Martin the best. When he shared his own personal stories of communism and I saw the feelings in his eyes, I began to understand the whole situation a lot more. I hope I never forget it."

Vern

Kidron, OH

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love history and this fairly reeked of it. The treatment of the Jews in both countries as well as stories of the Soviet occupation were heart rending. I will never forget 60 Anastassy st.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat tour at night on the Danube was one of many."

Diane

Apple Creek, OH

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoy cities and these two were very different so it definitely two distinct experiences. a nice contrast between a mostly historical area and a more modern city. There was a good mix of planned walking tours and free time to do extra things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i was amazed how much we were able to do before the tour started so that was a good feeling. going to the House of Terror in Budapest was a very moving experience. it was very well done from the background music and other sound effects to the first person videos detailing their experiences."

Judy

Bend, OR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose a RS tour because we like the travel philosophy and we weren't disappointed.

Boris

Livingston, TX

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide and the local tour guides were awesome.The approach of balancing guided tours and personal exploration was just right.This trip validated your approach of limiting the trip to people who accept the "no-whining-clause",only have a small backpack,and are comfortable traveling on their own on subways in different non-English speaking cities.The group was varied, fun.The choice of hotels was excellent and struck a good balance between cost. location,charm,services.Were were HAPPY

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing 4 concerts in Prague,and 2 very different operas in Budapest."

Cynthia

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the cities, loved Eszter, guided tours were excellent, and chosen to present specific aspects of each town. Thanks for instruction on how to use public transport in each city, gives us freedom to explore after guided tours are over. Like the afternoon free time worked in. Loved this tour Rick. I hope to travel with RS again and often.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cooking class in Budapest, Art Nouveau in Prague."

Henry

Summit, NJ

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! Perhaps too short. Prague a fascinating trip back in time [INVALID] untouched by World Wars (or any was after 1648); Budapest an ancient city that was reborn in 1867 (or so), matching Paris. Wonderful guide (Peter) and a great group [INVALID] no whiners. Great mix of arranged tours and time to ourselves. And some nice food too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd say the Szechenyi Baths. Just a wonderful, fun, hot time in the baths -- particularly the current pool. Glad we decided to do it!"

Ross

Huntingdon Valley, PA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We just loved our trip. We got to see a part of the world that was new to us, and there were just many great things to see and learn while there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was our first group tour, and we had some slight qualms about being with a group with people we didn't know. As it turned out, our group turned out to be so great we made new friends with many of our fellow tourers."

Elizabeth

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guides, well thought out itineraries, and centrally located hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concert in Prague was amazing!"

Elizabeth

Summit, NJ

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an active and cheerful group! Peter was an excellent tour supervisor and local guide in Budapest, and the local guides in Prague were also excellent. The sites you selected to show us were fascinating. We especially appreciated the instruction on public transportation as well as the 3-day transit passes. The whole trip was well-organized, very smooth, educational and a lot of fun. Even the weather cooperated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I would call these "wow" moments, but the extras--the nighttime Danube cruise and the Hungarian cooking lesson--were lots of fun. Also, Peter was very good at explaining how to manage the thermal baths in Budapest, and they were a blast."

Linda

North Liberty, IA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

At the onset of the tour, I was worried that it would be too strenuous. Thankfully, it was not. There was a good mix of guided activities and free time. Our tour guide was more knowledgeable about Budapest than Prague, but since he was Hungarian that was to be expected. He made a big deal about Czechs not smiling and being gruff, but I didn't find the Hungarians to be especially welcoming either. His stories about growing up in Hungary were wonderful. Martin was the best Czech guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concert at the Spanish Synagogue. The combination of the musical golden oldies and the richness of the decoration in the synagogue was magical. I wish Peter had mentioned where other concerts were taking place. He did talk about the Black Light Theater, but when we went, tickets were sold out."

Dennis

Seal Beach, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Totally wonderful experience in all respects. Both cities a real eye opener for us. A real cultural and humbling experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The architecture ang age of the buildings in Prague. Also the fact that Russian rule was there till 1989."

Mary

Ravenna, OH

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoy the learning aspects of the program (Prague and Budapest) and this program had many opportunities to learn. Our guides were knowledgeable and some even passionate about making sure we understood the culture now and how it has been shaped by the years behind the iron curtain. I like being taken out of my comfort zone and learning to use the public transport. We stayed a few days after and were able to go other places because we had that understanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment came from Martin, one of our tour guides in Prague tied with a visit on our own at Peter's suggestion, to the House of Terror in Budapest. Martin's passion about how people had to live behind the Iron Curtain coupled with the very visual and audible experiences in the House of Terror woke me up to the fact of how tied up in my own world I was during that time. It makes me more aware of what is happening in this world and letting my children and grands know to pay attention!"

Diane

Upper Arlington, OH

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really liked this tour. It made a part of the world where we do not know the local language accessible and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Loved St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Danube boat tour (even in the cold!). Being in Wenceslaus Square where so many historical events have taken place was amazing. Also, the baths in Budapest were a lot of fun!"

Steve

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A most enjoyable experience!

Noel

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First and formost, the guides were fabulous. They were knowlegdable and open about the attractions and gave us insight into life in these places. The group was a perfect size and we all got along very well. The hotels were perfectly situated and had wonderful ammenities. There was a good combination of planned and free time. I am looking forward to my next tour (of course with Rick Steves).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to just list one."

Phil

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an excellent educational experience for me. While Prague has a bit more soot and Budapest seems to beg comparison with Paris it was fascinating to see people in both cities go about their daily lives, care for their children and pamper their dogs. The food is different but the appreciation of music is similar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A couple of mundane moments stand out as "wow"moments for me. One was looking out of our hotel room in Prague and realizing that building had been there since the 1300s. The next was lunch at the Bake Shop in Prague and seeing customers interacting, enjoying a great lunch, reading papers and business reports much like one sees in major US cities."

Debra

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I was not that impressed with Prague and would have rather spent more time in Budapest. This was my second visit to Budapest and I could go back a third time where as one visit to Prague was enough for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The good examples of architecture. Seeing all the art nouveau architecture was my wow moment."

Gail

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed being in the midst of the people in Prague and Budapest, being able to talk with them, being helped by them when we had a bit of transit confusion, learning about the history and cultural mores of the Czech Republic and Hungary, and hearing about current life in Prague and Budapest especially from all of our guides, both trip guides and local guides. The itinerary was well designed combining history, architecture, arts and even a cooking class in Budapest!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The various Art Nouveau buildings culminating in the house Elemer Boreczky took us to on our Budapest walk. He got special permission for us to even walk into the grounds in the back, to see how the once elegant home was now used."

Laurie

Delmar, NY

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I've already resisted going on tours, would rather do it myself. Chose this tour for small group size, fan of Rick's books. Was generally happy with the experience. Hotel locations & the tour leader & guides were all excellent. Also the whole RS 'mentality' -very congenial group, no whiners. Appreciated getting the 3-day transit passes, being taught how to use the system early on. Full day bus ride Prague-Budapest kind of a waste of time on 6 1/2 day tour - could we have taken night train?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Jewish Quarter and Cemetery in Prague. I was very affected by the whole experience. Gershwin concert in beautiful Spanish synagogue - which we did on our own. Also first walk across the Charles Bridge, fortunately later in the day when crowd had dissipated somewhat. In Budapest, loved the Market Hall, cooking class and going to the thermal bath."

Melinda

Provo, UT

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was completely fabulous! We have traveled extensively on our own but this was our first Rick Steves' tour, though we've used his books for years and we've hired his recommended guides frequently as private guides for our family for a day or two in various cities. Going on the fully organized tour really took our travel to the next level. It was great to have all the details taken care of, the guides were phenomenal, as always, and there was plenty of "free" time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many memorable moments but I particularly appreciated hearing the stories of several heroes of the Holocaust that I had been previously unaware of. Upstairs in the synagogue in Prague there is a display about a woman who secretly taught the children art in the concentration camp that was amazing. Touring the Jewish ghetto in both Prague and Budapest was very educational and powerful. In both cities, we might not have seen those on our own, which is one reason the tour was so great."

Carol

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First organized tour for my husband and self. George, Sharpa and Leann were the best! I learned so much about the history and culture. All of the people in our group were friendly and easy going. No stress. I loved the structure in the morning with some free time in afternoon. Zipping around town on the subway system is the way to go. Evening dinners were very enjoyable. Staying 5 nights in Prague and 3 in Budapest was perfect. I need a minimum of 3 days in one city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Small intimate church concert in Prague. We were in front row and could have touched the violinist."

Frances

Hingham, MA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip. Thought the hotels were "boutique hotels" and both were in a great location. Enjoyed the size of the group and felt that the guides were fantastic. Geoge , our leader kept everything on schedule and was very interesting . The cooking class and Evening river cruise were delightful in Budapest. Did not lke the show in Prague. Would have definitely preferred a Concert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Budapest I enjoyed the Castle area. Very beautiful and easy to walk around."

George

Madison, WI

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went like clockwork (in fact, just like the Astronomical Clock). Tour guides were all knowledgeable and we went away with a real understanding of the locations, history, people and culture (as much as possible in 8 days)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cruise on the Danube seeing Budapest at night."

Edward

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite some inclement weather the tour was nothing short of outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in Moscow in 1968 on Aug 19th and our tour was to fly to Prague the next day. Unfortunately the Russians changed our plans as they choose to "put down" an up rising by sending tanks down St Wenceslas Square. Holes still remain in some buildings from the gunfire. We were to stay at the Grand Hotel on the square. I often wonder what it would have been like if I were to have been there a day earlier. We enjoyed a wonderful string sextet concert in Prague. The beer was great."

Peggy

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am very interested in the history and the people in the Czech Republic and Hungary. We learned so much from our tour and the guides. I like that we are taught to use public transportation so we can use our free time to see additional sites. The guide books were very helpful also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked touring the Opera House in Budapest! It was so grand and beautiful! We were fortunate to see an outdoor performance promoting the coming Opera season. The old Jewish cemetery in Prague was also a "wow" moment."

Beth

Burien, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fortunate to have guides (Honza and Eszter) who were actually from Prague and Budapest. Learning about the cities from them made it totally personal. In addition, the local guides (Martin and Elemer) added so much history and their own stories. The guides were all fantastic, personal and incredibly knowledgeable. We can't help but wonder where the tour is able to find them! So much of the fun on a tour like this is getting to know our fellow tourmates. Our group was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally seeing the cities we've read and heard about all our lives. Seeing the architecture and centuries-old buildings and sites in person was something that a photo doesn't quite capture."

Carolyn

Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The guide Hanza seemed distracted or troubled, and we discovered later there was something amiss. Ester stepped in and did a very nice job, very customer service oriented and fun. The noise at the first hotel from the club and bars was very load at night, but overall was a nice hotel. The breakfasts were very good in both hotels. Sunday night dinner, Wed. night dinner and Sat. night dinner were subpar (the one dinner with good food was the first night in Budapest).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the walking tours and Ester saving the tour from strangeness was very good. We bonded as a group more with her in the few days we had, than the first 3 days. Really moved by the Jewish quarter in Prague."

Pamela

Barnum, MN

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "tour" by anyone. I notice that Eszter is the tour guide listed, but I hope our guide from Prague will also be given credit for providig an "over-the-top" historical lesson of Prague. On top of that, his knowledge of the architecture of Prague was tough to beat by anyone. I hope to attend another Rick Steves tour in the future. Maybe something with my daughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking down the square with Hansa (sp) and hearing his first-hand experience of the Velvet Revolution."

Lynn

Pewaukee, WI

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I've never been a part of a tour group before and was hesitant to do so, however, the tour was great and we had a good group. All of the tour guides were very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions we had. We had time together as a group and also time on our own to do our own exploring. I do think that we could have seen a few more sights together as a group. The accomodations were very nice and the tour as a whole was very organized and efficient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable part of the tour was the Jewish Quarter in Prague. Reading the names on the walls made me realize just how very fortunate I am and how many people perished. It is almost unbelievable. The childrens art exhibit was fasinating and sad at the same time."

Weather

Czech Republic / Prague

Prague Weather


Hungary / Budapest

Budapest Weather

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.

Travel Resources

Learn more about Prague and Budapest: 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 Budapest (“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.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

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 Prague 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): Museum of Medieval Art, Havelská Market, National Museum, Toy and Barbie Museum, rowboat or paddleboat on the Vltava River.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there is one thing you should consider including when packing for this tour. Budapest is known for its natural hot springs and spending time at one of the many baths around town is a great treat, so you may want to bring along a swimsuit.

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