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  • Prague
  • Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
    Prague's Charles Bridge
  • Kraków
  • St. Mary's Church, Kraków, Poland
    St. Mary's Church in Kraków
  • Hungarian School Visit
  • Hungarian Parliament in Budapest
  • Fishermen's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary
    Budapest's Castle Hill
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
    Croatia's Plitvice Lakes
  • Rovinj
    Rovinj, Croatia
  • Pletna boat, Lake Bled, Slovenia
    Slovenia's Lake Bled

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Email tour@ricksteves.com

Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days Tour

from $4,295 per person + air

Single Supplement $825

See Dates & Prices

Starting in beautifully preserved Prague, for 15 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, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia — including the waterfall wonderland of Plitvice and the picture-perfect alpine beauty of Lake Bled. Join us for the Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days!

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 19 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Eastern Europe tour:

  • Historic Prague walking tour
  • Prague Castle
  • St. Vitus Cathedral
  • St. George's Basilica (when available)
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp (when available)
  • Kraków walking tour
  • Kraków's Wawel Cathedral
  • Kraków's St. Mary's Church
  • Eger orientation walk
  • Local school visit
  • Hungarian wine tasting
  • Pest walking tour
  • Walking tour of Buda's Castle Hill
  • Matthias Church
  • Danube River cruise
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Adriatic happy hour
  • Ljubljana walking tour
  • Lake Bled boat cruise (weather permitting)

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 Eastern come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Prague to Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • 14 nights' accommodations (4- and 3-night stays) in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Prague

We'll meet at our hotel at 3 p.m. to get acquainted and preview the adventures ahead. This afternoon we'll jump right in and enjoy a meandering walking tour from our neighborhood to Prague's colorful and historic Old Town Square. We'll end our evening over a hearty dinner together.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Prague.

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 (when available), and the Golden Lane. You'll then have free time for lunch and 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.

Strenuous walking: 2-8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Sleep in Prague.

Day 3: Moravian Countryside and Kraków

Today we'll leave the city and drive east into mountainous Moravia, stopping along the way to enjoy some free time for lunch and exploration. Then we'll cross into Poland on our way to tonight's destination: 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.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 7 hours. Sleep in Kraków.

Day 4: Historic Kraków

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 also learn about the life and impact of local legend Pope 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!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Kraków.

Day 5: Lessons of the Past

This day takes on a very different tone, as we visit the concentration camp site of Auschwitz-Birkenau (when available), where at least 1.1 million innocent people were systematically murdered during World War II. Today, this is a powerful place for learning, reflection, and remembrance. After we return to Kraków, your evening is free.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Kraków.

Day 6: Drive to Eger

We'll begin our morning with a drive through the scenic Tatras Mountains and the rolling hills of Hungary's famous "Bull's Blood" wine-growing region. Our destination is the town of Eger, where the townspeople (with some help) turned back an Ottoman invasion of central Europe in 1552. Our day will end with a Hungarian dinner near the town of Eger.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 8 hours. Sleep in Eger.

Day 7: Hungary, Great and Small

This morning, you'll have time to soak in Eger's Baroque beauty. Later we'll visit a local school, where we'll sit down and chat with a teacher and enjoy lunch together in the cafeteria. Then we'll learn about the region's deservedly famous wines with a tour and tasting at a local winery. Our destination this evening is Budapest, the mighty Magyar capital on the Danube, where after an orientation walk, we'll enjoy dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Budapest.

Day 8: Bustling Budapest

The rich history of Pest has created a city that's a puzzle of neo-Baroque, neo-classical, and modern architecture. On our walking tour this morning, we'll crane our necks at Europe's largest parliament building and learn how Hungarians coped with half a century of fascist and communist tyranny. We'll break for lunch, giving you free time 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. Later this evening, we'll end our day together with a relaxing cruise on the Danube.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Boat: 1 hour. No bus. Sleep in Budapest.

Day 9: Old Budapest

Today we'll focus on the Buda side of the Danube, starting up on Castle Hill for a bird's-eye view of sprawling Pest, followed by 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 orient those interested to the ornate and traditional public thermal baths.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Budapest.

Day 10: 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. After dinner together, you'll sleep soundly, surrounded by the quiet of nature.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 7 hours. Sleep in or near the national park.

Day 11: 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 Lakes National Park. We'll learn how the park is creatively protecting 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. Our destination is the enchanting seaside town of Rovinj, where we'll enjoy a sunset dinner.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Rovinj.

Day 12: 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.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No bus. Sleep in Rovinj.

Day 13: Slovenian Countryside and Ljubljana

Today we'll head to the azure jewel of Lake Bled, at the foot of Slovenia's Julian Alps. Along the way, we'll stop in Ljubljana for a tour highlighting some of the city's famous landmarks and free time to make your own discoveries. After exploring the capital, we'll continue through the verdant Slovenian countryside on our way to our final destination: a pristine lake ringed by forests and hiking paths.

Light to strenuous walking (guide's choice). Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Bled.

Day 14: Delightful Lake Bled

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 church at the top (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 kremšnita cream 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!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Boat: 1 hour. No bus. Sleep in Bled.

Day 15: 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.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) 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

Sandra

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. It exceeded my already high expectations. Katerina is amazing. She was very helpful and did lots of extra stuff beyond her normal duties to help me. She did an excellent job suggesting places to eat and things to do outside the group activities. She also gave us a very good education on the bus for whatever location we were heading to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing the dolphins so close on the Rovinj boat cruise."

Mark

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed everything about it--the locations, fellow travelers, hotels and amazing food. The balance between historical urban experiences and nature experiences was perfect. The guide was amazing--her knowledge, logistical skills, engaging and generous personality. I was especially moved by her personal stories of living under a repressive regime and then living in a free society.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a nearly impossible question but I'll settle on hiking through Plitvices National Park in Croatia."

Mike

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was excellent. Our guide and the local guides added to the experience by providing insightful detail and relevant information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The magnificence of the area and the utter unspoiled beauty was beyond compare."

Katherine

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was excellent. So many extras, so much attention to detail, so many options, great mix of scheduled activities and free time. Tour guide was amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No way could I pick just one!"

Patricia

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katka, our tour guide, was extraordinary. She was so knowledgeable about every site, hotel, restaurants, and local customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The days we spent in Croatia we're the most impressive."

Susan

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katerina was a wonderful guide and the local guides she worked with really helped understand the history and culture of each place. Nice balance of structured and scheduled time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Starting our hike early, going the opposite direction of the crowds, and enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls and lakes in the area before it got crowded."

James

Tour: 10/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting great locations, learning the history of the people in those locations, and connecting with the current lives of so many...what's not to like

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe not "favorite" -- but WOW, was seeing the SCALE of two death camps near Krakow. You can read about it, see pictures, but util you walk the length of those camps!!! If that tour didn't make a lasting impression on your very soul, you were not paying attention. There were moments of beauty and awe in other places, but that day was very emotional!"

Craig

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was excellent. I learned great history and was introduced to superb culture. Our guide answered our questions and shared a lot. The hotels were comfortable while having personality. This was a return visit, as on my own I had been to two of the six countries the tour went to, yet it all felt new to me. I felt the true freedom of great travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to go with two. The first was the Baroque Library in Eger. The story behind the library, its curated exhibit and its setting in the beautiful town of Eger made the visit a highlight. I love libraries so I am glad this was mentioned. Rick Steves should add more literary sites to its guidebooks and tours. The second is the entire city of Prague. Though I had been to Eastern Europe before, I have never visited the Czech capital."

Jeffrey

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional your management and fabulous sites. Amazing value and delightful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every stop had a WOW!!! The tour has amazing sites and yet time to see things on your own!! Well planned and executed every single day!"

William

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a great experience. Food choices during group meals could have gad more variety. Allot of late meals, early morning tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turning the corner and seeing Rovinj."

Mary Susan

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Eastern European Tour was wonderful from the standpoint of beautiful place and the history of the countries. It was like seeing two different worlds, from the metro areas and beautiful buildings in Prague, Krakow, and Budapest to the more rural countries of Croatia and Slovania, with lovely countrysides and pastoral towns. This trip was organized very well with a historical perspective from centuries ago and the years after the war. .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It seems like everywhere we went there were "wow" moments. Each day offered beautiful and spectacular sites, experiences and food, Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenan, while not a "wow" as we think of it, It was a pensive and heartbreaking "wow" moment wondering how this could have happened."

Ana

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Learning and experiencing all of these beautiful countries of Eastern Europe was the best decision we made! The tour covers a lot of countries in a relatively small amount of time so it is intense and there is a lot of time spent in the bus but our wonderful guide George made it very interesting and educational so the time went fast. I learned so much and saw so much beauty! I totally recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a few wow moments…Seeing Kraków’s huge market square at night, the night river cruise in Budapest and the delightful Lake Bled."

Richard

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves travel experience. Our third trip and all equally enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing countries that had been under communist control until 1989, and now are thriving - at least in the cities we visited."

Carole

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well coordinated and we saw many highlights in the various countries visited. Along with seeing sites we learned a lot of the history from our tour director, George, and the other local guides that shared their information with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall “wow” was the fact this trip to a number of countries/cities in a part of the world I had never traveled was so well introduced, shown and experienced by all 27 of us on this tour. We truly experienced the sites, sounds, flavors and history of these places."

Robert

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George, our tour guide, was EXCELLENT! In addition, our hotels and local guides were amazing as well. I couldn't have asked for a better exprience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj and Lake Bled were two amazing "wow" moments. In addition, one cannot and should not miss Auschwitz/Birkenau. The history, understanding of what suffering when on at these sites, and the thought that we must prevent something like this from happening again is essential for every human being."

Mary

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! Once again, we were thrilled to be a part of a Rick Steves's tour. The professionalism, joy and adventure are exemplified with each experience making for an amazing travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one!"

Constance

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I would give the tour a B+/ A- rating. I would give George our tour guide an A+. I would give Roc- our bus driver an A+.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several moments that stick out in my mind. I value moments- not just for the beauty but for the intellectual awareness they bring. The musical pair at the Czech dinner, Czech Jewish Cemetery, Golden Lane, waving to the trumpet player at St. Mary, Krakow salt mines, the steep Budapest underground, taking the elevator down in the House of Terror, the park hotel we Lodged in Croatia, Crema Cake, Lake Bled, the printing press at Lake Bled Castle."

Jennie

Tour: 10/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Eastern Europe Tour far exceeded expectations. We were so fortunate to have a native Hungarian like George guiding us through the rich history and culture of the countries we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day brought new "wow" moments. There was the nighttime river cruise on the Danube, showcasing the glow of glorious Budapest. Then there was the fairytale tranquility of Slovenia's Lake Bled. The first glance at the Adriatic Sea as we entered the seaside town of Rovinj, Croatia, was, perhaps, the greatest of all."

Yuan

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excelent and carefully selected the route and cities. We saw the most we'd like to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest was the city out of my expectation."

Allie

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 5th tour with Rick Steves and Peter was the best tour guide yet! He had everything planned out, gave history of the countries as we travelled and explained the current conditions in each. Also explained the culture and the people. Very personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to choose one as everything we saw and everywhere we went was fantastic and each country was beautiful."

Becky

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels and group meals were excellent! The tour guides were informative and yet not overwhelming with information. The group was inclusive and helped to be supportive to each other by the guides. The sites visited built upon each other, culminating to a great ending.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Forest."

Karla

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was beyond our expectations. Great in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled's beauty was unexpected."

Yuzhong

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, nicely paced, and attention to details. Fun, interesting and educational. Adequate accommodations. Exceptional tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to Rovinj and stay on the island hotel."

Janet

Tour: 09/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 9/30 Eastern European tour, led by Peter with Anna as his assistant, was a wonderful experience! The places visited and the hotels were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting Lake Bled and taking the boat ride to the beautiful island with the church."

Robert

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My third tour with RS and I have to say you guys have found the correct recipe! The Best of Eastern Europe was the perfect mix of education, cultural immersion, and fun. I really enjoyed the dinners and wine tasting where we got a taste of folk music and dancing. We visited a school in Hungary…seemed strange at first, but it got us grounded with real people off the tourist stream! As usual our local guides were the best, and Sasho, our tour leader was personable, upbeat, competent, and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best was the wine tasting, The young students who were studying folk dancing came with us. They were a true relief from the tourist world, and very funny to talk to. Then we were serenaded by a Roma violist who played a mix of Hungarian folk music, American jazz, etc. All this while we sampled excellent wines, and ended-up folk dancing as a group. The “worst” of course ( but equally wow) was Auschwitz. Words are not sufficient for this, except to say we had another superb local guide."

Sharon

Tour: 09/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well-organized, intriguing sites, excellent local guides, visits to local sites - school, wine tasting, Excellent tour guide - Sasho, pleasant group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The combination of ancient, historical cities and their intriguing and challenging histories (Prague, Krakow, Budapest), horrors of Auschwitz, and natural sites - National Park Pilvice in Croatia and Bled in Slovenia."

Elizabeth

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! The city tours and sights were very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Danube cruise in Budapest was beautiful. It would have been nice if it was narrated since during the city walk I was totally captured by the wow moment."

Albert

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katka and Levi did an excellent job of organizing the tour, shepherding the participants, and interpreting the sights and the cultures of the countries we visited. Their local knowledge helped us to see and appreciate more than if we were on our own even with Rick Steves' excellent book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a hard time picking a favorite among the Danube cruise at night in Budapest, the walk through the Plitvice Lakes National Park, or the plenta ride to Bled Island. These three were, for me, the most photogenic."

Leslie

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. The guides were informative, entertaining and personable. The tour was a good mix of history, culture, nature, and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one “wow” moment. Prague was beautiful. The night cruise in Budapest was awesome. The winery was fun. The musical entertainment both at dinner and the winery was great. The visit to Auschwitz was both very depressing and incredibly meaningful. But the biggest “wow” was our fabulous guides, Katka and Levi. They added so much to the whole experience."

Nancy

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic experience on this tour. Everything was planned out perfectly from the moment we began the tour. We traveled with Rick’s books for the last 30 years, but this was the first tour we have do. Katerina was so knowledgeable and informative. She made every day so interesting and fun, and always had some small surprise for us. She took such wonderful care of us. Levi shared so much of his life and experience of growing up In Hungary. Claudio did an excellent job driving the bus

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was a Wow moment. Every day we saw such unbelievable sights in each city and country."

Danilo

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. Our tour guides (Katka and Leve) were very knowledgeable and fun to be with throughout the tour. I enjoyed listening to them telling us which country makes the best goulash and strudels dishes. Also, the tour group was small which was easier to move around sightseeing the cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. When we arrived to Rovinj, Crotia and ride a boat to Katarina Island Hotel. It was a sight that we were staying there. 2. Night cruise on the Danube River at Budapest. 3. Seeing the waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes."

Martin

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a really good trip, saw the sites with an excellent history lesson from the guides about the significance of what we were seeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow for me was strolling around Lake Bled on a beautiful evening and seeing all the lights reflecting off the calm waters."

Julia

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall is the tour guide, Katerina. She is very kind, patience, smart, knows about everything. History of all the historical sites we’ve been. I would love to have her again on my next tour. She did a really good job.

Trissa

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience for the tour was very good, everything promised was delivered. Katarina and Levy were very knowledgeable, organized and joy to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was walking the Lake Bled lighted trail after dark in the midst of the lit Bled castle and island. It was magical and romantic, a nice way to end the tour!"

Lorenza

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all great experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love the Plitvice National parks in Croatia"

Leslie

Tour: 09/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Eastern Europe. Just the right balance of scheduled activities and free time to explore on my own. I tested positive for Covid on day 9-Our guide Katka was very helpful in making arrangements with our hotel in Budapest for me to extend my stay. She also kept in contact with me to make sure I was ok after the group moved on and provided me with a local contact in case I needed assistance.

Nancy

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itinerary was well thought out and ensured we saw the highlights throughout the trip. We really appreciated having all the details arranged so we could just enjoy the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guides helped create a spirit of community within our traveling companions. We loved developing new friendships. The guides were well informed, enthusiastic and very willing to please."

David

Tour: 09/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our first guide, Etelka, her enthusiasm was contagious. All of the local guides were excellent, and the Hungarian wine tasting Etelka organized in Eger was such fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to name just one, so I will cite two moments. Croatia was very beautiful, and the hike through the Plitvice Lakes National Park wonderful. Second, Krakow, so far, remains my favorite city in Europe. I never tire of the rich history and young energy, and because I had visited so many times before on business, it was nice to meet up with a few friends during one of our down times."

Margaret

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my high expectations. It was well-organized, very interesting and filled with memorable moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were SO many WOW moments for me. One of my favorite memories is visiting an elementary school in Hungary. The eighth-graders spoke to our group in English, asked us questions and shared their goals with us. That said it is challenging to pick out one wow moment as there were so many!"

Donna

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall a very good tour. We didn’t have good weather, it was colder and rainier than expected but that didn’t stop us from seeing everything. Our tour guide George was exceptional, he made everything more interesting and more fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one moment stands out but several were memorable - the parliament building in Budapest, the beautiful view of Rovijn from the ferry and the very picturesque Lake Bled."

Sadie

Tour: 09/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time on this tour. It was a good overview of “central Europe” and I now know a few places I’d like to go back to and further explore!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two “wow” moments. One was being able to interact with the school children. That was a good wow! The second, not so good wow, was Auschwitz. I’m glad I got to see it and the important reminder it serves."

Gene

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

very informative and a unique look at an area that I hadn't had much knowledge of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"how very friendly everyone was and how little the war has seemingly effected the region."

Judith

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our terrific group leader helped to meld us into a terrific, fun group as we learned so much about the “heart of Europe” experience. We had a great mix of group and free time with lots of ideas for spending free time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Prague as a vibrant and thriving city after last seeing it in 1972."

Monica

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Peter was great, Oliver was great. Most of the local guides were great. Hotels were very good. Food was not as good as it had been on other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of enjoyable moments. The trip to Aushwitz/Birkenau was very eye-opening and moving but hesitate to call it a favorite "wow" moment."

Elizabeth

Tour: 09/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful. nice mix of experiences, tours, meals, accomodations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"swimming on Croatia coast"

Judy

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a range range of experiences including history, culture, religion and current challenges. Also cities, small towns, parks and the seaside!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Croatia - Plitvice National Park and Rovinj"

Todd

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a terrific trip! Ezster was an incredible guide and the itinerary was wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many things were wow, but Plitvice Park amd Lake Bled were incredible, especially after visiting the bigger cities. And the food!!"

Robert

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour was a whirlwind romance tour of central Europe. Each city and stops in between, opened our eyes, yet showed what we have in common. Enjoyed the food and sights!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 things, Natural sights: Plitvice Lakes National Park. Man made: the many amazing interiors of the cathedrals."

Perry

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my wife and my first tour, and if your other tour guides are half as good as Eszter, we'll definitely be back for others. Eszter was amazing! She was so knowledgeable about the history, politics, and people of each country that we visited. She facilitated our interaction with the other tour members, which we now consider new friends. She kept us moving, but was also considerate of each members needs. She was continually surprising us with not only unplanned events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was great. Some of my wife and my favorites were the surprise performance by the Prague Castle Players at our first dinner, who also sang Happy Birthday to our travelling friend on her birthday. The Plitvice Lakes National Park walk. Also the little things that Eszter did such as providing us with postcards from each place, and treats to eat on the bus. As mentioned above Eszter's insights of the history and politics was great, particularly when touring Budapest."

Joe

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour with a incredible variety throughout. Eszter our guide was outstanding. She was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and managed out tour with patience and good humor. Our group really seemed to meld well together which added to the enjoyment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beginning the day with a hike through Plitvice National Park then ending the day in the Adriatic costal town of Rovinj was totally charming."

Alison

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing and so much fun. Our guide was so knowledgeable about history and culture- and had “surprises” for us along the way. She was thoughtful and fun! Gave us many good suggestions on how to spend free time. I would love to do another trip with Ezster.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it’s hard to pick just one."

John

Tour: 09/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great experience; a good mix of cities smd sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoying a beverage at Tito’s former villa on Lake Bled and the ballet at the Budapest opera house. (Tie)"

Karen

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect combination of big cities and smaller towns, time with guides and time to explore on our own. In much of my lifetime, these countries were off limits to visitors. It was a thrill to be able to learn about their histories and struggles for autonomy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While walking around Lake Bled, the sun came out after a rainy morning and showed us the snow capped Julian Alps."

Cynthia

Tour: 09/04/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Large cities with the contrast of Split, Rovinj and Plitvice National Park made for an exceptional itinerary. Katerina, our guide was tremendous as she shared her passion for her country and the other countries on the tour. Indeed a special tour!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wows: Katerina, the Danube at night on a river cruise, the "Spa" in Budapest, Rovinj, wine tasting at Kohari's, hike in Plitvice and sobering visit to Auschwitz."

Eric

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Sanel did a great job making sure that our itinerary went as planned. He also did a great job making sure all tour members were safe and any necessary accommodations were provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two moments that come to mind. The evening cruise on the Danube in Budapest and the walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park."

Craig

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, this tour of eastern Europe was superb. Our guide was exactly as he or she should be as far as staying on schedule, coordinating with local guides and local transportation, insuring that meals were timed to match any fluctuations in our schedule, handling any unexpected problems while being very cordial and never overbearing. Our guide was a big part of the overall success of our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hotel breakfasts were always a "wow" moment. Though I had experienced European breakfasts before, these breakfasts were more like feasts. What a way to start each day! But, the biggest "wow" moment for me were sights at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. I don't think I have ever seen such natural beauty as was on display there, endless waterfalls and lakes in this pristine forested wonderland with crystal clear water."

Robin

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Park"

Wendy

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of the region, tasting the authentic dishes of each country, driving through the countryside and getting to know the other members on the trip. It was at different times fascinating, fun, relaxing, sobering and special. The tour offered a nice mix of city exploring, nature walks, interesting tours and guides, never experienced before activities and tasty food. Our guide was just right for this tour. He was fun, informational and good at herding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park and the drive through the mountains to our destination on a private island hotel on the Adriatic in Rovinj. What a day! It felt very special."

Susan

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience with a tour, and it could not have gone better. Everything was well planned and executed to make sure that we had the best trip possible. We quickly came to realize the advantages of having an experienced tour guide, but also found that we had plenty of flexibility and time on our own. We were able to see everything on our must see list, and were introduced to many sites and experiences that we would not have had traveling independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited many stunning sites, but the biggest "wow" moments came from experiences. So much fun at a wine tasting at a Hungarian winery, and learning how the winery was recovered and restored after communism is an experience that we will cherish. We finished this trip with a better appreciation for Eastern Europe and its history and people."

Barbara

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We learned a lot about countries that had, at one time, been communist."

Kathy

Tour: 09/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was so informative and so well done! Countries behind the Iron Curtain were a big mystery to us in school which was part of the reason I wanted to go on this trip. I learned so much and had a wonderful time doing so.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Evening Danube cruise, my hotel room in Prague. The hotel on the island off Rovinj-but the favorite? The view of Lake Bled from the castle in Bled. Rain/fog was coming in and perfectly framed the little church on the island."

Renard

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a group of only 16 people plus our guide (6 of which were my family). Our guide George was the best we've ever had on a group trip. The trip was planned extremely well with many extra personal touches by our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Celebrating our anniversary, George and our tour group surprised us with a party, cake, etc. It was very thoughtful. Also, Krakow was amazing - far beyond our expectations."

Brenda

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great and our tour leader, George, was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, there was a wow moment everyday, but the Danube night cruise in Budapest was fantastic."

Sam

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, our guide and our fellow travelers. Our guide George was outstanding, and the local guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps seeing the sun set over the Adriatic from our hotel Katarina island, with Rovinj in the background!"

Shauna

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. We have used the RS books for 20 years but never taken a tour. It was excellent in every way. I had gone into the trip with moderate expectations, and my expectations were all exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was a trip of wow moments! We had been to Prague before so were less wowed by that city, but it is an amazing city. Krakow was probably our favorite city and Auschwitz was a wow in a terrible way. So much suffering. Budapest was a beautiful surprise with massive buildings and an amazing nighttime Danube cruise. More wows included the seaside Rovinj and the peaceful Lake Bled. Just so many amazing things to see in one trip."

Marianne

Tour: 08/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish, the tour exceeded all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the hotel room of an old monastery in Prague with chandeliers, original paintings on the wall and beautiful windows overlooking ancient streets made my heart sing. The slanted steps to the second floor took me back to another time...and that was just the start!"

Terri

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was great. It was a part of Europe that I had never visited and it was very educational. Like our initial Rick Steves tour 11 years ago, the group was diverse and interesting and it was enjoyable to make new friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amazed at the diversity of culture across "Eastern European" countries ... in Krakow, a city of 850,000 people, they opened up the doors to their homes to welcome 600,000 UKrainian refugees ... without government funding, government organization, etc. They just opened their hearts to help a neighbor in need. On the other hand, in Hungary, you can't find a Ukraine flag flying anywhere ... Krakow people are great."

Lynne

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations . Our Hungarian born guide Eszter was outstanding and truly passionate about making sure that everyone in our group had the best experience we could get from each country we visited. It was quite the history lesson from one beautiful country to the next. The cultural experiences such as the school visit and wine tasting were a lot of fun, and there were always plenty of free time suggestions that truly enhanced our tour experience in each country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ziplining in Slovenia on our last day of the tour was a breathtaking " wow" moment for me."

Iva

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide. Good mixture of free and scheduled time. Great food experiences

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled"

Anuradha

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great visit

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to Budapest"

Phillip

Tour: 08/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour. Guide very hospitable and firm regarding being timely. Great knowlegde about historical events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled hike!"

Jerry

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? Wow, the tour locations, the group we were with, the outstanding tour guide Katka, just so many plus things that made it the best Rick Steves tour we've ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it would be hard to choose. And Katka was always adding extra touches that made even the bus rides fun."

Terri

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was magical. And our guide was the best guide I ever had on a trip. She was phenomenal. Katerina went above and beyond to make this experience the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled. It was magical."

Sheri

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Eastern Europe (really Central Europe) tour. I thought it was a nice balance of group time and individual time, city and nature. I enjoyed the guided talks, the cultural and historical education, getting to try local foods, wine tasting, local honey tasting (to me better than the wine). It was great getting to know the guide Katarina and the other tour members as well as a few locals. I would recommend this tour to others who want to explore this area of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may not be a "wow" moment but more of an Impactful one. For me, the main reasons for choosing this tour was because my FIL had been a POW during WW II having been captured in Europe and I wanted to see the Auschwitz/Birkenau camp in person having heard so many stories of WW II. What surprised me was the sheer immensity of Birkenau, we only walked the width of it but the visual reminder will not be forgotten. The huge pile of shoes seen helped me focus on the individual cost. Sobering ."

Holly

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour that got better and better as time passed. It was obvious that knowledgable people took a great deal of care designing every bit of the experience. Other tour members were kind, gracious and inclusive, local guides were great, and our main guide was absolutely fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj, Croatia. We stayed on a tiny island and took a boat (5 min ride) to the town. That night we had a "happy hour" on a boat in the Adriatic sea and saw dolphins! Incredible."

Julie

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have always wanted to explore this part of Europe, especially Prague and Croatia. We were supposed to go two years ago as my "retirement trip" but CoVid interrupted our plans. Our overall tour experience was outstanding. We felt very safe, not only just being out in crowds, but also safe in terms of CoVid exposure. Everyone was compliant in wearing masks, and thankfully no one became ill during our trip. In terms of what we saw and experienced, it was truly outstanding: I'm truly grateful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Croatia and Lake Bled were stunningly beautiful, but I have to say the biggest "wow" was our guide Katarina. She went above and beyond her job: making everyone comfortable, arranging for dietary restrictions, assisting in tickets and travel plans at the end, but most of all, Katarina shared her love of her country, and her experiences growing up under communism. This helped me understand and respect the people inhabiting these beautiful lands and their cultural identity. Katarina shared herself!"

David

Tour: 08/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had planned this trip for 2020 and were thankful that Covid restrictions were lifted enough for us to enjoy this trip this year. This is our fifth Rick Steves tour and probably not our last as we enjoy the way his tours are organized and run. Katerina our main tour guide was probably the best guide we have ever had. The other tour members were friendly and fun to be with. Great learning experience as well as relaxing time away from the daily grind of life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The main reason for me to go on this tour was to visit Auschwitz/Birkenau as I am the proud son of a WWII POW. I mostly kept to myself during the time in these camps and pondered so many things. I cannot explain all the emotions I felt, but was thankful to stand on the grounds of historical tragedy. Plitvice Lake was a nice change of pace from the big cities and allowed me to be refreshed and relax in the natural beauty. RS does a great job going from city noise to more rural calming places"

Lisa

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George was an outstanding guide. I enjoyed the history and cultural info he provided. His personal stories brought the history and culture to life. The insight he provided helped ease the transition of language, culture and currency. As we approached border controls, he told us what to expect and what we should do. He also made sure my friend and I were always provided non-alcoholic alternatives. Tomas, our guide in Kraków did a wonderful job, as did our bus driver, Gasper.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but I literally said "Wow" as I entered Kraków's St. Mary's Church. Other wows include the Danube River night cruise, and the beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park and Rovinj. The Auschwitz tour was somber and humbling."

Paul

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was really fantastic. George was a wonderful tour leader and helped us to understand the cultural aspects of each of our stops. The locations were great, things went smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but getting off the bus in Rovinj and soaking in the views of the old town and the water was my favorite wow moment."

Grace

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In one word: outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, each day had wow moments! But one I especially remember was the wine tasting in Hungary."

Donna

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well planned and well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many- but really enjoyed the boat ride down the Danube."

Diana

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall tour experience was good. The first half of the tour felt at times like it was done at a frenetic pace, with boxes being checked. Done this, explained this, saw that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset in Rovinj, Croatia."

Diane

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour and again it was a wonderful experience. Great variety of planned activities mixed with free time. You could take more down time if you needed it but I did not want to miss anything! Fellow travelers were terrific. George Farkas was a phenomenal guide - charming, funny, organized and engaging. The personal touch he added by sharing his life experiences in Hungary made it all the more interesting. Can't wait for the next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many too pick from.....but it was impactful and moving to see Auschwitz-Birkenau. The architecture of the beautiful cities of Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Rovinj and Ljubljana was lovely, and the nature walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park was stunning. We enjoyed relaxing by the sea in Croatia and by the lake in Bled - the down time was a perfect complement to the scheduled sights. Lots of laughs with our tour mates!"

Keith

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was beautiful and poignant. It was life changing to see the beauty, both natural and architectural, to hear the stories of the people, and to learn of the legacy of the Nazis and Stalinists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was not a happy experience, but I don't know that anything could be as powerful and important as visiting Auschwicz and Birkenau."

Dena

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very organized from beginning to end. Lots of good information and education. Variety of new places to see from city to relaxing resort area

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful old buildings that are I. Europe."

William

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj, Croatia. Adriatic is mesmerizing! And no crowds, tour boats - a gem!"

Terry

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed every aspect of our trip! The planning, choices of activities and hotels were great. And our guides, especially George, who led our group, were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best moments: Plitvice National Park, Rovinj and night cruise in Budapest."

Karyll

Tour: 07/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guides and variety of experiences throughout

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many it's hard to choose, but the beauty of northern Croatia (Rovinj, Plitvice National Park) and Slovenia (Lake Bled) stand out as I knew nothing about these areas."

Mlissa

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS’s tour. On day 2 or 3, we started talking about our next one! Overall, we had a phenomenal experience, from the sights, information, people we met, food/culture, etc. We learned so much about this part of Europe. Peter, our tour guide, was great - a real pro who got us where we needed to be, answered questions, and exhibited so much hospitality. Again, we’ll “be back”. I highly recommend this tour, this tour group, even this time of year!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the old towns of Prague and Krakow is at the top. However, seeing the Adriatic for the first time through the hills from the bus and then walking around Rovinj was also wow."

David

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour begins with a great guide. Peter was outstanding. Having lived in Hungary while it was a still Soviet dominated state, he could provide unique personal insights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz. Although in someways I feel this belongs on a Germany tour and not the Best of Eastern Europe, it is not be forgotten-- I fear it already is. Irredentism, right-wing fascism, nationalism, revanchism, Making "X Country" Great Again, scapegoating minorities-- all of this can have tragic ends"

Lillian

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Eastern Europe was an outstanding mix of interesting (and, at times, very difficult) history, stunning architectural variety and beautiful natural scenery. Peter was a terrific guide, providing great historical context for the six countries we visited and sharing his own personal experiences of living through the fall of Communism in Hungary and transition to EU openness. I learned so much and appreciate having gained new perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many amazing and sobering moments. It's hard to pick just one. But if I interpret "wow" as something that is truly surprising, it would have to be the medieval beauty of Krakow's old town. I will long remember listening to the firefighter bugler perform his hourly duty from the tower on the square and thinking about the sacrifice that centuries-old tradition celebrates. That was truly something special!"

France

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide Peter was excellent and very helpful. Local guides were good with the one in Krakow being our favorite. There was more "on your own time" than I expected. I liked that, but did not plan sufficiently in advance to know what I wanted to do. Driver friendly and helpful but internet overall dismal with one or two hotels also being lackluster.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj. That place was amazing and we loved the hotel on the island. We did not want to leave. We liked Krakow a lot and Lake Bled."

Douglas

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Informative, exhausting, and entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving out of the mountains and seeing the Adriatic. That was very impressive."

Mae

Tour: 07/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Peter is an outstanding guide. I loved all the history and cultural info and language lessons in each place we visited. Also enjoyed hearing his personal experiences growing up in Hungary. I also really enjoyed Theresa in Prague, and Thomas in Krakow- both excellent guides! The tour was a great combination of educational experiences, scenic bus rides and boat rides, big city/smaller towns, good food, and very nice travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Plitvice National Park in Croatia was beautiful and refreshing!"

Paula

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a gem of a tour guide you have in Jana. While I cannot speak for the other 14 fellow travelers from my Eastern European tour, I believe they all also share similar sentiments regarding her tour guide skills and genuine warmth and care for the work she does in sharing this great part of Europe. She took a genuine interest in all of us, shared with us on a personal level so we could really get to know her. Along with an excellent tour bus driver, fellow travelers.......

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have that one, WOW moment. All of my Eastern European trip was a WOW moment. This included just being in Prague, to touring Auschwitz-Birkenau, to swimming in the Adriatic Sea, to eating excellent cuisine, to visiting castles and museums and learning the history and culture. Also, the opportunity to meet people from each country and to hear from them about their country's history and how they feel about it has brought me great respect for these countries."

Natalie

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the tour! Jana was really excellent, and I loved having a relatively small tour group (15), we all really got to know each other and had plenty of space on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Plitvice waterfall park! So beautiful and fun"

Bill

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great in its range of architectural and natural beauty and the relevance of Central European country histories today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arrival in Rovinj and ferry to Katarina Island."

Wendy

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Jana, our guide, went the extra mile for our group! Our local guides were so helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about their cities and countries. This group of 15 was so cohesive! We all enjoyed each other and took care of each other!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was when the bus rolled in to Rovinj. It took my breath away! Our hotel room had a view of the city across the waterway. Beautiful and relaxing"

Olivia

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter and I had a fabulous time on the Eastern Europe tour. We learned so much and our tour leader Yana was amazing in every way. She was kind, informative and enthusiastic, we all had so many great conversations and we learned so much about the countries we visited both history and current day living, also our bus driver Slojon was the best, fabulous driver, the bus was alway immaculate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, we were surprised by Poland, we loved Krakow and the beautiful square and learning about living 4 hours from the Ukranian border. We also loved Rovinj, Croatia, so beautiful we wanted more time there on our vacation from our vacation. Yana made the long bus rides fun and interesting, she really brought the tour to life, we can't wait for our next Rick trip in 2023!"

Joyce

Tour: 06/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well done from start to finish. All the guides were excellent, but our lead guide, Jana, was superb. She was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and handled our lively tour group with warmth and good humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to settle on just one WOW moment as the tour was full of them, but standouts were the view of Prague from the castle, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Rovinj both in Croatia. The wine tasting enroute to Budapest was great fun, with dancing and lots of laughs."

Mitzie

Tour: 06/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional tour lead by Eszter. This was our fourth Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. The countries/cities visited were interesting and our guide was the absolute best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I’m sure everyone says, it is hard to pick just one moment; however, I really enjoyed the island hotel in Rovinj. The day spent there just relaxing was fabulous!"

Scott

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our first Rick Steves tour, the tour guide was highly qualified and professional, controlled the things that could be controlled and had reasonable responses to the things that were outside of anybody's control. Plus he was very entertaining on top of all that. Plus he managed to throw a birthday party for our daughter who was with us. I don't know where they find the energy to do everything, but we'll certainly book more tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It wasn't the most pleasant experience, but the moment that moved me most was when the local tour guide showed us the train platform where the children arrived at Auschwitz. It will stick with me the rest of my life. On the more uplifting side, walking down the stairs over the rapids at Plitvice Lakes was very cool."

Cynthia

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip with a great tour group, an awesome guide, George Farkas, and an amazing driver, Rock. Great accommodations, wonderful food and plenty of time to discover some sights on our own. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone seriously interested in the history and sights of Central/Eastern Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "Wow" moments and wonderful memories. It's hard to pick just one. Auschwitz was a sad, but "must see" part of the trip. Slovenia was a great surprise. Prague and Budapest were personal favorites. Truly beautiful cities!"

Arcelia

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My overall tour experience was good. I was able to see many beautiful parts of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice Lake National Park and its amazing waterfalls."

Miriam

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George was wonderful!! He made the tour a trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Adriatic in the distance after many wonderful days in amazing cities."

Mark

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really loved the whole tour. The guide was excellent as was our driver. And our fellow tour members were really a nice group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a group dinner with entertainment at "Klezmer Hois" in Krakow. I'm still humming the tunes."

Diane

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful tour, although there was a heat wave during our trip which made it challenging to spend a lot of time outdoors or in historic buildings with no AC.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sites in Rovinj, including the hill town and the hotel complex."

Xiaoyi

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was great. I enjoyed each day and wished 15 days did not go by quickly. George is an experienced tour guide devoted to details; his wit made us laugh more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name just one. I have a personal one. At the get-together on Day 12, it happened to be my daughter's birthday, George and the entire tour group presented her with a cake, a gift (token of Prague), and a card filled with well-wishes. The wow moment was when I saw my daughter smiling from ear to ear."

Maria

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't believe how much we covered in 15 days. It really was a trip of a lifetime. The tour was so well organized, affordable, and very detail oriented. It has the perfect balance of scheduled and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Adriatic"

Steven

Tour: 06/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful vacation filled with everything I hope and dreamed. I couldn't have been more pleased!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was filled with many "wow" moments--Prague, Plitvice, Rovinj and Lake Bled."

Patricia

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Was an outstanding tour. Only complaint NO kleenex in some hotels. Peter was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the waterfalls in Plitvice . Hotel not good thou."

Brett

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour and had a magnificent time! Our guide Peter was amazing and did such a great job orientating us, giving advice to those who asked for their free time, and suggesting eateries. Peter even walked us to our private driver meeting point from the castle in Krakow for our ride to the Salt Mine. We loved the big cities (Krakow and Prague were our favorites), but it was nice to have the smaller towns like Rovinj and Lake Bled after those large cities for a little more relaxation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to music as the sun went down on Charles Bridge in Prague, Krakow's main square at night, eating outside at a restaurant in Kazamierz listening to Klezmer music, and the tasting at the winery outside Eger with the violinist was so much fun! We loved Matthias Church in Budapest and the night Danube boat cruise was perfect especially with the fun surprise of fireworks! Plitvice was amazingly beautiful, words don't begin to describe it! Rovinj and Lake Bled were beautiful and relaxing."

Patricia

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 2nd RS Tour and I was not disappointed at all! Every detail taken care of! Lots of fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying at a resort on a private island!"

William

Tour: 06/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All logistics were done extremely well done (venue access, hotels, transportation, meals etc.) This makes for a stress free experience. Peter was assume as our guide, on top of everything, great conversationalist, good sense of humor and very, very knowledgeable about history and context for things we say. .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvicka national park. Simply incredible. While not "wow" the tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau was very sobering and unforgettable."

Stephen

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was fantastic with wonderful destinations and hotels. Katka did such a fine job of leading the tour she really cared and that made this tour so memorable for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow experience was going to the Szechenyi Baths. This was for me an experience where I felt I became a temporary local engaging in a normal activity."

Kristan

Tour: 06/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Exceptional guide. Friendly and good bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The special surprise musical concert we had in Prague. Such a complete joy!"

Kathleen

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Tour Guide senel and bus driver rok absolutely amazing. Adaptable to changing circumstances. Great sense of humor . Waaaaaay way much too much time in the bus - probably wont take another tour if it involves so much bus. P

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Night time prague - amazing. Lunch stop at winery and listening to fiddle and spontaneously dancing in the court yard. Other tour members"

Richard

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my ninth Rick Steves tour, but my first of Eastern Europe. It was a great experience to get to Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. We were able to learn a lot and understand the culture that exists from Russian roots. The small group size of 12 made it a better experience and we were all compatible with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz was powerful, but I think the time in Budapest was our favorite time. It is a beautiful city and we walked upon an international dance presentation and got to stand in the front row and see dancers from around Europe and India. The sunset boat ride and visiting the zoo were additional pluses."

Tim

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves trip. Our guide, Sanel, was masterful.he was able to arrange things 'on the fly' top avoid crowds and weather. We avoided a couple of showery days and had much better experiences by his ability to switch things up to catch the sunshine. At first we wondered about a couple of early starts, but when we saw the crowds arriving as we were leaving we really appreciated his awesome skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments. In terms of beauty, the park at Plitvice was incredible. Because of Sanel's skills we had the park to ourselves. Visiting with a student in Eger was inspiring. We appreciated the hospitality of the teacher and students. The most fun, hands down, wasour visit to the winery. Toni Varadi, a lifetime violinist with a Hungarian Roma orchestra, exhibited such enthusiasm for his music that he literally had us dancing in the streets. Great fun!"

Francea

Tour: 05/29/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was excellent leaving the right amount of time for guided tours, joint exploration of areas and events as well as free time with great suggestions for how that time is spent. The orientation of each stop on the tour is so important for both guided and on your own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many “wow” moments. Because of my heritage, going to a number of synagogues in Prague and Krakow as well as the Jewish/ Ghetto areas was very significant for me. Going to Auschwitz was very difficult, but so important and a difficult kind of .”wow” moment, because of its significance. Sadly an incredible synagogue in Budapest was closed for a Christian holiday. I understand it is also amazing. Another site not to be missed is Plitvice National Park in Croatia."

Susan

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour, and we had a fabulous experience! Our tour guide Eszter was amazing! The hotels were lovely, the food was good, the destinations were interesting. Our bus driver was such a good driver. The people in our group all got along and were wonderful to meet. We would definitely sign up for another Rick Steves' tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau. Very powerful and emotional experience. I know the history and have read a lot about it, but was overcome to be standing where it all happened. The whole experience was well done, and our local guide was excellent....so respectful."

Mimi

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Exceeded expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick just one."

Tom

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour definitely exceeded our expectations. Our initial concerns about travel to Eastern Europe were unfounded. Our guide, Eszter, was an outstanding tour leader. We saw an abundance of historical sights with a welcomed blend of natural beauty of mountains and sea. We also had the opportunity to engage with a number of people to gain their perspective of the continuing war in Ukraine. Our tour consisted of 11 people that were simply a joy to travel with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My “wow” moment occurred on our first night of the tour. Eszter arranged for two accordion and flute musicians to serenade us during dinner. They were a blast and proved to be a great kickoff to our tour."

Kim

Tour: 05/22/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, it was wonderful. I enjoyed learning about the various countries and regions I visited. I especially appreciated having a tour guide who was so passionate about her work. I also liked that each new place we visited we had a local guide, which gave us a unique insight to their city. The tour went by so fast, and was a great mix of group and individual time. Our guides always had great suggestions for our "free time."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boy, this is a hard question as having to pick just one is difficult. I absolutely adored Krakow, and was wowed at how colorful, vibrant and friendly the city is. I could have spent more time there, but alas had to move on to our next destination. I am already planning a trip to Poland in the next year or two. If I may, a second "wow" moment for me was the city of Rovinj, Croatia. I had no idea of how beautiful the Adriatic Sea coast is and would love to return to Croatia someday."

Anthony

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A Great guide in Katka. Very informative, very personal. It could not have been any better! And since we were the first 15 day tour since 2019 she did a marvelous job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was surprised at how beautiful Krakow was."

Diane

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an eye opening experience learning about Eastern Europe

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow Polands beauty was unexpected."

Julie

Tour: 05/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and executed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. Ít was beautiful and it stopped raining just as we started hiking. Loved the fact that we went to the end of the trail and hiked toward the beginning. We had the trail to ourselves for the first half of the trail."

Steven

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Excellent guide! Tremendous logistics! Fabulous sites!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each location had a new “WOW” experience- Prague (Charles Bridge at night), Krakow (old town square, Ukrainian Pierogies, sobering Auschwitz/Birkenau, Schindlers Museum), Eiger (Hot Springs!), Budapest (fabulous architecture) Piltivice (such exquisite natural beauty)!, Lake Bled (outstanding beauty - boat excursion to the church on the island, hike to the castle)"

Rebecca

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been traveling with RS guidebooks for a long time. This was our first RS tour and first bus tour. We were not sure how we would feel being in a group. But everything about this tour met or exceeded our expectations. The guides, the experiences, our small group of fellow travelers, even the weather was fabulous! We learned so much more and had so many "extra" special moments that we never would have had on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our first night of the tour we did our orientation walk on the way to a wonderful, traditional dinner. We were surprised with a lovely musical performance at the restaurant. Afterward, we walked back over the Charles Bridge toward the hotel. It was a beautiful night with a full moon and there was a light festival going on. Music was playing from a platform on the water, as lighted boats circled, and fireworks went off. It was absolutely magical."

Amy

Tour: 05/15/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our small group of 11, amazing. Our tour guide, George, super. The destinations, thrilling. The hotels were better than advertised. We liked having free time to explore on our own with George's input and guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had an amazing seaside, sunset dinner in Rovinj, Croatia that was unforgettable."

Eric

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Well thought out. Our guide Peter was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bled was beautiful."

Kathleen

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was exciting to finally be on the road again! And, to be the first Rick Steve's tour to Eastern Europe in 3 years. The tour was made all the better by our fantastic and extremely kind guide, Peter. We had a very good group of travelers who meshed well, no grumps, no weirdos that I could see. But they say if you can't tell who it is it must be you. The hotels were very good and always interesting in some way. I'm looking at easier ways to get Covid tested before coming back to the US.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to pick just one. Rovinj was so beautiful and restful. Having a free day there was perfect. We all would have enjoyed another day though. Plitvice Lakes was amazing too. Visiting Auschwitz -Birkenau was so moving. I was thankful there were fewer crowds than normal but we still were hustled through at a fairly quick pace. Not a lot of time for reflection until the end."

John

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far exceeded my expectations. Have never done group travel before and was somewhat apprehensive. By the end of the trip found that sharing this beautiful experience with others was a true highlight of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many I can't just pick one. The friendless of the people, beautiful scenes, clean affordable cities and the history behind them were all "wow" moments."

Dianne

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every bit of this tour was beyond my hopes and expectations. The hotels, the guides, the information, food and other travelers made this trip exceptional. Can't wait to plan our next RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count! Every city was my favorite, until we got to the next city and I was WOWED again! The Heart of Europe is my new favorite. Can't wait to return and see it all again."

Andrew

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves tour! Amazing how much ground this tour covers, with so much history and beauty. Well organized and run, thanks to another fantastic Rick Steves guide (Peter) coupled with a fun group of fellow travelers. Tour COVID protocols made sense and did not take away from the experience. Current war in Ukraine had no impact on the tour, but the tour did give us a chance to see and hear first hand the solidarity of the people in the tour countries have for Ukraine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to pick one. Interior of Saint Nicholas church in the Lesser Town of Prague is a baroque "wow" moment. Krakow's central square was a favorite people watching place, but don't miss a walk around the Kazmierz area too. Budapest at night, all lit up, was dreamy. Even tour bus rest stops in Czech countryside and Slovakia mountains were lovely. Finally, tour end stops in Croatia and Slovenia brought both beauty and much needed relaxation."

Bonnie

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic guide, wonderful tour mates and good variety of cities, small towns, and forests/parks. Only complaint were some long days on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the morning through Lake Pilstice national forest and ending the day at the island resort in Rovinj."

Glenn

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Despite having a non-covid related health issue pop up, this tour was organized and executed incredibly well! Peter is top-notch tour guide with a big heart and a strong desire to educate and connect! Having big cities and small towns from cooler mountainous climate to the Adriatic/Mediterranean made this a comprehensive tour that felt like a delicious sampler plate!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj at a night was such a wonderful experience! Ljubljana was such a welcoming surprise as a very livable city with high standards! Also, the town square in Krakow at night was just a mesmerizing experience!"

Julia

Tour: 05/08/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had high expectations based on reviews, but it was better even than we hoped !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The way our tour guide, Peter, handled random issues that came up! He made the tour fantastic"

Marie

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you confine it to just one? Maybe it was Rovinj, where we stayed in a 5-star hotel, beautifully situated between the town to one side and the nature preserve on the other. It made for a perfect day of exploration."

Brian

Mason, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Peter was excellent with everything about the Eastern Europe. He is a lot of fun. I highly recommend him for future Rick Steve tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest, very historic. Amazing buildings."

Andrea

Stillwater, OK

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From our first meeting to the last the leadership, Peter, was exceptional. He set the tone for the tour of openness, friendliness and cooperation. The tour group was exceptionally in its interaction with all participants. Sam, our bus driver, was incorporated into our group at the first meeting. Having a slightly smaller group was nice. I enjoyed every event during the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've thought about this a lot. My first reaction was to name Peter as the wow moment - he is very good. However, in the midst of such varied activities I believe the visit to Wawal Castle and cathedral would be that event. The cathedral is truly beautiful and intriguing."

Jacqueline

Cody, WY

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour--the perfect mix of interesting and fun travel companions; five countries, five languages, five currencies; a mix of large cities, smaller cities, small towns, seaside, countryside, a national park, and Auschwitz in its own category; along with expert guidance with free time; all made possible by our exceptional guide, Peter, and our expert driver, Sam. I can't say enough about the planning and execution of every detail that made this Heart of Europe tour outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was really nothing on this Heart of Europe trip that didn't leave a lasting memory. The small town feel of wandering in old Prague, the National Museum in Krakow, the overwhelming feeling of loss of Auschwitz, the camera obscura in Eger, the bustle and ease of movement in Budapest along with a philharmonic concert at the art deco Liszt museum, the hike in Plitvice Park, the Roman ruins in Pula, delightful small town Ljubliana, and exquisite Lake Bled. And Guide Peter!! Wonderful trip!"

Jonnathan

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Super! Very educational and enjoyable at the same time. Had a great time interacting with fellow travellers who were all really easy-going and nice people.

Nicholas

Warren, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had an absolutely amazing time on this trip. Peter was an amazing guide in addition to the amazing group of fellow travelers. We appreciated all the helpful tips we received at booking and prior to the trip from the Rick Steves' staff and Peter himself. We always knew the planned path forward and as "over planner" myself, I greatly appreciated always being in the know. It was wonderful to have someone else in charge of all the logistics for change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau was powerful and a day I will never forget. I will not say it was my favorite, but the drained feeling at the end of the day is arguably a "wow" factor in and of itself. We loved Plitvice Falls in Croatia, Vintgar Gorge near Bled, all of Krakow, and the nighttime cruise along the Danube was incredible."

Peter

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour (would rate it 8.5/10 overall), and that's coming from someone who's normally a reluctant traveler at best. I learned a great deal about the history & culture of Eastern Europe, and enjoyed seeing the historical locales (especially churches, palaces, and museums) with my own eyes. The "nature" parts of the tour (mainly in Croatia & Solvenia) were OK, but not as impactful as the cultural. Guide Peter was the highlight!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz/Birkenau ... haunting, emotional, deeply sad. The skies were depressingly (though appropriately) cloudy, and rain began to fall as we walked through the ruins of Birkenau. But, almost miraculously, a rainbow appeared as we returned to the main building, perhaps a sign that there is always light & hope in the most hellish of circumstances."

Karen

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, the Rick Steves tour was amazing (my 5th). The planning put into the tour was excellent. All logistics were seamless. Peter was such a fantastic guide. He is really excited about the heart of Europe and willing to share his knowledge. Hotels were great. The food from that area of a Europe is not my favorite, but there were so many options. We were so busy taking in history and sights at the beginning that it was nice to slow down the last few days and see the scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So much WWII history and the horrors the people endured. The Schindler Museum gave a very thorough background. Krakow and Budapest are lovely cities. So many wows"

Rich

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fantastic adventure. Peter made every day special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Auschwitz was a very memorable experience. To actually be on the site where so many atrocities were inflicted on the innocent citizens was a overwhelming. I had done a lot of reading and studying the holocaust but I was not really prepared for the impact of standing on the site."

Amy

Warren, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was absolutely amazing. Last year, my husband used the Rick Steves books to plan our Honeymoon to Italy. It took a lot of work to figure out the logistics and making sure everything was planned out. This year we booked the Best of Eastern Europe (heart of Europe) last minute on a whim and we were completely blown away with how perfectly seamless it was set up. Our guide, Peter, made the trip even more wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful wow moments in our tour, so it is especially difficult to pick just one... The most impact part of the trip was the visit to Auschwitz."

Nancy

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first travel experience with a tour group and it was a great way to experience 6 different foreign countries in 15 days. Our guide Katarina was exceptional and made our tour especially memorable. Our group came from all over the US (with one couple from UK) and our time spent together at dinners and on the bus were relaxing and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. I especially enjoyed taking in the beautiful architecture of Prague, Rovinj and Ljubljana. The visit with the school children in Eger was also very memorable."

Richard

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour. The question we get a lot is "would you do another one" and the answer is yes. Our tour guide Katerina was outstanding and our tour group was great. Overall the "Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days Tour" exceeded our expectations. (Should be called The Best of CENTRAL Europe, but that is for another write-in.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being this was our first Rick Steve's tour, I can't say that there was just one/favorite "wow" moment. Everyday there was a "wow" moment - each day when I woke up - it was "wow" look at all of the things I get to experience for the first time."

Darlene

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Katerina was an excellent guide to make the tour outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow was my "wow" moment. I have always wanted to see Poland!"

Francis

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was incredible. It was everything I'd imagined. Katerina was awesome. It added to my experience that Katerina had personal experiences with the history of the area and lived through the communism era. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone! My wife and I are already talking about our next Rick Steves, tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal "wow" moment was seeing the very, very old architecture in each of the cities. Highlights of the tour were: Krakow, Plitvica and Ljubljana."

Judith

Waynesville, OH

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The fact that every detail was covered so thoroughly-time allowed for visits and touring all cities, included dinners, snacks, breakfast, bus was always ready for us and very knowledgeable tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful castle sitting way up on the rocks in Bled and the fact that I walked all the way up there and got my certificate."

Jan

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was truly an amazing trip! I enjoyed all of the cities, towns and countries we visited. I learned so much about history and cultures that I hadn't seen or experienced before. Our fellow travelers were fun, and we enjoyed getting to know them. I enjoyed the group dinners and many times our guide or the restaurant provided local music for our enjoyment. We had great weather the whole time, too! (Thanks, Rick!) I posted pictures on social media while we traveled, and highly recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the night cruise on the Danube River in Budapest, and going to Lake Bled, Slovenia were my highlights. I also really enjoyed our time in Rovinj, Croatia. It really was a "vacation from our vacation "!"

Wendy

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I liked the balance of scheduled activities and free-time. I also liked the balance of city exploration and non-city places (Croatia and Bled). The tour guide was excellent. Plus the guides in the cities were great too. The logistics went smoothly, which was a huge plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really appreciated the visit to Auschwitz. The guide was exceptional. Very insightful and respectful. A very moving experience."

Linda

Sherman Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip has been one of the best in my life! I learned so much about Eastern and Central Europe in terms of the history, geography, and cultural aspects of the area. This was done with the excellent choice of cities, events, and cultural experiences that we enjoyed. The most important, single, reason for this incredible trip was our amazing guide, Jana. As a result of my trip, I want to return to this part of Europe, and spend more time further exploring this great part of the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really can't pick a favorite "wow" moment because there were so many. Certainly, the beauty of Plitvice, resulted in lots of "WOW" moments. I really enjoyed Prague and it's musical and cultural history. Listening to music in the Municipal House, and then taking a tour of that magnificent, Art Deco, building was a highlight for me. I did that on my own,when we had time in our own. This is another reason Rick Steve's tours are so great: you have time to explore your own interests."

Judith

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jana made it fabulous. She gathered the centuries of history in these countries into understandable stories. Always helpful, especially to me when I lost my passport and with me at the police department when it was returned. Joyful. No paperwork! Exhausting and at the same time a trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mitch driving that huge bus around hairpin turns as we looked down into the valley of beautiful farmlands on our way to Bled. Unique views as I held my breath and didn't close my eyes."

Patricia

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned. There was "together" time and adequate time to explore on your own. I enjoyed the places we visited. I enjoyed the "off the beaten" path stops, Kohlari Winery in Hungary and a visit with a beekeeper in Slovenia were wonderful. I enjoyed learning the history of the places we visited. Prague, Krakow, Budapest and Rovinj were absolutely beautiful and fun. Bus time was fun too, seeing the countryside was a treat. Lots of room on bus was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to pick from. I think it would be arriving at the Hotel in Rovinj. It is on an island and the views were spectacular. You are right on the Adriatic Sea with a view of Rovinj from the island. It was a resort from heaven. Plus, the time exploring Rovinj the next day was magical. A close second, Krakow, I really liked it there as well."

Mary

Port Dover, ON

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was all we expected. The countryside was beautiful!! We enjoyed driving through rural areas rather than on the busy freeways. Jana and the guides did a great job of providing history of the area as well as the buildings. Very enlightening!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We found the visit to Auschwitz, although disturbing, a highlight of the trip. It reminds us all that we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent. A close second highlight was having the opportunity to hike in Plitvice National park. Beautiful!!!"

Paul

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I are completing this together, so you won't get one from her. We truly enjoyed the tour. Just a few comments are listed below. Both my wife's and my families have roots in this region so it was important for us to see it. This was our first Rick Steves tour and it won't be our last. Keep up the great work!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For myself I really enjoyed the Plitvice Lakes National park. For my wife it was Rovinj."

James

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was led by a very competent, personable and lovely guide (Jana). She brought a wealth of both general historical as well as personal recent historical experience and stories which gave us a better understanding than we could have experienced just reading on our own. Jana also was tuned in to potential travel problems and alerted all of us of the bankruptcy of Adria Airways with helpful guidance on how to navigate this bump in the road for our return trips

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every stop had a memorable marker. Being free to explore on our own for a significant time added to this. Croatia and Slovenia were definite places for a return trip as well as seeing more of Poland."

Carol

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful! Enjoyed the group a lot. Good amount of structured vs free time. Learned so much! Could have stayed longer in Slovenia and Croatia! Mitch, the driver, is EXCELLENT!! Boy, can he back up that bus!! So glad there was something planned for us to do in Slovakia instead of just driving through Have been recommending your company to our friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beauty of both grand structures and magnificent scenery Learning so much about a part of the world that has been "hidden" for me so long Seeing a young Jewish woman guiding our tour of a synagogue and thinking how beautiful young women just like her were led away to Auschwitz ... Learning about the ancient history of that part of the world and the buildings, etc. but also the recent history... Seeing the houses that were bullet ridden and deserted from the war in the early 90's"

Michael

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this is one of the best of the seven tours we have taken with Europe Through the Back Door. It was well organized, interesting, well paced, and enjoyable. What made this one exceptional was the emphasis and activities included by Jana, our guide, to facilitate group cohesion and friendship among and between group members. She modeled this in her leadership style, and communicated a great deal of enjoyment of her interactions with members, and of members' interactions with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several high points, for me, during this tour. I love meeting and talking with the Hungarian school children in Eger, I enjoyed talking about the current political climate in Hungary with the local guide in Budapest, and finally, I loved how I looked forward to the developing friendships with other group members during all of the different activities that were scheduled every day."

Jeanne

Arlington, VA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was terrific, and a good balance of city and nature. It was very interesting to learn about Eastern Europe 30 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several: In Prague, the view across the Charles Bridge to the castle, etc. The view of the Parliament in Budapest from our night trip along the Danube: everything was lit up and so beautiful. And the walk through Plitvice National Park with all the beautiful waterfalls."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was outstanding - Jana is a wonder! Information, history and most of all patient support for the multitude of needs of us travelers (lost money and credentials, dietary needs, bankrupted airlines - all those problems that go beyond expectations. Excellent hotels and destinations and special activities. I really appreciated Jana's historical back-rounding on each country with objective descriptions of contemporary politics. Excellent bus driver Mitch (or is it Micz?)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but maybe, after days of moving around in cities and a bit of 'cathedral overload,' arriving in Rovinj on the Adriatic coast, specially lovely hotel and Italianate city across the water for a day's exploring."

John

Alta, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We finished the tour feeling like we had learned a lot and had made some great friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz!!!"

Renee

Alta, WY

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a learning experience. So much to see and do. We also made some great friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Auschwitz"

Marsha

Heath, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I continue to share with others as to how special the Rick Steves tours are and we once again, were not disappointed. A group of 27 led by Jana. Various ages and backgrounds brings much spice to our trip and we all go home with a sense of making new friends. Being a retired teacher, I always think about how much knowledge I gain each time I travel with the Rick Steves group. Their guides are amazing and have so much history to share.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to come up with one favorite "wow", as each place we toured was special in its own way. I loved visiting Prague and Budapest. My husband and I walked completely around Bled lake and up to the castle. It was breath taking in more than one way. :-)"

Kathleen

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first tour. I have always planned my trips prior to this one. The tour definitely exceeded my expectations. The tour was well planned and any roadblocks were handled with aplomb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was arriving in Rovinj, Croatia just in time for dinner after a big storm. We had one of the most beautiful sunsets ever, and I don't say that lightly. There were beautiful colors, dark clouds in the background. Perfect!"

Ginny

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was everything I expected plus much more! I was particularly impressed with our guide Eszter. On several occasions she went way out of her way to assist various members of our tour. Amongst other things, for me, she went out of her way to shop for a cook book me when I asked where I could purchase one. She also helped us find alternate travel plans from Slovenia to Munich when our airline, Adria, went bankrupt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A special side trip which was not on the original itinerary. A couple on our trip had wondered whether it might be possible to stop off, sort of, on our way to Lovec for lunch to visit the sight where her uncle's WW2 plane had gone down. In this tiny town of Osp Koniowka, Poland. What a special trip it was! they welcomed us with open arms and proudly showed us the display they had in their Fire House of "Uncle Robby", his crew and bits and pieces of the airplane from the 1940's."

Joy

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was great. Three big cities was a bit of overload and too many churches from my perspective. How about touring a castle and leaving a church as an option? I would have skipped the local school at Egar. 1 full day in Ljubljana would have been great. Auschwitz was an important experience. One cannot really fathom the horror until you see the piles of hair, shoes, glasses..... The sheer size of the camps was overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unplanned stop to a small town in Poland. The uncle of one of our tour members was a pilot in a plane that was shot down during WWII. All 10 survived. The local fire department had a large display and some pieces of the plane. Great to share the experience with our fellow tour member. The night cruise in Budapest was amazing."

Elsa

Bath, NC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour covered a lot of territory geographically, and the days were often quite full. There was a lot of history to digest, both recent and of past centuries. Our guide Eszter balanced the pace well and her enthusiasm was infectious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In general, the second half of the trip, outside of the big cities, was my favorite. In particular, our end of season swim in the Adriatic, at Rovinj in Croatia, was my "wow" moment. The water was so clear, with fish and non-stinging jelly fish everywhere, and the high salt content made me feel like a cork! I really felt a part of Eastern (Central) Europe then!"

David

Bath, NC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our third Tour with Rick Steves and it was by far the fastest paced. Overly so I have to say. I think we could have gained an understanding of this area without so much time in the three major cities: Prague, Krakow and Budapest. I think Prague could have been skipped and the tour begun in Krakow. The extra time could be spent on other stays in the countrysides of these countries. I suggest two nights in Ljubljana.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the Adriatic in Rovinj was spectacular Krakow was very interesting and the night cruise in Budapest was very special. Ljubljana was charming and I think a night or two there would be great with a trip into the countryside."

Richard

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide worked hard to provide everyone with a positive experience. Toward the end of the trip it was determined that many in our group had flights with an airline that had gone bankrupt. Our guide worked hard with each affected person to help them find alternative options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A side trip planned by our guide and driver to stop at a small Polish town that had the remains of a USWWII bomber that has shot down by nazi planes. One of our tour members uncle was the pilot of the plane. He and his entire crew survived the crash. The guide and driver kept it secret until we were approaching the town. Although it was not part of the normal tour everyone was thrilled to share this experience with our fellow tour member."

Behrooz

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a safe and exciting trip through Eastern Europe with background info to prepare us to enjoy our special interest

Favorite "WOW" moment

"visitingso many beautiful scenic places. Defiantly Cruise on the danube Plitvice Lakes and Lake Bled Gorge were some of my Wow moments"

Paul

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A "demanding" but exceptional tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering the central square of Krakow at night."

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Definitely outstanding! In 15 days, we visited six countries, had so many different experiences, learned so much . . . and still enjoyed a fair amount of free time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, there were at least five: Traveling through the spectacular High Tatras, the mountains separating Poland and Slovakia; cruising the Danube by night, taking in the magical sight of Budapest's illuminated landmarks; discovering a beautiful waterfall or turquoise lake around nearly every bend at Plitvice National Park; arriving in Rovinj, after a rainy afternoon, and being greeted by a breathtaking sunset; and enjoying a peaceful, early-morning pletna boat ride on a serene Lake Bled."

William

Innisfail, AB

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of central Europe exceeded my expectations. The overall plan to visit cities at the start of the tour and end the tour with a more relaxing countryside experience was brilliant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moment. However, the one that will remain with me is the night boat cruise in Budapest. All the lights on the bridges and historic building was overwhelming!"

Gary

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was a lot to see in 15 days. Covering so much in that amount of time, I know that there was so much we couldn't see. This isn't a complaint. I truly enjoyed getting a good exposure to so much. Peter, our guide, was great. He was very knowledgeable about everywhere we went and the supplemental knowledge with the other guides in each city was excellent. Hearing of Peter's experience of his first 15 years living under Communism and the changes he saw afterwards was one of the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose visiting Auschwitz couldn't help but be a wow moment but all the other sights and information on the Nazi and Communist experience made my head go "WOW"."

Mac

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I very much enjoyed it. Probably it should be a 5 star rating, but the cites and experiences were not as amazing as we have had on other Rick Steves tours. But that is the nature of where we visited and not a criticism of the tour. The bus lectures on history and politics and education and medical were excellent. Perhaps they were among my highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unlike other tours I didn't have many "wow" moments. The Auschwitz-Birkenau visit was chilling especially seeing the rooms full of hair and shoes, the stand up jail cells and the acres full of chimneys at Birkenau. The evening cruise where we saw the stunning lit up Parliament building in Budapest was excellent."

Virginia

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just enough people. It was nice to have the major cities and crowds during the first half of the tour and a more relaxed pace at the end. There was a shift from castles and cathedrals, which we thoroughly enjoyed to smaller cities and nature. Nicely done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Parliament building in Budapest at night from the river! View of Lake Bled in the morning from our bedroom window"

John

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. Well thought out to cover the places we went with a great balance of scheduled activity and free time. Peter did a great job of attending to the needs of a wide variety of people and their interests. Sam the bus driver did a great job of navigating use through very narrow streets and border crossings. Real positive experience and will do another Rick Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj and Lake Bled were beautiful. Right out of a picture book. The Adriatic Sea, Island hotel, castles, and lake were amazing! Just loved it."

Cheryl

Chillicothe, OH

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's trip and I was curious, but not excited. It so exceeded my expectations! I had been a little intimidated by the thought of so many different languages and currencies, but Peter made it simple, telling us how much cash we needed as we approached each border, which ATMs were safe, and where to exchange currency. Peter's extensive knowledge of the history, customs, and personality of each location was phenomenal. He has wonderful people skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband's grandfather had emigrated from a tiny town in Slovakia. Our driver Sam told Ken we would be passing through the middle of Nizna Slana the next day! Sam and Peter coordinated an unscheduled stop for a photo of us at the sign to the village! We ran back to the bus to cheers and applause! Several fellow tour group have roots in the Central Europe area and it felt like a victory for all of us! Thanks, Sam and Peter!"

Stephanie

The Villages, FL

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Countries were beautiful and interesting, culture was outstanding and logistics were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvica National Forest and Rovinj"

Stan

Yucca Valley, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour with an excellent tour guide (Peter). The tour group members were cheerful and interested in the cultural and historical aspects of the travel. The amount of "free time" was good. An extra half hour in the morning so that there was time to use the toilet, brush teeth, etc. before hoofing it off to the bus would have been appreciated. Perhaps arrange for breakfast to start at 6:30 A.M.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While we loved Krakow I think my "wow" moment must be Peter's explanation of the Balkan War of '91-'92. When asked to explain it he said he would have to start over a thousand years back to include the historical cultural differences. Despite having read much about the war, myself, his was the best and most neutral explanation I have heard or read. It really opened up my perspective on the conflict. Kudos to Peter!"

Richard

Wichita, KS

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George made our overall experience wonderful & fun. His knowledge, that he loves to share, is amazing. We got to see & learn about a lot of countries, that most people don't think about visiting. Highly recommended!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the beauty of the natural surroundings in all the countries forests, mountains & lakes."

Soozi

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was grand. We were so lucky to have the well informed George with his historical information and his personal insight as to what it was like living under communisms. I hotels were way beyond our expectations, bus driver really handled all of the touring well, even though it was a bigger group than we had hoped everyone melded well and had a delightful time. Having Thomas as a local guide really added to our experience and brought history to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved every big city we toured and all the great public transportation. But when we listened to the waterfalls at the national park after so much business I felt more on vacation even with the busy crowds there. The boardwalk would never have been approved in the US, but it was perfect for the park. I appreciated arriving early and traveling against the crowd."

Flora

Buhl, ID

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our fifth RS tour. we have enjoyed each one of them. but, i've got to say, i think this one was the best of them all! there was a great deal of variety,...big cities, small cities, festive moments, somber moments, cobblestone streets, creaky boardwalks, hustling activity, lakeside serenity, movement by bus, trams, boats, and feet... a super guide a swell group of fellow travelers a competent bus driver carefully chosen accommodations... it was ALL good!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were many "wow" moments...but the one that immdeiately stands out is my reaction when i saw the view from our hotel room balcony on katerina island in rovinj. absolutely beautiful to see the cathedral in the distance on the mainland and to see the sky turning golden at sunset."

Carol

Wichita, KS

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved seeing parts of Europe that we might never have gotten to on our own, and George was a wonderful guide to this part of the world. Our fellow tour members were delightful, which we find comes with being like-minded travelers and lifelong learners. We learned a tremendous amount about these formerly communist countries, their cultures, and their people. Gorgeous scenery and sites to see as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Auschwitz and Birkenau were indelible moments, of course those are hard to put into adequate words. But I had several other "wow" moments, one of them being the countryside in Croatia where evidence of their civil-war gunfire was still visible...I knew about that war but had no idea they still carried so many scars over 20 years later; that was eye-opening to me. Other "wow" moments were for some of the breathtaking scenery in the countrysides as well as the charming cities."

Susanne

Mechanicsburg, PA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fantastic from beginning to end. Our tour guide, George, was outstanding . His knowledge of Eastern Europe was exceptional. He was extremely organized and enthusiastic. The itinerary offered a variety of venues and experiences, ,beautiful and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never realized how beautiful Croatia is. The Plitvice National Park was one of the most scenic parks I've even seen, with waterfalls at every turn. Rovinj was truly a vacation from our vacation ."

David

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. Both have been very similar in that the guides have been first rate, both the general guide and the specific segment guides. There has also been just the right mix of guided time and individual time. Even in the individual time, the suggestions for things to due have been excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being immersed in the horrors of the Nazi occupation, then finding that the Russian liberators were every bit as bad."

Julie

Lakeway, TX

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing opportunity to see and experience a part of the world that was not available to visit just a short time ago. The people we met were welcoming and expressed a love for their countries which they were quick to share with us. Wonderful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from but one of my favorites was exploring and walking through the natural beauty of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Stunning!"

Laurie

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! Beautiful country and people. Our tripmates were enjoyable and our guides very knowledgeable. Our guide, Katka, was knowledgeable, helpful and fun to be with. I couldn't have asked for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Lake Bled. Unbelieveably beautiful. I also loved Rovinj- staying on the island, swimming in the Adriatric, and kayaking. Both were well-timed, at the end of the tour when we'd been going gangbuster for nearly two weeks."

Katherine

Ashland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fortunately our very first tour was with Rick Steve's!! All of my reservations about this type of travel dissolved right away after the first meeting with Katya, our guide, and the lovely enthusiastic seasoned RS travelers!! Many had been on multiple tours which speaks volumes. All of our hotels, guides, group dinners and events were enjoyable and educational. We had nice amounts of free time to explore and eat on our own. I would recommend this tour to anyone fit and curious!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh so many but I was blown away by the city of Krakow and it's fascinating history."

Jean

Beaconsfield, QC

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed all the places we saw and learned so much about the history of these beautiful countries. Hard to believe hat they have been free of dictatorships for only 30 years. Rovinj was a beautiful place to relax and enjoy. Our guide Katarina made the trip very special, she was kind, knowledgeable, helpful and lots of fun. The people on the trip were great and that added to the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mostly every city was a delight....each had its own character, brought to light also by the guides. Auswitch was very moving and we were glad to see it with our own eyes. Plitvice Lakes National park as well as Rovinj, Lake Bled were a nice change from large cities, we enjoyed it all!"

Glenn

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed sharing our experience with a fun and diverse group of new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest at night on the river. Spectacular! Music surprise at Prague dinner. Eger wine tasting."

Joan

Ventura, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had the most wonderful time! This trip wet my appetite for many more tours to come.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Prague was the highlight of my trip. Katarina's details and historical perspective of the city were just the best"

Larry

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

As a SOLO TRAVELER , I paid additional money. Where is that money applied to? Hotel costs would seem to be the only reason for additional cost so if that is the case, then why does a solo traveler get such poor accommodations? This significantly can alter the tour experience as sleep/rest is important to have an enjoyable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of the concentration camps in Poland."

James

Tifton, GA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our most ambitious tour, with stops in six countries, met our every expectation. Except for Slovenia, each country was a first for us. Though my wife's family has ties to this part of the world, her family had no memories or stories to tell. The most recent immigrants from the region came from the 'Astro-Hungarian Empire' The history shared by our guides became a way of trying to piece this old, but obscure, part Europe to our understanding of the larger European story.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Attending the school in Eger, Hungary, gave me the first real picture of this part of Europe. Seeing children, residents who don't try to hide their emotions or thoughts, gave me the sense of optimism and hope for this world's future. They were learning German or English as a second language because they understood that almost no one from outside their country will learn Hungarian, and they want to (and already do) share in cultures outside their own."

Patricia

Milan, NH

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was walking through Plitvice Lakes National Park. I found the park breathtakingly beautiful and a perfect transition to a slower pace after touring three major cities."

Brad

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. It was just the right mix of planned activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but I would say a night cruise down the Danube River in Budapest was the top one."

Cheryl

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were not sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised with an amazing tour! We are already discussing which tour we want to go on next and how long it will to take to save for the next one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many amazing moments and sites on the tour, we saw so much and learned so much. I would have to say our guide, Katka, was a WOW moment the whole trip. She was a wealth of knowledge, told personal stories, was so well educated in the countries we visited, spoke all the languages, and taught us so much. I absolutely loved learning so much from her."

Howard

Milan, NH

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a most amazing tour! Katerina always went above and beyond our expectations. We saw and experienced so much that is a good thing we took pictures as we could not rememeber it all. Hotel locations were wonderful. Everything about the trip was well thought out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is so difficult. There were so many. I have to say I was so pleased with the time we spent with the school children in Eger, What a great way to get a feel for people in another nation."

Edward

Atherton, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was different than our last tour -- the Best of Italy. In addition to seeing a new part of the world (Eastern Europe), virtually all of our tour was in countries and cities that were victimized by oppressive regimes (i.e., the Nazi's and Soviets). And in Croatia, we visited an area where bullet holes from the Balkans war were plentiful in some buildings that our tour bus passed. Our guide, Samil was a survivor of the Bosnia holocost.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Budapest, which surprised us in its grandeur."

Robert

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am impressed with the depth of information on history, culture, architecture, language & religions covered in this tour of 5 countries. Our tour guide, Sanel, prepared us well for each aspect of the travel experience. Definitely enhanced my knowledge & understanding. We covered everything described in the intinerary plus nice side trips, lunches and such. It is an active trip, lots of miles covered, structured time, free time to explore and plenty of good walking exercise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early morning hike through Plitvice Park (Croatia) was a 2 1/2 hour Wow moment! Gray skies & a slight mist accentuated all the colors to go along with all the beautiful waterfalls. At every turn on the elevated plank trail there were countless amazing views of nature."

Elizabeth

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour, our 7th, and we highly recommend it. Great exposure to history. The experiences were so varied: palaces, music, horrific sad monuments, national parks, local culture. Visiting these five countries was an honor and a challenge due to the tumultuous history past and present of war, genocide, occupation, and struggle. But, we also found joy. We were awed by the beautiful cities, architecture, waterways, parks, and the kindness and determination of the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In the Czech Republic it was Prague's main square, and the beautiful views over the river at night. The group dinner at Egar, Hungary, was outstanding. Budapest was great and has beautiful views over the river. In Croatia, walking at Plitvice Lakes was a Wow moment, as was swimming in the Adriatic Sea. At Lake Bled, Slovenia, the views were gorgeous and we enjoyed the boat ride and walking around the lake."

Claire

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous way to see 6 Eastern European countries and understand their history and culture in a relatively short period of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow. The beauty and the history, both wonderful and dark. Also the Plitvice National Park. So unexpected and stunning."

Brent

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour. The tour exceeded my expectations in all areas. The quality of our guide, Sanel, was truly impressive. Sanel did a super job of helping me gain a much richer level of understanding of the people, culture and history of "Eastern Europe".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough question. Overall, the diversity of environments on this tour was really amazing. Wandering through the narrow streets of Rovinj was a special surprise and "wow" moment."

Jill

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Starting in Prague, Czech Republic ending in Lake Bled, Slovenia. We just touched the surface of Eastern Europe in the most remarkable way. The tour was well organized and provided us with many varied experiences. I came away with a different expanded view of Eastern Europe and the countries we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment, so many but I would have to say the first night in Praque. The old town center lights ablaze, soft rain walking across the Charles Bridge."

Jan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unlike the previous tours that I've taken with the company, this one covered multiple countries. Instead of getting a feel for a country, I got a feel for the cities and towns that we visited. Assuming that the cities represent their respective countries, I got an excellent feel for each country. As always, the regular breaks on long bus rides were greatly appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the God in the Act of Creation window in St. Francis Basilica in Kraków."

Joseph

Somers, CT

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, we love that the tours are smaller than some. This allows folks to spread out on the bus. We think that going to a max of 28 is pushing it too far. The old maximum of 24 is better. Overall, the itinerary is excellent, but we would have liked a little more time in Croatia. We would sacrifice the time at Plitvice National Park and substitute more time on the coast. Bear in mind that many tour members have experienced the National Parks of the USA.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled. We loved walking the lake, going off to the church on the island, and hiking to the castle. So much packed into such a small area. However, being of Polish descent, I fell in love with Krakow. The fact that someone has played the trumpet every hour for 600 years is amazing."

Lawrence

Ocala, FL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steves' tour. Enjoyed the locations, hotels, tour guides, the total trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too difficult to name just one, had great experiences in all locations."

Colette

Whitefish, MT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A lot of driving but we covered a lot of countries!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cathedral inside Salt Mine in Krakow, Poland. Also boat rides on the Danube (Budapest) and Rovenj."

Glenda

Sherwood A Park, AB

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is out fifth tour and it was definitely up to the Rick Steves' standard of excellence. We are Canadians and pay the premium on the dollar exchange happily due to the exceptional quality of the tours. We come back with a new appreciation for other countries and the people who live there. Looking forward to our next experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband is of Polish descent and it was a WOW moment for me to hear him speak Polish so fluently. He no longer has anyone at home to speak to so I admired him for remembering the language. He was able to imagine his Dad walking the same streets in Krakow and to think of his Mother and Aunt's experiences in the Polish underground during WWII."

Jerome

Litchfield, IL

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw areas of the world not commonly seen by many travelers. Had excellent lectures on the history and customs of the areas. Good exposure to the different foods.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The many sites of Budapest"

Donna

Hattiesburg, MS

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Trael for the trip was well planned, logical. I found the hotels to be much better than I expected. They were charming and comfortable. I enjoyed the pace of the trip highlights of the ity in the morning and free time to go back and enjoy what interested me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow was the bigget surprise to me. Beautiful, clean, exciting, not too big, lots to be entertained with. I found it the easiest place to decide where to eat. I LOVED Budapest and would have loved an extra half day there."

Stuart

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been on three previous tours, one with Rick Steves and the others with different companies. While I enjoyed each of them, this tour surpassed the others in its combination of destinations (cities, mountains, seaside) and the quality of teaching by our tour and local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Others have asked this question since I returned home. My answer is always that it is not possible to identify one moment because nearly every day presented at least one."

Earl

Akron, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people of course. Peter who made sure everyone was taken care of. He was informed, funny, helpful. This tour offered sites, history, food, but it was put together to enhance the experience. The day of vacation from the vacation was one of the most enjoyable..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Water falls in Pitvicka. ( sorry about spelling)."

Joan

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time as a single woman traveler. Mixed reviews on that. I feel I had to expend a lot of effort to be "part of the group." Tour members were generally fine with me asking to go somewhere with them but I always had to do the asking. That got old. The group was WAY TOO LARGE!!!! I have been on small group tours before. Max was 22. Guess I should have done more research. But overall I loved the history, diversity, natural beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Jewish cemetery and temple in Prague which I did pre-tour. The room with children's artwork related to current immigration problems - how to keep hope alive. Rooms with names on the walls. Talking to docent, Hannah, about modern Jewish culture in E.E., medieval parades, guilds. Having time to reflect and pray in the cemetery. Chances to talk to locals - vendors, taxi drivers, Middle East immigrants, artists, buskers, waitress (Stramberk) re: mushrooms, students on holiday, other tourists"

Nadine

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous trip from start to finish. I loved the balance of big city, smaller towns, national parks and gorgeous island resorts. Peter, our guide,was so knowledgeable and helpful. He made sure we had all the information we needed and that we had great things to do on our free time. Peter and the local guides shared so much good historical and current information with a fun sense of humor. There are so many places I'd love to go back to and further explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments that it is hard to limit to a favorite. I think the most surprising was Krakow. I really wasn't expecting the charm and beauty of Krakow. I would have loved to stay longer! Another WOW moment I need to include was walking around Lake Bled. How stunningly beautiful!!!"

Gerald

O Fallon, IL

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour to a part of the world that I had not visited before. Our guide, Peter, was outstanding; and our fellow travelers were fun and friendly-just what we've come to expect from a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake Bled was an unexpected delight. The boat ride to the island, the hike up to the Castle, and the walk around the lake were all great experiences."

Steve

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an outstanding tour and was led by a superb tour director - Peter Polczman. Not everyone understands Eastern Europe ( now known as the "heart" of Europe ) because it was behind the Iron Curtain during most of our lives, but it is a must see. The history, architecture, and culture are so different. I think it attracts interesting and serious travelers, whom wish to see and experience the lesser known, which may be the reason our entire group of travelers were so fantastic to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Krakow's main cathedral in the "old" part of town. I could easily have sat there for 4 hours. Boating down the Danube seeing Budapest at night with all the buildings lit is marvelous. Walking thru Plitvice Lakes National Park is the best walk I've ever taken. Moving from the sunny shores of Croatia to beautiful Lake Bled is phenomenal. All of these are wow moments and don't get me started about Prague."

Rebecca

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about it was above expectation. The group melded well. Food was great. Peter's set-up for each new place prepared us to understand and enjoy our experience to the max.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in Eger (a place of many delightful surprises--the school, the Roma fiddler at wine tasting, the Beatles exhibit at our hotel), we were lucky enough to see there was going to be an organ concert in the church. Peter kindly delayed our departure time 15 minutes so that those of us who wanted to attend could enjoy the whole thing. It was great. As we were leaving, the organist played one more song--Ave Maria. Is there a musical piece that has more emotional pull than that one?"

Lisa

Warren, MI

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best things about the tour was spending time with my fellow travelers! I enjoyed spending 15 days with a fun, friendly and interesting group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite time was spending the morning in Rovinj, which reminded me a lot of Venice (without the crowds) and spending the afternoon swimming in the Adriatic by Katarina Island (where our hotel was)."

Todd

Akron, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This, my fifth Rick Steves tour, went on without a hitch. It was amazingly organized (thanks Peter), the sights were well-balanced and breathtaking, I loved that our group was always prompt and on time, and most-of-all we all got along well together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Park was an unexpected "wow' moment for me. The tour is heavily filled with old architecture (churches, buildings, etc) as it should be. Plitvice was a beautiful respite and a fun day of hiking. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful."

Alan

San Marcos, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and great cities. Bus rides were long but our guide provided great commentary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying for 2 nights on island of St. Catherine. The entire island was ours - swimming, kayaking, archery, walking. 10 minute ferry ride took us to Rovinj."

Hazel

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour! Our tour guide was excellent and made the tour very interesting and informative. Hotel accommodations and locations were excellent. Restaurant/meal experiences were enjoyable and the food reflected the local foods. Bus was comfortable; excellent driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far as visual "Wow": Plitvice National Park and the Adriatic coast. Slovenia was so special! On a different level, I saw more clearly than anywhere else I've traveled, that 99% of people love people and don't care about nationality. They are friendly, helpful when needed, and eager to share their story. The priority among the majority of us is to have a peaceful world for ourselves and for all our descendants."

Geoffrey

Kalamazoo, MI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The latest of our ETBD trips-Eastern Europe met all of our expectations as we expected a "RickTrip" would.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reuniting with Etalka (our guide for Tallin, Helsinki, St P in 2013) at the winery in Eger."

John

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour (as well as my first fully guided tour) and it exceeded my high expectations in every way. It was flawlessly planned, expertly and warmly guided, and included a fine balance between varying kinds of destinations--and all the surprises were pleasant. I would certainly recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone willing to be part of a guided tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Kolhari winery was the purest good time. The spectacular scenery of Rovinj and Lake Bled gave me the most "pinch me" moments. But the most lasting impacts of this tour will not be the "wow" moments, but how much I learned about Krakow, Croatia, Slovenia, and all the other places that I knew next to nothing about before visiting them."

Barbara

Deland, FL

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience exceeded my expectations by 1,000 percent. My thoughts and pre-conceived ideas about central Europe were set on their head. I was amazed by the progress these countries had achieved in the relatively short time since their freedom from Communism. I appreciated learning the history of these countries first hand from Jana, our knowledgeable guide. Her personal stories made the whole experience that much better. Loved every minute. Food, wine, accommodations, tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to just pick one. It seemed every day was filled to the brimmed with special moments. I loved the visit to the vineyard in Hungary. Plitvici National Park was over the top. Of course, the coast of Croatia was gorgeous. Loved swimming in the sea. Hotel Katarina was delightful."

James

Springfield, IL

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip, great Guide, and overall above expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Eastern Europe culture post Soviet control. Best moments were the rides through the rural portions of each country. Of course, the major cities were great to see, I enjoyed the country side as much."

Alan

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour includes great stops. Prague, Krakow and Budapest are wonderful cities with beautiful architecture, art and rich history. Krakow is a real gem. The countryside was very scenic on the drives from Krakow to Budapest and on to Croatia and Slovenia. Rovinj and Bled are a really nice way to finish up the tour. Even knowing a couple of long days on the coach were necessary and part of the package, they were nonetheless painfully long. Transit by rail would have been much more pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up in our St. Katarina Island hotel room and looking out across the bay at Rovinj on a beautiful sunny late summer morning. The morning hike at Plitvice Lakes National Park was next best, even with a downpour in the middle. The wine tasting at the vineyard in the hills above Eger was entertaining and good fun."

Thomas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jana does an excellent job with all the logistics of moving around six different countries, each with its own language. Her personal experience, havng been there as the velvet revolution was happening makes her uniquely qualified to describe all the ins and outs of life before and after. One of the real benefits of the trip that I really didn't realize until later was that we went to where the real people behind the Iron Curtain used to play: Rovinj, Lake Bled

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The language survival phrases in the book very helpful. One thing that I think is missing, though, is the phrase How do you say XYZ in Czech? I've found that very useful, for an example in Germany, one would say: "Wie sagt man XYZ auf Deutsch?" In Spain, "como se dice XYZ en espanol?" Bus iPhone chargers were a huge plus"

Joni

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved this tour. It has been 12 years since our last Rick Steves tour. We seriously considered a River Boat Cruise for this trip. Thank goodness we didn't. The quality and professionalism of the Eastern Europe tour was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment occurred every day. Our guide Jana wins my WOW. Jana is delightful. Professional, articulate, passionate; Jana's customer service skills are top notch."

Alice

Watkinsville, GA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful! I can't say enough about the tour, the guide, the locations, the hotels, food, the prep through Rick's book. All great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice Lakes National Park was lovely."

Tiffanie

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Phenomenal tour with something for everyone. Historic and beautiful big cities, castles, museums, cathedrals, gorgeous country side, vineyards, forest, mountains, ocean and lakes. Such a diverse mix of sites, all them lovely. So many must-sees on this trip. Especially appreciated the education on European history, both ancient and recent. I felt confident that I would see all the most important sites in the amount of time allotted and for the most part, I did. Gave me the desire to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but 2 very equal moments. Plitvice National Park with the unforgettable waterfalls, crystal clear water, lush trails in every shade of green, impossibly blue skies. Closest thing to the Garden of Eden on earth. Second, The beautiful coastal town of Rovinj, Katherine Island, multi million dollar view, the enchanting Adriatic Sea,bluest water, painted skies of sunsets and sunrises, much needed day of rest, vacation from vacation. Absolutely loved it."

Char

Palatine, IL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour! It was extra special because of our guide, Eszter! She ensured we saw all the important sights and understood their political, historical, architectural, and artistic significance. Her guidance ensured we made the best use of our free time exploring the cities and towns independently. She made great recommendations for things to do or see, which either affirmed our ideas or provided new insights. She chose wonderful restaurants for our dining experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although we enjoyed all aspects of the tour, my "wow" moment was Plitvice Lakes National Park. All of the waterfalls were absolutely stunning! Although it rained and the mountains were hidden with clouds, we also enjoyed our extended private tour of the Julian Alps with Gorazd - the Nordic Center, the Russian Orthodox Chapel, the Church of St. Joseph, and the Kobarid Museum - in addition to a few views of the mountain peaks and the valley."

Brian

Palatine, IL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and covered the sites extremely well. It gave an in depth understanding of the peoples and history they've endured through time, especially since WWII. The cities were quite beautiful as were the countrysides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is incredibly beautiful to the point that it makes one wonder if it's real."

Susan

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip helped me see the beauty of the land and people that I only had knowledge of through history book bias. It opened my eyes to my Fathers heritage that was mostly cut off from us children as they wanted the next generation to be Americans. The pace was faster and more rigorous than I anticipated. I recommend a Fitness Trainer develop a walking program to get even the most fit ready. Our guide Ezster was amazing. She freely shared her knowledge and encouraged discussions. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice National Forest was awe inspiring. I love nature, travel the world to see special places just like this and was amazed I never heard of it."

Dorothy

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Different from any other trip I've taken--we saw the important sights but also learned about life under Nazi and Communist control and ongoing efforts to build democratic governments. The Holocaust memorials in several places were very moving. I also was reminded that the U.S. is not alone in dealing with racism and inhumane treatment of refugees. This tour certainly met the Rick Steves' description of "travel as a political act!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Plitvice Lakes were beautiful, but I think seeing Lake Bled with low-hanging clouds was an unexpected treat. At first I was disappointed that we couldn't see much of the high mountains around it, but the shifting clouds gave this beautiful lake, its island church, and its cliffside castle a magical, otherworldly feel."

William

Fair Lawn, NJ

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Guide Eszter was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and charming. Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia are no longer exotic dreams. They are now exquisite memories. I loved our tour group and would travel with them anywhere, even though our average age was 84 (only kidding). Europe's third major heatwave of the summer did not faze us. What a wonderful travel experience! A travel dream realized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For some time now I wanted to see in the flesh Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady With An Ermine". Never thought I would meet her since she normally resides in Krakow. But there she was at the National Museum's Main Branch."

Claudia

Salem, OR

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful time. Eszter was so organized and knowledgeable. She was also a caring and energetic guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pletvice National Park. So many waterfalls over, under and around us.We were lucky to have a beautiful day and our early start kept us away from much of the crowd."

Richard

Salem, OR

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful sights...wonderful Steves guide...wonderful local guides...wonderful bus driver...did I say "WONDERFUL!!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night cruise in Budapest on the Danube."

John

Shelbyville, IN

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

BANG! Travelling six countries in 15 days would be impossible without an incredible guide. The work that goes into planning, preparing and executing never ceases to amaze me. The culture is quite perplexing with 1000 years of architectural history coupled with only 30 years of economic history. Each country has prospered differently through this 30 year period. The scenery is stunning as you travel from ever changing city through ever changing countryside. The occasional long bus travel is ample

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found Krakow to be an enchanting city and the waterfalls of Plitvice National Park amazingly beautiful and abundant."

Barry

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 3rd tour w/ Rick Steves and, as usual, it was excellent! We had a great group of travelers and an outstanding guide (Eszter) who was very experienced and helped us navigate 6 different countries, languages and currencies. We loved the cities of Prague, Krakow and Budapest as each had its own unique personality and charm. We then went into the beautiful natural settings of Croatia (Plitvice, Rovinj) and Slovenia (Lake Bled). A perfect blend of city and nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rovinj...balcony view from hotel overlooking the pristine clear water of the Adriatic, perfect view of the bell tower and colorful town of Rovinj. Outstanding open air seafood restuarant on the water watching the yellow & orange sunset over Islands and Rovinj. Lake Plitvice...bright green water of the lakes, waterfalls everywhere, lush greenery River boat ride on the Danube...spectacular night view of parliament, bridges, castle, churches Thermal Baths...unique, fun and enjoyable"

Julie

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the first time we saw Lake Bled from the bus. Our tour guide, Sanel, told us to look. We crested a hill, and all of the sudden, there was a gorgeous lake."

Gary

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, we got perfect weather, not so for the groups a few days behind us. Second, the group itself was really great, lots of laughs and energy. Third, our guide Sanel was wonderful, funny, articulate, knowledgeable. Put this all together, and you have a super trip. The cities we visited were so easy to see and embrace. Usually there are a couple of cities that are kinda blah, but not on this trip. The only negative was the food in the various countries, it was ok but not great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunsets and lake views. Not one moment, but several. The views of the lakes and waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia and Lake Bled in Slovinia were wonderful. The sunsets on the Danube river in Budapest, and on the harbor restaurant in Rovinj were gorgeous. Props to our guide Sanel for switching the days for our harbor meal as we had perfect weather at sunset. Sanel must know a guy."

Conrad

Wellington, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After an excellent first tour in 2018 my expectations were high for 2019, and they were exceeded. Our guide, Sanel, was superb: funny, personable, organized, concerned for the well-being of the group, and informative. I thought the balance of sight-seeing and free-time was about right. The group meals/wine tastings were all excellent. Our bus driver inspired confidence on narrow and winding roads, and also was personable when off-duty. I enjoyed the company of our fellow-travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot choose a single "wow" moment. However, I will mention how much I appreciated and enjoyed the fact that on this tour we spent some time in environments that were more "natural" rather than urban. As much as I like spending time in the older part of cities, I also was awed by some of the scenery we saw and spent some time in, e.g., Tatras mountains, the winery outside of Eger, the lunch at a farmstead, Plitvice National Park, the island and swimming in the Adriatic."

Cheryl

Wellington, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank for ordering up 15 days of sunshine!!! The other people on this tour were delightful. You have developed a program that attracts good travelers who then make good travel companions. We joyously laughed, sang, drank and ate our way through Eastern Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I LOVED Plitvice. While cities and churches are wonderful, it was great to get into nature. Lake Bled was also wonderful."

Marcia

Bothell, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was fast-paced and I lost 5 pounds. It was sometimes a struggle to not be a "grump" but most people were positive, and the group was congenial and "clicked" easily. Sometimes there was too much information to process adequately, but I guess that happens when you're seeing 5 countries with 5 different currencies, and in 15 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick just one, but I was most aurprised by and loved Lyubljana - the pedestrian zones, the fact that they honor poets, and the walking food tour was fabulous. In Krakow I enjoyed the lively town square and their sense of style - modern and classic at the same time. In Prague, going to see Don Giovanni performed with period instruments in the very same opera house where Mozart himself first conducted it."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to take a Best of Eastern Europe tour. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds. Summer has its advantages, with the best weather and long days, but the biggest crowds, especially in larger cities.

Czech Republic / Prague


Poland / Kraków

Kraków Weather


Hungary / Budapest


Croatia / Split


Slovenia / Ljubljana

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in the Itinerary section of your online customer account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your customer account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Prague (PRJ) and out of Ljubljana (LJU) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Eastern Europe guidebook.