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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

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Best of Eastern Europe in 15 Days Tour

from $4,095 per person + air

Single Supplement $725

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

2022

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 prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel 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

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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 "!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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. :-)"

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."

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!!!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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"."

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!"

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"

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 ."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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?"

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)."

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)."

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."

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."

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!!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

Susan

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We just happened into the most congenial group ever! The group consensus was that Sanel was a wonderful guide who brought an attitude of positive encouragement in meeting new cultures, local histories and individuals. The tour had to cover so may things for all of the different people on the trip. I don't think we could have had a better introduction to Eastern Europe. It didn't hurt that the weather was excellent as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was beauty to be discovered at each stop -"

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."

Robert

Fishers, IN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

While I think the tour was well run, I found that this type of tour is not what we are looking for in travel. The getting to be buddies with the group was not a goal of this trip. I didn't go the Europe to meet Americans. The tour had it moments with the group but future travel will be independent of a guide and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour did a good job with the local tour guides. The Krakow and Prague guides were excellent but the Budapest guide seems to be a bit wordy and we didn't move out of the Heroes square for a long time on a very hot day. The Auschwitz-Birkenau tour guide was awesome."

Sherry

Nehalem, OR

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our European tour was amazing! We have been on 2thers, and this was wonderful because the people on our tour were all very nice and we all had a lot in common! Our tour guide Sinel was very nice too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I enjoyed Lake Plivitice the most though many of our outings were wonderful!"

Gregory

Brookfield, WI

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we've traveled throughout Europe using Rick Steves' books for guidance, this was our first "guided" tour with a group. It exceeded our expectations and we were fortunate to enjoy the company of an extraordinary group of seasoned travelers. Their insights and experiences as well as the sharing of personal and family information added another dimension that we loved. Of course, our tour guide was wonderful and the local guides exceptional. Hotels and group dinners were top notch as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot select just one. The wine-tasting in Eger; Dinner in Krakow and a stroll through the town square; twilight cruise on the Danube in Budapest; an adventurous soak in the Szechenyi Baths; exploring the charming streets of Rovinj and Ljubljana; the list goes on....."

Julie

Eureka, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all of my expectations. It was a cultural experience, educational and at times a spiritual journey. Each day was planned well and there was plenty of time to explore on your own time. Each stop provided an excellent over view of the history and culture and we were given excellent guidelines by our tour guide Sanel to navigate the cities we visited in our own time. Each day was a joy-even those spent traveling on the bus and it was a sad day when we said goodbye.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have no favorite moment, there were so many and so varied in type. The old town squares of Prague and Krakow are breathtaking at night as is the Parliament building and castle of Budapest at sunset on the Danube. These probably stand out the most to me."

Paul

Nashua, NH

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very good tour with excellent venues selected, and excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Prague and was pleasantly surprised by Krakow, Budapest, Plitvinica and staying on the Adriatic"

Barbara

Peterborough, ON

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing as well as both physically and mentally challenging. Our tour guide Katka's knowledge of the area was mind blowing. We met some incredible people both within our group and along the way and we saw some incredible sights that I will treasure forever. I loved this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Danube nighttime river cruise. Budapest looked so beautiful and magical."

John

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thanks to Katerina the tour was comfortable, entertaining, and wonderfully informative. We always knew what was happening and the events were varied and interesting. And it was a treat to have so time to do things on our own and then our experiences with Katerina, Stephanie, and the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the lights of Budapest at night on the Danube river cruise."

Joyce

Arlington, VA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a BIG trip. 5 countries, languages and currencies. But a good mix of large beautiful cities, Prague, Krakow and Budapest and wonderful natural landscapes such as Plitvice Lakes National Park, Rovinj, Croatia and Lake Bled Slovenia. Our tour guide was wonderful and made the trip as fluid as it could be. We had a great group of tour takers which made the trip even more enjoyable and after a day at Auschwitz-Birkenau you might need the positive vibe of good tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love the beauty of the outdoors and I think my Wow was Plitvice Lakes."

Paul

Roseville, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our excellent made my trip spectacular. Whether it was discussing European politics, using public transportation., or finding an honest currency exchange, they were on top of it. The travel bus was surprisingly comfortable for me as I'm tall and generally can't sit long on bus. The air conditioning on the bus worked well and was definitely needed. I appreciated the snacks and cold beverages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed several things. Budapest was a remarkable city, beautiful and interesting. Pletvice national park was a highlight, especially being able to hike through it. Prague is one of my favorite cities for wondering around in, especially being a pilsner beer enthusiast."

Marite

Skokie, IL

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The choice of hotels was very good, meals were very good. The pace of the trip was very good. I thought there was a bit too much "on your own" time toward the end of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The astronomical clock in Prague fascinated me."

Ann

Avila Beach, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more of an "education" than a vacation as we gained insight into darker sides of history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with our last tour, the "wow" was the tour guide - Katerina."

Maryann

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first tour, Rick Steves or otherwise, and was something of a test. The tour performed at our highest expectations. We loved all the venues, the bus rides proved to be way above expectations, and the guide Katka was perfect. We enjoyed all the guest guides -- all were very knowledgeable. The hotels were all as advertised and some were above expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the boat to our hotel in Rovinj and then going on the "dolphin excursion," quite magical at sunset."

Raymond

Avila Beach, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide was the highlight. Many great destinations. A little too much bus time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing what life was like behind the former iron curtain."

Linda

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with a Rick Steves group. It was amazing. My main goal was to not be the one to have to plan our vacation this time. But I got much more out of it than that - places/events I wouldn't have gone to on my own; food and drink I might not have tried; and getting to know new people over 2 weeks while riding a bus together. I like the free time given us, visiting smaller towns and nature, and our vacation from our vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vacation from our vacation was our favorite. Loved the hotel, beach and pool area."

Patricia

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and I attended with my husband. We had watched many Rick Steves travel episodes on television and then found out from an acquaintance about the tours. We have mostly done our own travel but had recently done three trips to Asia with a private tour for four. Looking at your website, we decided to try Eastern Europe for our first group tour and loved it! We were ready to give of the reigns of control and enjoy a pre-planned itinerary. Excellent decision!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the evening river tour in Budapest with the grand beauty of the city and its history was a big "wow" on this trip. I stopped my photography after a few minutes and soaked up the magic of the cruise. Here I was floating in a fairy tale scene."

Carol Susan

Mount Angel, OR

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Croatia: 1000Falls Park. Amazing. Also the beautiful old hotels you arranged for we travelers to stay in. Made me feel so special."

Berenice

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about this tour exceeded our expectations from our guides, towns we visited to the wonderful people we meet on this tour. The weather was hot & humid with even some rain, but neither dampened our enjoyment. Our tour guide George was fantastic! His expertise & a love for what he does shone thru in everything he did. He's a masterful story teller & is incredibly knowledgeable about the history & current changes thru the years for each town we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "Wows" it's difficult to choose just one"

Thomas

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first package tour. It was more than I expected. Every aspect of the tour - from the accommodations, to the iinery, even the transportation days was well thoughtout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night cruise on the Danube. Followed closely by the wine tasting."

Sherry

Kelso, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Great group of travelers, wonderful guides and best bus driver. We felt well taken care of and guided throughout the entire tour. This will be one of our favorite Rick Steve's experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments on this tour. I especially loved the evening river cruise on the Danube when we saw the Parliament building lit up and birds flying overhead. It was magical."

Susan

Redding, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Croatia, our island stay... a day from our vacation ...I could have been there for a week... just to island hop."

James

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and my wife and I enjoyed it very much. Although it was a whirlwind tour, because it was so efficiently organized and led by our tour guide it was not overly exhausting. One thing that really surprised me was just how perfectly designed and executed it was. I don't believe there was a single time that the tour was delayed or miss-timed despite how complicated it must have been to lead 28 people through 6 different Eastern European countries in only 2 weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to say since there were simply too many times that my jaw dropped at what I was seeing and experiencing during the tour. Obviously, much thought was given to determining which sights and experiences to expose the tour group to. I really don't think I remember any time that I felt that my time was being wasted or wished we had done anything else with the available time."

Robert

Kelso, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great tour guide, wonderful tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The horror of Birkenau was beyond description."

Philip

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our tour. The entire trip exceeded our expectations. Everything was well organized and taken care of for us. All we had to do was enjoy the locations, tours and culture. Our guides, Peter and Monica, were fantastic. Our group was a lot of fun and added to the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite 'Wow' moment of the trip was the city of Krakow. The of old city wall gave us a view into the past of how the city must have looked back when the entire city was contained within. The large square at the center of the city was so impressive. We also had a wonderful dinner in Krakow. Monica took a large group of us to a restaurant where we dined underground. We all enjoyed learning more of the history and political of the 'Heart of Europe' from Monica while we shared our meal."

Ann

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's Tour and overall program was amazing! I like how the organizing was done and the tips, excursions & several meals were included in the price. The tour provided a great mix of local expertise on historical and political perspectives so we could understand the sites in context. I liked how we were trained in each city for public transportation so that we were comfortable navigating on our own and how there is a good mix of guided tour time and personal time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Our cities were so unique and I enjoyed nearly all of them. The accommodations in Rovinj were amazing. Plitvice National Park was a definite wow and a good break after being in some big cities. The Danube cruise was fun too."

Margaret

Mcgregor, MN

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our 5th Rick Steves' tour, my husband and I already knew how important and special the guide, the apprentice, the bus driver, and our fellow tour members would be to us. For me, they are as important as what new country I am sightseeing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with other tours, there isn't one wow moment. I remember the first time walking into Prague's Old Town. It just felt so wonderfully European. When we were at a local winery, sampling wine, eating cheese and bread, listening to Tony play the violin with us singing along, I remember looking into my husband's eyes and we smiled knowing that this moment was perfect. And another great memory was walking into our room on St. Katerina Island and gazing out our window at Rovinj's dramatic Old Town!"

Tana

Baker, NV

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an incredible trip. We covered so many countries and learned so much history about the heart of Europe. This kind of trip, changing counties, currencies and any of the logistics would have been confusing, stressful and difficult on our own. The well planned out and organization, made it a relaxing, stress free experience. Peter, our guide went above and beyond to make our trip great and memorable. Our group was outstanding. We had such a great time, even on the lengthy bus trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we crossed into Slovenia, I was in aww of how pretty it was. Also the beauty of the Adriatic."

William

Harrison, NY

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was all I could have expected. There was a great balance between group time and free time. I bonded with several other members. Thus, some of the free time was spent with different group members. The tour cultivated a fun environment allowing me to juggle personal time with structured time, as well as building acquaintances. The food in Croatia was probably the low point if there was one. It's not bad, but no highlight. The food elsewhere was excellent. Peter gave us very useful advice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd been to Rovinj in the best, thanks to your guidebook. I talked it up to many members. They loved it. I loved seeing it again - as pretty as I remember it was in the early 2000s. The cruise on the Danube displayed the grandeur of Budapest. Another member and I commented on how stunning the parliament building is. We were wowed by it. The included dinner in Eger was a particular highlight."

Larry

Corona, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time, enjoyed our tour guide Peter. We like the time the tour gives to explore on our own. Generally we tour on our own, but to cover this many locations we felt this tour was the best way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Rovinj, on the Island Hotel Katarina. Great day off from the tour. The visit to the winery was great what a fun time we had."

John

Boise, ID

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over the top great. Exceeded expectations (which were already quite high)! 10 out of 10.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"realizing that the island hotel in Croatia (which I had fully intended to visit on my vacation within a vacation day) was actually where we were going to stay. It was a marvelous bonus."

Justin

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very interesting and fun. I felt it was educational in many ways and changed some of my perspectives significantly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it's a toss-up between seeing Rovinj for the first time and seeing Lake Bled for the first time."

Carmen

New York, NY

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

George was excellent guide and provided a lot of historical context that enhanced my tour. I appreciated the way he adapted to the needs of the other guests and engaged all of us to make sure our expectations were being met. George also provide opportunities for guests to provide commentary that helped to enhance everyone's experience. Liked the various strategies he used to help group relax.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count, but enjoyed Budapest, Rovinj and Lake Bled. Of course the tour to Auschwitz/Berkenau was very meaningful. Appreciated opportunity to hear about Holocaust from guides as well as guests. George did an excellent job of provide context for understanding both the Jewish and non-Jewish experience."

Gretchen

North Andover, MA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 7th tour and it was in my top two. I loved each of the cities and the smaller towns were fantastic as well! So much to see and it definitely wasn't what I was expecting from former Communist countries, in a great way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm, I can never pick just one. Loved seeing Budapest lit up at night, loved hiking in Plitvice National Park (been wanting to do that for years), loved how 'cozy' Krakow seemed. I also LOVED the stop at the school in Eger! I could go on and on."

Laura

Killeen, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unbelievable experience in Eastern Europe. I loved every minute of it. Each city amazed me in its beauty. Our guide Katka was charming, friendly, and so knowledgeable. She get 5 stars!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can only list one? I guess it would have to be Krakow. We had arrived at our hotel and our guide said to meet at 7:45 to walk to dinner. She took a few blocks down to the city center. We came to the opening and I think everyone in the tour all said, "wow" at the same time. It was nothing what I thought Krakow would look like. So magical."

Bethanie

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS Tour and it did not disappoint. This part of Europe was high on my list to visit and I knew it would be best visited with a plethora of local guides and logistics taken care of. We zipped from big cities to the coast and mountains with ease. A big thanks to our driver, Mitch! We easily navigated different currencies, languages, histories and cultural nuances thanks to Katka. With an excellent guide and wonderful tour members we couldn't lose!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Though there were many, I'll choose two moments. The first happened when we all tumbled out of the bus in Rovinj. Our first view of the city across the water as we took our boat to the hotel was magical. The second happened in Bled after a hike up a hill. My husband and I enjoyed a picnic lunch from the grocery store in town (Katka's recommendation!) while sitting on a couple tree stumps with a picturesque view of the island church and mountains in the distance. Beautiful."

Terry

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to many places in Europe but this tour took me to many places I have never been. As was my previous R.S. tour experience the tour was great. The bus was very comfortable and the driver exceptional. The other tour members were very nice and I felt I made good friends. The hotels were comfortable and the breakfasts very good. The tour guide Peter was more than exceptional. The locations came to life with his explanations of history, culture and why each location was important.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening/night boat trip on the Danube river literally took my breath away. The photos I was able to take were awesome as Budapest was literally lit up at night"

Michael

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was excellent! The lodging, meals, transportation, local guides, tour assistant, tour guide and tour participants was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was "WOW" !"

Jane

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves Tour and it was wonderful! I had never been to these countries and I'm so pleased we visited.Prague and Budapest were beautiful and fascinating, as was so much of the trip. Oh, and Krakow, I loved. All the history was so interesting and Peter was so informative. The hotels were very nice and comfortable. The group was great, too. Besides being informative, Peter was organized, pleasant, funny and truly great as a guide; we can't say enough good things about him!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was the city of Budapest. I was overwhelmed by its beauty, charm, accessibility and history. My husband's favorite part was the Park in Poland and the waterfalls, and Prague."

Cinthya

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very enjoyable trip, great group of people and an extraordinary tour guide, except one night at Eger.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Plitvice was a incredible beautiful."

Billie

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the mix of large and small cities as well as the beauty of the countryside. Good group of traveling companions. Good food. Wonderful local guides to learn about history and culture. Nice combination of guided walks with free time for exploring on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The realization that everyone we met was proud to be a citizen of his/her country, no matter how difficult life had been in the past."

Terrie

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 1 of 5

The tour was great until we stayed in Eger. We were put in a dirty, dusty room in Eger. After I opened the curtains. I had an severe asthma attack from the dust in the curtains. I was sick the rest of the trip and afterward.I was given $150 to cover the cost of the room at the Hotel Minaret.I loved the trip before this stay, Hotel Minaret ruined my trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I agreed to all the terms in your brochure but your company did not provided me with a clean hotel for all the nights. It is one thing for a hotel to be run down, another thing for a hotel to be dirty. This event took all the WOW out of your tour."

Ronn

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd RS tour, this one was just as exhilarating as our Best of Europe trip in 2018. George made us "2-for2" in guide excellence; he was extremely personable, well-prepared and knowledgeable. Being from Hungary, he added personal insight and a special stop due to his connections. Similarly, we found our 23 fellow travelers to be a diverse and delightful group. Everyone was flexible and adaptable, even though we dealt with a few more weather challenges than we had on our first trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments, but I'll go with one that some of us anticipated would be a possible disaster. Upon our evening arrival at our Plitvice Lakes lodging in Croatia, we were greeted by the latest snow flurries in 23 years, which continued through our tour the next day. Clad in multiple layers, virtually everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy our truly idyllic 6-mile trek through the park, awed by the natural beauty of countless waterfalls and lakes, accentuated by the lightly falling snow."

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.