• Rick Steves' Best of Eastern Europe Tour, Day by Day

    What’s it like discovering the Best of Eastern Europe on a Rick Steves tour? Take a day-by-day-tripping slideshow, starting with this happy group (holding still for photographer Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli) beside a sunny field on a Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days tour. Let’s go!

  • Day 1: Welcome to Prague

    We’ll meet at 3 p.m. to get acquainted and preview the adventures ahead. This afternoon we’ll jump right in and enjoy a walking tour through our neighborhood and Prague’s colorful Old Town Square. We’ll continue on to the Josefov neighborhood and learn about the rich heritage and enduring struggles of Prague’s Jews. We'll end our evening over a hearty dinner together. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 2: Royal, Prestigious Prague

    This morning we’ll hop aboard a local tram to take us across the Vltava River and up the hill to the most massive castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. We’ll tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, and the Golden Lane. You’ll then have free time for lunch and the remainder of the day for more sightseeing on your own. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Musician in Pustevny, Czech Republic

    Day 3: The Czech Countryside

    We’ll leave the city and drive east into mountainous Moravia, stopping in the beautifully Baroque hill town of Štramberk, where we’ll enjoy some free time for lunch and exploration. Then we’ll continue on to our rustic lodge deep amidst the beautiful Beskydy Mountains. Your guide will take you on a hilltop walk, admiring the pristine views and spinning tall tales of local legends. Tonight we’ll enjoy a Moravian feast along with entertainment from a local folk troupe. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorial, Oświęcim, Poland

    Day 4: Lessons of the Past

    Today we’ll cross into Poland, where we’ll enjoy lunch together and a bit of free time in the postcard-perfect village of Pszczyna. This afternoon a local guide will lead us through the concentration camp sites of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Europe’s most moving memorials to the Holocaust. Tonight’s destination is the surprising city of Kraków, Poland’s cultural crossroads and melting pot. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 5: Historic Kraków, Then and Now

    This morning we’ll meet a local guide and wind our way through the story of Kraków. We’ll learn about the life and impact of local legend and saint John Paul II, and then marvel at Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral. We’ll also 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! (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Street musicians, Kraków, Poland

    Day 6: Jewish Kraków

    After a free morning to enjoy the delights of Kraków’s Old Town, we’ll meet up for a walking tour through the Kazimierz district. Depopulated by Nazis and neglected by Communists, today Kazimierz is undergoing a major renaissance. Here we’ll learn how, for hundreds of years, Poland was the center of Jewish culture for all of Europe. We’ll end our tour with a visit to the museum that best captures Poland’s shattering WWII experience: Oskar Schindler’s Factory. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Tatras Mountains, Slovakia

    Day 7: Scenic Drive into Hungary

    Today’s drive takes us across Slovakia (the geographic center of Europe) and into the scenic Tatras — granite mountains that seem to burst up from the center of the earth. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the small town of Levoča, and then continue on to the rolling hills of Hungary’s famous “Bull’s Blood” wine-growing region. Tonight in the town of Eger, where the townspeople…with some help…turned back an Ottoman invasion of central Europe in 1552, we’ll share a family-style Hungarian feast. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 8: From Villages to Capital

    This morning you’ll have time to soak in Eger’s Baroque beauty or soak yourself in Eger’s baths. Later we’ll visit a school in the nearby village of Recsk, where we’ll sit down and chat with a local teacher and enjoy lunch together in the cafeteria (when available). Then we’ll learn about the region’s deservedly famous wines with a tour and tasting at the local Kohari Winery. Our destination this evening is Budapest, the mighty Magyar capital on the Danube. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Great Market Hall, Budapest, Hungary

    Day 9: Bustling Budapest

    On our walking tour this morning we’ll learn how Hungarians coped with half a century of fascist and communist tyranny. This afternoon you’ll be free to wander through the Great Market Hall — an architectural gem and the city’s largest indoor market — and treat your senses to a few paprika-infused delicacies. We’ll regroup later on, ending our day together with a relaxing cruise on the Danube. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Fishermen's Bastion, Budapest, Hungary

    Day 10: Historic Budapest

    Today we’ll focus on the Buda side of the Danube, starting with a funicular ride up the steep Castle Hill for bird’s-eye views of sprawling Pest, and a walking tour that takes us past the imposing Royal Palace and into Budapest’s greatest church, the sumptuously gilded Matthias Church. When we've finished here, your guide will be happy to arrange, for those who are interested, a chance to soak in the ornate and traditional public Thermal Baths. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Goat cuddle at farm in Goričan, Croatia

    Day 11: Natural Wonders of Croatia

    After breakfast we’ll drive out of Hungary and into Croatia. Just across the border, we’ll be welcomed with a fresh, family-prepared lunch in a pleasant farm setting. Then we’ll drive on to our destination, the deep greens and blues of Croatia’s water wonderland and one of Europe’s premier nature preserves: Plitvice Lakes National Park. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 12: From the Forests to the Sea

    This morning we’ll hike along rustic boardwalk trails connecting the idyllic forests, travertine stone cliffs, clear blue lakes, and gushing waterfalls of Plitvice National Park. We'll learn how the park is creatively managing to protect its delicate environment, including the use of electric trams and boats. We'll take a lunch break to replenish ourselves, then give our legs a rest as we drive to the Istrian Peninsula on the Adriatic Sea and the enchanting seaside town of Rovinj. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 13: Free Day in Rovinj

    Take a “vacation from your vacation.” The entire day is yours to enjoy the sun, gelato, seafood, and lazy ambience of Rovinj. Wander through the narrow streets, watch local fishermen bring in the day’s catch, or head to the beach for sun and a swim. We’ll compare notes at an informal happy hour early this evening. (Photo by Cameron Hewitt)

  • Lake Bled, Slovenia

    Day 14: Julian Alps and Lake Bled

    Today we’ll head to the azure jewel of Lake Bled in the midst of Slovenia’s Julian Alps. Along the way, we’ll stop and enjoy lunch together before continuing on to our final destination beside a pristine lake ringed by forests and hiking paths. (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 15: Lake Bled's Chapel-Topped Island

    Today we'll take a traditional pletna boat ride together to Lake Bled's chapel-topped island, where local tradition requires each would-be husband to carry his bride up the 99 steps from the boat dock to the altar. Your afternoon is free to take a scenic walk around the lake, or a fun blast down the luge course (next slide). Tonight we'll rendezvous for a special dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Na zdravje! (Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 16: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

    Learn more about the Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days tour