Days
21
Price from
R39,115ZAR

Roam around Europe from Berlin to Krakow, Prague, Budapest and – errr – Athens.

Zigzag your way across Europe on this epic adventure from Deutschland to Greece, making adventure pit stops in all the best places (like Belgrade and Prague, Skopje and Budapest). Go in search of terrifying giant babies and uber-fit double-decker buses in Prague, dance along the Danube and eat all the food, all the time. Cake, pizza, schnitzel, tiramisu, ALL OF IT!


Start
Berlin, Germany
Finish
Athens, Greece
Countries
Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia
Code
GEBAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex history. And beer is cheaper than water here. Go figure

  • Gorge on the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Soak up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague before stepping right into the fairytale of Cesky Krumlov

  • So much of what is epic about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse

  • Enjoy a jaw-droppingly scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe's second longest river is also one of its most beautiful

  • Wander through Belgrade’s Bohemian quarter and grand 19th-century boulevards, before launching yourself into its animated nightlife.

  • Sitting alongside its Ottoman past, the Macedonian capital of Skopje has reinvented its centre with gleaming neo-classical monuments and buildings, adding a new layer to this fascinating city.

  • Uncover thousands of years of civilisation in Athens with a visit to the world-famous Acropolis and the ancient Agora.

  • There's nothing quite like dining on rich and hearty moussaka or grilled lamb and tzatziki in a traditional Greek tavern. Just wash it all down with a shot (or two) of ouzo.

Is this trip right for you?

  • HOT WEATHER: Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • LUGGAGE: Potholes and cobblestones are common across Europe – leave your wheelie bag at home and bring a backpack instead

  • SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex. If you would prefer a single room, a supplement is available to purchase at an additional charge. Please ask your Travel Consultant for more details.

  • ROOMING: Hotels in Europe often do not have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together in order to form a double bed.

  • TRANSPORT: One of the means of transportation on this trip is by train. European trains are comfortable and often come with some of the following facilities: air-conditioning, toilets, a snack carriage/vending machine/bar and power points. Train travel is also a fast way to travel long distances, allowing you to arrive right into the city centre without getting caught up in traffic jams. As you will have to carry your luggage on-board yourself, please make sure that it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the What to Take section.

  • COMBINATION TRIP: As this is a combination of two trips, your group leader and the composition of your group may change in Budapest

Itinerary

Guten Tag! Welcome to Berlin! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Berlin's nocturnal nightclub scene is a class in itself so perhaps go and discover it tonight after the meeting. Don’t stay up too long as tomorrow you’ll have a tick-list to go through if you want to say you have visited Berlin!
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Storyline of Berlin - EUR61
  • Urban Adventures - Hidden Berlin - EUR51
  • Urban Adventures - Food and Art in Funky Kreuzberg - EUR78
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, perhaps visit Mauerpark, which literally translates to Wall Park as it sits on the former Death Strip of the Berlin Wall. If the weather is nice the atmosphere is truly Berlin. In nearby Kastanienallee's pubs beer is cheaper than water. In the early afternoon, you'll board a train to Szczecin in Poland, where you’ll connect to your overnight train bound for Krakow. Don’t be late!
Optional Activities
  • Bike Tour - EUR28
  • Jewish Museum - EUR8
  • National History Museum - EUR8
  • Pergamon Museum - EUR13
  • River Cruise Sightseeing Tour - EUR25
  • Berliner Dom - EUR7
  • Berlin TV Tower - EUR13
  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum - EUR14
  • German History Museum - EUR8
  • Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz - EUR8
  • Reichstag (time slot must be booked online in advance) - Free
  • Schloss Charlottenburg - EUR21
  • Story of Berlin Museum - EUR12
  • Topography of Terror - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Possibly the best-known Polish city, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its old town is a World Heritage-listed site. Which means you have some exploring to do! Take a stroll around Wawel Castle which sits on top of a hill next to the Vistula River. It provides a magnificent backdrop to Krakow. Rynek Glowny, the town square, dates back to the 13th century, and is surrounded by awesome buildings, with the Cloth Hall as the centrepiece. There will be plenty of time to explore the city, so visit St Mary's Church, shop for amber or crafts, or just walk around with your jaw agape at all the old-world glory of the place. Find out why Mariacki Hejnal (the trumpeter on top of St Mary's Church) sounds like his tune is cut in half. Sample Obwarzanki while doing that. What’s Obwarzanki? Well, you'll find out.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Obwarzanki Snack on Rynek Glowny
Optional Activities
  • Jewish Krakow Adventure - EUR39
  • Urban Adventure - Home Cooked Krakow - EUR60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
If you want to tear yourself from the magical Main Square, venture out of town to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a deep underground network of tunnels and chambers that goes some 135 metres below. The Blessed Kinga Chapel is a highlight not to be missed, with all its fancy salt chandeliers and carvings. You might want to take a day trip to learn more about the history of World War II at Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau concentration camps and museums, sites where some of the worst atrocities were perpetrated (it's confronting, but important). A visit to Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter in Krakow, could be a great idea after visiting Oswiecim. Krakow has many cellar restaurants and pubs and a thriving cultural scene too, so head to the streets, dip into some awesome street food and never leave Krakow without trying some Pierogi. Ask locals (or your leader!), they’ll tell you where to go!
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN15
  • History Museum - PLN8
  • St. Mary's Basilica - PLN10
  • Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines tour - PLN145
  • State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, transport and guided tour from - PLN145
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Next up, journey to Prague. It's kind of a lengthy trip (approximately 7 hours), so try to nab a window seat and get cosy. This city is a wonderland of architecture, with buildings from the Middle Ages all the way through to the modern avant-garde. They don't call it the 'City of a Hundred Spires' for nothing. Check out the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building) on the banks of the Vltava. Don't miss Prague Castle, because it's not only the biggest castle in the Czech Republic, but it is oh-so-pretty too. It's where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. A walk through the Jewish Quarter is also a must. Hip literary types can visit the resting place of Franz Kafka. Afterwards, why not take a seat in one of Prague's underground bars and sip some absinthe or a Pilsner. Some of the best fun in Prague is had after the sun goes down, when the magic of the Old Town really comes alive.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Discovery - EUR66
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour - EUR68
  • Urban Adventure - Bohemian Tastes and Neighborhoods - EUR58
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Another day in Prague and so many possibilities. Discover the Bohemian Prague: extravagant, political, passionate, and fuelled with Czech Water. Learn how the Bohemian artists, writers, dissidents, and their mentality shaped the nation. Don’t forget to sample some of the best Czech beers and traditional and modern Czech snacks along the way. If you feel like going for a day trip out of the city, ask your leader to help you organise a trip to Kutna Hora’s Sedlec Ossuary, or The Church of Bones if you like, a small Roman Catholic chapel that contain the skeletons of between 40.000 and 70.000 people. Back in Prague remember that the nightlife in Prague is some of the best in Central Europe. Whether dance clubs, beer-halls or underground absinthe bars are your thing, there's something for everyone. The city also boasts one of Europe's most respected jazz scenes. If you find yourself out until the early hours in a jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or the Old Town Square as the sun rises for magical photo opportunities.
Optional Activities
  • Bike tour - CZK490
  • Jewish Quarter - CZK500
  • Kafka Museum - CZK200
  • Day Trip to Kutna Hora - CZK250
  • Mucha Museum - CZK240
  • Museum of Communism - CZK190
  • National Museum - CZK120
  • Prague Castle Entrance - CZK350
  • Sedlec Ossuary - CZK90
  • Church of St Barbara - CZK60
  • Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Prague and travel by train to the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov (approximately 4 hours). This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and is straight out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov (pronounced 'Chess-key Kroom-love') means 'crooked meadow', which is befitting, since the town is nestled in a sharp bend of the Vltava River. It also comes complete with a castle on a hill towering over the cute little old town, which boasts a collection of beautiful old buildings and a confusion of cobbled alleyways. Check out the castle and its epic Masquerade Hall, or climb the tower for aerial views of the town. If the weather's fine and you have two or three hours up your sleeve, take a relaxing raft or canoe trip on the river that winds right through the centre of Cesky Krumlov. This is a classic summer pastime.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Canoe Trip - CZK700
  • Guided walking tour - CZK300
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK160
  • Raft/canoe trip per person - CZK1200
  • Guided castle tour - CZK250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today travel on a series of trains to to Vienna, the capital of Austria (approx 5 hours). Once the centre of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is today a cosmopolitan city with music in the air and the grandeur of a golden past. Art lovers will be delighted by the vast array of museums available including the Albertina, the Leopold, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Modern Art. Those with an interest in 19th and 20th century Austrian art should visit the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt's famous painting, 'The Kiss', check out Hundertwasserhaus or discover the Secession Building with its gold laurel-leaf dome. Upon arrival you might like to indulge in a traditional Viennese coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with a spot of Mozart, Bach or Schubert in a concert hall.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Budweiser Budvar Brewery Tour - CZK120
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After a quick overview of what this great city has to offer your leader will take you to the famous Naschmarkt food and produce market, where you will have the option to try all sorts of weird and wonderful things. You will have the rest of the day free to explore Vienna at your own pace. You might like to head out to Schönbrunn for a guided audio tour of the summer palace designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. Here, the Gloriette Monument boasts killer views of Vienna. The palace gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. If you feel like watching dancing horses, catch a dressage show at the Spanish Riding School.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Naschmarkt Food & Produce Market
Optional Activities
  • Albertina Museum - EUR13
  • Belvedere Gallery - Lower Gallery - EUR13
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR14
  • Leopold Museum - EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
  • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
  • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
  • St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
  • Vienna Boys Choir concert - EUR70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Notes: Skip the queues to Schönbrunn palace by booking tickets online. For the Spanish Riding School you will need to book tickets well in advance. Remember that the Spanish Riding School doesn't operate throughout the summer months
Take a train from Vienna to Budapest (approximately 3 hours) and explore this exotic 'Pearl of the Danube'. Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. Glamourous and glitzy shops and restaurants sit alongside old-world architecture and groomed boulevards. Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to get around. Budapest is the perfect city to enjoy from the water. From here you'll be able to see the magnificent buildings that line the banks of the Danube River and the bridges linking Buda to Pest (who would have thought?). Take one of the tourist boat trips to see the sights or cross the Chain Bridge for a spectacular views of the Parliament Building and the Castle District. Make sure you head down to the river after dark to enjoy the floodlit spectacle. Head out to Statue Park to see all the communist monuments that were removed from the city streets after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is to soak in the hot thermal baths. There are loads of these around the city centre and they range from classy and elegant to simple outdoor types. Some even have chess boards so you can exercise your brain while rejuvenating your body.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR45
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR64
  • Private Budapest: Best Beers of Budapest - UA - EUR97
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy another day in the Pearl of the Danube. Exploring the historical Buda castle is definitely one way to do it! Forget about the bustling city and lose yourself in the history of Buda castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings. The winding streets of Castle District dates back to the 13th century. And there is an old, mid-19th century local pastry shop there! As this is a combination trip, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Budapest. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. You're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you have the option to join your leader on a short orientation walk of the city. Afterwards you have a free day to spend in Budapest. Alternatively, join your leader on a trip to Szimpla Kert, one of Budapest's famous ruin bars. They originated as squats hidden in inconspicuous side streets, and have since become an inherent part of Budapest's night life. In the evening, board an overnight train to Belgrade.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Wake up in Serbia in time to see the train pull into station. Also known as the ‘White City’, Serbia’s capital takes pride of place straddling the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers. Settle in at the hostel and then get to know the surrounding area with an optional orientation walk with your leader. After that it’s open slather. The bohemian quarter of Skadarlija is the perfect place to let your hair down and try some local food, or you can walk the ramparts of the imposing Kalemagdan Fortress. At night there’s no shortage of trendy clubs and smoky bars to visit where you can shout a hearty ‘zivjeli’ while drinking rakija with the locals.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a sleep in (you deserve it) and then tackle a second big day in Belgrade. The day is all yours to explore, so ask your leader for some insider tips on how to spend your time. Perhaps sign up for a cruise along the Danube River, passing Kalemagdan Fortress, Pancevo Bridge and the artist village of Zemun. Maybe check out the Nikola Tesla Museum and learn about the life and work of Serbia's greatest inventor. Travelling in summer? Pack a towel and join the locals at Ada Ciganlija beach, where you can swim, take part in water-sports or simply soak up the sun with a cocktail. For dinner pick up a plate of cevap (little meat sausages) and prebranac, a Serbian take on baked beans. Continue exploring Belgrade’s nightlife by visiting one of the floating bars on the river.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning hop onto another train to Skopje, Macedonia's capital city (approximately 3 hours). Devouring gozleme and baklava is probably at the top of your list but take the time to check out one of the city’s 30 mosques, innumerable caravanserais and hamams. Failing that, eat your gozleme while simply walking through the narrow lanes of Carsija, Skopje's most atmospheric neighbourhood. The Museum of the City of Skopje, which is housed inside an old railway station, is also worth seeing for its unusual, partially ruined facade (the result of an earthquake in 1963). The clock on the outside is stuck at 5:17, the exact moment the earthquake struck.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is another free day in Skopje, so why not venture out of town and check out Matka Canyon – a deep ravine cut into the Suva mountains by the Treska River, 15 kilometres southwest of the city. Here you’ll find caves, 70 different species of butterflies (count ‘em, we’ll wait) and several medieval monasteries. There is also Vrelo cavern nearby, a water-filled cave with incredible stalagmites and as-yet unchartered depths. Some experts believe it might even be the deepest underwater cave in the world. If caves and stalactites aren’t your thing, you can also tackle one of the many nature walks in the canyon. In the evening, grab your crew for dinner in the Old Bazaar or at the restaurants in the Debar Maalo area.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Catch a bus ride this morning and arrive in cosmopolitan Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece! Thessaloniki is largely considered the cultural capital of Greece, with plenty of shopping, nightlife and entertainment. After settling in, head out to the waterfront and visit the White Tower or check out some of the city’s many Ottoman and Roman ruins. Thessaloniki’s food scene combines 2,000 years of history to create an intriguing mix of French, Balkan and Mediterranean flavours (plus a dash of Eastern spices too). There are plenty of eateries to try around the Roman Agora, so why not try an authentic souvlaki for dinner and wash it down with a Mythos beer. Thessaloniki has a large student population, which means there are plenty of thumping bars and nightclubs to explore come nightfall.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After a short train ride (approximately 1 hour), arrive in the laid back beach village of Nei Pori. Check into the hotel before taking a short orientation walk, including a visit to Nei Pori’s Old Town. After that, the rest of the day is free to do as you please. Get into a swimsuit and perhaps while away the day on Nei Pori’s white sand beaches.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the most of a second day in relaxing Nei Pori. Perhaps head out to Mount Olympus, Greece's first national park. It is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest in the Balkans, with a height of 2918m. The mountain is famous in Greek mythology as it is the dwelling of the twelve Olympian gods, headed by Zeus. Mytikas peak was the gods' meeting place, and Stefani peak was the Throne of Zeus from where he was said to have displayed his mighty power by throwing thunderbolts. Head out for a hike along the lush forested ravines and ridges of the mountain - there are several options from 3 to 6 hours. Your leader will be able to help you arrange transport. Back in Nei Pori you’ll find a range of differently flavoured ouzo and tispouro in the many shops, so pick up a bottle to share this afternoon or take back home. After more lazing on the beach, get ready for a night out at Nei Pori’s beach bars or head to the nightclubs in nearby Platamon.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning catch yet another train to arrive in Athens, the heart of Greece and centre of the ancient world. This incredible city was given a face lift in the lead up to the 2004 Olympics, which means it has updated streets and architecture plus all the Old World charm of the Acropolis, Pantheon and more. All of the highlights can be easily seen on a walk of the city, so don’t forget to check out the original Olympic Stadium and swing by Syntagma Square to see the changing of the guards (featuring a very dramatic and pom-pom filled walk). Another highlight is the Acropolis Museum, where you can walk over ancient ruins encased in glass. Later tonight, why not enjoy a farewell meze dinner with your crew. Toast the end of this railway adventure with a shot (or two) of ouzo.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This adventure comes to an end today and there are no activities planned. You are able to depart at any time. There’s so much to see and do in Athens so we don’t blame you if you’re planning on sticking around a little longer. We can arrange additional accommodation for you on request (subject to availability) and also set you up on one of our Urban Adventure day trips, such as ‘Taste of Athens’ or ‘Markets, Ruins and Ancient Athens’. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Overnight train

Accommodation

Hostel (14 nights), Overnight train (2 night), Hotel (2 nights), Apartments (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Obwarzanki Snack on Rynek Glowny
  • Visit to Naschmarkt Food & Produce Market
  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar

Dates & availability

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Important notes

START AND END TIME
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

ITINERARY
You don't have a lot of time in Berlin and Athens at the start and the end of the trip respectively, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth, we recommend you tag on a few days before and/or after the trip. Please ask a Geckos Travel Consultant for more information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.