Days
9
Price from
$994USD

All aboard! Next stop: Eastern Europe’s romantic heartlands.

Ride the rails through Eastern Europe’s most charming cities and get a taste of the good life. Soaking up the good vibes and minerals in Budapest’s stately thermal spas? Yep. Cruising across Lake Balaton’s emerald waters? Consider it done. Drinking a sunset spritz in Italy’s famous sinking city? You betcha. But don’t forget Zagreb’s awesome museums and nightlife, or the piece de resistance – a big fat slice of cream cake straight out of Bled. Pick up your boarding pass and join us on this rollicking rail journey through Eastern Europe to Italy.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Venice, Italy
Countries
Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia
Code
GEBV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Is there any better way to see Europe than by rail? Not only is it an environmentally-friendly and comfortable way to travel, you and your friends get to see the incredible scenery pass right outside your window.

  • Budapest’s charming bridges and criss-crossing streets were made for walking. Enjoy a breathtakingly scenic walk through this romantic city and see the Danube – Europe’s second longest river!

  • Escape to the country and visit Lake Balaton, where you can sail across emerald waters, try your hand windsurfing, or savour a (very) lazy afternoon wine tasting.

  • Eat your way through Croatia’s mix of European cuisines in Zagreb, with everything from fresh Mediterranean seafood to Italian-influenced antipasti and heavenly fried fritule doughnuts.

  • Chill out on the shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll mostly travel by train, which means you can avoid traffic jams and arrive right in the city centres. European trains are comfortable and always have toilets, but they can be quite busy at times. Remember that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so try not to exceed our weight and size recommendations (see the 'Packing' section of the trip notes for more details).

  • This trip is for travellers who appreciate a bit of independence. You'll get plenty of free time in each location to make your own choices and do your own activities. Your leader will always be there to give you tips and suggestions.

  • Cobblestones are so charming and romantic, until you need to wheel a suitcase across them. It's a generally a good idea to bring a backpack instead.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with (an)other traveller(s) of the same gender, mostly twin, triple and quad share. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can! Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also note that most of the accommodations used on this trip offer shared bathrooms, rather than en-suite facilities, and rooms can seem rather small by American or Australian standards.

Itinerary

Welcome to Budapest! Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. Glamourous and glitzy shops and restaurants now sit alongside old-world architecture and groomed boulevards. One unmissable activity is to soak in the city’s 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 keep your brain busy while your body relaxes).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception.
Enjoy a free day in Budapest. Exploring the historical Buda castle is definitely one way to do it! Forget about the bustling city and lose yourself in the history of the 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! In the afternoon 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
Optional Activities
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Szechenyi Baths Entrance & locker - EUR16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Catch the train this morning through Hungary’s green countryside, past manicured vineyards, fields of lavender and woodlands to Lake Balaton. This sprawling freshwater lake is surrounded by ancient fortresses, underwater caves and historic little villages calling out for exploration. Perhaps grab an ice cream and take a stroll through Tihany Town, the oldest medieval village in the region, or pop on a swimsuit and explore the incredible underground lake caves. The water here is so pure you can actually see the bottom! If you’d prefer time out in the sun instead, there is always the portion to simply relax by the lake shore.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Another train, another country. Catch an afternoon train to Croatia's capital, Zagreb. On arrival take an orientation walk on which your leader will point out local amenities and attractions you might want to visit along the way, such as a number of excellent museums to visit including the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships. Ask any questions you might have about the city during the walk.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Zagreb, so check out both the upper town and the lower town to understand the city's culture. The tallest building in town is the gothic Zagreb Cathedral, with iconic twin spires that dominate the city's skyline. Ban Jelacic Square is the city's central point, which is surrounded by multiple structures that reflect different periods of Zagreb's past. There is so much to see and do here, the hard thing is deciding what to choose.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zagreb Funicular - HRK4
  • Ivan Meštrović Atelier - HRK30
  • Zagreb City Museum - HRK30
  • Lotrščak Tower - HRK20
  • Museum of Broken Relationships - HRK30
  • Mirogoj Cemetary - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by train to the lakeside town of Bled. An eye-popping spot, Lake Bled is found at the edge of the Julian Alps in Slovenia. Needless to say, there are lots of outdoor activities on offer to get the blood pumping. Upon arrival why not head out by bike around the lake or to Vintgar Gorge (4km) and walk through the natural canyon? Explore Bled Castle, perched atop the 100-metre cliff overlooking the lake, or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated within a glaciated valley in the Julian Alps. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear you might even see Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. For a sample of Bled cuisine, look no further than the famous Bled Cake – a vanilla, custard, cream and pastry delight.
Included Activities
  • Bled Bike Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
No better place to get active than on a full free day in Bled. Go for a lake walk (or run if you feel like!) in the morning, or do your hot yoga poses on the grassy bank of the lake. You won’t find a better set up for it than in Bled! Afterwards perhaps enjoy a full day adventure around the Triglav Massive, including some white water rafting and other blood pumping activities! Check with your leader for all the options and book in advance not to miss out. If you don’t feel like going crazy, just enjoy the beauty of the place; perhaps find a quiet spot near the lake and spend a day reading your book.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bled Pletna Boat Trip - EUR14
  • Bled Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
  • Day Trip to Ljubljana - EUR15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board the train and brace yourself for some amazing scenery on the way to Venice (approximately 5.5 hours). Venice is one of a kind, built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. As well as all those romantic canals, it has all the hallmarks of a fine old Italian city: world-class food, performance, art and architecture. Use your free time to explore – the best way to go is on foot. Take in all the famous sights, like the Grand Canal, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco and its golden basilica, and the Bridge of Sighs. Don't even think about leaving until you've eaten some tiramisu. This is where the dish was born, and they know how to do it just right.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR19
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR10
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • Concerto - EUR32
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It's time to say ciao to the famous sinking city, and you're free to leave at any time today. Unless you would like to extend your stay here in which case we are happy to help you book additional accommodation. Alternatively, why not join Geckos’ ‘Italy by Rail’ trip, taking you all the way down to Rome. If you have more time in Venice check out the tours Urban Adventures have on offer. Please see urbanadventures.com for more details.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Sweet Taste of Venice - EUR36
  • Urban Adventures - Canal & Aperitivo Experience - EUR113
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts

Transport

Train

Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
  • Bled Bike Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

ITINERARY
You don't have a lot of time in Budapest and Venice 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.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is not available on this trip, however you may be able to upgrade and pay for it locally at the time of check-in (subject to availability).

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.