- Traveling with GEEO
- Educator Resources
- About Us
- Traveling with GEEO
- Educator Resources
- About Us
From fairytale Czech towns to Budapest, the “Pearl of the Danube,” experience the unique culture, food, and history of Central Europe. This 2-week trip through five Central European countries offers an intriguing combination of urban centers, village life, and outdoor pursuits. Visit castles, churches, and romantic town squares, indulging in Berlin’s café culture and Prague’s beer.
Our first priority is our travelers’ safety, especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that on our group programs such as this one, we require all participants to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Please click here for more details regarding our health and safety policies.
Arrive in Berlin at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. We HIGHLY recommended arriving a day or two early to explore this world-renowned city fully. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting, typically 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. After the meeting, you might like to take the opportunity to head out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to get to know your tour leader and traveling companions further. Please make every effort to arrive on time for this welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
Berlin is an amazing city with tangible historical importance and a melting pot of different cultures and flavors. The very name Berlin conjures images of the famous Berlin Wall. Two sections of the wall still remain on display – the East Side Gallery, where artists have decorated the remaining section of the wall, and the Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer). Down the street from the Berlin Wall is the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, a museum that documents the history of the wall and, interestingly, many of the different ways people tried to escape. Learn about all of the creative ways used to cross over to the other side. Afterward, you can head over to the Brandenburg Gate, another spot of great historical significance. Here, hundreds of thousands of people were finally able to cross from the East side to the West after the fall of the wall. It has traditionally, and continues to be, a political rallying point for different groups and concerns. If you are still craving museums, Berlin has plenty! Some options all worth considering: the Pergamon Museum, home to one of the world's greatest collections of ancient architecture and art; the Egyptian Museum (Agyptisches Museum), which houses many Egyptian artifacts; the Judishes Museum, which tells the story of the relationship between the Germans and the Jews throughout the last few centuries; the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin Museum, with plenty of modern art that is sure to spark interest and curiosity; or the Berggruen Collection at the Die Sammlung Berggruen to see an extensive art collection of Picasso, as well as paintings by Klee, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. For those interested in Berlin's government, past and present, visit the Reichstag. Please note: You need your passport to enter the Reichstag and you must arrange your visit in advance using this website: https://www.bundestag.de/en/visittheBundestag/dome/registration-245686. Here, you can go up to the glass dome for a view of Berlin or learn about the fascinating history of the building. For more history from this grim period, visit the Topographie des Terrors, a row of old cellars where prisoners were tortured. See the hundreds of pictures from the era and read the newspaper clippings to get a better understanding of what went on in the cellars and throughout Nazi Germany. Another moving sight is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. This visually striking memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust was designed by American architect Peter Eisenman and consists of hundreds of cement pillars of various heights. Eisenman reportedly drew inspiration from the Jewish Cemetery in the Old Town of Prague, which you might want to see later in the trip. Finally, for an amazing view of Berlin, visit the famous Berlin Television Tower with a viewing room and cafe located 203 meters above ground, providing sweeping views of the city.
We depart Berlin early this morning on a train to Kraków, Poland's cultural hub, where, when we arrive, we will take an orientation of one of the most charming cities in Eastern Europe. We first head to the center of everything – the Old Town’s Rynek Glowny square, one of the world’s largest medieval squares. You can sit for hours watching the people wander by over the cobblestoned streets. Make time to indulge in the mighty carbohydrate, Poland’s favorite food group. As the birthplace of the bagel, you can sample them from vendors in the square or eat your body weight in the most delicious of Polish delicacies, the pierogi. These little ravioli-like pouches are filled with all sorts of things, the best being mashed potato, and you will likely be tempted to work your way through each variety during your stay. To really eat like a local, get your CEO to take you to a “milk bar,” where you can line up with the locals for traditional cheap polish food, cafeteria-style! When you awaken from your carb-coma, visit the royal castle perched on the Wawel Hill, providing a great view of the city. Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by train Please note: We have upgraded this hotel to a higher level of accommodation due to previous complaints of the hotel in Kraków not having AC and being hot and noisy due to the thriving nightlife in the old town of Kraków. Our hotel this year will have AC, but won't be in Old Town. This way you can enjoy the nightlife if you wish, but either way, have a peaceful night's sleep.
As a group, we start the day with a visit to the site of one of history's most horrific crimes, Auschwitz-Birkenau, a short distance from Kraków. The site embodies tragedy, inhumanity, and the survival of will. Today, the museum stands testament to the inconceivable atrocities of the Second World War, whilst paying tribute to the thousands of lives unjustly taken within. You will spend the rest of the day exploring charming Kraków however you wish.
Take a free day to explore Kraków. For some of the history that makes Kraków so famous, visit the former Jewish district with its seven synagogues and which was used as the location for filming the movie Schindler’s List. Three gigantic Gothic churches and more than 800 pubs are huddled in nooks and alleyways here, where time slows down. If you can tear yourself away from the charms of Kraków, make a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mines (roughly 79 PLN per person), located only a short distance away. Here, you will be plunged into a deep, underground network of tunnels and chambers some 135 m below the surface. The Blessed King's Chapel is a highlight not to be missed, with its elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings. Another option is taking a stroll up Wawel Hill (or catch a ride on a horse and carriage) to 16th-century Wawel Castle. Roam the gardens or the museum featuring exhibitions that give you some insight into life as a royal, such as Royal Private Apartments and the Crown Treasury and Armory. You may want to end your day embracing Polish social traditions in one of Kraków’s many cellar restaurants and pubs. Dive into the thriving social scene over a few vodkas in one of these cheerful establishments, Zubrowka (Bison Grass Vodka) is a must!
Take a scenic train to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is regarded by many as the unspoiled jewel in Europe’s historic crown and is a unique community where every street, ghetto, inn, and theater tells a story. As well as the chance to visit all the major sights of the Old Town and Hradčany (the neighborhood around and including Prague Castle), we have time to simply soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful city. Approximate travel time: 8 hrs by train
Today is a free day in Prague. A stroll across the Charles Bridge is a must. By day, it is thronged with tourists, vendors, and street musicians. At night, the bridge is less crowded, and it's much easier to appreciate the scenery as well as the ever-so-slightly sinister quality of the statues looming overhead. Cross the bridge and you'll find yourself in Mala Strana, a far less crowded district that offers the perfect atmosphere for some introspective wandering. If you like a challenge, climb 200+ steps up to the famous Prague Castle (250-350 CZK per person), known as Pražský hrad, former home of the Bohemian Kings. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest castle complex in the world and includes Roman-style buildings from the 10th century. Still got energy? Climb the lookout tower of St. Vitus Cathedral, located in the heart of the complex, and be rewarded with a glorious view of the city. Prague certainly has no shortage of breathtaking views and Petřín Hill, near the Prague Castle, offers a less obstructed panoramic vista of the "city of spires." If you're not in the mood for hiking uphill you can always take a cable car all the way to the top. We recommend watching the sunset from the heights of the Letná Beer Garden in Letná Park, along the banks of the Vltava River. Sample a pint of Gambrinus 10° Czech beer, world-famous for its superb quality and low cost. Grab a grilled sausage and soak in the scenery. If you're in the area and want to experience traditional Czech pubs, which are guaranteed to be loud, lively, and packed with locals on any night of the week, this is the place to find restaurants serving traditional Czech cuisine such as fried pork cutlets, goulash, and dumplings.
Today, you have another free day to get to know the charming city of Prague. Whether you are Jewish or not, it is well worth visiting the fascinating Prague Ghetto (10-20 EUR per person). Known as "Josefov," the old Jewish Quarter is located between the Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Josefov was first established in the 13th century when Jewish people were ordered to leave their homes in other areas of the city and settle in this designated community. Birthplace to author Franz Kafka, see a monument in his honor, visit historical synagogues, a cemetery, and a museum with many artifacts collected during the Second World War. You may also want to visit the Mucha Museum (240 CZK per person), the Museum of Communism (150 CZK per person), or the Kafka Museum (1-2h, 200 CZK per person). For a great view of the city, head to the Žižkov Television Tower (230 CZK per person). Our last tip is to try the duck, which should be properly served with a side of sauerkraut and bread dumplings ("knedliky"). Seriously, eat some duck while you are in Prague.
This morning, we travel to Český Krumlov. Take your time exploring the spectacular castle and narrow cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site that oozes with culture, history, and life. Art galleries, cozy inns, and ancient taverns abound inside of old buildings designed in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. Tour the Český Krumlov State Castle and Chateau, which is complete with hidden passageways, a unique Baroque theater, a hedge maze, and beautiful gardens. Built between the 14th and 19th centuries, the well-preserved layout, structure, interior, and architectural details earned it a spot on UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage Monuments. Discover the history and architecture of this charming town. Check out the Jewish synagogue built in Nouveau-Romanesque style in 1909 by the local Jewish community, featuring an eight-sided tower with Torah-shaped windows. Cycle through the region's forests or explore the area by horseback. Sample the famous Czech beer with a visit to a local brewery or travel to Budvar (translated to "Budweiser"), and be sure to get out and see the town at night. You could also rent a raft and set off on a gentle float down the Vltava River. Perhaps stop for snacks along the way. Either way, you will enjoy this easy excursion on the water. Approximate travel time: 2-3 hrs by private vehicle
This morning, we leave the Czech Republic, as we travel by private vehicle to Vienna, Austria. In the afternoon, we will enjoy an orientation walk of the city's beautiful and elegant streets, taking in Vienna's most famous sights. The walk will focus on the Hofburg, residence of the Habsburg family for nearly 650 years, and St. Stephen's Cathedral, the landmark of Vienna. As we discover the sights, you will hear tales of the infamous Habsburgs – such as the story of Sissi and Franz Joseph – and other tales from Vienna's folklore as well as discover the Sachertorte coffee houses and, of course, the oldest cake shop in the city. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle
Today is a free day for you to explore the elegant city of Vienna. Perhaps, take in some of Europe's most distinguished art galleries or simply settle yourself on a café terrace, order up a slice of mouthwatering Viennese cake, and watch the world go by over coffee. Take a look at our optional activities list further below for some suggestions with what to do with your time.
Today, we travel to Hungary in order to explore the beautiful city of Budapest. With the Danube River dividing the old town, Buda, from the newer area, Pest, there is plenty to see and do. Perhaps, you might wish to visit Buda Castle, browse the boutiques and shops on the Pest side of the Danube, or soak in the city's famous thermal baths. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by train
Today is a free day exploring the charming and historic city of Budapest. Take a look at our optional activities list further below for some suggestions with what to do with your time.
Our program ends in Budapest this morning. Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs). If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!