Jewish Heritage to Eastern EuropeBudapest, Prague and Vienna
10 DAYS/ 9 NIGHTS
Day 1: FRIDAY - BUDAPEST
Arrive in Budapest, the sophisticated capitol of Hungary; private transfer to your hotel. Time to explore this beautiful city on your own. In the evening, meet your guide for a walk to attend evening services at the impressive Doheny Street Synagogue built in 1859, which has been beautifully restored. Following services, continue walking with your guide to enjoy a wanderful Shabbat dinner at a deluxe restaurant in the Carvinus Kempinski Hotel.
Day 2: SATURDAY - BUDAPEST
This morning, you will enjoy an orientation walking tour of the majestic capital of Hungary. Discover the “Belvaros,” one of the oldest districts of the city and the heart of Budapest, with ever expanding pedestrian zones, shopping streets, fountains and parks. You will be attracted to the statues, domes and mosaics on the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings. Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own.
Day 3: SUNDAY - BUDAPEST
Morning walking tour to the Jewish Museum with its wealth of artifacts and documents relating to Jewish life in Hungary. Stop at the unique Weeping Willow Memorial, dedicated to Jews who perished during the Nazi reign of terror. Inside tour of the beautifully restored Dohany Street Synagogue, the largest in Europe and second largest worldwide; it is built next to the birthplace of Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism. You will also see the Rumbach Street Synagogue. This afternoon on your tour with your private guide and bus you will explore Buda and Pest linked by eight graceful bridges. A drive via Heroes’ Square, the Castle District and Fishermen’s Bastion offers glorious views of the Danube. Tonight, enjoy a boat cruise on the Danube River where Budapest’s most beautiful sights, bathed in light, unfold before you.
Day 4: MONDAY - BUDAPEST / PRAGUE
Transfer for a flight or train from Budapest to Prague. Meeting and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy this charming city.
Day 5: TUESDAY – PRAGUE
Morning panoramic city tour includes views of the State Opera, Wenceslas Square, the National Museum, and the Charles Bridge. Continue to Prague Castle and walk across the courtyard to see St. Vitus Cathedral. Cross the Vltava River to the Old Town. You’ll enjoy a walking tour of this lovely area including the Old Town Hall and the world famous Astronomical Clock. Afternoon Jewish interest walking tour features the Old Jewish Town including the former Jewish Ghetto area; the Jewish Town Hall; a visit to the Jewish Museum complex, home of the Precious Legacy; the 13th-century Alt-Neu Synagogue and the Pinkas, Klaus and Maisel Synagogues. Then, continue to the 15th-century Jewish Cemetery. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 6: Wednesday – PRAGUE
Choose to have a day at leisure or take an optional pilgrimage to Terezin, former model concentration camp. Visit the small fortress, museum, and the Jewish cemetery with its impressive Menorah Sculpture surrounded by symbolic, nameless groves. Return to Prague for the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy a special dinner.
Day 7: THURSDAY - PRAGUE / VIENNA
Transfer to the rail station for first class train to Vienna. Enjoy the scenic countryside before arriving in Vienna; transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day to explore this amazing city on your own. If you wish to visit the Stadttempel, it can only be visited for prayers Friday evening or Saturday morning. There is also a public regularly guided tour on Mondays through Thursdays at 11:30am or 2pm so you may be able to make the 2pm tour if you wish (you must toke your passport if you wish to enter the Synagogue. (To visit during prayer services a reservation is required).
Day 8: FRIDAY - VIENNA
During your morning private walking tour you will learn about the Jewish life and heritage in Vienna from past to present. You will see the monuments of the first district such as the Memorial against Ware and Fascism and Albertinaplatz; you will visit the Jewish Museum of Vienna at Palo is Eskeles: besides its rich collection of Judaica, the Museum also chronicles the story of Viennese Jewry and its impact on the development of this city. Names like Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Martin Buber, and Stefan Zweig will forever be associated with the cultural prominence of Vienna. You will then walk through the narrow streets to visit the Judenplatz and the Museum. Medieval Jewish traditions and presence thrived here until 1421, when the City Temple was destroyed. Today, this vast open square is dominated by the touching new Holocaust Memorial; and several prominent Jewish organizations have returned to the surrounding buildings. Also see the Hoher Market and the Seitenstettengasse in the very heart of Vienna’s Old Town. Passing by the Stadttempel, Vienna’s only surviving pre-war Synagogue, which today also houses the Community Offices and the Chief Rabbinate. Time for lunch on your own. Afternoon city tour will include a panoramic view of some of the major historical sights before inside visit to the magnificent Schoenbrunn Palace, summer residence of the Hapsburgs, known as the “Versailles of Austria,” with its opulent and impressive interior, including the magnificent ceremonial rooms in the central port of the palace.
Day 9: Saturday – VIENNA
Time at leisure to explore this wonderful city on your own. You may wish to visit the lovely Stadtpark to see the famous Johann Strauss Statue, explore the narrow streets and hidden courtyards in the first district, or visit the numerous interesting and historical museums. You can also visit the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) residence of the Hapsburgs for over 600 years and the official winter residence of the imperial family. You can shop to your heart’s content ond don’t forget to experience Vienna’s coffee house tradition by stopping at the famous Sacher Cafe to taste one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties – the Sacher Torte! All of these are walking distance from your hotel. Tonight, tickets included to the nearby Kursalon to enjoy a Mozart and Strauss Concert in the very place where Johann Strauss used to direct his orchestra from the position of first violin! This wonderful performance full of Viennese charm features music by the Strauss family plus some Mozart pieces – waltzes, polkas, arias and duets, as well as operettas and piano concerto melodies accompanied by excellent opera vocalists and enchanting ballet soloists – a most unforgettable evening.
Day 10: Sunday – DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for return flight.