Highlights
  • This trip takes you to a variety of Christmas markets across central Europe. Contrast the various traditions, cuisines and of course, mulled wine, in several amazing cities
  • Munich's Christmas markets are probably the most famous of them all. Authentic Bavarian food, ale and music make this an unforgettable Christmas experience
  • Vienna's Christmas markets are as ornamental as its architecture. Austria's capital provides a spectacular seasonal shopping affair, with tonnes of hand-crafted toys, candles and paintings on offer. Where better to pick up those last-minute gifts?
  • Jolly Budapest really embraces the Christmas spirit. Take a walk through the streets to find every street, tree and market lit up in lights

Indulge the senses by exploring the best of Central Europe’s festive market scene. Feel the bustling energy of Munich’s charismatic Christmas markets, savour the smell of spicy festive delights in Salzburg, see the sights of vibrant Vienna and take a therapeutic soak in the thermal baths of Budapest. Meander from stall to stall, discovering new sights, sounds, flavours and fashions.

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Value
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4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7
Christmas Markets of Central Europe

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Recommends

Outstanding experience! A few tips and thoughts on Barcelona to Rome. April 2017

5.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
As with all small group travel, your group and tour leader have a lot to do with whether or not you have an enjoyable tour. For this trip, we were lucky enough to have a great group and an absolutely amazing tour leader. Adrian (tour leader) was a huge part of why this tour was a resounding success!

Just a couple thoughts on this particular trip:

- Bring a suitcase! Don't buy the hype and strap a big old backpack to yourself. You'll regret it (trust me). A suitcase is easier and quicker to pack than a backpack. True, many streets in older areas of European cities have cobblestones. If your suitcase has wheels, you're probably ok on these streets and sidewalks. The trek between train station and hotel can be quite a haul in some instances. As long as you can safely carry your luggage up and down a flight of about 30 stairs and lift it above your head on occasion to store it in the train, you're fine. If you can't lift and/or carry your suitcase for these short distances, you have either packed too much stuff or you just might not be in shape to make this trip. We had a group of 10 travelers and 8 brought suitcases. Hauling a loaded backpack up and down train station stairs and from station to hotel and back was way more effort than it was worth.

- Don't be afraid to sample the local cuisine (sometimes). Following local customs and eating local dishes is part of why you travel. That being said, there is a reason some of these traditional dishes haven't become worldwide sensations. Some of them just aren't that great. It's hard to know what you'll enjoy ahead of time, but trust your gut and try things you wouldn't normally try at home. Just don't be shocked if, every once in awhile, you don't ask for seconds.

- Wear comfortable shoes! We're not talking about shoes that are soft and comfy while walking around the house. We're talking shoes that can keep your feet intact while walking uneven surfaces and pounding those previously mentioned cobblestone streets and sidewalks for extended distances and periods of time every single day. Imagine a strenuous 7-8km hike in the mountains over rocks of all shapes and sizes. Now imagine walking your ever-loving backside off through town the very next day, and every day after that. You absolutely need shoes that will hold up to a lot of walking. I would advise bringing two pair of shoes for this trip. Better yet, get yourself used to walking long distances in your shoes of choice prior to the trip. You'll be glad you did.

- European bandaids suck. Bring your own. You will end up with a blister, or ten. If you don't bring your own adhesive bandages, you will not enjoy the outcome.

- Bring an extra t-shirt or two, a couple extra pairs of underwear, and enough socks to last until the apocalypse. There are opportunities to have your laundry washed while on this trip but you really don't want to run short of the essentials. I also found time to sneak off to a laundromat for an hour. You don't want to be the stinky one in the group. :)

- The stars of the trip for me, supply-wise: Febreze, an awesome travel adapter with 4 USB ports, a lightweight day pack, a travel wallet that attached securely to my belt, my own soap, and earplugs.

- Things I wish I had brought with me: a couple washcloths (You won't find any in these hotels), another pair of shorts, more bandaids, and a wheeled suitcase.

- Oh, I almost forgot. Get your phone/data situation figured out ahead of time. If your cellular provider offers coverage while you're in Europe for a somewhat reasonable cost, take advantage of it. If not, make certain to plan ahead and locate a reputable big-name cell service provider store as soon as your arrive. 15-20 bucks will get you a couple GB of data. Wifi is available in your hotel but you need data to use Google Maps. You need Google Maps. Trust me on this one. Download the areas you will be visiting for offline use before your trip. If you don't know how to do this, search the internet. Do not try to navigate any of these cities without some assistance. You will get lost. Guaranteed.

That's about it, I think. All in all, awesome trip! If you are lucky enough to have Adrian as your tour leader, enjoy! Your group plays a huge role in how much you enjoy this trip. Make sure you contribute positively to the group. Make friends. Go out of your way to make sure others have a good trip as well. Try new things. Enjoy the tremendous scenery. Know your limits but be willing to push them here and there. Good luck and safe travels!

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Operator Intrepid Travel

GR

Recommends

Great trip! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
It was a great trip - exactly as it was described on the website. Consisted of a great combination of city/town touring and active hiking.

Operator Intrepid Travel

t

Recommends

Italy - All the Highlights! September 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I had been on a couple Intrepid trips and I had been to Italy a couple of times... however this was the best time that I've had on either. Really a great group with a varied mix of people from across the globe. Really had a great time in Venice and Cinque Terra specifically due to our really funny and outgoing guide Maurizio. Florence was a good time as well and we had a lot of free time to explore as we wanted. I also recommend going in the Spring as the weather was cool but very comfortable and there weren't big crowds.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

M

Recommends

I believe sailing is not everyone cup October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I believe sailing is not everyone cup of tea but the overall experience of sailing and being out in the open sea is a big thrill. The overall trip experience was excellent.

Operator Intrepid Travel

A

Recommends

Excellent tour guide. Good group of people October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Excellent tour guide. Good group of people on the tour. Well organised. I can delegate the planning and legwork of working out what to do to someone else

Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Munich

Welcome to Munich, Germany. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. In the evening, head out for an included dinner with the rest of the group. Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Day 2 Munich

In the morning after breakfast, venture out with your leader for an orientation walk of Munich. This cosmopolitan metropolis houses an extraordinary array of sights for travellers more interested in art, architecture, history, music and, of course, Christmas markets. There are 20 different Christmas markets in Munich and you'll be introduced to the best of them. From the Kripperlmarkt, which has all you need to create an authentic manger, to the Tollwood Christmas Market, Munich's vibrant ethnic festival. Music lovers will be able to get into the festive spirit with a special alpine Christmas Market concert from the balcony of Munich's town hall, which takes places every day while the Christmas markets are on. Sip on a mug of gluehwein, grab a grilled sausage and browse the markets full of toys, wood carvings, candles etc.

Day 3 Salzburg

Travel south-east into Austria by train to Salzburg today, which should take around one hour and forty five minutes. Built on the fortune of its famous salt mines, Salzburg is the birthplace of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves legend, home to the hills from the Sound of Music and purveyor of absolutely everything Mozart. On arrival, check in to your hotel and then head out into the city for an orientation walk with your leader. The city will captivate with its history, as well as its cobblestone lanes, bubbling river and charmingly kitsch atmosphere. In the late afternoon, visit the atmospheric Christmas market in Cathedral Square. The smells of gluhwein, roasted chestnuts, toasted almonds and cinnamon brushed baked apples waft through the marketplace, while the sounds of traditional Salzburg choirs fill the air. The rest of your evening is then free to do as you wish.

Day 4 Salzburg

Today is free to explore Salzburg and the surrounding areas. Perhaps make your way to the salt mine in Berchtesgaden, situated in the German Alps. Otherwise, you may want to experience the life of the von Trapp family from the Sound of Music and visit movie scenes of the Mirabell Gardens and Pegasus Fountain, Leopoldskron Palace and Hellbrunn Palace. In the evening, why not head back to the Christmas markets to soak up even more of the blissful atmosphere?

Day 5 Vienna

Board a train bound for Vienna today (approximately 2.5 hours). On arrival, embark on a leader-led walking tour of Vienna, passing grand buildings and parks. You'll see many monuments dedicated to famous composers and historical figures. In your free time, perhaps visit the striking Hofburg Palace, the Leopold Museum or seek out exceptional city views on the Prater Ferris Wheel. Later in the afternoon, head to the Christmas markets in front of the City Hall. Browse the markets, sip on Christmas punch and snack on some freshly baked cinnamon biscuits. Your base for two nights in Vienna is Magdas Hotel – an accommodation that is unlike any other hotel you are likely to come across on your travels. Magdas Hotel is a social project bringing refugees from all over the world to work together in one place. Hotel is staffed with refugees so expect to hear different languages and different stories from all over the world. Also the building’s history is interesting – it’s a former old people’s home and homeless shelter which has been completely renovated. Most of the furniture is also re-cycled, renovated and re-purposed. The place is full of love, passion and unity. It’s full of colours and smiley faces. Magdas Hotel ‘brings together what belongs together’

Day 6 Vienna

You'll have the whole day to explore Vienna, so perhaps head to Schoenbrunn Palace, which was designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues by pre-booking your tickets at schoenbrunn.at. Also, with over 12 Christmas markets to visit in the city, you'll be sure to find the perfect Christmas present.

Day 7 Budapest

Travel east from Vienna to Budapest on a train (approximately 3 hours). Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest's grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by. With so much to see and do, hiring a bicycle is a great way to move between sights and attractions. After a short walk around the city, it's time to visit the Christmas markets. With the main Christmas market being located in Vorosmarty Square, every street light, tree and market stall lit up it gives the area a real Christmas feel. There are plenty of stalls offering different Hungarian foods to try and buy. Experience these great markets of Budapest with a glass of mulled wine or shot of traditional Hungarian palinka. The combination of market cheer and Neo-Renaissance architecture is a charming one.

Day 8 Budapest

Your adventure comes to an end today. There are no more activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 1,910

Price Per Day:

$ 239 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Nov-29-2019Dec-06-2019$ 1,910Yes10 spots left Reserve
Dec-01-2019Dec-08-2019$ 1,910Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-04-2019Dec-11-2019$ 1,910Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2019Dec-13-2019$ 1,910Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-08-2019Dec-15-2019$ 1,910Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-11-2019Dec-18-2019$ 1,910Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-13-2019Dec-20-2019$ 1,910Yes11 spots left Reserve
Dec-15-2019Dec-22-2019$ 1,910Yes11 spots left Reserve
Nov-27-2020Dec-04-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Nov-29-2020Dec-06-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2020Dec-09-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-04-2020Dec-11-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-06-2020Dec-13-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-09-2020Dec-16-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-11-2020Dec-18-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-13-2020Dec-20-2020$ 1,910No12 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 12
Accomodations
Hotel (7 nights)
Start City
Munich
End City
Budapest
Guides All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Star Inn Hotel
  • Dessewffy Utca 36
  • Budapest
  • HUNGARY
  • Phone: +36 14722021

Trip ID#: intrepid-AMSW

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