Trip Type : Group Tour
Castle Niedzica view of Poland, Europe_P

Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days Tour

Rick Steves Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
16 days
From: $ 4,195 $ 262 / day
Checking price



  • Experience the rich diversity of Eastern Europe
  • Explore the energetic cities of Kraków and Budapest to tradition-rich "back door" towns and villages across the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia

Short Description

Starting in beautifully-preserved Prague, for 16 days you'll experience the rich diversity of Eastern Europe, from the energetic cities of Kraków and Budapest to tradition-rich "back door" towns and villages across the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia — including the waterfall wonderland of Plitvice and the picture-perfect Alpine beauty of Lake Bled.

Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days Tour

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Prague
End City Ljubljana

Trip Includes

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • The services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Eastern Europe come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 23 group sightseeing events • Historic Prague walking tour, including Josefov neighborhood • Prague Castle tour • St. Vitus Cathedral • St. George's Basilica • Strambeck visit • Czech Moravian folk performance • Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp tour • Kraków walking tour • Kraków's Wawel Cathedral • Kraków's St. Mary's Church • Kazimierz and Podgórze neighborhood walking tour • Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum • Levoča visit • Eger orientation walk • Hungarian village school visit (when available) • Hungarian wine tasting • Pest walking tour • Walking tour of Buda's Castle district • Matthias Church • Danube cruise • Plitvice National Park hike • Adriatic happy hour • Lake Bled boat ride (weather permitting)...and more
  • All group transportation from Prague to Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • 15 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves Eastern Europe guidebook, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above


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Day 1: Welcome to Prague

We'll meet at 3 p.m. to get acquainted and preview the adventures ahead. This afternoon we'll jump right in and enjoy a walking tour through our neighborhood and Prague's colorful Old Town Square. We'll continue on to the Josefov neighborhood and learn about the rich heritage and enduring struggles of Prague's Jews. We'll end our evening over a hearty dinner together. Sleep in Prague (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: Royal, Prestigious Prague

This morning we'll hop aboard a local tram to take us across the Vltava River and up the hill to the most massive castle complex in continental Europe: Prague Castle. We'll tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane. You'll then have free time for lunch and the remainder of the day for more sightseeing on your own. This evening is a great time to catch a classical concert or experience the quirky and uniquely Czech Black Light Theater. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: The Czech Countryside

We'll leave the city and drive east into mountainous Moravia, stopping in the beautifully Baroque hill town of Stramberk, where we'll enjoy some free time for lunch and exploration. Then we'll continue on to our rustic lodge deep amidst the beautiful Beskydy Mountains. Your guide will take you on a hilltop walk, admiring wooded trails, pristine views and spinning tall tales of local legends. Tonight we'll enjoy a Moravian feast along with traditional entertainment provided by a local folk troupe. Sleep in Pustevny (1 night). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: Lessons of the Past

Today we'll cross into Poland, where we’ll enjoy lunch together and a bit of free time in the postcard-perfect village of Pszczyna. This afternoon a local guide will lead us through the concentration camp sites of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Europe's most moving memorials to the Holocaust. Tonight's destination is the surprising city of Kraków, Poland's cultural crossroads and melting pot. We'll take an orientation walk to the lively, historic market square and enjoy a traditional Polish dinner together. Sleep in Kraków (3 nights).  Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Historic Kraków — Then and Now

This morning we'll meet a local guide and wind our way through the story of Kraków. We'll marvel at Wawel Castle, the spiritual home of the Polish nation, and Wawel Cathedral, the resting place of Polish royalty and saints. We'll visit historic St. Mary's Church — the only tower in the world where a bugler has played every hour for the past 600 years (and boy is he tired). We'll learn about the life and impact of local legend John Paul II, as we trace his footsteps on our walking tour through the heart of Kraków. Your afternoon is free to discover more of this pleasant city on your own. Visit a museum or two, or go rent a bike! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Jewish Kraków

After a free morning to enjoy the delights of Kraków’s Old Town, we'll meet up for a walking tour through the Kazimierz district. Depopulated by Nazis and neglected by Communists, today Kazimierz is undergoing a major renaissance. Here we’ll learn how, for hundreds of years, Poland was the center of Jewish culture for all of Europe. We’ll end our tour in the Podgórze neighborhood, with a visit to the museum that best captures Poland's shattering WWII experience: Oskar Schindler's Factory. For this evening, you are free to check out Kazimierz’s now-bustling restaurant scene, and one of Europe’s hottest neighborhoods for live music. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Scenic Drive into Hungary

Today's drive takes us across Slovakia — the geographic center of Europe — and into the scenic Tatras — granite mountains that seem to burst up from the center of the earth. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the small town of Levoča, and then continue on to the rolling hills of Hungary's famous "Bull's Blood" wine-growing region. Tonight in the town of Eger, where the townspeople (with some help) turned back an Ottoman invasion of central Europe in 1552, we'll share a family-style Hungarian feast. Sleep in Eger (1 night). Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 8: From Villages to Capital

This morning you'll have time to soak in Eger's Baroque beauty or soak yourself in Eger's baths. Later we'll visit a school in the nearby village of Recsk, where we'll sit down and chat with a local teacher and enjoy lunch together in the cafeteria (when available). Then we'll learn about the region's deservedly-famous wines with a tour and tasting at the local Kohari Winery. Our destination this evening is Budapest, the mighty Magyar capital on the Danube, where after an orientation walk, we'll enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Budapest (3 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: Bustling Budapest

The rich history of Pest has created a city that's a puzzle of Baroque, classical, and modern architecture. On our walking tour this morning we'll crane our necks beside Europe's largest parliament building, and learn how Hungarians coped with half a century of fascist and communist tyranny. This afternoon you'll be free to wander through the Great Market Hall — an architectural gem and the city's largest indoor market — and treat your senses to a few paprika-infused delicacies. We'll regroup later on, ending our day together with a relaxing cruise on the Danube. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Historic Budapest

Today we'll focus on the Buda side of the Danube, starting with a funicular ride up the steep Castle Hill for bird's-eye views of sprawling Pest, and a walking tour that takes us past the imposing Royal Palace and into Budapest's greatest church, the sumptuously-gilded Matthias Church. When we've finished here, your guide will be happy to arrange, for those who are interested, a chance to soak in the ornate and traditional public Thermal Baths. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Natural Wonders of Croatia

After breakfast we'll drive out of Hungary and into Croatia. Just across the border, we'll be welcomed with a fresh, family-prepared lunch in a pleasant farm setting. Then we'll drive on to our destination, the deep greens and blues of Croatia's water wonderland and one of Europe's premier nature preserves: Plitvice Lakes National Park. Sleep in or near the National Park, surrounded by the quiet of nature (1 night). Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 12: From the Forests to the Sea

This morning we'll hike along rustic boardwalk trails connecting the idyllic forests, travertine stone cliffs, clear blue lakes and gushing waterfalls of Plitvice National Park. We'll learn how the park is creatively managing to protect its delicate environment, including the use of electric trams and boats. We'll take a lunch break to replenish ourselves, then give our legs a rest as we drive to the Istrian peninsula on the Adriatic Sea and the enchanting seaside town of Rovinj, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Free Day in Rovinj

Take a "vacation from your vacation." The entire day is yours to enjoy the sun, gelato, seafood, and lazy ambience of Rovinj. Wander through the narrow streets, watch local fishermen bring in the day's catch, or head to the beach for sun and a swim. We'll compare notes at an informal happy hour early this evening. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 14: Julian Alps and Lake Bled

Today we'll head to the azure jewel of Lake Bled in the midst of Slovenia's Julian Alps. Along the way, we'll stop and enjoy lunch togather before continuing on to our final destination beside a pristine lake ringed by forests and hiking paths. Sleep in Bled (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 15: Lake Bled's Chapel-Topped Island

Today we'll take a traditional pletna boat ride together to Lake Bled's chapel-topped island, where local tradition requires each would-be husband to carry his bride up the 99 steps from the boat dock to the altar (four in five are successful). Your afternoon is free to hike to the castle and its panoramic viewpoint, take a scenic walk around the lake (stopping for a creme cake), or rent a bike to explore even more. Tonight we'll rendezvous for a special dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Na zdravje! No bus. Boat: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 16: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Ljubljana's airport is just 30 minutes away, and there are nearby train connections to Munich, Vienna and other European cities. Whatever your plans, your guide will help you get on the right track. Na svidenje!


Checking price
Price From $ 4,195
Price Per Day: $ 262 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 875

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Best of Eastern Europe in 16 Days Tour

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We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Highlights of the Lowlands

My first, and definitely not last, Rick Steves tour. Our guide was spectacular and the lodging nice at every location. I was blown away with how good the food was at every group meal.


Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 28

Trip ID#:


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