Depart your central Vienna hotel by air-conditioned minivan or coach, and journey through the pretty eastern Austrian province of Burgenland. As you travel, hear your driver-guide share information about the region, and gaze at the rolling countryside, farmland and traditional villages.
Cross Hungary’s border at Hegyeshalom, and pass the historical town of Györ and national Turul monument at Tatabanya, a hilltop statue of a mythological bird of prey that’s a symbol of the country.
On arrival, enjoy the first impressions of Hungary’s capital, sometimes called the ‘Paris of the East,’ and magnificently set across the River Danube. The famous river splits the city into two districts: Buda, the medieval quarter, and Pest, the commercial heart. Hear how these once-separate cities were united, along with nearby Obuda, to form the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1893.
View the landmarks along the Danube’s banks, including the immense Chain Bridge and Houses of Parliament, and enjoy a panoramic tour of other UNESCO-listed sights, including the charming Buda quarter.
Admire the Matthias Church, coronation site of many Hungarian kings; and see the cobbled Castle District, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion, a Gothic terrace with sweeping views over the city.
Over in Pest, check out St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hungarian State Opera, and grandiose Vajdahunyad Castle. Plus, drive along elegant Andrassy Avenue, known as Budapest’s ‘Champs-Élysées,’ and admire Heroes Square, a plaza crowned by a colonnaded statue complex depicting the seven Magyar chiefs who founded the country.
After your tour, enjoy free time to stroll, shop and have lunch (own expense) at leisure, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, and perhaps enjoying some hearty Hungarian cuisine.
Later, journey back to Vienna, where a hotel drop-off finishes your trip at around 7pm.