Architecture Tour in Central Europe


ARCHITECTURE
Duration
11 Days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
10+

A JOURNEY OF ARCHITECTURE On the trail of historical and contemporary buildings

This program will lead you through the most notable historical buildings of Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia and further it will also give a deeper insight into representations of modern design. What you will encounter are ruins, castles, churches, museums, wine cellars and much more.
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Immerse yourself in the field of architecture through significant sites of three countries. Discover Slovakia’s symbolic buildings, starting with Bratislava, the capital and continue to the countryside to Kosice, the World Heritage Sites of Hervartov and Bardejov, the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of North Eastern Slovakia. Arrive in Hungary through the High Tatras and visit its well-known sites in the world-famous wine region of Tokaj and spend a day in Budapest, the pearl of the Danube. Travel via the Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, in the direction of Slovenia, and explore the most famous sites of Joze Plecnik. Plecnik had a major impact on the modern architecture of Prague, but was especially influential in Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia. He designed the iconic Triple Bridge and the Slovene National Library and University Library buildings, as well as the Ljubljana open market buildings, the cemetery, parks, plazas, and embankments along the Ljubljanica River. His architectural imprint on Ljubljana has been compared to the impact Antoni Gaudi had on Barcelona.

What's included

Destination
Budapest , Central Europe , Hungary , Slovakia , Slovenia
Departure Location
Bratislava, Slovakia or Vienna, Austria
Return Location
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Price includes
  • Transfer between the airport and hotels
  • Meals according to the program (half board)
  • In-depth sightseeing program
  • All taxes and fees
  • Deluxe air-conditioned coaches
  • Professional local guides throughout the tour
  • All entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in hotels in double rooms
Price does not include
  • Departure Taxes or Visa handling fees
  • Excess baggage charge
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa arrangements
  • International flights
  • Free time entrance tickets to monuments and museums
  • Day 1 - Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
  • Day 2 - Bratislava
  • Day 3 – Travel to Kosice – stop in Banska Stiavnica
  • Day 4 - Kosice
  • Day 5 – Levoča, Žehra, Spis
  • Day 6 – Travel through Hungary – Tokaj
  • Day 7 - Budapest
  • Day 8 – Lake Balaton or Ptuj, Ljubljana
  • Day 9 – Ljubljana
  • Day 10 – Skofja Loka, Bled or Piran, Kranj
  • Day 11 - Departure
Day 1 - Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner

Welcome to Bratislava (or Vienna)

Greeted by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner.

Possible to fly to Vienna or Bratislava airport – since Vienna is only1 hour drive from Bratislava. It is also possible to offer a few prenight in Vienna independently.

Day 2 - Bratislava

Bratislava tour

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia has a beautiful downtown area. We will visit the most notable historical buildings, starting with Bratislava Castle followed by Bratislava's Town Hall which is a complex of three buildings erected in the 14th–15th centuries and now hosts the Bratislava City Museum. Other important sites of the day are:

  • Michael's Gate: the only gate that has been preserved from the medieval fortifications and it ranks among the oldest of the town's buildings.
  • The Grassalkovich Palace: built around 1760, is now the residence of the Slovak president, and the Slovak government now has its seat in the former Archiepiscopal Palace, one of many baroque palaces of Bratislava, which has beautiful tapestries.
  • The Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral: built in the 13th–16th centuries, served as the coronation church of the Kingdom of Hungary between 1563 and 1830.
  • The Church of St. Elizabeth: better known as the Blue Church due to its color, built entirely in the Hungarian Secessionist style.

If you are interested in modern art, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum – Modern Art Museum can also be included in the program. The Museum of Modern Art is only a short drive by car or bus from the city center. During the summer months a cruise along the Danube directly to the museum is well recommended. The entire museum is surrounded by a park more than 8,000 square meters in area with permanent exhibitions of sculptures by Slovak and international artists. Take the time to enhance your visit with a coffee and cake with the best view of the Danube from the museum’s panoramic windows.

If you feel so, you can take a visit to the Eurovea shopping mall. This modern shopping center opened its doors in 2010 and its attractive location on the bank of the Danube River has turned it into a favorite place for shopping, living and relaxing.

Some new developments in the area are also worth seeing, including the design coming from the atelier of Zaha Hadid or the grounds of the former bus station.

It is possible to visit Devin Castle in the afternoon.

Day 3 – Travel to Kosice – stop in Banska Stiavnica

Silver mine of mediaeval times

Banska Stiavnica is situated in Central Slovakia. It is a well-known mediaeval silver mining town, which has a beautifully preserved mediaeval downtown area, part of the World Heritage.

Walking tour of the town and lunch, then drive on to Kosice. Arrival in the evening.

Day 4 - Kosice

Gothic Saints and fairies

We will visit Slovakia's largest church, the 14th century Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral; it is the easternmost cathedral of western style Gothic architecture in Central Europe.

In the afternoon we can visit Hervartov – a 15th century wooden church – a World Heritage site (1 hour drive).

We can also include the town of Bardejov – also a World Heritage site with a downtown – which looks like a fairy tale.

Day 5 – Levoča, Žehra, Spis

Gothic and Renaissance buildings of North Eastern Slovakia

We will travel to Levoča – a historic center with a well preserved town wall, a Gothic church with the highest wooden altar in the world, carved by Master Pavol of Levoča, and many other Renaissance buildings. World Heritage Site (1 hour drive).

Possibility to visit the gipsy village Žehra - in its gothic church is a gothic fresco explaining the Old and the New Testament,

Ruins of Spis Castle – world heritage site – one of the largest castle sites of Europe

Option: to visit the High Tatra region

Day 6 – Travel through Hungary – Tokaj

Get to know the Tokaj wine

En route to Budapest we will visit the World Heritage Wine region, where they produce the unique dessert Tokaj wine, which is often referred as King of Wines, Wine for Kings.

We will also visit some of the modern wine cellars, which are really nice examples of contemporary architecture and we will taste some wine.

Day 7 - Budapest

Budapest tour

We will spend our day to visit the Queen of the Danube.

Explore the mediaeval heritage of the city on the castle hill of Buda, visit the 19th century Pest with the Heroes’ Square, Andrássy Avenue, the most magnificent building the Parliament, and see some of the modern architecture (Palace of Arts, National Theater).

We can finish our day with a boat ride on the Danube with a buffet dinner.

Day 8 – Lake Balaton or Ptuj, Ljubljana

Travel to Slovenia

On our way we can either visit the northern shore of Lake Balaton (beautiful landscape and enjoy a unique rural architecture) or visit the oldest recorded town of Slovenia Ptuj.

Arrival to Ljubljana by the evening.

Day 9 – Ljubljana

Plecnik Day

Explore Ljubljana downtown area with a guided walk – the town was transformed by Joze Plecnik, the famous local architect. Most famous sites we will visit: Ljubljana Castle, Cathedral, Dragon Bridge, Library etc.

We can visit a nice church of Plecnik, just outside of Ljubljana – St Michael Church in Crna Vas or St. Francis Church in Siska District.

We can also take you to the home of Plecnik – which has a museum of his works.

Day 10 – Skofja Loka, Bled or Piran, Kranj

Remains of Venetian Architecture

There are many options: we can go to Skofja Loka, then Lake Bled or we can visit Bled the day before and drive down to the Adriatic coast to see Piran, famous for its Venetian Architecture.

We can also stop in Kranj if you like to see some more works by Plecnik.

Day 11 - Departure

Farewell

Transfer to the Airport.

More about Budapest

Besides its stunning natural setting with rich architectural and historical heritage, the city offers an unmatched combination of culture, blooming gastronomy and the advantages of thermal waters and world heritage sites. Humankind has played a role in shaping the pretty face of Budapest. Architecturally, the city is a treasure, with enough baroque, neoclassical, Eclectic and art nouveau buildings to satisfy everyone. Overall, though, Budapest carries a fin de siècle feeling, for it was then, during the capital’s ‘golden age' in the late 19th century, that most of what you can see today was built.

Divided in two by the Danube, Budapest is made up of Buda on one side: with Ottoman-era thermal baths at the foot of Gellért Hill, the Royal Palace and Matthias Church, it radiates calm and piece. On the other side lies Pest, vibrant and lively, with its slew of museums rich in cultural and historical treasures, extraordinary Art Nouveau architecture, its majestic Parliament building, Saint Stephen’s Basilica surrounded by pedestrian streets, and its entirely renovated Jewish Quarter and Palace District. Massive murals, small pop-up sculptures and ruin bars full of random décor – Budapest is brimming with urban art. Striking paintings brighten the city’s old firewalls and passers mood.

While traditional goulash soup and pörkölt have a well-established reputation in the Hungarian cuisine, the culinary revolution has taken over Budapest, as well. From street-food made from local, all-natural ingredients to haute cuisine creations marked in the Michelin Guide, Budapest has it all. Budapest’s reputation as a food capital dates largely from the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century and, despite a fallow period under the communism, the city is once again commanding attention. So, too, are Hungary's excellent wines – from Eger's complex reds and Somló’s flinty whites to honey-sweet Tokaj, a favorite of emperors and presidents. Even if you aren't the type who waxes poetic about silky tannins, chalky soils, and lingering finishes, you'll likely enjoy the lively Budapest wine bars. Keep a special eye out for grape varietals indigenous to Hungary, including kadarka and kékfrankos (red), and furmint, hárslevelű, and juhfark (white).

Budapest is blessed with an abundance of hot springs. As a result, ‘taking the waters’ has been an experience here since the time of the Romans. The array of bathhouses is generous – you can choose from Turkish-era, art nouveau and modern establishments. Some people come seeking a cure for whatever ails them, but the majority are there for fun and relaxation.

Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivalled in Eastern and Central Europe.

More about Central Europe

At once natural and refined, folksy and cultured: the combination of mountain rusticity with old-world style captivates in Central Europe.

Teutonic half-timbered villages, graffiti-decorated Renaissance squares, medieval walled towns…. Wander the darkly Gothic alleyways of Prague, admire the baroque excess of Salzburg or take in the colourful old-Venetian influence on the Slovenian port of Piran. Poland and the Czech Republic seem to have more than their fair share of medieval masterpieces, but you can find narrow lanes and quaint townscapes throughout the region – from Bern, Switzerland to Bardejov, Slovakia. Smaller gems such as Bamberg, Germany are often far from the tourist radar. On mornings when the mists lie heavy and crowds are few, you might imagine yourself in an earlier century.

Nourishing yourself is more fun in a great atmosphere, and Central Europe's abundance of outdoor cafes, beer halls and coffee houses offer just that. When the temperatures rise in spring, outdoor tables proliferate along with the daffodils and tulips. Enjoy a plate of pasta while admiring the Slovenian coast, nosh pierogi (dumplings) on a Polish cobblestone street or dip into fondue lakeside in Switzerland. Beer gardens across the region offer an opportunity to enjoy hearty food, a convivial atmosphere and a good brew alfresco. Once the weather cools, move inside to a boisterous beer hall. Or, for something a little sweeter, try a cake at a coffee house or pastry cafe. The most famous are in Vienna and Budapest, but you'll find many options – and other interesting places to eat and drink – all across the region.

With mountains covering so many Central European states, it's no wonder that the outdoors holds such an attraction in the region. The Alps rise to their highest in Switzerland, with jagged, Toblerone-like peaks such as the Matterhorn, and march on through southern Germany, across Austria and south into Slovenia. You can hike, bike, ski or just ride the gondolas and funiculars to enjoy the Alpine views. Other mountains, like the Swiss Jura and the Polish–Slovak Tatras, offer no less adventure. There are also sculptural sandstone 'rock towns' in the Czech Republic to climb, waterfall-filled gorges in Slovakia and Slovenia to hike and the bucolic Black Forest in Germany to walk. There's a new part of nature to explore almost around every corner.

More about Hungary

Hungary is among the top tourist destinations in Europe with the capital Budapest regarded as one of the most beautiful cities worldwide. Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grassland in Europe (Hortobágy).

Hungary’s scenery is more gentle than striking. But you can’t say the same thing about the built environment across the land. Architecturally Hungary is a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval townhouses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and art nouveau bathhouses and schools. And we're not just talking about the capital, Budapest. Walk through Szeged or Kecskemét, Debrecen or Sopron and you’ll discover an architectural gem at virtually every turn. Indeed, some people go out of their way for another glimpse of their favourites, such as the Reök Palace in Szeged or the Mosque Church in Pécs.

Budapest is a vibrant capital city with an outstanding cultural life and magnificent historic spas: a true metropolis that offers unforgettable experiences in every season. It is famed for its breathtaking architecture and photogenic river scenery.

Stunning architecture, vital folk art, thermal spas and Europe's most exciting capital after dark are Hungary's major drawing cards.

More about Slovakia

Slovakia – the official name of which is the Slovak Republic – is 49,035 km2 of area for never-ending lots of experience. More than a quarter-century after Czechoslovakia's break-up, Slovakia has emerged as a self-assured, independent nation. Slovakia has a population of 5 379 445 inhabitants (as of 1st January 2004) with various nationalities. The most of its inhabitants are of Slovak nationality (85.8 %). The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak; Hungarian is widely spoken in the southern regions, and Rusyn is used in some parts of the Northeast.

Right in the heart of Europe, Slovakia is a land of castles and mountains, caves and medieval castles, folk architecture and spas, occasionally punctuated by industrial sprawl. Capital city Bratislava draws visitors to its resplendent old town and tankard-clanking drinking culture. The most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras.

In Slovakia, you will be able to find things that are unique in the world. The Slovak Karst, the largest karst area in Central Europe, where there are 1100 caves; the Spišský Hrad Castle, the largest medieval castle complex in Central Europe; the Červený Kameň Castle with the largest underground complex; the tallest gothic altar in the world found in Levoča; or Janko Kráľ Orchard/Garden in Bratislava, the oldest public park in Europe.

More about Slovenia

Slovenia, a country in Central Europe, is known for its mountains, ski resorts and lakes. On Lake Bled, a glacial lake fed by hot springs, the town of Bled contains a church-topped islet and a cliffside medieval castle. In Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, baroque facades mix with the 20th-century architecture of native Jože Plečnik, whose iconic Tromostovje (Triple Bridge) spans the tightly curving Ljubljanica River.

You might be forgiven for thinking that anything of beauty in this greenest of green lands is, well, all natural. But it isn't necessarily so. Where man intrudes is often to good effect, such as at Lake Bled, where a tiny baroque chapel on a picturesque island and a dramatic castle looming above complete a harmonious whole. The architecture is wonderfully varied: from the Venetian harbour towns of the coast and the rustic Hungarian-style farmhouses of Prekmurje to the Gothic churches of the Julian Alps and the art nouveau splendours of Ljubljana. The museums are rich and the culture is vibrant.

Copyright © 2019 Kult-Turist-ITH Ltd.

Images on this site are from the Hungarian MTU, Kult-Turist and Pixabay.

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Images on this site are from the Hungarian MTU, Kult-Turist and Pixabay.

Copyright © 2019 Kult-Turist-ITH Ltd.

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Architecture Tour in Central Europe

Duration
11 Days
Destination
More than 1
Travellers
10+

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