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Budapest to Bucharest:...

Budapest to Bucharest: Castles & Medieval Europe

12 days, 6 cities24
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From $2389 without flightsPayments as low as $64

Trip Type:
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Why go?

If you've been described as unique, underrated, or mysterious, we understand why you've landed on this trip. Get your fill of thermal spas, mountaintop castles, and Eastern European views on this medieval adventure.

Picture yourself

  • Unwinding in a traditional Hungarian thermal spa

  • Exploring the ancient fortifications of Belgrade Fortress

  • Soaking in the stunning views of Fruška Gora

  • Experiencing an authentic Transylvanian countryside dinner

  • Discovering the haunting secrets of Dracula’s castle

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers (or book 'em yourself)

  • 10 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 10 breakfasts

  • 3 dinners

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support from our travel gurus

  • 4 insider city tours

  • Entrance to Belgrade Fortress

  • Danube River cruise

  • Day trip to Bran Castle

Map for the Budapest to Bucharest: Castles & Medieval Europe tour
Full trip itinerary


  • Day 1: Overnight Flight

    Board your overnight flight, bound for Budapest. Sit back, relax, and try picking up Hungarian, one of the hardest languages to learn (it’s a lot more throaty for starters).

  • Day 2: Arrive in Budapest + Welcome Dinner

    Today is the day to adjust, make new friends and start the journey right.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
    • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
    • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
  • Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of Budapest + Optional Thermal Bath & Spa Visit

    Now that you’re rested from travels and acquainted with your group, shake off the culture shock with an in-depth look at the Pearl of the Danube. Hope you like panoramic views, because you’re in for an epic one today.

    Today's highlights:

    • Tour Buda and Pest with a local guide to show you all the buda-best there is to see.
    • Climb the imposing Castle Hill to see the city from the nearly 750-year-old Buda Castle.
    • Hit the town like never before in the city’s grungy, eclectic nightlife scene.

    Thermal Bath & Spa Visit (extra cost)

    Ease blissfully into Europe’s largest medicinal baths housed in one of the city's most ornate buildings. Enjoy the spa facilities, saunas, steam rooms, and 18 indoor and outdoor baths fed by hot springs. Plus, there’s beer.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 4: Free Day in Budapest

    Hope you’re Hungary for more, because today you have a free day in Budapest. Go for another soak in the thermal spas (or hit one you haven’t been to yet, there’s plenty, and they’re all unique!), chow down on local cuisine, and see the city however you see fit.

    Free time suggestions

    Chimney Cakes: Popular across all of Eastern Europe, these delicious and age-old treats are a Hungarian pastry specialty that’s a bit like American fried dough. Here they call them Kürtöskalács, so keep an eye out and a sweet tooth ready.

    Dohány Street Synagogue: Budapest is home to Europe’s largest Jewish synagogue. The ornate building represents a somber reminder of the Holocaust, as it stands at the border of the WWII-era Jewish Ghetto in the city.

  • Day 5: Travel to Belgrade + Explore Belgrade

    Ever heard of Nikola Tesla? He was Serbian! Today you’ll board your private motorcoach (not a Tesla—yet) and head to Belgrade, the poppin’ capital city of Serbia. Humans have lived here for at least 8,000 years, and maybe Neanderthals, too, for as long as 50,000 years. Just to be safe, we’re making sure you’re cramming 50,000 years of fun into a few days here.

    Today's highlights:

    • Follow the Danube down a ways to your next destination: Belgrade, Serbia.
    • Enter Belgrade Fortress for a tour of the ancient fortifications—local legend has it that Attila the Hun is buried beneath it.
    • Continue your Serbian sightseeing with a visit to the Temple of St. Sava and Republic Square.
    • Shop until you drop (if that’s what you’re into) along Knez Mihailova Street.
  • Day 6: Danube River Cruise + Free Time in Belgrade

    Hope you’re ready for a cruising that’s anything but snoozing. When you board your boat for a cruise down the Danube River today you might be all like “oh I remember this guy,” when you recognize it as the same river that runs through Budapest. In fact, the Danube runs from Germany to the Black Sea—and it is certifiably beautiful the entire way.

    Today's highlights:

    • Ooh & aah your way down the Sava and Danube Rivers for picturesque views from the water of Belgrade and the surrounding landmarks.
    • Return to land for free time to do as you please.

    Free time suggestions

    Kalemegdan Park: You’ve seen the fortress housed on this sprawling park, but now you’ve got time to go green. Pack a picnic and pick a sunny spot to chill in Serbia’s most famous park.

    Knez Mihailova Nightlife: Head back to Belgrade’s bustling pedestrian center to turn up for the night. Does Belgrade go hard? Hit the bars here or on Obilićev Venac and you tell us.

  • Day 7: Travel to Romania

    Say goodbye to Serbia, and hello to Romania: land of vampires and the vast, wide-open valleys of the Carpathian Mountains.

    Today's highlights:

    • Continue on to Romania and arrive in the fairytale city of Timisoara.
    • Join a local guide to see the best and Baroque-est the charming city has to offer.
  • Day 8: Travel to Sibiu + Optional Romanian Home Hosted Dinner

    Get the garlic, you’re going to vampire country: Transylvania. The city of Sibiu used to be the capital city of Transylvania, in fact. Rest assured, there’s nothing scary about it here. In fact, with its medieval village church steeples and gingerbread-looking houses, it’s downright cute here.

    Today's highlights:

    • Enjoy the rural morning drive from Timisoara to Sibiu.
    • Arrive in Sibiu and follow your Tour Director for a walking tour that includes the legendary Liar’s Bridge (you’ll see why they call it that).
    • Chill out with a free evening to enjoy the quaint city center.

    Romanian Home Hosted Dinner (extra cost)

    Get out of town and into the countryside to embrace rustic Romania. Walk the grounds to get a sense of a centuries-old way of life, then sit down for a hearty meal of traditional dishes and drinks.

  • Day 9: Explore Brasov

    This trip has had it all so far, hasn’t it? Old towns ripped straight out of Hansel & Gretel, chances to taste unique treats like fermented plum brandy, mile-high Hungarian chimney cakes. But we felt it needed a little bit more mountain charm, so today you’re going into the Carpathians at Brasov.

    Today's highlights:

    • Head to Brasov, Romania—you’ll know you’re there when you see the city name written “Hollywood”-style in the mountains.
    • Take a walk around Brasov with your Tour Director that includes entering the Black Church, one of Romania's most imposing Gothic churches.
    • Chow down on an included Romanian dinner in town.
  • Day 10: Dracula’s Castle Day Trip + Arrive in Bucharest

    Don’t be scared, but a visit to Dracula’s Castle is on the docket for today. Vlad the Impaler, the medieval Romanian ruler who inspired the famous fictional vampire, may never have actually lived here. But this 800-year-old castle, immortalized in Bram Stoker’s original *Dracula* horror novel, is nevertheless equal parts skin-crawlingly creepy and insanely cool. Time to get the heebie jeebies!

    Today's highlights:

    • Get spooked at Bran Castle—not just by the lore, but by how shockingly stunning the views are, as well.
    • After channeling your inner-Edward, head to mountaintop Râsnov Fortress to look out over just about all of Transylvania.
    • Hop on your private bus to Bucharest, and feel free to take the time to look for vampires hidden in the photos you took today.
    • Walk Bucharest’s scenic Old Town with your Tour Director and get a feel for your final stop on this tour.
  • Day 11: Sightseeing Tour of Bucharest + Farewell Dinner

    It’s your last day of this Eastern European adventure. How does it feel to be the first of your friend group to have traveled these lesser known but arguably more beautiful regions off the beaten path? We bet it feels pretty good. Enjoy Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, and live it up tonight with your new travel family.

    Farewell Dinner

    Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.

    Today's highlights:

    • Celebrate Romanian culture with a tour of the landmarks that earned it the nickname “Little Paris.”
    • Meet the heavyweight champion of the world, AKA the heaviest building in the world, the Palace of the Parliament.
    • Savor one final free afternoon of souvenir-shopping, wandering the city center, and bonding with your group.
  • Day 12: Fly Home

    La revedere prieteni!
    Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?



    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.


Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5
Based on 24 authentic traveler reviews
  • Castles, food and views!!

      Stephany, traveled Jun. 2024

    This trip was nothing short of amazing filled with beautiful towns and cities rich with history! From cities to fairytale like towns, there was something for everyone with delicious foods, amazing sights, cool museums and so much more! This trip is quick paced for the second half of the trip but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. This trip is the only one t... See more

  • First experience

      Aaryn, traveled Oct. 2023

    Amazing trip. Met new friends and experienced places I never imagined I would see. Highly recommend!

  • Budapest to Bucharest

      Anonymous, traveled Jun. 2023

    This trip was absolutely amazing! I loved all the sightseeing and activities we did on the trip. If you are someone who loves to walk through cities, this is the trip for you. Roxie is an amazing tour director and I highly recommend booking this trip with her!

  • Eastern European Roadtrip

      Anonymous, traveled Jun. 2023

    This trip was amazing and I am so glad I was able to on it. Our trip guide, Roxie, was not only a phenomenal human being but also a knowledgeable and fun guide. I loved seeing the living history of these places and people. The local guides provided insight and perspectives i never would have heard otherwise. And of course the castles and churches were utterl... See more

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