Christmas Markets: Budapest, Vienna & Prague
From $2999 with flightsPayments as low as $150
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind European experience complete with holiday magic, this trip is packed with all the culture, architecture, and sightseeing you’d expect with just enough castles, thermal spas, and cobblestones to let you know you’re onto something unique.
Unwinding in a traditional Hungarian thermal spa
Sipping on the finest Austrian wine straight from the vineyard
Bar hopping through Budapests eclectic watering holes
Tapdancing your way through the cobblestone streets of Prague
Snapping selfies in front of bright and festive holiday lights
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
3 insider tours with a local guide
Entrance to Schonbrunn Palace and other local attractions
Trips to Christmas markets in each destination
- 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
Welcome to Eastern Europe! Your Tour Director will be waiting at the airport when you arrive. Today is the day to adjust, make new friends and start the journey right.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
- 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 + Christmas Market
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.
- 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.
- Find everything from handmade glass and wood carvings to bags and leather goods at Budapest’s Christmas market in Vorosmarty Square.
- Hit the town like never before in the city’s grungy, eclectic nightlife scene.
- Day 4: Free Day in Budapest + Optional Thermal Bath & Spa
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.
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 5: Stop in Bratislava + Arrive in Vienna
Marvel at the European landscape as you drive along a canvas of castles, farmlands, villages and mountains on your way to Austria.
- Stop in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, to check out the city’s castle and take some free time to grab lunch.
- Arrive in Vienna, take a quick walk with your Tour Director, then enjoy an evening in the City of Dreams.
- Day 6: Sightseeing Tour of Vienna + Christmas Market
Ahh, Vienna, the home of Classical creators and world-class classiness. This Austrian city is full of grand operas, grandiose architecture, and gardens so pristine, you'll wonder how its visitors are so well-behaved. Today, you'll get to know Vienna in-depth with a local guide.
- Meet your local guide for a sightseeing tour of Vienna including Schönbrunn Palace.
- Visit the lavish palaces, parks and parliament buildings.
- Learn about the major and minor figures who struck a personal chord with this city.
- Join your Tour Director and fellow travelers at Rathausplatz for an evening of Christmas cheer (hot chocolate and ice skating, anyone?).
- Day 7: Travel to Prague via Krems
Continue along the European countryside as you travel to Prague via Krems.
- Take a break from the big city with a visit to Krems, a quaint Austrian town in the Wachau Valley.
- Tour a local vineyard and taste wine from the region. (This part of the excursion is weather dependent. If weather becomes an issue, you may be invited to a city tour instead of a vineyard tour)
- Arrive in the storybook city of Prague.
- Day 8: Explore Prague + Christmas Market
Rise and shine, time to get that goulash. Put on your most cobblestone-ready shoes, get all the “Czech” puns out of your system, and experience classic Prague sightseeing today with a local guide—an expert who really knows their old buildings from their *very* old buildings.
- Get stoked and stay stoked—a very easy thing to do in Prague—as you follow a local guide around the city’s greatest hits.
- Check out the home of the Czech Crown Jewels at Prague Castle, the ancient centerpiece that hogs the whole city skyline (not mad though, it’s beautiful).
- Cross the Vlatava River via King Charles IV’s famous Charles Bridge—don’t worry, there’s still time for you to become an emperor and have your own namesake bridge, too.
- Tour St. Vitus Cathedral—a church so old, that if you had one beer for every year since construction began on it, you would have 676 beers, but please do not actually attempt to drink 676 beers.
- Get your Christmas on at one of Prague’s Christmas markets and find that perfect gift for someone back home.
- Day 9: Free Day in Prague + Optional Plzen Town and Pilsner Brewery Tour
If you wake up this morning asking yourself “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” it’s probably because 1) “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a great song, 2) you’re in Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic, and 3) Prague has you feeling some type of way. You’re free today to get to know the city better, maybe take it out for dinner and dancing, or ask it some deep questions about life—whatever floats your boat.
Free time suggestions
John Lennon Wall: The John Lennon Wall has been a statement of peace, kindness, and tasteful selfies for over 30 years. What started as a protest to Communist rule in the 1980s, has become a colorful conglomerate of pacifist sentiments that you’re welcome to add to yourself. Hmm, Rolling Stones fans, I don’t see a Mick Jagger Wall anywhere, do you?
Petrín Park: Take a stroll through Prague’s Petrín Park (you can’t miss it, it’s the giant hill looming over the city), visit the Hunger Wall built during a famine in the 1300s in exchange for food, then take the Petrín funicular train down the hill into the historic Malá Strana neighborhood for some shopping on Mostecká Street.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
Plzen Town and Pilsner Brewery (extra cost)
Visit the birthplace of Lager-style beer on this brewery tour in Plzen, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. Explore the historic old town and then head to the Pilsner-Urquell Brewery for a full tour. No brewery tour would be complete without a tasting, so enjoy a Pilsner-Urquell beer at the end of your tour. After the tour, head back to town and take some free time for lunch and exploring.
- Day 10: Fly Home
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?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
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
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 4.9 out of 5
Based on 11 authentic traveler reviews
Great winter getawayAnonymous, traveled Dec. 2022
This trip was wonderful! You got to see a lot without feeling rushed and you were able enjoy the Christmas markets that each town had. Great to walk around and try different traditional foods and drinks as well as buy some great items from local shops!
Amazing!Brooke, traveled Dec. 2022
This trip is an absolute must! Andreas was an amazing tour guide and really helped with anything we needed. I highly recommend this trip!
Christmas MagicMicaela, traveled Dec. 2022
We had a wonderful trip. Lots of history and culture to explore in each city and going at Christmas time just made it a little more special.
amazing christmas trip!Anonymous, traveled Dec. 2022
the trip was so amazing. all the christmas markets were beautiful and varied at each new city. would definitely sign up again if another opportunity arises.