Christmas Markets: Budapest, Vienna & Prague
It’s Christmastime in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. Which means there are Christmas markets to see. And if you somehow become too full of holiday cheer, indulge the senses at the epicenter of melody-making maestros in Vienna, and trek revolutionary roads in Prague to explore iconic cityscapes that a camera simply can’t capture. This is a journey to taste the world’s best beers, learn about life way back when and behold the beauty of a new generation that rose above turmoil at the end of the Cold War.
What are the top highlights?
- Czech out how Prague’s medieval landmarks have stood the test of time
- Castle-hop your way through Eastern Europe
- Party in Budapest’s eclectic ruin bar scene
- Discover the fairytale magic of Prague’s Old Town
- Wash down hearty Bohemian food with an authentic Pilsner. Or three
- Experience classical Vienna in all of its exquisite glory
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro passes in each city
- Entrance to Schönbrunn Palace & more
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
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 Mixer
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.
- 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.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy some appetizers over drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party takes you.
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.
- 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
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.
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