IMPERIAL CAPITALS WITH SERBIA, BOSNIA AND THE DALMATIAN COST
These imperial capitals are architecturally magnificent, each with a rich and distinct artistic, historical, and cultural heritage. On this very special tour, visit world-class castles, palaces, cathedrals, and museums. Add to your journey the magnificent cities of Novi Sad and Belgrade in Serbia – Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo with Mostar and Medjugorje and Croatia with Split and Dubrovnik. Check out this route that offers much more than the above. A very diverse trip that makes the passenger return home having enjoyed unique experiences.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN VIENNA
Arrival at Vienna airport, meeting with the guide, and transfer to the hotel. Free time and accommodation.
DAY 2: VIENNA
After breakfast, you will visit the first of the imperial capitals. We will take a walk along the Ring, which surrounds the city center. Along the famous landmark street, imposing 19th-century buildings are lined up one after the other, testifying to the former power of the Danube monarchy with important public monuments.
The most famous are undoubtedly the Imperial Hofburg, the Palace of Parliament, the State Opera House, the neo-Gothic Votive Church and the Town Hall. Among them is also the famous Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum).
Later we will spend most of the day in the city center. In the magnificent Hofburg complex, we will visit the Imperial Apartments, where Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth stayed for the last time. His famous portrait of Winterhalter adorns one of the rooms. Next, we will see the Treasury with its famous collection of jewels, including the crowns of the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Imperial Crown. In addition to the crown jewels, the treasure of the Knights of the Golden Fleece is also on display.
After a lunch break, we will visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Augustinian Church in the city center. Both churches are closely linked to the Habsburg dynasty, as both contain the tombs of some of its prominent members. Almost all the Habsburgs who ruled Austria between the 17th and 20th centuries are buried in the Capuchin Monastery. During our city tour, we will stop at the numerous monuments erected to commemorate each of the rulers of the dynasty (Franz I, Franz II, Maria Theresa, Joseph II, and Franz Joseph). Free time and overnight.
DAY 3: VIENNA – PRAGUE
After breakfast, drive to the famous Klosterneuburg Monastery, which stands on a hill above the Danube, a few kilometers north of Vienna. Although the monastery was founded by the Babenberg dynasty, its present appearance is mainly Baroque. The credit for this transformation goes to Emperor Charles VI, who wanted to compete with the Spanish Escorial by remodeling the monastery. Although the project was never completed, the image is nevertheless remarkable. After the excursion, we will head across the Danube to the Czech Republic. Arrival in Prague in the afternoon. Free time and overnight in Prague.
DAY 4: PRAGUE
In the second of the imperial capitals, we will take a morning bus high above the left bank of the Vltava River and stroll past the magnificent Černín and Loreto palaces, two of Prague’s most important Baroque monuments. Next, we will visit the most important building, the Prague Castle, for centuries the seat of the Czech rulers. The huge complex was built from the time of the medieval Czech kings to the Baroque era and the finishing touches were given by the Slovenian Jože Plečnik. We will visit the imposing Gothic St. Vid Cathedral, where many important Czech rulers are buried, and the Old Royal Palace with the monumental Vladislav Hall.
You can admire Plečnik’s landscaping in the castle courtyards while strolling along Zlata Street. After the visit, we will descend the Vltava to the Baroque church of St. Nicholas in Mala Strana with its colorful interior. After crossing the Charles Bridge, we will reach the Old Town and walk to the Old Town Square, dominated by the Town Hall with its famous astrological clock, the baroque Kinsky Palace, and the Týn Church.
From St. Nicholas Church, belonging to the Hussite Congregation, we will reach the Jewish quarter of Josefov, which, with its synagogues and cemetery, testifies to the centuries-old Jewish presence in Prague. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Prague.
DAY 5: PRAGUE – BUDAPEST
In the morning, departure to Budapest. On the way, we will also stop in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. Among the many monuments of the city, we will pass by the Cathedral of St. Martin, rebuilt in the fifteenth century with its present appearance. For three centuries Hungarian kings were crowned here, as Bratislava became the capital of the remnants of Hungary after the Turkish conquest of Buda. Free time in the old town, adorned with numerous baroque palaces, and later continue to Budapest. Arrival in the afternoon. Overnight in Budapest.
DAY 6: BUDAPEST
In the last of the imperial capitals, we will start our tour in the city of Buda. In the picturesque Fishermen’s Fortress, we will see the St. Stephen’s Monument and the Baroque Plague Column. We will also see the neo-Gothic Matthias Church, where many Hungarian kings were crowned.
Next, we will stroll past the Government Palace through the Castle Quarter to the Palota Budavári, former residence of the Hungarian kings and today home to several museums and national cultural institutions. After a visit to the picturesque Matthias Fountain, we will enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Pest and the bridges over the Danube connecting bustling Pest with Buda.
We will cross the Danube over the Szechenyi Lánchid (Chain Bridge), built in the mid-19th century and one of the symbols of the city. We will then head to Pest, strolling along the main street of the Vaci promenade. We will see the exterior of the magnificent Országház Parliament complex at Kossuth Lajos Square, considered one of Budapest’s greatest architectural achievements and inspired by the British Houses of Parliament.
We will then drive to the monumental Hősök Heroes’ Square, built to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarians on the Pannonian Plain. The monument celebrates the great figures of Hungarian history and is an important urban landmark in Budapest. Overnight in Budapest.
From the imperial capitals
to Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia.
DAY 7: BUDAPEST – ZVONO BOGDAN WINERY – NOVI SAD
Breakfast and departure to Serbia. Crossing the border, we will stop at Zvono Bogdan Winery. There you will have the possibility to taste several local wines, together with Serbian delicacies, and get to know the gastronomy of this country. After a snack and wine tasting, we will take a walk on Lake Palič which is also a natural park. Later departure to Novi Sad. Arrival and overnight in Novi Sad.
DAY 8: NOVI SAD – BELGRADE
In the morning you will get to know Novi Sad, the European Capital of Culture in 2022, you will see the spectacular Petrovaradin Fortress, which is the symbol of the city and dates back to the Middle Ages. It was the Austro-Hungarians who gave it the appearance it has today. Novi Sad, also known as “Serbian Athens” for its remarkable culture and history, attracts visitors from many countries. Continue in the afternoon to the capital of Serbia – Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.
DAY 9: BELGRADE
Visit the capital of Serbia, once the capital of Yugoslavia. After breakfast, we will start the tour by visiting the Mausoleum of Josip Broz, known worldwide as Marshal Tito, who was head of state of the former Yugoslavia from the end of World War II until his death in 1980. We will see the exterior of the Marakana Stadium, where the Red Star of Belgrade plays its matches.
We will continue the tour to the Temple of St. Sava, which is the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans. Passing by St. Mark’s Church, the National Parliament of Serbia, and Republic Square. We will walk along Knez Mihailo Street, one of the most beautiful pedestrian streets in the Balkans, until we reach the park and the Kalemegdan Fortress. From there we will observe the mighty walls and have a beautiful view of the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Free time to enjoy the city. Overnight.
DAY 10: BELGRADE – STOPIĆA CAVE – ZLATIBOR
Departure after breakfast to the city of Zlatibor. Before arriving, we will make a stop in the area where Stopića cave is located. Stopića cave is a river cave through which the Trnavski stream flows only about 20 km from the town of Zlatibor. There are five units of Stopića cave: the light room, the dark room, the large room with baths, the channel with pools, and the river channel. The pools that were made of deposited limestone are the biggest attraction of the cave thanks to their uniqueness.
Optionally, in the afternoon you can also see the Zlatibor area from a funicular. With its impressive nine-kilometer route, it took the title of the longest panoramic funicular in the world. The “golden” Zlatibor cable car connects the center of Zlatibor with the ski resort of Tornik, which is also the highest peak of the mountain. Overnight in Zlatibor.
DAY 11: ZLATIBOR – WOODEN TOWN – SARGAN 8 – ZLATIBOR
Breakfast and departure to “Drvengrad” – the wooden town, which was built for the filming of the movie Life is a Miracle in 2004. It was directed by the famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica. After the visit, we will continue to the area of Mokra Gora, also known for the old train. The train makes the circular route in the shape of number eight, called Sargan 8, and is part of the narrow-gauge railroad that once linked Belgrade with Sarajevo and Dubrovnik. The ”museum train” has been revived and many now enjoy the ride through this part of Serbia. Overnight in Zlatibor.
If Serbia caught your attention and you wish to go on a tailor-made tour.
DAY 12: ZLATIBOR – VIŠEGRAD (STONE TOWN) – SARAJEVO
Today we leave for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Crossing the border, we will make a stop in Višegrad. There you will learn about the history of the stone city called Andrićgrad – a city dedicated to the famous writer Ivo Andrić. Ivo Andrić was a writer, diplomat, and the only Yugoslavian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The stone city is a project of the famous film director Emir Kusturica. Some of the main objects are the Institute of Ivo Andrić with a Slavic language center, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Town Hall, the Church of St. Lazarus, the Renaissance theater, objects of accommodation, and much more.
However, the architecture is a mixture of different eras and styles that passed throughout the history of Višegrad: the Byzantine style, the Ottoman period, the Renaissance, and Classicism. From there we will continue to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Arrival and overnight in Sarajevo.
DAY 13: SARAJEVO
In the morning you will get to know the city and visit the old town: the Princip Bridge, where on June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. This was the immediate cause of the outbreak of the First World War. Also, not to be missed are the Town Hall – Vječnica, Gazi Husrevbeg Mosque, the Old Orthodox Church, Svrzina’s house, and Baščaršija – which is the heart and soul of the city with its numerous stores and craft workshops. In the afternoon you will also visit the Tunnel of Hope, made in 1993 to connect the city center with the suburbs to bring food, war supplies, and humanitarian aid to the city.
DAY 14: SARAJEVO – MOSTAR – BLAGAJ – MEDJUGORJE
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Mostar, the city known for the Unesco Old Bridge, built in the 15th century. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, Eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean, and Western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. From Mostar, we will move to Blagaj, a dervish monastery located at the source of the Buna River. It was built around 1520 with elements of Ottoman and Mediterranean-style architecture and is considered a national monument. Arrival in Medjugorje in the afternoon. Overnight in Medjugorje.
DAY 15: MEDJUGORJE
In the morning you will visit this interesting city with a local guide. One of the most famous shrines in the world, this holy place owes its popularity to the apparition of the Virgin Mary. She began appearing to a group of children in June 1981 on a hill in the town known today as Brdo Ukazanja. Medjugorje is the place where you come to escape from your routine and where the peace and tranquility of this town make your mind and soul regenerate completely. After the visit, free time to participate in mass or walk around the city. Overnight in Medjugorje.
If you have already visited the imperial capitals of Europe and you only wish to hop through the Balkans, let us know and we will prepare a bespoke trip just for you.
DAY 16: MEDJUGORJE – KRAVICA WATERFALLS – SPLIT
In the morning departure to Croatia, to the city of Split. On the way, we will stop at the natural waterfalls of Kravica. It is a unique natural beauty built by the water of the river Trebizat, which flows through limestone terrain and deposits tuff. According to many visitors, praised as one of the most beautiful natural attractions, the Kravica waterfall is a recognizable symbol of this area. Later we continue to the Adriatic coast. Arrival in Split. Free time and overnight in Split.
DAY 17: SPLIT
Breakfast and a guided tour of Split, the second-largest city in Croatia. In 305, when the Roman Emperor Diocletian, having almost the whole world under his feet, decided to build his country villa and spend the rest of his life there, he did not hesitate about where he should build it: in this Adriatic beauty.
The old town is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage. Optionally you can enter the cellars of Diocletian’s Palace, which served as his retirement home. You will see the exterior of the Temple of Jupiter and the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, which, by an irony of fate, was once the mausoleum of the last great persecutor of Christians. Free time to enjoy the afternoon in this exclusive town on the Adriatic Sea. In the afternoon we will depart in the direction of Dubrovnik. Overnight in Neum.
DAY 18: STON – DUBROVNIK
Morning departure and stop in the town of Ston with its remarkable 5.5 km defensive wall. The Ston Walls on the Pelješac Peninsula (Croatia) are relatively unknown, but they constitute the longest complete system of fortifications in Europe. They are a series of defensive stone walls that protected the town of Ston. They also appeared as fortifications of King’s Landing in the series Game of Thrones.
From there we will drive to Dubrovnik. Upon arrival, guided tour of Dubrovnik, a city that has hardly changed since medieval times and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Being one of the smallest states in the Mediterranean, but at the same time one of the most important, it has contributed to a very rich history of the city that is reflected in every step. You can visit the Rector’s Palace and the Franciscan Monastery with the oldest pharmacy in the world. You can also climb up to its intact city walls that offer an incredible 1,940-meter walk, surrounding a place that has no comparison in the world and holds the title of “Pearl of the Adriatic”. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
DAY 19: DUBROVNIK – DEPARTURE
Free time before departure to the airport. End of the trip.
and start planning this incredible tour through the imperial capitals all the way down to Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia.
IMPERIAL CAPITALS WITH SERBIA, BOSNIA AND THE DALMATIAN COST
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