Best of the Balkans: Budapest & Zagreb - Adventure People
6 Days

Best of the Balkans: Budapest & Zagreb

5.0 - Based on 1 travel review
From $1,599
/ Adult

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What's Included

  • Accommodations - Carefully chosen 4-star hotels (3 nights in Budapest, 2 nights in Zagreb)
  • Meals: 5 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
  • Airport/ Train Station Transfers
  • Train Ticket from Budapest to Zagreb
  • Budapest City Card
  • Walking Tour in Budapest
  • Walking Tour in Zagreb
  • Danube Dinner & Folk Night Cruise
  • Dinner at Michelin Restaurant in Zagreb

What's Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage fees
  • Beverages & Meals not specified
  • Optional Activities
  • Tips for your local guides & drivers
  • COVID Tests (if required)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
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Overview

5 nights/ 6 days Budapest to Zagreb PLACES VISITED: Budapest & Zagreb ACTIVITIES: Walking Tours, Boat Cruise, Foodie Experience GROUP SIZE: 12 people max PHYSICAL RATING: Level 2: Light Embarking on a captivating journey through the heart of Eastern Europe, our tour of Budapest and Zagreb by train offers an enchanting blend of history, culture, and architectural marvels. We’ll start in Budapest, often referred to as the "Paris of the East," with its stunning architecture, thermal baths, and rich cultural tapestry. Spend a couple of days in its treasures, from the majestic Buda Castle perched atop a hill to the grandeur of the Hungarian Parliament Building along the Danube River. Stroll along the charming streets of the historic Castle District, soak in the healing waters of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, and savor traditional Hungarian cuisine while cruising on the Danube River. Budapest's unique blend of old-world charm and vibrant modernity ensures that every moment of this tour is a delightful adventure in itself. As we depart from the bustling train station in Budapest, the city's stunning skyline bids us farewell. En route to Zagreb, the scenic train ride showcases the picturesque Hungarian and Croatian countryside, revealing rolling hills, vineyards, and charming villages. Upon arrival in Zagreb, we are welcomed by the city's vibrant atmosphere, where cobblestone streets wind through centuries-old architecture and lush green parks. Spend a couple of days exploring the historic Upper Town, with its medieval architecture and winding, cobbled streets, juxtaposed against the bustling Lower Town, known for its lively markets and trendy cafes. Explore St. Mark's Church with its colorful roof tiles, soak up the atmosphere in Ban Jelačić Square, and take a leisurely stroll in the lush parks that dot the city. Zagreb's rich cultural heritage, diverse culinary scene, and warm hospitality make it a delightful destination for travelers seeking an authentic European experience. This train-based adventure provides an immersive experience, allowing travelers to savor the rich heritage of these two dynamic capitals, all while enjoying the convenience and comfort of rail travel.

Adventure Highlights

  • Enjoy traveling through the picturesque Hungarian and Croatian countryside on a train journey between two beautiful European capitals.
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Budapest, the capital of Hungary, which encompasses its historical and cultural landmarks.
  • Enjoy free public transportation, entrance to museums, and many other discounts with the Budapest City Card.
  • Unwind at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, one of Europe's largest and most renowned thermal baths.
  • Embark on a 3-hour cruise on the Danube River with live folk dancing and a 6-course dinner and learn a bit of Hungarian Folk Dance.
  • Explore Zagreb on foot in the company of a local guide and immerse yourself in the city's rich history, charming streets, and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Discover one of Zagreb’s leading Michelin-rated gastro-bistros and experience a 4-course menu that highlights the best of Croatian cuisine using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
  • Join a Small Group Tour

    TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
    May 21, 2024 - May 26, 2024 Available $1,599
    12 Available

    Traveling solo? No problem!
    On our group trips, we offer free roommate-matching and will pair you with a same-sex roommate, so you are never obligated to pay the single supplement fee. 

    Want Your Own Room?
    Single Supplement is available for an additional fee (based on availability)

    By booking this trip, you agree to the Booking Terms and Conditions.

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    Daily Itinerary

    Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting to take you from the airport to your starting hotel in the Belváros district of Budapest, just south of the Parliament area. This is the heart of downtown and buzzes with restaurants and cafes, as well as major sights such as St Stephens Cathedral and Váci Street, the city’s main shopping area.

    There are no scheduled activities today, so depending on your arrival, spend some free time exploring the city on your own. Your Budapest City Card will give you unlimited free use of public transportation as well as free entry into the city’s best museums free of charge.

    Visit the Budapest History Museum which offers an insightful overview of the historical sites around the city center and their role in Hungarian history, from prehistoric times right up to the present. You might also opt to visit the Hungarian National Gallery. Established in 1957, this art museum is located inside Buda Castle. Since we won’t be entering these museums on our tour tomorrow, today is a good day to visit on your own.

    INCLUDED:
    — Airport transfer
    — Budapest City Card

    Overnight in Budapest – Ikonik Parlament

    This morning, embark on a captivating walking tour of Budapest that encompasses its historical and cultural landmarks. We start our tour in downtown Budapest at Elisabeth Square, where we will learn about the city’s origin and the history of the country in general. Grab a coffee at Gerbeaud Café, often simply referred to as Gerbeaud, one of Budapest’s most renowned and historic coffeehouses, situated in the heart of the city at Vörösmarty Square. Established in 1858 by confectioner Henrik Kugler, it has a long-standing tradition of serving exceptional pastries, cakes, and coffee in an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere.

    Nearby is the Hungarian Opera House, a stunning architectural gem and a hub of cultural richness. While you may not catch a performance, you can still appreciate the grandeur of its exterior and learn about its historical significance to the city’s cultural heritage.
    Our next stop is St Stephen’s Basilica, one of the most magnificent buildings in Budapest, to learn about its history and hidden symbols. The basilica houses Hungary’s most sacred relic, the mummified right hand of St. Stephen, which is on display in a beautifully crafted reliquary. St. Stephen’s Basilica is not only a place of religious significance but also a cultural and architectural gem.

    Next, we’ll visit the second-largest Parliament in Europe, one of Budapest’s most iconic landmarks and a symbol of Hungary’s rich history and democracy, and learn about the important roles it has played in Hungarian history.

    We’ll continue our tour, walking across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, an iconic suspension bridge that spans the Danube River to the Castle District, where the Buda Castle and Royal Palace majestically overlook the Danube River. Explore the intricacies of Buda Castle’s courtyards, galleries, and museums while enjoying panoramic views of the city. Adjacent to the castle, visit the stunning Matthias Church, adorned with its colorful tiled roof, and take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking architecture.

    As you descend from the Castle District, make your way towards the Fisherman’s Bastion for a breathtaking view of the Hungarian Parliament across the Danube River. This vantage point offers a postcard-worthy photo opportunity and a chance to admire the city’s skyline.

    Once our walking tour has come to an end, we’ll make our way to the Great Market Hall for lunch and enjoy some fresh goods, people watching, shopping, and wine tasting. The Great Market Hall in Budapest was built in 1897 and is the most beautiful and largest of all Budapest market halls.

    This afternoon, venture to the City Park, where Heroes’ Square stands as a testament to Hungary’s history and independence. Continue your stroll through the park, past the fairy-tale-like Vajdahunyad Castle, and then we’ll take the opportunity to unwind at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, one of Europe’s largest and most renowned thermal baths. After a relaxing soak, we’ll make our way back to our hotel feeling relaxed.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Walking Tour of Budapest (4 hours, 9am-1pm)

    Overnight in Budapest – Ikonik Parlament

    Breakfast, Dinner

    Today, you are free to explore Budapest however you wish. Use your City Card to visit another museum, take a tour of the Jewish Quarter, take a bike tour, or learn to cook traditional Hungarian cuisine in a cooking class, the choice is yours!

    This evening, we’ll embark on a 3-hour cruise with live folk dancing and a 6-course dinner, so don’t eat a big lunch! The Hungarian Folk Dance Performance includes the traditional dances and dance motifs of various regions of historic Hungary and also shows various costumes of highlighted folk regions. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn a bit of Hungarian Folk Dances yourself!

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
    — Danube Dinner & Folk Night Cruise (7:30-10:30pm/ Boards at 7pm)

    Overnight in Budapest – Ikonik Parlament

    Breakfast, Dinner

    This morning, spend some time shopping on Vaci Street before our train departs for Zagreb in the afternoon. Vaci Street is the top pedestrian shopping street in Budapest, with each side of this bustling destination featuring an abundance of restaurants, cafés and retail stores.

    This afternoon, we’ll embark on a journey that takes you through the picturesque Hungarian and Croatian countryside. The train ride from Budapest to Zagreb offers a scenic and convenient way to travel between these two beautiful European capitals.

    Your train journey begins at Keleti Railway Station, one of Budapest’s major train terminals. The station’s ornate architecture and bustling atmosphere set the stage for your adventure.

    As the train departs Budapest, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by the rolling hills, farmland, and vineyards of the Hungarian countryside. You can gaze out the window and enjoy the scenic beauty as you travel through small towns and villages along the way.

    The train journey between Budapest and Zagreb includes crossing the border between Hungary and Croatia. You may experience a brief stop at the border for passport and customs checks. Ensure you have your travel documents ready for inspection.

    As you approach Zagreb, the landscape gradually changes, and you’ll begin to see the Croatian countryside. The train arrives at Zagreb’s main train station, Glavni Kolodvor, which is conveniently located near the city center. Upon arrival, a taxi will be waiting to take you to our hotel in Lower Town.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Train Ticket from Budapest to Zagreb
    — Taxi to train station in Budapest
    — Taxi on Arrival in Zagreb

    Estimated Travel Time Budapest to Zagreb: 6.5 hours by train (3:35pm-9:59pm)
    Overnight in Zagreb – Hotel Le Premier

    Breakfast

    Exploring Zagreb on foot is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, charming streets, and vibrant atmosphere. This morning, we’ll meet our guide and our tour will start at Zagreb’s famous Zrinjevac Park, one of Zagreb’s most beautiful green spaces. The park is adorned with fountains, sculptures, and seasonal flower displays. It’s a serene spot for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful moment amidst the city’s bustle.

    From the park, we will hit Bogovićeva street which is well known for its bars and restaurants. From new to old, we will walk across Ban Jelačić square to our next stop, the historic Zagreb Cathedral, one of the tallest and most awe-inspiring cathedrals in Europe. Marvel at its neo-Gothic architecture and the stunning interior, including the ornate altar and stained glass windows.
    Once you’ve seen this beautiful cathedral inside-out, we’ll take a walk through Dolac Farmers Market to the WW2 tunnels for some more history about our city. Once we reach the Zagreb funicular, you can give your legs a rest while taking the funicular to the top of Grič Hill. At the top of the hill is Gradec aka ‘Upper Town’ for some beautiful panoramic views of the city. This is a great opportunity to take some photos before we walk up the hill to St. Marks Church with its distinctive tiled roof and to hear the stories about Lotrščak Tower, home of the Grič cannon!

    We will take a walk through Upper Town and descend to Tkalčićeva Street, a lively and picturesque thoroughfare filled with cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. We’ll end the tour in Ban Jelačić Square, the central and bustling hub of Zagreb. The square is adorned with a statue of Ban Jelačić, a national hero, and surrounded by historic buildings, shops, and cafes, the perfect place to have a light lunch after our tour.

    If you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat this evening! Discover one of the city’s leading Michelin-rated gastro-bistros and experience a 4-course menu that highlights the best of Croatian cuisine using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
    — Walking Tour of Zagreb (3 hours)
    — Dinner at Michelin Restaurant

    Overnight in Zagreb – Hotel Le Premier

    Breakfast, Dinner

    Today we’ll depart Zagreb for your return home or your next destination. At the appropriate time, a driver will pick you up to take you to the airport or the train station.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Airport/ Train Station Transfer

    Depart Zagreb

    Breakfast

    FAQs

    When is the best time to visit?

    May to June and September to October

    What is the currency in Budapest and Zagreb?

    The official currency in Budapest is the Hungarian Forint (HUF) and in Zagreb, it's the Croatian Kuna (HRK). While some places may accept euros, it's advisable to use local currency for transactions.

    Do I need a visa to visit Hungary and Croatia?

    Hungary is part of the Schengen Area, and Croatia is part of the European Union. Citizens of EU countries, the U.S., and citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European countries, do not need a visa for short stays of up to 90 days. Check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality.

    Is English widely spoken in Budapest and Zagreb?

    Yes, English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, learning a few basic Hungarian and Croatian phrases can be appreciated by locals.

    How safe is Budapest and Zagreb for tourists?

    Budapest and Zagreb are generally safe for tourists. However, like in any major city, it's important to stay vigilant against petty crimes and be cautious in crowded areas.

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    Best of the Balkans: Budapest & Zagreb

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