Tailormade tour Germany, Czech Republic and Poland rail tour Central and Eastern Europe

13 nights/14 days

Berlin • Dresden • Prague • Krakow • Warsaw

This rail touring holiday links three historical countries, each unique and fascinating in its own way. Begin your rail holiday in Germany, exploring Berlin and Dresden before travelling south to Prague and the ancient capital of Bohemia. Your last destination on this rail touring holiday is Poland, where you can discover the mediaeval streets and splendid, historic buildings of Krakow and the capital Warsaw.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £2,195 per person.

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

Highlights

Berlin • Dresden • Prague • Krakow • Warsaw

Day by day

Begin your holiday by travelling to Berlin by air or by rail. If you opt to travel by rail, you catch an early morning Eurostar from London to Brussels. After a change of trains in Brussels, carry on to Cologne, where you will change trains once more before arriving in Berlin in the evening. Check in to your hotel for 3 nights.

You have two days to explore Berlin at your leisure. Berlin has a fascinating history stretching back hundreds of yours although it is really for its more recent history that it is best known. Berlin has been at the epicentre of two world wars and the Cold War in the course of the 20th Century and is now the capital of a re-united Germany. Its rich history means that there is a vast amount to discover. Major attractions include The Reichstag, German Parliament, which was built in the 19th century and destroyed in 1933 and Brandenburg Gate, which was inspired by the Acropolis in Athens, and at the head of the long boulevard, Unter den Linden (named after the rows of linden trees planted almost 400 years ago). Your second day in Berlin might want to be spent visiting Museum Island, where 5 museums are located. These include the Pergamon Museum which houses 3 separate collections; the Museum of Antiquities (from Greece and Rome), the Museum of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Museum of Islamic Art as well as Neues Museum which hosts Egyptian and prehistoric items. Apart from all of the museums that the city has to offer, Berlin is also home to one of the oldest zoos in Germany situated in Tiergarten park. Why not take a stroll by the Landwehr Canal which is seven miles in length which will take you through some of the cities sights including Kreuzberg’s café-lined embankments and part of Tiergarten Park. Berlin is a very large city and covers an area of just under 900 sq kms.

After 3 nights in Berlin, depart your hotel and board a direct train to Dresden where you will arrive in under 2 hours. You will have one full day to explore Dresden.

Spend your time in Dresden exploring the palaces and historical buildings that the city has to offer. Dresden has a prominent creative scene and is often hailed as the most attractive city in Germany. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Frauenkirche and Neumarkt Sqaure is a must. The Frauenkirche was rebuilt after World War Two and has become a symbol of reconciliation. A fine example of well-preserved Renaissance architecture is the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace) situated in the historic town centre. Semper Opera House is visually stunning and is the main venue for Dresden’s Saxon State Orchestra. Another architectural gem to visit is the Zwinger Palace. This palace is built in baroque style after the Palace of Versailles and combines architecture, sculpture and painting. Dresden is known for its porcelain and a national collection can be found in the Zwinger.

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and travel by rail from Dresden to Prague. The journey will take just over 2 hours. After departure from Dresden, the train runs along the river Elbe (on the left-hand side of the train as you head south). Look out for river boats and the occasional paddle steamer. The last stop in Germany is the pretty spa town of Bad Schandau and the first stop in Czech Republic is Decin where you can observe the Decin Castle. The river views continue as the train runs along the river Vlatava. On the approach to Prague, you may be able to spot Prague’s old town cathedral towers in the distance.

You have two full days in Prague to take in the city’s cultural highlights. Take a stroll across Charles Bridge as it spans the River Vltava and links the old town with the Mala Strana (lesser or little town) and continue uphill towards Prague Castle, one of the city’s most popular sights. St Vitus Cathedral is near to the castle and can be seen from around the city. Spend another day exploring Prague’s old town where you can enjoy Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock (dating from 1410 and the oldest astronomical clock in the world that is still working) and Wenceslas Square. Prague enjoys a cultural reputation of immense stature in Europe and there are numerous opera and concert performances that can be booked. Unique to Prague is the Laterna Magika where classical principles of non-verbal theatre mingle with dance, film images and black light theatre.

Leave Prague behind you and board a direct train to Krakow mid-morning. This is an all-day journey arriving into Krakow late afternoon. You have three nights in Krakow.

Unlike other parts of Eastern Europe, Krakow escaped destruction in WWII which means the city enjoys enchanting streets and buildings dating back to mediaeval times. The highlight of the city is the striking Wawal Castle situated on Wawel hill, just south of the Old Town. Popular attractions to visit include the State Rooms and the Royal Private Apartments as well as visiting Wawel Catherdral, the coronation and burial place for Polish royalty for four centuries. Your second day in Krakow gives you the chance to explore south of the castle where you can find Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter, which is home to bars and shops. In the Old Town, explore Rynek Glówny (Main Market Square) which features the 15th century Town Hall Tower which you can climb. If you would like to explore further afield, why not visit Wieliczka Salt Mine or take a train to Auschwitz (Oswiecim) which takes around 1 hour 40 minutes.

After 3 nights in Krakow, leave the city behind departing on a direct train to Warsaw. You will arrive in just under 2 hours 30 minutes. Check in to your hotel in Warsaw for two nights.

Warsaw is divided by the Vistula River and the majority of historic attractions are situated on the left-bank of the city. Here you will find the Old Town which was completely rebuilt after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. We recommend visiting King Sigismund’s Column on Plac Zamkowy as well as the neo-Gothic cathedral of St John the Baptist. Old Town Square is lined with pretty coloured houses and typical polish eateries. Another place of interest is the Royal Castle, a former residence of Polish Royalty from the 16th – 18th centuries and rebuilt after its destruction in WWII. We also suggest a stroll along the Vistula River and to admire the views from the top of the Palace of Culture and Science. There are also various museums of interest which include the Historical Museum of Warsaw, the Museum of Warsaw Uprising and the Chopin Museum.

On the final day of your holiday, travel back to the UK by air from Warsaw.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From about £2,195 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £280 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR05

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From about £2,195 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £280 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR05

Our prices include ● Rail travel from London to Berlin and flight from Warsaw to the UK
● Second-class/standard class travel on all trains (first and standard premier on Eurostar at a supplement)
● Accommodation in a double or twin room based on two people sharing with
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic double room at Hotel de Rome, Berlin
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Comfort double room at the Bulow Palais Hotel, Dresden
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at the Hotel BoHo, Prague
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Double room at the Hotel Amadeus, Krakow
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Double room at the Hotel Polonia Palace, Warsaw
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros/Czech koruna/Polish zloty 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in any cities. We recommend taking a taxi to your hotel for speed and cost.
● Flight from UK to Berlin if you prefer to fly to the first stop

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our honeymoon at such short notice. We would have been completely stuck without the help you gave us and it enabled us to have a lovely time away. We particularly loved the Capelounge and will have to consider returning there at some point.
Mr W, Oct, 2021

Holiday price guide From about £2,195 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £280 per person.

Holiday Code EEBR05

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

Highlights of the Czech Republic

Just under 20 miles out of the centre of Prague is the 14th century Castle Karlstejn. This Gothic fortress was once home to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Moulding to the shape of the hillside, it is split across three terraces, each relating to a different level of importance; at the bottom is the Imperial Palace, then the Marian Town, and finally the Big Tower at the top. The Big Tower was left vacant for God, with just a chapel inside, while the Empress lived in the Marian Tower, and the Emperor and Knights lived in the Imperial Palace. For an authentic taste of traditional Bohemia, head to Cesky Krumlov, situated further along the Vltava River. The town itself has been brilliantly preserved since the 18th century, with terracotta roofs, cobblestone streets, brightly coloured walls, and a stunning Bohemian Castle. The main pleasure of this town comes from simply wandering along its picturesque streets, stopping in local restaurants and cafes for some of the local food. To the east of Prague, is Kutna Hora, a town that began as a Bohemian monastery in the 12th century. The surrounding mountains were rich with silver, which lead the town to flourish. Today, Gothic buildings from a time of German rule are set beside a five-naved cathedral, the Italian Court Royal Residence, the Stone Haus, and the St Barbaras Church, all of which add a further dimension to a trip to the Czech Republic. Built around a hot spring reputed to have healing properties in western Czechia is Karlovy Vary. The colour and quaintness of this town is almost unparalleled across the country. The ice cream colours of each of the houses are brought to life by the dense forested areas all around. The highlights of this town, however, are its opulent spas, first commissioned by Charles IV. Many of these buildings were in part destroyed in the 18th and 19th centuries, but one prominent spa remains, dating back over six centuries. In the south-east of the country, your cultural and geographical exploration will continue, be it in the stunning underground caves and gorges of the Moravian Karst or in the waterside Renaissance palace at Telc.

Cultural highlights of the Czech Republic

One of Europe's most popular cities, Prague is the Czech Republic's capital city. Clustered around the banks of the Vltava River, Prague is also the capital of the historic and charming region of Bohemia, and was once the seat of the Roman Empire. Its streets are rich in both Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the balance of which gives it its unique, enchanting atmosphere. The Charles Bridge is one of its most popular attractions and has crossed from Old Town into Lesser Town for over 600 years. As well as bustling with pedestrians, the Charles Bridge is the workplace of many musicians, artists, and vendors. Prague is a city of many squares, but none are more impressive than the Old Town Square, lined with magnificent townhouses that demonstrate everything from Rococo to Romanesque architecture. From here, you can appreciate the Tyn Cathedral, the St Nicholas Church, as well as the Old Town Hall. On the horizon is Prague Castle, which sprawls out across the city's highest point. Once a wooden fortress, it now encompasses the St Vitus Cathedral, a basilica, a monastery, beautiful gardens, and royal stables. For those looking for something slightly off the beaten path, it is worth seeking out the house in which Kafka lived, as well as the peaceful cemetery in which he was buried.

Facts in brief

Capital Prague
Airport Prague-Ruzyne
Size 78,865km²
Population 10 million

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

Highlights of Germany

Berlin’s world-class museums, bustling bars, galleries and monuments; Rugen Island, with its rugged chalk cliffs, windswept beaches, Romantic-era spa architecture and tree-lined country roads; Dresden, with its baroque beauty on the banks of the majestic Elbe; Cologne’s magnificent cathedral; the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg; the sandy dunes of Sylt, a North Sea island with fabulous beaches and surf; the beer halls of Munich, ideally in September during the Oktoberfest; Lubeck, a Hanseatic gem; Muritz National Park, where you can go paddling and camping in a paradise teeming with birds; Bremen, a metropolis in miniature, with lovely red-brick and Art Nouveau architecture; the Alpine resorts of Bavaria, including Berchtesgaden, with dramatic peaks, dreamy lakes and superb walking trails; drive or cruise along the Rhine or Mosel, visiting castles, medieval villages and superb vineyards along the way; the walled medieval towns of Rothenburg and Trier, both with wonderful Christmas markets; the Christmas market at Nuremberg, oldest – and still most picturesque – in the world.

Facts in brief

Capital Berlin
Airport Several airports are served from the UK, including Berlin, Bremen, Cologne-Bonn, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart and Munich.
Size 137,000 sq. miles
Population 82 million

Luxury touring holiday by train to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

Highlights of Poland

Outside of the main cities, Poland still has plenty to offer. One of the most popular sites is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. The mine is comprised of underground tunnels and chambers and saline lakes. Religious chambers, where the natural stone walls are left exposed, are lit by chandeliers, giving them an ethereal feel. To see one of the castles of the Teutonic Knights, we would recommend the 14th century Malbork Castle, just south of Gdansk in the north. Its typically red walls, archways, and roofs are archetypal of the Teutonic style. Inside, you can view a huge collection of mediaeval artefacts, classical paintings, and a stunning amber collection.

Warsaw Highlights

Warsaw, Poland's capital, offers the best sense of energy of the larger cities. Colourful, tall buildings peer down on the Old Town Square, while the extensive use of bright red brick and red terracotta tiles adds a warmth that isn't often felt in other European capitals. The city almost met with its destruction at the end of the Second World War, but its survival meant the preservation of countless historical monuments that tell the story of the likes of Chopin as well as the tragedy of the Jewish communities. The Palace of Culture & Science is, as the name suggests, too formidable to be called a museum, while the Museum of the History of Polish Jews juxtaposes its intense, emotional exhibits with a sheer, modern exterior style that crops up every now and then elsewhere around the city. A must-see in Warsaw is the Royal Castle, a huge brick structure that almost seems too vast, once home to the Russian tsars and originally the wooden stronghold of the Dukes of Mazovia. The traditional, yet understated, exterior of the Chopin Museum, housed in the Ostrogski Palace, hides a multi-media, high-tech insight into the composer's life and works. Finish your exploration of the city with a wander through the amphitheatre, palace, and manicured lawns of the Lazienki Park. After dark, lively bars and restaurants keep the magic alive into the small hours.

Krakow Highlights

South of Warsaw is the mediaeval city of Krakow, still with its well-preserved Old Town and mediaeval walls. Krakow is known for its sensational architecture, captured by its spired churches, synagogues, and castles. Each street, even the quieter alleyways, have their own type of perfection, in their design and their atmosphere. The 13th century Rynek Glowny is Europe's largest market square. The character of the city really comes into its own in Kazimierz, the old Jewish Quarter, where you can find an abundance of quirky restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. The crowning glory of the city, however, is indisputably the Wawel Royal Castle. The castle has become a well-recognised symbol for the country's national identity, and now pays testament to this with its endless exhibits: the Crown Treasury, the Royal Private Apartments, and its Exhibition of Oriental Art. The highlight of this castle has to be wandering around its grounds, admiring the intricacy of each element of its design, the myriad domes, and its irregular form.

Gdansk Highlights

A port city on the Baltic Coast, Gdansk is a city that was partially reconstructed after the Second World War. It still hugs the shores of the river, with beautiful multi-storied Long Market at its centre, and bourgeois architecture at every turn. Tall townhouses line the river front, each worth appreciating as much as the view out across the water, and the sea-side feel extends back into the city. Wealthy merchants have left a lasting mark on the city, creating a real sense of opulence and extravagance that has attracted incredible restaurants and bars and entices visitors back year after year.

Facts in brief

Capital Warsaw
Airport Warsaw Chopin Airport
Size 312,696 km²
Population 38 million
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