When Luxury Travel Advisor Tami Rona’s client requested a trip focused on delving into their European Jewish heritage, an extraordinary river cruise with extensions to Budapest and Prague was the obvious and ideal option.
Budapest is a captivating city, charming travelers with eclectic architecture, a rich history, superb food, and an appreciation for the arts. Known as the ‘Paris of the East’, you will quickly see why the city is a top travel destination year after year. The mighty Danube River splits the city in two, with Buda on one side and Pest on the other. You will want to visit both to experience the complete magic of this city.
Spend your days walking through the vibrant urban center, visiting world-class museums, WWII memorials, expansive parks, the famous Central Market Hall, and Vaci street. Highlights of your visit will include Buda Castle, the Parliament building, Fisherman’s Bastion, the Danube Promenade, and Heroes’ Square. For some R&R, head to one of the city’s famous thermal baths to rejuvenate after your city adventure!
As the largest synagogue in Europe, this is a must-visit on any Jewish Heritage trip. The Jewish Museum has a powerful exhibit retelling the stories of the Hungarian Jews who died during the holocaust.
Throughout the city, fine art dazzles and amazes visitors. One of the most notable sculptures is The Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial, honoring the Jews killed by the Fascist Hungarian militia of the Arrow Cross Party. Walking past this sobering memorial on the promenade is an unforgettable experience.
Dining in Budapest goes beyond the typical Goulash. While this Hungarian favorite is exceptional, you will also want to try Langos, chimney cakes, stuffed cabbage, sausage, and many other Hungarian delicacies. If you are celebrating a special occasion, intimate dining experiences can be arranged for couples or groups, complete with gypsy violinists. It will be a great evening, enjoyed and fondly remembered by all!
Like Budapest, Prague, in the Czech Republic, is a stunning city with a rich history. As a political and commercial hub for nearly a thousand years, many different cultures have influenced Prague. Known as the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, Prague’s old-world charm captures travelers' hearts and continues to rank as a favorite city to visit.
Having soaked up the influence of many nationalities, Prague’s interesting architecture showcases gothic, baroque, art-nouveau, and some cubist buildings and structures. Must-see sights include: The Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Prague Castle, St. Vitrus Cathedral, and the Jewish Quarter. Wander the tourist areas, meander the hidden alleys, marvel at the arched stone bridges, and explore this fascinating city. You will not be disappointed.
The tremendous Prague Castle dates to 870 and is the former home of Bohemian royalty. Marvel at the breathtaking gothic and baroque architecture. Considered the largest ancient castle in the world, it is currently the seat of the head of state. The crown jewels are kept in the castle, along with Christian artifacts, important historical papers, and world-class fine art.
For the best experience, explore Prague by foot. Meandering the city center’s cobble-stoned streets is a pleasure. At the top of every hour, all eyes gaze upward to marvel at the movements of the famous Astronomical Clock at the top of the Old Town City Hall. This perfectly preserved Medieval clock still operates with the original ironwork created in 1410.
A visit to Prague is nowhere near complete without sampling the world-renowned Czech beer. Experience the city’s beer scene, taste numerous beers, indulge in the rich Czech specialties, and gain insight into the fascinating Czech culture. A joyful evening like this will be spoken of for years to come!