Budapest, Belgrade And Sofia
Literally, since Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the world. An amazing 70 million liters of thermal water rises to the surface daily. The hot springs have given birth to dozens of medicinal baths and to a bathing culture dating back to Roman times.
Arrival in Budapest. Transfer to the hotel for accommodation and short rest. Half-day sightseeing tour of Budapest with local guide – the Chain Bridge, Margaret Bridge, St. Mathias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion, Gellért Hill (Citadel) with the most spectacular view of Budapest, Elisabeth Bridge, the famous Central Market Hall, the City Park and the Heroes’ Square with statues of the most famous Hungarian kings and dukes, the Opera House and St Stephen’s Basilica, etc. Overnight in Budapest.
02 BUDAPEST / SZENTENDRE – VISEGRAD – ESZTERGOM
Breakfast. Free day in Budapest or optional tour to Szentendre, Visegrad and Esztergom. The Northern gate of Budapest – the centre of the Catholic Church. You'll visit the largest cathedral of Hungary, which is also the burial place of the famous cardinals of Hungary. The visit of Visegrad includes a walk close to the 750 year-old stones of the formal Royal Residence and enjoy the fascinating panorama on the Danube valley. On the way back visit of the village of Szentendre, a small baroque city at the gate of the Danube Bend where the Danube meets the Pilis. Take a walk around the baroque settlement, built on medieval ruins and go up to the viewing point offering spectacular vistas of the Danube. Overnight in Budapest.
03 BUDAPEST / HEREND AND BALATON LAKE
Breakfast. Free day in Budapest or optional tour to Herend and Balaton Lake. Departure for Herend for visit of the world’s largest Porcelain Manufactory (founded 1826). Drive to Lake Balaton, the largest fresh-water lake of Central Europe. You'll get to see the abbey (founded 1055) on the Tihany Peninsula. Visit to Balatonfüred, the oldest spa resort in Hungary, located at the shore of Balaton and walk along the famous promenade.
04 BUDAPEST – BELGRADE
Breakfast. Check-out the hotel and departure for Serbia. Arrival in Belgrade in the afternoon. Check-in at hotel. The rest of the day is free for time at leisure. Overnight Belgrade.
05 BELGRADE - NOVI SAD
Breakfast. Walking tour in Belgrade from the Republic Square along the main pedestrian street (“Knez Mihaylova”) to Kalemegdan Park and the Belgrade Fortress with its picturesque panorama to the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers. In the afternoon optional tour to Novi Sad. Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, known as the Serbian Athens for its great role in the Revival of the Serbian people – here is the seat of some of the most important Serbian cultural institutions, including Matica Srpska. Here, on the shore of Danube River, you can witness one of the most impressive fortresses in Europe – Petrovaradin, called “Gibraltar on Danube” – masterpiece of the fortification construction of the 18th century. Return to Belgrade in the evening. On request – traditional Serbian dinner in local restaurant – “kafana”, with live music. Overnight in Belgrade.
Breakfast. A free day in Belgrade for shopping, visit Zemun and time at leisure along the Danube River promenade. Optional dinner at traditional Serbian local restaurant – “kafana”, with live music. Overnight in Belgrade.
07 BELGRADE – SOFIA
Breakfast. Departure for Bulgaria. Arrival in Sofia in the afternoon. Guided sightseeing tour of the city centre, including visit to Alexander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and a primary tourist attraction; St. George Rotunda, St. Sophia Church, built by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, National Theatre, former Royal Palace, Presidency, etc. Accommodation at hotel. Overnight in Sofia.
08 SOFIA / RILA MONASTERY
Breakfast. A free day in Sofia or, optional tour to Rila Monastery - the most exquisite example of the monastery art and architecture in Bulgaria. Guided tour of the monastery complex. Visit to Nativity of the Virgin Church with its miracle icon of the Virgin and splendid gilded iconostasis, the old kitchen, the monastery museum where you can learn about the long and heroic history of the monastery, the woodcarved cross made for a period of twelve years by a monk called Rafael, Hrelyo’s Tower and many spectacular views from the mountain and the surrounding nature. Optional dinner at a traditional restaurant with folklore music and dances. Overnight in Sofia.
09 SOFIA / PLOVDIV
Breakfast. A free day in Sofia or, optional one day tour to Plovdiv – European capital of culture 2019. Sightseeing tour in the Old Town, including the Roman Ancient Theatre, which was build in the 1st century AD and is nowadays considered to be the largest surviving Roman construction in Bulgaria, visit to the Ethnographic Museum, Roman Stadium, St. Constantine and Helena Church, etc. Drive back to Sofia. Overnight in Sofia.
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
No accommodation available
The best times to visit Budapest are from March to May and September through November. These shoulder seasons are when the weather is idyllic and the city isn't overcrowded with tourists. However, the climate is always relatively mild, with temperatures rarely exceeding bearable levels. July and August experience average highs in the upper 70s, while average lows in January rest in the mid-20s. Tourists flood the city in summer, despite it being the hottest and wettest of time of year.
Spring is pleasant in Budapest. The crowds are minimal, and the room rates are affordable. Also, flights are a lot cheaper than what you'll find in the summer. If you plan on visiting in May when two of the city's best food, beer and wine events – Rosalia Festival and OTP Bank Gourmet Festival – take place, remember to pack an umbrella. Rain showers become more prevalent as the season progresses.
Budapest is an appealing destination to visit in the fall. Summer crowds have all gone home, and you're sure to be able to find a deal on accommodations. Plus, autumn offers an array of popular events for festivalgoers, including the Jewish Cultural Festival and the Budapest Wine Festival.