New Year’s in Budapest: Highlights of Eastern Europe | EF Ultimate Break
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EuropeNew Year’s in Budapest: Highlights of Eastern Europe

New Year’s in Budapest: Highlights of Eastern Europe

17 days, 5 cities70
See dates and prices

From $4049 with flights

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Vaccination is currently required for this trip. Chat or call us with questions.

Why go?

10/10 history buffs agree: the best fuel for New Year's deep dive into the cultures of Eastern Europe is a stream of sausages and Pilsners. So fuel up, ‘cause you’ll be immersed in classical culture, WWII remembrance, and awe-inspiring architecture on this off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Picture yourself

  • Unwinding in a traditional Hungarian thermal spa

  • Bar hopping through Budapest’s eclectic watering holes

  • Tapdancing your way through the cobblestone streets of Prague

  • Snapping selfies in front of the famous John Lennon Wall

  • Adding to the famous graffiti of the Berlin Wall

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers

  • 15 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 16 breakfasts

  • 3 dinners

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support from our travel gurus

  • A New Year’s celebration in Budapest

  • 5 insider city tours with a local guide

  • A guided tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mines

  • Entrance to Hradcany Castle

  • Admission to St. Vitus Cathedral

Full trip itinerary


  • Day 1: Overnight Flight

    Board your overnight flight, bound for Budapest. Sit back, relax, and try picking up Hungarian, one of the hardest languages to learn (it’s a lot more throaty for starters).

  • Day 2: Arrive in Budapest + Welcome Dinner

    Welcome to Eastern Europe! Your Tour Director will be waiting at the airport when you arrive. Today is the day to adjust, make new friends and start the journey right.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
    • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
    • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
  • Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of Budapest + New Year’s Eve Celebration

    See Budapest’s highlights and major landmarks, including Pest on the west bank of the river. Learn about the stormy history of this independent nation on your stop at Heroes’ Square. Cross the Danube and arrive in Buda, where you will climb the imposing Castle Hill. Since its completion in 1265, Buda Castle has witnessed several invasions and reconstructions. Later, you’ll visit the medieval Matthias Church, located in the heart of the Castle District.

    Today's highlights:

    • Tour Buda and Pest with a local guide to show you all the buda-best there is to see
    • Hit the town like never before in the city’s grungy, eclectic nightlife scene
    • Count down to New Year’s in style—with dinner, drinks, and a toast at midnight. Then, keep the party going as late as you want.
  • Day 4: Free Day in Budapest + Optional Thermal Baths & Spa Visit

    On your last day in Budapest, take some time to reminisce on all the goulash you ate, friendly people you met, and amazing castles, churches, and museums you saw. The day is yours to see Budapest however you please.

    Thermal Bath & Spa Visit (extra cost)

    Ease blissfully into Europe’s largest medicinal baths housed in one of the city's most ornate buildings. Enjoy the spa facilities, saunas, steam rooms, and 18 indoor and outdoor baths fed by hot springs. Plus, there’s beer.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 5: Travel to Vienna

    Marvel at the European landscape as you drive along a canvas of castles, farmlands, villages and mountains on your way to Austria. Next stop: Vienna!

  • Day 6: Sightseeing Tour of Vienna

    Ahh, Vienna, the home of Classical creators and world-class classiness. This Austrian city is full of grand operas, grandiose architecture, and gardens so pristine, you'll wonder how its visitors are so well-behaved. Today, you'll get to know Vienna in-depth with a local guide.

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet your local guide for a sightseeing tour of Vienna
    • Visit the lavish palaces, parks and parliament buildings
    • Learn about the major and minor figures who struck a personal chord with this city
  • Day 7: Free Day in Vienna + Day Trip to Slovakia

    Enjoy a free day in Vienna to people-watch in a café like Freud, stuff your face with Sacher Torte (AKA a local variation on decadent chocolate cake), explore Prater Park, or simply do as you please.

    Castles & Capitals: Slovakia Day Trip (extra cost)

    Cross another country off your list with a quick ride over to Bratislava—Slovakia’s fairytale capital city. Explore the 1,100-year-old ruins of Devín Castle, then it’s off to the Old Town for some serious Hansel & Gretel vibes.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 8: Travel to Krakow

    Keep the party going as you travel to one of the most storybook beautiful cities in Poland: Krakow. Upon arrival, take a walk around with your Tour Director and get to know a new country.

  • Day 9: Sightseeing Tour of Krakow

    See the best parts of Krakow today with a local guide. Reach the top of Wawel Hill, perched high above the Vistula River. Visit Wawel Cathedral, where Pope John Paul II once served as archbishop. Stroll through Glowny Square, passing beautiful Sukiennice Cloth Hall and the Jagiellonian University. If you have some free time, learn how World War II impacted this city at Schindler’s Factory of the famous “Schindler's List,” which is now a museum.

  • Day 10: Free Day in Krakow + Optional Auschwitz Excursion

    Enjoy a free day in Krakow to do as you please.

    Auschwitz Concentration Camp (extra cost)

    Take a day trip to Auschwitz, the most infamous Nazi concentration camp in Europe. Then continue to nearby Birkenau concentration camp and get an up-close look at one of the darkest spots on the world's history.

    This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than twenty-one days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.

  • Day 11: Travel to Prague via Wieliczka Salt Mines

    En route to Prague, stop for a guided sightseeing tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Described as “an underground metropolis”, this centuries-old monument is a result of generations upon generations of work, and is integral to the history and culture of Poland. More than a simple mine, the underground caverns host a series of corridors, statues, an underground lake and even an entire chapel adorned with chandeliers and vaulted ceilings.

  • Day 12: Explore Prague

    Rise and shine, time to get that goulash. Put on your most cobblestone-ready shoes, get all the “Czech” puns out of your system, and experience classic Prague sightseeing today with a local guide—an expert who really knows their old buildings from their very old buildings.

    Today's highlights:

    • Get stoked and stay stoked—a very easy thing to do in Prague—as you follow a local guide around the city’s greatest hits.
    • Ask to see the Crown Jewels at Prague Castle, the ancient centerpiece that hogs the whole city skyline (not mad though, it’s beautiful).
    • Cross the Vlatava River via King Charles IV’s famous Charles Bridge—don’t worry, there’s still time for you to become an emperor and have your own namesake bridge, too.
    • Tour St. Vitus Cathedral—a church so old, that if you had one beer for every year since construction began on it, you would have 676 beers, but please do not actually attempt to drink 676 beers.
    • Take a stroll and Czech out more of the city yourself (Sorry, couldn’t help just one).
  • Day 13: Free Day in Prague

    If you wake up this morning asking yourself “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” it’s probably because 1) “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a great song, 2) you’re in Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic, and 3) Prague has you feeling some type of way. You’re free today to get to know the city better, maybe take it out for dinner and dancing, or ask it some deep questions about life—whatever floats your boat.

    Free time suggestions

    John Lennon Wall: The John Lennon Wall has been a statement of peace, kindness, and tasteful selfies for over 30 years. What started as a protest to Communist rule in the 1980s, has become a colorful conglomerate of pacifist sentiments that you’re welcome to add to yourself. Hmm, Rolling Stones fans, I don’t see a Mick Jagger Wall anywhere, do you?
    Petrín Park: Take a stroll through Prague’s Petrín Park (you can’t miss it, it’s the giant hill looming over the city), visit the Hunger Wall built during a famine in the 1300s in exchange for food, then take the Petrín funicular train down the hill into the historic Malá Strana neighborhood for some shopping on Mostecká Street.

  • Day 14: Travel to Berlin via Dresden

    En route to Berlin, make a pit stop in Dresden, a city entirely destroyed by bombs during WWII before being built back up. You’ll have time for lunch and to explore the cool restaurants, cafes, and architecture. Then get ready for German food, beer, and sightseeing.

    Today's highlights:

    • Hit the road on your way to Germany, and say goodbye to the ornate castles and long history of the Czech Republic.
    • Stretch your legs during a stop in Dresden, and make sure to check out the gorgeous riverside architecture.
    • Arrive in the hip city of Berlin and try your best to keep your jaw off the ground.
    • Familiarize yourself with the area around your lodgings during a walk with your Tour Director.
  • Day 15: Sightseeing Tour of Berlin + Optional Graffiti Workshop

    Explore Berlin’s most iconic sites with a local guide, by way of bus and your own two feet. This is a city steeped in history, art, and boasts a culture as diverse as its citizens. See the sights, try the local version of sausage, and find a good bar to wash it all down.

    Today's highlights:

    • Walk Kurfürstendamm, the main boulevard, lined with high-end shops, bars, and theaters.
    • Visit the Rathaus Schöneberg town hall, where John F. Kennedy made his inspiring, “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963.
    • Stand beneath Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of European unity and peace.

    Graffiti Workshop at the Berlin Wall (extra cost)

    Breathe some color into your life with an art class unlike any other—at the Berlin Wall. Learn graffiti basics from a pro and spray paint the Wall itself. By the end of today, you’ll basically be the Berlin Banksy.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 16: Free Day in Berlin + Farewell Dinner

    Nine times bigger than Paris and with more bridges than Venice, Berlin is a city you could easily get lost in—and be glad you did. The capital of Germany is celebrated for a vibrant nightlife scene with parties known to go not just all night, but all weekend long. Have some fun with a free day in this thrilling metropolis!

    Free time suggestions

    Museum Island: Discover five unique, and internationally significant, museums wedged between the River Spree and Kupfergraben. Make your way through the archaeological collections and art galleries in this area of concentrated history.
    Story of Berlin: Explore the staggering 800+ years of Berlin’s history at this centrally located museum. With 20 individually themed rooms, you’ll see exhibits on the two world wars and the Cold War before heading into the original fallout shelter hidden beneath the city’s streets.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

  • Day 17: Fly Home

    Auf Wiedersehen, Freunde!
    Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?



    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.


Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5
Based on 70 authentic traveler reviews
  • Highlights of Eastern Europe

      Kaitlin, traveled Jul.. 2022

    This was an incredible way to see some of Eastern Europe's highlights in a short period of time. There was a large amount of free time so I do recommend researching what activities you would like to do before hand so you aren't scrambling for ideas while on tour. Three days in each city gives you enough time to experience a good bit of each city and see wher... See more

  • Can’t wait for more! 😆

      Kelsey, traveled Jul.. 2022

    It was such an amazing trip! It was my first time traveling on my own and my second EF trip. I met a lot of amazing people! The tour director, Heather, was absolutely amazing! She knew a lot about the history and made really good recommendations! The trip was very well organized and there are lots of optional things to do in each city. The two weeks flew by ... See more

  • Spectacular adventures await!

      Anonymous, traveled Jul.. 2022

    This trip has been my favorite EF trip to date! 6 countries in 17 days, all with different languages and currencies. I did not know anyone traveling with me before and now I can say we will definitely be friends for life. The food was so delicious and there is always many options, pescatarian here, for everyone to enjoy. Our tour director, Nikos, was the abs... See more

  • Best Trip Ever!

      Anonymous, traveled Jun.. 2022

    This was my first trip with EF and I could not be more grateful for the experience I had. The sights were breathtaking and pictures cannot do any place justice. My favorite place was Prague and I wish there was more time to explore. I made friends that I am still in contact with and memories for a lifetime. My tour director was Ovi and he is the most generou... See more

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