Please sign in to post.

Best 9-10 day tour to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest

I am interested in traveling to these 3 cities.I am a single woman, mid 50s, and would prefer an all-inclusive tour. I am active and open to new experiences. Had previously traveled with husband (UK, Paris, Ireland, Iceland, and Poland) independently. Newly widowed, I am no longer interested in an independent travel experience. I am starting to live my new life and this would be a big step for me. I would now prefer to take a guided tour. Thinking of going in March of 2021. The proposed date is open; traveling in March seems to be a good time price-wise. Looking for a reasonable tour that provides an enjoyable all-around experience. Does anyone have any suggestions for a memorable tour that is worthy of these Imperial cities? Thanks in advance for any/all help.

Lily Miller,
Minneapolis, MN

Posted by
2293 posts

Gate 1 has a slightly longer tour, "Kaleidoscope of Central Europe" that also includes Warsaw and Krakow. It would be less expensive than the two mentioned in previous posts. Wishing blessings for you as you start to live your new life.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to all for their suggestions! I like the less expensive options as I am on one income now, regrettably. My husband and I have been to Krakow, Poznan, Warsaw, Jelenia Gora and Wroclaw. We LOVED Poland and desired to travel more in Eastern Europe. We had planned a trip to the Imperial cities that I now wish to visit. Unfortunately, only I will be taking this excursion with a budget-minded approach.
Again, thanks so much for your kind attention to my query. I am eager to see what seasoned travelers would recommend.
P.S. Someone I know suggested Trafalgar. Is that a good choice?
Ta!!

Posted by
848 posts

Personally, taking one Trafalgar tour taught me what I don't want.
Full busload of people, lots of expected tipping of drivers and guides, at least one thing a day that cost extra to do, shopping stops where the guide clearly got kickbacks, hotels that weren't within walking distance of things. I probably forgot a few things...
Nope, value just wasn't there.

Posted by
4 posts

I don't care for that at all. That is why we had traveled independently in the past. I appreciate your input!!

Posted by
669 posts

Note that Easter is April 4 in 2021. You may plan around it, or include it. We ran into festive Easter markets in Prague a few years ago, and really enjoyed the added gaiety. The weather in those cities in March can still feel like winter, being cold and wet. We had a great trip a few years back, the last week of March into the first week of April, but I did miss the gardens in bloom. If possible, I would recommend you going more the middle of April.In any case more power to you traveling solo, and have a great trip!

Posted by
1865 posts

Hi Lily,
Several options already suggested but I can recommend Earthbound Expeditions. We took two tours with them. They are similar to RS but offer smaller group tours. They do "themed" tours that may emphasize music, culinary, etc. We took their Southern Italy Sicily Tour. A single friend has taken several of their tours including one to Central Europe. They also do River Cruises. I didn't see any March tours. www.earthboundexpeditions.com.

Posted by
2 posts

Lily, try one of the Gate 1 tours. They are very reasonable. I have been on one Gate 1 tour to Alaska and thoroughly enjoyed it and am now booked on a Central Europe tour that includes Oberammergau. One nice feature of Gate 1 is that airfare from a major city such as NYC is included in the tour price. I am like you in that I love to travel with friends independently but there are some countries and some instances, such as being a single lady, that traveling in groups is more beneficial. Sometimes, you will find other singles on these group trips also. Hope you find a great trip!

Linda H.

Posted by
7603 posts

When you compare tours make sure you are comparing apples to apples. I've done 11 Rick Steves tour and 11 Road Scholar tours. I continue to travel with these companies because they are smaller groups (24-28, sometimes less), have tips included and don't have all the good sights being sold as "optional" tours. Neither have "shopping" stops where the guides get a kickback for bringing you in. Both are pretty explicit about what sights/admissions they cover. I've gone solo on all the Road Scholar tours and about half of the Rick Steves tours and have had wonderful experiences.

Rick's tours have fewer meals included and that suits me. Road Scholar has many meals although the last one I did there were several nights on your own which I like. Sometimes I just need a lower key meal.

Tips- If the tour company doesn't say it includes tips, figure $7-10/per person/per day for the guide, $3-5 for the bus driver.

Optional tours - Check to see if they advertise optional tours. If you don't pay for this tour, you may miss out on seeing the good sites at a location. I've seen some complaints on Trip Advisor where people weren't expecting this and then were shocked when the tours to see the "good stuff" were several hundred dollars more. Just do your research on this.

Also know "tour brochure" speak - To View a site is to do a drive by. To SEE a site is usually going in to visit it. Rick and Road Scholar do not use tricky language. You may find other companies that are up front about what their tours see as well.

Almost all tours count the final day as a "day" on the tour. It's generally just breakfast and no planned activities. I have had some Road Scholar tours that had a short program on the final day (usually the birding programs).

If you are not sure about how much you'll enjoy a group dynamic, see if there is a Road Scholar tour near your home that you can drive to without much problem. Some of the shorter ones are very reasonable and you can see if this will work for you. I've done 5 Road Scholar ones in the US and had a wonderful time. One was a hiking program, 2 were birding programs and 2 were genealogy programs.

I hope you find something that suits your needs!

Posted by
2293 posts

FYI, you do tip on Gate 1 tours but on the 2 tours I took, there were none of those disgusting shopping stops that pad the tour director's pocket. If you take a tour at a less traveled time, you might luck up and have fewer people on your tour.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you everyone for your thougthful replies. It has been very helpful reading and getting all the input. This will help me decide how I will proceed. This is a big step for me. I have never traveled solo before so I want to be sure I do it right. Again, thank you!