Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia
May 4th – May 15th 2020
This compelling tour introduces you to the diverse traditions and lifestyles of four Slavic European lands – Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.
The Slavs are an ancient Indo-European group that reside across Europe and Asia, and have played an enormous role in the history, art and culture of these continents. Join us on an enthralling journey that explores the past and present ways of life in picturesque Belgrade, bustling Zagreb, cosmopolitan Budapest, historic Bratislava, and many more places in between. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.
Our exclusive tour will provide a genuine and unusual adventure, filled with excursions to awe-inspiring natural wonders, monuments and communities. This journey brings to life the history and great variety of people, languages, religions and behaviours of these remarkable countries, thanks to our carefully selected personal tour guide – available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our bespoke itinerary includes many sites that explore the history of the Jewish diaspora in Eastern Europe.
The Slavic States are waiting – discover them with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
Day 1, Monday May 4th Belgrade
We depart on our flight to the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about the Slavic states (see below).
Day 2, Tuesday May 5th Belgrade
Meet and greet, Orientation, Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan Park, Victor Monument, Millenary Monument, House of Flowers
Upon arrival in Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport we are welcomed to Serbia by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Crowne Plaza and offer an introduction to Serbia and Belgrade. Belgrade is the beating heart of Serbian culture, a city filled with welcoming and fun people, with many outstanding heritage sites. We introduce you to Serbian history, arts and culture with a walking tour through Belgrade. Our first destination is Belgrade Fortress, a huge and beautiful citadel that creates an enchanting backdrop to the city’s daily activities. We can stretch our legs in the adjacent Kalemegdan Park, where we can take in the impressive views of the Danube and Sava Rivers.
After lunch we visit some of the most iconic monuments of the city – the Victor Monument (commemorating Serbia’s victory over Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire during the Balkan Wars and the First World War) and the Millenary Monument (erected in 1896 to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Hungarian state). The House of Flowers is our final destination. This is the mausoleum of the famous leader of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Tito, and our expert guide will provide a full explanation of the significance of Tito in the Slavic States. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.
Day 3, Wednesday May 6th Belgrade
Royal Palace, Old Palace
Our day begins with a visit to the Royal Palace, home of their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine. As the only son of the last king, Peter II, who never officially abdicated, and the last official heir of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Alexander claims to be the rightful heir to the Serbian throne in the event of restoration. We are invited to a tour of the royal compound, where we can admire frescos and intricate carvings on the royal chapel’s walls and ceiling, their resplendent decoration showing off the royal family’s devotion to their patron saint: St. Andrew the First Called. You might even happen to meet the modest and unassuming Crown Prince himself, who often walks around his compound even during tour times!
After our enjoyable lunch we receive a guided tour through the City Assembly of Belgrade, where many of the important decisions affecting the city are made. This magnificent building used to be the royal residence of the 19th century Obrenović dynasty. Here we learn more about the Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1815-1817, which led to the formation of the semi-independent Principality of Serbia. We return to the hotel later on for dinner, before retiring for the evening.
Day 4, Thursday May 7th Belgrade – Zagreb
National Museum of Serbia, Republic Square, Knez Mihailova Street, Jewish Historical Museum
After breakfast we go to the National Museum of Serbia. This spectacular house of culture contains over 400,000 archaeological relics and works of art, including rare works by Picasso, Monet and Hirosige. We then circle around the city’s busiest squares, the Republic Square, before continuing down the iconic Knez Mihailova Street, a pedestrian promenade that has something for everyone: shops, kiosks selling homemade ware, arts and crafts, toys and sweets, street musicians, open air cafes and restaurants.
After lunch we immerse ourselves in the fascinating history of the Jews in Belgrade at the Jewish Historical Museum. Here we can learn more about the centuries of Jewish activity in the region, and admire their fascinating collection of Judaica.
Later we transfer over the border to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Here we check in to the Hotel Zagreb before a late evening meal.
Day 5, Friday May 8th Zagreb
Zagreb City Tour, Dolac Market, City Museum
Welcome to Croatia – the hidden jewel of the Mediterranean. This fantastic land has everything you could ever wish for, from incredible cultural sites, islands brimming with unique flora and fauna, and some of the most exciting cities in the Slavic states. Our expert guide welcomes you to Croatia with a tour of Zagreb. This charming medieval city is filled with unusual fusion Austro-Hungarian and socialist architecture, sumptuous parks to relax in, and excellent museums and galleries. Our tour begins at Gornji Grad, a network of narrow cobbled streets. We visit Zagreb’s central square, Trg Jelacica and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and walk down the colorful and bohemian Tkalciceva street.
After lunch we visit the buzzing Dolac Market, a traditional outdoor market where vendors sell a range of locally produced food, clothes, arts, and crafts. We receive a guided tour through the City Museum, where we can study Zagreb‘s history from prehistoric times to the modern day with reconstructions of 19th-century Ilica shops and a room-sized map of Zagreb‘s 19th-century Lower Town, complete with scale models of its main buildings. In the evening we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat.
Day 6, Shabbat May 9th Zagreb
Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat
After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are welcome to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited to have a peaceful afternoon walk through Maksimir Park, a gorgeous green space perfect to relax in, that also houses the city zoo.
Day 7, Sunday May 10th Zagreb
Varazdin, Patacic Place, Patacic-Tuttar Palace, Gallery of Old and Modern Masters, Strossmayer Gallery, Mimara, Archaelogical Museum
In the morning we set off to experience the baroque architecture and well-tended gardens and parks of Varaždin, Croatia’s previous state capital. We begin with the 18th century Patačić Palace, which boasts beautiful period paintings and gorgeous bay windows overlooking the Gundulić Street and the King Tomislav and Franciscan Squares. In the Stari Grad (Old Town) we visit Varazdin Castle, which also contains the town museum, where we can view its collection of furniture, paintings, watches, ceramics, decorative objects, and weapons. We visit the Gallery of Old and Modern Masters, which houses over 5,300 works of art divided into ten collections.
After lunch we return to Zagreb, where we spend a leisurely evening exploring the Lower Town. We are introduced to three of the city’s most celebrated museums. First we go to the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, which contains around 250 works of fine art by European painters from the 14th-19th centuries. Next we visit the Mimara Museum, which contains an unmissable collection of artistic works by Lorenzetti, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Manet, Renoir, Degas and many more. Finally, we learn about the ancient origins of this land at the Archaeological Museum, which contains over 450,000 artifacts and monuments. In the evening we relax in the hotel, in preparation for our busy day tomorrow.
Day 8, Monday May 11th Zagreb – Budapest
Castle Hill, Royal Palace and History Museum, Matthias Church
After breakfast we depart from Zagreb Airport to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Upon arrival in Ferenc Liszt International Airport, we are welcomed to Hungary by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour guide. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Intercontinental DoubleTree by Hilton, and offer an introduction to Hungary and Budapest. Built on the banks of the Danube River, this was the beating heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city is split in to two parts – the hills of Buda to the west, and the great plain of Pest on the east bank. After our orientation we ascend the funicular to Castle Hill, the location of the royal Hungarian court. We visit the Budapest History Museum in the Royal Palace (though it has never actually been occupied by the Hungarian Royal family), where we can learn about the interesting history of the country. We then wander through the charming streets of Buda on our way to Matthias Church, where ancient kings were crowned. Delight in the multi-colored ceramic tile roof, astonishing Gothic architecture, and the Hungarian crown jewels. After dinner you are welcome to explore the local neighbourhood – Budapest truly comes alive at night, and the Danube Promenade is beautiful when illuminated.
Day 9, Tuesday May 12th Budapest
Heroes’ Square, Museum of Fine Arts, Szechenyi Baths, Andrassy Ut., Basilica of St. Stephen
Today we explore more of this grand city. We start with Heroes’ Square, distinguished by its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders. We enter the nearby Museum of Fine Arts, which houses a variety of works from international European art, as well as some Egyptian art.
After lunch you can relax in the famous baths of Budapest. We visit the Széchenyi thermal baths, where you can relax in the warm therapeutic pools. Later we return to the town centre, making our way down the spectacular Andrassy Ut boulevard – lined with fine Neo-renaissance mansions and immaculate gardens. We finish the day with a tour of the historic Basilica of St. Stephen. The interior of the basilica is overwhelming, with ornately decorated walls and ceiling. Marvellous paintings between gold-leafed columns emerge from the shadowy depths of the church, and the live music events that regularly happen here make use of its fantastic acoustics.
Day 10, Wednesday May 13th Budapest – Bratislava
Great Market Hall, Central Synagogue, Danube River Cruise,
Bratislava City Tour, Town Hall, City Museum
In the morning we go to the Great Market Hall, the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. This is a beautiful building to admire, but also one of the best places in the city to shop for souvenirs, or choose one of their hundreds of types of paprika. We continue on to visit the magnificent Central Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Here we learn about the history of the building and the Jewish community. Afterwards we walk down to the Danube River promenade, which offers astonishing views of Castle Hill on the opposite shore.
After lunch we transfer to the train station, where we embark on a journey through some of Europe’s loveliest countryside on our way to Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Another capital built on the Danube, Bratislava lies nestled in the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, and acted as the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Empire, from 1536 to 1783. Our expert local guide will meet you at the train station, and bring you on an introductory tour of the fairy tale Old Town, teaching us about the country’s history, arts and traditions. We view the Gothic Old Town Hall, a centrally located building which played large role in the town’s history. We visit the City Museum housed within, and climb the clock tower for wonderful views of the cityscape. Later we check in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel and unwind after our long day.
Day 11, Thursday May 14th Bratislava
Primate’s Palace, Opera House, Mirbach’s Palace
After breakfast we visit the neoclassical Primate’s Palace, which today serves as the seat of the mayor of Bratislava. We invite you for a guided tour of the palace interior, where we can admire their impressive collection of classical European paintings and visit the famous Hall of Mirrors. We then visit the Opera House, a Neo-Renaissance-style building decorated with busts of famous musical composers. After circling around the lively Hviezdoslavovo square we have free time to explore the local neighbourhood before lunch.
We then set off for Mirbach Palace, a Rococo-style building in Bratislava’s old town, and currently houses the Bratislava City Gallery’s stunning collection of Central European baroque art. You have the rest of the evening free to view any extra sites that caught your attention, or go shopping for gifts. We reunite for our final meal together where we can reminisce about our adventure through the Slavic States.
Day 12, Friday May 15th Bratislava – Vienna
After breakfast we transfer to Vienna Airport for our return flights home.
Suggested Films and Books
- Between the Woods and the Water – Patrick Leigh Fermor
- The Year that Changed the World – Michael Meyer
- A Traveller’s History of Croatia – Benjamin Curtis
- Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation – Laura Silber and Allan Little
- The Death of Yugoslavia (BBC documentary)
- Tito and Me (Film)
- Good Bye Lenin! (Film)
- Sunshine (Film directed by István Szabó)
COST PER PERSON
$6,795 based on double occupancy (two to a room)*
$5,995 without airfares
Single Supplement — $ 1,995
This fantastic tour has been carefully crafted to minimise the cost of attendance. This price includes:
- Round-trip airfare from New York, Chicago, or Miami – call for airfare from other cities
- All airfares between Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia (if required)
- An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
- Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
- 3 Kosher meals daily
- All admissions as per itinerary
- Visa fees as required
- Health and Travel Insurance
- International airport fees
- Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
- Any other services not specified
|Budapest||Intercontinental DoubleTree by Hilton|
ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM JANUARY 20th 2016
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES