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Uncover the allure of central europe
Journey through Austria, Slovakia and Poland and discover a world where architectural grandeur and fairytale cities belie a war-torn past
About your trip
This is your opportunity to relive both the splendour and drama of Central Europe’s incredible past.
Your eight-day adventure begins in Vienna and ends in Krakow – two beautiful, Austro-Hungarian cities that capture the Central European character perfectly. In that time you’ll enter a nuclear war bunker, meet world-famous stallions at Vienna’s Spanish Riding School, discover architectural beauty in some of Europe’s oldest cities, as well as delve into their dramatic pasts.
Cafe-lined streets and vibrant markets are to be expected here, as are unique tastes – such as local honey mead in Bratislava and Soviet-style cuisine in Krakow – natural mountain beauty (which you’ll uncover in the Low Tatras) and, as always with Flash Pack, a touch of the unexpected.
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 Flashpackers
- Atol protected
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included. We're happy to help you find the best ones for you.
Day 01 Arrive in Majestic Vienna
Welcome to Vienna, the majestic former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and an architectural marvel. Whatever time you land there’ll be a private transfer to collect you from the airport and whisk you through the city to your four-star hotel in a quiet corner of the Floridsdorf district. Later, meet your fellow travellers and guide at the hotel, then you’re off into the Old Town where you’ll enjoy a welcome drink and your first Viennese meal.
Day 02 A world-famous riding school and a Viennese cooking class
This morning, you’ll explore Vienna on a relaxed walking tour. The city’s architecture is a sight to savour, from Art Nouveau facades to Baroque cathedrals. You’ll then meet the world-famous stallions at the Spanish Riding School, an opulent setting for a unique experience. Then, onwards to your afternoon cooking class with a local chef. Learn how to make Vienna’s signature dishes, from apfelstrudel to wienerschnitzel. In the evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a Viennese opera, or relax in the hotel sauna. We’ll leave it up to you.
Day 03 Castles and cuisine in Bratislava
Today, you’re off to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Check into your new hotel, then you’ll get your first taste of your new city on a walking tour of the Old Town. Sample some traditional mead (a local speciality made of honey wine) and admire picturesque views of the Danube from the vantage point of Bratislava Castle. This evening, you’ll enjoy an exclusive beer tasting at one of the city’s breweries.
Day 04 Unwind in the hot springs of Besenova
You’ll journey onwards to Bešeňová today, a Slovak village famous for its natural hot springs. After a three-and-a-half hour drive, check-in at your holistic spa hotel in the heart of the Liptov region. Make a beeline for the hotel’s sauna, soak up the goodness of the region’s hot springs in the hotel’s private thermal pool, or book yourself in for a massage. Later, join your Flashpackers for a dinner and another chance to sample more Slovak cuisine, this time with a healthy and holistic twist, at the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 05 Hike the Low Tatras Mountains
Today it’s on to Low Tatras National Park, where your group will embark on a hike in the Low Tatras Mountains. Situated in the valley between two rivers (the Vah and the Hron), these picturesque mountains are home to dense green forests, caves and waterfalls, and offer beautiful views over the neighbouring High Tatras. Back at the hotel, you’ll have all afternoon to relax in the thermal springs and saunas.
Day 06 War history and a journey to KRAKÓW
Today you’ll drive 170 kilometres across the border to Kraków, Poland. The entire drive will take three hours, but you’ll stop en-route in Oswiecimia, to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. A sombre yet vital historic landmark, the memorial is made up of two parts, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which together formed the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps during World War II. A chance to learn and reflect upon the tragedy and horrors that occurred during the genocide, you’ll visit the 13 remaining prison blocks that now serve as the museum and memorial. Afterwards, it’s onwards to Kraków. After checking in at your hotel, take a wander around your new city home.
Day 07 UNESCO Old Town and a communist past
Today is all about immersing yourself in Krakow’s history. You’ll start in the Old Town, a medieval area and a UNESCO world heritage site. Then, you’ll visit the Nowa Huta District. A concrete neighbourhood built on Soviet architectural ideals, this was constructed with the intention of being a model communist city. Conjure the past as you delve into a nuclear bunker for a communist-style cold buffet lunch (paired with vodka, naturally). You’ll then cruise through the neighbourhood in an old-school Eastern Bloc Trabant to complete the Soviet experience. Follow this up with an exclusive vodka tasting, before enjoying a closing feast at a traditional Polish restaurant.
Day 08 Your European adventure, complete
On your final day, it will be up to you to make your own way to the airport – your guide will be on hand to help you arrange a transfer. If you would like to combine this trip with one of our other European adventures, you can find the full list of trips here, from Sicily to Croatia.
Our Favourite Hotels
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
Rubinstein Hotel, Krakow
Converted 15th-century townhouse in old Kraków
The sights of Kazimierz, Kraków’s Old Jewish Quarter, are on your doorstep at this beautifully restored townhouse with original timber ceilings.
Why we stay here
The Rubinstein comes with a library, jacuzzi and restaurant serving hearty Polish cuisine – plus, there are bicycles to hire here. But the real highlight is its roof terrace Sky Bar, with panoramic views of Wawel Castle.
Hotel Devin, Bratislava
Traditional and centrally located hotel overlooking the Danube
Soak in evocative views of Old Bratislava from this plush hotel with a French restaurant and heated indoor pool.
Why we stay here
We love the character of this elegant hotel: the à la carterestaurant is an ode to old-school opulence. Meanwhile, the spa, with a Finnish sauna and steam room, is a lovely place to hang out in after exploring Slovakia’s capital.
Fly into Vienna International Airport (VIE) and out of Krakow International Airport (KRK).
Try to arrive before 6pm if you can on Day 1, in order to leave time for dinner, but we can pick you up anytime.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, read more here.
Joining the Flash Pack community comes with a few special guarantees...
Our trips are for like-minded people in their 30s and 40s – and 98% of them join us solo. It’s almost a given you’ll make friends.
We know the world’s best bits, so your adventure will always be immersive and authentic, and your accommodation hand-picked.
Our guides on the ground know their destinations better than anyone, so expect unprecedented access to local living and cultural secrets.
We take all the hassle out of travel planning for you. Unique accommodation? Activities? People? Sorted.
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