Day 1 - Budapest & Kecskemét
Mid-morning departure from Budapest Nyugati station after a champagne reception in the Royal Waiting Room. Board the Danube Express and head to Lajozmizse for a breathtaking Puszta horse show. After lunch, there is free time in Kecskemét.
Day 2 - Sighişoara & Braşov
Arrive in Sighişoara for a walking tour. Return to the Danube Express for lunch on the way to Braşov. This afternoon, visit Bran Castle (known to many as Dracula’s Castle), a beautiful 14th Century building situated amongst stunning mountain scenery. The train twists and turns as it climbs over the Carpathian Mountains and dinner is served as the Danube Express heads for Bulgaria.
Day 3 - Veliko Turnovo & Kazanlak
Arrive after breakfast in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria’s ancient capital. A tour includes the superbly preserved medieval Tsarevets Hill and Castle and there is free time to wander through this ancient city. Have lunch during the climb over the Shipka mountain pass. Arriving in Kazanlak, capital of the Valley of the Roses you visit a Thracian tomb, and the Shipka Memorial Church. Relax in the Lounge Car before dinner, served as the Danube Express continues through the scenic landscape, reaching the Turkish border late in the evening.
Day 4 – Istanbul
Wake in Istanbul - the world's only metropolis spanning two continents and disembark after breakfast at Sirkeci station. A city tour introduces you to the sites of this former capital of three empires. Late afternoon, transfer to the Lares Park Hotel for one night.
Day 5 - Istanbul
Transfer to Sirkeci Station to return your overnight bag and the rest of the day is free to explore before a late afternoon departure. As the Danube Express heads into the sunset, dinner is served and the journey continues overnight to Bulgaria.
Day 6 - Plovdiv and Sofia
A morning sightseeing tour of Plovdiv includes the old town with its cobbled streets, the Ethnographic Museum and the Roman Amphitheatre. Lunch is served en route to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. From the ancient city walls and the Rotunda of St George to the St Sophia Church and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the city has a unique and eclectic mix of Western and Central European architecture. Relax with a drink before dinner as the Danube Express heads for Serbia.
Day 7 - Novi Sad & Budapest
The train crossses the mighty Danube ahead of arrival in Novi Sad. A morning tour includes the imposing 18th Century Austro-Hungarian Petrovaradin Fortress, Liberty Square and the beautiful Dunavska (Danube) Street in the Old Town. Back on board, lunch is served on the final leg of the journey with early evening arrival into Budapest Nyugati station.
**This program is also available as an 11-day escorted holiday from London, including: return airfare between London and Budapest; four nights accommodation with breakfast and three dinners in Budapest; sightseeing, transfers and porterage in Budapest. Please ask for details and prices.