Discover the best of Central Europe on this 10-day rail journey through Berlin, Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw. The rich history and culture infused within these four iconic cities will be brought to life as you spend time exploring the most popular attractions and fascinating, off the beaten path experiences. Beginning with three nights in Berlin, walk the Wall, step back in time and get to know the avant-garde locals. There’s no end of things to do and see in the capital of Germany. Next, spend two nights in Prague, the City of a Thousand Spires, before traveling by train to Krakow and touring the former Nazi concentration camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Enjoy two final nights in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, with its restored Gothic architecture, collection of historic neighborhoods and landmarks, delectable cuisine, and world-class entertainment.
Berlin is without doubt the most fascinating city in Germany. Covering around 341 square miles Berlin is a unique landscape. With its numerous parks, lakes and wooded areas it is sometimes easy to forget that Berlin is the capital of Germany. The troubled history of this celebrated capital has for many years attracted tourists from around the world. It is estimated around 80% of Berlin was destroyed during the Second World War; landmarks like the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church stand as a lasting reminder of the mass destruction this city once endured. Perhaps one of Berlin's most famous landmarks is the Berlin Wall, the 'iron curtain' that divided this great city into two halves between 1961 and 1989. The East was governed by communism while the West was allowed to flourish under a democratic capitalist government. Even now, over a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the differences between the former East and West are still very apparent. Berlin has an undeniable air of mystery that has always been and always will be a major draw for tourists from around the world.
Warsaw is not the cold and dead city it used to be under communism rule. Today with bustling Polish economy and freedom from communist rule - the city has undergone a huge transformation process. Many old communist buildings gave way to modern sky scrapers, dilapidating old town was restored, entertainment and services transformed to match that of other western capitals. Crime rate is lower than that of big cities in the United States. Today Warsaw boasts GDP per capita more than 75% of European Union average.
Amid Prague's cobblestone streets and gold-tip spires, galleries, cafes, and clubs teem with young Czechs and "expatriates." New shops and restaurants have opened, expanding the city's culinary reach beyond the traditional roast pork and dumplings. The arts and theater also thrive in Prague. Young playwrights regularly stage their works, weekly poetry readings are standing room only, and classical music maintains famous standards, while the clubs are jammed. The arts - nonverbal theater, "installation" art, world music - are as trendy in Prague as in any European capital but possess distinctive Czech flavor. All of this is set against a stunning backdrop of towering churches and centuries-old bridges and alleyways. Prague achieved much of its glory in the 14th century, during the long reign of Charles IV, king of Bohemia and Moravia and Holy Roman Emperor. Charles established a university in the city and laid out the New Town, charting Prague's growth. Prague Castle is the most popular sight and is the largest ancient castle in the world with three courtyards.
Top attraction and the premier tourist destination in Poland, Krakow (dated English spelling ‘Cracow’) is a vibrant city, proud of its long and glorious history, rich heritage, and architectural beauties. For centuries Krakow was the capital of the Polish kingdom. Today it remains the southern Poland’s metropolis and the seat of the Malopolska provincial government. Important as a crucial center of business, culture, and education, Krakow is also famous for its restaurants and clubs. Krakow is Poland’s capital of culture and was named a European City of Culture in 2000. The city boasts the best museums in the country and some best theaters. It counts two Nobel Prize winners in literature among its residents. It is also home to one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished universities.
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