Krakow to Budapest Adventure

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

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8 Days
From

$1820

$1770

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

8 Days Starting in Krakow and ending in Budapest

Visiting: Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Dunajec, Tatra Mountains, Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Budapest

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

CZK

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 18

Physical rating:

Medium, Full On

Age range:

Adult

Special diets catered:

Vegans, Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

History, Wildlife Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$1820
$1770 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50
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Tour Overview

Get a taste of Poland, Slovakia and Hungary on this highlights trip including the historical cities of Krakow and Budapest. Travel using a range of different public transport as well as charter buses. Dunajec Gorge - Marvel at this impressive gorge while rafting along the gently meandering river past the towering limestone cliffs High Tatra - Walk amid the spectacular mountain scenery with its tree covered slopes and jagged rocky peaks Banska Stiavnica - Explore this UNESCO-Listed medieval town and go underground to learn about its fascinating mining history

Highlights

  • Dunajec Gorge - Marvel at this impressive gorge while rafting along the gently meandering river past the towering limestone cliffs

  • High Tatra - Walk amid the spectacular mountain scenery with its tree covered slopes and jagged rocky peaks

  • Banska Stiavnica - Explore this UNESCO-Listed medieval town and go underground to learn about its fascinating mining history

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join The Trip In Krakow, Poland
Location: Kraków
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Arrive in Krakow, where we spend the next two nights. It was Poland's former capital until 1596 and due to its very distinctive character; it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Its historic architecture survived World War II unscathed, unlike most other Polish cities, and its rich culture has been preserved to the present day. It was the residence of Polish kings and has nearly one hundred churches, as well as the country's oldest university. Among its most important architectural treasures are Saint Mary's Church, which contains the world-famous altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss, the medieval buildings of the Jagiellonian University and Wawel Castle and Cathedral.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Krakow at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into John Paul II Krakow-Balice International Airport (KRK), which is around 30 minutes' drive. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.

There is a lot to see and do in Krakow; if you can spare the time, we suggest arriving a day early to make the most of this fascinating city especially if you are going on the optional excursion to Auschwitz or Wieliczka Salt Mine tomorrow. Alternatively, you could consider combining this holiday with the Budapest to Prague Adventure (explore.co.uk/CZ) to make a two-week holiday.

In the city centre you will find numerous good Polish restaurants and the 'pierogi', Polish dumplings, are especially tasty. There are also many bars selling a range of local beers and of course a wide range of vodkas. Such as Chmiel, which is a basement bar beneath the forecourt of Wawel Castle, C.K. Browar, which is a popular micro-brewery or Starka Restaurant and Vodkas where you can try out an array of homemade flavoured vodkas.

Day 2: Walk In The Old Quarter; Option To Visit Wieliczka Salt Mine
Location: Wieliczka Salt Mine
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning our local Leader will take us on a short orientation walk around the city's stunning Old Quarter to help us get our bearings.

The rest of today is left free for you to explore Krakow and further afield if you wish. The Jewish Kazimierz district, the setting for the film Schindler's List, has many points of interest, including the Old Synagogue and the Museum of Jewish Life. You may like to make an excursion to Oswiecim, the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, which is a haunting reminder of the terrible atrocities that took place here during World War II.

Alternatively it's possible to visit the Royal Castle, perched high on Wawel Hill, which overlooks both the Old Quarter and the Vistula River. Constructed in Renaissance style, the castle houses exquisite treasures collected through the ages by Polish monarchs. Next to the castle is Wawel Cathedral, which is the final resting place of the Polish Kings.

Another option is to visit the fascinating Wieliczka Salt Mines, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At up to 300 metres underground you'll see a 400 year old chapel, a subterranean salt lake and chambers large enough to hold the Eiffel Tower! The Chapel of Saint Kinga is the mine's most spectacular feature and you'll no doubt be amazed by what can be sculpted from salt. Please note that there are 350 steps down into the mine at the beginning of the tour and then a further 450 on the route through the various corridors and 20 chambers visited. The temperature underground can be much cooler than on the surface, so be sure to bring a jumper.

There is only time to visit Auschwitz or the Wieliczka salt mine today. We suggest you extend your stay in Krakow if you would like to visit both. Please see the Optional Activities section of our trip notes about pre-booking the optional excursion to Auschwitz prior to travel. This excursion books up quickly so it is important to book this at least one week in advance of your arrival.

Day 3: Rafting In Dunajec Gorge; Arrive In The Tatra Mountains, Slovakia
Location: Dunajec
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning we depart for an inflatable rafting trip on the Dunajec River to a point close to the Polish border near Lesnica. It's a chance to get active and probably get wet as well as enjoying the picturesque surroundings. Bring a change of clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting wet and a towel with you today. This river has been a famous attraction since the middle of the 19th century, when tourists came here to cruise on log built rafts. We meander along the bottom of the spectacular canyon that bears the river's name, passing a landscape of towering limestone cliffs, blanketed in lush forests of fir, beech, larch and spruce.
The gorge in Pieniny National Park is particularly noteworthy for its diverse collection of wildlife including lynx, wolf and stag that can often be spotted in its slopes. Birdlife includes some 14 species of bats as well as eagle, pygmy owls, three toed woodpeckers and rare black storks that can be spotted along the river's edge.
Later in the day, will visit the impressive Spis Castle. Sat on a hilltop above the town of Spisske it was once home to the Hungarian kings and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ruins show both Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Continue by bus to Novy Smokovec in the High Tatra Mountains, one of the most scenic regions of Slovakia. Snow-capped for most of the year, the compact High Tatra range is sliced by beautiful valleys and lakes. An ideal region for winter sports, in summer the network of well-marked trails is a hiker's delight.

Day 4: Hiking In The Tatra Mountains
Location: Tatra Mountains
Accommodation: Hotel

Today we take a public bus to Biela Voda and from here we'll start our full day trek in the beautiful Tatra Mountains. We begin with an uphill walk to the picturesque Green Lake. We take in the views and have the option to have a picnic lunch here. For those that wish to walk further there is then the possibility to continue to the Great White Lake before returning to Biela Voda on foot. We return to Novy Smokovec by public bus for the evening.

The trek is graded moderate. The first section is 5 kilometres long and goes from 915 metres to an altitude of 1550 metres and should take approximately 2.5 hours. If you continue to the Great White Lake it's a further 2 kilometres and goes to an altitude of 1615 metres and should take an extra 35 minutes. We then need to walk the same distance back to the original starting point of the walk, so we will cover between 10-14 kilometres and walk for 5-6 hours in total today. Please make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes or boots and you may also find walking poles useful.

Alternatively if you'd prefer a shorter walk then you can take a local train to Lake Strbske and enjoy a gentle walk around the lakeshore. This large glacial lake offers great views over the surrounding pine covered Tatra Mountains with their jagged rock peaks.

Day 5: Train To Banska Bystrica With An Orientation Walk On Arrival
Location: Banská Bystrica
Accommodation: Guesthouse

This morning we travel by rail to Banska Bystrica (the journey will involve changes of train). On arrival our local Leader will take us on an orientation walk of the city. The pretty town is set on the Hron River and is surrounded by mountains. The main square is a hive of activity in summer and the city castle, which is one of the main attractions, is located on the edge of the square. Back in 1944 it was in Banska Bystrica that the Slovak national uprising began against the invading German forces and their own collaborationist government. Although most were defeated a few members managed to hold on until 1945 when the Soviet, Czechoslovakian and Romanian armies arrived and liberated the country from Nazi rule.

Whilst here you might like to try the traditional and delicious folded potato pancakes followed by 'Tatratea' liqueur, a tea based strong herbal drink that originated in the High Tatra Mountains as a way of keeping warm on cold winter evenings.

Day 6: Visit The Charming Medieval Town Of Banska Stiavnica And Visit To The Mining Museum
Location: Banská Štiavnica
Accommodation: Guesthouse

Today we depart on an excursion to Banska Stiavnica, a beautifully preserved medieval town located in the centre of a huge caldera of an ancient collapsed volcano, surrounded by dense forested hills.

Whilst here we will visit the 17th century open air mining museum. Equipped with a helmet, mining coat and lamp we head 60 meters deep underground to traverse a two kilometre tunnel providing a fascinating insight into the hard work of mining community from the middle ages until the end of the 20th century. The museum not only explains the mining history of Slovakia but also the cultural heritage of the town itself. We return to Banska Bystrica for a second night.

Day 7: Drive To Budapest Via The Wine Region Of Sebechleby. Budapest Guided Walking Tour
Location: Budapest
Accommodation: Hotel

We start our day visiting the unique Hronsek wooden church, a remarkable engineering accomplishment, given the vast wooden building contains not a single nail or supporting metal in its construction. This beautiful building is protected by UNESCO and has capacity to seat a congregation of over 1000.

Our next stop is Stará Hora, a picturesque small wine-making district of Sebechleby village, on the southern foothills of the Stiavnica Mountains sprinkled with small wine houses called "hajlochy." After a short walk around the village there is the option to visit a local wine cellar and enjoy some locally produced wine and a delicious home cooked lunch, this is an optional activity - see the budgeting section for more details. Our final destination is Budapest, a two hour drive.

Situated on a beautiful stretch of the Danube River, Hungary's capital consists of two parts: Buda and Pest. Buda is the older, more graceful part, with cobbled streets and Medieval buildings, whilst the latter is the modern business centre. Utilising local transport, this afternoon's guided walking tour takes in the major sites of this impressive city. We discover the Basilica of Saint Stephen and the Parliament buildings before crossing the Chain Bridge to the Castle District and Watertown. Here lie Buda's most ancient gems - Castle Hill with the Old Town, Fisherman's Bastion and the Royal Palace.

Day 8: Trip Ends In Budapest
Location: Budapest

Trip ends at our hotel in Budapest after breakfast.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Budapest at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), which is around 40 minutes' drive from the airport.

If you have chosen to join our Budapest to Prague trip then today is free for you to further explore Budapest's many attractions. You may like to visit one of the city's famous thermal baths or take a boat cruise on the Danube River. Another recommended attraction is Szentendre; an artist's town with a Serb minority located on the bank of the river, which can be reached by train or bus.

What's Included

  • Train Tickets

  • Accommodation

    1 nights comfortable guesthouse 6 nights comfortable hotel

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

    Breakfast: 7

What's Not Included

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

  • Tipping and Gratuities

Why Book this Tour

On our new 8 day trip you can experience three countries including historic cities and beautiful mountain scenery. We travel in true Explore style by using a range of different public transport as well as charter buses, go hiking in the High Tatras Mountains and raft in the Dunajec River Gorge. If you'd like to experience more, then you can combine this trip with our 'Budapest to Prague' (trip code: CZP) to make a two week adventure.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes, we would be delighted to book extra nights before the start or at the end of your trip, please let us know your requirements at the time of booking.

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Moderate

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    All customers that travel on a Explore group trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. This is a great way to start your travels, offering you that little extra peace of mind and comfort in the knowledge that there will be someone at the airport or station waiting to take you t

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    1 nights comfortable guesthouse 6 nights comfortable hotel

  • What is the maximum group size?

    18

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Catherine  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

09-Sep-2019

I'd only like to add again that Miro was a brilliant guide, and he really made this trip extra special. The whole group gelled really well and I feel this was in part down to the lovely atmosphere and co-operative spirit that Miro instilled.

Emma  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

20-Aug-2019

I really want to commend Miro for working so hard on this trip - he had barely any time to rest and was present at all activities and meals etc. He carried everyone's bags in and out of the hotels and on and off public transport even though it was clear in the trip notes that we should be able to do this ourselves. He is a true gent and a credit to Explore and the local tour agency.

Joanne  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

24-Aug-2019

I loved the variety of experience that you get on this trip. I highly recommend it

Judith  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

08-Dec-2018

Alena was a wonderful guide who provided maximum assistance to ensure everyone had a great week

Denise  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

17-Sep-2019

I will be travelling with you again!

Victoria  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

18-Sep-2019

A great trip. Miro was a great leader and I think really held the group together.

Daniel  

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

22-Aug-2018

Overall the holiday was what I expected and more. Kraków was stunning, Slovakia an unexpected pleasure and I adore Budapest. I do have to query why there were no evening meals included in the price. Even one would make the holiday feel like value for money.

Read all 7 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Sunday

May 05, 2024 - May 12, 2024
$1980 $1926 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $54 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Jul 21, 2024 - Jul 28, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Aug 11, 2024 - Aug 18, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 08, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Sep 29, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $50 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

May 04, 2025 - May 11, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Jun 08, 2025 - Jun 15, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Jul 20, 2025 - Jul 27, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Aug 10, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Aug 31, 2025 - Sep 07, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

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Sunday - Sunday

Sep 14, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Sep 28, 2025 - Oct 05, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Sunday

Oct 12, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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