16 days in Eastern Europe Itinerary

16 days in Eastern Europe Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Eastern Europe Itinerary

Start: San Jose, Costa Rica
Fly:  18​h 45​min
1
Budapest, Hungary
— 3 nights
2
Krakow, Poland
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 15​min
3
Prague, Czech Republic
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
4
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
5
Bucharest, Romania
— 3 nights
Fly:  29​h
End: San Jose, Costa Rica

3
nights
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest ©
You might consider the city of Budapest, divided by the Danube River into two distinctive cities--Buda and Pest--to be essentially one large World Heritage Site.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Margaret Island and Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden. Escape the urban bustle at Danube River and City Park Városliget. And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Fisherman's Bastion, pause for some photo ops at Hősök tere, take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika), and admire the striking features of Dohány Street Synagogue.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Budapest trip maker website .

San Jose, Costa Rica to Budapest is an approximately 19-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Central European Time (CET) is 7 hours. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from San Jose in December: high temperatures in Budapest hover around 5°C and lows are around -1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Krakow.

Things to do in Budapest

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Matthias Church ©
Matthias Church
Halaszbastya ©
Halaszbastya

2
nights
Krakow, Poland

Krakow ©
One of Poland's oldest cities, Krakow sits at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, its historical town center nestled on the left bank of the Vistula River.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): admire the landmark architecture of St. Mary's Basilica, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kazmierz The Former Jewish District, and then make a trip to Main Market Square. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Ulica Florianska, contemplate the long history of Wawel Royal Castle, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Wawel Cathedral, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Krakow itinerary planner .

Drive from Budapest to Krakow in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in December, and nighttime lows around -2°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) so you can travel to Prague.

Things to do in Krakow

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Kazmierz The Former Jewish District ©
Wawel Cathedral ©
Wawel Cathedral
Wawel Royal Castle ©
Wawel Royal Castle

3
nights
Prague, Czech Republic

Prague ©
Prague lures millions of tourists each year with its World Heritage-listed medieval city center--a labyrinth of narrow lanes, bridges, cathedrals, and palaces overlooked by a thousand-year-old castle.
Get some cultural insight at St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Astronomical Clock. Your inner history buff will appreciate Prague Castle and Old Town Bridge Tower. There's still lots to do: make a trip to Old Town Square, pause for some serene contemplation at Infant Jesus of Prague, snap pictures at Charles Bridge, and indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Prague road trip planning website .

Traveling by flight from Krakow to Prague takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in December, and nighttime lows around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Prague

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Tours
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
StaromEstske namEsti ©
StaromEstske namEsti
Prague Castle ©
Prague Castle
Katedrala Svateho Vita ©
Katedrala Svateho Vita

2
nights
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik ©
Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): head off the coast to Island of Lokrum, enjoy the sand and surf at Sveti Jakov Beach, then don't miss a visit to Pile Gate, and finally explore the ancient world of Gradske Zidine. Here are some ideas for day two: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Dubrovnik travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Prague to Dubrovnik takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, car, and bus; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Prague in December; daily highs in Dubrovnik reach 15°C and lows reach 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Wed) to allow time for travel to Bucharest.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Sveti Jakov Beach ©
Sveti Jakov Beach
Walls of Dubrovnik ©
Walls of Dubrovnik
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest ©
The booming city of Bucharest is a sophisticated metropolis with a high contrast of old- and new-world architecture.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): take a stroll through Old Town, stop by Romanian Boutique, see the interesting displays at Muzeul National al Satului "Dimitrie Gusti", then cruise along Romania Tour Store, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Patriarchal Cathedral, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Biserica Sfantul Anton - Curtea Veche. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Mogosoaia Palace, then steep yourself in history at Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei), then take in the dramatic natural features at Mohos Peat-Bog, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Lipscani.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read Bucharest day trip website .

Traveling by flight from Dubrovnik to Bucharest takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, car, and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Dubrovnik to Bucharest. Traveling from Dubrovnik in January, things will get slightly colder in Bucharest: highs are around 1°C and lows about -7°C. On the 4th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Bucharest

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Mogosoaia Palace, Mohos Peat-Bog
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Old Town ©
Old Town
Stavropoleos Monastery ©
Stavropoleos Monastery
Mohos Peat-Bog ©
Mohos Peat-Bog

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