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  • Majestic cities of Austria and Budapest via the Arlberg Pass rail tour

    Salzburg

    Innsbruck

    Vienna

    Budapest

    Munich

    Majestic cities of Austria and Budapest via the Arlberg Pass rail tour

    11 nights/12 days
    Zurich – Innsbruck – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest – Munich

    This luxury rail touring holiday incorporates the three world-renowned Austrian cities of Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna, as well as a stunning scenic train journey from Zurich to Innsbruck through the Swiss and Austrian Alps over the Arlberg Pass. End your central European rail holiday in Budapest, one of the great cities of Central Europe poised culturally and geographically between East and West.
    This rail holiday begins with your arrival in Zurich, either by rail or air. After a night here, you will travel by rail to Innsbruck through the dramatic Arlberg Pass. As the cars disappear into the road tunnel below, the train continues to climb, ducking in and out of tunnels for the last part of the climb, until you emerge at St Anton. After the descent into the Inn valley, it is definitely the Austrian Tirol: traditional haystacks, onion-domed churches, wayside chapels. After experiencing one night in the capital of the Tyrol, Innsbruck, with its associations with Emperor Maximilian I and modern day summer and winter sports. The rail journey continues to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, home to magnificent Baroque churches, imposing castles and elegant palaces. Your third Austrian city is the great city of Vienna, on the banks of the River Danube and at the heart of central European history since the Roman times. Vienna never fails to impress and satisfy the visitor eager for historical and cultural references. ‘Dream and reality’ still resonate and your days in Vienna can be filled with a mixture of galleries, museums, opera, concerts or eating and drinking in a ‘Heuriger’ in the Vienna Woods. The history of Vienna can be witnessed in the Roman Museum, the Neidhart frescoes dating from the 1400s, the mediaeval Basiliskenhaus, the Imperial Palace and the numerous Jugendstil buildings, and of course in the City of Vienna museum. From Vienna, you travel eastwards tracking the course of the River Danube to the city of Budapest. Budapest is a fascinating mixture of two settlements: Buda and Pest, dissected by the Danube. On the hill in Buda, there is the 13th Century Matthias Church and the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque Fishermen’s Bastion. Linking Buda to Pest is the magnificent Chain Bridge built in the mid-19th Century. Pest is a city of wide boulevards, parks and gardens, neo-Gothic buildings such as the Parliament containing the Hungarian Crown Jewels, and the two mile long Andrassy ut., lined with important buildings including the State Opera House and the Museum of Fine Arts. Budapest is also home to the largest medicinal baths in Europe. At the end of your holiday, fly back to the UK or travel back by rail. If you opt to travel by rail, we suggest getting a direct service from Budapest to Munich and spending one night there before travelling home the following day.

    Click the tabs above to find out more, or click here to download a pdf with full details of this rail touring holiday.
    Sample Prices
    Out by rail, return by rail

    Rail from London and throughout back to London
    Standard class on Eurostar and second class on all other trains
    Stay at 4-star hotels (Hotel Ambassador a l’Opera Zurich, Schwarzer Adler Hotel Innsbruck, Hotel Goldgasse Salzburg, Hotel Kaiserhof, Vienna, Prestige Hotel Budapest and Hotel Torbrau Munich)
    Prices from £2,620 per person
    Stay at 5-star hotels (except in Innsbruck) (Hotel Storchen Zurich, Hotel Bristol Salzburg, Hotel Bristol Vienna, Aria Hotel Budapest and The Charles Hotel Munich)
    Prices from £3,130 per person
    Supplement: Standard premier on Eurostar and first class on all other trains £390 per person
    Out and back by air, rail in between
    Scheduled flight to Zurich and returning from Budapest and second class rail travel between cities
    Stay at 4-star hotels (Hotel Ambassador a l’Opera Zurich, Schwarzer Adler Hotel Innsbruck, Hotel Goldgasse Salzburg, Hotel Kaiserhof, Vienna and Prestige Hotel Budapest)
    Prices from £2,170 per person
    Stay at 5-star hotels (except Innsbruck) (Hotel Storchen Zurich, Hotel Bristol Salzburg, Hotel Bristol Vienna and Aria Hotel Budapest)
    Prices from £2,610 per person
    Supplement: First class rail between Zurich and Budapest £140 per person
    What’s included:
    Day-time rail travel from London to Zurich and throughout the tour, returning by train from Munich via Brussels.
    Or by air with scheduled flights from the UK to Zurich and returning from Budapest or Munich to the UK, with rail travel from Zurich to Budapest or Munich
    First or second-class travel on all trains
    1 night’s bed and breakfast in Zurich
    1 night’s bed and breakfast in Innsbruck
    2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Salzburg
    3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Vienna
    3 nights’ bed and breakfast in Budapest
    1 night’s bed and breakfast in Munich
    What’s not included?
    Transfers
    Click on the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.

    Click the tabs above to find out more, or click here to download a pdf with full details of this rail touring holiday.

    Majestic cities of Austria and Budapest via the Arlberg Pass rail tour

    Day-by-Day itinerary
    Zurich – Innsbruck – Salzburg – Vienna – Budapest – Munich
    DAY ONE: Travel from London to Zurich

    Begin your holiday by travelling to Zurich by rail. Catch the Eurostar mid-morning to Paris. After changing stations in Paris, catch a direct train from Paris to Zurich arriving in the evening. Stay in Zurich for one night.
    DAY TWO: Travel from Zurich to Innsbruck along the Arlberg Pass
    After breakfast at your hotel in Zurich, travel by train to Innsbruck. The journey will take around 3 hours 30 minutes and offers spectacular scenery. First the train hugs the southern shore of Lake Zurich, and its bathing places and little harbours with the Gold Coast gleaming on the other side of the lake. Then comes the Walensee with its turquoise waters and deep cliffs dropping into the lake. The landscape opens up as you approach the eastern edge of Switzerland, where Liechtenstein perches and the borders of Austria and Switzerland meet south of Lake Constance. The high mountains, the roof of Europe, loom in the distance. You sense them more than you see them. Suddenly with Feldkirch you are in Austria and after Bludenz the train climbs up along the Arlberg. As the cars disappear into the road tunnel below, the train continues to climb, ducking in and out of tunnels for the last part of the climb, until you emerge at St Anton. After the descent into the Inn valley, it is definitely the Austrian Tirol: traditional haystacks, onion-domed churches, wayside chapels. From the Oetztal station, you know the road heads south to Obergurgl and the Timmelsjoch high Alpine road into Italy. The train continues along the Inn valley, passing lush pastureland and Tirolean villages, including that of Stams, famous for its monastery. The Olympic ski jump at Igls to the right of the train indicates the imminent arrival in Innsbruck. Arrive in Innsbruck in the afternoon. You have the rest of the day and the evening to explore the city and its array of architectural gems from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical period.
    DAY THREE: From Innsbruck to Salzburg by train
    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and board a direct train to Salzburg where you will arrive in under two hours. As you leave Innsbruck, ski slopes are visible in the distance, and you know that Kitzbuehel is off to the south-east but at Kufstein the train crosses into Germany and the landscape flattens slightly with fields and forests yet the Chiemgau Alps are in the near distance. The train travels to the south of the Chiemsee and then Austria approaches once more. There is a spectacular although fleeting moment as the train crosses the river Salzach and on the right you are dazzled by the spires and turrets of the old city of Salzburg and Festung Salzburg on the hill-top on the horizon. Check in to your hotel for a stay of two nights.
    DAY FOUR: Salzburg
    You have a full day in Salzburg to discover this compact and very attractive city. Famous for being the birthplace of Mozart and the location for “The Sound of Music”, there are also numerous gardens and intricate architecture to enjoy, notably striking Baroque churches and buildings designed by Fischer von Erlach. The often piercing green-grey waters of the Salzach River flow through the city centre and the old town is on the left bank where you can find the Hohensalzburg Fortress, an 11th century castle which sits upon the Festungsberg. Other places of interest include the Mirabell Palace Gardens – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and Mozart’s birthplace, a museum which tells the compelling story of his life, relationships and musical inspirations. Today, the Salzburg Festival in July and August each year, offers an array of opera, music and drama.
    DAY FIVE: Travel from Salzburg to Vienna by rail
    After a leisurely breakfast in Salzburg, board a direct rail service to Vienna, where you will arrive in under 2 and a half hours. After Salzburg, the countryside becomes a patchwork of arable fields and large farmhouses before the more built-up stretch between Wels and Linz. It is at Linz you meet the Danube and then you cross from Upper Austria into Lower Austria, leaving the trail of the Danube to meander further north, cutting its own gorge above the Wienerwald before it reaches Vienna. You may not see it at all during your stay in Vienna. Check into your hotel in Vienna for 3 nights.
    DAYS SIX AND SEVEN: Vienna
    You have two full days to explore Vienna at leisure. Vienna, on the banks of the River Danube, has been at the heart of central European history since the Roman times. Vienna never fails to impress and satisfy the visitor eager for historical and cultural references. ‘Dream and reality’ still resonate and your days in Vienna can be filled with a mixture of galleries, museums, opera, concerts or eating and drinking in a ‘Heuriger’ in the Vienna Woods. The history of Vienna can be witnessed in the Roman Museum, the Neidhart frescoes dating from the 1400s, the mediaeval Basiliskenhaus, the Imperial Palace and the numerous Jugendstil buildings, and of course in the City of Vienna museum. The Hofburg contains numerous national collections from the Crown Jewels to the Imperial armoury. Take time to listen to the Mozart Orchestra playing in the Musikverein, and to enjoy coffee and cake at Demel’s. A fun way to see the sights of the city is to take a tram around the Ringstrasse, hopping off and on as you want.
    DAY EIGHT: Vienna to Budapest by train
    Leave Vienna mid-morning to continue your rail holiday to Budapest. The journey takes under 3 hours, following the course of the River Danube. You arrive in the afternoon and check into your hotel for 3 nights.
    DAYS NINE AND TEN: Budapest
    Enjoy two full days in Budapest exploring the tree-lined boulevards of Pest and the cobbled hilly streets of Buda. The city straddles a curve in the River Danube and is packed with interesting sights to visit on foot but also easily reached by underground. Visit the Castle District in Buda where you can find mediaeval buildings such as the Royal Palace which has been rebuilt several times over the past seven centuries and houses the National Gallery, Budapest Historical Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. You can also visit the 13th Century St Matthias Church and the neo-Gothic Fishermen’s Bastion nearby. The world-famous Gellért Thermal Baths are highly favoured by locals and tourists alike. Margaret Island is a pretty park situated in the middle of the Danube reachable by tram or bus. It boasts more than 10,000 trees, beautiful gardens and a swimming pool. Linking Buda to Pest is the magnificent Chain Bridge built in the mid-19th Century. On the east of the river, you will find Pest which is home to historical buildings such as the neo-Gothic, vast, Parliament which houses the Hungarian crown jewels. Another building not to miss is the Hungarian State Opera House where you can experience a guided tour or an opera performance. On two-mile long, tree-lined Andrassy ut you will find elegant shops and houses, Heroes Square and the Museum of Fine Arts. The thermal springs of Budapest have been enjoyed since Roman times and baths are to be found in both Buda and in Pest, where the Szechenyi Baths are one of the largest bathing complexes in Europe, with outdoor and indoor pools, built in modern Renaissance style.
    DAY ELEVEN: Budapest to Munich by Railjet
    After breakfast in Budapest, board the Railjet train in the morning and you will arrive in Munich less than seven hours later. The route takes you back through Vienna, on to Linz and Salzburg. Watch out for the Salzburg fortress on your left-hand side as you cross the River Salzach shortly after departing from Salzburg station. Stay overnight in Munich. Or, if you prefer, fly back to London from Budapest.
    DAY TWELVE: Munich to London
    Enjoy a full German breakfast at your hotel before you check out and begin your journey back to London. You will take a train from Munich to Brussels with an easy change of trains in Frankfurt before boarding the Eurostar to London St Pancras.
    Click the ‘Hotel Information’ tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.

    Click the tabs above to find out more, or click here to download a pdf with full details of this rail touring holiday.

    Hotel information
    These are our personally selected, luxury hotels that are featured in this touring holiday. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations – please contact us for full details.

    Zurich
    Hotel Storchen - 5-star

    Hotel Storchen is situated on the banks of the Limmat River and has been offering excellent hospitality for 650 years. Surrounded by an arcaded cafe lined with flowers, the pale pink façade of the Storchen Zurich looks out across the blue Limmat waters, which disperse into Lake Zurich only a few hundred metres away. There are 66 rooms in total as well as a restaurant and bar.

    Ambassador à l’Opéra – 4-star
    Hotel Ambassador a l’Opera in Zurich offers guests excellent access to Lake Zurich, its waterside promenades, water sports, the surrounding Alpine slopes and walking paths, and the quaint pavement cafes that border the lake. An elegant and sustainable ethos ensures that this historic boutique hotel is highly luxurious offering 45 rooms, a restaurant and lounge bar.

    Innsbruck
    Hotel Schwarzer Adler – 4-star

    This hotel is conveniently located around a 10-minute walk from Innsbruck train station and offers 40 rooms and suites which are all individually furnished. There is also a traditional restaurant with wood-panelled walls serving Tyrolean specialities for you to savour.

    Salzburg
    Hotel Bristol – 5-star

    Hotel Bristol is situated in the centre of the city, between the Mirabell Gardens and Mozart’s residence and within 5 minutes’ walk of the famous shopping street “Getreidegasse”. The hotel enjoys 60 elegant rooms as well as restaurant “Polo Lounge” serving traditional Austrian delicacies for lunch and dinner.
    Hotel Goldgasse – 4-star 
    Hotel Goldgasse, a member of “Small Luxury Hotels” is situated in Salzburg’s old town, a short walk from Salzburg Cathedral and Mozart’s birthplace. This boutique hotel has the feel of a private residence and offers just 16 rooms and suites which are each dedicated to a performance. Hotel Goldgasse also enjoys a breakfast room with terrace serving local products and homemade delicacies as well as a restaurant serving lunch and dinner.

    Vienna
    Hotel Bristol – 5-star

    Hotel Bristol occupies a fantastic location opposite the State Opera House. Guests can enjoy traditional Austrian grandeur in features such as velvet furnishings and intricate chandeliers and experience the highest standard of luxury in every guest room.
    Hotel Kaiserhof – 4-star
    H
    otel Kaiserhof Vienna is situated a few steps away from Naschmarkt and the State Opera House. The hotel is family-owned and enjoys 74 comfortable rooms and suites.

    Budapest
    Aria Hotel Budapest – 5-star 

    Aria Hotel Budapest is a superb hotel situated on the Pest side of the river, within walking distance of Parliament building and Váci utca (the pedestrianised shopping street). The hotel enjoys a rooftop bar which offers views of the domes of St Stephen’s Basilica as well a spa area. There are 49 vibrant rooms and suites with contemporary, elegant décor.
    The Prestige Hotel – 4-star
    Prestige Hotel is located on a quiet side-street close to Chain Bridge and Parliament. Enjoy the Michelin starred restaurant which has a friendly bistro feel. The 85 rooms are vintage styled with high quality furniture and a pastel and gold colour scheme.

    Munich
    The Charles Hotel – 5-star
    The Rocco Forte Charles Hotel is centrally located by the Alte Pinkaothek and the Lenbachhaus. The hotel was built in 2007 and named after renowned hotelier Charles Forte. Sophia’s Restaurant offers regional seasonal produce facing the Old Botanical Garden whilst the spa area boasts an indoor pool and finish sauna and steam room.
    Hotel Torbrau – 4-star 
    Hotel Torbrau is a family-owned hotel superbly situated at the gateway to Munich’s Old Town. Rooms are comfortable, and the hotel offers a restaurant and restored wine cellar

    Click the tabs above to find out more, or click here to download a pdf with full details of this rail touring holiday.

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