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Christmas Markets Along the Elbe 2014

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Post-trip: Prague, Czech Republic

Once a center for the mystical arts, magical Prague continues to cast a spell. Here, you’ll find an architectural treasure trove, where steeples punctuate the skyline and landmarks—such as the pedestrian Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and medieval Astronomical Clock—preserve the city’s Old World character. Come join a guided tour of a historic Old Town that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, explore the city at your leisure, and see for yourself why Prague is among Europe’s most-visited destinations.

It's Included:
Accommodations: for 3 nights at the Superior First-Class Park Inn Prague
5 meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner
Included toursLitomerice, Prague
Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
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    After breakfast, you’ll cross the Czech border en route to the royal town of Litomerice, set in a landscape known in the 17th century as the “Garden of Bohemia.” Enjoy an informative stroll through one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic as your Program Director provides commentary. After some free time, you’ll continue your transfer to the capital of the Czech Republic, magical Prague, enjoying lunch at a local restaurant en route. After an orientation tour of the area surrounding your hotel, the evening is yours to settle in and enjoy dinner on your own.

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    Prague’s regal beauty spreads along both sides of the winding Vltava River, connected by 16 picturesque bridges. Like Rome and San Francisco, the city is built over a series of hills, and its varied architecture spans many centuries.

    This morning, begin your exploration of the “City of 100 Spires” with a visit to the Mala Strana, or Lesser Town—a warren of quaint, winding streets and baroque architecture set in the foothills of Prague Castle. Then, admire breathtaking city views as you cross the river by way of the renowned, 14th-century Charles Bridge. Your destination is Prague’s historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose highlights include the Old Town Square, home to the city’s famous, medieval Astronomical Clock—or Orloj—parts of which date to the early 15th century. Every hour, crowds assemble below to watch Christ and the twelve Apostles appear at two little windows above the clock face, followed by the skeleton of Death tolling the bell.

    The afternoon is at leisure. You may board the transfer back to the hotel, or stay on and explore the city on your own. Late in the afternoon, you are invited to join an optional tour to discover the Charm of the Czech Countryside. Admire the unfolding view as you ride to the village of Nosalov, a repository of Czech culture. Enjoy an informative stroll through town, followed by a demonstration of traditional handcrafts. You’ll then be treated to dinner at a local restaurant, accompanied by festive polka dancing.

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    Enjoy a full day to investigate the treasures of Prague. A highlight is sure to be Prague Castle. Dating to the ninth century, it is the oldest castle complex in the world. Here, you can view residential quarters, chapels, galleries, the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Golden Lane, where author Franz Kafka lived during World War I. Contrast this glimpse of history with a visit to DOX, a provocative center for contemporary art. Or visit Josefov, the Jewish Quarter whose complex of historical Jewish monuments is the best preserved in Europe.

    This evening, share your discoveries with your travel mates over a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

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    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport for your return flight home.