Straddling East and West, the jewels of Eastern Europe, Prague, Vienna and Budapest are at the very heart of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Join MindWare Seminars as we explore these cultural capitals of music and art that epitomize Old World elegance.

The city of Budapest is really two distinct sides of a coin split by the Danube.  Begin by exploring the imperial Buda side with visits to Gellért Hill, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the best views of both parts of the city, the Fishermen’s Bastion terrace and the 14th-century Matthias Church.  The Pest side is where the city gets its café culture reputation while also boasting unique architectural gems like the opulent 1884 State Opera House with its royal boxes, gilded vaulted ceiling, exquisite murals and three-ton chandelier.  The visit will include a tour of City Park and Heroes’ Square, St. Stephen Basilica and the Houses of Parliament.  An optional Jewish Heritage tour includes visit to the Dohány Synagogue, Jewish Museum and Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park.   Just north of the city lies the village of Szentendre known for its museums, artists and galleries and weather permitting, the group will travel there by boat along the Danube.  

Next it is on to Vienna, former capital of the Habsburg Empire – and one of Europe's grandest cities.  The city tour will visit the Ringstrasse, the Prater and the Hundertwasser Belvedere.   Take a tour of the two imperial palaces, the Schönbrunn and the Hofburg - the summer and winter residences respectively of the former royal families.  Today, the 1,441-room Schönbrunn Palace remains one of the most important monuments in the country while the Hofburg palace, in addition to serving as the official presidential residence, houses the National Library, the treasury, several museums, the Spanish Riding School and much more!

Finally, it is on to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic and the historical capital of Bohemia.  The visit will start in the Old Town with its unique Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Square, the Art Nouveau municipal House concert hall and its Gothic Altneuschul - dating from 1270, it is Europe’s oldest active synagogue. The next day it is on to the Hradcany Castle district to visit the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle's complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens including the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus which houses the Czech or Bohmeian crown jewels.  Today the castle houses the office of the President and is also reputed to be the largest ancient castle in the world.  There will be a more in depth visit to Josefov, the ancient Jewish Quarter of Prague believed to have been settled as early as the 10th century.  The area houses many synagogues including the “newest” one, the Spanish Synagogue (1800s), the Old Jewish cemetery as well as Franz Kafka’s birthplace.

Sprinkled throughout the tour will be special evening performances and entertainment including dinner river cruises, classical music and more!