OUR STORY CENTRAL EUROPE

 TOUR START DATES:

  • June 26 or June 30, 2024
  • August 28 or September 1, 2024
  • June 25 or June 29, 2025
  • August 27 or August 31, 2025

REGISTER

Join us in the heart of Europe to explore the story of our People – their enduring accomplishments, their world-changing ideas, and their sorrows – on this moving Jewish and world heritage travel experience for all.

ADULTS
 5-15 DAYS

Our fully guided itinerary spans up to 15 days of touring – covering Poland (Warsaw & Krakow), Hungary (Budapest), Slovakia (Tatra Mountains & Bratislava), Austria (Vienna & Wachau Valley), Czechia (Prague & Terezin), and Germany (Dresden & Berlin). However, travelers have the option to begin and end their Our Story travels at pre-defined points to accommodate different touring interests and availability (see route options).

The Our Story itinerary highlights places of Jewish historical and cultural interest. All along the way, we also make time for world heritage experiences such as exploring Hradcany Castle in Prague, attending a classical concert in Vienna, riverboating down the Danube River in the Wachau Valley, wandering through the Great Market Hall of Budapest, and so much more.

Our Story Central Europe tours are led by a professional Jewish educator as well as by local European guides. Groups are limited to 28 adult travelers for your comfort.

NOTE: Tour dates starting in late June coincide with the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, a world-renowned celebration of modern Jewish culture and tradition that embodies the renewal of Jewish life in contemporary Europe.

PROGRAM ITINERARY

The following is our projected itinerary, subject to reasonable change based on local considerations

DAY 1 > WEDNESDAY: Honoring the Jews of Warsaw

NOTE: Those arriving on Tuesday evening can be accommodated at the Warsaw hotel based on our group rates. Contact us to learn more.

  • Arrive to Warsaw Airport, and take a taxi to our hotel in Warsaw
  • Group Meeting #1 at 9:00 am at the hotel lobby
    • Explore the acclaimed Museum of the History of Polish Jews
    • Visit the historic Nozyk Shul in the heart of Warsaw
  • Group Meeting #2 at 3:00pm at the hotel lobby
  • Uprising! – Explore the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto and learn about the Jewish community’s famous revolt along the Route of Heroes, Rappaport Memorial, Umschlagplatz, and Mila 18
  • Orientation walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town
  • Welcome dinner at a central Warsaw restaurant

OVERNIGHT: InterContinental Hotel – Warsaw, Poland
Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 2 > THURSDAY: The Krakow Legacy

  • Depart from Warsaw and travel to Krakow in the morning
  • Explore Kazmierz – the historic center of Jewish life Krakow, including the Ramah Synagogue, Temple Synagogue, and Old Synagogue
  • Check-in to our hotel in central Krakow with dinner on your own
  • Evening: Explore the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, a world-renowned celebration of modern Jewish culture and tradition that embodies the renewal of Jewish life in contemporary Europe (June start dates only)

OVERNIGHT: Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz – Krakow, Poland
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 3 > FRIDAY: Confronting Auschwitz & Birkenau

  • Arrive at the grounds of Auschwitz II - Birkenau where the full horror of the extermination of 1.5 million Jewish People is palpable (packed lunch provided)
  • Continue on to Auschwitz I, the original camp that served as the administrative center for the entire complex. We will tour the watchtowers, fences, cell blocks, wall of death, crematoria as well as the Arbeit Macht Frei Gate
  • Reflections and ceremony at the restored Oświęcim Synagogue near Auschwitz
  • Return to Krakow in the late afternoon
  • Option to celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Krakow
  • Shabbat dinner is served in Kazmierz – the Jewish Quarter of Krakow

OVERNIGHT: Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz – Krakow, Poland
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4 > SATURDAY: Shabbat in Krakow

All touring today is on foot

  • Walking tour of Old Town Krakow, including the grounds of the Wawel Castle
  • Shabbat lunch is at the Krakow JCC, the center of modern Jewish life in Krakow
  • Continue on for a walking tour of the Krakow Ghetto and the Oscar Schindler Factory building – now the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow
  • Free evening and dinner on own

OVERNIGHT: Golden Tulip Krakow Kazimierz – Krakow, Poland
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 5 > SUNDAY: From Poland to Hungary

NOTE: Travelers departing the group today in Poland say farewells following breakfast at our Krakow hotel. Travelers joining the group in Budapest check in to our hotel this afternoon and meet the group in the lobby at 7:00pm before our welcome dinner.

  • Check-out of Krakow accommodations and depart for Budapest
  • Break along the way in the Slovakian mountain village of Donovaly where we ride the gondola to the top of a local ski resort for a panoramic view of the Tatra Mountains (a packed lunch is provided and local fare is available on your own)
  • Check in and get refreshed at our Budapest accommodations
  • Evening: Get oriented to Budapest over a group dinner at the Kosher Deli Budapest in the Jewish Quarter

OVERNIGHT: InterContinental Hotel – Budapest, Hungary
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6 > MONDAY: Exploring Buda and Pest

  • Begin our day at the “Shoes on the Danube Bank” memorial and view the Chain Bridge, a landmark 19th-century suspension bridge connecting Buda and Pest
  • Ascend Castle Hill to take in views from Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Break for lunch and wandering in the Great Market Hall of Budapest
  • Enter the Jewish Quarter and tour the Dohany Street Synagogue museum, Wallenberg Memorial, and Weeping Willow
  • Our day ends with a visit to Hősök Tere – “Heroes Square”
  • Evening: Option to visit the thermal Szechenyi Baths (on your own)

OVERNIGHT: InterContinental Hotel – Budapest, Hungary
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 7 > TUESDAY: Heritage in Bratislava

  • Depart Budapest for Vienna in the morning
  • Break along the way in Bratislava for a visit to the Chatam Sofer’s grave
  • Arrive to Vienna where we will stop for lunch on your own in the Naschmarkt – a colorful 16th-century market in the heart of the city
  • Afternoon: Discover the high culture of Europe at the Fine Arts Museum of Vienna
  • Check-in to our accommodations in the Austrian capital
  • Evening: Option to visit Prater, an old-world amusement park in the heart of Vienna, and ride the iconic 19th-century Riesenrad giant Ferris wheel (on your own)

OVERNIGHT: InterContinental Hotel – Vienna, Austria
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 8 > WEDNESDAY: Vienna's World Heritage Sites

  • Walking tour of Vienna – including Judenplatz, the center of Viennese Jewish life, the Monument against War & Fascism, Heroes’ Square, and the Shoah Monument
  • Visit “Stadttempel”– The only synagogue that survived the pogrom on Nov. 10, 1938 – as well as the  Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Castle
  • Continue on to explore the opulent Schönbrunn Palace – The summer home of Habsburg Royalty
  • Evening: Dinner on own followed by the Sounds of Vienna Concert

OVERNIGHT: InterContinental Hotel – Vienna, Austria
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 9 > THURSDAY: Discovering the Wachau Valley

  • Embark on a Danube river cruise to Weißenkirchen in the Wachau Valley
  • Sample local wines at Domaine Wachau and explore picturesque Dürnstein village with the option to hike up to the ancient castle towering above the town
  • Depart from Austria, and continue on to Prague
  • Arrive to Prague and ascend Petrin Hill for a panoramic view of the Czech capital from the Strahov Monastery
  • Check in to our Prague hotel and enjoy an evening and dinner on your own

OVERNIGHT: Hilton Hotel Old Town – Prague, Czechia
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 10 > FRIDAY: Jewels of Josefov in Prague

  • Walking tour of Josefov, Prague’s famous Jewish Quarter – including the AltneushulSpanish Synagogue, and the Jewish Museum & Cemetery
  • Cross the famous Charles Bridge and tour Prague Castle – the world’s largest ancient castle – including the Golden Lane
  • Option to celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Prague (egalitarian and traditional options)
  • Evening: Group dinner at Chabad’s Prague Grill Restaurant

OVERNIGHT: Hilton Hotel Old Town – Prague, Czechia
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11 > SATURDAY: Prague's World Heritage Sites

All touring today is on foot

  • Free morning to enjoy Prague on your own
  • Wrap-up session and closing lunch celebration
  • Afternoon: Walking tour of Prague’s Old Town Square, including a visit to the Astronomical Clock, the Klementinum library, and a view of the John Lennon street art wall

OVERNIGHT: Hilton Hotel Old Town – Prague, Czechia
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 12 > SUNDAY: Terezin and Dresden

NOTE: Travelers departing the group today in Czechia say farewells following breakfast at our Prague hotel.

  • Depart Prague and spend the morning visiting the Terezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp
  • Continue north into Germany where we will spend the afternoon exploring Dresden, a city destroyed during World War II and meticulously restored to its pre-war glory
  • Arrive to Berlin – check-in to our hotel and enjoy dinner on your own

OVERNIGHT: Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre – Berlin, Germany
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 13 > MONDAY: Cold War to German Reunification

  • This morning we tour the Reichstag –home to Germany’s parliament (Bundestag) – that was restored with an iconic glass dome when it reopened following Germany’s reunification
  • Walk through the monumental Brandenburg Gate and experience Berlin’s striking Holocaust Memorials – honoring the memory of the Jews, LGBTQ, Roma and other groups persecuted by Nazis
  • Break for lunch on own in the Hackescher Markt followed by a walking tour of Berlin’s Jewish Quarter and a visit to the 19th century “New Synagogue”
  • Learn about Germany’s Cold War history, visiting Checkpoint Charlie, and then finish the day wandering the East Side Gallery – a place where artists from all over the world have come to paint murals on this segment of the Berlin Wall

OVERNIGHT: Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre – Berlin, Germany
Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 14 > TUESDAY: Potsdam

  • Travel outside of Berlin to tour the Wannsee House – where the Nazis charted the course of their “Final Solution” – and visit the Platform 17 Memorial at Grunewald Station along the way
  • Arrive to Potsdam – the City of Palaces – where we’ll break for lunch on your own and exploration time at the historic Brandenburger pedestrian mall
  • This afternoon we tour Cecilienhof Palace, where the Potsdam Conference took place, deciding the fate of Germany after World War II
  • We conclude our time in Potsdam wandering through Sanssouci Gardens, stopping to view the New Palace and Sanssouci Palace
  • Return to Berlin for a closing dinner celebration at a local restaurant

OVERNIGHT: Crowne Plaza Berlin City Centre – Berlin, Germany
Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 15 > WEDNESDAY: Farewell

  • Say your final farewells following breakfast at the hotel

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SIGN UP EARLY AND SAVE
All program dates are guaranteed. Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person early registration discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are commitment-free.

NOTE: 2024 trip costs increase October 24, 2023. Sign up to guarantee current-year rates.

REGISTER
Our Story Map Itinerary


WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • A professional guide/educator leads the group on a 24/7 basis and expert city guides join our group most days
  • Centrally located 4* and 5* hotels with porterage included
  • Breakfast daily and additional meals according to the itinerary
  • Private air-conditioned touring vehicle
  • All programming and site entrances according to the itinerary
  • Wireless touring headsets
    For groups with 20+ travelers

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights to/from Europe
    Book your flights via a travel agent
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel insurance (optional)
    Insure your investment, and plan ahead for the unexpected with a travel insurance plan
  • Gratuities (suggested $150-$250/traveler)
  • Hotel incidentals and means not marked as included

TRAVELING TO AND FROM EUROPE
Travelers are responsible for booking their own travel into Warsaw or Budapest on arrival and out from Krakow, Prague, or Berlin at the conclusion of their Our Story travels (depending on your route choices).

Travelers should plan to arrive no later than 2:00pm on their chosen start date and are encouraged to arrive an evening in advance to better acclimate and take advantage of the full program offerings. Group hotel rates are offered for those arriving early, subject to availability (contact us to learn more).

The program concludes following breakfast on the chosen end date and onward travel may be booked anytime in the morning and beyond – standard hotel checkout is at 11:00am.

Airport transfers at the start and end of the program are not included in the program package. Taxis and Uber rides are widely available at our starting and ending point airports.

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REGISTER


DATES & COSTS

All scheduled program dates are guaranteed. Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount. All payments are fully refundable up to four months in advance, so your savings are commitment-free.

NOTE: 2024 trip costs increase on October 24, 2023. Sign up now to guarantee current-year rates.

REGISTER


ENROLLMENT TERMS

  • To reserve your spot, a $350/person fully refundable deposit is due at the time of your registration.
    Sign up at least five months in advance to lock in your spot and receive a $100/person discount
  • The deposit becomes non-refundable four months prior to the program start date.
  • The balance is due no later than two months prior to the program start date after which all payments are non-refundable and exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis at Authentic Israel's discretion.
  • Cancellations must be made in writing, and we encourage you to obtain a travel insurance policy.
  • Payments may be made by check or credit/debit card, however, a 3.5% processing fee applies for credit/debit card payments (does not apply to initial $350 deposit). Note: credit card fees are not refundable
  • Authentic Israel reserves the right to deny acceptance on the tour according to its discretion.
  • All program costs are listed in US Dollars.

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FAQs

Who staffs the tour?

Our Story is led by a professional Jewish educator/guide who escorts the tour on a 24/7 basis. Our program leader is joined by expert local guides in most cities, many of whom are part of their local Jewish communities.

How active is the touring?

Our Story is an active tour designed for adults. Touring days are full of experiences designed to provide you with as rich an experience as possible. Travelers should feel comfortable with lots of walking, including walking on uneven surfaces (e.g., cobblestones), standing for long periods of time, and generally being on their feet for most of the day. This trip is not wheelchair or walker accessible.

How many people travel in the group?

We host no more than 28 adult travelers per group, and we may host up to two groups traveling concurrently with separate staff teams and staggered itineraries.

Can I start or end the tour on a date not shown as a route option?

We offer a number of entry and exit point options to accommodate travelers with different travel interests and availability. We believe these are the optimal options based on logistical and social considerations. We do not recommend deviating from the route options offered, but you may contact us with special requests.

How is this a Jewish experience?

Our Story is a pluralistic Jewish travel experience open to all. Group meals are kosher or kosher-style (no pork or shellfish and with vegetarian options), and all touring on Saturdays is by foot. Lunches and dinners on Shabbat are all included and kosher. Breakfast is the standard buffet offered at our hotels.

How all-inclusive is the experience?

The program covers all touring, private transportation, all meals listed as included, hotel accommodations including porterage, and an educational staff team. You’ll be responsible for your connecting travel for the start/end of the program, any meals not included, gratuities, as well as travel insurance, should you wish to obtain it.

How do I get ready for the trip?

Detailed pre-trip material are distributed 3-4 months prior to arrival. You'll also be invited to a trip Facebook group to connect with fellow travelers before the program and stay in touch afterward.

How should I arrange my travel to and from Europe?

Travelers are responsible for booking their own travel into Warsaw or Budapest on arrival and out from Krakow, Prague, or Berlin at the conclusion of their Our Story travels (depending on your route choices).

Travelers should plan to arrive no later than 2:00pm on their chosen start date and are encouraged to arrive an evening in advance to better acclimate and take advantage of the full program offerings. Group hotel rates are offered for those arriving early, subject to availability (contact us to learn more).

The program concludes following breakfast on the chosen end date and onward travel may be booked anytime in the morning and beyond – standard hotel checkout is at 11:00am.

Airport transfers at the start and end of the program are not included in the program package. Taxis and Uber rides are widely available at our starting and ending point airports.

NOTE: Get all the peace of mind from having a professional travel agency book your international flights without paying a premium. Get started at www.authenticisrael.com/flights.

Can I get professional assistance booking my flights?

Yes! Travelers are responsible for purchasing their own flights to Israel, but you can get all the peace of mind from having a professional travel agency book your international flights without paying a premium. Get started at www.authenticisrael.com/flights.

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REAL REVIEWS FROM REAL TRAVELERS

We know you’ll love the Our Story experience, but don’t just take our word for it. Check out these real reviews from past travelers who have completed the journey.

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