Our Story Central Europe

Guaranteed Dates:

May 13 – May 24, 2020

June 24 – July 5, 2020

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 travel experience for all.

ADULTS
12 DAYS

Our Story Central Europe includes stops in Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, and Warsaw. The itinerary highlights places of Jewish historical and cultural interest and is led by a professional Jewish educator/guide. Along the way we will also cover world heritage experiences such as Hradcany Castle in Prague, a classical concert in Vienna and a cruise on the Danube River.

Our Story Central Europe is led by Gadi Ben-Dov, an acclaimed Jewish educator and professional guide. The group is also escorted by local European tour managers.


PROGRAM ITINERARY

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

DAY 1 > WEDNESDAY: Orientation to Warsaw

  • Arrive to Warsaw Airport, and take a taxi to our hotel in Warsaw
  • Group Meeting #1 at 10:00am at the hotel lobby
    Meet with members of the contemporary Warsaw Jewish community
  • Group Meeting #2 at 2:30pm at the hotel lobby
    Visit the historic Nozyk Shul and Warsaw’s old Jewish cemetery
  • Orientation walking tour of Warsaw’s Old Town
  • Visit the historic Nozyk Shul and Warsaw’s old Jewish cemetery
  • Welcome dinner at a central Warsaw restaurant

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

DAY 2 > THURSDAY: Honoring the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

  • Explore the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Uprising! – Explore the remains of the Warsaw Ghetto and learn about the Jewish community’s famous revolt along the Route of Heroes and at Rappaport Memorial
  • Depart from Warsaw and travel to Krakow in the afternoon – check-in and free evening

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 at the Olive Tree Restaurant

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, Wawel Castle and Kazmierz – the historic center of Jewish life Krakow
  • Shabbat lunch at the Krakow JCC, the center of modern Jewish life in Krakow
  • 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

  • Check-out of Krakow accommodations and depart for Budapest
  • Tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • A packed lunch is provided en route
  • Arrive to Budapest, stopping for a panoramic intro from the Citadela Hill
  • Check-in to our centrally located accommodations and dinner on own

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

DAY 6 > MONDAY: Exploring Buda and Pest

  • Walk across the Chain Bridge over the Danube River connecting historic Buda and Pest
  • Climb up Castle Hill to take in views from Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Enter the Jewish Quarter and tour the Dohany Street Synagogue museum, Wallenberg Memorial, and Weeping Willow
  • View the “Shoes on the Danube Bank” and visit Hősök Tere – “Heroes Square”
  • Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through the Great Market Hall of Budapest
  • Evening: Option to visit the thermal Szechenyi Baths on your own

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

DAY 7 > TUESDAY: Bratislava, Slovakia

  • Depart Budapest for Bratislava, Slovakia in the morning
  • Walking tour of Bratislava – including the Chatam Sofer’s grave, the Wall of Memories and other points of Jewish and secular interest
  • Cruise up the Danube River to Vienna, and check-in to our accommodations in the Austrian capital
  • Evening: Dinner on own followed by the Sounds of Vienna Concert

OVERNIGHT: Renaissance 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 – St. Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Castle
  • Continue on to explore the opulent Schönbrunn Palace – The summer home of Habsburg Royalty
  • The rest of the afternoon is free to explore on your own

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

DAY 9 > THURSDAY: Discovering the Wachau Valley

  • Travel to the Wachau Valley along the Danube
  • Explore picturesque Dürnstein village with the option to hike up to the ancient castle towering above the town
  • Sample local wines at Domaine Wachau
  • Explore the water-filled Seegrotte caves by boat
  • Return to Vienna for evening is on your own

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

DAY 10 > FRIDAY: Jewels of Josefov in Prague

  • Depart Vienna for Prague in the morning
  • Walking tour of Josefov, Prague’s famous Jewish Quarter – including the Altneushul, Spanish Synagogue, the Jewish Museum and Cemetery
  • Option to celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Prague
  • Evening: Group dinner at Chabad’s Prague Grill Restaurant

OVERNIGHT: Hilton Hotel – Prague, Czech Republic
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 with lunch included
  • Walk across the famous Charles Bridge, tour Old Town and explore Prague Castle
  • Ascend to Petrin Hill for a panoramic view of Prague and tour the historic Strahov Monastery
  • Evening: Closing dinner at the historic Strahov Monastic Brewery and wrap-up discussion

OVERNIGHT: Hilton Hotel – Prague, Czech Republic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12 > SUNDAY: Farewell!

  • Final farewells and travel to Prague Airport for morning flights onward

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REGISTER
Our Story Map Itinerary


WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • An educational guide and a tour manager escorts the group on a 24/7 basis
  • Centrally located 4* and 5* hotels with porterage included
  • Breakfast daily and additional meals according to the itinerary
  • Luxury private air-conditioned touring bus
  • All programming and site entrances according to the itinerary

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, gratuities (suggested $100/traveler), meals not marked as included, hotel incidentals

TRAVELING TO AND FROM EUROPE
Travelers are responsible for booking their own travel into Warsaw on arrival and from Prague at the conclusion of the tour. Travelers wishing to arrive early to Warsaw or staying later in Prague will be accommodated at the group hotels by special request based on the group hotel rate and according to availability.
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WHAT IT COSTS

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 absolutely risk-free.

Land Package: $3,400/Person
Double room hotel occupancy rate
Single Room Supplement: $890/person


REGISTRATION
Sign up for Our Story Central Europe by completing the online Registration Form

PAYMENT & CANCELLATION TERMS

  • To reserve your spot, a $250/person deposit is due at the time of registration
  • The deposit is refundable up to four months prior to the program start date, after which it is non-refundable
  • The balance is due no later than two months prior to the program start date, after which it is non-refundable
  • Cancellations must be made in writing, and we encourage you to obtain our group-discounted travel insurance policy
  • A late registration fee of $50/person applies for enrollments within two months of the program start date
  • Payments may be made by check or credit/debit card, however, a 3% processing fee applies for credit/debit card payments (does not apply to initial $250 deposit). Note: credit card fees are not refundable
  • Authentic Israel reserves the right to deny acceptance on the tour according to its discretion

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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 a tour manager at most times and by a local guide in select cities.

How active is the touring?

Our Story is an active tour designed for adults. Our days are full of experiences designed to provide you with as complete an experience as possible. Travelers should feel comfortable walking and generally being on their feet for most of the day. Although the program does not have age guidelines, the itinerary involves a good amount of walking and some long travel days.

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.

How all-inclusive is the experience?

The program covers all touring, deluxe bus transportation (with a bathroom), all meals listed as included, hotel accommodations including porterage, and a fantastic staff team. You’ll be responsible for your connecting travel for the start/end of the program, any meals not included, gratuities (can be included in your final bill), as well as travel insurance, should you wish to obtain it (www.grouptravelinsuranceisrael.com).

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How do I get ready for the trip?

Detailed pre-trip material are distributed approximately three 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. The 2019 pre-trip prep guide is available here for reference.

How should I arrange my travel to and from Europe?

Travelers are responsible for arriving to our hotel in Warsaw, Poland by 2:00pm on the first day of the program. Taxis from Warsaw Chopin Airport to our hotel should cost about $15 (can be paid by credit card) and Uber rides are also available from the airport.

On the last day of the program, travelers should book return flights from Václav Havel Airport Prague at their discretion, but please consider that hotel checkout is at 11:00am, and no programming is provided today. We will arrange for a complimentary bus transfer to the Prague airport in the morning based on when the largest cluster of scheduled flights, but we can not guarantee return airport transfers to accommodate all travelers. Taxis to the Prague airport from our hotel will cost about $30 (can be paid by credit card) and Uber rides are also available to the airport.

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.

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