Ramah Eastern Europe – Tentative Itinerary

August 24 – September 1, 2020

* This itinerary is subject to change

 

 

Day One: Monday, August 24, 2020
ARRIVAL IN BUDAPEST

  • Arrive at Budapest International Airport.
  • Transfer to the hotel on your own.
  • Check into the hotel (Official hotel check-in is from 3:00 p.m., if your room isn’t ready upon arrival you can leave your luggage with the concierge).
  • 3:00 p.m. Meet Ramah tour educator in the hotel lobby.
  • Take a panoramic bus tour along Andrassy Avenue and stroll through Heroes’ Square, adorned with the impressive statues of kings and leaders stretching across a thousand years of Hungarian history.
  • Dinner at hotel/restaurant.
  • Enjoy the beautiful sights and lights of the city on an evening cruise on the Danube.

Overnight: Novotel Centrum, Budapest (or similar)

 

Day Two: Tuesday, August 25, 2020
JEWISH LIFE AND WHAT WAS LOST

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • From Pest to Buda, drive through the city, cross the river and ascend Castle Hill – where among other historical sites, stands the first royal castle of the city. Enjoy the panoramic views of Budapest from the top of the Fisherman’s Bastion, which commemorates the Fishermen who were guarding the city.
  • Packed lunch/on own in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Explore the story of Jewish Budapest over the past 150 years, including visits to:
    • The largest synagogue in Europe – The Dohany Street Synagogue. Built in 1859, the synagogue holds 3,000 seats and is home to one of the Neolog communities of Budapest. 
    • The Jewish Museum, which is housed on the site of Theodor Herzl’s family home. This museum holds a unique collection of Jewish artifacts, art and memorabilia, which sheds a new light on the rich Jewish life and predominant Jewish community of Hungary, its influence on Hungarian society and its long lasting memory.   
    • The complex courtyard, where the Community Holocaust Memorial The monument commemorates over 500,000 Hungarian Jews who perished in the Holocaust.  
  • Dinner at hotel/restaurant.
  • Enjoy Budapest’s vibrant nightlife on your own: 
    • Stroll along the fashionable Vaci Utca (Vaci Street), enjoy people watching and feel the vibe with its many local boutiques, shops, cafes and many local and international cuisine options. 
    • See the Jewish Quarter come to life, with an international and current vibe. Enjoy Kazincy Street‘s restored and renovated warehouses, better known as the Ruin Pubs, transformed into fashionable bars and bistros. Explore Gozsdu Udvar, through its passages and courtyards, featuring a wide range of restaurants and bars. Good food, live music and dance club options are spread throughout the neighborhood.

Overnight: Novotel Centrum, Budapest (or similar)

 

Day Three: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
EXPLORE BUDAPEST and to VIENNA, THE CITY OF MUSIC AND CULTURE

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out.
  • Stroll along the fashionable Vaci Utca (Vaci Street), enjoy people watching and feel the vibe with its many local boutiques, shops and cafes. 
  • Enjoy a romantic walk in Margaret Island, an island in the middle of the Danube, overlooking the center of the city. Stroll along the medieval ruins, through a small zoo, a magical musical fountain, a water tower, pools and a water park, with the local residents. During the summer days you can enjoy a show in the open-air theater and cinema.
  • Visit Budapest’s urban City Park (Varosliget). Walk on the grounds of the Vajdahunyad Castle, the 120 year-old castle showcasing the architectural evolution through centuries and styles in Hungary. Stroll through the City Park Lake, which is great for rowing in summer and ice skating in winter, and spend time in the Budapest Circus or the Municipal Zoo.
  • Enjoy your packed lunch at the Great Market Hall. This 3-level indoor complex includes vendors of local seasonal produce, spices and handcrafted gifts.
  • Visit the Széchenyi Bathhouse or Gellert Bathhouse, known for their healing waters. Inside and on the grounds of these beautiful palace compounds you can enjoy various styles of indoor and outdoor medicinal and natural pools. 
  • Enjoy a day cruise on the Danube River to see Budapest’s landmarks in a different light.
  • Afternoon: Drive to Vienna(3 hours)
  • Check in and dinner at hotel/restaurant.

Overnight: Erzherzog Rainer, Vienna (or similar)

 

Day Four: Thursday, August 27, 2020
THE AUSTRIAN EMPIRE AND ITS JEWISH ROOTS

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Faith and Architecture: Take a panoramic orientation tour along the Ringstrasse, the main avenue circling the city center, for a view of the city’s main landmarks, including:
  • The ancient Hofberg Palace. This grand complex of a Capella and castles was once the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • Prater Amusement Park. This 120-year-old park contains old/new attractions for all ages.
  • The impressive architecture of the UN Buildings, the 3rd built after New York and Geneva.
  • Peter’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Vienna.
  • View Stephen’s Cathedral (also known as Stephansdom), one of the city’s most iconic symbols, located in the city’s geographic center.
  • Visit the collection of Klimt paintings at the Belvedere Palace, an impressive baroque-style building which holds a remarkable collection of Austrian and International art.
  • Packed lunch/on own in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Visit the Jewish Museum of Vienna in Palai Eskeles to see remnants of the oldest synagogue in Vienna.
  • Stroll through the Judenplatz, the main square of the Jewish community for nearly 500 years. Visit the second part of the Jewish Museum, located at the Judenplatz, which offers a modern presentation of the history of Viennese Jewry, including artifacts dating from the Middle Ages, a 38,000 book archive, and rotating exhibitions.
  • Visit the Vienna Temple (Stadtempel), the only surviving synagogue from pre-WWII days. This nearly 200-year-old building has restored its extravagant design and is still an active synagogue and community center.
  • Dinner at hotel/restaurant.

Overnight: Erzherzog Rainer, Vienna (or similar)

 

Day Five: Friday, August 28, 2020
Explore Vienna, then to Prague

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out.
  • Visit the Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, the former imperial summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs.
  • Enjoy the best of Vienna’s delights, while strolling through the Naschmarket, the city’s most popular food market.
  • Packed lunch/on your own at the Naschmarket.
  • Stop at the Memorial to Austrian Holocaust Victims. Learn about its unique story of its excavations and the miraculous findings of the ancient synagogue of Vienna.
  • Drive to Prague (3 hours).
  • Check-in, get ready for Shabbat.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services at a local synagogue.
  • Shabbat dinner with local community.

Overnight: Clarion Old Town, Prague (or similar)

 

Day Six: Shabbat, August 29, 2020
Shabbat in Prague

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Optional tefillot in the Altneu shul
  • Short walking tour of Jewish sites
  • Lunch at hotel/restaurant.
  • Afternoon at leisure to explore Prague on your own, with the opportunity to:
    • Bike along the river.
    • Take the funicular up to Petrín Hill for great views of the city from Petrín Tower and a stroll through the Rose Garden.
    • Visit art galleries.
    • Visit the Franz Kafka Museum.
    • Take a boat ride on the Vltava River.
  • Dinner at hotel/restaurant.
  • Havdallah together.

Overnight: Clarion Old Town, Prague (or similar)

 

Day Seven: Sunday, August 30, 2020
MEMORY & CONTINUITY

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Depart for Terezin.
  • Pay a visit to Terezin, the town that was turned into the “model” ghetto and concentration camp, hiding from the world the true nature of its purpose. Walk through the Historical Museum and the Art Exhibits created by the artists who were prisoners of the camp. Stop by the so-called Hidden Synagogue and end at the Crematorium.
  • Packed lunch en route.
  • Return to Prague.
  • Free time in the late afternoon to explore the city on own.
  • Dinner on own and free evening at leisure.

Overnight: Clarion Old Town, Prague (or similar)

 

Day Eight: Monday, August 31, 2020
THE GLORY OF JEWISH AND NON JEWISH PRAGUE | walking tour

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Guided visit through Jewish Prague, including the Old Ghetto and the Precious Legacy Exhibit at the Jewish Museum, which encompasses the Altneu Shul, the Maisel Synagogue, the Pincus Synagogue, the Old Cemetery, the Spanish Synagogue and the Jerusalem Synagogue.
  • Packed Lunch.
  • Ascend to the Prague Castle for a guided tour of the Castle, and a walk along the Golden Lane.
  • Walk through the Lesser Town and over the Charles Bridge, a famous historic bridge crossing the Vltava River that was once the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.
  • Summary and reflection: final thoughts and feelings.
  • Festive farewell dinner at a restaurant.

Overnight: Clarion Old Town, Prague (or similar)

 

Day Nine: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
RETURN HOME

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out.
  • Transfer on own to Prague International Airport.
  • Departure flight to North America.