Budapest and Central Europe Aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express

Enjoy the pleasures of Old World rail travel as you glide in style on a circular route from Budapest, Hungary, where layer upon layer of civilizations have flowered and faded, and on to a date with a brilliant New Year’s celebration in magnificent Vienna, Austria. Continue through the hip Czech Republic and green and friendly Slovakia, stopping in the medieval city of Kosice, declared a European Capital of Culture in 2013, and ultimately arriving back where you started, in beautiful Budapest. Encounter four countries and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the rails as you roll from one fascinating city to the next.

9 Day Trip

9 Day Trip

Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve in elegant Vienna
    Dance the Viennese Waltz at a champagne reception in a local palais, and watch the jubilant fireworks burst over Austria’s capital city....
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  • Cross the historic Charles Bridge over the Vltava River in Prague
    Admire the 30 baroque statues gracing the 14th century arched stone Charles Bridge, in use for nearly five and a half centuries....
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  • Roam a marvelous medieval town
    Make a stop in UNESCO-listed Cesky Krumlov, a small, beautifully preserved medieval town; most of its structures were built from the 14th to the 17th centuries in a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and...
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  • See the sights in Hungary’s capital, Budapest
    Budapest, built in the grand style of the Hapsburgs, has a legacy of fine baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau buildings and broad avenues....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over 30 years of Central and East Europe travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Stanford and Northwestern universities have chosen MIR to guide them to Central and East Europe
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Budapest

Arrive in UNESCO-listed Budapest, built in the grand style of the Hapsburgs. Visit the Royal Palace, the largest baroque palace in Hungary, used by Franz Josef of Austria, and Matthias Church, originally built in 1255. Enjoy views of the city from Gellert Hill, and admire the facade of Budapest’s magnificent neo-Renaissance Opera House, decorated with statues of some of the world’s greatest composers.


  • Budapest, capital of Hungary, with fine baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau buildings
  • Royal Palace, painstakingly restored and reopened as a museum, its main wing furnished to period standards
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Day 3: Keszthely

Enjoy a morning reception at the Royal Waiting Room in Budapest’s Nyugati station before boarding the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train. Settle into your comfortable cabin and have lunch on board as the train heads for Keszthely on the shores of Lake Balaton. With over 750 years of history, the town boasts buildings from a wide range of architectural styles, such as the Helikon Castle Museum, once home to the Festetics family – one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Hungary's long history.


  • Elegant reception at the Royal Waiting Room in Budapest’s Nyugati station
  • Warm and shallow Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe
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Days 4-5: Graz, Vienna, New Year’s Eve

Walk the cobbled streets of the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Graz, with its hilltop castle and stately Renaissance and baroque buildings. Explore Vienna, Austria’s capital, and indisputably the center of the musical world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride to a local palais for a champagne reception, and enjoy a special New Year’s dinner, as well as the city’s holiday fireworks display. Next day, indulge in a sumptuous late brunch at the magnificent Palais Coburg.


  • Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, and for a time one of the country’s most important towns
  • One of the city’s newest buildings, an oblong contemporary art museum that locals call “the friendly alien”
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Days 6-7: Cesky Krumlov, Prague

Arrive in Cesky Krumlov, a small, beautifully preserved medieval town that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. Its 13th century pastel-towered castle is the second largest castle in the country. Continue to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Attend a performance at the grand neo-Renaissance Prague National Theater, explore the old Jewish Quarter, wind your way through the Old and New towns on a historic tram car, and survey Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world.


  • Cesky Krumlov, its Old Town built from the 14th to the 17th centuries in a mixture of gothic, Renaissance and baroque styles
  • Prague, capital of Czech Republic, called the “Hundred-Spired City”
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Days 8-9: Kosice, Budapest

Discover the beautiful city of Kosice, declared a European Capital of Culture in 2013. Highlights are the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, a 15th century gothic building that is the largest church in Slovakia; the 14th century St. Urban Tower; and the ornate State Theater behind its musical fountain. Re-board the train in time for your last meal onboard, and return to Budapest for a festive farewell dinner.


  • Kosice, founded in the 13th century, and today the second largest city in Slovakia
  • 15th century Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, 14th century St. Urban Tower, St. Michael's Chapel, the ornate State Theater, and the rococo old Town Hall

See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 9 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Deluxe Class, single
  • Deluxe Class, twin share
  • Superior Deluxe Class, single
  • Superior Deluxe Class, twin share

2020 Dates

  • December 28-January 5
  • FROM
  • $10,695
Trip Length: 9 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person

  • Deluxe Class, twin share
  • Deluxe Class, single
  • Superior Deluxe Class, twin share
  • Superior Deluxe Class, single

2021 Dates

  • December 28-January 5
  • FROM
  • $12,895
What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Accommodation aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train.
  • Per the itinerary, 3 nights of shared accommodation in well-located hotels.
  • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on final tour day, including a generous, though not unlimited, allowance of wine or local beer, soft drinks and water with all lunches and dinners.
  • Arrival/departure transfers, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates and in the tour start/end cities.
  • All guided off-train tours per itinerary.
  • The services of an experienced Train Tour Manager, with local guides for scheduled off-train touring.
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water round the clock from your car attendant while on board the train.
  • All gratuities.
  • Baggage handling.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates and more. Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the Balkans, the Caucasus, or Central Asia before or after your tour. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of our private travel suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

This trip is moderately active, and rated moderate to rigorous touring due to the daily walking involved and the overall shortcomings of the tourism infrastructure. To reap the full rewards of this adventure, travelers must be able to walk at least a mile a day, keeping up with fellow travelers. Flexibility, a sense of humor and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.

A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

Read our Travel Journals

MIR's Travel Journals offer first hand accounts of MIR's fascinating destinations.

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    Jewels of Persia: Iran by Private Train

    Douglas Grimes and Annie Lucas, MIR's President and Vice President, had the privilege of being aboard the inaugural journey of the first western private train allowed into Iran. A round trip journey from Budapest to Tehran and back aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train, this was a first-of-its-kind itinerary and an historic undertaking.... Read More

  • Riding the Trans-Siberian Rails: Moscow to Ulaanbaatar

    Riding the Trans-Siberian Rails: Moscow to Ulaanbaatar

    MIR clients Helge Pedersen and Karen Ofsthus ride the rails of the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar on MIR's Trans-Siberian private rail journey as they check in from each stop with stories, photos and video.... Read More

See All Journals
MIR in the News
See All Press & Awards
From the Blog
See All Blog Posts

Golden Eagle Danube Express

Golden Eagle Danube Express

The perfect combination of remote destinations and comfortable accommodations, rail journeys by private train open a world of discovery to travelers who enjoy comfort and leisure time as well as exciting new vistas.

Exclusive private trains furnish the dream of Old World rail travel with modern comforts and amenities that make the journey as pleasant as the destinations. The luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express offers a restful and satisfying way to experience legendary rail routes.

Train & Hotel Accommodations

Relax and enjoy the panorama rolling past your private window and disembark for guided off-train touring in fascinating towns and cities along the way.

Each car on the Golden Eagle Danube Express has its own attendants who provide bed turndown service, plus tea, coffee and mineral water from the early morning hours until 9 p.m. Attendants keep an eye on everything while guests are away from the train. Towels are provided and onboard laundry service is available.

Two styles of accommodation are available on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express: Superior Deluxe Class (en suite, with UK king bed and WiFi) and Deluxe Class (en suite).

  • Superior Deluxe Class

    Superior Deluxe Class

    The Superior Deluxe Class on the Golden Eagle Danube Express is the ultimate in luxury European rail accommodation, featuring only four modern en suite cabins per car, complete with a UK king bed and WiFi access. Designed and built for 2017, Superior Deluxe cabins include a full-length sofa and two chairs, a double wardrobe, individually controlled air conditioning, USB ports, power sockets, personal safe, and a newly designed en suite bathroom with its own shower cubicle. At night, your attendant transforms the sofa into a king size double bed. The two picture windows, one of which opens, bring light and air into your private retreat.

    Additional Information

    Superior Deluxe Class cabin dimensions – 4 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin Area (total, including bathroom) – 93 sq ft (8.6 sq m)
    Cabin length – 14′ 9″ (4.5 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 2″ (1.9 m)
    Bed (UK standard king size) – 6′ 2″ x 5′  (1.9 m x 1.5 m)

  • Deluxe Class

    Deluxe Class

    The Deluxe Class on the Golden Eagle Danube Express features newly designed air-conditioned cabins which pair luxury with utility, offering superior accommodations that feature two lower berths and fully en suite facilities. Cabins are furnished with two daytime armchairs, a free-standing chair, a window that opens, a table, and a wardrobe with a safe. Your attendant will convert the two armchairs into comfortable twin beds for nighttime use. The en suite bathroom features a range of toiletries, a hair dryer and heated towel rack.

    Additional Information

    Deluxe Class cabin dimensions – 5 cabins/carriage:

    Cabin Area (total, including bathroom) – 83 sq ft (7.7 sq m)
    Cabin length – 13′ (3.97 m)
    Cabin width – 6′ 5″ (1.95 m)
    Bed (two singles, each) – 6′ 3″ x 2′ 7.5″  (1.9 m x 0.8 m)

  • Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Accommodations

    The first and last nights of most tours are spent in well-appointed five star hotels. Some tours feature additional hotel nights. Please review the detailed itinerary for specifics pertaining to each tour and departure. Additional nights before and after any tour can be arranged on request.

Life Aboard the Train
Golden Eagle Danube Express

The Golden Eagle Danube Express private train provides everything you need for a pleasurable journey. Join travelers from around the world to enjoy the relaxed and casual environment onboard, with no need to wear formal attire on excursions or while dining.

Train formations are not fixed, as the composition varies to suit the number of passengers on a given departure. The exact configuration of train on any particular journey may not be determined until close to departure.

Please note that a variety of cabins styles are in use aboard the train. Décor and layout of dining, bar and sleeping cars on your journey may differ from the sample images depicted in our brochures/websites.

  • Bar/Lounge Car

    Bar/Lounge Car

    A Bar/Lounge Car is included in the formation of the train. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink and gather with other passengers around the piano.

    Additional Information

  • Dining Cars

    Dining Cars

    Dining Cars feature European cuisine complemented by a selection of European wines.

    Additional Information

  • Off-Train Tours

    Off-Train Tours

    Rail journeys feature an extensive selection of educational city tours in the various stops on our routes. Private coaches and local guides whisk you away from your private train for fascinating half- or full-day forays into the principal towns and cities, sometimes including an in-city dining opportunity. Read through this tour’s itinerary for more information (found on the Itinerary & Map tab of this page).