Dresden & Prague

Czech Republic / Germany

The perfect opportunity for music lovers to visit two stunning cities, while both play host to festivals affording rich and varied concert opportunities.

In Dresden it’s Rusalka at Semperoper, a unique organ experience at the Frauenkirche, choral highlights both at the Kulturpalast and in Leipzig as well as a very special visit to Blüthner pianos. The Dresdner Musikfestspiele offers a host of musical activities to complete your visit. Opera at the National Theatre and Estates Theatre in Prague is enhanced by behind the scenes experiences and architectural, cultural and culinary highlights abound. The Prague Spring Festival will be in full swing and the city alive with the sound of music. This is truly a music lovers dream!

What's Included

  • 5-star hotels in city centers
    • Dresden: Hotel Gewandhaus Dresden
    • Prague: Hotel Aria
  • On-site Encore Travel Concierge
  • Private Coach
  • Welcome Cocktail Reception
  • Full breakfast daily
  • Seven selected lunches or dinners including:
    • Alte Meister (Dresden)
    • Villa Richter & Municipal House Restaurant (Prague)
  • Four public performances
    • The Bartered Bride at Prague National Theatre
    • Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre
    • Amarcord at Dresdner Philharmonie
    • Rusalka at Semperoper
  • Three private performances
    • Frauenkirche organ recital
    • Piano recital at Bluthner Piano Factory
    • Private chamber concert at the Estates Theatre
  • Dresden Music Festival (optional)
  • Prague Spring Festival (optional)
  • Art Nouveau tour of Municipal House
  • Meissen Manufactury
  • Frauenkirche guided visit
  • Guided walking tour of Dresden
  • Guided walking toour of Prague
  • Leipzig historical walking tour

Holesovice & Letna

While the breathtaking views of Charles Bridge or Hradcany are clearly can’t miss highlights on your trip to Prague, the districts of Holesovice and Letna have so much to offer travelers. Both are amongst the most sought after places to live in Prague, and offer a Bohemian feel with a booming art scene that includes the National Gallery and several wonderful independent galleries. Surrounded by great restaurants, fascinating architecture, and beautiful parks, there’s tons to see during your down time.

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11 Days

Day 1 Overnight Flight

Depart for Germany.

Day 2 Dresden

Arrive in Germany and transfer to the Gewandhaus Hotel in Dresden, one of Europe's greatest Baroque cities, standing majestically astride the Elbe River. Your Travel Concierge will be available to you at the hotel welcome desk and, if you reserved any concert tickets pre-departure, they will be ready for collection.

In the early evening, join us for a cocktail reception and dinner where an Encore host will whet your appetite with some highlights of the experiences to come! (D)

Day 3 Dresden

Visit the beautiful baroque centre of Dresden, admiring the Zwinger complex and the Schloss, where Augustus the Strong kept his magnificent collections of porcelain, paintings, weapons and curiosities. The tour concludes with a visit to the fabled Green Vault, founded in 1723, which contains some of the most valuable items in this extraordinary collection. Due to the geography of the city, much of our tour takes place on foot. After the tour, your Travel Concierge will be available to share a host of cultural and culinary suggestions for your discovery of Dresden. This evening, attend a performance of Dvorák's Rusalka at the world famous Semperoper. (B)

Day 4 Dresden

Experience Dresden’s Frauenkirche; an architecturally stunning building and a piece of living history. This baroque church was destroyed in a massive bombing raid on the city shortly before the end of World War II and its ruins, a mere heap of stones, remained as a memorial for over half a century. The movement to rebuild the church gained strength after the end of communism and thanks to donations from all around the world it was rebuilt as a true copy of the original, incorporating the stones from the rubble of the bombed church. The renewed Frauenkirche was re-dedicated in 2005 and is now a place of faith and music.

During your visit you will have the chance to see all the details of this marvelous church building and you will learn more about the vast cathedral organ (and its historic predecessors) from none other than the Frauenkirche organist himself. Then just sit under the amazing dome of the church and immerse yourself in music played by the Frauenkirche organist – a good opportunity to meditate on the amazing work which went into the reconstruction of this vast space and its magnificent instrument.

For lunch, you will be enchanted by the creative and authentic cuisine prepared from high quality seasonal ingredients in the Alte Meister restaurant which is situated between the Semperoper and Dresden Zwinger, one of the most magnificent Baroque buildings in Germany. (B,L)

Day 5 Dresden

Enjoy a leisurely morning before attending a performance at the Dresden Philharmonic by Amarcord. Following the concert, enjoy lunch with an ensemble member (and former Thomanerchor singer) for a Q&A session where he will share insights into life in Leipzig at one of the world's most famous choirs, whom we will visit the following day. After lunch, drive to the charming town of Meissen, which is synonymous with the world's finest porcelain. You will have the opportunity to explore the winding cobbled streets, stunning scenery, and the magnificent cathedral.

An exclusive tour of the world-renowned Porcelain Manufactury includes not only a display of porcelain from the past 300 years, but also a chance to watch skilled artists mold objects, sculpt the delicate blossoms, and paint flowers on plates and teacups. A late return to Dresden allows time to soak up the evening atmosphere and find a restaurant of your choice for dinner. (B,L)

Day 6 Dresden

Travel by private coach to the city of Leipzig, which in German is almost a synonym for music. Over the years Leipzig has been home to musical giants like Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann, and of course Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach's successor, the musical director of the Thomaskirche, hosts our morning discovery and will share musical history from inside both the church and the nearby Bach Archive in the composer's former home. Then view the Opera house and famous Gewandhaus concert hall en route to one of the most historic restaurants in Germany, the Auerbachskeller. This traditional beer cellar is filled with character, from its distinctive nooks to its remarkable private dining rooms. It is also famed for its hearty German cuisine and excellent beer!

In the afternoon, we will stop in the small village of Störmthal for a special Blüthner piano experience. The company was founded by Julius Bluthner in Leipzig in 1853 and now, over 160 years after its foundation, the fifth generation of the family watches over Julius's legacy to build the finest hand-crafted pianos favored by greats including Brahms, Mahler, Dietrich and Lennon! Franz Liszt's own Blüthner piano is displayed on the premises. During this private visit, a member of the Blüthner family will welcome you with a glass of champagne while relating the turbulent history of this manufacturer, as well as showing you how the pianos are made. Later, there will be a short recital in the factory's own concert hall with works by composers connected to Leipzig (Schumann, Mendelssohn) and we can guarantee that at the end of this visit you will understand why famed pianist Arthur Rubenstein once said: "Blüthner had the most beautiful singing tone I have ever found...The piano inspired me. I don’t think I ever played better in my life." (B,L)

Day 7 Prague

Today we board the first class carriage of an international express train which will take us through the picturesque landscape of the Elbe Valley and so-called Saxon Switzerland. After about an hour, we cross the border into the Czech Republic, heading for the fabled city of Prague. Lunch will be provided on the train.

Upon arrival in Prague, settle into your room at the musically inspired 5-star Hotel Aria. Later we have a private guided tour of the Municipal House, one of the most significant public buildings in the Art Nouveau style, with original artwork by Alfons Mucha. It is the place where the Czechoslovak Republic was proclaimed in 1918 and you can celebrate this historic event with a glass of champagne on the very balcony where it took place.

Your evening in the Art Nouveau style continues with dinner in the spectacular surroundings of the Municipal House Restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Prague

This morning, visit some of the historic sights of Prague in the company of a local guide. Prague Castle is one of the largest in the world and it encompasses the city’s principle church, St. Vitus’s Cathedral. From the castle, narrow streets wind down to the Lesser Quarter, formerly home to noble families, whose palaces you can admire before crossing the famous Charles Bridge to finish on the Old Town Square, with its medieval Astronomical Clock.

After the tour, your Travel Concierge will be on hand for suggestions and assistance. The Prague Spring Festival is in full swing and there are many wonderful concert options available. (B)

Day 9 Prague

Experience Prague's National Theatre, more familiarly known to Czechs as the Golden Chapel due to the gilded roof decoration. The building was constructed by public subscription in 1863 and carried the cultural aspirations of the Czech nation. Tragically it burnt down within a few days of opening, but the desire for a theatre and opera house showcasing Czech works was so strong that money for the rebuilding was quickly raised. As well as a private tour, you will have the opportunity to meet a soloist, conductor, or director for a preview of this evening's production of Smetana's Bartered Bride. The composer is widely regarded as the father of Czech music and this evening, you will enjoy his comic opera in his home country at the most prestigious opera house of Prague. (B)

Day 10 Prague

The Estates Theatre was built in the classical style and is still preserved in nearly original condition. The theatre’s history is inseparable from the musical talent of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in particular the world premiere of his opera Don Giovanni. You will have a chance to look behind the scenes of this stunning theatre and hear from a Mozart scholar about the composer's relationship with Prague and the theater, giving rich context to tonight's production here of Don Giovanni. After the opera, we bid farewell to Prague over dinner at Villa Richter restaurant, from where you have sweeping views of Prague's Old Town. (B,D)

Day 11 Prague

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the US. (B)

on flight

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