Old World Europe

Explore Eastern Europe on this comprehensive journey to five distinctly different—and fascinating—nations: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

Starting at: $5,197 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Krakow's Main Square  Krakow's St. Mary's Basilica  Interior of St. Mary's Basilica, Krakow  Wawel Castle, Kraków  Poland's Wielczka Salt Mines  Old Town Warsaw, a World Heritage Site  Budapest and the Danube  The Matthias Church, located on the Pest side of Budapest  Fishermen's Bastion, Budapest  Interior of Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest  St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna  Vienna's State Opera House  Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace, a World Heritage site and the Habsburgs’ summer residence  Schönbrunn Palace outside Vienna  Prague and the Vltava River and historic Charles Bridge (center)  The legendary Charles Bridge, Prague  Hradcany Hill with St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague  Gothic mosaic facade, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague  Prague's Old Town Square  Jewish Ceremonial Hall, now part of the Jewish Museum, Prague

Tour Details



The capitols of Old World Europe tour was the most thought-provoking and emotionally intense tour I've ever experienced. It will live on in my memory after the others have faded.

Sylvia L.

Our trip was an outstanding learning experience that came without the stress of planning and executing a 15-day tour through five countries. Smithsonian did everything for us!

Tom M.

The Old World Europe tour gave us an intimate view of the history and culture of eastern Europe. We learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. 

Kate H.

The total Smithsonian experience was excellent from the tour director to the hotels, itinerary, and logistics. We wouldn't hesitate to use Smithsonian again.

Ken & Karen O.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Carol Reynolds

Carol Reynolds

Sep 29 - Oct 15, 2015; Sep 15 - Oct 1, 2016

Dr. Carol Reynolds weaves history, humor, and high energy into everything she does.  She has lived and taught in Germany at various times, starting in 1981.  Her research interests include German Romanticism and the musical court of Frederick the Great.  She founded and directed Southern Methodist University’s Study-in-Germany Program and enjoys leading tours, including a Rhine-Main-Danube Donors’ Tour for the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina as well as Russian tours for The Dallas Symphony and The Dallas Opera.  She is fluent in German and Russian and maintains a home in Weimar.

After her career as professor of Music History at SMU, Dr. Reynolds and her husband Hank moved to a ranch in North Central Texas.  Surrounded by goats, dogs, and cows, she began designing multi-media Fine Arts curricula.  Her popular Discovering Music: 300 Years of Interaction in Western Music, Arts, History, and Culture (2009) has reached students across the world.  In 2011 she released a cross-discipline course called Exploring America’s Musical Heritage.  She is now creating a curriculum on the history of sacred music from Jewish Liturgy to 1600.  

Dr. Reynolds is a staunch advocate of Arts Education at every stage of life and speaks regularly at educational conferences across the U.S.   She is popular speaker for organizations like The Dallas Symphony, Van Cliburn Concerts, The Dallas Opera, Tulsa Symphony, Kimball Museum, Fort Worth Opera, San Francisco Wagner Society, The Davidson Institute, and The Smithsonian Associates in Washington, D.C.   Dr. Reynolds is a frequent Smithsonian Journeys Expert and has led unforgettable journeys to Russia, the Baltics, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany.

Thomas Emmert

Thomas Emmert

Apr 28 - May 14, 2016

Thomas Emmert, professor emeritus at Gustavus Adolphus College, is a historian of Central and Eastern Europe with a research focus on the former Yugoslavia. Professor Emmert has also had visiting appointments at the University of Zagreb, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford University. He received his B.A. in history from St. Olaf College and his Ph.D. in Balkan and Russian history from Stanford University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he has been awarded research fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. His publications include Serbian Golgotha: Kosovo, 1389 (1990) and, most recently, The Scholars' Initiative: Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies (2009), a collaborative project of scholars from around the world dedicated to providing an objective analysis of what happened to Yugoslavia at the end of the 20th century. Professor Emmert has taught American undergraduates in semester programs in Zagreb and Berlin and has accompanied several educational trips to southeastern Europe.

Alexander J. Motyl

Alexander J. Motyl

May 17 - Jun 2, 2016

Alexander J. Motyl (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984) is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. He served as associate director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in 1992-1998. A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, he is the author of Pidsumky imperii, 2009; Puti imperii, 2004; Imperial Ends: The Decay, Collapse, and Revival of Empires, 2001; Revolutions, Nations, Empires: Conceptual Limits and Theoretical Possibilities, 1999; Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism, 1993; Sovietology, Rationality, Nationality: Coming to Grips with Nationalism in the USSR, 1990; Will the Non Russians Rebel?; State, Ethnicity, and Stability in the USSR, 1987; The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism, 1919 1929, 1980, and the editor of over ten volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism, 2000. He is currently compiling The Holodomor Reader: An Anthology of Documents on the Ukrainian Genocide, 1932-1933. His novels include Whiskey Priest, 2005; Who Killed Andrei Warhol, 2007; Flippancy, 2009; and The Jew Who Was Ukrainian, 2011. His paintings are on view at www.artsicle.com.

Nancy Meyers

Nancy Meyers

Sep 1 - 17, 2016

Nancy Meyers first started journeying to Central and Eastern Europe when the region was still under communist rule and has been involved personally and professionally in the politics, history, and culture of the region ever since. 

In an effort to help Central and East European countries emerge from communism and move towards democracy Dr. Meyers, in her position at the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, worked closely with Central and East European academics, politicians, and former dissidents, assisting them to uncover the truth about their country’s own previously secret history stored in formerly communist-restricted archives.

She has promoted “people-to-people” understanding between Central and East European and American students and academics through her work at CWIHP, the GWU-Charles University/Palacky University (Czech Republic) student exchange, and the U.S. Department of State. Currently an independent academic, she has focused her scholarly attention on citizen protest for democratic changes in semi-authoritarian countries, doing field research in Slovakia, Serbia, and Georgia.

Dr. Meyers is also interested in how people’s everyday experiences under communism have affected the transition from communism to democracy in post-communist states.  She has taught the “Politics of Central and Eastern Europe” at the George Washington University (GWU) and has received fellowships from GWU as well as the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She earned her PhD in Political Science from The George Washington University and has studied in Germany, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic.

Hugh Agnew

Hugh Agnew

Sep 29 - Oct 15, 2016

Hugh Agnew has been fascinated by the lands and peoples of Russia and Eastern Europe since he first walked into a Russian language class in 10th grade. Having decided as an undergraduate to major in History and focus on the region, he pursued doctoral study at Stanford and became a history professor. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on the history of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the Russian Revolution, Europe from Cold War to Detente, the Habsburg Empire, and nationalism at Queen's University in Canada, the National University of Singapore, and (since 1988) at the George Washington University, where he is a member of the Institute for Russian, European, and Eurasian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs. He is also Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the Elliott School. Agnew has published books on Czech history and many articles on aspects of East European history, the Habsburg Empire, and European history. His insightful talks on past Smithsonian Journeys throughout Eastern Europe have made him a favorite with Smithsonian travelers.