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: $5,697 * Including airfare, airline taxes & departure fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Old Town Warsaw, a World Heritage Site  Wawel Castle, Kraków  The underground "salt cathedral" of the Wieliczka Salt Mines  Sculptural detail found in the Wieliczka Salt Mines  Budapest at dusk, with the Parliament Building and Chain Bridge  The Parliament Building in Budapest, situated along the Danube  Fisherman's Bastion, found on the Pest side of Budapest  The Matthias Church, located on the Pest side of Budapest  The Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest  Széchenyi Spa, one of the many traditional spas in Budapest  Vienna's Hofburg Palace  The Strauss Memorial in Vienna, a city renowned for music  Vienna's State Opera House  Schönbrunn Palace outside Vienna  Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace, a World Heritage site and the Habsburgs’ summer residence  The many bridges of Prague and the Vltava River  The renowned Charles Bridge spanning the Vltava River in Prague  The Old Town Square of Prague  Prague's Hradcany Castle area, with St. Vitus Cathedral  Tombstones found in the Old Jewish Cemetery, 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.


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Bertrand Patenaude

Bertrand Patenaude

Sep 2 - 18, 2014

Dr. Bertrand Patenaude is an expert in modern European history and international relations at Stanford University, where he is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Dr. Patenaude has lectured throughout Europe and has led several study tours on the Danube, including his first trip for Smithsonian Journeys in 1991. He first came to the region as a student in Vienna, during his Junior Year Abroad in 1975-76, and he spent a year as a graduate student at the University of Vienna in 1977-78. He received his BA from Boston College and his MA and PhD from Stanford University. Dr. Patenaude is the author and editor of several books on European, Russian, and American history. His most recent book is Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary, which was serialized for radio in Great Britain by the BBC. His first book, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921 (Stanford University Press, 2002), won the 2003 Marshall Shulman Book Prize and has been made into a documentary film for Public Television. He taught for eight years in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where his outstanding performance as a classroom instructor was recognized with the Schieffelin Award for Teaching Excellence for two consecutive years.

Nancy Meyers

Nancy Meyers

Sep 9 - 25, 2014

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 30 - Oct 16, 2014; Sep 15 - Oct 1, 2015

Hugh Agnew has been fascinated by Czech history and the Czech lands since first arriving in Prague as a graduate student in 1977. Now Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., he has taught courses and published books as well as numerous articles about the Habsburg Empire, the Czech national identity, and Czech heritage and history. His insightful talks on past Smithsonian journeys through the Bohemian countryside, on the Elbe and Danube Rivers, and in Prague at Christmastime have made him a favorite with Smithsonian travelers.

Thomas Emmert

Thomas Emmert

Apr 28 - May 14, 2015

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.

Charles Ingrao

Charles Ingrao

May 19 - Jun 4, 2015

Charlie Ingrao is a professor of history at Purdue University, where he teaches courses in modern Europe. He has published ten books in Habsburg, Balkan, and German history. Since 1996 he has focused primarily on ethnic coexistence and conflict in the former Yugoslavia, having made over forty trips to the war zones of the 1990s. He has given over a hundred public lectures to academic, governmental, and military audiences across North America and central Europe, and been a regular commentator for print, radio, and television media, including The News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS). His latest book, Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies (2009) presents a common narrative of the recent Balkan wars prepared by an international consortium of Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Western scholars.

Dr. Carol Reynolds

Dr. Carol Reynolds

Sep 29 - Oct 15, 2015

Dr. Carol Reynolds weaves high energy, humor, and history into everything she does. After a career in music history at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Professor Carol and husband Hank began designing multi-media fine arts curricula. Her unprecedented 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. Her research interests include German Romanticism and the musical court of Frederick the Great. She is fluent in German and Russian and maintains a home in Weimar, Germany. Dr. Reynolds is a staunch advocate of arts education at every stage of life and speaks regularly at educational conferences across the U.S. A pianist and organist, she is a 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, and the Davidson Institute.