Get Inspired / Czech Republic / Hungary / Netherlands / Germany / Switzerland / Austria Insiders Guide to Central & Eastern Europe Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Czech Republic / Hungary / Netherlands / Germany / Switzerland / Austria Insiders Guide to Central & Eastern Europe story by: Tom Ricketts 1. Live a fairy tale at Neuschwanstein Castle It looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale, and in fact it was the very inspiration for Disneyland Castle. The interiors are lavishly decorated with gorgeous frescoes of bright red, blue, and most prominently, gold! HOT Tip: Ask your House of Travel consultant about day tours from Munich. 2. Step back in time at Memento Park One of the defining moments in the Hungarian Revolution and the Fall of Communism in Europe in general was the toppling of Stalin’s statue in Budapest which famously left only his boots on the plinth and his decapitated bronze head rolling around the streets. However not all statues to communism in the city met this fate. Most were more civilly removed and relocated to Memento Park. HOT Tip: If you’re not a communism aficionado, grab the cheap guide book or take an escorted tour from the visitors centre so you know who you’re looking at. 3. Gorge on some Gouda Cheese. Enough said right? The Netherlands is famous for its cheese and the best place to experience it is at the 750 year old Alkmaar Cheesemarket. Watch with bemusement as the clog wearing traditional cheese porters carry in the massive rounds of cheese and then a commotion of clapping and yelling ensues while they haggle over the prices. HOT Tip: Grab some for yourself and go find a picturesque spot in front of the windmills for a picnic. 4. Cruise the lifeblood of Europe The mighty Danube River flows through no less than ten countries in Europe and has long been the lifeblood of the continent. Visiting beautiful cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and many other riverside gems on an extended river cruise has never been easier. HOT Tip: Ask about House of Travel’s special departures which are fully escorted all the way from New Zealand. 5. Trink dich fur bliss: drink yourself for bliss, german style Suspiciously starting in September, Oktoberfest is one of the most popular festivals in Europe. Few people know it originally started off as a celebration of the Prince of Bavaria’s wedding in 1810, and even less people care. Today it’s all about the beer! The festival runs for 16 days and during that time, nearly 8,000,000 litres of Munich’s finest is chugged down. But it’s not all about drinking. Food is an important part of the festival and traditional Bavarian favourites including Wurstl, Sauerkraut and Weisswurst are widely served. HOT Tip: Be sure to see your travel consultant early if you wish to attend, Oktoberfest is a guaranteed sell out every year. 6. Uncover the horror of the Holocaust It’s certainly sombre and depressing, but a visit to one of the concentration camps or museums dedicated to the Holocaust is an important part of any holiday to this part of the world. Camps can be visited in Poland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and of course most cities and towns have some kind of memorial or museum. HOT Tip: Anne Frank’s House, Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews and Budapest’s Shoes on the Danube are amongst the most moving memorials throughout Europe. 7. Ski the Alps The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe (excluding Russia) and stretch all the way through eight countries. Dotted throughout the mountains are many well known ski resorts, and these aren’t like anything we have in New Zealand. Whole towns are built on the mountains complete with hotels, restaurants and everything ski. Try rubbing skis with the rich and famous in St Moritz and Val-d'Isere, or relive Annelise Coberger’s 1992 silver medal winning run in Albertville, still the only Kiwi to medal at the Winter Olympics. HOT Tip: Ski season is usually late September to early May and House of Travel can arrange all your equipment needs. > Click here to view all our HOT deals to the UK and Europe Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street CBD: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist Things to Do with Kids in Zurich Read more Add or remove from Wishlist Experience Austria Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.