In Romania’s Mediaeval capital of Bucharest, discover the extraordinary George Enescu Festival, one of the musical world’s best kept secrets.
Held every second year in autumn, the George Enescu Festival brings together the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and soloists for a tour de force of music concerts. The 2017 festival featured performances by the London Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Martha Argerich, Lang Lang, Maxim Vengerov, Orchestra of La Scala Milan and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to countless other ‘music super-stars’. In 2019, the Festival opens with the Berlin Philharmonic and ends with the exhilarating Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (full programme to be announced in October).
Two departure dates are available for this tour, each tour presenting spectacular symphonic concerts, world-class recitals and exquisite chamber music in Bucharest’s Romanian Athenaeum and Grand Palace Hall performing venues. For the complete Enescu experience, you can even combine the two tours and enjoy three weeks of magnificent masterpieces of music.
Romanian Rhapsody #1
Depart Australia or New Zealand in the evening on suggested Qatar Airways flights to Bucharest via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements.
Arrive in Bucharest and transfer to the hotel (transfer included in tour price). The hotel is perfectly located in the centre of the city, a few minutes’ walking distance from the Romanian Athenaeum, the Grand Palace Hall, the Old Town and other major attractions.
This evening, join Mairi and fellow music lovers for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner.
This morning, join Mairi for a pre-performance talk covering the following days’ performances.
Then, become acquainted with the city of Bucharest with a walking tour of Calea Victoria street and the Old Town. Initially paved with oak beams when constructed in 1692 and flanked by some of Bucharest’s most important and beautiful buildings, Calea Victoria developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city during the early 20th century, when Bucharest was dubbed the ‘Paris of the East’. The Old Town is a lively jumble of narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants, and a sprinkling of historic churches. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy some time at leisure.
This evening, walk to the Grand Palace Hall for the opening performance of the 2019 George Ensecu Festival by the Berlin Philharmonic.
Enjoy a morning recital at the Auditorium Hall within the Grand Palace Hall.
Later, enjoy two further performances of the George Enescu Festival.
This morning, join Mairi for a pre-performance talk on the coming days’ performances, followed by lunch.
In the late afternoon, walk to the Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest’s 19th century Neoclassical concert hall. Enjoy a performance in the late afternoon, followed by a performance at the Grand Palace Hall in the evening.
Journey out of Bucharest for a visit to Mogosoaia Palace, the summer residence of Wallachian prince Constantin Brancoveanu completed in 1702. Designed using a combination Ottoman, Byzantine, Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements, together known as the Romanian Renaissance style, the palace today is home to the Museum of Brancoveanu Art. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In the late afternoon, enjoy a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum, followed by a performance at the Grand Palace Hall in the evening.
This morning, enjoy a visit to Cotroceni Palace. Constructed in the late 19th century, it served as the residence for the Romanian royal family until 1939 and was later transformed into an official guesthouse for visiting heads of state during the Communist Era. Since 1991 it has been the official residence of the Romanian President, with the old wing of the palace now a museum. Return to the hotel in the early afternoon for time at leisure.
Enjoy two performances this evening.
Begin the day with a coach tour exploring life in Bucharest during the Communist Era. See the Palace of the Parliament, the world’s second largest administrative building, built at the special request of Nicolae Ceausescu, leader of Romania’s Communist Party from 1965 to 1989. Then visit Casa Scanteii, a replica of the famous Lomonosov Moscow State University, built for the purpose of bringing together all of Bucharest’s official press and publishing houses under one roof, and Primaverii Palace, the home where Ceausescu and his wife Elena lived the last 25 years of their lives together.
This evening, attend a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum followed by a performance at the Grand Palace Hall.
Join Mairi for a morning pre-performance talk on the coming days’ performances.
The early afternoon is at leisure before a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum followed by a performance at the Grand Palace Hall.
Enjoy a morning recital at the Auditorium Hall within the Grand Palace Hall.
Spend the afternoon at leisure, with a suggestion to visit the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. Opened in 1906, the museum features the richest folk-art collection in Romania, with over 90,000 artefacts that trace the colourful and diverse cultural life of the Romanian people. Attend two further performances this evening
Walk to the Grand Palace Hall for a morning recital.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure before a late afternoon performance at the Romanian Athenaeum and another performance in the Grand Palace Hall.
Begin the day with a talk by Mairi on the following days’ performances. Then, discover Romania’s rich religious heritage, visiting the Museum of History of the Romanian Jewish Community, the Metropolitan Church and Patriarchy Hill, the site of a 17th century cathedral considered the centre of the Romanian Orthodox faith.
Return to the hotel in the early afternoon for time at leisure. This evening’s Festival performances are at the Romanian Athenaeum and the Grand Palace Hall.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before celebrating the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell lunch with Mairi and fellow travellers.
In the evening, enjoy a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum and a final performance at the Grand Palace Hall.
Take advantage of a post-tour to Transylvania, or if you leaving today, after breakfast transfer to the airport (transfer included in tour price) for suggested Qatar Airways flights to Australia and New Zealand via Doha.
Tour arrangements conclude on arrival at the airport. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Final payment due
01 July 2019
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Romania.
Tour price includes
- Premium tickets for 24 performances at the 2019 George Enescu Festival
- Accommodation in a centrally located 4-star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
- Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Mairi Nicolson
- Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport porterage
- Items of a personal nature including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
- Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Bucharest – Athénée Palace Hilton ****+
NB. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted
Treasures of Transylvania #1
Locally guided | 11 – 18 September 2019 (8 days)