We sat down with Gate 1’s legendary Tour Manager, Michael Paier, to get some local tips on travelling in Central Europe and find out what you might not expect to encounter on your trip.
Q: What’s your favourite season to travel in Central Europe and why?
A: “Central Europe has a moderate climate, warm summers, mild winters with little snow, and no rainy season. This makes it rewarding to come here at every time of the year. The main tourist season is from May to September. If you don´t mind when it´s a little cooler, you might as well consider the off season and take advantage of the lower prices at that time of the year. Personally, I prefer the off season because it´s less crowded.”
Q: Is there something about Central Europe that Gate 1 travellers don’t expect to experience?
A: “A big part of Central Europe has been long hidden behind the Iron Curtain and was forgotten. Today, visitors are frequently surprised and impressed by the diversity and the rich cultural heritage they find here. In Central Europe we have some of the most beautiful cities in Europe, like medieval Prague, imperial Vienna, panoramic Budapest, “Octoberfest” Munich or “Sound of Music” Salzburg.
The distances between the cities are pleasantly short. The scenery is diverse and dramatic, be it the lush green hills of Bohemia, the Alpine peaks, the crystal-clear lakes and beyond. The cities are all safe to walk around, English is widely spoken, the food is good, there are lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants… and prices are still fair.”
Q: Central Europe has fantastic local cuisine, what’s the most popular dish?
A: “Central Europe is a patchwork of many small countries, so this makes the local cuisines deliciously varied. Every region and city offers different traditional dishes, be it the spicy red Goulash soup in Hungary, heartwarming Polish Pierogys, Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna, hearty sausages in Germany or tasty Czech dumplings. And let´s not forget about the mouth-watering deserts, like Apple Strudel or Austrian Sacher Torte. As far as drinks go, one should not miss the chance to sample the full bodied local beers and the refreshing regional wines.”
Q: What do you love most about being a Gate 1 Tour Manager?
A: “I love to meet people and that the Gate 1 philosophy and standard of service allows me to make them happy. I am only happy when my guests are happy and with Gate 1 I can always be confident that at the end of a tour our guests are happy. They know they got a fantastic deal. They enjoyed the Tour Manager´s attention to their individual wants and needs. They had a good time with pleasant people, strangers at the beginning and often new friends at the end of the trip. When it´s time to say goodbye, it´s not uncommon to leave with a little tear in the eye.”
Gate 1 Travel has many trips to choose from through Central Europe in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and more! Please browse our website to discover how you can see more of Central Europe for less!