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Loved the European highlights contiki !
Hi everyone, I experienced my first contiki in Sept 2013 and wowe talk about amazing!!
I know how much i was stalking for any information i could find before i went (i turned crazy obsessed leading up to the trip haha) so am more than happy to answer any questions and give advice for anyone who wants it.... as you can imagine i now have lots to talk about.
You wont regret doing this tour, there is sooo much to see and do! its all go go go but soo worth it and the long bus rides are great for catching up on sleep so dont even worry about them.
I also experienced Oktoberfest on this tour :)
so please ask away!
- european highlights
- great britain
- travel advice
- united kingdom
- 6 responses so far
My friend and I are doing this tour departing August 11 :) We were hesitant at first because it seems a bit rushed and you don’t seem to “tour” all the big sites, but rather just “see” them ie. the REAL Statue of David etc. Also we miss our on Venice.
Did you find it rushed at all and did you feel like you got enough “free time” to tour all the sites that isn’t included in the contiki trip itself?
Any more advice would be great – spending money per day whilst on a contiki would be particularly helpful.
Oh no why do you miss out on venice?!
It’s hard to get a real vibe of what you do off the contiki site – even after doing mine I am now looking to do Greek islands and are stressing will I have enough time… European highlights is just the right amount though! Its fast paced but I cant imagine seeing what I did any other way and they take you to see a lot. For example when first arriving in Paris it’s not on the description I don’t think but they do a whole night tour by bus (because you arrive late) and show you and explain to you all the things, they then stop off at the Eiffel tower and let you out for your first glimpse! Then a surprise I wont ruin.. this sets you up for the next day where they drop you in town early morning and you have the whole day of free time, this allows you to climb Eiffel tower, shop and visit any other of the sites or museums you want (just have to be mindful of time) there is more things I could see and do there but I am defiantly happy with what I saw and what I can say I have done so far! The idea is to give you a taste. – maybe just pre look up the main things you want to see and then make it work around that.
Rome you have heaps of time to wonder around , again they take you on a tour the night before and you go and re visit the next day. The next morning you do the colosseum and Vatican and then have free time for the late morning and afternoon. We went and looked around and did the Spanish steps, they offer a roman forum tour and to be honest if there is anything you defiantly want to see maybe skip that, we spent half the time wondering behind or sitting through the rocks – not amazing. Same with the French Riviera you just go for your life.. ( i picked to visit the beach Nice)
I really don’t think there is anything that I am upset that I missed out on from not having enough time. I didn’t actually go in and see the real statue of David but you could skip the walking tour and just do it yourself (your contiki tour guide should map it out for you and then you can just go off by yourself and meet them back at your spot) I would say Florence is easy to do yourself there isn’t a whole lot. Your contiki tour guides are sooooo helpful though i cant stress that enough! Ours took us to Oktoberfest and it wasn’t even in the tour.
In regards to spending money you could get away with it either way but my policy is always over save rather than undercut yourself ! should always save as much as you can and if you don’t spend it just bring it home! Depends how much you like to shop, spend etc. Your soo busy you don’t stop for gourmet lunches etc every day and your big dinners are already advertised on the site with the euro amount (do these, anyone who doesn’t will feel like they missed out – they are worth it – also do the night out in Paris!) defiantly cater for doing each optional per day and then once you are on the trip if you decide not to do any don’t but at least you have budgeted for this (they will ask you to pick which optionals you are doing early on not just on the day) also regarding money if you can try and check your bank balances etc when you get some time – I got home and realised that my card had been scammed and money was coming out in Malaysian currency , lucky I had just got home but some others continued on after the tour and then were stuck with no money! I had cash passport cards and only used an atm in Venice and London and did not lose my card once! A few of us that used the same atm in Venice found we were scammed and another 2 girls in Amsterdam ( in saying that it could have been other ways) i suppose there isn’t much you can do but keep an eye on your account online. I have since got this money back but they took over 1,000 euros.
Also my big tip is take a silk liner to sleep inside inside of your sleep bag – this prevents bed bugs and any other creepy crawlies. Our contiki didn’t get invaded by bed bugs as bad as some others but I defiantly felt a lot safer in my liner!! I also avoided the famous contiki cough which I have to say I felt pretty amazing about because all over these forums people say it’s impossible to avoid!! I think the trick was myself and another girl were struck with the flu before leaving on the trip so in the week or 2 beforehand were dosed up on antibiotics! I also took multi vitamins and vitamin c all the was leading up to and during the trip. Everyone on the bus were coughing like dogs but we remained fine.
Also the long bus rides aren’t soo bad! It gives you plenty of time to sleep off your hangovers – by the 2nd half we were struggling even just to get up for the stops. The stop over places are soo huge over in Europe and have big restaurants etc in them so stopping over for a break is great. The wake up song is your worst nightmare at the start because all you want to do is sleep but it soon becomes very exciting hearing it and knowing your about to arrive at your destination. The bus rides are full of amusement though.
WOW! You have been a massive help! Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all this to me. I didn’t even think about getting the silk liner but I will definitely get one before I go. Card scamming is another thing I had not yet thought of – there is so much to think about and plan before I go it’s very overwhelming!
I’m so glad it’s not too rushed and you get a lot of freedom to do your own thing. That has been my major concern. I have a nice big list of the things I want to see so I guess I just need to prioritise and work my way down the list. Hopefully I get to see most of the important ones.
I was never really keen on doing a contiki (I was happy to tour europe ourselves) but from the feedback I have had from others that have done tours everyone has had an amazing time. So now I can’t wait!
Thanks for the tip re vitamins…I will stock up to ensure I don’t get the “contiki cough”.
You’re a legend thanks again! :)
seriously contiki itself even aside from travel is an experience in itself , I am so so glad I did it. Im sure you wont regret it :)
Just let me know if you think of any other questions before you go, happy to help!
Was there people travelling alone? I’m looking to go alone but kind of iffy ..
what was Oktoberfest like? I signed up too late so I have to do the camp but im sure it will be fun. Any helpful info you can share Nicolle?
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