30 Dec 2013 - 10 Jan 2014
It's hard to capture into words the experiences I had on this trip. It was one of the greatest times of my life and I'll be forever appreciative to our TM Zsofi, our TD Marcin, and my entire tour group for it.
No matter where you came from, Europe was always going to be a different experience. Yes, reading reviews is helpful in choosing the right tour for you, and if you want to label this tour something, it's a taste-tester of all the major sites that mainstream tourists would want to visit (plus other hidden morsels along the way). But one of the best things you can do with these tours is to approach it with little to no preconceptions. Let it sweep you away, teach you things that you never would have thought possible, experience magic in each moment. For example, the food in Germany (Rhineland) wasn't what you might consider the greatest. But you know what? You're in Germany. You're sitting on a land of hundreds of years of significant history. Who cares if the food sucks in your estimation? It's just a matter of different tastes and they've obviously been eating it for longer than we've been alive. You then learn that that food's not to your taste and you don't pick it next time you go out to a restaurant. The next day you're visiting Hofbräuhaus in Munich and it can take you at a minimum of half an hour to find a table among the hundreds that eat there every night, with servers (men and women alike) carrying 8 x 1 litre steins in both hands weaving in and out between everyone, and proceeding to eat a pork knuckle the size of your head after you do find a table (slight exaggeration). A completely different experience.
It's pretty self-explanatory that a tour of 12 days and fitting 8-9 countries in isn't going to be a leisurely stroll in the park. The excitement came from cramming as much action into the days as you could, running in those last minutes to make sure you didn't miss the bus, reading a map for the first time and trying to pronounce the unpronounceable, the smiles of the locals at your funny accents, the puking on the bus after New Year's Eve in Germany (still makes me nauseous thinking about it), the wonder on a little Roman girl's face when she found out I was from Australia (priceless), deliberately getting lost on the canals in Venice. There's all these little moments at the places you visit that adds extra meaning to everything you experience. The optionals are exactly that, optional, so you don't have to feel obliged to do everything. Again, 8-9 countries in 12 days doesn't leave you with a lot of spare time but take on board the things that you do with the group and you're still getting a lot from each place. You can't expect it to be smiles and roses the whole time; you're on board a bus with numerous other people, some with rusty social skills. Take the good and the bad and turn it into one of the best things you ever chose to do.
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3
18 Mar 2014 - 29 Mar 2014
I did this tour from 18/3/14 - 29/3/14 and had the absolute time of my life! We have a full bus of 51 people and the best tour manager and driver we could have imagined. It was a quick trip but it was amazing! Can't believe we did 9 countries in 12 days. It gave us all a taste of what Europe has to offer. Will definitely be doing another Contiki tour in the future!
Review written Apr 2014event 0.3
19 Nov 2013 - 30 Nov 2013
I absolutely enjoyed the European tour was fast but you got a taste of each country in the amount of time you had, saw all the big attractions without huge crowds. Accommodation was brilliant, food was varied and culturally diverse. We had an awesome bunch of people on tour was like one big family, sad to finish the tour. But big thumbs up to Johnny our driver and Matt out tour guide, couldn't have asked for better people to take us around Europe.
Thanks Heaps for a tour of a lifetime!!
Review written Apr 2014event 0.3
20 Nov 2012 - 01 Dec 2012
This trip was AMAZING!! I still can't believe how much we fitted in to such a short time, great taster trip for someone (like me) who wants to go everywhere. Everything about the trip managed to exceed my high expectations; including the accommodation, tours, people etc. I was nervous about travelling due to requiring a Gluten Free diet, however contiki really do a great job catering for people with food allergies and my tour manager was a great help when it came to organising this for me.
Loved it so much I have already booked another Contiki, only a few months after getting home! :P
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
19 Mar 2013 - 30 Mar 2013
I just finished this tour and it was absolutely amazing. I got to see, do, experience and learn more than I could have ever imagined. If you're thinking about doing this tour- do it! This tour lets you see so much on the 12 days you have. Then again, it's only 12 days so it is extremely face paced- be prepared for some long days!
I was lucky enough to get the BEST contiki crew- Emmo and Sandro. If you get either of them, consider yourself lucky!
I can't wait to book another tour- done 2 so far and was blown out of the water both times!
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
20 Nov 2012 - 01 Dec 2012
This tour is for anyone who wants to experience the best Europe has to offer in a very quick paced tour. Although the tour is short and packed to the rafters, there is soo much to see and do!
From the Red Light District of Amsterdam, to the stunning canals and hidden alley ways of Venice, there is simply something for everyone on this tour!
A great tour full of a great bunch of people, who made it all that more enjoyable and memorable, Not to mention our tour manager and driver who did a superb job in leading the way around Europe. On a side note, a must for any tour going to Innsbruck, visit the Schnapps shop and try the hundreds of schnapps flavours!
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
02 Dec 2012 - 13 Dec 2012
The best thing I have done in my life! The people are amazing, the sites are spectacular and the tour giude and coach driver were fantastic. I cant believe we fitted so much in to only 12 days. I did not want it to end! Going to Europe in winter is brilliant, there are no crowds to get into the sites, not too many other tourists around, and snow is beautiful. As long as you remember to layer up the cold is not a problem! Accommodation in the hotels were good, some of the breakfasts were a little stingy but on the whole food was good. It was worth every cent to do all of the optional extras, they really make the trip worthwhile - gondola rides, wine tasting, moulin rouge. Tour mates were the absolute best. Made some brilliant friends for life. I would reccommend this tour to everyone, dont second guess it, just do it. You wont regret it for a second.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
09 Dec 2012 - 20 Dec 2012
i highly recommend this tour. our tour manager jac was amazing, she made the trip extra special. our driver rasto was this shiz! they were kind and really helped everyone get the most out of their trip.
day 1: netherlands amsterdam was amazing, ferry and then bus into amsterdam, had the included dinner which was nice and off we went to the canal cruse, it was fantastic. and then optionals to the red light district
day 2: free time in amsterdam in the morning, great shopping here, meet back at the bus on way to germany st goar, arrived in st goar, had dinner and off to our wine tastnig which was really fun. then free time
day 3: beer stien demo in the morning, then some free time in town. back on the bus on route to munich. arrived munich, dumped out bags at the hotel and went on ourwalking tour. amazing! after that we had free time the whole night, went to the beer hall and had a pretzel.
day 4: breakfat and on the bus to innsbruck austria, amazing place austria, free time pretty much the whole day with an included dinner that was really nice. get some swaovski SO CHEAP HERE
day 5: back on the bus and into venice, were we had the gondal ride, then free time to explore then to the optional dinner which was great, had a mask theme, very fun
day 6: venice to rome, longest bus ride yet about 8 hours i think, got to hotel and had a walking tour then free time, then the included dinner right next to the collusium which was spectacular.
day 7: rome, free time all day pretty much, and had the vatican city tour which was not to bad
day 8: florence , walkign tour, then free time, then thee leather demo and then dinner and space disco
day 9: lucerne switzerland, when to harrys watches for swatch and knifes, free time not long in this city its pretty much a rest point on route to paris
day 10 -11: paris. free time, and optional these two days it was great, very magical at night
day 12: depart paris for london
the hotels for all these places were really nice, super clean, we stayed at a jail hotel one night, it was actually really fun. pretty much you drive all morning until about 3 then arrive in the place your going. you get about 30-60 mins to go to your room, change shower and get ready for the night out, which doesnt seem like alot of time but it actually is.
our bus dirves were long but not time really does fly. every 4 hours or so you stop at a service stop to go to the loo and get something to eat, usually for about 45 mins. great food at the italian services great pasta and pizza.
this tour is great for anyone who is trying to see as much as europe in a short amount of time in a tight budget, you get plenty of time to go out and explore on your own and you really do get alot out of the time you have.
DO IT PEOPLE ITS GREAT
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
20 Nov 2012 - 01 Dec 2012
I just finished my 12 day European Discovery yesterday and oh my god it was the best 12 days of my life. I went alone and I was a little hesitant but I met the most amazing people straight away who I will keep in contact with for life. This tour is very fast paced, no sleep ins and long coach rides but the having such an amazing tour manager (Jah), bus driver (John) and contiki family made it so worth it. Jah is such an amazing person, she was positive every day and went out of her way to take care of us and to give us the best experience possible. And John was the best driver I've ever seen, and always was happy to see us to put our bags on the bus. Every city was amazing, even Florence mid storm, and the last day I was in tears. I could have easily gone for another 12 days and now I have so many memories to take home. I recommend this tour for people who are willing to go out at night in free time, even if you don't drink, the best times I had where in a small pub in some random European country teaching Australian slang to other contikis. A+++++
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
24 Jan 2012 - 04 Feb 2012
i truely loved my time here 12 days 8 countries a very fast paced trip a small group of just 40 of us most memorable parts 4 me was a gondola up a mountain in austria, where in no way could a camera capture how truely beautiful it was,the beauty of munich is breath taking too, and how could i forget the beer halls where you drink by the litre glass kinda heavy just to hold,, Rome a couple days here so much to see it still didnt seem like long enough could have stayed there forever switzerland was magical so very cold but amazing place to be and certainly a place i wish to head back to one day,Paris wow it was amazing every part of it and again i would say 2 days didnt seem enough time, best breakfast goes to our hotel in paris where i ate and ate and ate meaniest fed eva ,best lunch pizza in a restaraunt found while shopping in venice best tea salamon at a beer hall in munich but that just my taste buds many of my group were alot more keener to try new foods ie snails frogs legs kangaroo to name but a few i kept right away from that sorta food,sad stuff anne frank museum, in amesterdam concentration camp just out of munich,monk bones in rome bones in under ground tunnels in paris the Princess Dianna tunnel, our tour guide ashley was hard case who makes the stories she tells anything but dull our driver rocket what a guy he was hardcase and you are lucky and in for a great time if you get either of them!!!,i took this trip in a very cold snap but it didnt seem to matter still had a blast, would love to go back to europe in summer just for a diffirence our day song was the wanted....glad you came....a song i will fondly remember foreva
Review written Mar 2012event 0.3
31 Dec 2011 - 11 Jan 2012
So many amazing memories gained from this fantastic trip, if you like fast paced and full on where you can see all the main places then this trip is perfect. I learnt so much thanks to the awesome tour guide Dom (you are SO lucky if you get him as your guide!) and Pedro with incredible driving abilites. I have made life long friends and will always carry with me the fantastic stories from all the cultures and history. I cant wait to go again!
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3
31 Dec 2011 - 13 Jan 2012
Probably the best decision I've made in a long time. This tour is VERY fast paced. You WILL NOT be sleeping in but you also won't miss a thing. Lots of options for personal time or to spend all of your time with the group. Quite a few couples and single travelers on the tour. If you're an older traveler (like me -27), the tour had a nice mix of young and mature travelers. Good balance. The hotels we're probably equivalent to Holiday Inns, Howard Johnson, and Embassy Suites (if you're familiar with American Hotels). Our tour manager and driver were outstanding at managing personalities and keeping it lively. Lots of photo ops. Great food. Excellent shopping. Late nights and early mornings. Amazing new friends. Nothing quite like partying Contiki style...
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3
28 Nov 2010 - 09 Dec 2010
I did this tour because I wanted to go on holiday but was time-poor so wanted something fast-paced and where I could see several highlights of Europe so that I'd know where I'd like to visit again. This tour delivered all that and more. My tour manager and bus driver were amazing- friendly, helpful and experienced. They were also great fun to party with!
Tours like Conitki are great, particularly if you're travelling solo (like I did) or haven't dont much travelling before because you make "instant friends" and are shown all the main attractions of the cities without having to organise your own transport and accomodation. What you have to keep in mind with this tour though is that it is only 14 days. Realistically you are not going to see everything in 14 days and the tour also covers 8 cities. This means that there is quite a lot of time spent on the bus. That was definitely the downside to the tour but it couldn't really be helped. If you want to spend less time on the bus, either find a tour which spends longer in each city or do your own thing.
But overall this tour is AMAZING if you want to see a "snapshot" of Europe, make great friends and have an awesome time!!!
Review written Dec 2011event 0.3
20 Feb 2011 - 05 Mar 2011
Travel dates:End of Feb, beginning of March
Tour Manager: Steve
Overall review: A must do! This was my first Contiki trip and I wouldn't change a thing!
Day 1. Early morning start, heading over to the Royal National to weigh our bags and get a seat on the coach. We drove out of London and towards the White Cliffs of Dover where we boarded a ferry that would take us over to France, through Belgium and to Amsterdam. Theres lots to do on the ferry to keep you busy during your journey but if you get motion sickness I would definitely suggest that you bring something along with you. After the ferry ride we continued on to Amsterdam, arrived at the hotel, freshened up and went down for supper. Soon after that we headed back onto the bus to head into the heart of Amsterdam for optionals or free time.
*Canal Cruise- I would definitely suggest doing this cruise, almost everyone from my trip decided to do this optional and it was a great way to get to know each other and see Amsterdam from a different view point than just the street.
After the canal cruise my group split off- some heading back to the hotel, some heading out to see the red light district and some just going to see what they could. I would put a warning in here- if you plan on going out solo or with a friend make sure you know exactly where the tram stop is and what stop to get off on. The Dutch language isn’t exactly friendly when trying to guess where you are going- and it took me and a friend quite a while and asking a few people to find where we were supposed to go.
TRAMS- Once you get onto the tram- you head towards the middle of the train where you buy your ticket from a worker in a booth- don’t worry you cant miss it.
Day2. Started the morning off in Amsterdam- Went to the Anne Frank House which is something that I was really interested in going to see. The morning was considered free time and most of the group split off depending on what their interests were. Some places to consider are: Van Gough Museum, Heineken Experience, Sex Museum, and or the Hash Museum. We met back up with the group after lunch and headed out for St Goar. St. Goar is a very small, quiet and beautiful town- it ended up snowing while we were there, but not enough to change what you are packing in your suitcase. St. Goar was a place where we needed a overnight bag due to the fact that it is difficult to get the suitcases up the small staircases- remember to pack warm.
Day3. We traveled to Munich- the Holiday Inn that we stayed in was great and very nice. We headed into the city centre and had free time. I went to Peterskirche- aka Peters church- which provides some of the best views of Munich, although I must warn you that its a long walk to the top! So prepare yourself. I then headed over to some of the markets- which had lots of food that you could pick up and take with you (which is great for the bus ride the next day). Lastly we headed to the Hofbrauhaus- which was fantastic!! There is also an optional walking tour that you can take if you want.
Day4. City of Innsbruck, Austria. The city was very nice and had a small town feel- anyone that knows Banff Canada- it is very similar to that place. Fairly expensive to shop and eat.
Day5. Started our day off in Innsbruck and then made our way across the Italian border to the city of Venice. As we arrived, we learned that it was Carnival!! Venice was packed with people from all across the world, in many different costumes and masks. The Campanile is the main bell tower in Venice which provides panoramic views of the city- a must see. Its about 8 euro to take the elevator to the top- a must do in my opinion. Venice is known for is glass work, lace making and masks- so if your interested in that kind of thing, this the place to buy them. Great place to buy glass blown necklaces for gifts for people back home.
Optionals: many people went to the Venetian restaurant, which provides many different kinds of pasta and sauces. Myself, and a couple others decided to go and find our own place- we ended up sitting under the Rialto bridge and having dinner- we ended up spending less and having a better meal. (in my opinion)
Gondola ride- if you haven’t ever been on a Gondola before, you should do this optional- its worth it.
Day6/7. Left our hotel outside of Venice to head to Rome. Theres so much to see in this city- the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Emmanuelle Monument, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon are just a few. During our free time I used the subway to get around in order to cut down on time spent walking. The hotel that Contiki stays in is outside of the city limits which means that you have to take a train into the city. This was quite a memorable experience considering that because the train only comes every couple hours everybody piles on- to the point where everyone has to get off to let certain people out at stops and then get back on. Be very careful with this, pickpockets are around as well as you NEED to make sure that you get on the train- push, pull do whatever you have to. If not then you will be taking a very long cab ride back. ;p
Optionals: I did not do the Vatican Tour, but from what I heard from the others was that it was a very, very long tour and they would have preferred to go about the Vatican at their own speed, instead of being stuck in a group.
Day8. Headed towards Florence. This is the greatest place for shopping and seeing the beauty Italy has to offer. I love florence, it is one of my favorite places in the world.
Optional dinner and Disco- are a must! They are so much fun!!
Day9. Lucerne. Theres not too much to say about Lucerne, its fairly quite- beautiful but really expensive and it requires that you get new currency.
Day10. Paris. Beautiful city, but in my opinion- scary driving- be very careful when walking across the streets in this city. Lots to see and do here. It is my guess that the french are not known for their tipping after a service (compared to the way Canadian’s tip.) If you want to get a laugh- tip your taxi driver after you get back to the hotel- you wouldn’t believe how thankful they are. Moulin Rouge was our last optional of the tour and I think many people did it because we wanted to spend time together as a group. I was not overly impressed with M.R. but I think its something that you have to experience.
Budget- I budgeted about 100 Euros a day, spending money depending on if meals were included already or not. I set aside 10 euros to cover lunch and 20 to cover dinner, if we were in a city that I knew I would want to spend more on a nice meal then I put money aside for that. The rest of my money for the day went towards museums, transportation and spending money.
What to pack: The weather was great when I went towards the end of Feb and beginning of March. Depending on where you are from you should dress accordingly- a never used more than a hoodie (jumper) and a rain jacket. If you need something warmer you can always buy it while you are there.
Review written Oct 2011event 0.3
07 Nov 2010 - 20 Nov 2010
This tour was so much fun. It's a little fast-paced; sometimes it did feel like I was on the amazing race because we only had 2 hours to see a city. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see a lot of Europe in 2 weeks. Our tour guide and driver were amazing. They totally made our tour awesome.
Review written Feb 2011event 0.3
26 Dec 2010 - 08 Jan 2011
This trip was one of my best decisions. The tour guide, Scott, and the driver, Gustavo, made the entire group closely-bonded explorers. The music in the morning brought us together, the games on the bus passed the time, we got a wonderful discounted deal because of Contiki's frequent business, and the connection between us added the extra touch because it truly is the people and not just the places. I did not want to leave, and by the end of the two weeks, I knew more about the world, history, and made friends that not one of us did not shed tears over our last night out. I am thankful for the memories and only worry my next trip won't be as amazing as this one. Can't wait to do another one!
Review written Jan 2011event 0.3