You will visit: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain
The European Impressions is a fantastic trip for anyone that is looking for a taste of Europe...literally. The only trip that takes you to Belgium for waffles, Germany for beer, Italy for pasta, Spain for tapas and France for escargot! Of course, there's plenty more to do than just eat your way around Europe. Visits to Pisa, Monaco, Innsbruck and Carcassonne are all part of the included itinerary meaning your free time really is yours to play with.
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Itinerary + Inclusions & ME Time Optionals
ME Time Optionals
ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Trip Manager in local currency.
On our trips we don't just take you to the destinations, we make sure you get under the skin of every place you visit. From amazing food & accommodation, to exclusive access to incredible experiences, with Contiki you'll get unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.
Check-in to your hotel after 2pm and the remainder of the day is free to relax before meeting your fellow travellers for your Kickstart meeting this evening. Afterwards why not grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants or take a short walk to explore nearby Covent Garden
Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. Cut across France and into to Brussels, Belgium’s cool capital. With a mix of French and Flemish, some of Europe’s best brews and fantastic food, this easy-going city is a fantastic intro to Europe.
Your Trip Manager will give you the background on Brussels as you check out its signature sights. See the Town Hall tucked away in the old town on a buzzing central square, the hill-top Palace of Justice and the famous statue of the Manneken Pis.
In your free time, park yourself in one of the city’s many beer gardens, order some traditional Belgian waffles and taste local specialities like mussels and French fries (frites) – which are actually a Belgian invention!
- See the White Cliffs of Dover
- See the statue of the Manneken Pis, the Grand Place & the Palace of Justice
Next stop: the buzzing, freewheeling city of Amsterdam.
Check out Amsterdam’s eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7.
Tonight, try some of the traditional local cuisine at a restaurant in a nearby fishing village. With an optional evening canal cruise, you’ve got a chance to get to know the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover Amsterdam at water level. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Trip Manager and head into town for a fun night out.
- See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night
- Volendam Dinner Euro 31.50
- Canal Cruise (1.5 hours) Euro 31.50
Get an insight into Dutch culture this morning - see how clogs are made and try some of the famous Dutch Edam at a cheese farm.
Later on, chill out while the coach follows the Rhine River, weaving through valleys dotted with castles and vineyards.
Next stop – the pretty, old-world village of St. Goar, complete with fairy tale castle and even a free-hanging cuckoo clock! Learn about local know-how and get savvy on the craft of beer steins.
Kick back with a glass of local wine and choose to find out more with the optional wine tasting in a candlelit underground cellar.
- Visit a cheese farm & clog maker's house
- Scenic drive along the Rhine River
- Visit the riverside town St. Goar
- Learn how beer steins are crafted
- Wine tasting Euro 9.00
Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne
With covered wooden bridges, cobbled lanes and quaint buildings, Lucerne’s centre is perfect to explore on foot. Also to stock up on lots of genuine Swiss chocolate! Your Trip Manager can give you pointers on where to pick up the best-priced watches Switzerland is so famous for.
Tonight, we head to the Alpine heights of Engelberg where we stay in a Swiss mountain hotel.
- See the Lorelei Rock
- See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
- Scenic Alpine drive
It’s a change of scene up among Switzerland’s massive mountains. Choose to get above it all today with an optional excursion to Mt. Titlis and travel up the sheer slopes by rotating gondola. With sweeping views over the surrounding countryside and 360 degree vistas of the Alps, don’t forget to bring your camera.
- Mt. Titlis Rotair Euro 51.00
- Swiss Alps Bungy Jump CHF 169.00
Today, travel past the stony cliffs of Liechtenstein into the capital Vaduz, where you can grab some lunch and eat it in the shadow of the Royal Family’s 12th century castle.
Afterward, it’s northbound to the home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich - a city that blends traditional Bavarian culture and modern lifestyle.
Explore the heart of Munich’s old town with the crew, and head to Marienplatz. It’s a central gathering spot famous for the Glockenspiel - a Gothic clock, complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.
Get off the beaten track on two wheels with our Local Guide in a fun bike tour around the city – it’s a great way to see lots of the sights.
Get a taste of tradition at a typical beer hall and park yourself at a long wooden table. Order yourself some hearty local food, like roasted pork knuckle, and quench your thirst with a stein of one of Germany’s 5000 brews.
- Visit the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz
- See the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz
- Locally guided bike tour of Munich's famous landmarks
- Visit a traditional beer hall
Wind through the Bavarian Alps and over the Brenner Pass to Venice.
But first, pull into Innsbruck, a down-to-earth student city. Walk around the medieval streets of the old town, grab some lunch, and check out Innsbruck’s landmark Golden Roof and Royal Palace. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the impressive Olympic Ski Jump, used in both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.
Along the pretty shores of Lake Garda, we drop into the quintessential European lake town of Sirmione, complete with vine-covered villas, Roman ruins and a castle.
Next up is Venice. Known as the “floating city”, Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals.
- See the Golden Roof, Royal Palace & Olympic Ski Jump in Innsbruck
- Scenic drive past vineyards, orchards & castles
- Visit Sirmione
Known as the “floating city”, Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals.
The group travels on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge’s Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice’s unique beauty and way of life.
Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. There’s an optional walking tour where you can discover the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazzi and markets with our Local Guide. You’ll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market – a local favourite for food shopping.
Maybe grab a table on St. Mark’s Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco.
Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share this amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!
- Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice
- See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
- See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
- Secrets of Venice Walking Tour Euro 11.00
- Gondola ride Euro 22.00
- Venetian Dinner Euro 34.50
- Trip t-shirts From Euro 19.00 - 30.00
Then we wind through the Apennine Mountains and Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence, via a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. Before dinner, walk along the River Arno with your Trip Manager, take in the atmosphere and head into the heart of Florence, where you can sit back and relax Tuscan style with a glass of Chianti wine.
- See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Jump start the day uncovering this open-air museum. Our Local Guide gives you the inside track as the group learns about Florence’s cultural beginnings and explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then learn from the masters how Florentine leather is made and understand this region’s traditional art.
With bargains and bustle, the city’s markets are a great place to hang out. Grab a gelato and enjoy this gorgeous city.
Tonight, there’s a choice of a group dinner – an authentic Tuscan feast. Try regional dishes in a fantastic Tuscan country setting. Then keep it moving with a night out and get your groove on at Florence’s biggest nightclub.
- Discover the Secrets of Michelangelo's Florence – see where his David was gifted to the Florentines, Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence
- See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry & Piazza della Signoria
- Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
- Souvenir group photo Euro 11.00
- Tuscan Evening Euro 40.00
- Space Disco Euro 16.00
Stick to the Italian coastline, slide by the port town of Genoa and cross over into France.
Then we hit the rugged coast line of the stunning Côte d’Azur. Next stop on the Riviera and home to the French perfume industry is Fragonard perfumery. Learn more about how perfume is made and some of its more surprising ingredients. It’s also a chance to pick up a bottle or 2 at great price.
Follow the beautiful sapphire waters to the palm trees and sun-soaked shores of Nice.
Tonight get a taste of the high life in Monaco, the glamourous principality packed into just 1.92km2 and home of the Formula 1. Indulge in a bit of glitz with the group by opting for a typically French 4-course meal just a few doors down from the Royal Palace. Get the inside story on the royal family and their place of residence from your Trip Manager, then try your luck at a casino later on.
- Visit a French perfumery
- See the Royal Palace in Monaco
- Rub shoulders with the rich & famous with a visit to a Monte Carlo casino
- Monaco Dinner Euro 35.50
In your free time live a bit of the lifestyle with a visit to the local markets. Try out the region’s produce like lavender honey, aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and mouth-watering rosé wine.
Window shop the chic boutiques or choose a beach and catch some sun among all the bronzed bodies!
Driving past Cannes, unwind on the coach and take in the rustic beauty of Provence, known for its pretty landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs.
We keep heading south through the rugged and dramatic scenery of the Pyrénées mountains, over the border into Barcelona.
A sizzling, festive capital any night of the week, Barcelona is all about action. In Spain fiesta time starts late, so settle in at one of the city’s many outdoor squares to enjoy a glass of sangria and nibble on tapas (plate-sized snacks) before a fun night out exploring Barcelona’s nightlife with your friends.
- Scenic drive along the Côte d'Azur
First stop: Montjuic. The hilltop has full-blown vistas of the city and it’s where we stop to check out the 1992 Olympic Games complex. Afterwards, get a look into Spanish architect Gaudi’s wild imagination with his Art Nouveau masterpiece, the Sagrada Família church. Your Trip Manager walks you through the cobbled lanes of Barcelona’s oldest district, the Gothic Quarter.
There’s free time to discover more of Barcelona’s creative core. Pick up some quirky buys in the side streets or hit the big label shops on Plaça de Catalunya. Take in all of Barcelona’s buzzing street life on the tree-lined La Rambla – a boulevard packed with street performers, artists, shops and stalls.
Other ideas for your afternoon off include hanging out in the colourful gardens of Parc Güell or kicking back with the locals on the beach and taking a swim in the Mediterranean sea. For lunch, there’s plenty of delicious local seafood to try as well as Spain’s signature dish, paella.
Finish off an unforgettable time in this hot city and get into the local flavours with tonight’s optional flamenco dance show and dinner, including sangria. Afterwards, get the low down on Barcelona’s hottest spots and maybe hit the pumping clubs of Port Olympico by the water.
- See Gaudi's Sagrada Família & the 1992 Olympic Games complex
- Walk the Gothic Quarter & La Rambla district
- Flamenco Show with Dinner Euro 60.00
En route to the world famous wine region of Bordeaux, kick start the day with a visit to medieval Carcassonne, with its breathtaking old walled city and fort. Your Trip Manager will give you the low down on the fairy tale hilltop town and show you its hidden nooks and alleyways.
Then we continue on to our next stop, beautiful Bordeaux, a happening student hub. You’ll get a look into this former trading centre as your Trip Manager shows you the narrow streets and core spots of this elegant 18th century old town on a walking tour.
Tonight, find a cute little bistro to stop at for dinner and try some of the region’s famous wines and cheeses.
- Visit one of Europe's greatest fortress cities
- Visit Bordeaux, a town famous for its wine
Roll through the green Loire Valley and take in the castles, manors and vineyards from the coach window as we head for the French capital.
Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the ‘Tour of Illuminations’, which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Trip Manager will fill you in on the world’s most recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!
- Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
- See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
- Check out Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
This town is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank. Step into the Notre Dame or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre, where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. Try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many green spaces.
Tonight is the last night with your friends, so make it special. Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don’t stop there – afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your travels with a big Parisian night out.
- Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Show Euro 123.00
This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (estimated arrival 10:00am) where your trip ends. Or choose to take a complimentary transfer to central London & extend your stay.
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