28 Dec 2011 - 15 Jan 2012
We departed Dover on Wed 28th Dec 2011 and never looked back. The ferry over to Calais, France was rough but we were buzzing with the excitement of what lay ahead, and too busy getting to know our Contiki family for the next 19 days.
We hit Amersterdam running with our first stop the elusive Red Light District. What a way to get up close and personal with your tour buddies than to watch a dazzling and entertainig live 'show', of which included a gorilla and lots of laughs ;)
From there the tour was non-stop, and full of excitement. Not even the zero degree tempertaures (it was the middle of winter) were going to stop us. We explored the canals of Amsterdam with an intriguing tour of Anne Franks Haus.
Next stop Berlin for the most amazing New Years spectacle ever. The streets were jam packed with locals and tourists wielding fireworks and celebrating in 2012 with many a German Ale. New Years day and we explored the dark history of Berlin, including visiting the Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, to name a few stops.
Prague brought many a surprise, including amazing gothic architecture, an interesting lunchtime canal ride and a crazy 5 story nightclub.
One highlight of the tour, among the very many, was our time in Munich and our lively dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall. This was followed by an informative walking tour of Munich, with a focus on Hitlers time there.
With a quick stop in Austria to visit the Swarovski Crystal store, we wound our way through the Alps, in the snow whilst singing to the Sound of Music (hehe) and arrived in beautiful Italy. Six days were spent exploring the magistic canals and alleyways of Venice, the strength and history of Rome and beauty of Florence and Tuscany.
Nearing the end of our trip, we arrived in Lucerne, Switzerland and journeyed thousands of metres up to the most amazing view of Mt Pilatus. Something we will never forget. Not to mention being pelted in the head with a snowball by our cheeky tour guide Garai, it was a once in a lifetime view of the clear, snowtopped mountains.
It was finally time for our last stop, but perhaps one of the best - Paris! The ultimate highlight was skipping the line and being taken to the very top of the Eiffle Tower at night to view the cityscape of Paris. Finally to top off such a mindblowing trip, was our final night at The Moulin Rouge. A must see for anyone visiting Paris (The trip back to London the next day was not so much fun with the headaches we all had).
To cap it all off, this tour can be described in one word as - spectacular! The instant life-long friends we made on day one made it even more incredible. Our tour guide Garai and bus driver were hilarious and made sure we had the time of our lives. The bus was our home away from home for the 19 days and super comfortable and modern. All the accomodation was comfortable and accessible.
I highly recommend anyone wanting to visit Europe, but a bit unsure about where to go, to give this tour a go. My hubby and I loved it as a couple, but there were also just friends and singles with us.
Thanks Contiki for helping us live our European dream xx
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
19 Jan 2013 - 06 Feb 2013
I booked the European Inspiration tour for January 2012 and toured alone, however I terminated the tour in Prague. I was absolutely disgusted in the quality and the calibre of people on board the tour including the staff. It should be age banded 18-25 not 18-35. I am 31 and I have never experienced such childish, immature, bitchy behaviour in my life. I felt like I was back in high school. I was totally ostracised by everyone. Most people on the tour were 18-20. I should have done my research then I would have known Contiki has a bad name for that exact reason. Trafalgar would have been a much better option. The tour manager Hannah was very immature and seemed to enjoy the childish atmosphere. She encouraged everybody to be rowdy and drunk and was always getting drunk herself, she swore a lot and was very unprofessional....perhaps attempting to lower herself to the standard of the passengers on the tour. She even implied that I should terminate the tour! Every stop we had entailed pub crawls of which eventuated in the stranger I was sharing a room with stumbling in drunk at 2-3am every morning, turning on lights and making lots of noise. I've never been so sleep deprived in my life. What an absolute waste of $3500. I am flying back to London at a cost to myself to resume interacting with adults not children!!! Shame on you Contiki....no where on your website does it stipulate that this tour is basically a 3 week long party for young teens who wish to take drugs, get drunk and act like idiots. Contiki take some responsibility!!! I'm absolutely appalled!! I will definitely be sharing my horrible experience with others!
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
24 Dec 2012 - 11 Jan 2013
Had the best time of my life spent Nye and Christmas with my new contiki family which was so much fun. Our tour manager was such a good bloke and very helpful if we wanted to know anything extra. My most enjoyable moment was probably my bday which fell on the same day as the Prague pub crawl something I will always remember and followed closely by Nye in Munich where alot of us dressed up in true Bavarian outfits and went to a festival where they hold Oktoberfest. If you get a chance and have the money go along for the ride you will never regret it.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
05 Nov 2012 - 23 Nov 2012
I am 19 and his was my first trip overseas by myself. I was so nervous but ended up having the most amazing time. It is really hectic and exhausting (if you wish to make the most of every city you are in including binge drinking for 19 days straight) Our tour guide JB was awesome, and Rasto out driver was a legend. From drunk party bus rides home including light shows and sing-a-longs dancing down the bus, to watching a proposal on top of the eiffel tower I really had the most fantastic trip made some incredible memories and made lifelong friends. THANK YOU CONTIKI!
ps do this tour!
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
13 Oct 2012 - 02 Nov 2012
First let's just say this was my first trip to Europe and travelling with Contiki was so easy! Our Tour Manager Mick (Michael) was the best and so was our driver Sam. First night in Amsterdam was so interesting and fun it really let us get to know each other - suprise we were off to a sex show! From there it was just 18 more days of craziness. Sam, our driver really put his awesome skills to work when we got stuck on the highway in Germany for hours and then again in the traffic circle in Paris - with him driving the coach I always felt safe.
Mick, our Manager ensured we each had a great time. He would always greet you in the morning so cheery and excited for the day (even though a few of us were sometimes hungover). He arranged extra optionals for us from a tour of the Colosseum and Forum to an open bar night or a pub crawl. He made the trip - he knew each city like the back of his hand and could answer any question of where something was and whether or not it was worth your time visiting it.
Accommodation wasn't what I'm use to here in North America at all I'll be honest but in most cities we were upgraded. I did find the hotels/motels in Italy to be the worst - Venice and Florence could have been a lot better but as Mick put it, it's just a place to sleep. The food in the included meals were fine - nothing special but it was the optional meals that you must do. All were great!
I would do another Contiki again in a heartbeat! My tour mates were awesome and totally made my trip as well. Some of the best memories include all of them and all the stuff we got up to. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see pretty much all the major cities in Europe in a short period of time. You don't have enough time to see every site in every city but you get the feel for each city and see all the major sites and attractions there are to see.
Review written Nov 2012event 0.3
04 Jan 2012 - 22 Jan 2012
This tour was amazing!! Our tour guide knew everything about everywhere!! Great as a taster of Europe. Spent about 2 days in each place, just enough time to see most things. When food was not included, our tour guide pointed us (or dined with us) in the most amazing local spots. Made many friends of whom I still keep in contact with. I recommend everyone to go on this tour!! Best holiday yet! =]
Review written Oct 2012event 0.3
04 Feb 2012 - 22 Feb 2012
This tour was absolutely fantastic! There isn't anything else I could have asked for in a tour! It was the best thing I've ever done and I had the time of my life. We had a wonderful Tour manager and tour driver.
We went during one of the coldest winters in a long time, but it was still fun. I met the most amazing people and have made life long friends!
While on tour you experience fabulous places, food, attractions and different cultures and lifestyles. It's all so good.
To anyone thinking of doing this tour or any contiki tour, I strongly recommend it!
Review written Feb 2012event 0.3
21 Dec 2011 - 08 Jan 2012
I could not have asked for a better tour! Our tour manager was very engaging, friendly and knowledgeable.Our tour manager always knew the best places to eat and visit and every new city we went to we got a map showing were major sites were. Our bus driver was also very nice and a good driver. The two of them always went the extra mile for our group, for example we made two extra stops that weren't included in our itinerary, to innsbruck, Austria, and to the Ferrari centre where you could drive or be a passanger in one. All the included walking tours and dinners were great as was the accomodation (for european standards). I did all of the side tours offered which made the tour all that much better as it helped you get the most out of the cities you were visiting and get to know everyone on the tour a little better. As or getting to know everyone on the tour- its very easy and you meet some really fantastic people who you end up spending all your time with. The bus we travelled on was comfortable enough, for a bus so no complaints there! The fact that this particular tour ends in paris was a highlight as it really finishes the tour in a special way (especially if you see the moulin rouge). The cities visited were all fantastic and worth seeing and having two nights in every place meant we mostly had enough time to see everything in such a jam packed tour. I would reccommend it to everyone and would go on another contiki trip in a second!
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3
15 Oct 2011 - 04 Nov 2011
The European Inspiration Tour was more than I ever expected. We visited so many countries and made life long friends. The tour was a perfect mix of culture, fun and party time! The fact that you have 2 nights in every city makes a world of difference, I did not feel rushed in any city and saw so much from the eiffel tower & lourve museum in Paris, to the Berlin Wall, to the astrological clock in prague, to the mountains in Lucerne, and everything else in between. Our week in Italy was by far my favorite part of the trip. FLORENCE & ROME were amazing!!! I would do this trip again in a heartbeat! Our TM and driver were top notch first class!! Thank you Contiki!! :) :) Can't wait to do it again!!
Review written Nov 2011event 0.3