19 Sep 2014 - 10 Oct 2014
This trip was the first time I had travelled solo, and I was feeling super nervous when I met my tour group that first night in London. My concerns quickly vanished within minutes of meeting my tour group, within five minutes I felt like I had known them forever. Our group was about half couples and half singles which normally would have annoyed me, but literally everyone on this tour was so wonderful and fun it didn't matter at all. Our tour manager Matt and our driver Jonny were the most UNREAL duo I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Their knowledge and passion for the job was evident from day one. If you get lucky enough to have these two as part of your team you will have the most amazing trip of your life. I honestly cannot say enough good things about them.
The trip itself was busy, we had long bus days and early mornings a lot of the time but that is the cost of getting to see all the beautiful places we got to see. The Swiss Alps and Rome were highlights for me, but every single city we went to was great.
Do ALL the optionals (especially paragliding) they make the trip a once in a lifetime experience, and most people do them all anyway so if you don't do them then you end up missing out.
The friends I have made on this trip are all amazing people, and I am so lucky to have them as part of my life. If you choose this tour be prepared to come back home a different person because this experience changes you, and in my opinion it is for the better.
Review written Nov 2014event 0.3
19 Jul 2014 - 08 Aug 2014
The first night of the trip would have to be the highlight of the trip for me. Climbing all 669 stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower at twilight watching the light change and taking amazing photos. Make sure that you make it to the bottom on the hour to watch the light show.
If you are planning on going to the Louvre make sure that you prebuy tickets and skip the line or you will wait in line for 1.5 hours as we did.
The Moulin Rouge was expensive but the show was great so much more that you expect. We sat that close to the stage that the feathers of some of the costumes would brush your face. It was definitely worth it.
Nice was a great time to relax and have time to yourself. The weather was amazing and the food was great. Make sure you treat yourself to a great lunch out with your new friends the seafood in Nice is amazing.
Monaco was amazing with all the fast cars and yachts. Dress to impress so you fit in and admire the views.
Florence has the best gelato in Italy in my opinion, make sure you try some.
Rome is super hot and there are plenty of pick pockets there make sure you watch your things. The Colosseum and Vatican's Sistine chapel are the highlights of Rome. Make sure that you do the optional cooking class. What could be better than telling your friends and family you learnt to make pasta in Italy!
Venice was great. The included gondola ride was beautiful.
Hopfgarten's Haus Lukas had the most amazing included meals and the white water rafting was great fun although even in summer it is super cold.
The Dachau concentration camp was so eerie and will open your eyes to things you never realised happened.
Even if you are not into beer make sure you go to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and try pork knuckle and enjoy the atmosphere.
Even if you don't think that you will enjoy Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna make sure you attend this one it is a great night and appealed to all that went. You will be surprised how many of the pieces you will know.
Prague is a beautiful place and with the exchange rate is a great place to do a bit of shopping. Don't expect the fairy-tale castles that you hear of though the castle was very underwhelming.
Amsterdam was a time to look at new and different things and beautiful to walk around with all the canals. Make sure you try a stroopwafel you will want to bring some home.
My best tips would be make sure you get into London a day early to get used to the time difference and recover from the flight. Make sure you pack great walking shoes. They will help with the vast amounts of walking you will do combined with all the cobblestones. A must is a rain jacket preferably with a hood. There is nothing worse than walking around all day in the rain unprepared.
Take the leap, be adventurous and enjoy the time of your life. The time is now! Don't wait around for someone else and don't fear being a solo traveller like I was you will make lots of new friends and will never be alone.
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
24 Jun 2013 - 14 Jul 2013
Amazing 21 days! Lots to fit in, and heaps was coverd! Had lots of busy time,as well as chilling on your own, great group of people! All the hotels beat my expectations although some of the dinners could have been a lot better.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get a good idea of Europe and be mezmorised by some of the things you will see! I really had an amazing time, an I'm sad to be home without my contiki family!x
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3
11 Aug 2012 - 31 Aug 2012
This tour was absolutely incredible from start to finish. A perfect way to see a large part of Europe in such a short time. We kicked off the tour with a night in Paris, some of the group watched the Eiffel Tour light show with a bottle of Moet and got to know each other and that's when we knew we were going to have an amazing trip. Our tour guide and bus driver were extremely knowledgeable and entertaining - what I loved most was the introduction to each country with a history and run down of a city map as we were entering each day. We were given helpful tips for getting around, where to find the best local food and other interesting facts and tips which made being in an unknown city less daunting. Make sure you do all of the optionals..some of them seem very different to what we may be used to but it's all part of immersing yourself in the culture of that country and with a big group, it's hard not to appreciate it. The bus trip can get tedious but we made our own fun, get to know the group, play games and eat ridiculous amounts of food (the service station stops are classic - so much food and it would be rude not to try everything). Basically just be open to everything - Europe is an amazing place and the European Vista will give you a real taste of the culture without having to do too much research. Loved our tour guide Garai - he seemed to know anything and everything about every country so it was extremely beneficial and we loved picking his brain - he was also hilarious and knew how to perk us up even when we were tired and feeling a bit worse for wear.
Definitely a value for money tour and I highly recommend it!
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
21 Jul 2012 - 10 Aug 2012
What an amazing 21 day adventure, seeing 11 countries in 21 days.
A big thank you to our tour Manger Nat and driver Muffin, your approach made our tour of Europe truly great!
Both very professional, cheerful and very much enjoyed your abridged history of significant attractions and found your endurance inspiring.
Totally worth every dollar spent and certainly recommend Contiki.
Review written Aug 2012event 0.3
30 Jun 2012 - 20 Jul 2012
Our trip started on the 30th of June 2012, this was in the midst of the European summer - little did I know what this summer had in-store. We had a fantastic tour manager and driver - Roxy and Mark!
Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was breathtaking, you don't realise just how beautiful and magnificent it is till you see it up close. Ticking off things like the Monalisa, Colosseum, Big Ben, London Eye, Lion Monument etc. was amazing!
It's hard to tell which city was the best, they all had certain unique characteristics!! Try out local cuisine when travelling Europe, I had frogs legs and snails in France, traditional German food at a beer hall!
Sign up for ALL the optional excursions, they are wonderful and a great way to spend your days! The optional meals are lovely and also give you the opportunity to quaff copious amounts of wine. Definitely take more money than you think you'll need - clubbing will be a big part of your tour!
Above all, come with an open mind and be ready to have the best summer of your life!!!
P.S: Should your feet or anything else get swollen during the trip, a dip in a pool will solve the problem. Due to the amount of time spent in the coach and walking in the heat, deep vein thrombosis might occur. Just elevate and keep cool!
Review written Aug 2012event 0.3
16 Jun 2012 - 08 Jul 2012
Ok, this trip was awesome and I am so glad that I went. I am writing this review though with the idea of helping you to make your trip a little bit better. So I may come across a little negative at times but it is with the idea of helping out future travelers.
One gripe I have is that on our trip the focus seemed to be on partying at night. Ok, I get it, that can be fun. If your looking at going to Europe for culture or sights thsi can get a little bit lost when the focus turns to pub crawls. Anyway, the key for us was to plan our "free time" which is very limited to see one or two things very well. One key to this is looking at your tour dates and checking the days of the week to the cities you are visiting. Many museums are closed on odd days (i.e. the Louvre on Monday). Check this ahead of time before going to see something and only have it be closed. Check out guide books like Rick Steves to help you find ticket short cuts as well.Stay healthy. We got sick due to being on the bus with sick people. Take vitamins and wash your hands!
Optional Excursions-Unless you are really bad at planning or are going with a big group of friends most of these can be skipped without too much regret. the dinners especially are very expensive unless you are really picky about food. Take your money and go to a small cafe and enjoy the local life and better food. The one dinner we did do, the Tuscan dinner, was good fun due to the live entertainment. Most of the boat tours can be found for cheaper but may not be done by locals. We did the Lake Lucerne cruise excursion but had more fun on our paddleboat ride so, make your own chocies there.
The contiki hotel in Haupfgarten will offer to do your laundry for 15 euros for a small bucket. or you can go down the street to the laundromat and do 3 or four loads for that price and again enjoy the locals or hop over to the awesome cafe next door.I only did the mountain biuke excursion which was great. It is the equivalant of a blue in ski runs so it is not for the faint of heart but is only hard for about 30 mintues or so. the lunch after was ok.
Be prepared for some less than awesome rooms and wifi is available only about half of the time.
The Mozart concert in Vienna was amazing and should not be skipped by anyone ever!
The tour of the Vatican was ok. Our guide was kind of long winded and focussed on weird stuff. I turned off the audio guide and had a great time.
If you do not do some of the excursions be prepared to be treated as second class. We didn't do the Schnapps tour and basically just had to twiddle our thumbs in front of the museum as they wouldn't even let us shop inside?!
DId the Mike's bike tour in Munich and was very dissapointed, but I think it was more the guide we ended up with than the company as a whole. There is a very long stop in the middle at a beer garden so keep this in mind as well.
Try lots of food. eat lots of gelato and have a great time! there is so much great stuff to see, this is a good way to get a quick taste of the best Europe has to offrer.
Don't drink Chino unless you love robitussin!
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
28 May 2011 - 17 Jun 2011
Amazing. Completely above and beyond my expectations. I was traveling with my girlfriend on this tour and we both had the time of our lives. Some of the best points about the tour;
- Everyone is so friendly and easy to get along with. of the 46 or so people on our bus there isn't one who i wouldn't call a friend.
- Our tour manager, Angela, knew so much about all the places we visited and was really keen to share all this knowledge with us! I learnt and saw things i never expected too.
- Perfect balance of partying vs experiencing the culture and sight seeing. We were a bit worried about this when booking because we didn't want to spend thousands on travelling and be too hung over to experience anything. Turned out perfect - still went out partying most nights but never suffered too much during the days!
- The tour itself was excellent. all the countries were amazing and the route was well designed. Ending in amsterdam was great.
- All but one hotel were excellent. much better than i had expected! I had also expected bread and water for breakfast but most day there is a buffet of cold meat, cereal, toast, croissants, muesli, yoghourt, fresh fruit as well as hot sausages, eggs, bacon, etc. I ate more than i ever would at home so don't be worried about that.
- Be prepared to fork out an extra 6-700 Euro for optional activities. There are a lot and most are worth doing if you skip on anything you will probably be among the minority who are left by themselves - Always go to optional dinners, especially the Tuscan Evening in Firenze. In saying that, a guide of $100 Euro per day will more than likely cover optionals and spending money for most people (with some left over).
- group dinners are excellent value for money as they generally feed you till your stuffed and fill you with wine (be prepared to drink a lot of wine).
Some things about the tour which you should probably know(note: these are not negative points but just things we didn't know prior to the tour);
- walk walk walk, drive drive drive. you will spend an incredible amount of time walking around the cities you visit. in fact I wouldn't be surprised if we walked in excess of 10-20kms per day - it's all worth it though. if your not walking there is a good chance you will be sitting in the bus. On average you will be on the bus every second day for 6-7 hours. It sounds bad but it's not really. If your tour manager says you will be driving for 4 hours, expect to arrive in 6:). I bought a 160gb ipod before leaving and filled it with tv shows, movies, standup and music and didn't touch it once on tour!
- although the bus is not terrible, if your a light sleeper you will not get any sleep on the bus.
- It will hurt when it's all over. We slept for two days and took two courses of antibiotics before moving on. I wouldn't do any less than 21 days though. It was very sad when we rolled back into London.
- The whole experience is non stop. from sunrise to sun set you will be going going going... be prepared and just roll with it.
Review written Sep 2011event 0.3
17 Jul 2010 - 06 Aug 2010
Started off pretty fast paced and hot in Italy. But as the tour went on and everyone got to know each other it was amazing. We all keep in contact now through Facebook and are looking at doing another contiki together as a group.
Couldnt of been any better in my opinion. The best tour Manager and bus driver in Wade and Adam. As the trip went on just got better and better, from Austria onwards we were once big, happy family.
Review written Sep 2010event 0.3