You will visit: France, Belgium (in transit), Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina (in transit), Italy, Vatican City
The European Spirit is THE sightseeing tour. Start in Paris, finish in Rome and in between.....let your imagination run wild! Cruise the canals in Amsterdam, wander the cobbled streets of Prague and watch the sun set from a cliffside bar in Dubrovnik.
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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 the hotel and get to know your fellow travellers and Tour Manager, who knows all the ins and outs of the regions you’re going to visit.
After dinner we will depart for the 'Paris by Night'tour, where the French capital transforms into the "City of Lights". Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most recognised monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. If you’re adventurous, get right into French culture when you arrive at a Parisian café with the opportunity to try out France’s national delicacy – escargot! You’ll also get to toast the start of your tour with French Champagne.
- Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour with Champagne & escargot
- See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
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 Cathedral or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre and get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. Try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many green spaces.
Tonight, treat yourself to a real Parisian night out, starting with an optional dinner in an atmospheric restaurant, where you can get to know your group. Then sign up for an authentic cabaret experience, complete with can-can girls and Champagne.
- Parisian Dinner Euro 35.50
- Nouvelle Eve cabaret show Euro 80.00
Cut through 3 countries in one day, as we roll on to the free-wheeling, buzzing 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.
- See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night
Cruise into the countryside and bike around like the laid back locals, past working windmills, to the world-famous cheese village of Edam. In an intro into Dutch culture, see how clogs are made at a clog maker’s house and try some of the famous Dutch Edam at a cheese farm.
Free time this afternoon to experience Amsterdam’s coffee shops, museums and quirky boutiques. Wander along the canals and past gabled houses or try out Amsterdam’s multi-ethnic cuisine. This cultural melting pot dishes up loads of affordable food.
With an optional evening canal cruise, there’s a chance to toast your travels with the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover another angle on Amsterdam at water level. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Tour Manager and head into town for a fun night out.
- See canals & a windmill on a countryside bike tour in Edam
- Visit a cheese farm & clog maker's house
- Canal cruise (1 hour) Euro 24.00
- Volendam Dinner Euro 31.50
Motor down the autobahn and get ready for a dose of über-cool Berlin.
With two nights in this historical hot spot, you’ve got time to find out what makes Germany’s capital one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world. It’s hard to believe that this funky town has had such a troubled past.
On arrival your Trip Manager will peel back the layers of history and point out the lesser-known details of Berlin’s troubled past on an orientation tour of the city.
- See the Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building
- Take in commemorative artwork & the remains of the Berlin Wall
Today why not join a local guide for a tour? Learn about the East/West split at the Berlin Wall and check out the controversial Reichstag (German Parliament) as well as Tiergarten (one the world’s biggest parks). You'll also visit Checkpoint Charlie, where many East Berliners tried to escape to the West, and be reminded of Germany’s darker past at the Brandenburg Gate.
With free time, get inspired by Berlin’s creative scene and check out its galleries and street art. As a world forerunner in contemporary art, Berlin’s walls are covered in cutouts and graffiti.
Shopping-wise, this town has it all and is right up there defining style. Berlin is great for small boutiques, funky fashions and one-of-a-kind buys. Your Trip Manager knows Berlin’s ins and outs, so get some pointers before you splurge.
Do as the Berliners do and grab a currywurst (a local favourite) and kick back at a Bierkeller (German beer house).
Experience the world of espionage in an optional evening Eye Spy Berlin tour with our Local Guide, and enjoy a fascinating look into the Stasi (what was once the East German Secret Police). Then top off your time in Berlin with some of your new friends and explore the city’s legendary nightlife. With cool cocktail bars and some of the best techno clubs in the world, there are heaps of fun choices.
- See the site of Checkpoint Charlie
- Berlin historical walking tour Euro 9.50
- Eye Spy Berlin Euro 16.50
Heading south, we roll on to the region of Dresden, often dubbed 'Florence of the North' because of its beauty.
This town completely rebuilt itself after being flattened in World War II. Your Tour Manager will show you Dresden’s signature buildings, like the Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, the Royal Residence – once home to the Saxon Kings – and the massive Zwinger Palace, where the royals went to party!
Lunchtime! Go local and hang out in a river side beer garden, order some hearty German dishes with regional specialities like sour roast and potato soup.
Then we head over the border and into the Czech Republic to Prague.
Prague is a beautiful and atmospheric city. It’s also pretty compact, so it’s best explored on foot. Get straight into Prague’s historic heart with your Tour Manager. You’ll walk together over the landmark Charles Bridge, through Hradčany Castle, the home of the original Bohemian Kings and to the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral along the way.
By night, Prague is loaded with all types of music, from jazz bars and hip DJs to opera. There is something for everyone, so make the most of it with the group.
- Visit the city destroyed in World War II and known as the 'Florence of the North'
- See the rebuilt Baroque architecture of the Royal Residence, Zwinger Palace, Opera House and Frauenkirche
- See Hradčany Castle, the Cathedral of St. Vitus, Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square
- Visit the Old Town Square and see the Astronomical Clock
Have a go on two wheels and discover Prague on an optional bike tour with our Local Guide, who knows all the city’s ins and outs. Exploring by bike is the perfect way to get an overview of this compact city, as you can hit the back alleys and side streets of the old town.
More free time means you can get deeper into Prague’s Old Town in your own time. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a jumble of little lanes, alleys and courtyards. Slow the pace down and give yourself a chance to uncover its hidden treasures. This is also the spot to pick up some famous Bohemian glass, beads or garnet and amber jewellery.
Choose a river cruise on the Vltava, which runs through the heart of Prague, and take in stunning views of the city from the water. The Czech capital has a really mixed past so look out for signs of the Holy Roman Empire, the Bohemian Empire, the Nazis and the Communists.
By night, Prague is loaded with all types of music, from jazz bars and hip DJs to opera. There is something for everyone, so make the most of it with the group, and finish your travels off here with a night to remember.
- River cruise with buffet meal Euro 29.00
- Prague bike tour Euro 19.00
Southbound, we head across the boarder into Austria.
Next stop is the cultural hub of Vienna. Tonight, there’s a chance to experience Vienna’s musical legacy with a Mozart and Strauss concert in one of the city’s imperial palaces.
- Mozart & Strauss concert Euro 30.00
Your Trip Manager starts the day by introducing the group to the city’s historical heritage. There’s the imperial grandeur of Schönbrunn Palace, the elegantly ornate State Opera House and St. Stephen’s Cathedral – a Gothic masterpiece. Cruise down Kärntner Strasse, Vienna’s main shopping spot and buy some traditional ceramics and materials for gifts back home.
There’s free time to check out the magnificent squares and majestic palaces or the city’s art galleries. Take a break in a coffee house like the locals do, chill out in Vienna’s manicured gardens or wander along the Danube River.
Get schnaps savvy with a behind-the-scenes look into this local liqueuer’s production in an optional excursion to the Old Vienna Schnaps Museum.
- See Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral & the State Opera House
- Scenic drive along the historic Ring Road
- Old Vienna Schnaps Museum Euro 7.00
- Schnitzel and Screams Euro 33.00
Cross through the unspoiled Alpine scenery of Slovenia to Croatia’s political and cultural core, Zagreb. With tonnes of historic architecture and old-world charm, this is a true Balkan gem.
Free time this afternoon means a chance to get outdoors and explore the 18 hectares of Maksimir Park, the city centre’s largest green space, complete with elegant pavilions and promenades.
For something different, go local and head to the Dolac quarter’s fresh produce markets, where you can try out regional specialties like ribice (small fried sardines) and cevapi (grilled minced meat).
Tonight, liven things up with a fun night out, either on the city’s main square or by the water at Jarun Lake, if the weather is warm.
Set out for Croatia’s sparkling coastline as we journey to the spectacular fortress town of Dubrovnik, well known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.
With Baroque buildings, museums and monasteries, this eye-catching UNESCO World Heritage Site is great to explore. Get lost in the walled city’s web of winding streets.
You’ve got free time so pull up at a table in the pedestrian district of the stunning Old Town. Lunch on fantastic fresh seafood or a spicy beef stew. For full scale views of the area, wander along the 2kms of Old Town walls or hike up Mt. Srj.
Otherwise, take a moment to remember Croatia’s recent history visiting the war memorial or the war photo exhibition. Or else get away from it with a taste of paradise on the small neighbouring island of Lokrum. With botanical gardens, a small lake and gorgeous beaches, this is the perfect place to chill out.
In the afternoon, try our optional Dubrovnik Cruise. Jump on the family-run boat and island hop!
- Locally guided walking tour in Dubrovnik
- See the fortified city & the Old Port
- Boat Cruise Euro 23.00
Weaving up the Dalmatian Coast towards Split, we pass crystal clear waters scattered with green islands.
Get up close to Roman heritage when you wander through the domain of Diocletian’s Palace in the city centre, complete with 220 buildings and a huge cathedral.
Zadar is the next stop with its medieval churches and marble streets. Check-out the local man-made wonder, the Sea Organ, where surging water bursts through holes cut into the rock. If you’re keen, grab a few buddies and hang out among the lively student population that fills the town’s bars and cafés.
- See Diocletian's Palace in Split
Today we’ll head to little Ljubljana, Slovenia’s happening university town and colourful capital. Compact and user-friendly, it’s easy to discover on foot and with a gorgeous hill-top castle and striking river, it’s a great place to hang out. Take a walk along the shaded riverside paths or head to the city’s popular meeting point, Presernov Tg, the central town square where you can watch lively street musicians and performers.
- See Ljubljana's castle & old town
Use your free time this morning to explore the pretty town of Bled.
Sticking to the Adriatic coast, we roll through Slovenia and into Venice. Watch the scenery change and maybe practice some of your Italian phrases!
Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner
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!
Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner
- 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
- Venice walking tour Euro 11.00
- Gondola ride Euro 22.00
Wind through the Apennine Mountains and Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence.
The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. Spend the afternoon 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 take a look into a skillful demonstration of Florentine leather making 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, where you’ll get to try regional dishes in the heart of Florence. Afterwards, head with the group to a local bar, order yourself a glass of Chianti wine and kick back Tuscan style.
Contiki Village Breakfast
- 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
- Tuscan Meal Euro 29.00
- Souvenir group photo Euro 11.00
Travel through Tuscany’s rustic hills, past the recognisable cypress tree landscapes of this olive oil-producing region to vibrant Rome, via a stop off at the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back with a few slices of pizza and people watch.
Contiki Village Breakfast
- See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Special access Rome sightseeing coach tour
- See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
- See St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City
This morning, make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then check out Rome’s imperial glory by visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys.
Live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do.
Tonight, make the last night on tour one to remember, and head out into the Roman nightlife with your friends.
Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner
- Vatican Tour Euro 34.00
- Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators including the Colosseum Euro 26.00
The trip ends after breakfast & it’s time to say "arrivederci" to your new friends.
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