04 Jun 2016 - 12 Jun 2016
What I loved about the trip:
- Very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide (Sarah). The presentations about each new country were interesting, and the maps of the cities we visited and ‘survival phrases’ were very useful. She also gave us good advice on restaurants and things to see/do during our free time.
- The optional extras. I signed up for most of them, and they were worth every penny! The guide on both of the Budapest tours was very funny, and the guide on the “Traditional Tastes of Venice” tour chatted to us all as we tried some very tasty Italian antipasti. All of the guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The pierogi evening was fun, and the gondola ride was a bucket list item!
- The inclusions. Key landmarks were pointed out to us, and the included meals were traditional. Sarah took us on short walking tours of the cities, and we also had plenty of time to look around Auschwitz-Birkenau and Banska Bystrica.
- The free time. I felt that there was enough time to explore in all of the cities (except Rome – see below).
What could have been better:
- Very little time spent in Rome. The trip description says “See the Colosseum” and “See St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City”, but neither place was included in the walking tour, and we did not get off the coach to have a closer look. I therefore only managed to get a quick glimpse, which was disappointing.
- The hostel in Ljubljana. The hostel was on the top few floors (floors 12 and upwards) of a VERY tall hotel building. The lifts were slow, and stopped on every single level. There was only one electrical socket in the room (for 4 people), the bathroom door did not close properly, and there was graffiti on the walls next to some of the bunk beds. The lights in the room were not working when we arrived, and one of the hinges on the window was broken. The Contiki website says that the hostels visited are “some of Europe’s top hostels”, but this one was poor, and one of my roommates said that she felt nervous staying there.
- The rooming situation. When my friend and I booked this trip, we requested a twin room in each of the hostels/hotels. A rooming list was passed round when we were on the coach on the way to the next destination, and the non-quad rooms were usually reserved for couples. We managed to get twin rooms in Krakow and Venice, and although we understood that twin rooms were not guaranteed, we felt that our request had been ignored for the most part.
A fantastic trip, and I’ve already started thinking about my next adventure! I would definitely recommend the Eastern Trail.
Review written Jun 2016event 0.3
23 Apr 2016 - 01 May 2016
This was my first Contiki Tour and it will not be my last! I met amazing new people and had the best tour manager and bus driver I could have imagined! This is the perfect trip if you want a taste of a lot of different countries! :)
Review written May 2016event 0.3
10 May 2014 - 18 May 2014
This was my first Contiki tour, and the first thing I did when it was over was book another (honestly). I have a lot of friends who recommended Contiki but refused to tell me anything about it, saying you just have to experience it and then you would know. They were on point. I recommend doing most/all the optional activities as they are definitely value for money; the Budapest dinner cruise was beyond epic. My friends and parents paid in excess of 70 euro for their Gondola rides whilst Contiki provided for less than 30. Megs was my tour guide, if you get her; I envy you. She made the experience what it was with her infectious smile, organisation skills and extensive knowledge of all the places visited. My fellow travelers were amazing and ready to experience the world. I loved the Eastern European culture, cuisine and nightlife. I cannot recommend Contiki enough, and this tour. Get out there and do it, #noregrets!
Review written May 2014event 0.3
19 Jul 2013 - 28 Jul 2013
Awesome tour! Saw a lot in 10 days! Very fast paced so you just get a "taste" of each city. Decent amount of free time to venture out on your own to explore. Our tour guide Emma was fantastic, very helpful and made the tour enjoyable. The accommodations were very good, most of them had air conditioning. The best optional was the salt mine tour near Krakow. Very little time spent in Rome (where the tour ends) so I would definitely recommend that you stay a few extra days after the tour ends to take in the sites the city has to offer. I would definitely recommend this tour!
Review written Sep 2013event 0.3