01 Nov 2014 - 09 Nov 2014
I love Contiki, and I make no secret of it. I've had multiple friends go on Contiki trips solely because of my emphatic and repetitive recommendation.
I had no idea what was in store for Berlin, Prague and Vienna. These weren't cities that friends/family/books/TV showed me much. But I knew snippets of these cities' history, and I knew how much fun would be guaranteed for a Contiki, so I signed up.
I got to Berlin by train (from Amsterdam, which I toured with a friend who I'd met on a previous Contiki!). So recommended. What a way to see Europe.
Berlin is a total young person party city, but weirdly I didn't have an overwhelmingly "party" time there. Sure, I did go to a MASSIVE club where getting lost was almost a guarantee. (Side note: they are very generous with free drinkz for ladiez.) Sure, I stayed out until the wee hours of the night. But it didn't feel that party-ish, because every morning I was up and touring the amazing historical quarters. Also notable, I got to see where Michael Jackson dangled his baby off a balcony. Equally important.
Quick note (warning, I'm about to be a bummer): Berlin is famous for its role in WWII. There were a couple dumb kids running around on the stellae of the Holocaust Memorial. Please don't run atop a very serious memorial.
The road to Prague was awesome, because we got to stop in Dresden. I really only knew Dresden from the "Dresden dolls" thing (look it up), but this town is on a river and absolutely quintessential Europe. The hard part: I had no idea where to eat. We ended up stealing into a Canadian steakhouse (?) which was fine, but probably not the Dresden experience.
Prague itself: AMAZING! I recommend skipping the black light show. I am a fan of the arts, but this wasn't for me (nor was it for anyone in my group, so if you don't trust me, trust the volume). We went to a lot of fun clubs and bars, including one with a see-through floor. You could see people below you. Wild! There's also a fantastic beer bar just outside the main square where the astronomical clock is. You can get a 10-beer flight for what translated to a few USD. Love, love, love. The boat tour was real fun too. I wish I'd listened better. (I was drinking and probably laughing too loudly for some of it.)
On the road between Prague and Vienna is a wild rest stop. I won't spoil the surprise, but yeah, it's good.
Vienna is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, top 3 cities I've visited in Europe gorgeous. I don't understand how they can afford to run such an opulent city. Vienna's highlights: the schnapps museum; the concert; the dinner. Do all the add-ons here. Trust me. Also, Prater Dome. What can I say about it except that it's WILD to be clubbing in a theme park. Please go.
My only regret (noooo #noregrets) is not carrying on to Budapest with the rest of my friends. I've already seen some of them since, but boy would it've been great to share more time and memories with them.
PLEASE go. And tack on 5 more trips. Just quit your job and do Contikis for a living. I would.
Review written Jun 2016event 0.3
29 Aug 2015 - 06 Sep 2015
This was a wonderful trip, but I wish I had known it was part of several other trips. My tour group continued on to Morocco and I wish I could have joined! Prague will take your breath away for suuuuure. Berlin was a city wasn't on my bucket list, but I fell in love with it after two days. Definitely do the bike dinner crawl add-on. One of my favorite parts of the trip. All around it was AMAZING! Tip: Skip the bunker tour in Prague - absolute waste of time.
Review written Jan 2016event 0.3
11 Jul 2015 - 19 Jul 2015
My boyfriend and I just got back from our Contiki trip to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. We had an amazing time! Our trip manager, Nick, was super knowledgeable and fun. He always had great suggestions for places to eat or bars/clubs to check out. He suggested a rooftop bar in Prague that had amazing views of the city and was one of the highlights of our trip. Before going on the trip I didn't know what to expect from the ME Time Optionals but I definitely suggest doing all of them. Some of our favorites were the Berlin bike tour (amazing food and an awesome guide), the nuclear bunker tour in Prague, and the Strauss/Mozart concert in Vienna. Almost everyone went on each Optional and it was the perfect opportunity to bond with other people on the trip. My only regret was not being able to travel all the way to Budapest (since the full trip is Berlin to Budapest). We were sad to leave the tour and our new found friends in Vienna. I absolutely recommend this trip if you are interested in these cities and I hope you're lucky enough to get Nick as your trip manager!
Review written Jul 2015event 0.3
18 Apr 2015 - 26 Apr 2015
This was my first Contiki and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I'm 30 so closer to the upper end of the Contiki age range, but this trip I felt had a good mixture of ages and personalities - some of us out for the party scene (in Prague beer is cheaper than water) and some out for the fantastic art and architecture. There was a couple of married couples, some people travelling with friends, but mostly other solo travellers.
Do every optional you possibly can. You'll regret not doing them more than the cost of them, and really the cost is very low as you do everything in a group - I was very pleasantly surprised on checking my bank balance once home! If they still use Ivan Galik for the tours in Prague, they should not be missed, he's hilarious!
Food wise, it's not great for vegetarians; there's a lot of sausage and schnitzel to eat and the alternatives I saw the veggies being given didn't look all that great. However, if you do eat meat, you're all set! Don't forget to try currywurst in Berlin (a bratwurst sausage in a tomato and Worcestershire sauce with curry powder, it's incredibly popular) and the tredlnik doughnut things in Prague. Try as many local beers as you can handle and visit the Schnapps tour in Vienna for the best Schnapps you'll ever have.
The crew we had, tour manager Alex and driver Johnny, were extremely knowledgeable and helpful and happy to have a drink with us (well, not Johnny - he was driving!) whilst still remaining very professional and with the group's best interests at heart. I did have an accident flying off my bike in Prague, no bones broken just a whopper of a bruise, but it was handled really well and everyone made sure I was ok and taken care of. Schnapps happens. Was still an amazing trip!
Really though, the best thing about the trip was the people with you. I had such a great time and did things I might never have done if truly travelling solo, and really feel like I've made some great friends out of this.
If you are reading a review, it means you are considering it. Stop just thinking about it, bite the bullet and go. I'm looking into my second Contiki already. #NoRegrets
Review written Apr 2015event 0.3
09 Nov 2012 - 18 Nov 2012
This was my first Contiki alone, but not my first. I'm so glad I took the plunge and went solo because I made so many friends. I decided to get to Berlin a day early so I wouldn't have to deal with the jet lag on the first night of the tour. Just did the extra night through Contiki and I met a ton of other tour mates before the tour started which was great. The hotel was nothing fancy but it had all the basic amenities and it was CLEAN! The only downside was that it only had free wifi in the lobby and it was a 10 min walk from the subway... that isn't too terrible but when me and my tour mates were lugging around luggage for 5 long blocks... it made a difference. The optional tour of Berlin was amazing, our local tour guide was very insightful. He also took us on the Eye Spy tour which wasn't exactly what I imagined with the whole spy mystery thing but we did get a lot of history on the Berlin wall before we headed out to party. Probably the best night out of the whole tour! On the drive down to Prague we stopped in Dresden, Germany. We only got a couple of hours there so don't waste your time eating lunch inside a restaurant. Grab a sausage from a food truck and walk around. It is GORGEOUS! When we finally arrived in Prague we had dinner at the converted church. We stayed at an Ibis in Prague which was the best hotel we stayed at since it was very modern and had free wifi in the rooms. The breakfast wasn't so great, I found a hair in the bacon.... Anyways, Prague was amazing despite the heavy fog that clouded the skyline for half the day. Walking tour was great to familiarize ourselves with the town. I skipped out on the lunch cruise so I could explore the city more and see the Astronomical clock in action once again and a very awkward visit to the Sex Machine museum. For some local cheap good eats, check out Czech Kitchen by the small market. Good food, it is a cafeteria style restaurant. Definitely take advantage of the optional Czech dinner. It was lots of fun with the music and dancing. It was interactive too. We got to play local games and won little bottles of czech alcohol to take home. Prague Pub Crawl was optional and 20 Euros. I would've had more fun if the bars didn't allow smoking indoors. It made it very difficult to breathe for me personally. Since I caught the "Contiki Cough" on a winter tour, this pub crawl was definitely not a great idea for me to partake in. The ride down to Vienna was a trek and we stopped at a small town. AVOID the "authentic Italian" restaurant that takes credit cards at all costs. Couple of tour mates and I got a bit of food poisoning there. Vienna was AMAZING! The first included dinner there was probably the best included dinner I've ever had on a Contiki tour. They took us to a restaurant called Leonard's I think. Also, the hotel in Vienna is very sophisticated, I really liked it. It was quaint. Unfortunately at this point I only had one day left in my Contiki since I had to go back to work I couldn't continue to Budapest. We had a free day in Vienna to check it out. Lucky for us we were there for the Christmas markets. BEAUTIFUL and I love Christmas. Try the sausage with cheese inside it. I cant remember the name right now but it was amazing. When they take you to the Schnapps museum, try the rocket fuel. You'll thank me later ;) Overall this tour was great. Our guide Glenn was hilarious and our driver Elko was very interesting to talk to. He had many great stories. The tour mates were great, but as always you do tend to make a little group and they were truly fun to go out and share experiences with. I cannot wait to do my next Contiki!
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
06 Jul 2012 - 15 Jul 2012
I had a blast and will remember ever moment of it. I will miss all my friends i met. I recommend this tour for 20 year olds or older as it is catered to the older crowd. I loved all the cities but wish there was more time in vienna as two days was not enough time.
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
04 May 2012 - 13 May 2012
I enoyed the trip. Included in the tour is 2 and 1/2 days in Berlin and Prague which is a decent amount of time to see those great cities. Often times with most tours you don't get much time to see a city, which is a shame. I loved the extras and optional excusions. My only issue with the tour is it only give you 1 and 1/2 days in Vienna. I added a day on the end at Vinna with my travel agent. I'm glad I did it. Berlin is great modern city with a lot of recent history don't miss the Checkpoint Charlie museum. Praque is a beautiful Medieval city that wasn't damaged in WW2. There's lots of Medieval and Art Nouveau Architecture. Vienna is an elegant capital of the old Habsburg empire. Don't miss the Hofberg Palace and crown jewels. Overall if you enjoy historty, art, architecture, classical music, its great trip.
Review written May 2012event 0.3