Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was my first time travelling "solo". I'm so glad I chose this tour. It was only a short tour, being 10 days long, and I wish I had booked the longer tour, as time flew by. The tour set a good pace, fitting in lots of site seeing and activities, but also giving an adequate amount of "free time" to explore locations by yourself or with friends. My tour guide was amazing and I was lucky enough to be upon her final tour before she retired from tour managing. I enjoyed my time with a great bunch of people, from all over the world, from all walks of life, and of wide variety of ages. It was a very mind opening experience and I wouldn't change anything about the tour. Definitely do this tour(or a longer one, as you'll wish you booked a longer one) if you get the chance.
With it being my first time travelling AND I was alone, I was extremely worried that I wouldn't cope with the fast pace of a Contiki tour.
Luckily for me, the Thai Island Hopper West tour was relaxed with a lot of free time to explore the islands how I wanted and at the pace I wanted.
With a great tour group, great food, and sights for everyone to enjoy, I was not let down!!
This tour was AMAZING! Our tour guide, Bree, was down to earth and extremely knowledgeable. And our driver, Ricky, was awesome with getting us around London and Paris safely (ninja driving skills with that bus!) I went on this tour by myself and had just as much fun, I reckon, if not more fun than if I went with someone I knew. I made friends right away and we all became like a small family for these 9 days. (EX: The pic from Stonehenge was the first of many group pics on day 1). I still talk to most of the people from my tour on a regular basis and we're even trying to plan another Contiki trip together! Friends from around the world = happiness.
I went on every excursion/Me-Time option they offered (why not?) and STILL had plenty of time to go see things that I wanted. It's hard to pick just one favorite memory... and 9 days seems to go by in the blink of an eye! This tour definitely gives you a good taste of London and Paris, so if you ever wanted to go back, you can re-visit some goodies and explore a little more! The hotels were nice. They weren't 5-star resorts, but honestly, you're not in the rooms that often. Sleeping, showering. That's about it. But they were still nice, clean, and functional. And the hotel staff at both places were extremely helpful when we had questions.
I went on this tour from Sept 6th - 14th, 2014 and the weather was GORGEOUS! I think we happen to hit a "warm spell" in both locations, but never the less, September was an amazing time to go because the weather was still nice but most of the summer tourists had come and gone (AKA not as crowded as it could be).
Honestly, book this tour. You won't regret it.
Awesome trip, very fast-moving and so much fun
This tour was everything I could have hoped for and more. With two full days in each city you really have the time to enjoy your surroundings and take in everything. Jason, our tour guide and Tony, our driver were both fantastic! Jason was so knowledgeable and informative which made the trip run smoothly. The day trip to Stonehenge and Bath from London was a great opportunity to experience a bit of the English countryside and interact with the locals. The Eiffel Tower and Versailles in Paris were well worth the wait and although the Rome section of the tour was unguided we were given more than enough information and necessities to comfortably find our way around.
My suggestions would be to take advantage of every optional activity available to you, they are all well worth it. Eat like the locals and enjoy their authentic cuisine. Also, take a moment to relax and really take it all in. This is a busy tour. Most of my days started by 7am and some nights I didn't get back to the hotel until after 1am. You always have time to sleep on the bus so don't worry about not getting enough sleep!
I would 100% recommend this tour. It is a great beginner tour for Europe if you are looking to see multiple cities, without being overwhelmed all at once.
what a trip to just relax and soak up the sun - while experiencing both day and nights of this beautiful country and island. absolutely unforgettable day trips sight seeing through the history of Greece and memorable crazy fun nights out in the streets of the islands - where you dance till you can't feel your feet!!!
Courtney, our Tour Guide, livened up the party and atmosphere! made us feel like we had known each other for years!
Definitely recommend this EVERYONE!!!
Mexico Grande was amazing, I didn't really know what to expect from Mexico but it was the food, the people and the beautiful cities and culture that made it so memorable. Along with that we had an awesome tour guide!
There is now a special place in my heart for Mexico and I definitely want to get back there ASAP!
Simply Italy, Simply Amazing - That would be the best way to describe the trip, Everything about the Contiki was wonderful would definitely recommend
An incredible Contiki Adventure.
It was my first contiki tour, I was going alone and I was scared. The contiki was easy to organise and tour leader Pheobee, made me feel so comfortable and at ease. You meet so many people, so do not be scared to go alone - You won't regret it!
What we saw/What we did: Do all of the optional extras, I did and they were all awesome. Beware of the heat, bring electrolytes, drink plenty of water and wear a hat. In terms of what we, Ho Chi Minh is great, arrive early and spend a few extra days there. The Mekong Delta and the home stay night is awesome fun, beware of the Jungle Punch though. The Cu Chi tunnels was an amazing experiences, yes it is cramped and small inside, but you must go in! It's something you'll never forget. Nha Trang, was my favourite destination. The island hopping day in Nha Trang is a must, the mud baths were heaps of fun too. In Hoi An everything is absolutely adorable, I didn't get anything made, but heaps of people chose to get clothes made, instead we decided to get a bit of pampering, hire bikes and explore the towns and beaches (it was incredible). Then heading up to Hanoi and Halong Bay, Hanoi is a pretty cool city, we had a lot of fun there, and Halong Bay is amazing! The canoeing optional is a must, the caves are beautiful and the Boat party is great Fun.
Optionals: Do all the optionals, its a once in a life time experience, do them all! If not, the Island hopping in Nha Trang, The Mudbaths, The Temple visit and the Canoeing in Halong Bay were the most fun.
Accommodation/Food: All of the accommodation was beautiful. The hotels were in awesome locations and so clean and beautiful and all came with breakfast. The Mekong Delta special stay is heaps of fun and very clean too. I did not have a bad meal at all in Vietnam, try everything, their local and western food is both amazing.
Transport: The bus was great, clean and with zircon - don't worry you sleep most of the time on the buses anyways.
Tour mates, Best Moments: Everything was a highlight. There was never a dull moment. It was definitely worth the money. Everyone in the group was lovely, I was 18 at the time and the youngest, the group ranged in aged up to 32. Everyone got on really well with a group of 29 at it's biggest, some people left on different tours at different points in the journey. As for best moment, I met a guy on Tour from Perth (I am from Queensland) and we are still dating today, it was love at first sight.
Eye opening experience. You want to have fun? go on this tour!
it was so amazing! first time traveling and I was alone but it was amazing. tons of stuff to do back to back never busy. met amazing people it truly is worth everything. hotels aren't as fancy but overall it was amazing. our tour guide was the best!
Thanks for a truly amazing, life changing experience.
Just wanted to give 5 big golden stars to you for such an incredible trip.
It was a great mix of partying, sight seeing, culture, friendship and experiences.
I have to say, I don't think I could have possibly seen so many things in so little time on any other tour... just incredible. I true life changer!
This trip was amazing! If you want to get a taste of Europe, this journey had a great balance between culture and party! We had an awesome group, spread right from 18 to 35. The people were mainly Aussie on our tour with a few cool South Africans and Kiwi's. We all got along and the contiki staff made sure we got to know each other.
Tammy our TM and Krzysztof the Driver were fantastic and flexible. They were well informed and gave us plenty of tips on each city. The countries we visited were beautiful in Winter. It was the perfect way to get a taste of each capital city. 2 nights would be the minimum though, you only get 1 full day in each city and 2 nights.
The cities! Amsterdam was awesome but 2 days was enough, choose all the ME time activity!
Germany was more cultural than fun, I'd suggest booking some good bars or clubs in advance as it gets busy.
Prague was the stand out, so unexpected, best country by far. The people are really friendly and the food is amazing. Be sure to only eat in small groups as most of the restaurants are pretty small. They also have the cheapest shopping, basics like H&M etc... but really good quality and lowest prices. YOU MUST TRY THE ANONYMOUS BAR or the VODKA BAR. Google them and book at least the Anonymous Bar, so worth it!
Italy was amazing! Be prepared to pay a little more and eat in the more expensive cafe's, the alley ways are a little over rated. Just go and get lost in Venice, eat everything you can in Florence and do all the touristy stuff in Rome. Rome was a good party city. In Florence, don't just shop at the expensive leather places, the markets are OK quality too.
Switzerland was expensive but worth it. If you buy in bulk at the Watch & Swiss Knife stores you save!
Paris was great but be prepared for a lot of walking if you want to squeeze everything into one day. I didn't want to miss anything and we managed the Eiffel Tower, Arc Di Triumph, shopped along Champs-Elysees, Eating Escargot (just off Champs, go down the side stress for good value) and the Love Lock Bridge in one day, but had to miss the Louvre. The line was massive.
The ME time optional activities were pretty cool, but touristy, be sure too budget for them. I chose them all which was an additional $750ish but worth it. You could easily venture off on your own though and still discover each city, but a majority of the group go so it's nice to stick together. If you don't want to spend the additional $$ on the ME Time's, you can skip the dinners but do all the day activities. You can still catch up with everyone after the meal.
Everything was really well organised, the tour manager was hilarious and really cool. I would go back!
My hot tips are;
For the Wi-Fi junkies, if you don't have global roaming (expensive) go to a 3 store or Vodafone in London (there's one close to the Contiki Hotel) and get yourself the "Feel at Home" package. It cost me 15 pounds for unlimited data in 6 of the 8 countries. The other 2 I just used hotel Wi-Fi or a local café.
Listen to the Tour Manager, read their map and take their list of tips. Prepare each day in advance and make the most of the daytime in each city. You will regret missing out.
Help your hangover! The tour moves fast! Eat plenty of fresh & healthy food @ the service stops on bus days. You tend to let yourself go in each country so use the bus days (every 2nd - 3rd day) to rejuvenate before the next drinking session! You can buy fruit and water from most places, stock up in advance!
If you're clever and see a cool bar or restaurant whilst wandering around during the day, book it for night-time, save you moving from place to place looking for a seat in the busy months.
Ask your Tour Manager in advance how long the walking tours are, some are 1 hour some go for 3 hours. My recommendation is do them all to orientate yourself but you don't have to stay the whole tour.
Use trains as much as possible, they're cheap. But if you use taxi's agree on the price or ask them to put the meter on before you get in!
Don't forget your ID for the clubs, crazy on that!
DONT MISS THE BUS! Set your alarm and use the wake up calls from the hotels, they come in handy!
It's rude not to tip! They get paid less in Europe so spare a few coins for all the walking tours or restaurants, they also treat you better at a bar if you tip early in the night!
The European Whirl was the perfect trip. My sister when she was younger did a 12 day contiki tour and the one thing she said she regretted was that she didn't go longer. 18 days was perfect - a little over two weeks, great price and even then I probably could have stayed longer! I felt this trip went to all the places in Europe that needed ticked off and the rest could be done later. My favourite places were Berlin (the history), the Swiss and Austrian Alps (jaw-droppingly beautiful) and Italy as a whole. I never used to drink a lot or party much which was a running joke by the end of the tour because well... These guys turned me into a short-term alcoholic. It's hard not too when your basically with your best friends every day and night having the time of your life. Must do optionals is the paragliding in Austria and water rafting in Austria. In fact most of the optionals are fabulous... Some of the tours are a bit boring but it's nice to mix the partying with the culture really. Our tour guide was Lilly and she was amazing. She deserves a raise for dealing with us and by us I mean we did have one douche bag on our trip but she handled him as well as she could given the circumstances. Bart our bus driver, the polish sexy silent assassin, was brilliant too. This tour = 10/10
Berlin to Budapest was my third Contiki trip after I did European Escapade and Croatian Sail in the summer of 2012 and this time round wanted to see Europe during the magical period that is winter, more specifically Europe just before Christmas. Every city you visit will be magically lit up and there will be plenty of local festivities occurring. Other than the lack of snow it truly was a winter wonderland and December was the perfect time to do it. I do recommend that you do spend an extra night in Budapest or leave late as i felt that there wasn't enough time to get all the cheap shopping, out door spa'ing and lake skating done.
Check out the video created of the trip then times it by 50 and you'll get a feel of what this trip is like.
This trip was a fantastic introduction to Europe. Got to see almost all the major tourist cities and attractions in Europe. Great tour to see a lot in a 'short' amount of time, and have some amazing experiences, including all the additional activities, which I highly recommend.
Some of the accommodation was great, and some was average, but it doesn't really matter, because you pretty much just need a bed to sleep in.
This trip let me know where I want to go back to and for how long. Loved my experience on this tour with Contiki.
This Contiki was over and beyond anything I'd expected. I travelled mid January, it was great weather. It was the best scenery I've ever seen- I was never board on the bus because there was always something to look at.
I found white water rafting and heli hiking the best out of all of them. The accommodation is pretty good, I stayed with 3 other girls and we were only in there to sleep, get ready and drink. I would highly recommend this trip!! The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking, and if scenery isn't your thing there is Queenstown! Coming from Australia I found that most of the food and activities were on par with pricing here.
This was my first contiki tour and I will definitely be booking another one soon!
First thing I was reluctant at first to do this alone but majority of everyone on this tour travelled alone or in couples , and such a mix of people it is so easy to make friends even on the 1st day !
Jon and Jonny, our tour guide and bus driver were amazing at making this trip unforgettable :D from hard partying in 'amsterdamage' as they called it, huge stein beers in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, wet gondola rides in a very rainy Venice, beautiful scenic snowy mountains in Switzerland and touring the lovely city of Paris this trip had so much to offer in 9 days, hell it was tiring but so fun !:D
Definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a first taste of Europe !
booze cruise accross the dam !
stop off in Innsbruck Austria
Meal in Venice , lots of food, musician and limoncello!
thanks contiki :D xxx
Absolutely amazing! Highly recommended. Egypt is safe to travel, and one of the coolest places I've ever been to. Some of the places we stayed weren't as nice as the others, but that didn't matter too much once we got where we needed. The cruise was a highlight, the staff were so nice, and our tour leader Sherif was amazing! He was so kind & helpful and is so excited to share his Egypt with everyone.
this tour was amazing, we got to see so much of vietnam, with the weather holding out for the magnificent halong bay, on an incredibly nice junk boat. great sights, great people, great food. We had the most amazing tour guide ever lee, who never failed to make us happy and had continued to have a great time with us. i would highly recommend this tour but if you have a bit more time on your hands book the big indo tour as this is part of that tour and i plan to go back to do the asian adventure which is the beginning of the big indo before vietnam. Vietnam was amazing, great on a budget as things are very cheap, its a full on trip make sure you do all the extras!!!!