Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This was my first Contiki trip and I had no idea what to expect. Traveling as a solo woman, I was a little nervous about who I'd meet or what I would do. I ended up having a total blast and would definitely recommend this trip to folks who've already seen the ~popular~ cities in Europe.
I didn't think I'd partake in the extra activities, but I ended up having #noregrets and did every extra! It wasn't too expensive, and the only thing I wouldn't do again was the light show in Prague. It was a little too weird for my taste.
Our tour guide Mike was fantastic - he had SO MUCH knowledge I couldn't believe it, he was very chill even when our group got a little out of hand, and he was a constant resource for things to do (and not do). Our driver Frank was great too!
It's hard to choose which city was my favorite, so I'll point out my favorite activities instead.
Berlin: The bike tour was BY FAR the coolest thing we did as a group throughout the whole tour. It was a food/drink bike tour and it took us off the tourist side of Berlin and into the cool, artistic part that everyone talks about. We ate amazing food and learned so much about the city.
Prague: I loved the Communist bunker tour and the bike tour. The bunker tour was such a uniquely Prague experience; I don't know where else you can find a working bunker that's also available to tourists! And the bike tour was fun too - we saw the Frank Gehry building, took a ton of pictures and survived a massive hangover from clubbing the night before.
Vienna: Mozart/Strauss concert. After days of travel, you may not want to dress up and go to a classical music concert, but it's worth it! The food was delicious, and who else can say they listened to classical music IN A CASTLE!? Yeah, I think that's all I need to say about that.
Budapest: We didn't have too many organized activities here, but I enjoyed walking around the city the most. The Doheny Synagogue is breathtaking and the baths were an excellent way to end the trip.
Vegetarians beware: This trip is not for you. I'm luckily not a vegetarian, but we had about 10 people who were vegan/vegetarian and the locals didn't understand why someone wouldn't eat goulash (and quite frankly, I'm the same way). The veggie option was a lot of cheese and fruit.
I blogged about my trip with a few more details in case you're interested: http://theadventuresofsheldon.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/what-i-learned-from-yolosolotrip2014/
I just got home yesterday from my trip to the USA and I completed the Eastern Discovery and it was the most amazing experience of my life and I loved every second of it!
I spent Christmas and New Years away from home but I had the best group of people to spend it with.
Everyone in our group hit it off straight away and bonded quickly.
Our tour guide was incredible he went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time. He not only told us amazing history about all the places we visited but also told us great places to eat, organised basketball, football and music festival tickets, and was always keen to get to know everyone and helped everybody out no matter the problem.
Optionals were great.. good selection of activities to do..
but highlights for me were the nights we spent together as a contiki family from nights out drinking, family dinners, Christmas day in Cocoa beach wearing christmas sweaters and exchanging 'Bad Santa' presents and New years On Bourbon Street New Orleans bringing in the New Year together.
If you are thinking of booking this trip DO IT but do the whole trip. I didn't realise this tour was apart of Grand Southern and we had to say goodbye to our new friends after 14 days and they continued on. It was so sad to see them go and I wanted to stay on so bad!
I only just arrived home yesterday and I'm already looking at booking my next contiki! It was amazing!
This Contiki is amazing, you snow board/Ski all day every day come back to the Contiki hotel have dinner and then everyone gets drunk together at the Contiki bar. The Contiki staff are amazing and so friendly. The bus trip from London to Austria is 20 hours so if you can't sit on a bus for 20 hours i suggest you catch a plane over to austria. I recommend to get the food board option the Chef Jamie is amazing like 3 course meal every night and these meals are like 5 star meals i was shocked! I highly recommend this tour its amazing!
I was actually pretty disappointed with this NYE Amsterdam tour for a few reasons. Several of these reasons are due to the lack of information Contiki provided before the tour.
First off, on the day that we traveled from London to Amsterdam, Contiki did not explain the travel time would be 12 hours. We took a bus, a ferry, then a bus again. I really wish this would have been explained better on the itinerary online, as I likely would have not booked knowing an entire day was travel time. The itinerary also highlights that during that, we would see the "White Cliffs of Dover." We definitely did not get out of the bus to see these closer or even had the chance to take a quick photo before the ferry ride.
When we finally arrived in Amsterdam, our "hotel," which was supposed to be "Superior Level," we found it to be musty, moldy, and about a 15 - 20 minute drive from the downtown area. Again, had this been highlighted on the site itinerary, I would not have booked. We actually did not even receive the hotel name until about 2 weeks prior to the trip, and we could not cancel at that point. I looked up prices to very nice, 3 or 4 star hotels downtown, and they were similar in price that what Contiki was charging us for hotel +transportation. This required travelers to take a cab or public transportation back to the hotel (which wasn't in the safest area). It was definitely not walking distance.
I also traveled with a friend, my sister and her husband. My friend and I were on the same bus, but my sister and her husband were on a separate bus. While we should have clarified when we booked we wanted to be together, there were NO activities with other bus groups. We could not do the Optionals or even jump on each other's buses to head downtown. They were very strict about not allowing us to be with the other buses. Again, this was very unclear on the site.
The Optionals, too, were very expensive. The "canal cruise with pizza and drinks" was around 35 euro, and we purchased our tickets directly with a company (again, because my friend, sister, and brother-in-law could not be on the same canal cruise due to separate buses) at half this price.
Finally, I'm a little upset that Contiki only represents strong, positive reviews on the site. After my trip, I found several message boards with other unsatisfied Contiki travelers. Contiki does not fully represent how ALL travelers review their trips; they only choose the "good reviews." It's a bad representation of the true experience.
Overall, Contiki is charging a lot for a little. The travel time was a waste of a whole day (when could have flown for cheaper and faster), the "hotel" was far from the city centre and not "superior," the Optionals were over-priced. Contiki should accurately represent ALL consumer reviews, and not skew the reviews to all be positive. I would not recommend a Contiki tour to someone who wants to spend a little more money (or actually even about the same) to get there faster and see more of the cities. Please do a better job of showing all reviews and providing more detailed itineraries, so travelers know ahead of time what they can expect in terms of travel time, hotel locations, and lack of other bus integration.
Trip of a life time
I cannot recommend this trip more highly. This was my third contiki and my most favorite. My only regret is getting off in New Orleans and not doing the whole Grand Southern. I never expected leaving a trip half way would reduce me to so many tears. This trip takes you to places you wouldn't normally go like Savannah, Charleston, St Augustine and Cocoa beach gems of the south. These places are beautiful! As well as the main highlights like Washington DC, Miami and New Orleans. Aside from having the best group I've ever had on a Contiki the reason this trip was so amazing was because of the amazing contiki team. They are both amazing assets to the company. They went above and beyond to make our tip what it was. After 75days on the road together before us with limited break you could have forgiven these two for lying low but it was quite the opposite! On our 'free' nights they organised and went shopping for pool parties, BBQ's and ordered in take away for 50 people to the hotel so we could all have dinner together! They also made the effort to get to know each and every person by sitting with different people at each road stop or dinner. While this trip is fast paced you see a lot. A stop in Philly for a photo with the rocky steps and philly cheese steak, a night tour of Washington DC, 2 full days to explore DC, a stop at Arlington national cemetery to visit JFK, walking tours of NOLA and Savannah and the best night out! In places like cocoa beach and St Augustine there are no organised activities so make sure you go for a walk and explore these beautiful places a lot of people just stayed at the hotel and missed out on seeing them. The optional activities are limited as so much is included but the Miami speed boats was one of the best experiences I have ever had as was the party cruise. Look after your things in Miami as our tour manager had things stolen as did a couple of people who thought a 3am dip in the beach was a good idea. Next minute passports, phones and wallets stolen. This resulted in one of the girls needing to leave the trip early. The accommodation at most of the places was basic but good. The exception in Miami where the group is split into two hotels. I was luckily in the much nicer hotel. The other half were not so lucky. The included breakfasts are very basic and the included dinners were not great. The one in Panama city beach was at a German beer house and was an absolute blast! The final dinner in NOLA was a complete let down. They took our orders the week before and were sooo unorganised when we arrived, It took 2 hours to get an entree and another hour to get the mains . The were all just slapped on a plate and food was cold. By then we had all utilised the bar a little too much and were ready to go out. I hope they change this for future tours as it was an optional and I'd have rathered spent the $24 finding a better meal. Overall I cannot reccomend this tour anymore but do the whole thing! I was so glad extended my trip and met them in LA when they finished and spent thanksgiving at disneyland and a crazy night out in Santa monica with 12 of them. No one will ever understand our obsession wih a traffic cone and treating it like a member of the group. He came on the Party cruise and swamp tour and featured in our group photos and also made it from DC back to Melbourne. One of those had to be there moments. We renamed contiki to CONETIKI. I'd personally reccomend travelling solo on contiki and belive you willl have a better experience. You should not hesitae booking this tour or any with contiki you will not be dissapointed!!
This tour pack can be done in 3 days or more. I managed it in 3. The pack is so worth the money and is great for a taster of London. I tacked this on at the end of a 33-day Contiki around Europe, and it's all self-paced which made everything simple and easy. London is SO easy to get around, especially on the tube. Did this tour pack on my own and so greatful i did. Definitely worth it, I highly recommend this to anyone who has a few days in London on the way back.
This tour is absolutely fantastic if you want to squeeze in everything in a short amount of time! You get to experience a decent amount of the culture with every country you visit, see all the main sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe as well as little backstage passes like the Murano glass blowing demonstration in Venice. Each and every day is jam packed full of amazing things to experience.
This tour has A LOT of travelling, but Europe is a veeery big place. I went in September and got to experience Oktoberfest in Munich and it was one of the highlights of my trip. I made life-long friends on this journey, got to know everyone really well and our tour manager was absolutely exceptional with his knowledge of the countries we visited, tips and tricks on where to visit on our free days, and made the whole experience worth every single penny.
Be prepared for a jam-packed experience with little sleep, a whole lot of walking and experiencing new cultures.
It's what you go to Europe for!
Incredible first Contiki tour for me, I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to see most of Europe in a short amount of time.
I had the best experience on my Vietnam Experience. First off, I definitely recommend this tour over the shorter one in Vietnam. Those extra few days in the Mekong Delta are truly amazing and got a bit ... wild. This was my first contiki but I'm extremely impressed and convinced this is the best way for young-ish people to initially travel a foreign area. Having an excellent tour guide, a group of friends and itinerary made sure I felt like I was getting the best bang for my buck.
The thing that makes contiki special though are the tour managers (thanks Danny!) and the other travellers your with. Its amazing how quickly you might develop friendships (maybe travel to their home country!)
On top of all this, Vietnam was amazing! Everyone needs to go visit Vietnam soon before its completely changed. Its quickly becoming a westernized city and its in this great spot right now where you can see the old historic culture clash with new technologies.
Did I mention the Pho ? :)
This was without doubt the best trip of my life. I wasn't sure what to expect, it being my first contiki, and spending Christmas and New Years in a different country with people I didn't know. All i can say is that the sights that we saw were breathtaking, the experiences and memories I made will last me forever and the friends I met are friends for a lifetime.
Our tour guide Danny was so helpful, and went above and beyond to make sure that everyone's needs were met and that we were all taken care of. He gave us heaps of options for activities in our spare time, and had great local knowledge of each place. Our guides spoke excellent english and were really fun!
From the quiet street of Hoi An, getting tailor made clothes fitted, to the huge beach parties in Nah Trang, it was a once in a lifetime gig. Theres something for everyone.
Vietnam is a must do. The country is beautiful. And i couldn't imagine doing it through any one other than Contiki!
Booked this trip last minute with my best friend and I'm so glad we did! We had a great time and met some really awesome people, it's a shame it was only a 4 day trip! Would have loved to continue travelling afterwards.
We booked the trip through another company, so we didn't know anything about Contiki until we departed. We had no idea there were going to be so many people! We definitely were not expecting to be in the minority of British people on the trip so that was really cool, making lots of new Australian/ American friends!
Contiki booked out a bar in a busy part of the city for New Years Eve which was free entry and 10 free drinks tokens (which was more than enough!). The bar itself wasn't anything special and was fairly small, but it was made fun by the people we were with.
There was plenty of time to go off exploring Amsterdam with your friends as well meeting up with the group during the evenings. The canal cruise on the last night was great, the perfect way to end the trip. Also the 'surprise trip' on the first night... definitely something not to miss!
I'm glad we decided to go with a group and not by ourselves as it meant we had solid plans for New Years Eve and weren't trying to find something to do, plus we were with a group of people we knew and liked which was really the best part.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking for something a little different to bring in the New Year!
This was without doubt the best thing I've ever done! I would recommend this trip to anyone! It's action packed and full of wonderful little surprises. Our Contiki tour manager was an absolute Gem, he was so knowledgeable, always willing to help and hilarious! Thanks Soki. Hint: Do all the optionals, it's well worth the small amount of dollars for the unforgettable experiences!
Having never travelled overseas before or by myself, I was nervous about taking this trip.
But then I arrived at the start of the tour and everything just fell into place. My tour manager Craig and driver Richard always made sure we knew exactly what we were doing that day and where we needed to be at what time. They also gave us helpful tips for places to go or things to see in every place and what really wasn't worth it.
The accommodation was great in every place. Comfortable, roomy and fitting for the lifestyle of this trip. The food was also great and the included meals (which there are a lot of!) are all decent sized and a variation of different and local cuisines.
I did all of the optionals except for the jeep tour because I was sick and they were all definitely worth the money you pay for them. But if you are on a budget, the included parts of the tour are also very amazing. The extras were a great addition, but you can still enjoy the tour without them.
The time given in each place was great too. There was only one place that I could have stayed for longer at, but I could also live there so I really didn't mind leaving. If you want free time to explore, this tour is also really great for that too.
If you want to see the Western part of the USA and only have a small budget, this is a great tour for you. Whether you are by yourself, part of a group or a couple, you will enjoy this tour and there will always be at least one person on the tour that you will click with.
I had the time of my life on this trip. Spain, specifically Barcelona, ended up being the highlight of my trip. Our tour guide, Guissepe, was awesome as well as our driver Tonino, I believe. The hotels were awesome, but the wi-fi wasn't the best, so I'd get some kind of international service on your cell phone. In every city visited we were given ample time and opportunity to sight see. As a word advice, I would sign up for ALL optionals because it is a great opportunity to band with trip members. I don't know if I got lucky, but I met people on our tour that I can call family. BEST VACATION EVER. If you're having any doubts, trust me and sign up. This was my first vacation out of my home country.
Reflecting back on 2014, one of our greatest memories was our trip to Europe in September. We had the trip of a lifetime! We made new friends, saw great places and literally got a taste of Europe. We visited 10 of the most amazing countries in 18 days and experienced some incredible cities such as Brussels, Munich, Florence, Barcelona and Paris (to name but a few) - these were only surpassed in amazement by the breathtaking scenery of Switzerland! What an experience ... our next trip is calling! #NOREGRETS
So this trip was my first trip overseas so I was a tad bit nervous at first. We started up north working our way down from New York to New Orleans in 14 days. Going from one New to another I learnt so much about myself and about America. We started our trip in Philly starting at the Steps that Rocky ran up which symbolises where I wanted to be at the end of my trip. At the top of those stairs. From New York to New Orleans we saw some amazing/ meaningful sites from the Monuments in Washington to the historic buildings down south, learning along the way richness of history America has from our hop on tour guides as well as our fabulous tour guide James who made the trip what it was along with Markus the Bus Driver who did a phenomenal job of driving and with both of them becoming like family for my 14 days. By the end of this trip I had eaten enough buffalo wings to recommend everyone trying them, I went to a lot of breweries which had amazing beers that we don't experience too much of in Australia, I made so many friends that I hope to catch up with them when they get home and overall I made memories that will last a lifetime. I recommend this trip to everyone, I suggest to do the Grand Southern, one of my regrets is not continuing on as all my friends looked like they were having so much fun. I will be doing contiki again as it is definitely worth it.
I originally decided to do a Contiki tour because it was an inexpensive way to travel through a country I was unfamiliar with. I had little expectations and large preconceptions before leaving. Despite this, I can honestly say that my preconceived doubts were blown out of the water. My Contiki experience was cultural, adventurous, scenic and exciting. Every day was something new and unforgettable. My guide, Kristen Schuster, was informative, caring and easily approachable. Kristen and her flawless organizational skills were impressive to say the least. All in all, I can’t wait to book my next holiday with Contiki.
If you are looking at this trip thinking if you want to do it or not... let me tell you do it you will not be disappointed!!!!! it was seriously one of the most memorable experience of my life also the same for everyone we met on our tour! this was my first Contiki and so glad i did it! i have made friends for life! all the places you see is amazing! Laos would be my favourite country and goes for pretty much everyone in our group we had the best local tour guide mr Khammy or call him mr me! best time of my life!! i never wanted to leave if i could keep rewinding it i would!
Somewhere along the lines between Riding Elephants, going to Temples, Scuba Diving, Dancing on the Beach, and Kayaking in the middle of the ocean my life truly changed for the better on this trip. This trip is amazingly designed, let's you see some of the best scenery ever, and it was worth 10 times the price. Thank you Cassie and Contiki.
I came on this trip wanting to do as much adrenaline packed activities as possible and i was not let down at all. As long as you can pay for it you can make this tour quite relaxing to next level crazy ! I higly recommend this tour for anyone, good times are to be had guranteed :D