Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
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!!!!
Awesome country, so much to do, weather is great, beautiful cities.
This trip was a blast. There was so much to see and do over the 8 days. Tour manager Sherif was so knowledgeable on all the sites and local history. Egypt used to have over 12 million tourists a year. After the revolution tourists have decided to vacation elsewhere, and now there are only 2-3 million tourists a year. We had the river cruise boat, as well as the tourist sites all to ourselves. At no time did I feel unsafe in Egypt. Now is the time to go!
We spent Christmas on the Nile river cruise. The staff went above and beyond to provide a special Christmas Eve dinner for everyone. The Egyptian party was silly, but it was fun to roam the markets to find the best deal on the Egyptian clothing. It was also fun to take pictures and dance in the clothing.
The optionals, such as Abu Simbel, the Crocodile temple, and snorkeling the Red Sea or taking a 4 wheeler in the desert were all worth the extra money. I would recommend coming in a day early or leaving a day late to explore Alexandria. Sherif took a group of us up for the day. We saw 5 sites, local markets, stopped for lunch, and made it home in time for dinner. Well worth $110USD.
Remember to buy your $25USD visa at the currency exchange in the airport before you get in the immigration line. There are no signs directing you to do this.
Book this tour before millions of tourists flock back to Egypt!
I think for the young traveller who has never travelled alone/without parents. The tour was well structured with a good mix of organised and free time. Our tour manager Matt was excellent. He has a huge knowledge and interest of New York which I really appreciated and helped me to also become really interested. He also had an awesome sense of humor. Absolutely fantastic. Couldn't have thought of a better way to see New York for the first time. Thanks so much!
I definitely recommend this tour if someone is looking for a short and brief taste of the east coast. I only did this short trip because I also flew over to Australia's west coast for a week and a half. I know everyone says it's expensive in Australia, but seriously, prepare yourself for how truly expensive everything is there!
This trip was an experience of a lifetime!
In just 19 days we all become one little family sharing new experiences together, visiting amazing places and enjoying one another's company.
We saw some incredible sights and famous monuments throughout our travels from Amsterdam to Paris. The Colosseum, the Vatican, Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower, Berlin wall.. the list could go on and on.
If I could go back and do it all over again I would!
Our tour guide was amazing, always full of energy and helped us to get the absolute best out of our time travelling in a foreign country. She made sure we saw the best bits of Europe!
This tour is great for people that want to see a lot in a short period of time. I can't believe how much we managed to do in only 9 days! The optional activities were all excellent and decently priced, definitely worth doing the lot. After all you are there to see Europe! Accommodation is good, but to be honest you are so tired at the end of each day it doesn't matter as long as it's clean! Food was to die for!! Definitely try the pork knuckle in Munich :) I would definitely recommend doing this tour, you meet some incredible people along the way and see some amazing sites. Great for first time Contiki goers!
Couldn't have asked for a better first time OS! Somehow this week packed everything and more into the North Island I could have ever expected. From adventurous White Water Rafting even the experts had never experienced to captivating culture in Rotorua, I got the full experience. Taz (tour manager) and everyone on the tour were the nicest people I've ever met and although I travelled by myself, I never once felt alone. Already planning my next trip for the South Island and the rest of the world. Contiki gave me the travel bug and I couldn't be any happier!!
Even though this is not a "typical" Contiki where your day is filled with tours and activities (you will probably sleep most of the day), I would not change anything to this trip. We had 2 full buses, so over a 100 of party people and 2 amazing TMs, Craig and Phil. What you get is an amazing bus tour of Vegas at night with surprises, a great "get to know your new friends" dinner, 3 nights of partying in clubs (with free drinks or open bar and mostly skipping the lines) and the experience of a lifetime. There are lots of great optional activities, do NOT miss the Limo Party and the important thing to remember is to suit up and get ready for some legendary times!!!! Chances are you will never want to leave.
this was an absolutely amazing tour! Well worth it if you love an active type of holiday. Plenty of amazing sites and hiking so make sure to pack a comfortable pair of shoes!
This was one of the most amazing experiences in my lifetime and I have traveled the globe. I made great friends on this trip that I consider family. From breathtaking Machu Picchu to tracking the Amazon jungle this is an amazing adventure of two trips in one. I loved every aspect of it and if you're lucky to have Monica as your tour guide she is a very caring knowledgeable and motherly figure that will keep you safe and look out for you at all times. I cannot recommend this trip any higher.I love my Egypt in the Nile tour but I love this tour even more which is hard to imagine.
As much as you can, try new experiences with activities, food, drink, exploring.
Definitely try the Quinoa soup on Tequile Island (Lake Titicaca), the alpaca in Arequipa and the guinea pig whenever you can. Yum!
The zip-lining at Chivay/Colca was really fun (and not scary at all).
Kayaking the Amazon River in the jungle was amazing. We saw so many wild animals including monkeys!
MACHU PICCHU of course. Best day of my life.
My favourite experience was bringing food and toys to a very poor family living on Lake Titicaca. Words cannot begin to describe how good it felt to help them and make a small difference in their lives, if only for a short time.
Learning Spanish (if you didn’t learn it in school) would be helpful as only a handful of people I met on the tour spoke English (outside of the tour group I mean). Plus, learning a new language is fun!
Buy a handmade artwork on Uros Island. They are only the equivalent of $30 and are absolutely beautiful, plus your money goes straight to the locals. But wait until Cusco for the rest of your shopping it’s so cheap and there are many bargains to be had.
Even if you're super fit, you could still become a victim of altitude sickness, especially headaches were very common on my trip. Take a big box of paracetamol with you. Don’t worry about antibiotics, you can buy them over the counter at pharmacies everywhere in Peru. Don’t stress about it too much though or you'll just make yourself sick.
Our tour guide, Flor, was simply wonderful. I could go on and on about what a fantastic job she did of showing us everything and taking us everywhere, all with a smile on her face. Muy bueno Flor!
Don't bother getting the group photo at Machu Picchu, it's poor quality photography and isn't bigger than a standard photo in size. Your tour manager will probably offer to take a group photo on your iphone (or equiv.) and the quality will be muuuuch better.
The awesome part about travelling with Contiki is you don't have to feel pressured to do everything the group does. If you’re sick, tired (this WILL happen at some point, more than once) take the night off and don't go to dinner. Have a nap if you need to. Go for a walk by yourself. You're not "stuck" to the tour.
Having said that, don't limit your experiences by staying all day/night in the hotel and sleeping. Get out there, get lost, meet the locals and see everything! Those are the experiences you'll remember for the rest of your life.
Overall, Peru is a wonderful country with so much rich culture and history, definitely immerse yourself in it! It’s an adventure and it should be approached with an open mind.
I absolutely loved this tour and would visit Peru again in a heartbeat. Thank you Contiki.