Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
I might have hit the jackpot on this trip, the people cannot ever be replaced, I love all the people I was with. It had it's bumps but I would never not do this trip again. The contiki crew was the best hands down. This trip wasn't fun, it was absolutely epic!!!!!
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.
As I write this, I'm already booked for my third Contiki.
London & Paris Plus Rome was my first ever time in Europe, and naturally my first Contiki. I'd had a recommendation from a former college roommate, who traveled the continent with Contiki after graduation.
Logistically, Contiki is best in show. I got to pay layaway without interest, so even if I could afford to pay in full up front, I didn't have to stress.
The trip was a-mah-zing. I made REAL friendships. This trip is how I met my "travel friends," a core group of girlfriends who meet up with me a few times a year (including one from Australia and one from Canada, so...#internationaltrips). That alone is worth the money I spent.
It's been a few years, but I remember highlights:
- Drinking champagne atop the Eiffel Tower
- Taking that cliche London phone booth pic
- A woman swimming with snakes at the Moulin Rouge
- Visiting Marie Antoinette's house and seeing the door mistresses snuck in/out
- Sitting around the hotel bar before deciding where to go
- Dancing at Le Queen, a nightclub on Champs-Elysee (this was not organized by Contiki, but we all went thanks to the surge of energy I got from going to Moulin Rouge immediately prior)
- Exploring Rome (unguided) on foot with a friend that I made on the trip
- Eating snails near the Sacre Couer
- Also post-Moulin Rouge, the entire bus singing Lady Marmalade at the top of our lungs
I've visited (and been visited by) so.many.people from my trip. I've gone on trips with them. We are a likeminded bunch who just love to sightsee all day and dance all night. We are SO FUN! So excited to see more and more of the world with Contiki.
This was my first Contiki trip and the best time of my life. It was everything I expected and a lot more.
It wasn't a very big group which helped everyone get to know each other and bond together. Our tour guide Karin was awesome and I don't think it would have been the same without her.
There is a lot of walking through little streets and through towns which helped me appreciate locations a lot more and you can get a better feeling of the atmosphere. We also caught a few ferries going from island to island (some of them are like cruise ships!!) which I think added a lot to the experience.
The hotels and accommodation are really nice and the one in santorimi is literally right next to the black sand beach which I will never forget.
The extras average around 50 euros each and you should do them all to get the most out of the trip but make sure you do the sunset in oia, its a moment youll never forget and is indescribably beautiful and the sailing spectacular you go on a pirate ship to a nice little beach and its a really great experience.
Going in may helped too because there weren't many tourists and I could appreciate the scenery a lot more. But i hounestly will never forget my time on the trip and enjoyed every single second of it.
Hounestly just book this tour, you really wont forget this for the rest of your life.
Literally the most amazing time of my life!!! I was excited but a little concerned booking such a long time but it literally flew by!!! You see soo many incredible sites, and I know everyone says it but make lifelong friends. 45 days with a bunch of people you are bound to make amazing memories. Tim and BeccyB our road crew went above and beyond to make sure we had a trip of a lifetime and made the trip what it was for all of us! At first coach days seem long but you will love it by the end time to chill out and catch up with mates what everyone's been upto, the best part is you don't need to organise barely any transportation other then nights out coming back home. Loved loved Greek islands, Budapest and the outdoor Austria and Switzerland!!! Everything was just amazing, just book it you won't regret it at all.
I 've done three Contiki so far. One in New Zealand, one in Western USA and this one in Japan just last week. All of them have been amazing and of course different. But I have to admit the Japan one is my top one so far!
1. Tour Manager: Our manager Shannon was top in all ways. Super professional, well organised, funny, always friendly but also able to be serious if necessary. And she is a real Foodie, she knew all the best spots to get all kind of food. #treatyourself
2: Tour Guide: Naito-San was a living lexicon/google. He knew everything about everything. To be honest sometimes it was almost too much information, so I tended to lose attention and drift away. Maybe also because English is not my mother language and he did have a quite big Japanese accent, so for me it was sometimes hard to understand. And he is a sprinter for sure, so if you have him as a guide, be aware of wearing comfy shoes :-)
3. Accommodation: This tour is a bit pricey compared to other Contikis. This is because of the great accommodation. Except for two nights in Hiroshima it's all been 4 Star hotels! Some of them with free Spa/Onsen included (Hakone,Takayama, Koya-San), most rooms with a stunning view into a garden or over the roofs (Osaka!!). Special traditional Japanese accommodation in Hakone and Koya-San were an unique experience even if sleeping on the floor wasn't too comfortable ;-)
4. Japan itself: What a country! I've been to so many places in the world, but I have to say Japan made it to be one of my favourite travel destinations now. Extremely safe and clean, access to clean public toilets (Robot-toilets!) everywhere you go, friendliest people in the world, great public transport (we did most of the tour by train) and so much to see and taste. I like big modern towns like Tokyo, Hiroshima or Osaka. But my favourite parts were definitely the old towns as Takayama, Kyoto and Koya-San where you could dig deep into the Japanese culture and history.
- Travel Japan as a Veggie might be difficult. Most meals are based on fish/seafood (loads of fish) or meet (chicken, pork, beef) and there is not much salad or vegetable. Also Kobe beef is well expensive (12 000 yen per 100g in a restaurant). Nevertheless if you like fish or beef you will definitely enjoy yourself!
- If you’ve got tattoos you won’t be allowed to do Onsen bathing at most places. There is a chance to get a private one in Takayama and the monks in Koya San don’t care. Don’t bring a bikini or swimming trunks, there is no need for it ;-) Also, I think it’s not worth paying extra for the public one in Tokyo if you can have it for free in other hotels. Except you want to see as many naked Japanese as possible :-D
- Do the Kimono option! First I thought it might be a bit awkward being European, walking around in town all dressed up. But only the chance to see how difficult it is to get dressed into a Kimono was worth it. Especially if you are a girl and let them make your hair too, you will love it! You will feel like a Japanese princess. And it’s great opportunity to get nice photos!
Summary: I 100% recommend this trip. Book it, you won’t regret it! #noregrets
This tour is first and foremost a cruise. You don't actually get any nights out on the islands and you are onboard with lots of other tour groups and travellers so if this may bother you it is not the best choice. But I highly reccomend it if you were like me and wanted to visit as many greek islands as possible in a limited amount of time as well as have a bit of R&R. You get to visit a new island every day and get a taste of what each has to offer. My highlights included tasting apple tea and turkish delight at the spice markets in Istanbul, having a turkish bath in Kusadasi, having an awesome boat party at a private beach in Crete, seeing the famous views in Santorini and ofcorse getting a taste of the party island Mykonos on the last night of tour. As always with Contiki the people you tour with make up so much of your experience and I was very lucky with a tight bunch of only 14 people. We had fun whether we were sunbaking or in the hot tub onboard the cruise ship, visiting historic sights, swimming at the beach or dancing at the disco. Basically my recommendation for this tour is DO IT, DO IT, DO IT :) You will have a ball and never want to leave!
this trip was my third contiki (euro inspiration and big indochina). this is the only contiki that is actually relaxing! your pictures will literally look exactly like the contiki stock photos- the water is perfect. the boat is pretty dumpy, but that's what you get when you're paying $500usd for a week including food. the bathroom is basically in your room.. you'll find out quickly that your room will flood when you take a shower :) the rooms are so small that you can't open the door fully.... BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS. the water and landscape are seriously paradise. you'll spend your days laying out in the sun and swimming. our cook (mehmet) made us three meals a day and then tea time with coffee and cookies usually. the food is fantastic. there isn't much night life except for when you're in marmaris or bodrum. i wish i had packed way more lounge clothes than going out clothes. i had an exceptional trip and luckily with exceptional people. wish it never ended and we still all think back fondly about it!! if you're unsure about booking this- DO IT!
This island hopper was the perfect little getaway. I love Thailand and this trip just made me fall in love even more.
I went on this trip over my birthday and over songkran (thai new year) and defiantly ticked off some bucket list items and did things i never thought i'd imagine. I even hosted a beauty pageant! (only in thailand). My tour manger Jess was incredible and the people on the tour were amazing and I can't thank them enough for making my birthday so memorable!
The 2 optional boat trips are defiantly worth the money - picturesque views and great snorkelling! Simons cabaret was pretty cool but i definitely preferred the lady boy show i saw on my other trip.
The best thing is that everything is organised and you get a lot of "Me time" to do your own thing as well. I definitely would recommend this for anyone looking for a short beach holiday and even book a couple of extra days after.
This was my 3rd Contiki trip in Just over a year, I left the day my first trip started.
This was the first time dealing with a different language and I had been told not to worry to much... almost everyone spoke english or could figure out what you wanted.
I had such a great group of people! My bus driver Enzo was Italian and didn't speak much english. Our tour manager Vivienne didn't tell us into after we did the trip reviews that it was actually her first time with Contiki! She had done smaller groups before but our group was 51! A few things got switched around and we never would have known!
The best part was spending my 23rd birthday traveling to Pisa then having an afternoon and evening in Rome! Everyone made it such a great day for me!
I just have to figure out where to go next! Tiki tiki! :)
As a young professional, I love Contiki tours. In my opinion, they are the best way to maximize your precious vacation days by packing as much sightseeing & culture into every moment! This tour was no different - as England & Scotland cover a relatively small geographic area, Contiki did their best to ensure the majority of our days were spent seeing amazing sites and taking in the beautiful scenery. Instead of stopping at rest stops along the highway, our bus stopped at small towns along the way for a few hours to break up our drive, grab a bite to eat & take in the culture. The inclusions & the Me Time Optionals were carefully curated to ensure that our time was not wasted on anything that we would not enjoy. I highly recommend this tour, it was one of the best trips of my life!
hey I just want to say that I've just finished a Contiki in Russia and Scandinavia with Rafal Kolaszkiewicz and Lasse Damstoft. I had traveled solo every year since i turned 16 and with the help of Contiki and other tour companies have achieved 48 countries so far and only 52 to go to reach my goal of 100 by the time i'm 30! i had always had a negative feeling about Contiki but was absolutely blown away by this tour. the team, the group, the professionalism was astounding and has left me near speechless!! the sights, the food (good and bad) and road trips and the extra little things that the team did really made the whole trip amazing. i dont even know where to begin to thank them and you for hiring such awesome people. i will link a little video i made of this trip for you to share and enjoy as much as I had making it and sharing with friends and family. I really hope and deep down know that the friends I have made on this will be friends for life because you have made a touring company that selected like minded people! you guys are awesome!!
I did this trip in 2015 and it was amazing! Jumping off the boat into the Mediterranean Sea was a highlight.
I am a lover of the nightlife and this cruise sure did deliver!
Croatia is beautiful!
This was the first Contiki I have ever done, and it won't be my last. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing experience! Everything was great. Our tour manager, Ryan H, was amazing. He was so funny and nice. Really easy to talk to and super friendly. Super helpful with everything and really invested his time into planning a good trip for us. He and Pedro did a lot of extra stuff that I know wasn't required of them to do, like planning extra excursions for us and helping us plan our own stuff. Our driver Pedro was also awesome! Such a good driver. He can parallel park the huge coach into a tiny space with his eyes closed. He also socialized with us a lot and took his own time to help us too. Pedro and Ryan together were a great team. #pedroparksthings
The parties were always awesome! The accommodations were usually out of town so it's too much to try and go into town to party. The Contiki villages and chateau's have their own club/bar. There's usually other tours staying the same time as your tour so you meet lots of people and it's cheap drinks and sooo much fun haha. The bar in Rome has a dance pole ;) When we did stay in town Ryan always took us to really cool bars and clubs, and we got free entry and usually a free shot with it too :)
I loved the accommodations. They may not be for everyone though, all 3 places in Italy are like log cabins and mobile homes. I never had an issue with them, no bed bugs, super clean, never ran out of hot water for the showers(except in Rome, your room doesn't have hot water, you have to use the public shower if you want hot water) All the on site team members are great too!
All the me time optional's were amazing. Pretty much everyone on our tour did all of the me time optional's! I would recommend doing all the ones you can, it's worth it!
By the end of your tour you form a Contiki family and you miss them dearly when the tour is over. I can't say enough good things about the people that were on my tour. We all got along so well and we still keep in touch on the facebook group we made.
I could go on and on about all the amazing things about contiki, but my review is long enough. If you're thinking about doing a contiki; trust me, do it. You won't regret it!
Contiki takes you to the places away from the negative stuff heard on the news. Mexico is not a bad place(unsafe) as what people make it out to be. I didn't feel unsafe at all in Mexico, and I was comfortable with travelling with Contiki and walking around Mexico as a female. The Mexican locals had a good nature and were polite, they may greet you and try talk to you but they were not intimidating or creepy as compared many other countries I have visited.
I had a fantastic time exploring the Mexico's world wonders, trying new food and experiencing the Mexican culture. It was well paced, we didn't feel rushed to seeing the sights and had enough time. We had a fantastic tour guild, Ish. Ish was very down to earth and friendly, he is a Mexican local too, so he knew all the good places to go too and shared a lot of his knowledge to us. I did the added activities except the extreme zipline and surfing, I recommend you doing them if you can afford.
Try to brush up on a little Spanish before going, it will be helpful to know because some places some people will not know English at all (outside of main attractions and shopping on the street). We all managed OK though!
All the accommodation was satisfactory, we had no issues. We stayed in groups of 2, and no yucky dorms or hostels on this trip. All the accommodation we stayed at had WIFI, but I found it useful to buy a simcard too.
Highlight visits: Chichen Itza, Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Ik kil Cenote (Sinkhole), Tulum beach (Top beaches of the world) and Cancun parties!
*Aussies: To go to Mexico for this trip you don't need a visa, but you need an ESTA.
I loved our trip, had many great memories and left with many new friends I met on Contiki, we plan on doing more travels together. 100% Well worth the trip!
This tour starts in Athens where you meet your group then head to the islands. You get to the islands via ferries which are very nice but can be uncomfortable for the 5 hour ride to Mykonos and On the way back from IOS so be prepared with headphones or reading materials. Mykonos is beautiful but windy, it's called the island of the winds so prepare for that. The "beach" hopping optional wasn't so much beach hopping as it was chillin on the boat then going to one beach but it's well worth it because the water is crystal clear and bright blue. All of the islands are great for partying with IOS probably being the best. Keep in mind people party hard on this trip and get sick and pass it on to you so be prepared with your vitamin C. You won't be prepared for the beauty of Santorini, you've never seen anything like it. The views are breath taking. iOS is gorgeous with some of the bluest waters you've seen. Make sure to do the private beach cruise there, they take you on a pirate ship to a private beach where you will see some of the most beautiful water. Overall the food was good throughout the trip. I'm a vegetarian and went in with low expectations but Greek food is very fresh and was good for the most part. If you can bring a towel with u do it. All of the hotels give you tiny towels that take forever to dry. I went on my honeymoon and had a great time but if you are going single and going to party it's probably more fun.
Saw and do so much during this tour. Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Mouth of Truth, Pisa, Tuscan region winery and Venice- my favourite and the best way to end the tour. Elisa was an amazing tour manager- best out of the four Contiki tours I've done. Thank you Contiki!
This was my first time in Europe and I have to say it was simply amazing. I was originally bummed because my friends backed out of the trip and i had to fly solo but when i arrived none of that mattered. there were many of us doing the trip solo which made it even more fun.
I loved the fact that in the 7-8 days we were there we saw so much! if I would have done this on my own I would not have such an amazing experience! We had a walking tour of Rome with all the historical buildings and fountains. I have to say Florence was my favorite!
The Sangria in Tuscany and the cooking class was by far the best. I hope contiki creates a culinary tour, i would be the first to sign up!
Our Tour manager Elisa was the best and not to mention our driver Alessandro.
I highly recommend everyone to do this tour, i promise you wont be disappointed!
Having never traveled internationally by myself, this was a great way to get some experience in travelling abroad.
The trip is technically under the "easy pace" category because of all the free time you get, but don't let that fool you! There's a lot to do in a short amount of time, so get used to walking briskly from place to place (we averaged about 7-8 miles a day!) The rooms in the hotels where I stayed were a bit smaller than expected, but when I'm on a trip like this, I don't really plan on spending much time in my room. You unfortunately lose almost a day of vacation due to travelling from London to Paris, but use that time to rest your legs. I wish I had spent more time in Amsterdam, but all of the other's who travelled to Amsterdam with me extended their stay independently after the Contiki tour was over.
Pieces of Advice:
Europe is expensive! Just be ready to fork out some money to pay for food. English is spoken commonly in Amsterdam, but it's hit or miss in Paris, so keep that in mind when travelling. Amsterdam leans more heavily on cash than other countries, so have some Euro's handy. Lastly, the Amsterdam extension is one of two extensions for this trip. In my case, I was in a larger group in London and Paris, but the group was split when some headed off to Amsterdam, Rome, or back home.
Travelling again with Contiki in November!
The Ireland trip was my first Contiki and my first solo adventure! To say that this trip was life changing, is an understatement. Ireland was breathtakingly beautiful, the adventures were some that I would have never done on my own and the people were the best! I made some great friends and my trip manager was amazing!
If you are even thinking a little about taking this trip or any other Contiki trip, I say go. Jump at the chance. You only live once and this will change your life!
I will be back to do another Contiki, soon!