Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Words can't describe how incredible this trip was. It defeated my expectations, and was hands down the best thing I've ever done.
Our tour manager, Steve, was so professional and organized, it really made our trip so much more special. We really couldn't have asked for a better guy to take us around Europe, he was amazing.
We saw some of the most beautiful and well known places on earth, and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!
From sitting below the Eiffel Tower in awe, to chugging Sangria buckets in Barcelona, then seeing Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, getting lost in Venice, donkey riding in Santorini, going to 5 level clubs in Croatia, having no hangover after a night at the Beer Hall in Austria wearing German outfits, climbing the Swiss Alps, and even seeing all Amsterdam has to offer; our trip literally accommodated to every single person.
We were able to see so many different types of cultures (in the historical/artistic sense, as well as experiencing the night-life).
The age groups on our trip ranged from 20-34 and it was honestly really awesome to get to know so many people from such different walks of life.
We were in hotels every night which was great! The only thing I would say is that if you're used to a huge breakfast, be prepared for the European way of breakfast (a croissant, a coffee, and some cheeses and meats). But that was fine because then you get to gorge on the amazing foods on your walk abouts in each city.
The cruise was so amazing, it was a nice change of pace to just relax for a few days as our trip so far had been really full on and so much to see!
The people I was blessed enough to meet on this trip will remain friends for life and will always hold such a special place in my heart. I shared some of the best days of my life with them and it was a very hard goodbye at the end of our tour.
One main suggestion- DO ALL OF THE ME TIME OPTIONALS! Every single one was so amazing. From Moulin Rouge in Paris, to yacht jumping in Dubrovnik, every single me time was one I would do over 100 times again. If you're thinking about the money side of it, don't! Think in the sense that you'll never be able to experience this with these people again, you're already in Europe, so why not!
Just do them all and you'll thank yourself at the end.
If you're worried that 33 days is too long, I can assure you it's not long enough! By the end you'll be wishing you had another 33 days! You become a family with your group, you fall in love with every city, you even love the bus rides to each destination. Thinking back now I really miss those bus days, we all had so much fun!
So I'll stop rambling now, but I hope this review helps even one person in their decision on choosing this contiki, because I guarantee you it is honestly the best thing in the world. A trip of a lifetime that I'm truly grateful I got to experience :)
P.s. eat as much gelato as you can in Rome, it is incredible! I also recommend staying back an extra week in Europe after your tour. I did and my friend and I went back to the places we loved the most.
This tour was absolutely amazing! It had a bit of everything - partying, relaxing, culture, great food, everything! The group I was with was amazing and i made so many great friends that i'll keep for a lifetime... Highlights of my trip were the tropicana paradise beach party in mykonos and the pool party at Farout in Ios, but every single day was a new exciting adventure and I wouldnt trade it for the world. I cant recommend it enough. The accommodation surpassed my expectations and was actually really nice and all of the optional extras were well worth the cost. Just book it. I am so sad it's over. I started my 2 month european holiday with this tour and it sucks because it's set the bar so high and now nothing compares to it :(
I travelled with a small group of friends but after seeing what the tour is like, i would have no hesitations in doing it alone because you meet so many people and make friends so quickly. Definitely worth going!
this is the fastest way with all the MUST SEE places to experience so you can decide what country you like and would return to. it was a great experience. i was happy with the accommodation and food. just be warned the food on the road at service stations are mostly bread and cheese, so expect to gain at least 5 kg's, but its worth it.... all the people were great and friendly. i had at least 95% of the time to myself. thanks judith and Daruis and all my Contiki friends
Initially, my friend and I were not intending to do a tour, but it was cheaper and let us see more with our budget. In the end, It was the best decision we made.
I absolutely adored our tour guide, Nat. Her humour and energy made everyone's experience a hundred times better. Having other english-speaking travel buddies is very helpful and stops homesickness a lot, plus you are more willing to go out and do things because you're in a group and the world is less intimidating. The places we went, I wouldn't have known what to do without a guide. We saw so many unique things. The perfumery in Paris and the Swarovski Crystal World were both awesome places I'd never have gone to by myself. The optional dinners were fantastic, I'd never suggest you don't do them. Accommodation was pretty damn good considering where we were. Not one place was unacceptable. The bus was hard to get used to but with some travel-sickness tablets and late nights, most people learn to sleep on the drives easily.
Hopfgarten in Austria with the contiki-run hotel, and lucerne were probably two of my favourite places. City wise, Paris is not overrated and didn't disappoint at all.
I would recommend this tour, although I would pair it with another one because it didn't feel too long when surrounded by so many friends - and if you have a long way to travel you may as well make the most of it and see even more of Europe whilst there.
Great tour, good mix of culture and partying and general sight seeing. Ibiza is the highlight, great clubs, beautiful people. Only downsides were oppressive 40+ degree heat in some inland cities and poor customer service offered by the locals, particularly in cafes. Their economy is struggling and they act like they don't want your business and treat you accordingly. A word of advice, in Toledo, a town where you make a lunch stop on the way back to Madrid, stay close to the group as the old town is like a maze and if you quickly pop into a shop to look at souvenirs (like I did) then step back out and everyone is gone, you will not find them again. Only by sheer luck did I stumble onto a nearby road as the coach was passing by, otherwise I would have to cab it back to Madrid. The food is not that great and the locals not super friendly but if you have a good group you will enjoy it. I was travelling solo and had a heap of fun and met some wonderful people on the tour.
Had a great time. Adam is a phenomenal tour manager and Canada is a beautiful country. Took so many photos. Exciting optionals, good food, good accommodation, good nights out and the Stampede was fantastic fun. I have done a few Contiki's and this would rank near the top. I was a solo traveller but made friends with everyone easily and had a great time.
Overall I am glad I did this tour. However it is a draining experience. The USA is a massive country and you cover a lot of ground in a less than 4 weeks. This means some looooong drive days but it does feel worth it as you see a lot of places with Contiki you would not go if organising it yourself. Yellowstone National Park is an absolute standout as was Quebec City. Chicago was a lowlight, don't go into the Willis Tower unless you want to go through airport style security and be treated like a terrorist and the included meal of Chicago Deep Dish pizza is a guarantee of a rush to the hotel toilet if you make it that far. This is a great trip overall and going out with a bang in Vegas is a great way to end, however the long tour duration mixed with the massive distance covered mean it may not suit everyone.
Had a great time, tour manager James is an absolute legend who ensures everyone has fun. Cultural value with learning about the war and Vietnamese colonial history mixed in with great food and fun outings. The heat can be oppressive and you nearly get killed multiple time crossing the street but it is a great place to visit! Nha Trang was my favourite, great beach town, spend the whole day at the beach if you can. Plenty of variety in the tour, every day is different. Optional snorkel cruise was great fun as was the optional kayaking where we saw monkeys and the overnight boat trip on the bay was great. Word of advice, make sure your room is as far away from the boats engine room as possible. My room was right next to the engine and they keep the engine running constantly and my whole room was shaking and the noise was brutal plus the diesel fumes. That was the only downside, the rest of the tour was amazing. Not to mention all the "Dong" jokes from their currency.
Very relaxed and very party focused. If you like swimming during the day and going out at night then this is the trip for you. Much less structured than any other Contiki I have done. Plenty of free time to relax/party. The optionals were excellent, definitely do both, great time. We have a terrific tour manager who made sure everyone had a good time and organising group activities outside what is in the itinerary, plus we had a really cool group of people. There is no cultural or historical value to the trip but if you want fun in the sun with like minded people then go for it. I went solo and had no issues. Contiki organise everythijng so it makes it easy. Also went to a Black Moon party in the jungle, heaps of fun and also the Wipeout obstacle course in Koh Phangan is a laugh.
This trip was nothing short of amazing I literally can't put it into words and met some great friends along the way. The reason you are reading this is because you wanna know stuff and i'll tell you the things you want to know!
Wifi - There is is wifi everywhere not even kidding. We all turned into wifi warriors trying to find a connection so don;t worry about trying to get a roaming sim. The Contiki buses do have wifi but it's crazy overpriced and you pay per 100MB. Nobody used it. All the sites you stay at have it, some you'll have to pay, others you'll have to walk to a certain sweet spot and others it's shitty slow.
Optionals - Most of the optionals are great. I only didone of the dinners (the last one) as you can find food ALOT cheaper elsewhere especially the French dinner. So get lost Paris and find something cheaper with your new buddies!
Bus time - You'll be spending alot of time on the bus, especially to and from Barcelona. It is not a bad thing! Either you can catch up on some well needed sleep, or look at the sights or listen to your tour manager talk about Napoleon!
The sites - All the places you stay are alright. You aren't in hotels but hey, it's not dirt. Keep an eye out in the Italian sites as during the warmer months there are bugs (Bug spray for Venice is ESSENTIAL. You will be eaten alive) so make sure you keep windows a bit closed! Most places have 4 or so to a room and the rooming list gets passed around so buddy up!
Contiki Cough - You will get it. No amount of preparation will stop it. Get some pseudo from the pharmacies, they are everywhere, and hope that it goes as soon as it comes on!
Criminals - Ok so in places like Barca, Paris and all of Italy there are some pretty shifty dudes. You don't need a secret undershirt bumbag or whatever (if you want though, go ahead) just keep your bags closed and back pockets empty. Ignore all the street sellers and petition signers and never EVER go home alone from a night out.
Pack Lightly - I cannot stress this enough. There are H&Ms everywhere so if you need more clothes, cheap and easy. I dumped many shirts and shorts while travelling. You don't need heaps of clothes!
ID - Continental Europe is pretty lax when it comes to ID in clubs and stuff so you wont need your passport except when you go to Monaco so don't worry. UK is a bit more strict but a drivers licence will do.
Sleeping bags - You can buy them at the Contiki basement in London but me and my friend got one from Argos on the cheap. You'll need them for most contiki sites as they just provide a bed and a pillow.
Towels - Bring a quick dry towel. Small, light and drys quickly especially when you have early starts. You can just dry them over the seats on the bus. I had a regular towel but they are not fun to transport or have wet in your bag all day :/
Alcohol - Since alcohol is flowing daily in Europe and it is Contiki alot of people will be drinking. Since I am not a big drinker I was a bit worried but everyone is cool. No pressure. Drink what you what when you want. Don't worry if you can't drink beer in Munich, have a pretzel instead :)
That's more or less the main points. You will have an absolute blast doing this tour. This was my first trip overseas and now I have friends for life! Seriously, just do this tour.
As a solo traveller having never used Contiki before, I did not know what to expect. However, based on this trip, I'd have no hesitation in travelling with Contiki again.
We had the best tour manager (Maité) and bus driver (Alessandro), who made sure everything on tour was great - even when dealing with difficult dietary requirements in the restaurants we visited (such as vegetarianism and allergies). As much as Italy was an amazing country by itself (the places, food and wine are beyond extraordinary - the highlight for me being the family-run restaurant we ate at in CinqueTerre suggested by Maité ), it was the Contiki staff that made this tour unforgettable. I've been home just 2 days and miss it already!
I would definitely recommend Contiki to anyone, especially this tour (fingers crossed you will get Maité - honestly the best tour manager I've ever had). Brilliant sights, food, wine and people!
I really can't put into words the amazing experience I had just went through on my first Contiki trip. Your tour company was highly recommended from a friend who had done one years back. I've been to Europe before, but never like this. It was a combination of the very diverse and global tour mates that I had traveled with, the culture and sites we were exposed to, our extremely knowledgable and fun Tour Manager, Jimmy Hosking, it was everything together. I couldn't exactly pinpoint one in particular best moment as there were so many to choose from. From walking about the different squares and historical sites, to the shopping at the Plaza's, to the bars and night clubs, to the fun dinners with our tour group. It was exactly like I stated in the Title, an unforgettable experience that I will take with me forever. As Jimmy stated on the last bus ride, this trip has inspired me to travel around the world more often and experience what other countries and cultures offer. Thank you Contiki, I will certainly see you again.
Todd Vander Veer
This trip was great! Our tour manager, Tasha, was a great asset and was able to give us insight into the Russian culture and tell us great places to go and explore on our free time.
Russia is truly a unique place and being there really helps understand the history, politics, and current affairs. Our local guides in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow were SO AMAZING and had a wealth of knowledge and insight into the country and culture.
This tour is a modular tour, so you will be joining the tour groups that started in Berlin, Helsinki, etc. We didn't know that until we got out welcome letter from Tasha, just an FYI! if you are at all interested in Russia I would most certainly recommend this trip to Russia. It would have been impossible to explore the country without Contiki's amazing local guides and fearless coach driver!
To say this tour was the best experience of my life is the biggest understatement of the year.
This tour was life changing.
Not only did I make amazing friends for life, I got to see the places I have dreamed about since I can remember. The Optionals were better than I expected, Me and my partner done everyone and didn't regret a thing. My favourite was the gondola ride and white water rafting but all were so worth the money. I highly recommend the Nouvelle Dinner and Cabaret Show (worth more than the money spent trust
We were lucky enough to have the best tour manager and bus driver, they make the world of difference on your tour and ours went beyond their job description! The coach was comfy and we always had lots of fun.
I would highly recommend this tour if you want to see the best of Europe and have a great time with others like yourself :)
This tour was absolutely incredible, people ask what my favourite part of it was, but it is impossible to narrow down just one part when the entire tour was amazing!!!
Craig our tour manager is a god and if you dont think so well then you're just wrong!!!
Do this trip and be sure to listen to your managers they know what they are talking about especially in regards to optionals :D
I think this trip was overall amazing however, I also thought for the price they did not include as much as I would have liked. For example, in paris I believe Contiki could have gotten everyone passes to the museums especially to Versailles. This is a great company if you want your housing and transportation taken care of for your time in Europe. However, I planned out each day what I wanted to see in each city. I like that Contiki give you time to explore each city without feeling like they planned your whole day out. Another aspect I would have liked to see is a better price for the tour of the Vatican City. Overall, if you are looking for a trip across Europe to visit many cities in a short mount of time this is definitely something to consider.
It is hard to describe how amazing an experience like this is.
I would highly recommend this trip not just for the sights, or the hotels, or the awesome places like Vegas or Niagra Falls. Don't get me wrong, all of this is incredibly awesome. But what makes a trip is the people you meet while enjoying the travelling at the same time.
You are constantly in a social environment whether it be at dinner, room 'gatherings', nightlife, on the bus for half a more of a day or just enjoying the local sights or getting lost going to the wrong restaurant or getting locked into an Ivy league university, you are being social, and even if your tired you don't care.
The sights that we did see and the attractions we joined in on include down town Boston, Harvard University, Old Quebec City, jet boating on the St Lawrence river in Montreal (highly highly times a million recommend), the CN Tower, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland, a Chicago baseball game (personally organised by our awesome tour guide as we were lucky to be in Chicago when a game was on) visiting small local country bars in Madison and Sioux Falls, Mt Rushmore, Cody rodeo, Yellowstone National Park, Trail riding on horse and cookout dinner, Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (crazy crazy!!) with VIP access to each night to the club organised by our insane club promotor) and every tourist attraction you could imagine plus shopping in Vegas before heading to LA plus so so so much more that I struggle to remember as a lot of the days roll into one.
And remember that yes, you will be hungover for some, (ok maybe more than some) of the days, but the great thing is, you can sleep on bus if you need to. Not when there are awesome sights to see along the way however. That and if you have an amazing tour manager like I did, they will keep you highly motivated along the whole way of the trip, even if they are also tired and hungover from taking the group to the best nightlife the night before, they never let it show. Basically your tour manager reminds you that you are on contiki and you can sleep later!!
The day song will also help you stay awake, usually played at very loud volume first thing in the morning!!! And yes, every single day, the same song. Our day song was The Walker by Fits and the Tantrums. It was so appropriate for our group as well. We learned to love on about a week, and it is also a great way to bring back memories after contiki when you randomly hear the day song and you find yourself smiling about what seemed another life time ago when you had the time of your life...
As the title says, this trip was absolutely amazing. Before I continue writing about the trip, I highly recommend you do the Grand Southern which continues on after the Southern Adventure. You begin to make these close friendships and you really don't want to leave once those 13 days are up, while majority of the others continue travelling.
Firstly the tours were a lot of fun. I ended up spending around $500 on my optional extras but it was so worth it. From rafting in the hail in Durango, to touring around one of the biggest NFL stadiums in Dallas, to seeing the Grand Canyon via a helicopter, to watching an amazing Circus De Soleil show in Vegas and if only we got to go Hot Air ballooning in Albuquerque but unfortunately it was too windy. There are loads of extras that everyone will enjoy. Even the included activities are fun like going down the Vegas strip in a Hummer or seeing Elvis place in Gracelands.
Our Tour guide Lee was awesome. Even though he was Australian he had a very good knowledge of every single place that we went. Kevin our bus driver was also full of energy and was a joy to travel with. As you have probably read from other peoples reviews, there are long bus rides. You are normally driving from 8am and not arriving at your next destination until 4, 5 sometimes 6pm. There are constant stops and sometimes we would stop in towns to check them out for an hour or two e.g. Santa Fe. The bus rides are known for sleeping as you are most likely going to be partying every night. My recommendation is to buy a pillow when you stop at Walmart! They also give you sheets of information for every single stop with ideas on where to go and what to see which was perfect. I would have loved for there to be more games played on the bus.. but hey majority of the time everyone was asleep from the big nights.
The accommodation on this tour was actually really good. Nearly all of the hotels had wifi and laundry facilities and if not, there was always wifi at a Starbucks or McDonalds close by. I don't think I heard any complaints about the accommodation actually. 90% of the restaurants that were included were great. If anyone from Contiki is reading this, get rid of the italian restaurant in Vegas. The food was horrible and we found some not nice things in our food.
If not all, you will definitely find some of your fellow Contiki travellers to be friends for life. Even though majority of the people on my tour were Australians, I still met a lot of people from around the world. Everyone was lovely.
I highly recommend this tour BUT I would even more recommend doing the full Grand Southern Adventure!!