Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Okay so I went into this tour with high expectations. I mean come on, New Years Eve in New York!
There were 4 contiki groups in total - 3 stayed at Marriott and 1 stayed at Sheraton. All were in Brooklyn... Which brings me to my first issue - staying in Brooklyn. Now, I had been to New York before so even though it wasn't my first preference of where to stay, I thought I'd give it a go. The only reason Contiki stay in Brooklyn is because of money. We didn't do any activities or sightseeing in Brooklyn at all. So each day we would catch a subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan, where the real sights are. Though it wasn't too far to travel, it was frustrating when we would go into Manhattan as a group and see some sights, then be left to our own devices only to have to return to Brooklyn, change and get ready for dinner/nightlife back out in Manhattan that night... So every day we went into Manhattan twice. I personally would have rather spending more money and stayed in Manhattan.
Now, the night we'd all been waiting for - New Years Eve. This night was an absolute mess. We met our tour manager in the hotel lobby at 8pm ready to head into Manhattan for an buffet dinner and open bar in Times Square.
A lot of the subways were closed so we got off at an earlier stop. We walked back nd forth, constantly being redirected to a different route when trying to get to our hotel. So many of the roads were blocked and closed. We eventually made it to the bar at 1030pm. We then had to eat our so called 'buffet' which was about 2 options of meat, and 2 salads, without enough seats to for everyone, so it was a total disaster. Then we could all go downstairs to start drinking and dancing... for about half an hour...
Then they started passing around champagne getting ready for midnight. Midnight came and went, with no sense that we were actually in New York at all because we were in a room with 200 other Aussies (and a few Kiwis), without any view of Times Square at all... Pretty much straight after midnight we were ushered out of the bar and told to find somewhere else to party for the rest of the night... A lot of people went to a bar we had been shown the previous night because we just didn't know where else to go.
Some people snuck out of the bar before midnight and made their way into the crowds of Times Square - they seemed to have the better experience out of everyone, so probably do that if you do bother to go with Contiki...
If you want to do New Year’s Eve in New York, do it without a tour. Book a hotel in Manhattan, find a bar or a club (you don't have to book a year in advance like everyone thinks you do! We saw SO many advertised when we were there!).
This tour was amazing. We arrived at the Grand Canyon just days after it began to snow, so it was an amazing and unexpected sight.
I had already been to a few of the places before, but it was completely different this time around - new people, tour manager and experiences.
Highly recommend doing the optionals on this tour. They're all worth it and once in a lifetime opportunities.
Best trip! Travelled alone this time, was the best so far!
Must admit snowboarding for the first time was hard, the last year was defiantly my best day ! Austria is one of the most beautiful places I've seen, with it's beautiful scenic back drops and breath taking views up the mountains! I had the most peaceful hot chocolates in my life so far up there haha
Accommodation was great, in Hofgraten at the Contiki hotel , had an onsite bar which held slot of drinking and some good party nights, food was great! I found it a very male dominated tour, but that can always be a good thing if your a girl haha I made some great new friends, and had the best week it was very well organised, yet simple and defiantly worth very penny I paid :)
this was my first ever contiki tour and my first time outside Australia, i started to get alittle scared about my trip to egypt since everyone i know was telling me to be careful and the only news they would show in Australia about Egypt was about the riots and local people dying, i had this idea in my mind that there would be heaps of military walking around the streets in Cairo carrying guns!! but when i got there i realised how wrong my perception of Egypt was. My first day in Cairo i didnt see anyone else on my tour till later that night so i decided to go out into the streets of cairo by myself....to be honest i was petrified but once i got out into the streets it was ok, just a warning to all females...prepare to be harrassed by the men..especially if you are on your own, the harassment wasnt to bad all they did was call out to me and tell me i was beautiful and spoke arabic to me(which i didnt understand) they didnt touch me so it wasnt to bad. i will admit Cairo was not my favourite city FYI if walking the streets of cairo wear closed shoes like sneakers because the streets are pretty filthy. the contiki tour included admission to all the main parts in Egypt the coolest part was going to the pyramids of Giza and having the chance to climb alittle way up them..and get some awesome pics! also the camel rides to the other side of the pyramids was a big highlight for me. i highly recommend doing all the optionals on the tour( i didnt go to abu simbel but most of the people on my tour did and said it was awesome)....the only thing i would say not to do is the sound and light shows...my contiki group decided on going to the karnak sound and light show.. it was a waste of money!! the lighting was good but the voices were outdated and was hard to follow most of us spent the time giggling at the old shakespere speak and the over dramtisation. i met girl who did a top deck tour they went to the sound and light show at giza, which was apperently just as boring. Everywhere else on our Egypt tour was beautiful and amazing we were all safe nothing got stolen noone got hurt. the only other thing i would warn people about is going throught the markets everywhere in Egypt because they are so poor when they see tourist they try to get you to buy stuff they are very pushy and in your face and there are alot of children around try to ignore tham because they try to pick pocket you...the best way i found to go around the market was to not stare at anything or anyone coz they will harrass you even more and say "no thankyou" or "la shukran" but if they keep pushing you just firmly say no and they will leave you alone. another hint for females traveling be prepared to have Arabic men take your picture this happened a few times when we were at the pyramids taking pictures also some will try to get into a picture with you, also girls dress appriporatley you will get harrassed less if you are covered up more!! take toilet paper because using the toilets at most of the place we visited we had to pay a pound to use the toilets and they gave you a little scrap of paper...so take more in with you or tissues. the 3 day cruise boat we went on was the best part of tour.. we all had a chance to relax and get to one another a bit more which was great.. all our meals were provided for and the only thing we had to pay for were drinks. Basically to sum my review up Egypt was safe our tour guide Sherif was excellent and knowlodgeable about the history of Egypt....everyone should go and experince for themselves im so glad i did it, i will never regret or forget a single moment of my time there!!
Absolutely the best! As a first timer travelling through europe, this option was the best. It gave me glimpses of most of the countries one wonders as a child on how it is their culture and society; beside the rich history. It is a good start for anyone who wants to go a second time though, we only could stay 2 days max. on some of the places we were. My favorites were Lucerne, Innsbruck, Rome and Paris. Beware of switzerland! it is a wee bit expensive, you may want to check how much money you'll be carrying there; and beware of the street sellers in Italy, they tend to get "pushy". I made amazing friends on the trip, certainly will make a visit when I get the chance. I'm very pleased, though forget about sleeping and relaxing (except in Nice), too little time to spend sleeping in the coach. Try it!
This trip is a Must!!
We stayed in nice hotels and our tour guide Elmo was the best! Your'll have the opportunity to shop for fun, cheap t-shirts and thai fisherman pants so pack light, cool and comfortable sandals. When you visit the Temples females must cover their shoulders and legs. So dont forget to pack a light long sleeve shirt. Dont be afraid to try the food, especially the fried tarantula! (Taste like very crispy chicken haha). Be ready for a crazy fun trip! One regret I have is not tubing in Laos. haha!
The length of this tour allows everyone in the group to get to know each other and really develop some amazing friendships. Our close knit group came from all different parts of Australia to catch up last year and we were just as close then as we were on tour. This was all helped by our amazing tour manager Katia, our Contiki Mama.
We got off to a slow start as we took a taxi to the wrong hotel, as the one we were supposed to be staying at shut down and the information we were given was not totally clear. Luckily we met others there in the same situation and shared a taxi to the right hotel. Rome was beautiful but busy. Sorrento was beautiful and relaxing although our trip to Capri was very foggy, rainy and most things were shut because it was Autumn heading into Winter.
I did all the tour optionals and they were all fabulous, especially the ones that were dinners. The food was amazing! Best spaghetti I have ever had in Florence. I loved this city as it had such a beautiful feel about it and was not as 'in your face' as the other cities. Venice was spectacular, the glass demonstration is a must see! We stayed on the main land and travelled by train and boat which was fine. The hotel here was so spacious and nice it was amazing to get back to and relax. In my opinion Milan was overrated and too busy to enjoy, so many people shoving things in your face and nothing really amazing to see except for the Cathedral, I would recommend exploring this rather than shopping if you don't like crowds.
Our trip to Cinque Terre was disrupted due to mudslides but we still enjoyed Portovenere, very glamorous. Back to Rome where we went to the Vatican and Trevi fountain at night, so gorgeous and amazing. And finally our farewell dinner where we danced and sang, Katia gave an emotional speech. It was beautiful.
This contiki had a much different feeling to my first one, more mature but still just as fun. I think this is why the friendships I made on this tour are still so strong today, there is only one downside... Missing them all!
A short but amazing tour! Met some of the greatest people who I am still in touch with. I would recommend getting to London 3 or so days early to see everything and catch up on sleep, so you avoid falling asleep during the musical as I did! It is such an amazing city and so easy to get around, but there is so many things to see and Contiki really does not show you that much.
The trip to Bath and Stonehenge was amazing, such gorgeous parts of England. Highlight was when one of the American's spotted sheep in a nearby paddock and said "Oh my god, wild sheep!". The trip between London and Paris was not the best so I wouldn't recommend a big night before this. Paris was gorgeous, but the hotel is really far out of town and the metro is not as easy to use as the tube in London, so travel in groups.
Contiki really covered most of the things to do in Paris and the Eiffel tower at night was amazing! The Moulin Rouge is a MUST DO, even if you have to sell your body for the money to do it! It is still remembered as the greatest night of my life to date. Many many predrinks at the Aussie pub beforehand and when we returned after the show, our tour manager bought Jagerbombs for everyone! Then the bartenders lit the bar on fire! Absolutely amazing, but for us this wasn't the last night of our tour.
There was still a trip to Versailles which was great but we were all so hung over it was a struggle. There were no activities for our final night together so our tour manager, JB, organised an dinner for us in the hills of Montemarte. Most tours don't do this but would definitely suggest going up here and checking out the Sacre Coeur. The restaurant was gorgeous and they played music, some people ate snails and we toasted the amazing time we had.
Would highly recommend this tour as part of your trip to Europe, a great introduction to these beautiful cities.
Nearly a year ago now I experienced one of the most amazing adventures of my life, the contiki European whirl! Contiki is the best way to see just about everything in any country you've selected. The European whirl has most definitely given me the travel bug! The 18 day tour was one unforgettable experience, you make tones of friends, see all different places and experience loads of new foods/activities. The accomodation was good and the bus driver and tour manager were a blast.
I'm from the UK and this was the perfect way to see all the best sites of Europe...and make some awesome friends. I always tell my friends to do Contikis just because its easier and a lot less scary than going by yourself! Accomodation was pretty good for 'basic' accommodation, not that we spent long in our rooms, we were either sightseeing or partying and we saved sleep for the bus! I'd recommend this tour to anybody, I've travelled to Europe loads of times before and I've never ever had the opportunities to do the things I did on my tour.
This was my first Contiki, and after this trip I can't imagine any other way to travel. Our tour guide BB and bus driver Cornelius were amazing and did everything possible to make this the holiday of a lifetime. The tour itself was fantastic, not only did we visit all of the tourist sites but we also saw some of the hidden treasures that you often miss when travelling alone. The hotels, included tours and included meals were great but I would definitely recommend doing the optional extras, they were amazing value and lots of fun. Other than the sites and the culture one of the best things i am taking away from this tour are the friendships i've made. In short : I would definitely recommend Contiki as a way of travel and I would definitely recommend this tour. Perfect!
I was stressed at work, school, basically with life and I have been wanting to go to Europe for quite some time. I remember like it was yesterday, I asked my boss for the time off and as soon as it was approved, I charged a large sum of money on my credit card to Contiki in Italy! I had a friend, who had a friend that went on a Contiki and loved it, since I was traveling solo, I booked it without hesitation! I booked this trip about 2 months before departure so it was extremely spur of the moment. I am more than happy I did. I landed in Rome, took a transfer to our hotel (Hotel Noto Rome) where there stood a bunch of others around the lobby with their Contiki travel papers. We got our rooms and they were perfect. My room-mate was awesome and we hit it off before even opening the door to our hotel room! Everyone on the tour was beyond amazing. Our tour guide (Yannick) was amazing and had a bunch of hook-ups throughout Italy. I purchased every single optional and loved them all. The whole experience was incredibly mind blowing I never wanted it to end! I came on this trip solo and met a bunch of amazing new friends all across the world! (Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, UK) The group was so diverse and everyone got along so well! I wish I could find something that I did not like about this trip but there is honestly not one part of the trip I hated other than it ending! If you guys are into the nightlife, each hotel has wonderful nightlife surrounding it, in Florence the hotel we stayed in was literally in the HEART of the city! Outside of the hotel door and you were submerged in the streets of firenze! (My favorite city in Italy!!) The hotel in Venice has little to nothing around it, as you need a water taxi to even get to Venice, but because of that fact we had a dress-down night at the hotels bar and drank wine while we exchanged contact info. I have just booked my 2nd Contiki and am more than excited to see what new adventures Asia will bring me! I still talk to all of my fellow contikiers on the same trip as me and we keep in touch til this day!
Contiki! Follow the guide!
Good: Everything really! If you come into the trip with an open mindset and willing to emerge in a new culture all around you, you will also have the experience of a lifetime!
Bad: Not really bad, but a lot of us wished the Venice hotel was in a more "prime" location. But we made the best of it and still had an amazing time.
the England and Scotland trip was fantastic. I don't think that there was a single day where I didn't have at least two drinks. everywhere we visited was lovely the night life in Bristol, Edinburgh and Liverpool was amazing. Bath was beautiful and I had lovely High Tea at the Jane Austen Museum Tea Room, it was lovely. The scenery is lovely all along the way, especially in the highlands. also a group of us went swimming at Loch Ness, and that was quite the thrilling experience. our Tour guide Mike was epic, and organized a ton of extras for us, I loved that. we also tried some pretty crazy food including wild Boar burger, chicken liver parfait, and haggis which was surprisingly good, however one of the hotels had haggis with breakfast, and it wasn`t very good at all. the tour was fantastic and it`s not just the sights that made it, the people were fantastic too. i would recommend this trip to anyone, and I plan on returning to many places that we visited sometime in the future.
Paris is a beautiful city, especially at Christmas with all the streets decorated. I felt this trip was a bit rushed though and didnt get to see everything we wanted to. Also 4 days wasnt really long enough to form good friendships with fellow travellers.
Where to start, Egypt contiki was by far the best experience of my life. It was surreal, riding camels through the desert looking at pyramids, crusing the nile & the red sea, rolling down sand dunes in the Sahara. Amazing! Awesome tour manager who knew everything there was to know, very helpful, met some amazing people on my tour that will be life long friends.Highly recommend this trip to everyone.
Best Tour!!!! Had such an amazing time, met a lot of great people, loved my tour manager!!! Loved everything about this tour and all the amazing places we got to see and experience!!!!
You don't actually get to see the ball drop. My friends and I luckily met a Navy Officer who took us into the square and were able to watch the ball drop at midnight but the bar you are located on, you cant visibly see the ball, but you are less than once block to times square.
This tour was one of the best things I have ever done. Our road crew was fantastic, always having the whole group revved up for the day ahead, and planning extra activities on top of the additional's such as organizing entrance to the Reichstag and a traditional Ice hockey match in Prague. Our tour manager always took the time to orientate us to each new city, allowing us to maximize our time seeing the highlights rather than getting lost.
I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone, and if you are debating of whether to start at prague or vienna, or finish at either of these places: DON'T. Also, the optional extras were all amazing and well worth the extra money spent on them, you will have absolutely no regrets going on this trip.
Best 25 days of my life! From day 1 we were a family. Our Tour Manager T-Bone did an amazing job at getting us to feel comfortable if we were traveling alone (most of us were). She MADE the trip! And our epic bus driver Fillip knew how to throw a BUS PARTY! All the accommodation was great some of the places we stayed were beautiful! I recommend doing ALL the optionals they are fantastic and you will have a blast. Couldnt have asked for a better bunch of people the share in the best time of my life. To many amazing moments i could go on forever. Just book it and GO! #NOREGRETS
This trip was a life changing experience for me. Everyday was an adventure and i have to thank my tour guide Paddy for that. Even on our free days, he was organising activities for us to do, booking kayaks, bikes, tuk tuks for us. I don't think he ever slept! I know our entire group is so greatful for all his hard work. My favourite country was definitely Laos. And my favourite days were the elephant ride and the kayaking, caving and bike riding (not included). My group were amazing and i have certainly made some friends for life. We all became a family and got on so well. The hotels we stayed at went beyond what i expected. They were lovely. Everyday was a different form of transport. Not your typical bus ride tour. We went on boats, bikes, planes, tuk tuks, an overnight train and a few buses. I definitely recommend this tour! Especially if it's your first time overseas! You will be very well looked after.