Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
Dear Contikians, this tour was so awesome that i made an Epic Tour Montage Video - Check it out if you have the time and want to see what its all about.
Now planning my next Contiki Holiday!
The best thing I have done in my life! The people are amazing, the sites are spectacular and the tour giude and coach driver were fantastic. I cant believe we fitted so much in to only 12 days. I did not want it to end! Going to Europe in winter is brilliant, there are no crowds to get into the sites, not too many other tourists around, and snow is beautiful. As long as you remember to layer up the cold is not a problem! Accommodation in the hotels were good, some of the breakfasts were a little stingy but on the whole food was good. It was worth every cent to do all of the optional extras, they really make the trip worthwhile - gondola rides, wine tasting, moulin rouge. Tour mates were the absolute best. Made some brilliant friends for life. I would reccommend this tour to everyone, dont second guess it, just do it. You wont regret it for a second.
It was my first Contiki Tour and it was amazing :)
So many beautiful places and the people on the tour were lovely and our Tour Manager was great.
This trip was amazing.
2 days in each country gave me a time to shop, try the food and take in the feel of each city. The included excursions gave us the opportunity to do things were normally wouldn't have done.
Contiki also a did a great job of showing us what we could do in each city. There was something for everybody.
I would suggest doing some meal excursions but also skip some and explore the city and get food on your own. It is great to find a restaurant and try something new. Accommodations where good and bad and some hotels were nicer than others.
For this trip I was there Christmas and New Years. Contiki did a great job to make the most of the holidays. We did a secret santa, and celebrated new years with a pub crawl.
3 weeks with the group also allowed you to get to know everybody. This is a great trip. I would recommend 2 days in each city and not 1.
Overall a fantastic trip, we had the best tour manager 'Hugh' who knew is stuff and was a lot of fun but still very professional. This contiki group was a lot of and very mixed which was great. There was also a great mix of activities and lots included for the price of the tour. The hotels were not bad either and were very centrally located. I recommend the 12 day tour over the 10, as the home stay, chu chi tunnels and mekong delta cruise was fantastic and a great way to bond at an early stage of the tour.
This tour is amazing! I saw many things in such short time. Our tour guide and driver are really nice!It's a fast paced trip but at the end, I have a good idea about which countries I would like to come back!I highly recommend this tour to people who want to know a little bit about Europe! Paris and Munich rock!
Great tour guide, amazing places to see and a great trip to do just to get away. I can't wait to go back to thailand !
Great tour to see all the major sites and cities of Europe. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris, scenic Lucerne, swimming at Nice beach, Colesseum in Rome, to beautiful Prague and hectic Amsterdam!
The London Explorer is a great package to make the most of pre-tour time in London. Contiki Basement staff were friendly and helped me book optional activities at discounted prices.
This tour is fantastic if you have a lot you want to see and do, but not a lot of holiday time to do it in. I chose it because I get homesick very easily and I don't like to be away for long periods of time. We got to see all the best sights of each city, but also had plenty of free time to do anything else that wasn't included as part of the official itinerary. It was also really fun doing it in a big group of people from all around the world and we made lots of new friends :) Highly recommended if you don't like travelling alone but can't get any of your friends back home to come with you. It's also pretty nice not to have to organise transportation, accommodation etc, Contiki takes care of all that for you. And it was great having a tour manager to give us tips on things like how to avoid long queues, what to do with our free time, and which stop to get off at to get to certain attractions.
A couple of downsides - none of the hotels seemed to be very well located, they were all a fair way out of the city centre and it would've been nice not to have to travel so far from the hotel to where all the action is. Also, because we were such a big group in a confined space (on the bus), more than half our group ended up getting sick, some just with a cold but others with pretty nasty stomach bugs. So that puts a bit of a damper on your holiday :-P
We did do all the optionals except for one, because we wanted just one day to sleep in and recover - you don't really get much of a chance to relax and do nothing, because they pack so much into the tour and if you don't want to miss out on anything you'll be super-busy and super-exhausted. My recommendation is that if you want to actually see Europe, then you shouldn't have too many late nights out getting drunk and then miss whatever activity is happening the next morning because you're too hungover to get out of bed. People say Contiki is renowned for being a big booze-up, but it's YOUR holiday so if you don't want to make it that way then don't. We had three late nights over the two weeks but we timed them well - like the night before we left Amsterdam for Berlin, which was a 9-hour drive so we just slept on the bus the next day. Getting drunk in Europe really is just like getting drunk anywhere else, so don't miss out on all the things you would never see back home.
Also if you're wondering what they mean by "later starts in the morning" for the Easy Pace tours (like this one), usually we left the hotel at about 8 or 9am rather than 6 or 7am.
About the weather - even though we did our tour in July it was actually pretty chilly from Paris through to Prague, but when we got to Rome we were begging to go back because it was ridiculously hot! So I recommend packing for both hot and cold weather. It also rained a fair bit, so don't forget your umbrella!
For me the highlight of the trip was seeing the Moulin Rouge in Paris - it costs quite a lot, but it's so worth it! Definitely the most amazing show I've ever seen in my life. Make sure you save enough money to do all the optionals, because you don't want to regret not doing them later.
Even though i froze my ass off I had an amazing time, i got to meet people from all over the world and i had a blast with them. i still cant get over all the places I've been they were simply breathtaking. all this wouldn't have been special without our tour guide Emma and our bus driver Jodi :)
It was an amazing time. Tons of activities and cool things to do and see. Just know that You will be getting off the tour before everyone else. just a small bit of a bummer. Definately recommend Australia Contiki!
Well this tour rocked!!
I went by myself and within the first hour I felt like I had made some great friends.
My tour group was only 14 or 17 people plus our tour manager Hannah - so a very small group but still no big issues =]
So lets drop some dot points on some of the things I did on my tour - oh and do as many or as little of the optionals as you want - i ended up doing more of the optionals as I had first intended and I'm so glad i did!!
Day 1 of the tour in NYC!
we met in the lobby of our hotel which was the Sheraton Brooklyn (they had the most comfy beds) where we got to meet Hannah and the rest of the group. In this meeting we filled out forms and signed up for a couple optionals. We then headed out to our first group dinner which was included at a place called Tonic Bar in Times Square which was really good.
Day 2 - NYC
This day we started early for our New York City Tour - our tour guide for NYC's name was Matt, he was very funny and had some cool knowledge of the place.
During this tour we drove around Manhattan, the Trump buildings, 5th ave, Soho, Wall street, checked out the Rockefeller center and had lunch at the Grand Central Terminal. We then went to the 9/11 World Trade Center memorial which was pretty cool. Then a few of us had chosen a helicopter flight over NYC as an optional and we did that this after noon which was worth it as you get to see everything!! That night we had a group dinner at a place at grand central terminal called Naples 45 where we had awesome pizza!! after dinner we headed to the Empire State Building for a look at the city lights before heading out to a club/bar - i think it was called joshua's treehouse or something?
day 3 - NYC
Up early again to grab the ferry out to the statue of liberty. I could not believe how big she was!!!
After that we headed to a place near wall street to get discount broadway tickets and some lunch. Then we headed to central park where most of the group chose to do an optional bike ride... as pedal bikes arnt my thing i chose to walk around.. and did i do some walking!! i think youd need to be seriously fit to walk around that whole place! it is huge!
We then headed down to the warf on 42nd for our optional high speed boat ride on the hudson called "the beast." We then headed back to the hotel to get changed before heading back into manhattan to see a broadway show - we went and saw bring it on! which was pretty good! we then had a very late dinner at the hard rock cafe.
day 4 - NYC
Today we got a sleep in! 9am meet time down in the lobby to do our walk over the brooklyn bridge!
This was actually really good and its not too tiring or long! we met a fantastic artist on the bridge too. We then headed to times square to find out optional TV and movie tour... This drove around new york telling you where things had been shot etc... personally i found this Very Boring! it went for 3 hours and i probably wouldnt do it again.
During the TV and movie tour we did stop for a couple quick breaks though.
After this tour a few of us headed to bubba gumps for a cocktail before going on our next optional bus tour called "the ride." This bus tour was actually really fun and i would defiantly recommend it!! it involves street entertainers etc.
Some of the group then had dinner at applebees in times square before heading back to the hotel to pack for our early flight.
Day 5 - BYE BYE NYC - HELLO VEGAS
Early start - bags to coach at 630.
We got to the airport and flew southwest airways to vegas via st louis which was pretty good. the airlines were very nice and the staff were great!
once we got into vegas we headed straight to our hotel "Harrahs" which is right on the strip.
We checked out the forum shops in ceasars palace that was right across from our hotel. they were gorgeous.
We then got all dolled up and headed out to dinner before dinner we headed too the welcome to vegas sign for our group photo. Dinner was at a place called Bucca Di Beppo (i think thats what it was called) and they had a drink called "contiki punch" STAY AWAY FROM THE PUNCH!! its soo strong haha trust me, you cant drink heaps of them coz they will put you on your bum =]
After dinner we checked out the freamont experience which is really cool!! its a giant screen that spans a couple blocks and its really cool. a few of us got Giant cocktails. =]
After that we headed to our club for the night called Seville which was at luxor. It was small in there and people can smoke inside...
day 6 - vegas
this morning we got up early and got a coach to our optional helicopter ride over the grand canyon.. which was amazing, we also got to land in the canyon and have lunch!
After the helicopter ride a few of us went out the the premier factory outlets and spent the whole arvo shopping! most of us bought a second suitcase to put all our shopping in.
After our massive shopping spree we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner and our night out.
We had dinner at planet hollywood at a place called the cheeseburger factory! which was really yummy! we then went and saw the show V at the V theatre. That was very old school.
we then met up with another contiki group and got into a bunch of hummers, limos and party buses and headed on a drive around the strip before getting to our nightclub of the night - pure which was at ceasars palace.
day 7 - vegas
This day was a pretty free day for us to do whatever we wanted. alot of our group headed to hard rock to lay by the pool, others went shooting, some slept, some shopped. I watched the ballagio fountains and the pirate show at TI.
Later that night we met up with everyone and headed out on our last club night in vegas.. we went to an awesome bar called Ghost Bar which was at the palms and had a great view of the strip!
day 8 - Vegas to San Fransisco
up early to fly to san fran.. once we got into san fran we got on a coach and headed to fishermans warf for a quick look and to try the clam chouder.
We then headed to the goldern gate bridge. We then did a city tour before checking into the hotel. Our hotel was only a short walk to the westfield at market. This night we were meant to do a walking tour but some of us were a bit worse for ware so got public transport to our dinner which was chinese banquet style.
day 9 - san fran
Today was a free day. most of us went to Alcatraz! some people also went on a bike tour this day as well. which was soo good!
i also looked around pier 39 and fishermans warf and had a malt shake at johnny rockets! which was the best shake i have ever had. that arvo we had a cruize with another contiki tour. which was nice before heading to TAD's steak house for dinner. the meals were so big that we had heaps left over so we gave it to the homeless. We then checked out a secret password club =]
day 10 - san fran
this day was a free day to shop, go see the sights.. try get on a cable car.
this night we planned to go to a baseball game. unfortunately we were unable to get any tickets so we decided to head to a bar right near the stadium called lucky strike and we watched it on the big screen, ate some food then had a round of bowling.
day 11 - san fran to Los Angeles
up early for our flight to LA.
Once in LA we headed straight to Venice beach for a bit of a look around.. then we went too santa monica pier for lunch. Then we jumped back on the coach and did a city tour, Beverly hills, rodeo drive, Hollywood blvd etc which was cool. we stopped at the dolby theatre to take a photo of the hollywood sign before checking into our hotel which was the double tree hilton formally known as the kyoto grand. that night we had our dinner at a korean BBQ which was awesome and really yummy.
day 12 - LA
Today half of the group chose to head to Disneyland as part of their optionals but the other half of us chose to head to universal studios.. Universal studios was awesome! and so worth doing, just make sure your there early... do the movie tour then do the wet rides.. then everything else. that way you have time to dry off.
day 13 - LA
Today was the last day of our tour =[
We met up with Hannah in the morning to pay for our optionals before heading out on a walking tour of downtown LA where we were staying. (i think we did this walking tour on this day - i could be wrong) We then headed out to hollywood and i did a hop on hop off tour which was rather boring... But once i got back to the chinese theatre i had a look around there and the dolby theatre... then i headed back to the hotel to go to the grammy museum. It was soo awesome! Then that night we all met up again for one last meeting where Hannah said a few words about her time with us, we received our group photos and gave feedback..then we headed out on our hollywood club crawl.
every place we went was pretty good. we all danced and hugged and said our goodbyes and that was that! =[
Overall was awesome!!
and i miss the friends ive made!
Met a ton a fun people. made a few friends. definitely recommend.
This tour gives you great access to all the main highlights New York has! It's a quick tour that can join onto another tour on the 4th day. I stayed another few days after the tour to do some of the added extras I had purchased from my tour guide. Highlights were the NY Yankees game, Empire State building, bike ride in Central Park. And a foodies cart tour around Wall Street was awesome! The hotel we stayed at was great! Nice and modern and the breakfast was pretty good too! The tour guide was a great guy and took us out to a few night spots with drink specials. You also get a weekly train ticket which makes it really easy to get around. When in NYC on your own. It's a must!
This was the my 4th trip with conitki and I have to say one of the best! I was with such a great group of people to start! I really loved to loactions and the the optionals on this trip, they were more physical and fun...and the sights...wow the moutains and snow! Great food in Vancouer...JAPADOG yummy! The trip was "So Day 6!"
This was our first Contiki and it was AMAZING. The places we saw and the experiences we had we could never have done by ourselves. Amazing tour manager and an entire bunch of people all there for the same thing - a good time! - already looking where we should go next!
I had the time of my life!!! Met super amazing people and got to see evan more amazing places!!!
Accommadation was good - think 99% of us got most of our sleep on the coach (bus) ride to our next destination..... :D
We had the best coash driver and tour guid - made a great team and that made the trip just that much more awesome.
In France and Italy we had a lot of Pizza and Pasta, and then when we got to Germany we got around to the food that I as a South African love. In Germany there was a lot of beer drinking.
All the Contiki stop overs had a bar - and wow what a PARTY!!!
I recommend this trip to anyone that wants to see Europe and have fun!!!
i highly recommend this tour. our tour manager jac was amazing, she made the trip extra special. our driver rasto was this shiz! they were kind and really helped everyone get the most out of their trip.
day 1: netherlands amsterdam was amazing, ferry and then bus into amsterdam, had the included dinner which was nice and off we went to the canal cruse, it was fantastic. and then optionals to the red light district
day 2: free time in amsterdam in the morning, great shopping here, meet back at the bus on way to germany st goar, arrived in st goar, had dinner and off to our wine tastnig which was really fun. then free time
day 3: beer stien demo in the morning, then some free time in town. back on the bus on route to munich. arrived munich, dumped out bags at the hotel and went on ourwalking tour. amazing! after that we had free time the whole night, went to the beer hall and had a pretzel.
day 4: breakfat and on the bus to innsbruck austria, amazing place austria, free time pretty much the whole day with an included dinner that was really nice. get some swaovski SO CHEAP HERE
day 5: back on the bus and into venice, were we had the gondal ride, then free time to explore then to the optional dinner which was great, had a mask theme, very fun
day 6: venice to rome, longest bus ride yet about 8 hours i think, got to hotel and had a walking tour then free time, then the included dinner right next to the collusium which was spectacular.
day 7: rome, free time all day pretty much, and had the vatican city tour which was not to bad
day 8: florence , walkign tour, then free time, then thee leather demo and then dinner and space disco
day 9: lucerne switzerland, when to harrys watches for swatch and knifes, free time not long in this city its pretty much a rest point on route to paris
day 10 -11: paris. free time, and optional these two days it was great, very magical at night
day 12: depart paris for london
the hotels for all these places were really nice, super clean, we stayed at a jail hotel one night, it was actually really fun. pretty much you drive all morning until about 3 then arrive in the place your going. you get about 30-60 mins to go to your room, change shower and get ready for the night out, which doesnt seem like alot of time but it actually is.
our bus dirves were long but not time really does fly. every 4 hours or so you stop at a service stop to go to the loo and get something to eat, usually for about 45 mins. great food at the italian services great pasta and pizza.
this tour is great for anyone who is trying to see as much as europe in a short amount of time in a tight budget, you get plenty of time to go out and explore on your own and you really do get alot out of the time you have.
DO IT PEOPLE ITS GREAT
Before going on this trip I had read some reviews of a tour guide "Sherif". I wasn't sure if this guide was the same one I'd be getting on my trip, but it was. He is Contiki's Egypt and Nile guy. I have to let anyone know that if you choose this trip, you will be getting a great experience with a truly caring, fun, informative, educated, safety-concerned guide. Contiki had everything set to go with the packet I got before leaving, and once arriving, at least in my experience, everything was so easy and organized for the Contiki group. Some of the girls on the trip had just gone through Europe, and said that the guide could definitely make or break a travel experience. Not only did Sherif take us on every excursion as was in the itinerary, but he gave us historical background that we would enjoy, information that was necessary, hints about how to dress and what to expect where from the people and vendors, and stories that entertain. He was incredibly personable, warm and funny. We also had a great group, everyone liked each other, but Sherif made it truly memorable. As I read in other posts, the trip is non-stop, but once on the cruise, there is plenty of time to chill and regain energy for the many temples and stops. As a guide usually does, Sherif had contacts everywhere we went, and through in little extras that weren't on the itinerary. It turned out to be a little more spending than I planned, but it was well worth it. The buses were clean and comfortable, the drives were good, the sites were amazing, the people were great, and the memories will last a lifetime. Girls might want to bring a head scarf for the few times you may be in areas where it is more expected to be covered, and good walking shoes you don't mind getting a little pyramid sand on. :) Oh, and don't over eat anything you're unsure of...but the food everywhere was great!