Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
If you want a trip of a lifetime... book the grand southern. Dont be scared by the 26 days as i could have done double the amount. There were so many amazing optionals do to along the way, helicopter rides over the grand canyon,dallas cowboys stadium tour,limo rides in vegas and thats just to name a few.All of the accommodation was great, heaps of room and always central with plenty to do in your free time.We always had good food to eat and there were always plenty of options and all of the included meals in the tour never dissapointed. I was lucky that i made some of the most amazing friends and by 1/2 way through the trip our contiki group turned into family.My favourite places were vegas,miami,cocoa beach and dallas,taxas and of course NEW ORLEANS!.Be prepared tho... depending on your group will depend on the state of your liver. We literally drank 23/26 nights !! Adri was my TM, if you get her, goodluck..you will fall in love with her.She is amazing, super helpful and knows EVERYTHING about USA. You do spend a lot of time on the bus getting to your next stop, but a ipad and ipod keep you occupied and movies are played and sometimes games too. This isnt a beach holiday, you will feel for a good 40% of the trip you are in the wild west, at first i was thinking i wasnt going to like it, but texas,memphis etc was where i had some of my funnest nights out and memories.All in all i would say dont wait, just book it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
There is so much I want to say about this trip because it was the absolute highlight of my year.
I needed this break away very much so and travelling with a friend I haven’t seen in 5 years was also a bonus. Leaving the cold behind for the extreme heat in Vietnam was just what the doctor ordered!
Our amazing and awesome tour manager Tash made sure we got the experience of a lifetime during the day and experienced the nightlife as anyone should when they are on vacation.
Highlights for me included:
- trip to Ha Long Bay on the overnight cruise and the pirate party
- seeing Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum
- eating Vietnamese food everywhere!
- Heading off to Yaly for dress fittings in Hoi An (FYI totally go with SABRINA she was the best!)
- Making the best of friends on tour
- Seeing Tim on tour decapitate a snake with sheer shock in his eyes
- seeing the sunset over the bridge in Hoi An and watch the town turn into a beautiful, colourful place of lanterns and candles
- having drinks on rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
I mean the list goes on and on but to be honest, there isn’t enough time in the day for me to tell you all the amazing things, just do yourself a favour and get out there and do it! Vietnam is the hidden surprise to any traveller. Highly recommended!
This tour was absolutely amazing - I can not recommend it enough! It is fast paced, yet not exhausting. The free days in Nice & Florence are well timed to give you a break from activities and the group (if needed). We saw so much more than I expected, simply due to the little day stops during bus trips; they may have only been an hour or so but it was enough time to browse these little local towns. I did all of the optionals, they were too good value to pass up, and made for a lot of fun. Our Tour Manager (Mathieu) was undescribable; his organisation, respect for us & his overall passion for the tour was insane, I only hope if you're reading this you will be lucky enough to select one of his trips. I know I've made some life long friends from this tour, and can only hope that if I do another Contiki it is able to live up to this one!! Enjoy : )
What an amazing 21 day adventure, seeing 11 countries in 21 days.
A big thank you to our tour Manger Nat and driver Muffin, your approach made our tour of Europe truly great!
Both very professional, cheerful and very much enjoyed your abridged history of significant attractions and found your endurance inspiring.
Totally worth every dollar spent and certainly recommend Contiki.
Our trip started on the 30th of June 2012, this was in the midst of the European summer - little did I know what this summer had in-store. We had a fantastic tour manager and driver - Roxy and Mark!
Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was breathtaking, you don't realise just how beautiful and magnificent it is till you see it up close. Ticking off things like the Monalisa, Colosseum, Big Ben, London Eye, Lion Monument etc. was amazing!
It's hard to tell which city was the best, they all had certain unique characteristics!! Try out local cuisine when travelling Europe, I had frogs legs and snails in France, traditional German food at a beer hall!
Sign up for ALL the optional excursions, they are wonderful and a great way to spend your days! The optional meals are lovely and also give you the opportunity to quaff copious amounts of wine. Definitely take more money than you think you'll need - clubbing will be a big part of your tour!
Above all, come with an open mind and be ready to have the best summer of your life!!!
P.S: Should your feet or anything else get swollen during the trip, a dip in a pool will solve the problem. Due to the amount of time spent in the coach and walking in the heat, deep vein thrombosis might occur. Just elevate and keep cool!
This was such a phenomenal trip! My goal was to see all the sights and I certainly did that. You’re basically running from location to location! You have a little more time at some stops, though if you’re looking for a laid back vacation, this is not the trip for you. If you’re going, I recommend packing a lot of over-the-counter medications. Since you spend a lot of time on the coach sharing germs in a small space, and since your immunity is low from running around (and, if you’re like me, partying every night), a lot of people got sick. Also, the quick-dry towel was good to have.
I went alone because I wanted the freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted and not feel obligated to do what my travel buddy wanted to do. I figured I’d be a bit of a loner and most travelers would have a buddy, but that wasn’t the case. There were a lot of people traveling on their own and I ended up making some AMAZING friends – I’m actually planning on seeing at least 2 of them when I visit Australia in 2013!! In short, I highly recommend this trip. Enjoy!
If I was to describe this trip in 1 word - perfect! I traveled solo for the first time and was amazed by how many people I met. Lots of places we saw, excellent tour guide who was funny and made our trip amazing, great people and unbelievable sights! Contiki changed me - now I want to travel on Contiki with travelers my age who want to explore the places and party at night rather than with family members every year. I would recommend anyone to try Contiki!
I just got back from my contiki holiday about a month ago, and I have to say, if you're thinking of doing a contiki tour, especially this one, DO IT! It's the most fun you will ever have. You'll meet heaps of new people from different places, and do as many of the optionals as you can, you'll see so much and do so much that you normally wouldn't get to do. The tour manager gave us tips on where to get tickets for sites and how to avoid the long lines, and the bus driver on my tour had the best bus driving skills I've ever seen! It's so true what they say, you'll have so much fun and the memories will stick with you forever!
Great trip, gives you a great taste of many areas of Spain. Our tour manager was fantastic. Would have been nice to stay longer in some of the places but it gives a great taster. For the best time, do all the optional extras. Flamenco was expensive but AWESOME and so worth it.
So much fun the fast pace of the tour kept everyone on their toes everyone bonded so quickly! Good way to see everything real quick!!! Loved it!!
I liked most of the tour, but the places where our tour guide took us for parting where quiet and mostly only the tour group. Bit to fast pace for me but ill def try another tour thats a bit slower, better luck next time i supose ><
I was a little skeptical about taking a Contiki tour because I'm not a big fan of large organized groups while traveling, but I was glad to be proved wrong. I had the best time while on this trip. European Magic was a great tour for someone who can only take 2 weeks off of work. You see almost everything on this whirlwind tour. From the canals of Amsterdam, to skipping the line at the Eiffel Tower, everything is included in these 11 days.
The tour part was great as well. Our tour manager Matt was fantastic. He really knew his stuff and I learned a lot from him as we pulled into each city. Our driver was also awesome and saved us from a few sticky situations. The bus was really comfortable and thankfully had air conditioning. The rides between each city were long, but we got plenty of rest stops and time to sleep if needed. Also, everyone on the tour was amazing to hang out with.
Overall, I suggest everyone take a Contiki tour, even if it's not this one. There is nothing better than travelling the world, and doing it in this way, where everything is organized and ready to go for you is so helpful.
This tour was the most amazing and insane time of my life. Everything ran so smoothly and Contiki went the extra mile to make sure all our expectations were blown away. The places, people, parties, food and crew were all so incredible. The days are full on with travelling, sightseeing and going to and from optionals; but you get free days in nearly every city/country you go to so we all managed to see and do everything we wanted... I wouldn't of had it any other way :D. I made the best friends in the world and we partied as hard as we could for 29 days straight... I wish it never had to come to an end. Definitely a MUST DO on the bucket list :)
I would definitely recommend this tour. I went with my sister and was a little nervous because I'm not huge into partying and I don't drink, so I didn't know if there would be much to do besides sight-seeing that I'd enjoy. But my fellow travelers were excellent, my tour guide Jon James (like him on facebook!) made the trip even more enjoyable, and I had a great time. The ship was nice, definitely not the nicest cruise ship I've been on, but still excellent. The staff was incredibly friendly, and though the rooms were almost impossibly tiny, they were cleaned several times a day which really helped with the clutter the two of us would have created otherwise.
My sister did miss the boat in Mykonos- so I can't stress enough to wear a watch and be mindful of meeting times! She met up with us two days later in Rhodes, and Contiki officials and our tour guide both made the whole experience MUCH less stressful for both of us. My favorite part was probably Kusadasi, Turkey, since Ancient Ephesus was amazing and the shopping at the Grand Bazaar can't be beat. As anxious as I was about bartering, I ended up with some great deals and a lot of purchases I'm very happy with. Just don't get hassled! Say no if you aren't interested. I was sexually harassed by a shopkeeper because I was too polite to just refuse and walk out, don't make the same mistake!
If you're considering this trip, don't hesitate!
Started in Paris and stayed at a nice hotel (Marriott). Got to skip lines at the Eiffel tower (due to having reservations already made) and avoid long lines at the Louvre. Was given a list of recommendations of places to visit during our free time (very helpful). btw, throughout this tour, there is a lot of free time which you're given a sheet of sightseeing activities to do in each city except Berlin. But it can be challenging being efficient with your free time when you're on your own - so I would ask the tour manager the best way to travel around the city and what sight's were worth checking out (but our tour guide got easily annoyed when we asked her questions). Our tour bus driver was great and didn't mind us asking him questions. We had a great group and it was nice meeting new people and making new friends from around the world. You will likely hang out with part of the group when sightseeing during your free time. Btw, the weather was colder than I expected for July - bring sweaters.
Next stop, Amsterdam. There was a lot of free time here. Biking tour in a small town called Edam was memorable - also saw how to make clogs at a clog and cheese shop. several museums to visit - Van Gogh and Anne Frank's house. Hotel was good (free internet in the room). Not easy to get around unless you're comfortable with bus transportation - I would always go back to hotel whenever tour manager provided transportation. or else, just take a taxi with a few friends to save on cost - less likely to get lost and waste time.
Next was Berlin. Not a pretty city, but tons of interesting history. Walking tour made you learn a lot of history - unfortunately it was raining and cold during 75% of the tour- so I only enjoyed the last 45 minutes of the tour when it finally stopped raining and warmed up some. Hotel was close to the city, but not that great (free internet in lobby only, rooms were okay - I booked SUPERIOR level for hotels so I expected nicer hotels - I would consider this hotel a budget hotel). I know minimal time is really spent at the hotel since we're busy going out and touring the city but nice to be able to look forward to a little bit of luxury in a nice hotel.
We made a mini stop to Dresdin (very pretty town) on our way to Prague. This was a nice stop. didn't really have time to visit a museum - spent more time trying to figure out which restaurant to go to. by the time we ate, it was almost time to leave. Our tour manager pointed out all the interesting sites in town within a short time. I couldn't remember the place of the museum she pointed out to visit. It was disappointing when I get an annoyed look when I ask the tour manager a question- especially when I am paying her to be my tour guide. She had a huge fund of knowledge but would say pertinent info so quickly that I couldn't always write everything down - I even recorded her tips and directions on my phone (which was helpful) so I don't have to ask her.
Prague was a beautiful city. had lots of free time there. enjoyed an awesome bike tour - our bike tour guide was from the US and loved answering all of our questions - she was very helpful. Our hotel was in the city but it seems like the quality of our hotels would continue to go downhill (I kept looking or hoping it was like our first hotel in Paris). I loved Prague food and enjoyed the lunch tour cruise. It was a little chilly in this city also for the month of July. I really liked the booked tours and optional tours that Contiki provides. I just wish there were more of them during our free time, so we don't lose too much time figuring out how to get around the city on our own. I finally got to do laundry at this location (it was about $20 for a load which they wash, dry, and folded within a few hours at a laundry place in the city).
Last stop was to Rome. This is a beautiful city with tons of old history. I got to see a lot in this city. We had a booked group tour for the Vatican (no lines!) - the tour guide for the vatican was great and helped explain all the art work we were seeing. We also got to the front of the line for the colosseum (as long as you purchase the audio). Hotel was near central station and in the city. Laundry & internet shop was a few doors down. Hotel had old charm, but breakfast was terrible. Bathroom was small (due to being a very old hotel) and some rooms did not have A/C. again, disappointing hotel, but tolerable if I was doing a budget tour.
The five included dinners were very good. I especially enjoyed eating next to the colloseum.
Overall, I did not realize how much partying there was (which is optional). But after day 2, there was a party at a pub/bar/club every night until the last night. Your group usually all goes together which is good. The tour manager will usually take you to a location or recommend a location each evening. I also didn't realize how much money I spent while on vacation. Expect to spend on average 100 to 200 Euro per day - optional activities are an additional expense. Also never use the EXCHANGE offices in the city to exchange money - they are a rip off. It's better to use your debit card -they usually just charge a small fee and you get a good and fair exchange rate (call your bank to find out which european banks are best to use). In the end, you make a lot of great friends, see a lot of key things in each city, tolerate your tour manager, party every night, and sleep in a budget hotel.
I have recently returned to Australia from the 10 day London, Paris plus Rome tour and I have nothing but positive feedback! The tour was fantastic - we got to see so many sights in a short period of time. We also had 3 nights in each of the cities so we didn't feel too rushed and we had plenty of free time in each city to explore by ourselves. It was really great to have the last 3 days in Rome unescorted - it meant that we could relax and explore the city at our own pace.
We had a fantastic tour manager (Thanks, Alex!) and it really made a big difference. I would definitely recommend getting involved in all of the optional activities - the day-trip to Stonehenge and Bath and the night at the Moulin Rouge in particular! I would also recommend arriving in London a few days early if you are able to - I did and was able to see a lot of extra sights and recover from the jet lag before the tour started.
Overall I was super impressed by this tour. It was my first time in Europe and my first Contiki tour and I have to say that it was even better than I expected it would be. Being a part of the tour meant that we skipped the lines at places such as Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower and we had an incredible guide who filled us in on the history of all the places we saw and visited. Ideally, it would have been great to have more time in each of the cities (because there is just so much to see!) but we were able to fit a lot into the time we had. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone travelling to these cities for the first time - I can't wait to start planning my next trip!
I had a blast and will remember ever moment of it. I will miss all my friends i met. I recommend this tour for 20 year olds or older as it is catered to the older crowd. I loved all the cities but wish there was more time in vienna as two days was not enough time.
Words cannot describe how amazing and how much fun this trip was, but I'll give it a good shot.
Our Tour Manager was Lasse and our Coach Driver was Ben or 'The Dream Team'.
From Day 1 they were both full of excitement and fun, and Lasse threw as many facts and as much information at us as he could as we headed to Paris.
After Day 1 tour just kept getting better and better. Lasse and Ben went out of their way to make it the holiday of our lives.
Myself and a guy on tour (Ash) both celebrated our 21st birthdays in Prague. To begin with, we were each given a birthday cake on the river cruise, then later in the night were showered with champagne on the Prague Pubcrawl that Lasse and Ben had organised for us.
Lasse was always full of bubbles and fun, even after a big night he'd be on his microphone ready to start the day, while everyone else just wanted to sleep.
I can do nothing but give great feedback about this tour.
If you're looking at going to Europe, I would seriously consider this tour :)
Let me first say that I had a great time on this tour. I got to see a ton of cool stuff in a very short amount of time. Thats both the good and the bad. If you want to cram as much as possible into a short time this is a great trip, but if you want to relax and take in EVERY sight then I would find a tour that covers less ground. My guide was great, my group was pretty awesome as well so I rated it 4 stars but that just because we we up early and on the bus quite a bit. Had it not been for the early mornings this would have been a 5 star trip. They did a great job of giving us as much time in a place as possible considering the distance we traveled.
All I have to say is Epic. I met some of the greatest people I know during this trip. Many of which I have kept in close contact with. The tour is so organized, and is so much fun. I'm thinking about making this a yearly tradition.
Our Tour Manager, Glenn is the bomb too!