Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

Simply Italy

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Simply Amazing

I can not really add much to the already 5 star trip and reviews below. Simply Italy, simply do it! :-)

For my first time visiting Europe, this trip exceeded my expectations. It was a good introduction to both London and Paris and sites that the cities have to offer. The tour staff were very helpful and friendly. You will see things like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, The Roman Baths, the Eiffle Tower, the Louvre, and much more. There was also a good amount of "me time" to explore the cities with your new found friends, but the option to see the things you really want to see if you so choose. Transport was good and the accommodations were great and in good locations. It's hard to pick a favourite memory from this trip but it was meeting up with great people and enjoying London and Paris overall. This trip is perfect if you are a solo traveler and are looking to see the main attractions.

My Contiki was: Fantastic, Awesome, Lot's to see

For my first time visiting Europe, this trip exceeded my expectations. It was a good introduction to both London and Paris and sites that the cities have to offer. The tour staff were very helpful and friendly. You will see things like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, The Roman Baths, the Eiffle Tower, the Louvre, and much more. There was also a good amount of "me time" to explore the cities with your new found friends, but the option to see the things you really want to see if you so choose. Transport was good and the accommodations were great and in good locations. It's hard to pick a favourite memory from this trip but it was meeting up with great people and enjoying London and Paris overall. This trip is perfect if you are a solo traveler and are looking to see the main attractions.

My Contiki was: Fantastic, Awesome, Lot's to see

  • Sheridan Level 8 Traveler
  • 8 Contikis
  • 22 Countries

I've done a bit of travelling in my time but this tour has got to be the best one so far. Norway is so beautiful, I could look at my pictures all day. Russia: WOW. It's so different from any other country. The local guides there were friendly, funny and astonishingly knowledgeable. The three cities that we visited in Russia, to me, seemed very different from one another. The tour manager was amazing; Danny organised heaps of extra outings for the group and always made sure the special diet people were taken care of during meals. He was also heaps of fun along with the rest of the travellers on the tour. My favourite parts of the tour would probably be the Bobsledding in Lillehammer, the Boat Cruise to Helsinki and visiting Novgorod (because it's a beautiful little town on the river). I'll never forget what an amazing time I had on this tour and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something new and different.

My Contiki was: Eye-opening, Unique, Fun

  • Sheridan Level 8 Traveler
  • 8 Contikis
  • 22 Countries

I've done a bit of travelling in my time but this tour has got to be the best one so far. Norway is so beautiful, I could look at my pictures all day. Russia: WOW. It's so different from any other country. The local guides there were friendly, funny and astonishingly knowledgeable. The three cities that we visited in Russia, to me, seemed very different from one another. The tour manager was amazing; Danny organised heaps of extra outings for the group and always made sure the special diet people were taken care of during meals. He was also heaps of fun along with the rest of the travellers on the tour. My favourite parts of the tour would probably be the Bobsledding in Lillehammer, the Boat Cruise to Helsinki and visiting Novgorod (because it's a beautiful little town on the river). I'll never forget what an amazing time I had on this tour and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something new and different.

My Contiki was: Eye-opening, Unique, Fun

Grand Canadian

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Fantastic!
  • Simone Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Beautiful fun filled cities. Incredible Rocky Mountains with so many adventurous activities. Highly recommend this trip.

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

A great way to experience Oktoberfest as a solo traveller. This trip allows you to meet a ton of people and experience the Oktoberfest traditions along with other activities like going to see Dachau, a castle, and a bike city tour. It's like making your own trip because you get to decide what you do everyday with no itinerary. The tour managers and drivers are always giving you tips about the culture, where to go, and what else you can do in the beautiful city of Munich.

My Contiki was: culture, friendships, tradition

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

A great way to experience Oktoberfest as a solo traveller. This trip allows you to meet a ton of people and experience the Oktoberfest traditions along with other activities like going to see Dachau, a castle, and a bike city tour. It's like making your own trip because you get to decide what you do everyday with no itinerary. The tour managers and drivers are always giving you tips about the culture, where to go, and what else you can do in the beautiful city of Munich.

My Contiki was: culture, friendships, tradition

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

This tour was truly the trip of a lifetime. I couldn't have asked for better people, tour managers or drivers to be apart of my experience. Their knowledge of every spot only heightened my experience, and they went above and beyond to make it a special experience for all of us. I highly recommend this as a solo traveller as there were lot's of other solo traveller's as well as small 2-3 person groups. Go on EVERY Me Time Optional, it only enhances your experience in each city and gets you closer with your group. Lot's of food and drinks, sites, and memories. This trip gives you a taste of each city's culture, food, and sites, hitting all the most important. Most definitely an experience that I will never regret and that I highly recommend to anyone.

My Contiki was: adventure, enriching , culture

  • Taylor Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

This tour was truly the trip of a lifetime. I couldn't have asked for better people, tour managers or drivers to be apart of my experience. Their knowledge of every spot only heightened my experience, and they went above and beyond to make it a special experience for all of us. I highly recommend this as a solo traveller as there were lot's of other solo traveller's as well as small 2-3 person groups. Go on EVERY Me Time Optional, it only enhances your experience in each city and gets you closer with your group. Lot's of food and drinks, sites, and memories. This trip gives you a taste of each city's culture, food, and sites, hitting all the most important. Most definitely an experience that I will never regret and that I highly recommend to anyone.

My Contiki was: adventure, enriching , culture

The only thing I would change is the organization of entry to the top of the tower which I believe was out of Lucy's control. The coach was clean and comfie and the hotels and Paris and Amsterdarn were nice but the hotel in London had wifi issues and was outdated.

Paris had the best food and London had the worst. Definitely take a canal tour and check out Anne Frank's house as well as the Van G Museum.

Our driver, Christian, offered us wonderful suggestions for sight seeing in Paris on a "ME" day. The pace was fast but we maximized the most of our time. My now fiance proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower and it will always be a magical trip.

My Contiki was: Fast paced, Encompassing, Fun

The only thing I would change is the organization of entry to the top of the tower which I believe was out of Lucy's control. The coach was clean and comfie and the hotels and Paris and Amsterdarn were nice but the hotel in London had wifi issues and was outdated.

Paris had the best food and London had the worst. Definitely take a canal tour and check out Anne Frank's house as well as the Van G Museum.

Our driver, Christian, offered us wonderful suggestions for sight seeing in Paris on a "ME" day. The pace was fast but we maximized the most of our time. My now fiance proposed at the top of the Eiffel Tower and it will always be a magical trip.

My Contiki was: Fast paced, Encompassing, Fun

European Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Speedy

Really good trip! Had a very very very good time! Steve our tour guide knew so much about the area and showed us all the must see things! Would suggest it to everyone!

European Discovery

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Speedy

Really good trip! Had a very very very good time! Steve our tour guide knew so much about the area and showed us all the must see things! Would suggest it to everyone!

  • Claudia Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Greece is absolutely amazing with it's wonderful mixture of history, nature, great seafood, and donkey rides!! Santorini was my favorite, with the iconic blue and white buildings and crystal clear waters. This picturesque island is unreal, really takes your breath away. Being with a great group of people is so important on a cruise, since you spend quite a bit of time on the boat. We had an awesome tour manager who was so much fun and so helpful. Toga party was epic!

My Contiki was: Seafood, Beaches, Historical

  • Claudia Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Greece is absolutely amazing with it's wonderful mixture of history, nature, great seafood, and donkey rides!! Santorini was my favorite, with the iconic blue and white buildings and crystal clear waters. This picturesque island is unreal, really takes your breath away. Being with a great group of people is so important on a cruise, since you spend quite a bit of time on the boat. We had an awesome tour manager who was so much fun and so helpful. Toga party was epic!

My Contiki was: Seafood, Beaches, Historical

European Inspiration

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Wow!
  • Kara Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

Words cannot describe how amazing this tour is. Firstly, a HUGE THANK YOU to my tour manager (Chloe) and driver (Antonio). They put in 110% effort (plus more) and made every single one of us (there was not one empty seat on the bus) feel happy and enjoy every moment of this tour.
You have to actually do this tour to understand how fantastic it really is. The places you see, the places which are included and the optionals which are fantastic value and well worth it.
I'd honestly do this tour again and again, there's always so much to see and do. There needs to be more time in the day to include everything - Paris is impossible to see in just two days.

Accommodation was fine, if you go on Contiki expecting 5 star luxury - you're dreaming.
The food was amazing; every place you goto has something different so you're not stuck with the same food every day, there's a few walkabout meals - where you go find your own food - and they're always fun, even more fun when you get lost! It's all part of the experience!
Transport? Antonio's driving skills got us everywhere! If we wanted to go out and party, we had great advice given to us by Chloe on how to get back, best way to get back and any details (trams/trains/stops/etc).

Every moment was a best moment for me on this tour.. I'm from Australia and I spent 19 days with amazing people, met plenty of locals, and I was in Europe!!!
Every single person on our tour has made memories, all which are fun memories and we'll always remember this tour for many years to come. I encourage anybody who wants to experience the best of Europe to do this tour.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Memories, No Regrets

European Inspiration

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Wow!
  • Kara Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

Words cannot describe how amazing this tour is. Firstly, a HUGE THANK YOU to my tour manager (Chloe) and driver (Antonio). They put in 110% effort (plus more) and made every single one of us (there was not one empty seat on the bus) feel happy and enjoy every moment of this tour.
You have to actually do this tour to understand how fantastic it really is. The places you see, the places which are included and the optionals which are fantastic value and well worth it.
I'd honestly do this tour again and again, there's always so much to see and do. There needs to be more time in the day to include everything - Paris is impossible to see in just two days.

Accommodation was fine, if you go on Contiki expecting 5 star luxury - you're dreaming.
The food was amazing; every place you goto has something different so you're not stuck with the same food every day, there's a few walkabout meals - where you go find your own food - and they're always fun, even more fun when you get lost! It's all part of the experience!
Transport? Antonio's driving skills got us everywhere! If we wanted to go out and party, we had great advice given to us by Chloe on how to get back, best way to get back and any details (trams/trains/stops/etc).

Every moment was a best moment for me on this tour.. I'm from Australia and I spent 19 days with amazing people, met plenty of locals, and I was in Europe!!!
Every single person on our tour has made memories, all which are fun memories and we'll always remember this tour for many years to come. I encourage anybody who wants to experience the best of Europe to do this tour.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Memories, No Regrets

I loved this trip. I took it two years ago and it was my second contiki I had ever done. The first contiki I did was the big European Adventure five years ago. I would absolutely recommend this asia trip to all of you. I LOVEEEED it!!!!!

  • Vanessa Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 5 Countries

This regional tour was my second with Contiki, and it was an intense journey through a beautifully complex part of the world. This tour is great for anyone, especially people interested in WWII and Cold War history. In this review I'll capture some of the highlights and provide tips that we found helpful during the trip.

IN GENERAL
Expect adequate, but not excessive rooms at the hotels. Expect continental breakfasts that feature cold cuts, cheese, and some muffins/croissants, often supplemented with dodgy scrambled eggs and hot dogs masquerading as sausages. Expect free wi-fi at all of the hotels, which are usually outside of the city centers but close to public transit.
Expect 12 variations on a theme of meat & potatoes. Whether it's bratwurst in Berlin, goulash in Hungary, pierogi in Poland, or dumplings in Slovakia, you will eat very basic (but delicious!) foods these two weeks.
2 weeks traveling by coach is going to put a strain on your immune system, no matter how healthy you start out. Take your multivitamins, listen to your body when you need rest, and don't go big right off the bat. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Aspirin is remarkably difficult to find in this part of Europe, so pack accordingly.
If you don't already know, figure out how to read a metro/bus timetable. All of these cities have great public transit systems that will take you anywhere worth going until at least 11:30pm (24 hours in Budapest).
As of 2014, you'll use four different types of currency on this trip, so research and plan accordingly so you don't lose a bunch of money paying fees at the exchanges.
There will be no opportunities to do your laundry that you do not make yourself. The hotels will charge you an arm & a leg for their service, so I recommend Vienna as a midpoint to find yourself a laundromat.

THE TOUR GROUP
This was the second Conitki and with a group of about 50, there were a lot of people to get to know. Of course the natural sub-group divisions came into play before long, usually along the lines of age, interest, and relationship status. The best thing about these Contikis is that you will usually find like-minded travelers that you connect easily with. It won't be everyone, but you'll still leave with some gems to keep in touch with.

THE TOUR MANAGER
Included in the cost of your trip is the service of a tour manager. In my mind, they are there to help get you from A to B, and to help direct you to the scenes that interest you. Our tour manager, Danny Steenkamp, went above and beyond this by:
- Giving a (sometimes quite detailed!) introduction to the history of the place we were visiting
- Providing us with an array of options for every traveler type - the historian, the foodie, the partygoer, the alcoholic, the culture vulture, the shopper. At no point did we ever feel like there was enough time spent in any one place, but that's the point.
- Providing suggestions for cheap eats for those on a budget
- Giving us a 'cheat sheet' with tips on local food and drink, taxis and metro service, basic translations (greetings, please/thank you), popular sights to see and cost/hours, including some off-the-beaten path for those who didn't want to stick to the 'touristy stuff.'
- Above all, being a generally well-informed and respectable human being that you'd want to hang out with, even if you weren't paying for his guidance

BERLIN
The first night is a brief introduction to your tour manager, a drive around the city, and an included dinner featuring traditional German cuisine. This "group first date" was a great way to get introduced to some of your fellow travelers.
The second day in Berlin offers two optionals, both of which we did:
- Berlin Walking Tour. We loved this stroll that covered several landmarks, primarily because our local guide (Alex) did such a great job putting everything in context, prompting us to think about different ways to interpret the things we were seeing.
- Eye Spy Tour. Essentially a shortened walking tour that focuses on the Berlin Wall, and ends up at two different bars where the group can participate in a fun mystery-solving activity. This was a hit for us because the same guide from the morning did a similarly excellent job with this.

Our stopover on the way to Prague was Dresden, which was very picturesque.

PRAGUE
The first evening in Prague features an included walking tour that takes you to the St. Vitus Cathedral, and the famous "Golden Lane" that features Franz Kafka's house. This is the first breathtaking view of a city that you'll see on this tour. Our guide Sara was wonderfully cheerful even when describing the darker moments of the Soviet occupation of then-Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic is the least-religious country on the tour, but you'll be amazed to hear about some of the superstitions and odd traditions of these people! We did one of the two Prague optionals:
- Traditional Czech evening. This is a dinner that features local Czech cuisine accompanied by traditional Czech song and dance performed live. Very enjoyable, lots of food, and the wine & beer flows pretty freely this night.

Our stopover on the way to Vienna was Kutna Hora, which was my favorite stopover because of the Sedlec Ossuary (so many bones!!).

VIENNA
Vienna is the most upscale, classy-feeling stop that shows the least of the damage resulting from WWII, despite being bombed over 50 times and briefly occupied by the Soviets immediately after the war. A walking tour of the city is included the first morning in Vienna, which centered around the legacy of the powerful Habsburg family that held its seat of power here for over 600 years. We spent most of our free time in the museums, especially the Natural History Museum, which is massive! Also, our best meal of the trip (planned outside of the tour) was at a Hungarian restaurant called MINI. We did one optional:
- Schnaps Museum. This is a visit to one of Vienna's finest Schnaps-producing facilities, with an introduction to the Fischer family who has been distilling the local fruits into this very tasty beverage. This was one of the best bang-for-the-buck optionals as a tasting is included at the end (which includes absinthe with an alcohol content as high as 80%!).

Our stopover on the way to Budapest was Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. More meat and dumplings!

BUDAPEST
The first order of business was a brief tour of the Buda side of the city (our local guide was Natasha), which took us up to Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion, and then to the Citadel where the Liberty Statue marks the highest point of the city. This is the second time you'll encounter a breathtaking view of the city, which was my favorite on the tour. During our free time the next day we made a stop at the Terror House to get a glimpse of Hungary's dark history under the Communist regime, and while we didn't make it to the Turkish baths, that is our reason to come back. We did one optional:
- Budapest River Cruise. Easily the best optional on the entire trip - lots of good food, wine, and by this time you've likely connected with the travelers that you'll become close to, making for some great conversations.

Our stopover on the way to Krakow was Banská Bystrica, a picturesque little town that you really only need an hour or so to see.

KRAKOW
The first stop in Krakow was dinner in the Jewish Quarter Krakow kicks off with another walking tour that took us to Wawel Castle, which is one of Poland's most culturally important sites -- as a former home to Polish kings and a symbol of Polish statehood. With our free time we attempted to visit the museum where Oskar Schindler's factory once was, but it was closed. We spent the day wandering around the city center looking for polish food to eat and cheap souvenirs to buy. Our final optionals:
- The Salt Mines tour. This is a great underground exploration of 700-year-old salt mines, an impressive part of Krakow's industry. It's a lot of walking, but you see these amazing caverns that were carved out without the help of explosives or industrial drilling equipment.
- Pierogi Dinner. Pierogi was my favorite version of potato dumplings on this tour, and so I really enjoyed this hearty meal. The "piergi making" is really optional, if you'd prefer to simply watch and eat.

The first "stopover" on the way to Warsaw is a longer visit at Auschwitz. There is nothing I can say that will prepare you for walking on this ground. Soak it in, feel the feels, and pay your respects to this troubling place.

Our second stopover between Krakow and Warsaw was Częstochowa, whose claim to fame is the Icon of the Black Madonna housed at the Jasna Góra Monastery.

WARSAW
We were introduced to Warsaw on the final full day of our trip via a walking tour with another local guide who took us to some of Warsaw's landmarks, including a Chopin statue, the memorial to the Jewish Ghetto, and the memorial to the Warsaw Uprising during WWII. In our free time we visited the Museum of the Polish underground movement, as well as the Chopin Museum - which is a must for anyone remotely familiar with his work. The final included dinner this night is a great way to finish off the tour.

ENDING THE TOUR
We took the coach back to Berlin from Warsaw. Note that this is basically a 9:00 to 5:00 drive. We'd likely depart out of Warsaw if we did it over again.

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Educational, Intense

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