Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.
This is an Excellent trip. Our tour manager Sarah was good with the history and showed us the best places for different people. Shoppers, History buffs, ect. There is a lot to see and while in Scotland look out for the Harry Cows. Also don’t be late or you may have to sing to the whole bus.
I would recommend this trip to anyone with British or Scottish heritage to go and see where your family and its history came from.
Over all, the trip is very enjoyable.
Had the absolute time of my life on this tour and would definitely do it all over again! Our tour manager Hugh was fantastic, and really went the extra step to make our Christmas and New Years special.
The highlight of the trip definitely includes the cooking class, giving alms to the monks, the elephant ride and the nights out with my amazing tour group.
The tour covers so many different places and offers so many different types of travel - an overnight train, boat, bus and plane. It is definitely the way to experience South East Asia.
I would recommend this tour to everyone!
Enjoyed this trip very much. Was my very first contiki and I was travelling alone. The highlight of the tour was definitely Phi Phi and Krabi. Accommodation is great. My tour mates were fantastic. The best day was definitely the optional snorkelling day. I definitely recommend this :)
First of all let me say that my tour manager, Evana, was great--very helpful and knowledgeable and friendly to our group, so anything I say in this review is not related to her great performance as a tour manager. However, I was a bit disappointed with the actual tour itself; I realize this is only the second year that Contiki has done Hogmanay in Edinburgh so perhaps it was still getting its ground, but I felt like the city of Edinburgh was not much of a sight to see, although some people may have disagreed. Our hostel was very nice, comfortable, and hospitable, and we were told that it was of the closest to the inner city--which if it is, it is quite a hike! It was a long walk to get into the city and even then it was mainly just comprised of gift shops and a couple local pubs. The street festival itself on New Year's Eve was pretty chaotic (yes I know, what do you expect), and it was very difficult to get around and see what was actually there. Unfortunately I personally was ill on new year's day so I didn't participate in watching the Looney Dook, although from what everyone said who went, you couldn't really see anything (but like I said I didn't go so this is just what I was told). One thing I will say is that the optional (Scottish Evening) was not worth 35 euros. It was extremely long/dragged-out, the wait staff was not very attentive or polite, the food was not very good--the bag piping was cool and the guy doing the presentation was very enjoyable, however they waited until AFTER dinner was served before starting the presentation, and it ended up going a very long time--a lot of us were really tired and frustrated by the time we were supposed to leave. Since I wasn't spending extra days in Scotland after the tour, I was advised not to go on the optional to Stirling Castle in order to be able to see more of Edinburgh itself, but I really regret not going on that tour because like I said earlier, Edinburgh was not a very impressive city as far as tourism goes. I feel like I didn't get the experience of Scotland that I was hoping for and do need to go back and try again.
This trip was one of the best things I could have done for myself, I made so many amazing friends, had unforgettable experiences in London and especially Paris! I went on this trip alone, honestly you have so much more fun coming alone! If you want to go out and party every night or take a leisurely stroll along the Seine river in the evening you can, you can do whatever you like.
The accommodation in London and Paris was great, no complaints there and sharing a room with someone is a lot better than having your own room, only because you have an instant best friend and it keeps you in the loop about whats happening.
Our tour guide Garai was a lad, there was never anything he couldn't do and we were always kept entertained. He took out out and partied with us every night as well. Our group wanted to go to Versailles and the Louvre as this wasn't included in the tour and Garai went out of his way to make it happen!
There is so much to do in London and in Paris, so make sure you stay in both places before or after the tour! The real adventure begins after the tour when you trek around Europe with your new friends that you made on Contiki!
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!