27 Jun 2015 - 10 Jul 2015
A year later and I still reminisce of this tour. From the UK to Amsterdam each day is filled with memories and adventures you will remember for a lifetime.
It was far better than my expectations as you had a lot more free time to explore the things you wanted to see.
I would highly recommend doing all the ME TIME activities - I ticked a lot off my bucket list and also it was a great way to get to know fellow travelers.
The Netherlands, Venice, Paris and the Vatican were the main highlights for the trip for me. From the delicious food to experiencing the night life, it was a great way to explore Europe and get a taste for the places I want to go back to.
If you are thinking about doing this trip.... DO IT. Its definitely worth every cent and the tour manager, bus driver and contiki team are there to support you every step of the way.
For more detailed info on the tour check out my travel diary:
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
09 May 2012 - 22 May 2012
This trip was amazing! Not too long, not too short, the perfect timing. Our guide Kate and driver Jimmy were outstanding. I would do this again in a heatbeat.
The sites we saw were great and the whole experience was awesome. If you're a firdt time Europe traveller, I'd do this exact trip!
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
08 Jul 2015 - 21 Jul 2015
This was literally the best trip I have ever done, like ever!
This was my first time traveling completely solo and I was really nervous, but those nerves were soon put to rest. Everyone on the tour was so nice, the bus was comfortable and our driver was a legend.
The hostels weren't great and either was the food but half the time you weren't in your bed and you soon forgot about the food, I mean you're in EUROPE!
I have made some fantastic friends from all over the world and have some fantastic memories.
The nightlife was great, one of the funniest memories being when our group played a drinking game underneath the Eiffel (when do you ever do that, it was so unreal)
I have already booked my next Contiki and couldn't recommend this trip enough.
One piece of advice: try everything, step outside of your comfort zone because the memories that come from doing that are AMAZING.
Review written Dec 2015event 0.3
05 May 2015 - 19 May 2015
This trip was AMAZING. I highly recommend.
Transportation: Travel pace was very fast, and you should expect to spend a lot of time on a coach bus. However, I did not mind this bus time because our tour manager and bus driver kept it fun by playing music, movies, and running games. It also is significantly better if you choose to socialize and get to know the people on your trip while you ride.
Contiki Inclusions: The included activities were fun at times, and other times they were a bit lame, but they never were too long and you almost always have the option to skip them. If you are really particular about what you spend each minute doing, it may be kind of difficult to work around the contiki schedule, but for the most part, it was fun and staying with the group was a better option from a social standpoint.
Food: the included meals are typically cooked at the contiki-owned properties on the "special stopovers". Food was always good, but don't expect a five star chef. The contiki staff is a better cook than I am personally, so i had no issues with this. You also get plenty of opportunities to go out on your own for lunch/ dinner. Also, be aware that sometimes you will be asked to pick up your dishes and bring to the dish room (crazy, i know). Some people had a problem with this, but it was maybe 5 seconds of effort?
Accommodations: The accommodations were a 2-4 person hotel at best, and a cabin in a campsite at worst. I am not particular or fussy about where i stay, but if you are, this is something to keep in mind. You have a sleeping bag with you (included depending on what country you are from) and typically are given a fitted sheet to cover the bed with. Our tour manager would pass around a clip board each day for us to sign up in groups of 2-3 for housing, so it was very flexible. You could stick with the same people or switch it up as you please. i found that switching it up was nice because it gave me opportunities to get to know others that I hadn't really talked to yet. The contiki special stopovers are typically a ways outside of the city, so you will need to pay for a cab if you want to go out in the city at night. I don't recall spending a ridiculous amount of money for any cab rides, but I was always splitting with a couple others. At the contiki accommodations, however, they always have a bar that serves pretty cheap drinks, and often they throw themed parties. Your contiki will be one of 2-4 groups staying at that accommodation on any given night, so the parties that contiki hosts are really fun! I particularly loved the Beaujolais Wine Region Chateau that had a dark basement with black lights and loud music plus bottles of local wine for maybe 8 euro.
Me Time Optionals: Some of these were great, some were very overpriced. Most people chose to do every single activity, so if you want to stick with the group, be prepared for about 350 euro extra for that. We were able to make decisions on which activities we wanted to do up to 48 hours in advance, so I didn't sign up for any initially, but made my decisions once i met the group.
Pace: The pace of this trip is extremely fast. If you want to see as much as possible in as little time, this trip is for you. If you have already been to many of the places on the list, you might not like getting the introductory overview that this trip is intended for. Most cities you arrive mid afternoon and leave early in the morning. There was only a couple cities that you got two nights and a full day in. Be prepared for a lot of time spent hung over on a bus exhausted. I thought the exhaustion made it more fun, but just know this trip is NOT relaxing. The people on your trip will be loud and really drunk, and will likely disturb your sleep if you are trying to get to bed earlier. The trip is most fun if you just embrace the craziness and go as hard as you can for every minute of it.
Review written Dec 2015event 0.3
02 Jul 2015 - 15 Jul 2015
As it was the first time I had been to Europe I was nervous about if contiki would be for me. I had a 5 week period to travel and I decided to spend 2 of those weeks on contiki doing European Highlights. It was an awesome decision but in reality I wish I had picked a three week option. (Regretted not going to Swiss Alps and Austria people I spoke to said it was their highlight).
Contiki is amazing if you go in with the right attitude be realistic and make the best of every situation your in. Also remember this tour is "high energy" they mean it, you will see the "highlights" of Europe, but you will not have much time to relax and take them in. Think of it as a bucket list tour, you can tick of so many items and decide if you want to go back.
There where people on our group that expected 5 star accommodation that is not what your going to get. The accommodation is fine but basic I went during the height of Summer and it was very hot and there where not fans in any of the accommodation and air conditioning was a rarity that you normally had to pay for. Contiki will tell you that you need a sleeping bag, if you go in Summer don't bring a sleeping bag bring, bring a silk sleeping bag liner you will be a lot more comfortable, they also have bed bug repellant on them if you buy the right brand. (Mum gave me this advise from when she did her contiki when she was my age).
My highlight was Munich make sure you have a night out at "Cult Fabric" it's a red light district with an almost theme park layout. Entry was 10 Euro's my tour manager Zac recommended it, but other tours went to Pacha don't do this go to "Cult Fabric" you will not regret it. The "Mikes Bike" option was also heaps of fun.
Another thing to note is make an effort to speak to your bus driver. My tours bus driver Pedro was a great guy who had seen it all. He helped out people when they where sick and went the extra mile to make sure that everyone had a great time.
All things considered you will have an amazing time if you decide to go on this tour, you will meet lots of amazing people, you will see so much in such a short space of time and you will make memories that will last a life time. Just go in with the right attitude and remember in the words of my tour manager Zac "it's not weird, it's different".
Review written Dec 2015event 0.3
28 Jun 2015 - 11 Jul 2015
This is the best way to see some places of Europe!! This trip takes you to some amazing places and on many different activities. Make sure you do all the Optionals, they are well and truly worth the money. Our trip Manager (Aaron) was also the best person, he gave us so much extra information & showed us some great places to go.
You meet so many amazingly different people from all over the world & will have lifelong friends and memories!!!
Euro Highlights 2015 #noregrets
Review written Nov 2015event 0.3
16 May 2015 - 29 May 2015
At first, I was apprehensive about travelling solo but as the title of my review suggests, I had no reason to be.
The days are jam-packed with things to do. It's not a trip for the faint-hearted or someone that likes early nights. The coach is for sleeping because you'll realise that you need to make the most of every second you have with the people that start off as acquaintances who turn into friends and eventually your international family. We had travelers from 8 different countries across the globe. Just think that these friends now mean only having to pay for flights when you go abroad in the future or you get to host someone and show them all the best bits of your country.
I made some of the best friends of my entire life and I know our friendship will endure because we bonded over some of the most important things in life: food and wine.I say that because you have to be open-minded when it comes to trying new things. There's no point in going on a trip that encompasses so many different countries and cultures without being willing to venture out of the box and try a bit of everything. From escargot in France to pizza a million times better than you've ever tasted before in Italy to pretzels and currywurst in Munich and finally in Amsterdam... Waffles of course! And the wine... Don't get me started on the wine.
There are so many amazing things to be seen in Europe and Contiki is the gateway to discovery: finding new places that you adore and falling in love all over again with places you've already been, as was the case with me and Paris. One of the most important things for me was that Nice took my breath away and it made me realise where I wanted to go to university in England because they offer a year abroad studying in Nice. So it's not only fun but can also be incredibly eye-opening.
What I will say is be prepared for people to mock every stereotype about your country. Being English, I was a minority on our tour, in fact, I was the only European other than our bus driver, Barry, but don't let that stop you if you're a Brit. I was bombarded with people asking about tea, crumpets, the fact that we lost a revolution and pretty much every other preconception you could possibly imagine.
My trip wouldn't have been complete without the wonderful Contiki Team of #ContikiTony and #ContikiBarry, or Baz as he was lovingly known. Tony partied as hard as all of us and you can tell it's not just a job for him, it's a vocation and he loves bringing so much joy and excitement to so many people. It was the same with Barry. When he wasn't driving us from country to country the following day, he enjoyed a cheeky bevvy or two and made everyone feel so welcome, not just 'another number' but a friend.
Overall, I had the best experience I could have wished for and so so much more. It changed my life in so many ways. Contiki helped me to make the most of the time that we have, it gave me the chance to make friends from all over the world, it built my confidence and my alcohol tolerance. What more could you want?
It'll give you so many stories to tell your kids about. So my advice... Take the leap and live while you're young. Make the most of this life.
Review written Oct 2015event 0.3
01 Jun 2015 - 14 Jun 2015
2014 wasn't a walk in the park. I needed a change, a new experience, a new adventure, a new me. Enter, Contiki!
June 1st 2015, I joined my Contiki Group in Paris. I had never travelled alone before and I had no idea what to expect. One reason that I chose Contiki to host my Europe Trip was the ease of everything. They took me to the places I wanted to go, they fed me, they found the best places to chill, eat, sleep and relax.
European Highlights is a fast paced and extremely amazing tour. I literally got to tick off almost everything from my 'Bucket List'. From selfies by the Eiffel tower, wandering the streets of Florence before a Tuscan Meal and enjoying the nightlife in Amsterdam, everything exceeded my expectations.
If this is your first time to Europe, this is the tour for you. You'll immerse yourself in the history and culture of every country you visit and never want to leave.
You meet the best people, your Tour Manager will take care of your every need and you'll get to stay in places you never imagined you could stay in. You'll make life long friends, you'll probably have more fun than you have ever had and you'll come back completely satisfied with your choice.
You definitely will not regret this tour. #noregrets
Review written Sep 2015event 0.3
20 Jun 2015 - 03 Jul 2015
This trip was simply amazing. But be warned, this is not for the people after a "relaxing holiday", this trip is "Traveling" , is extremely fast paced and you're always on the go. You get too a place, have an awesome night out, have a look around and your back on the go. expect very late nights and early mornings. You will get very accustomed to the bus and sleeping on the bus is something everyone does. But the best part about the long bus trips is talking to all the different people and you get to know everyone really well. Yes you could do this trip by yourself and yes it could probably be cheaper, but this is SO worth it. The people we went with truly made this trip. It was worth the money just for the people. They truly made the WHOLE trip worth it. It is a bucket list trip. You see and do a whole lot in a short 2 weeks but the friends and memories are worth it in itself. It isn't perfect, some people want to spend more time in places but it was just the most amazing experience of my life. The last day was the hardest, even though it was only 2 weeks, I made some of the best memories of my life and made them with some of the best people i've met in my life from all over the globe. Jade our manager and Dave our driver we found at the end it was their first trip, and it was great to share that with them. If you're thinking about it, just book it. Dont think. You won't EVER regret it.
Hint: Do all the optional activities. Cost another approx $600AUD depending on the conversion rate but most people do them all and it s so worth it to get the best out of the trip. #NoRegrets.
1 tip is come home broke. Memories are worth more than money.
Review written Sep 2015event 0.3
08 Aug 2015 - 22 Aug 2015
Traveled with my husband and in laws. I've done the Hotels only trips before with Contiki so I wasn't totally sure what to expect with the contiki stop overs and cabins. I can say that everything was adequate for the price. The cabins were fine for sleeping in and getting ready even if some of the showers were questionable. Some of the camp grounds were pretty rustic but all had a fun bar area with cheap drinks. All of the optional parties at the camp grounds and stop overs are so fun, just go with it and get into the spirit. There was no air conditioning at the cabins or stop over Chateau so the only thing I would recommend is to go during the months that are not as hot as August because it was super warm. Other than that everything was fine. The hotels and hostels were adequate as well and my guide always made sure to put me with my chosen bunk mates. Make sure you pack bed bug spray and regular bug spray for you body just to be safe. This can be an issue with any accomodation in Europe...especially budget ones. We sprayed all our mattresses and our cabins and didn't really have an issue. Do your research and be prepared! Sometimes things change so be flexible as well...this isn't a tour for rigid people who can't go with the flow. They do adhere to the weight limit for your bags so be aware of that. If you are looking for a relaxing trip this isn't the one for you. This trip is designed to give you a taste of each place so you won't be able to explore until your heart's content. You have to adhere to times of when to leave and such. We saw SO much in a short amount of time but be aware this comes with late nights and early mornings. You WILL have some long days on the coach but you'll likely spend them sleeping so I didn't have a problem with it. You will definitely have a lack of sleep on this trip but it is all worth it. All of the optionals were worth it in my opinion, especially the group dinners. If you want to skip one I'd say you can not do the bike ride or water bikes in Amsterdam but it was okay. Breakfasts are okay (typical European breakfasts) and I thought most the dinners were good. Our Tour Guide and Driver, Marine and Luce were absolutely awesome and really made the trip enjoyable for us all. Knowledgeable and fun, we couldn't have done it without them. I miss them actually! Overall, this was a great trip for what we saw for the price and we met a lot of new friends. I wish I was back on this trip now. If you can handle the fast pace and want to see alot, DO IT. Travel now while you can and make it happen.
Review written Aug 2015event 0.3
05 Jul 2015 - 18 Jul 2015
I didn't think within the timespan we had in each city we would have enough time to experience a lot, but with our tour manager Treasa and our bus driver Majick they had managed to let us see the sights as much as possible. I did most of the metime options and I recommend to do every single one of them because everyone does them anyway and it's a good time to interact with everyone and experience everything all at the same time. The accommodation wasn't very fancy but it seems like a small con out of the whole trip. Just keep in mind to bring a power board or some type of adapter with a lot of USB ports because there aren't very much power outlets. I met so many people on my trip that were around the same area I lived in and it was amazing how sad it was to leave everyone even though we knew each other for only 14 days. But i've managed to keep in touch with a lot of people i've met on tour even though they're from another state or country. They weren't kidding when they said you first travel with strangers and leave as a family.
Review written Jul 2015event 0.3
27 May 2015 - 09 Jun 2015
The European highlights tour was amazing. It is a perfect way to see all the major attractions you always dream about. The road crew make the massive cities like Paris and Rome instantly familiar and are super happy to help and point places out. Our tour manager Magdi was particularly amazing, having lived all over Europe, she truly had local knowledge and experience. The accomodation wasn't luxury hotels, but your days are so massive and awesome that why would you want to spend time in a hotel room? I signed up for every métime optional and I definitely recommend it, it helped me make the most of everywhere we went and all the tours were really informitive. Best of all the energy of the crew I travelled with was awesome! You become a large family who all look out for each other. Never been so sad during goodbyes for people I've only known for two weeks before! The best moment was the night in Paris. Everyone stayed out late to climb the Eiffel tower. The group barely knew each other but we were all looking out for each other and excited. It's the most beautiful view from the top at night. Glad I shared it with a bunch of awesome people.
Review written Jun 2015event 0.3
26 May 2015 - 09 Jun 2015
I was traveling alone and pretty nervous (I had never done anything like that before) but it turned out better than I ever could've expected! I truly made friends for life during those 2 short weeks and was able to see and do so much!!! If you are still debating, stop! and book it now! any trip it doesn't matter!
Review written Jun 2015event 0.3
15 May 2015 - 29 May 2015
It was a blast! I met people from like 7 other countries that were on the trip. I made lifelong friends! If you want fun packed days and high energy.. This is your trip for sure! If you don't like staying in cabins,bringing a towel, and sleeping bags then this isn't for you. But why not get out of your comfort zone? I went Solo and had an amazing time. Seeing each country and what it had to offer was awesome. Enjoy the food in each country! So good!from escargo to Italian pizza, German beer and pretzels I had an awesome time trying new food out. Also if you like wine European's love their wine. If you love beer its in Germany!;) I did all the optionals because why not? Gondola ride was insane but so glad I did it. Sometimes we had to be on the bus, but catch up on some naps on bus days! Movies and music Tony made us very comfortable. We had a great group it was hard to get to know 52 people but i made some of the amazing friends. We almost got stuck on the Effiel Tower lol we missed the bus and got a taxi but it got us to try out our French that Tony helped us with for each country. What a blast! I'll do it again! #contiki
Review written Jun 2015event 0.3
13 Sep 2014 - 27 Sep 2014
I chose to go on a Contiki tour because I was already going to Europe, but had no idea what I was doing. I figured Contiki would kind of introduce me to how Europe works! I never expected the trip to turn out how it did though. I was kind of nervous because, before we all met up in London, I had already been there several days and enjoyed my free time to do with what I wanted. Although, once the tour started I didn't really worry about that much. I loved spending time with everyone and we got enough free time too.
I'm not sure if it's how Contiki is or if my group just got lucky but our Contiki family was amazing! We all got so close extremely quickly. I never worried about partying in Paris or Florence because I knew if something bad were to go down, one of the group mates would be there! We looked out for each other and had a fucking blast.
Now, onto the tour manager and driver. Rhett was our TM and Rasto was our driver.. They are bloody awesome!! Honestly, I miss them! They were super rad dudes in general and brilliant at there jobs. My friend, that came with me on this tour, got really drunk in Florence and when I ran into her I saw right away she needed to go home. Right away, a guy from our tour came over to help me and then Rhett saw me with her and helped me. He just snapped on and got shit done. Rasto and Rhett never crossed a line, they were A LOT of fun and did an amazing job as well, every day.
When we watched everyone go on the bus back to London from Amsterdam, my friends and I wanted to cry! It was so sad seeing everyone go right after we had gotten so close with everyone. I can't wait to do another Contiki let alone go to Australia this upcoming summer to visit so of my new Aussie friends! I HIGHLY recommend going on this tour, even if you're by yourself, don't be daunted. Everyone befriends each other! Two of the best weeks of my life! Miss my Contiki fam, Rhett and Rasto!! You guys rock C: XX-- Jaq
Review written Oct 2014event 0.3
14 Jun 2013 - 27 Jun 2013
I chose this tour because it suited my budget as a uni student, it was my first time overseas and I was a little hesitant to do one of the longer tours and finally because it ticked of 90% of Europe's well known, must-see sights. And it was probably the best decision of my life!
This was my first trip overseas and I travelled solo, which was quite daunting and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. But everyone is so friendly and all there for the same reason and there were many other solo travellers as well. I found myself making new friends the night before the tour had even begun.
Our tour manager Sophie and driver Sergio were incredibly fun, so knowledgeable and would do everything they could to ensure you had the time of your life. On the first night they even broke the rules and let us hope off the bus for a 10 minutes photo opportunity at the Eiffel Tower during our sightseeing coach tour. Everyday is something different and there is a good combination of included sights and activities, optional extras (which I suggest you do them all!) and free time to see a few things of your choice. There is quite a bit of travel time involved in this tour, but time on the coach is a good chance to relax and recharge the batteries.
I mostly enjoyed the accommodation, it is budget quality and you do stay in rooms with up to five other people but you're only there to sleep. That's another thing - sleep - don't expect to get too much of it. But if you're only in Europe for two weeks you are mad if you don't seize every opportunity to have fun and explore your surroundings, you can sleep when you get home! The included food was wholesome and usually more than you could eat.
If you're thinking about doing this tour, just do it! Every moment will become a lifelong memory and you won't be able to stay away from Europe for long after you'd had a taste.
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
08 Aug 2014 - 21 Aug 2014
When I booked my tour I was so nervous I had no idea what to expect, all I knew is I wanted to see Europe in a quick time as I couldn't take too long off work! I guess because I felt like the tour was an amazing price there would be things that were missing. Boy was I wrong, I am still shocked at how amazing this two weeks was, best of my life and way to short meaning I could've done this tour for months on end it was so good. Everything was so perfectly planned & nothing isn't thought of.. you don't have to think about a thing or worry about missing anything as the tour guides & whoever else plans these trips have it all done for you, perfect for me. Every place you visit the important things you need to see are all worked out for you :)
Breakfast is there for you every morning & most of the time dinner as well, the food is good. Almost every night has something fun planned & there is a night or two where its free time which is so good if you want to recover a bit. The accommodation I loved personally because I love the whole cabin thing, all your mates are close by there's always a pub or something on site and you can just hang and walk back to your room later, its not luxury & its usually small but its a place to sleep and that's the only time you spend in your cabin or sometimes hotel room. We did have a few nights in hotels some pretty nice actually. Laundry is available at some places along the way too. The optional extras are great and not expensive at all & sooo worth it, do them all! The bus is a lot of fun, and a good place to take a nap if you have had a hard night, some days you travel a fair bit but its a load of fun with 50 other travellers right there with you, I enjoyed it heaps, I got to know everyone really quickly! The bus driver and tour guide go out of their way to ensure you have an amazing time & I was so amazed by how awesome they were they truly make it the best experience. I cannot rave enough about contiki, two solid weeks of constant fun and laughter and just generally being on a huge high from the amazing places you visit. Id do another in a heartbeat, either solo again or with a friend.
BEST TWO WEEKS EVER!
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
08 Aug 2014 - 21 Aug 2014
Had a great time and it was so sad to say goodbye. I lost sense of time so that was great to just enjoy the trip and not worry about how many days were left. We had a great group! I am now much heavier after eating so much good food!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3
07 Jun 2014 - 20 Jun 2014
If you're reading this, it's probably to see whether or not doing a Contiki tour is the right thing for you; look no more! Trust me when I say it was the most AMAZING time of my life.
This particular tour is draining in more ways than one, you see soo much of Europe in 2 weeks. Yes, there will be early mornings and yes, there will be LONG bus rides, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's most definitely an adventure of a life time. The bus is a second home, a place for recaps of the night before (or at least what you can remember). You will learn to love the bus.
The one question I get asked is always about the optionals. My opinion - do them! Everyone else does and it's something fun to do with the group. I skipped a few based on the short amount of period in each city and decided to prioritise my time elsewhere.
All tour inclusions (accommodation and food) were perfectly fine - no problems at all.
And finally, the people. I was a little hesitant, but I can happily say, I now have a bunch of amazing friends all over the world who made the experience 100 times better than what I imagined. Friendships form extremely quickly, and after two weeks with one another, we were more of a family.
It doesn't matter where you are from or how old you are, I guarantee you will have the time of your life.
Smile at Europe, and it will smile back at you!!!
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3
15 Jun 2014 - 28 Jun 2014
this is the fastest way with all the MUST SEE places to experience so you can decide what country you like and would return to. it was a great experience. i was happy with the accommodation and food. just be warned the food on the road at service stations are mostly bread and cheese, so expect to gain at least 5 kg's, but its worth it.... all the people were great and friendly. i had at least 95% of the time to myself. thanks judith and Daruis and all my Contiki friends
Review written Jul 2014event 0.3