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Eastern Road

COUNTRIES
6
DAYS
13
FROM
$2,335
Discoverer
4.6
(55 total reviews)
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COUNTRIES
6
DAYS
13
FROM
$2,335
SEE AVAILABLE DATES
The ultimate collision of history and modernity happen here in the arms of Eastern Europe. Commencing in Berlin with the option to loop back around or end in Warsaw, you will flutter from traditional meals and royal castles, to eclectic clubs filled with well-dressed locals. 
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August 2018

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EASTERN ROAD

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ITINERARY

Time spent in each place (in days)
YOU WILL VISIT
Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland , and 5 more
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Via
1
2
Time spent in each place (in days)
approx time spent
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1
2
Berlin
2 days
Dresden
Prague
2 days
Kutna Hora
Vienna
2 days
Bratislava
Budapest
2 days
Banska Bystrica
Krakow
2 days
Częstochowa
Warsaw
2 days
Berlin
Via
1
2

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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Eastern Road

AVERAGE RATING FOR
Eastern Road
4.6

55 independent reviews

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5
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Ingrid Wiggberg
Great value overall. I really got the most for my money , lots of meals and excursions included.
Booked from Brooklyn, NY
Traveled Aug 2018

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Anonymous
Saw so many great things, but the free time add-ons made the trip a little pricey
Traveled Aug 2018

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Alix Carterregan
Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone! It is full of rich history and of course fun! Every city and place we visited impressed me completely and the tour manager and driver were incredible!
Traveled Aug 2018

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Shelby Labuschagne
The trip was good, could've had more time in all the cities (in terms of days) but enough free time given that you can do your own exploring as well as the add ons and not feel like youve missed anything.
Booked from Cape Town
Traveled Jul 2018

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Anonymous
Price for the trip was reasonable for the accommodations and included activities.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Anonymous
So many hidden gems in Europe and I would like to think I’ve seen them all thanks to Tim smith and the amazing group of people who came on the trip.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Anonymous
Amazing tour, every city blew my mind in a new way. Tim and Frank were a perfect team, no question was too hard no request went unanswered. Hands down the best team I have ever traveled with. The combination of included activities and free time add ons made it easy to have the experience I wanted to have without having to chose between what Contiki thought I should see and what I wanted to see. The local city guides were all outstanding showing a true passion for their city. Between included meals and free time add on dinners there were only a handful of meals I had to source for myself which made budgeting much easier.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Anonymous
Was great value for money.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Morgan Richardson
Great fun! All of the free time add ons were well worth it!
Booked from Canada
Traveled Jun 2018

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Nicole Page
My trip manager, the inclusions and me time add ons were all excellent and made the destinations more enjoyable
Traveled Jun 2018

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Anonymous
Well worth it for the amount of activities and planning. One must anticipate the cost of add on activities.
Traveled Jun 2018

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Victoria Smith
Good value for money. Saved so much hassle on arranging things myself
Traveled Jun 2018

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Kelsey Brown
The countries in the amount of time was absolutely worth it and such a good deal.
Booked from Denver, CO, USA
Traveled Jun 2018

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Shea Ketchum
I was deeply worried and intimidated about booking my own European trip. I found a trip that I was very interested in from a group called Contiki. I didn’t know much about this company but they seemed legit and soon I booked the Eastern Road tour with my brother. I then saw a few posts about all the partying and hookup culture found on these trips, that is not what I was looking for on my holiday at all. Sure enough, even more research lead me to the realization that the company tours groups ages 18-35 and is known for partying, and the dreaded Contiki cough (more on that later.) I was worried that I had just dropped so much money on a trip that was going to be ruined by young 20 year olds just wanting to drink their way through some of the darkest parts of our world's history. I hoped that the darker facets of the trip would only draw travelers interested in the culture and history of Eastern Europe. I was wrong, undeterred the party focused travels made up the majority of the trip. This is my review of Contiki Eastern Road as I experienced it in April 2018. Day 1-2 Berlin: Let me clarify that Contiki really needs to be honest about how many days you spend in each place. 2 days really means a day and a half. Another thing I wish I had known. We were to fly into Berlin and meet at the hotel lobby at 5pm for our meet and greet with our Tour Manager. Let me start my recommendations with getting to your destination a day early if possible. We got in at 3pm and were so tired from travel that an extra rest would have helped the next day. We met our Tour Manager Hayley and the super brief meeting about the tour involved sayings like “#noregrets” and “wowgasams.” We were then asked to do some paperwork involving travel insurance and weather we wanted to select the “Free time add ons” for Berlin. Let me clarify, the options for the city of Berlin was a walking tour for 15 Euro and then later a dinner and Alternative Berlin tour for around 30 Euro. Now I had done some research and found free walking tours and alternative tours for half the price. So after dropping over 3k for the trip and the flight over, excuse me if I save my money and opt out. Since I didn’t opt in for these add ons I can’t speak of the quality. I did hear that the Alternative tour was a little sketchy but if you like street art then it was interesting. One thing I wish Contiki had thought of or made us aware of is that all of the museums are closed on Mondays, that was the number one thing I was told to do by friends and I couldn't. Hayley also told us to go to museums but obviously wasn't aware they were all closed as well. So after our first night of an included dinner at a german Applebee's, and then one day of the city to ourselves, I was left wanting. I guess I will have to hit the rest of Berlin on my own in the future. This will be a reoccuring theme on the trip. Dare you read on? Day 3-4 Prague: Our next city was Prague in the Czech Republic. This was the first time we had to exchange money which was difficult to do everywhere we went. After checking in we got a short walking tour of historic Prague. The local tour guide was great and very patient with the rowdy “bros” in the group and the many of us who wanted to take a million pics. We ended in the old time square and then off to a “free time add on” a traditional Czech dinner with traditional dancing and singing. This was a 29 Euro add on. The meal was three courses with unlimited beer and wine, which everyone took advantage of. The food was pretty good but I know know I could have found the same for much cheaper. The singing and dancing was interesting and entertaining. However, the table to my left began doing drinking contests and got more distracting by the minute. I felt bad for the performers. Post meal there was a plan to go to a super cool club where we could use our Czech Krona and party like rock stars getting bottle service. I didn't do this, never been a club person. Others who did told me that our Tour Manager led them astray as everything was super marked up. It was also a Tuesday night an the club was empty except for the tour group. Apparently, there was then a second journey to a five story club that was much better. If you are the partying type be aware that if you go out nights you will have to find your way back. So pack extra money for ubers or transit passes. Personally I err on the safe side and don't get wasted in foreign countries but you do you. The next morning we were scheduled for a bike tour, which sounded iffy. I almost didn't go but I am so glad I did. The biking wasn’t too difficult terrain wise and we were able to see some of the funkier more spread out sites in Prague like the John Lennon wall and several works by David Cearny. It was also a wonderful break for my poor feet. Let me get this clear, walking on cobblestone is rough. I walk 9 miles a day for work and I was still hurting. The bikes made gave my feet a much needed break. I would definitely recommend doing the included bike tour, just don’t do it hungover, apparently it's not so fun then. The second “free time add on” was a tour of a Cold War bunker. I was on the fence about it but my brother wanted to go so we opted in. This was actually a really great tour. The guide had a great sense of humor while showing us around the bunker. The location was easy to miss so if you didn’t know this tour was a thing you would have never known. For 15 Euro this was well worth it. Day 5-6 Vienna After half a day of travel we were given a driving tour of Vienna. Which basically meant we were riding around the circle of the city while our Tour Manager talked about things in the city. Not exactly well versed in history or omitting the words “um” and “ah” we were then walked to the St. Stephen's Cathedral and released for dinner. We were told of a great schnitzel place “just behind the cathedral” and went in pursuit for over 30 mins trying to find it. We then gave up our search and hangerly searched of any Austrian food we could find. We ended up at a bar/restaurant and had one of the best meals I had during that entire trip. That night was filled with good food, good beer, and conversations about real things going on in the world. This gave me hope for the rest of the trip. I should do my own thing as much as possible to salvage this trip. Our Tour manager Hayley took us on a “walking tour” of about an hour of Vienna. Starting a Heroes square and then ending at Swarovski Crystal store. Again, Hayley was not the ideal tour giver. If Contiki wanted to cut costs and not have a Vienna based guide they should have properly trained our tour manager with more than just facts that could be pulled from a 5 minute google search. Why we stopped in a Swarovski Crystal store I would like to know. Does Contiki get a cut of any sales from that stop? I opted out of all the Vienna add on options. This entailed a tour of a schnapps museum, and a classical night in Vienna. Here is one of the kickers, if you didn’t go to the schnapps museum then you could do one of two things. Find your own way back to the hotel, or wait on the bus for the tour to be over. Lame. Who wants to wait on a bus while they are on holiday. Come on Contiki why was that an option? I am not a big drinker so that opt out was easy. The Classical evening was a decision I made based on other previous reviews. This is also easily the most expensive add ons at around 60 euros for one. This included a concert in a beautiful hall and then a fancy dinner. Now if you love classical music and can deal with other Contiki members being drunk and falling asleep during the performance then be my guest. I appreciate classical music but not with this company and not when I could go to many a street corner in the city and witness other beautiful talents. The meal I heard was also just ok. There was pork schnitzel and apple strudel but not better than what I had the night before. I was happy I dodged this money grab. Day 7-8 Budapest We stopped briefly in Bratislava for pastries and coffee before heading to Budapest. These stops that are listed on the Contiki as stops are merely glorified bathroom/meal breaks. Just be aware. The Hotel Budapest (large circular hotel made in the 60s) was by far the shabbiest hotel we stopped in. Don’t tell me its retro, its unkempt. Stains on the carpet, smoke smell clinging, and inedible breakfast. Contiki what the hell? There was even a fire alarm going off one of the days, let me tell you 14 floors up is not the best when you are running down for your life. The first evening we had a wonderful tour guide who took us to the Fisherman's Bastion. It was very beautiful and a great photo stop. Then to the Hungarian Statue of Liberty, kind of a trek but well worth it for the sites. Keep in mind we were told to be dressed to go to dinner even so proper footwear would have been a great mention from our Tour Manager. Then the dinner cruise “add on” for about 30 euro we cruised up and down the shores of Buda and Pest while having a lovely dinner. I took the opportunity to leave the “bros” down stairs took up a glass of wine and took pictures of the lighted coasts. It was great and the tour guide narrated history so those who were listening would know the history. The next morning was another Coachless day (why am I expected to tip for everyday when there were days we weren’t driven?) We took a walking tour of some of the closer historical bits of the city then ended with an included admission to the House of Terrors museum. This was the coolest part of the day. If you are a history buff this museum is for you. It was all about the fascist and communist regimes in Hungary, very moving exhibits. We were given the rest of the day to wander as we pleased then met up around 9:15 to go to a ruin bar. The ruin bar was packed with people but was very cool. This was the place I wish we could have hit up during the week when it would have been less crowded. Keep your wallets close in this place. Day 9-10 Krakow So the trip to Krakow from Budapest was 8 hours. 8 hours. Pretty grueling because at this point everyone was sick on the trip. The Contiki cough is very real. If you book, bring vitamin c, throat drops, and tylenol. Even tho I got 7 hours of sleep and night and kept my sanitizer on me, I still ended up with a cold. Joy. After an exhausting journey we had an hour break then went to an included dinner in the old jewish district. While our Tour Manager again, didn’t have a lot of information about the area it was still very interesting to see some older buildings. We had dinner of chicken in something that was very similar to barbeque sauce. I was hoping for a polish meal but that was saved for the add on meal I suppose. There was a great jewish quartet that came and played. They were housed in the restaurant playing for the groups of tourists and such that dined there. We then went to the Old Square to find one of the multiple bars to try real Polish vodka. Yum. Again, Hayley had us planned to go to a club if anyone was interested. I think at this point in my review you know what I did. After a few drinks at a busy bar I turned in. The next day we met our local tour guide for another historical walking tour. Krakow was one of the more interesting tours because much of it was still original. It was used by the Nazis in WWII so it didn't get bombed. We were told to haggle for rides on the many horse drawn carriages in the square then left again to our own devices. I went to the shopping hall in the middle of the old town square, where local craftsmen were said to sell their wares. Tonight was the “Traditional Pierogi Dinner” so I didn't eat much. The Salt Mines “add on” was very cool and a nice check off the bucket list but really you could go either way on it. The Pierogi dinner or “the straw that broke the camel's back.” From contiki was said to be, “Take a step back in time this evening by indulging in traditional Polish favorites. You’ll indulge in all the delicious dishes that Poland is famous for, including scrumptious pierogi.” Now that I have set the expectations for the 30 Euro meal, I will tell you what we got. For the sum we paid we got 5 boiled pierogi, a salad to share, a platter of meats (schnitzel, grilled chicken) a bowl of roasted potatoes, and a plate of dessert pierogi to share as well. Does this sound remotely like a “traditional Polish meal?” This was literally everything we had been eating since Berlin. The night included a tutorial on making Pierogi which was cool if you had never done it but as a third generation Pole I was not happy. Where was the kielbasa? Where was the fish soup? Where was the stuffed cabbage? Traditional fare my ***. At least give me fried pierogi with sour cream for Christ’s sake. I pulled our Tour Manager Hayley aside to share my displeasure with the evening. Her response was less than helpful, “well I did tell you the menu earlier today, so you knew what you were going to have.” Yes, you did. You told me the day of about the meal I paid for 8 days ago. I told her to relay my feelings to whoever was in charge of advertising and scheduling these “add on meals.” In Poland, you can literally get a platter of 11 pierogi for about 8 USD. “I told you it would be a lot of meat. That money pays for the drinks and tip and the three course meal” said Hayley. AGAIN, this was not the traditional Polish meal we were promised. I had to walk out before dessert (that no one liked I was told). I was determined to manage my own trip for the rest of the time with Contiki. That was really the only time things went well. Day 9-10 Auschwitz and Warsaw So by this point in the trip the “bros” had successfully disrespected every tour guide in every city so I messaged Hayley about talking to the rowdier travelers about proper respect and actions during the tour of the concentration camps. “I give a little chat before but dont worry the mood changes very quickly and it shouldn't be a problem.” The tours themselves I will say go, get a guide, be present and feel the fear the victims must have felt. That tour will stay with me forever. Just go. Do not go with Contiki, you will be forced to witness your fellow travelers texting, snap chatting, and yes taking selfies. I have never been so ashamed of my generation. I really can't say more than that. After the tours we would be making a five hour trip to Warsaw. Hayley had mentioned to us to “pick up snacks” because there would not be much to stop at in between. Alert. This was code for, we a literally not stopping at all. Which was even more of a pleasure because the toilet on the bus had been full since day two. Could we not have found a way to empty it during the trip? Come on Contiki. Safe to say by the time we got to Warsaw and the free time dinner, myself and other like minded travelers from the night before, were desperate for Polish food and a bathroom. The next morning was kind of weird. It was Poland’s independence day so there was a city wide marathon which meant that our “driving tour of the city” took 4 hours and we saw half of what we intended to see. The rest of the free day we spent stuffing ourselves with traditional Polish food, shopping, and going to the Polish Resistance Museum. The museum was very cool, do you self a favor and go. Skip the 3D movie, there is often a line and trust me it is not worth it. I had asked Hayley before we left the morning tour what the menu was for tonight. “Oh you know it's going to be like a really nice last dinner.” Thanks Hayley. That concluded our trip. We departed the next morning. Let me be clear about a few things. I am not critiquing Hayley as a person. My critiques are on her as our Tour Manager. I really hope not all managers treat their tours like a personal holiday, but that is what I felt happened. She got so drunk the first night in Budapest that tour members had to put her in her hotel room and set her alarm for the next morning. She lost her wallet that night and all the fares for the bus along with it. I believe the bus driver (Mickey, who was actually a great driver) had to pay for the fares out of pocket. Who does this during their job? I understand making sure people have a good time but this is inappropriate. Contiki, I will never travel with you again. For a company that markets to 18-35, you should treat your customers better. Stick to party trips and market it as so. Leave the serious trips to someone else. Interested in how much this life lesson cost me? Eastern Road Trip Base Cost: $2250 Flights from US to Berlin (round trip): $1750 “Add on Options”: $250 Total (not including all the meals we were on our own for) $4250………… Contiki #onlyregrets
Traveled May 2018

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Farah Waleed
It was a great price for everything being planned. I just wish the add ins were verbalized as basically the part of the trip that makes it worthwhile.
Booked from Atlanta, Ga
Traveled May 2018

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Anonymous
I got to see lots and lots at a very reasonable price.
Traveled May 2018

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Anonymous
Overall, this was an amazing trip! All the included walking tours were excellent, the local guides were funny and knowledgeable. I bought all the free-time optionals and was glad that I did, if I hadn't I think I would have missed out on a lot, so I definitely recommend doing most of the optional excursions. The group was an interesting mix, many people came for the party (nothing wrong with that, just not my thing), but I was able to meet a good group of pals who were more my speed. Our tour manager always had great recommendations of what to do in our free time and our bus driver was amazing too! I am gluten-free, which made Eastern Europe a bit worrisome as far as meals went, but my tour manager went out of his way to ensure that there were options at every meal and I ate VERY well! Highlights (some included, some options, some just fun things to do): –Berlin Walking Tour (FANTASTIC local guide) –Traditional Czech Evening –Museums in Vienna (go to the Albertina!) –Budapest Ruins Bar & food trucks for dinner –Budapest River Cruise Dinner –Kraków City Tour Criticisms: –Nuclear Bunker tour option in Prague was gimmicky –Hotels were a bit basic, especially in Budapest and Berlin –Stops too short to dig in to each city –Warsaw local guide was a bit dry –Party crowd, a bit hard to make friends if you're not going out every night This is a great taste of EE. You will see all the iconic stops and major highlights but the days are so quick to really get in depth anywhere, so you'll just be dying to go back! Lots of history and beautiful architecture. I would definitely recommend.
Traveled Oct 2017

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Myda Khatcherian
Francesca Johnson
Well organised, interesting mix of people and nationalities, great experiences and would definitely go on another Contiki trip!
Traveled Oct 2017

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Anonymous
The was really focus on the 2 world war, so I really liked.
Traveled Oct 2017

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REVIEWS

Read what other travellers are saying about Eastern Roadthis trip
Showing MOST RECENT , WORLDWIDE from WORLDWIDE
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MOST RECENT
FIVE STARS
FOUR STARS
THREE STARS
TWO STARS
ONE STAR
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location
WORLDWIDE
NEAR ME
16 total reviews
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