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European Encounter

4.7
189 reviews
00:00 / 00:00
european-encounter-from-march-2020-hero

The one that ticks off highlight European cities over 16 days

Travel Style

Discoverer

Learn about our travel styles.

  • Duration

    16 days

  • Countries

    10 Countries

  • Meals

    15 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 41 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Salzburg, Venice, Rome, Florence, The Italian Riviera, Lucerne, Paris, Dover, Calais, Belgium, Dresden, Vatican City, Pisa

How Contiki works

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    STEP 1

    Pick your destination & book

    Picking where to go out of 150 countries worldwide is the hardest part. Booking is easy with complete flexibility, & confidence that your money is secure.

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    STEP 2

    Book 7 hotels, try figuring out public transport in a foreign language, get into an argument with your taxi driver, lose your passp…

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    STEP 2

    Turn up to your dream trip

    Everything has been sorted for you. Cool, convenient accom, smooth transport from place to place - plus a bunch of meals and travel experiences all locked in.

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    STEP 3

    Have the time of your life

    Your Trip Host has designed every trip to be packed with incredible, local experiences, made even more amazing as you share it with other incredible 18-35 year old travelers.

About this trip

Small budget, small window of time, big list of Must Dos? The European Encounter should do the trick. Make your way through 10 countries, catching some rays on the Italian Riviera, downing pizza in Rome & exploring castles in Prague. If you know a better way to spend just under two and a half weeks, we need to hear about it! 

Book With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. London

  2. via via

    Dover

  3. via via

    Calais

  4. via via

    Belgium

  5. 2 2 nights

    Amsterdam

  6. 2 2 nights

    Berlin

  7. via via

    Dresden

  8. 2 2 nights

    Prague

  9. 1 1 night

    Salzburg

  10. 1 1 night

    Venice

  11. 2 2 nights

    Rome

  12. via via

    Vatican City

  13. 1 1 night

    Florence

  14. via via

    Pisa

  15. 1 1 night

    The Italian Riviera

  16. 1 1 night

    Lucerne

  17. 2 2 nights

    Paris

  18. via via

    Calais

  19. via via

    Dover

  20. London

+10 more

DAY 1 - London to Amsterdam

London

Get ready for 19 days of unforgettable adventures through Europe! You'll meet up with your Contiki crew in London and we'll all board our coach here, ready to set off for European soil.

Dover

Shortly before we find our ferry for Europe, we'll be taking in the English coastline beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover. They owe their gorgeousness to their composition of chalk - you're learning and we haven't even left the UK!

Calais

Off the ferry we arrive in the port town of Calais - French soil! We travel north via Belgium before reaching ... Amsterdam!

Belgium

Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam

And here we are at our final stop for this evening: Amsterdam! We'll start our exploration of this city with a peek of canals, bicycles & 17th century gable houses lit up by night. Next on the agenda tonight, you'll have the option to get an exclusive entry pass to the A'Dam Tower and Swing, skipping the queues to enjoy epic views over the sprawling city below with an included drink in your hand. Afterwards, there's plenty of nightlife to keep you going until the early hours.

Stay

Corendon Village Amsterdam (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on the enthralling A’DAM Lookout Tower & Swing with a drink

    EUR 22.00

DAY 2 - Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is cute as a button & sure to win your heart with its canals, obscure museums & a café culture like no other. Today use your time to get local, bar hop, museum crawl, and see what other tastes take your fancy, this place is famous for pancakes, frites and so much more, and that's all before we enjoy a delicious included dinner with the rest of our Contiki fam.

Stay

Corendon Village Amsterdam (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Feast on a seafood or steak dinner in the Dutch fishing village of Volendam

    EUR 39.00

  • Enjoy Amsterdam from the water on a canal cruise with an on-board bar

    EUR 30.00

DAY 3 - Amsterdam to Berlin

Amsterdam

Amsterdam, it's been lovely, but today's agenda is onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin.

Berlin

On the world map of party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this iconic city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of a tour of the city and its troubled but fascinating past. Once we've gotten acquainted with the key sites, you'll have some free time to discover the city. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the somber icons like the Holocaust memorial to side streets with hidden cafes and shops. And if you're not sure where to start, your Trip Manager can always point you in the right direction.

Stay

Ibis Berlin Messe (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building

  • See the colourful East side Gallery and the iconic Berlin Wall

DAY 4 - Berlin

Berlin

It’ll be hard not to leap out of bed today knowing Berlin is ready and waiting to be explored. Today, we’ll learn more about the city’s fascinating history with a chance to do a Historical city walk. Not your jam? Why not opt for an epic view of the entire city, you will be amazed at how big Berlin is! Tonight, the night is yours to discover at your own pace, why not get some tips of some local nightlife spots from your Trip Manager - they are always in the know.

Stay

Ibis Berlin Messe (or similar)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Discover Berlin's tumultuous past on a historical walking tour including the site of Hitler's bunker

    EUR 11.00

  • Experience the unique thrill of 'base-flying' off a building in Berlin (Summer Departures Only)

    EUR 65.00

  • Take an alternative walking tour and uncover a different side to Berlin (Summer Departures Only)

    EUR 26.00

DAY 5 - Berlin to Prague via Dresden

Berlin

Finishing Berlin off on an important note we see the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall known as East Side Gallery and one of the city's symbols, covered in grafitti from head to toe. Next up, we head to the border and stop at a town called Dresden. 

Dresden

A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.

Prague

On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemian Kings and gothic history. Prague is a paradise for beer lovers and in the afternoon you have the chance for a local expert to take you on a tour of some of Prague's coolest and best micro-breweries.

Stay

B&B Hotel Prague (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Hradčany Castle and the Cathedral of St. Vitus

  • Visit the richly historical city of Dresden that was decimated in WW2 and then reborn

  • See the rebuilt Baroque architecture of the Royal Residence, Zwinger Palace, Opera House and Frauenkirche

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Taste beers & Czech out some of Prague’s best beers on a craft beer tour

    EUR 29.00

DAY 6 - Prague

Prague

With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antiques & you cheers-ing local beer; not to mention life! We'll explore the city one of our favourite ways today, by bike, with our Local Guide to show us all the sights and sounds of this epic spot including the Charles Bridge, St Vitus Cathedral and city spots that have put this Eastern city on the map (Summer Departures only). Tonight choose to get up close to Czech culture with a live music performance & traditional dancing over dinner and drinks. live music performance & traditional dancing.

Stay

B&B Hotel Prague (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Take a locally guided bike tour of opulent Prague (Summer departures only)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Enjoy an authentic Czech evening with traditional music, dancing & dinner

    EUR 32.00

DAY 7 - Prague to Salzburg

Prague

We warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry kids, you cannot live here forever.

Salzburg

Onwards we go - it's time for the mountain ranges that made the Sound of Music famous. Also home to Mozart, you can be pretty certain this place knows a beat. Today we'll also see the largest preserved fortress in Central Europe - Hohensalzburg - and have the chance to partake in the Sights & Sounds of Salzburg. Never a dull moment! This evening opt to venture off the beaten and visit a farming family in the hills above Salzburg who invite us into their home to eat, drink and learn about their lives. The family have lived on this farm for many generations and now look to tourism to help support them and their local community. The ribs you will eat come from the next-door neighbour, the fruit for the schnapps from the village and the service from the locals.

Stay

A&O Hotel Salzburg (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe's largest medieval castles

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • See all the iconic sites of melodic Salzburg including many from the Sound of Music

    EUR 12.00

  • Visit a working Austrian farm in the foothills of the Alps and enjoy a farm-to-table meal followed by homemade Schnaps

    EUR 37.00

DAY 8 - Salzburg to Venice

Salzburg

Austria, you are an overwhelming beauty. Although it would be nice to stay forever, it's time for us to cross the border and prepare to stuff ourselves full of all things pizza & pasta. Yes, traveller we're making our way to Italy! 

Venice

You'll think you've seen enough beauty for one day after taking in the Central Austrian Alps, and then we'll arrive in Venice & your jaw will hit the floor over hidden lanes, story book bridges & a private canal boat ride. 

Stay

A&O Mestre (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas

  • Take a traditional Motoscafo across the iconic lagoon to the island of Venice

  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Feast on an authentic Venetian 3-course meal with specialities like antipasti & local seafood

    EUR 39.50

  • Glide down the canals of Venice on a traditional Gondola

    EUR 23.00

  • Uncover a hidden Venice with an in-depth walking tour followed by an aperitivo

    EUR 17.00

DAY 9 - Venice to Rome

Venice

Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City of Rome is just around the corner.

Rome

The afternoon will really take it up a notch as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome as you get a glimpse of it's glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfetto!

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Peel back the layers of Rome's history on a city walking tour including the Trevi Fountain

DAY 10 - Rome

Rome

This morning we're up and out early to make the most of our chance to explore this ancient city. Starting with a visit to the world's smallest country, Vatican City.

Vatican City

When in Rome...take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine. This is also the day to learn a thing or two about the Colosseum & do a bit of your own exploring.

Rome

Back in Rome, we'll have time to hit the streets and discover the incredible ancient civilisation on our doorstep. You can opt to take a tour of the famous Colosseum and walk in the footsteps of Emperors and Gladiators in a guided tour, or snap epic selfies against a background of pink azaleas by the entrance. Visit the Trevi Fountain and throw coins to make a wish, sip espresso in a cobbled backstreet and soak up Italian life as it dances by.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See a gob-smacking renaissance masterpiece: St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors at the Colosseum and Roman Forum

    EUR 41.00

  • Locally guided tour of the Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and the art of the Vatican Museums

    EUR 41.00

DAY 11 - Rome to Florence

Rome

We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over…

Florence

The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Take a moment to take in the unique beauty of this beautiful city where culture and la dolce vita is evident in every direction you look at. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery & Piazza della Signoria on a locally guided walking tour of Florence

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Wine & dine your way through Florence on a food tour taking you on a journey where old meets new

    EUR 50.00

DAY 12 - Florence to Italian Riviera via Pisa

Florence

Hopefully by now you are head to toe in fresh leather, you've eaten your body weight in antipasto, and you're feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to farewell Florence. 

Pisa

No trip around Europe is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, we'll be on the fast-track to the Italian Riviera. 

The Italian Riviera

Hello beautiful! The 'Five Lands' or Cinque Terre is completely beautiful and will take your breath away with their stunning colours, washing hanging out windows and picture perfect setting. Perched on a cliff and overlooking the Ligurian Sea this is 100% bucket list worthy destination, use the included day pass to explore this colourful heaven, stopping for an Aperol Spritz on the way too, all in the name of culture of course! 
 

Stay

Hotel Le Grazie Porto Venere (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Included day pass to explore the Cinque Terre by train

  • Visit the iconic Tower of Pisa and pose for the classic insta snap

DAY 13 - Italian Riviera to Lucerne

The Italian Riviera

Walk away from the Italian Riviera with plans to come back here for a few weeks or months, why not? 

Lucerne

Swans float under wooden bridges, snow-capped mountains stand regally behind us & chocolate tastes like heaven on earth. You're in the Swiss Alps & you cannot wipe the smile off your face.

Stay

Ibis Budget Hotel Luzern City (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge & Lion Monument in Lucerne

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Breathe in fresh alpine air as you ascend Mt. Pilatus for spectacular views of the Swiss Alps

    EUR 54.00

  • Take a cruise along the glittering Lake Lucerne, framed by the Swiss Alps

    EUR 25.00

DAY 14 - Lucerne to Paris

Lucerne

It's been sweet, but our time in Lucerne is up this morning. We're Paris-bound! Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. We'll jump back onto our coach to cross the border out of Switzerland and (back) into France.

Paris

After coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy, we'll arrive in the City of Lights. Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, this evening we'll fall in love with everything Paris on a dreamy night-time tour. Is it just us, or is love in the air? Once we've seen the most famous landmarks, we'll celebrate our first night in the city by heading up the Montparnasse Tower for the best panoramic views of the city.

Stay

Ibis Porte d’Orleans (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral

  • Take a dreamy nighttime tour of the 'city of lights', Paris

  • Get a panoramic view of Paris from the Montparnasse Tower

DAY 15 - Paris

Paris

If you're waiting for a chance to indulge yourself in all things Paris, today is your day. With our last night looming, we'll start with a morning visit to Montmatre's cobbled street, village-esque cafes, street artists and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica . Later you have plenty of time to wander up the Champs-Élysées for a pastel-hued macaron at the original Ladurée, then pop in to local favourite Colette, drool over haute couture on rue Saint-Honoré, admire the Notre-Dame cathedral while juggling coffee & sugared crêpes, or hustle your way through the crowds for a glimpse of the enigmatic Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, because tonight you have the chance to grab tickets for dinner at the Moulin Rouge caberet show, an optional group evening out to perfectly top off your time in the city of lights.

Stay

Ibis Porte d’Orleans (or similar)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit a French Perfumery in Paris to learn about the secrets of the perfume trade through an olfactory journey

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Watch performers whirl by as you sip champagne in your VIP Moulin Rouge seats, accompanied by dinner

    EUR 160.00

DAY 16 - Paris to London

Paris

Rise, shine, and soak up your last dose of Paris this morning over a coffee and croissant together, as we marvel at how much we've seen on this magical journey. It may be over for now, but these friendships and memories will last a lifetime. Our last coach ride together will be a complimentary transfer to CDG airport this morning, or you can stay onboard for the full ride back to London. Plenty of time to start planning the next reunion...

Calais

Dover

London

What an adventure! Say a fond farewell to the group as you wrap up the trip on arrival in London.

Top Experiences

22 included & 19 free time add-ons available to add later

  • See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night

    Included

    Amsterdam

  • See Hradčany Castle and the Cathedral of St. Vitus

    Included

    Prague

  • See all the iconic sites of melodic Salzburg including many from the Sound of Music

    EUR 12.00

    Salzburg

  • Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors at the Colosseum and Roman Forum

    EUR 41.00

    Rome

  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery & Piazza della Signoria on a locally guided walking tour of Florence

    Included

    Florence

  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

    Included

    Lucerne

European Encounter

22 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night
  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See the Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building
  • See the colourful East side Gallery and the iconic Berlin Wall
  • See Hradčany Castle and the Cathedral of St. Vitus
  • Visit the richly historical city of Dresden that was decimated in WW2 and then reborn
  • See the rebuilt Baroque architecture of the Royal Residence, Zwinger Palace, Opera House and Frauenkirche
  • Take a locally guided bike tour of opulent Prague (Summer departures only)
  • See the Hohensalzburg Fortress
  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Take a traditional Motoscafo across the iconic lagoon to the island of Venice
  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
  • Peel back the layers of Rome's history on a city walking tour including the Trevi Fountain
  • See a gob-smacking renaissance masterpiece: St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery & Piazza della Signoria on a locally guided walking tour of Florence
  • Included day pass to explore the Cinque Terre by train
  • Visit the iconic Tower of Pisa and pose for the classic insta snap
  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Take a dreamy nighttime tour of the 'city of lights', Paris
  • Get a panoramic view of Paris from the Montparnasse Tower
  • Visit a French perfumery

19 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Get a unique perspective of Amsterdam on the enthralling A’DAM Lookout Tower & Swing with a drink EUR 22.00
  • Feast on a seafood or steak dinner in the Dutch fishing village of Volendam EUR 39.00
  • Enjoy Amsterdam from the water on a canal cruise with an on-board bar EUR 30.00
  • Historical Walking Tour EUR 11.00
  • Experience the unique thrill of 'base-flying' off a building in Berlin (Summer Departures Only) EUR 65.00
  • Alternative Berlin (Summer Departures Only) EUR 26.00
  • Microbrewery Tour EUR 29.00
  • Enjoy an authentic Czech evening with traditional music, dancing & dinner EUR 32.00
  • See all the iconic sites of melodic Salzburg including many from the Sound of Music EUR 12.00
  • Visit a working Austrian farm in the foothills of the Alps and enjoy a farm-to-table meal followed by homemade Schnaps EUR 37.00
  • Feast on an authentic Venetian 3-course meal with specialities like antipasti & local seafood EUR 39.50
  • Glide down the canals of Venice on a traditional gondola EUR 23.00
  • Uncover a hidden Venice with an in-depth walking tour followed by an aperitivo EUR 17.00
  • Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors at the Colosseum and Roman Forum EUR 41.00
  • Vatican Tour EUR 41.00
  • Taste local favourites in a street food walking tour of Florence EUR 50.00
  • Swiss Mountain EUR 54.00
  • Take a cruise along the glittering Lake Lucerne, framed by the Swiss Alps EUR 25.00
  • Watch performers whirl by as you sip champagne in your VIP Moulin Rouge seats, accompanied by dinner EUR 160.00

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 15 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    15 nights in Hotel

    For 15 nights, you'll be treated to the luxury of hotels in the best bits of each destination we visit. Sleep twin or triple share, or upgrade to single share for a little bit extra.

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