European Vistas, 23 Days, SAVE $1105*
What you get...
- 23 Day trip departing London.
- 22 Nights in twin or triple-share hotel accommodation.
- 22 Continental breakfasts and 9 Dinners.
- Sightseeing as per itinerary.
- Services of an experienced Trip Leader/Manager.
- Transport by Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging.
- Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges.
- WAS $5529*, NOW $4424*, SAVE $1105*.
London - Paris - Lucerne - Milan - Rome - Florence - Venice - Vienna - Prague - Krakow - Warsaw - Berlin - Amsterdam
Day 1 London to Paris.
Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. We travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme, to Paris. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafes give us a real taste of Paris' romance. Your Trip Manager will fill you in on the world's most-recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
Day 2 Paris.
This city is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank. Step into the Notre Dame or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre, where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. In your free time, try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris' many cafes. Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don't stop there - afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your time here with a big Parisian night out.
Day 3 Paris to Lucerne.
With down-time on the coach, chill out to some music and chat with friends while travelling through the scenic wine producing regions of Burgundy and Chablis. Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne.
Day 4 Lucerne.
Get above the clouds with an optional excursion to Mt. Pilatus. You can see massive mountain ranges with a bird's-eye view over this spectacular region. With covered wooden bridges, cobbled lanes and quaint buildings, Lucerne's centre is perfect to explore on foot. Also to stock up on lots of genuine Swiss chocolate! Your Trip Manager can give you pointers on where to pick up the best-priced watches that Switzerland is so famous for. Choose an optional cruise on one of Europe's most striking lakes, where stunning scenes of the Swiss Alps reflect back across the water.
Day 5 Lucerne to Milan.
Energy levels turn up a notch as we head to Italy's fashion capital and economic powerhouse, Milan. Your Trip Manager will show off Milan's monuments and talk to you about the massive Duomo Cathedral, the elegant shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the world-famous La Scala Opera House, where many singing greats have graced the stage. With a free afternoon, hit the streets of this cool capital and you'll be rewarded with designer stores and funky little boutiques. Your Trip Manager, who knows Milan's ins and outs, will be happy to point you in the right direction for the best buys before you flash the plastic. Click here for more information on entry to Santa Maria delle Grazie featuring Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
Day 6 Rome.
Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Trip Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain's waters (it's meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back and people watch.
Day 7 Rome.
This morning, make the most of our Local Guide's inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Then check out Rome's imperial glory by visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafes and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Trip Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys. In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do.
Day 8 Florence.
Heading to Renaissance Florence, we stop by Pisa and get up close to the famous Leaning Tower. The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. Our Local Guide gives you the inside track as the group learns about Florence's cultural beginnings and explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Tonight, there's a choice of a group dinner - an authentic Tuscan feast. Try regional dishes in the pretty Tuscan country setting. Then keep it moving with a night out and get your groove on at Florence's biggest club.
Day 9 Venice.
Known as the "floating city", Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals. The group travels on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city's historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge's Palace and the expanse of St. Mark's Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice's unique beauty and way of life. Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. There's an optional walking tour where you can discover the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazzi and markets with our Local Guide. You'll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market - a local favourite for food shopping. Maybe grab a table on St. Mark's Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco. Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share this amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!
Day 10 - 11 Austrian Tyrol.
Wind through the Bavarian Alps and Brenner Pass to a cute Austrian village in a region famous for adventure sports. Kick start your time here by plunging into some whitewater rafting in an adrenalin-pumping optional activity on the river. With two nights here, there's plenty of time for pulse-racing activities. Our resident crew will give you pointers on the best stuff to do in the region and make sure you get everything out of your time here. Fill your lungs with clean mountain air, jump on a bike and get into the region's outdoor lifestyle with a fully guided optional tour through the Tyrol's picture perfect scenery, complete with waterfalls and mountain fields. Work up an appetite - a BBQ lunch is waiting for you at the end! With time to do your own thing, laze about or get out for a walk in the surrounding hills. Catch up on some emails or postcards at the inn or take a gondola up the mountainside for more spectacular views of the area. For something different, pop into the local trout farm. For adrenaline-junkies, an optional tandem paragliding experience will give you an awesome angle on the surrounding Alpine scenery.
Day 12 Vienna.
Continue on to the cultural hub of Vienna. Tonight, we'll stay at the striking Eventhotel Pyramide. The hotel comes complete with spa & wellness centre, an outdoor heated pool and deluxe rooms. Get schnaps savvy with a behind-the-scenes look into this local liqueur's production in an optional excursion to the Old Vienna Schnaps Museum. This evening it's all about the culture at an optional dinner and concert. Up first is a classical music concert with former Vienna locals, Mozart and Strauss, in one of the city's imperial palaces. Follow this up with a traditional Viennese meal in an old-world restaurant.
Day 13 Vienna to Prague.
Your Trip Manager starts the day by introducing the group to the city's historical heritage. There's the imperial grandeur of Schonbrunn Palace, the elegantly ornate State Opera House and St. Stephen's Cathedral - a Gothic masterpiece. Cruise down Karntner Strasse, Vienna's main shopping spot, and buy some traditional ceramics or materials for gifts back home. There's free time to check out magnificent squares and majestic palaces or the city's art galleries. Take a break in a coffee house like the locals do, chill out in Vienna's manicured gardens or wander along the Danube River. This afternoon, relax on the coach as we head to the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague.
Day 14 Prague.
Prague is a beautiful and atmospheric city. It's also pretty compact, so it's best explored on foot. Choose a cruise on the Vltava River, which runs through the heart of Prague, and take in stunning views of the city from the water. The Czech capital has a really mixed past so look out for signs of the Holy Roman Empire, the Bohemian Empire, the Nazis and the Communists. Free time means you can get deeper into Prague's Old Town in your own time. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a jumble of little lanes, alleys and courtyards. Slow the pace down and give yourself a chance to uncover its hidden treasures. Spend some time in the picturesque Old Town Square, where historic buildings and churches surround cafes that spill out onto the pavement. With some world-famous Czech pilsner in hand, park yourself at a table, people-watch and try out some of the traditional local dumplings. This is also the spot to pick up some famous Bohemian glass, beads or garnet and amber jewellery. By night, Prague bursts with possibilities. Loaded with all types of music, from jazz bars and hip DJs to opera, there is something for everyone, so make the most of it with your friends.
Day 15 - 16 Krakow.
Leave Prague behind as we make our way to Poland with two nights in Krakow. Left relatively untouched after World War II, Krakow is jam-packed with monuments and cultural treasures like turn-of-the-century buildings, museums, an impressive castle and the Jewish Quarter. Choose our fantastic FREE TIME ADD ON to the famous Wieliczka salt mines, where you'll head underground into a labyrinth of tunnels and learn about the oldest mine in the world. In the afternoon your Local Guide will spill all their insider knowledge on the area and take you further into the city's history. You'll also walk around the Royal Castle on Wawel Hill, once the spiritual and political heart of the country, the site is now filled with tombs, chapels and a bizarre collection of prehistoric animal parts. Get a taste of this stunning city as you visit the massive Market Square - the buzzing heart of Poland's oldest university town. Learn about the medieval design of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre, which serves up a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Later, maybe head to the Cloth Hall and hit the maze of covered stalls selling crafts and souvenirs or rummage through the local boutiques in the surrounding streets to pick up some great treasures you won't find at home. Guided sightseeing of the Jewish Quarter, the Cathedral & Royal Castle on Wawel Hill and the Old Market Square.
Day 17 Krakow to Warsaw.
This morning, we make a sobering stop at Auschwitz, the most infamous former Nazi concentration camp, where the group will learn about one of history's darkest moments. Then visit Poland's holy hotspot in Czestochowa. We'll make a stop at the still functioning 14th century Jasna Gora monastery, where the famous Black Madonna is kept. Get up close to the portrait and discover why this place attracts so many pilgrims. Back on the coach, journey on to budding Warsaw. See how Poland's capital started up again from scratch after World War II and see how it's looking to the future. Get a feel for the city's buzzing cafe scene, relax with a drink, order some pierogi (Polish dumplings) and soak up the vibes of this energetic city.
Day 18 Warsaw.
Go back in time as our Local Guide gives you a crash-course in Warsaw's troubled history. You'll see Warsaw's Ghetto, Chopin's park, as well as the Old Town. Hear how this town has been all about survival, being literally reduced to rubble, and how Warsaw then picked up the pieces, using these ruins to rebuild the city. Check out St. John's Cathedral and the Royal Palace, which was blown-up during World War II. Free time means a chance to get to know Warsaw's modern, festive side. Relax in Lazienki Park, a favourite haunt with the locals, or dip into the city's many museums, galleries and theatres. Get some hints on what to explore from your Trip Manager. The choice of clubs, live music and bars here is mind-blowing, so it'll be a fun night out!
Day 19 Berlin.
With two nights in this historical hot spot, you've got time to find out what makes Germany's capital one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world. It's hard to believe that this trend-setting town has had such a troubled past.
Day 20 Berlin.
This morning, why not join a local guide for a tour? Learn about the East/West split at the Berlin Wall and check out the controversial Reichstag (German Parliament) as well as Tiergarten (one the world's biggest parks). You'll also visit Checkpoint Charlie, where many East Berliners tried to escape to the West, and be reminded of Germany's darker past at the Brandenburg Gate. With free time, get inspired by Berlin's creative scene and check out its galleries and street art. As a world forerunner in contemporary art, Berlin's walls are covered in cutouts and graffiti. Shopping-wise, this town has it all and is right up there defining style. Berlin is great for small boutiques, funky fashions and one-of-a-kind buys. Your Trip Manager knows Berlin's ins and outs, so get some pointers before you splurge. Do as the Berliners do and grab a currywurst (a local favourite) and kick back at a Bierkeller (German beer house). Top off your time in Berlin with some of your new friends and explore the city's legendary nightlife. With cool cocktail bars and some of the best techno clubs in the world, there are heaps of fun choices.
Day 21 - 22 Amsterdam.
After checking out the East Side Gallery (the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall) we head into the buzzing capital of Amsterdam to check out the city's eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and the wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7. Cycle around like the laid back locals and cruise into the countryside, past working windmills, in the world-famous cheese village of Edam. Free time this afternoon to experience Amsterdam's coffee shops, museums and quirky boutiques. Wander along the canals and past gabled houses or try out Amsterdam's multi-ethnic cuisine. This cultural melting pot dishes up loads of affordable food. Tonight, try some of the traditional local cuisine at a restaurant in a nearby fishing village. With an optional evening canal cruise, there's a chance to toast your travels with the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover another angle on Amsterdam at water level. For your last night in this city, get some pointers from your Trip Manager, dive into Amsterdam's night action with your buddies and finish up your travels with a night to remember.
Day 23 Amsterdam.
This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Schiphol Airport (estimated arrival 10:00am) where your trip ends. Or choose to take a complimentary transfer to central London & extend your stay.
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