The adventure of a lifetime kicks off today. Meet up with your new Contiki family in London town before hitting the road to Amsterdam.Shortly before we find our ferry for France, 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!Off the ferry we arrive in the port town of Calais - French soil! We travel north via Belgium before reaching...Amsterdam!Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam.And here we are at our final stop for this evening: Amsterdam! You can start your exploration of this city with an optional trip up to the A’DAM tower and swing (with drink in hand) for panoramic views over the city. Afterwards, there's plenty of nightlife to keep you going until the early hours.
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. After exploring, you'll want to join your new Contiki family for an optional dinner at a local fishing village and maybe a few drinks aboard a cruise down the river. Could today get any better?
Out of Amsterdam, onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to Hamburg – that's today's agenda.Crossing over to Germany, we find ourselves in another charming city dotted with canals and cafes, along with a central city lake and plenty of parks. We’ll acquaint ourselves with Hamburg by starting with an orientation of the city, before free time to find some dinner tonight.
Hamburg, it’s been sweet, but we have our sights set on another famous port city. And first...On our way to wonderful Copenhagen today, we’ll also pass via Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. With cobbled streets and colourful houses in a historic district full of character, it’s easy to see where his inspiration came from.Constantly named amongst the most livable cities in the world (along with one of the happiest), Copenhagen greets us with craft beer breweries, a Renaissance-era castle, hip bars and cafes, a walkable city centre and - you guessed it - more canals. We’ll start with a walking tour of the top sites, followed by free time to find dinner in one of the local spots.
Copenhagen is an artwork of locals on bicycles, Danish pastries in cute café windows, and Renaissance architecture. Being a bustling university town and home to the hippie hood of Freetown Christiana, nightlife, and unique culture can be found at every turn.
Before you go bursting out of your travel clothes thanks to your new-found Danish pastry dependency, we're saying ‘farvel’ to Denmark. Next stop: the ferry, then 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, we'll enjoy an included dinner together.
After our taster of Berlin's history yesterday, you'll have the chance to delve deeper today. Opt to take a historical walking tour, including a visit to the site of Hitler's bunker, or an Alternative Berlin tour. Otherwise, you're free to explore all the obscurities tucked away off the main street of Unter Den Linden, see the Brandenburg gate, discover nature at the Lustgarten, or catch the U-bahn to one of Berlin's quirky neighbourhoods. And if you're looking for a night out, now is the perfect time to scope out one of those underground raves or cocktail-lounge-in-the-basement scenarios that Berlin is famous for.
This morning we'll motor out of Berlin, ready for our next city. Berlin is one tough act to follow, but we think Poland will deliver. The capital of Poland has a vibrant urban scene and we’re staying right in the centre of it, in the hip & artistic district of Praga. We’ll get treated to an authentic Polish feast tonight to begin our introduction to this lively European city, with all day tomorrow to explore.
Ready to discover Warsaw? Tragic bombings after the war have seen this city experience a re-birth, and it's packed with museums, a buzzing street art scene, and cool vibes dotted with a dose of random to keep us on our toes. Your local guide will give you the insider track as we take it all in on foot. A renowned musical city, keep your ears open day long and see what sound pleasures you also stumble upon. Tonight you’ll have free time for dinner, so Perogi (Polish dumplings) and a glass of compote somewhere within Warsaw's lively cafe scene should be on your agenda - just ask your Trip Manager for the best local hangs.
Waving ‘pa!’ to Warsaw, we have our sights set on Krakow this morning. En route, we’ll stop off at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp for a sobering reminder of Poland’s dark past. Once the capital of Poland, Krakow is now known for its rich history, tasty pretzels, excellent vintage markets (you heard it from us) and salt mining heritage. Tonight you’ll have time to explore the local restaurants for a traditional dinner, then you can rest up knowing we have all day tomorrow to get our Krakow on.
Good morning Poland! Today is all about getting up close and personal with Krakow life. We’ll cover the basics on our included sightseeing tour in the morning, and you have a free afternoon to stroll the charming streets of Krakow. Check out Kazimierz, the UNESCO-listed Old Town & historic Jewish Quarter with its jumble of street art, vintage markets, crumbling cafes & 14th century synagogue. An optional Pierogi making class will keep us entertained into the evening.
We say a fond farewell to Krakow and head for the bright lights of Budapest this morning. Pastel painted and manicured to perfection, Banska Bystrica is a lunch break that will charm you to no end. Being in Slovakia, it's also your chance to brag 3 countries in one day - you crazy globetrotter you.Welcome to Hungary! Coming in at number 3 on our list of countries ticked off through the day. From the moment we arrive in the river split city, you'll understand why we needed a couple of nights here. Take you're time exploring this evening, stop for a drink in a ruin bar tucked away in the Jewish Quarter and keep our eyes peeled for a delicious Langos.
Those still keen to explore can jump on the Budapest Past and Present Tour and continue learning about this incredible city. The House of Terror, the Parliament Building and more, we will take you on a journey of old and new. After all the beauty and knowledge you soaked up yesterday at the church of St Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge, you’ll probably be feeling like a day soaking in the city's famous outdoor thermal pools, set amongst Art Nouveau architecture while getting a bargain-priced massage. As the evening draws in, why not take an optional River Cruise and dinner? Gliding across the shimmering night-lit river of Danube, you’ll get to experience the beautiful sights of Budapest while enjoying a delicious al-la-carte Hungarian feast.
Bye bye Budapest, your unique charm will remain in our hearts forever. Hitting the road, we’ll journey west and cross-country through Hungary and into Austria. Late this afternoon we arrive in Hopfgarten and will be welcomed with open arms to Contiki's very own Austrian Gasthof (guesthouse). Before we settle in, we'll get outside and explore the dreamy setting we'll call home for the next two nights. This is also your chance to sign up for some wild water sports - whitewater rafting in the breath-takingAustrian Tyrol. Tonight is a welcome evening which means a traditional Austrian meal lovingly prepared for us by our on-site Contiki chefs, and tomorrow we'll get into the swing of things with more of the adventure activities this town is famous for.
Wake up, peel open your curtains, and take in the magnificence of your view. If you're feeling lively you can jump onto a bike tour through green mountains and waterfalls. If you're feeling really lively you can go tandem paragliding. Not so lively? Stroll around and take in the incredible setting; drink endless hot chocolate, go up a mountain in a gondola or relax at our Gasthof.
Bye Budapest! Normally we’d be devastated to be leaving, but with Austria on the horizon we have strudel and music to look forward to.Onwards and upwards we go, into the mountain ranges that made the Sound of Music famous. Also home to Mozart, you can be pretty certain Salzburg knows a tune! This evening you’ll have the chance to venture off the beaten track and visit a working farm in the hills above Salzburg where the local family will invite us into their home to eat, drink and learn about their lives. This family have lived on the farm for many generations and now look to tourism to help support them and their local community, with food sourced from local farms and fruit for the schnaps from the village.
Ever the advocates of a balanced holiday, today we're trading in the obscure unknown for the globally adored hot spot of Venice. Whoop!Yes, it's as cute as you imagine. Yes, you'll feel like you're part of an Italian fairytale. Yes, you are actually hanging out in the gondola clad floating city of Venice! A private boat ride, gothic architecture and a web of lanes to explore will keep your day filled quite nicely.
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.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!
Full of gelato and memories, we’ll bid ‘ciao’ to Bella Roma but never goodbye to lasting friendships and future Contiki adventures.