European Whirl

StudentUniverse  »  European Whirl

European Whirl

from £1,375
Duration: 18 days
Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holy See (Vatican City), Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland
If you’ve dreamt of going to Europe but don’t know where to start, the European Whirl is your best option. It’s the perfect combination of culture, relaxation and good times!
Summary

European Whirl

1  LONDON TO AMSTERDAM 
Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. Next stop: the buzzing, free-wheeling city of Amsterdam.

Check out Amsterdam’s eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Tour Manager and head into town for a fun night out.

Hotel Dinner

See the White Cliffs of Dover
See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night

2  AMSTERDAM 
Cruise into the countryside and bike around like the laid back locals, past working windmills, to the world-famous cheese village of Edam. In an intro into Dutch culture, see how clogs are made at a clog maker’s house and try some of the famous Dutch Edam at a cheese farm.

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.

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. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Tour Manager and head into town for a fun night out.

Hotel Breakfast

See canals & a windmill on a countryside bike tour in Edam
Visit a cheese farm & clog maker's house
Canal cruise (1 hour)
Euro 23.50
Sea Palace Restaurant
Euro 31.00

3  AMSTERDAM TO BERLIN 
Motor down the autobahn and get ready for a dose of über-cool 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 funky town has had such a troubled past.

On arrival your Tour Manager will peel back the layers of history and point out the lesser-known details of Berlin’s troubled past on an orientation tour of the city.

Hostel Breakfast,Dinner

See the Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building
Take in commemorative artwork & the remains of the Berlin Wall

 

4  BERLIN 
Today 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 Tour 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).

Experience the world of espionage in an optional evening Eye Spy Berlin tour with our Local Guide, and enjoy a fascinating look into the Stasi (what was once the East German Secret Police). Then 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.

Hostel Breakfast

See the site of Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin historical walking tour
Euro 9.50
Eye Spy Berlin
Euro 16.50

5  BERLIN TO PRAGUE 
Heading south, we roll on to the region of Dresden, often dubbed 'Florence of the North' because of its beauty.

This town completely rebuilt itself after being flattened in World War II. Your Tour Manager will show you Dresden’s signature buildings, like the Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, the Royal Residence – once home to the Saxon Kings – and the massive Zwinger Palace, where the royals went to party!

Lunchtime! Go local and hang out in a river side beer garden, order some hearty German dishes with regional specialities like sour roast and potato soup.

Then we head over the border and into the Czech Republic to Prague.

Prague is a beautiful and atmospheric city. It’s also pretty compact, so it’s best explored on foot. Get straight into Prague’s historic heart with your Tour Manager. You’ll walk together over the landmark Charles Bridge, through Hradčany Castle, the home of the original Bohemian Kings and to the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral along the way.

With a night off, spend some time in the picturesque Old Town Square, where historic buildings and churches surround cafés 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.

Hostel Breakfast

Visit the city destroyed in World War II and known as the 'Florence of the North'
See the rebuilt Baroque architecture of the Royal Residence, Zwinger Palace, Opera House and Frauenkirche
See Hradčany Castle, the Cathedral of St. Vitus, Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square
Visit the Old Town Square and see the Astronomical Clock
Ghost Walk
Euro 9.00

6  PRAGUE 

More 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. This is also the spot to pick up some famous Bohemian glass, beads or garnet and amber jewellery.

Choose a river cruise on the Vltava, 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.

By night, Prague is 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 the group.

Hostel Breakfast

River cruise with buffet meal
Euro 29.00
Nuclear Bunker Tour
Euro 15.00

7  PRAGUE TO MUNICH 
Today we travel to the home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich – a city that blends traditional Bavarian culture and modern lifestyle.

Explore the heart of Munich’s old town with the crew, and head to Marienplatz. It’s a central gathering spot famous for the Glockenspiel – a Gothic clock, complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.

Later why not give an optional bike tour a go and get off the beaten track and onto Munich’s side streets with our Local Guide.

Hostel Breakfast

See the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz
Munich Bike Tour
Euro 20.00

 

8  MUNICH TO AUSTRIAN TYROL 
Journey through the Tyrol and “The Sound of Music” country to a cute Austrian village in a region famous for adventure sports. With 1 night in Contiki’s very own Austrian Gasthof (guest inn), 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. We always put on different theme parties for our groups at the Gasthof bar – so get dressed up for a fun night in. Your Tour Manager will tell you all about it.

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.

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.

Contiki Special Stopover Breakfast,Dinner

Special Stopover: Contiki's Austrian Gasthof
See this pretty mountain region famous for adventure sports
Mountain bike tour & BBQ lunch
Euro 32.00
Tandem paragliding
Euro 123.00

9  AUSTRIAN TYROL TO VENICE 
Kick start the day and plunge into some whitewater rafting in an adrenalin-pumping optional activity on the river.

Wind through the Central Austrian Alps via the Brenner Pass to Italy, the land of passion! First stop, fairy tale Venice.

Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner

Scenic drive past vineyards, orchards & castles
Whitewater rafting
Euro 41.00

10  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!

Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner

Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice
See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
Venice walking tour
Euro 11.00
Gondola ride
Euro 22.00
Tour t-shirts
From Euro 18.50 - 29.00

11  VENICE TO ROME 
Criss-cross the Apennine Mountains on the road to 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 Tour 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 with a few slices of pizza and people watch.

Contiki Village Breakfast

Special access Rome sightseeing coach tour
See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
See St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City

12  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, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour 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.

Contiki Village Breakfast,Dinner

Vatican Tour
Euro 34.00
Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators including the Colosseum
Euro 26.00

13  ROME TO FLORENCE 
Next up: Umbria’s rustic hills and many vineyards. Travel past the iconic cypress trees of this olive oil producing region, to the Renaissance city of Florence.

The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above the city. Get the inside track on Florence’s cultural beginnings from our Local Guide as the group explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then, take a look into a skilful demonstration of Florentine leather making and understand this region’s traditional art.

The city’s markets are a great place to hang out and bargain. Grab a gelato in your free time and enjoy the feel of this gorgeous city.

Tonight there’s a choice of a group dinner - an authentic Tuscan feast, where you’ll get to try regional dishes in the heart of Florence. Afterwards, head with the group to a local bar, order yourself a glass of Chianti wine and kick back Tuscan style.

Contiki Village Breakfast

Discover the Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence
See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry & Piazza della Signoria
Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
Souvenir group photo
Euro 11.00
Tuscan Dinner
Euro 29.00

14  FLORENCE TO SWISS ALPS 
Catch a glimpse of Lake Como as we move on to Switzerland and travel through the Gotthard Tunnel – the second longest in Europe.

Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne
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 Tour Manager can give you pointers on where to pick up the best-priced watches Switzerland is so famous for.

Tonight, we head to the Alpine heights of Lauterbrunnen and stay at Contiki’s very own Swiss Chalet. While you’re here, you’ll get to eat a traditional Swiss fondue with the group.

Contiki Special Stopover Breakfast,Dinner

Special Stopover: Contiki's Swiss Chalet
See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
View the Lion Monument

15  SWISS ALPS 
It’s a change of pace amongst Switzerland’s massive Alps. Take in the amazing views from your chalet window.

Opt to visit Jungfrau Mountain, head up the sheer slopes of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site on a cog rail to Europe’s highest railway station, and step out onto the “roof” of Europe for spine-tingling views.

Back at the chalet, make the most of the genuine underground 'Bomb Shelter' and party it up with friends at the bar there.

Contiki Special Stopover Breakfast,Dinner

Special Stopover: Contiki's Swiss Chalet
Jungfrau Mountain visit
Euro 122.00

16  SWISS ALPS TO PARIS 
With down-time on the coach, plug in your MP3, chill out to some music and chat with friends while travelling through the scenic wine producing region of Burgundy.

Tonight, the group kick starts Paris with the “Paris by Night”, which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the 'City of Lights'. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafes give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most recognised monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.

If you’re adventurous, get right into French culture when you arrive at a Parisian café with the opportunity to try out France’s national delicacy – escargot! You’ll also get to toast the end of your tour with French Champagne.

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour with Champagne & escargot
See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral

17  PARIS 
Next up: Fragonard! This perfumery has an elegant interior and is a unique setting for a look into the history of perfume. It’s also a chance to pick up some French perfume at great prices.

This town 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 city parks.

Tonight is the last night with your friends, so make it special. Treat yourself to the full Parisian night out, starting with an optional dinner in an atmospheric restaurant. Then sign up for an authentic cabaret experience, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don’t stop there – afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your travels with a big Parisian night out.

Hotel Breakfast

Visit a French perfumery
Paris Farewell Dinner
Euro 35.50
Nouvelle Eve cabaret show
Euro 80.00

18  DEPART PARIS 
This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (estimated arrival 10:00am) where your tour ends. Or choose to take a complimentary transfer to central London & extend your stay.

Breakfast


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,375

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9923 to enquire or book

Route

London >> Amsterdam >> Berlin >> Prague >> Munich >> Austrian Tyrol >> Venice >> Rome >> Florence >> Swiss Alps >> Paris

Inclusions

17 nights accommodation: 1 night in Contiki’s Austrian Gasthof, 2 nights in Contiki’s Swiss Chalet, 5 nights in Contiki Village cabins, 4 nights in hotel upgrade, 5 nights in hostels
Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
Ferry crossings
An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
Contiki’s exclusive on-site teams at Contiki Villages & Special Stopovers
Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations
26 meals included in Food Fund:
17 breakfasts
9 dinners

About StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse has been supplying the best flight, hotel and tours deals to students around the world for years now and we’re delighted to be the preferred travel partner of gapyear.com and to make your travel experience even more amazing.

We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

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