European Getaway

StudentUniverse  »  European Getaway

European Getaway

from £1,239
Duration: 20 days
Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holy See (Vatican City), Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Switzerland
Glide through Venetian canals, whizz down the Swiss Alps, peek over the other side of the Berlin Wall and practice your Jungfrau mountain yodel so that France can hear you on this tour!

European Getaway

Have your own Under The Tuscan Sun moment as you feast, take in the soaring pencil pines and attempt to be a very chic Italian (BYO wide brimmed hat and black sunnies).

At night douse yourself in glitter in Monaco, get cabs so that you don’t have to wear flats (oh the shame) and always bet on black. All topped off with as much pizza, gelato, strudel, beer, chocolate, herring and macarons as your poor stomach can handle.

N.B. Price inclues food fund of £290


Day 1: Paris

Travel Day: London, UK, to Paris, France.

All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel to Paris via the white cliffs of Dover.

Pinch yourself and instagram your first selfie over dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided night tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader (aka living guide book). Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. And you're about to find out why.

Included today:
-City lights tour of Paris

Meals: Dinner.

Did you know:
-When the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris in 1974, he had to be issued with a passport stating his occupation as “King (deceased)”.
-The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US from France. She's totally French.
-The Paris municipal government has banned Tom Cruise from ever becoming an honorary citizen of the city. #staystrong.

Day 2: Paris

This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay to the l’Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you’ll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own before our gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

Included today:
-Free day
-Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Paris bike tour
-Seine River cruise
-Traditional cabaret show in the Latin Quarter

Day 3: Swiss Alps

Travel Day: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland.

Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is obviously where we're spending the night. Urban charm ain't got nothing on Swiss scenery. Upon arrival, chow down on Swiss cuisine at a local restaurant and hit the bar for a nightcap.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Dalai Lama owns the smallest vineyard in the world, consisting of three vines, spanning a mere 1.67 square metres. It's in Switzerland too.
-Here in the Swiss Alps you can lease a cow and score all the cheese produced from its milk. Best. Idea. Ever.
-It's illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland. You must have at least two because they like having a buddy (and the Swiss government is sweeter than chocolate).

Day 4: Swiss Alps

Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are on today’s agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit.

Fairytale villages en route, sky-diving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don’t scare you). Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Visit the highest station on the European continent on top of Jungfrau Mountain via the Jungfraubahn railway. Also known as ‘the roof of Europe’ and the spot that guarantees snow, year round.
-Helicopter ride.

Day 5: French Riviera

Travel Day: Swiss Alps to French Riviera, France.

Trade in your gruetzi for bonjour as we follow in Napoleon’s footsteps downwards to the glamorous French Riviera. Try your hand at celeb spotting as you explore the world’s most lavish waterfront property.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6: French Riviera

Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. This afternoon, we'll hit up Eze for a first-hand look into the world of French scent making on a guided tour of a 16th century factory.

Later: Roll with the jet set as we hit up the Monaco for a guided tour and the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves lots of fur and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).

Included today:
-Guided tour of Monaco

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 7: Florence

Travel Day: French Riviera to Florence, Italy.

You'll only have a few minutes to swap your 'bonjour' to a 'buongiorno' this morning and it's on to the renaissance romance of Florence. Take THAT shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa before trucking on to the Tuscan hills outside Florence to eat, sleep, repeat in the foodie capital of the world.

Included today:
-Visit to Pisa en route to Florence

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 8: Florence

Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) and get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide.

Then: learn about the art of leather craft from the city that brought you Gucci (new handbag, anyone?) and use the afternoon to meet a guy named David doing his best Blue Steel in the Accademia Gallery. You could do worse than hunting down a Florentine steak for dinner tonight.

Included today:
-In-depth city tour with a local guide
-Leather works demonstration

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 9: Rome

Travel Day: Florence to Rome (via Orvieto).

Southward and downward with a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini. Then step back to 753 BC in one of the world’s oldest open-air museums on an in-depth walking tour and give that bucket list a workout.

Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history’s version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you’re in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.

Included today:
-Visit to Orvieto en route
-Guided tour of Rome

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Wishful thinkers throw about €3,000 into the Trevi Fountain every day so it’s illegal to remove coins from it. Not that it stopped the notorious Mr. d’Artagnan. He stole from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in 2002.
-Real Italians never drink cappuccinos after 10am.
-In Italian, ‘fiasco’ is a bottle. In English, it’s a big fail. We don’t get it either.

Day 10: Rome

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia's worth of history.

Shop til you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness). Your Topdeck chef will feed you tonight.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Vatican City tour

Day 11: Venice

Travel Day: Rome to Venice.

Hark! Maketh haste to whence the lady Juliet was wooed in Verona. Snap a selfie at her balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes in the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check in to our hotel, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out your own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Verona

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimetres a year, five times faster than originally estimated. All the more reason to cross it off your bucket list.
-The Medico della peste (the one with the long beak) is one of the most recognisable Venetian masks but it was born out of practicality - doctors wore them with perfume in the end to block the scent and prevent the spread of disease while treating Plague victims.
-The narrowest street in Venice (Calle Varisco) is only 53cm at chest level. Breathe in!

Day 12: Venice

You know it as the floating city, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Check out St. Mark's Square, Accademia Bridge and a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour then jump on a vaporetto and explore the Grand Canal.

Also on the schedule: a lesson in traditional lace-making and an optional gondola ride through the maze of marble bridges and gelato shops we call Venice. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.

Included today:
-Walking Tour
-Lace School Demonstration
-Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

Day 13: Austrian Alps

Travel Day: Venice to Austrian Alps, Austria.

Prepare your retinas for the scenery playing outside the coach windows and yodel around the mountain as we make our way to the Alps. So much more than schnitty, strudel and The Sound of Music, this day should have been sponsored by GoPro.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Optional Activities:
-Tandem paragliding
-Bike tour
-Mountain-side dinner
-Group photo

Did you know:
-62% of Austria's total land area is covered by the Austrian Alps. The rest is just covered with ridiculous beauty.
-A 5,300-year-old mummified man was discovered in the Alps in 1991 and scientists have since discovered 19 Tyrolean men alive today to descend from the iceman.

Day 14: Prague

Travel Day: Austrian Alps to Prague, Czech Republic.

Begin the day with a sobering visit to the former concentration camp Mauthausen, then set the sat nav for the gothic city. Guinness World Record-setting (and Disney-inspiring) castle spires are Prague’s way of welcoming weary travellers.

Fuel up on trdelník (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst the spires and cobblestone streets. Suss out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world, cross medieval Charles Bridge and watch ‘Death’ toll the hour on an astronomical clock that’s over 600 years old.

Included today:
-Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen
-Prague walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-The monasteries of Prague brewed the first beer in Czech Republic and it was so good the King paid his tithe in hops.
-Five steps to a successful “cheers” in Czech: raise your glass, make eye contact, say “Nazdravi”, touch your glass to the table, then drink.
-In black light theatres scattered throughout the city performers put on shows in pitch-black spaces with fluoro clothing and props. Daft Punk, eat your heart out.

Day 15: Prague

Another free day for the win. Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it).

Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square and drink beer. Good beer.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 16: Berlin

Travel Day: Prague to Berlin, Germany.

Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden - a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt - and ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.

Included today:
-Dresden walking tour
-Berlin driving tour.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Doner Kebab was invented in 1972 by the Turkish immigrant, Kadir Nurman, in West Berlin, obviously knowing it would make an ideal midnight snack.
-Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days, boasting an impressive 175 to choose from.

Day 17: Berlin

Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Optional: Third Reich walking tour and local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park #picniconthetarmac. Tonight: hit the hot spots on an optional nightlife tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities:
-Third Reich walking tour
-Berlin nightlife tour

Day 18: Amsterdam

Travel Day: Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (and clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. Then: explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.

Included today:
-Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration
-Guided Amsterdam walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 19: Amsterdam

Join the 881,000 bicycles and get local on a city bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit and tasting at the brewery. Top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal. #imonaboat

Included today:
-Canal dinner cruise
-Amsterdam bike tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 20: London

Travel Day: Amsterdam to London.

Gluten intolerant? We’re sorry. Really. With chocolate, waffles and beer at top of the national list of pride in Bruges it makes for a damn fine walking tour stop. Stock up on the sweet stuff, climb the 366-step belfry and nip the post-holiday blues in the bud before London calls with a serving of the local specialty – chips by the cone fried in beef and horse fat. Mmm. Then it’s back on the ferry to ol’ Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?

Included today:
-Bruges walking tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-The 13th-century belfry houses a carillon with 48 bells and employs a full-time carillonneur to clang them around regularly, serving up a free concert with no noise restrictions.
-“Somebody that you used to know” Australian musician Gotye was born in Bruges.
-Just when you thought nothing could top Belgian chocolate, Bruges dishes up a museum paying homage to the humble potato – Frietmuseum. Well, this is the home of the French fry, after all (it’s a long story).

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. StudentUniverse should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,239


Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book


Paris ‘City Lights’ Tour
Paris gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel Tower
French Riviera perfumery experience
Leather demonstration in Florence
Local guide in Florence
Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
Stay at a resort in the heart of Tuscany
Italian feast in Tuscan hills
Vaporetto ride on Grand Canal, Venice
Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam
Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen
Lace demonstration in Venice

More Inclusions

19 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 13 dinners
2 nights hotel upgrade, 10 nights in hostels, 6 nights in bungalows at European campsites & 1 night in an Austrian Gasthof
English Channel ferry crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach
Guided tours of all major cities
Trip Leader + Driver + Topdeck On-Site Chefs

Group Size

Average 35, maximum 48


Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.
During peak season, some coaches will not have Wi-Fi


This tour is suitable for people aged 18-39

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 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.

View all products from StudentUniverse


Photo Gallery

Image 3 of 3 images
Email Enquiry

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. StudentUniverse should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

Call Me

Have a gap year travel expert call you back

If you're in the UK and would like one of our travel experts to call you about this trip, pop your details in the form below and we'll give you a call. If you'd prefer to be called at a specific time, let us know that too, and we'll do our very best to call you then.

Please note: We can only support call-back requests during office hours, which are: Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm  |  Saturday: 10am to 5pm.

Related Experiences