Essential Europe

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Essential Europe

from £1,079.50
Duration: 12 days
Countries: Austria, France, Germany, Holy See (Vatican City), Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland
Essential Europe is a package of the best bits a short tour of Europe can offer as we take in some of the finest landscapes and most fabulous city destinations on the continent.

Essential Europe

From the vibrancy of Amsterdam to the ancient splendour of Rome; the traditional beer halls of Munich to the majesty of the Swiss Alps and much more in between, this short Europe tour is the highlights package of all the region has to offer!


Day 1: London, England to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Leave London for dust, join 881,000 bicycles and get local on a walking tour of the vibrant Netherlands capital. See the Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument and then top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal.

Included today:
-Canal dinner cruise
-Walking tour of Amsterdam

Day 2: Amsterdam
Cheese lovers, rejoice. You can’t walk five steps in Amsterdam without coming across a conveniently placed cheese store spruiking the finest selection this city has to offer. See also: mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Use your free day to stroll the vibrant capital and check out the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. Don’t forget, a visit isn’t complete without a ‘cheesy’ (see what we did there?) photo in front of the I AMSTERDAM sign.

Included today:
-Bicycle tour of Amsterdam

Day 3: Amsterdam to Rhine Valley, Germany
Medieval castles, vineyards and the mighty Rhine River are all up next today. Breathe in as we weave our way through narrow cobblestone streets and tunnels, and give Queen B a run for her money with your own 12th-century castle quarters. Besides its obvious appeal (fairytale views over the Rhine, anyone?) half of Germany's wine comes from here. Shame not to try some.

Included today:
-Wine tasting in the Rhine Valley


Day 4: Rhine Valley to Munich
It's time to get to know the city where beer is officially considered a food. Your Trip Leader will clue you up on the Bavarian capital on a walking tour. Slide on your Lederhosen and have a royal Happy Hour experience (none of that craft beer nonsense here) at the 426-year-old Hofbräuhaus – the recipes here were passed down from Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Munich


Day 5: Munich to Venice, Italy
100+ slowly sinking islands won't explore themselves. Get your bearings on a walking tour, then get hopelessly lost. Your GPS won't save you here. Soak up St Mark's Square before a quintessential gondola ride on the Grand Canal. Corny smooching not included.

Included today:
-Gondola ride


Day 6: Venice to Rome
Travel down the boot and make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) 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:
-Walking tour of Rome


Day 7: Rome including Vatican City visit
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 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).


Day 8: Rome to Florence
Make your food baby sing as we roll into the land of hearty Tuscan cuisine and birthplace of gelato: Florence. Whip around Santa Maria del Fiore before tucking into amore on a plate. Then, the evening is yours to stroll along the real-life watercolour of the Arno River.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Florence with local guide
-Leather demonstration


Day 9: Florence to Lucerne, Switzerland
Prepare for more #epicviews as we head to Lucerne to check out one of the sexiest lakes in Europe. Spy the famous Lion Monument, Chapel Bridge, Glacier Gardens and Hofkirche on a guided tour.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Lucerne


Day 10: Lucerne to Paris, France
Pinch yourself and Instagram your first selfie during the guided tour of the City of Lights. Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than earned its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. Tonight, find out why.

Included today:
-Paris city driving tour


Day 11: 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. 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.


Day 12: Paris to London, England
Stuff your backpacks with macarons for the ride home. Then it's back on the carriage to ol' Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

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Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,079.50


Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book


Paris ‘City Lights’ Tour
Paris gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel Tower
Leather demonstration in Florence
Local guide in Florence
Gondola ride in Venice
Wine tasting in the Rhine Valley
Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam

More Inclusions

11 breakfasts, 5 dinners
11 nights hotel accommodation (twin or double)
English Channel ferry crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach
Guided tours of all major cities
Awesome Trip Leader + Driver

Group Size

Average 35, maximum 48


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.

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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.

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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.

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