After travelling through Asia, it was time to take on Europe! I have always been obsessed with travelling Europe, especially since my Facebook feed consists of my friends living in London and going away every weekend to amazing places.
I chose to do a Contiki trip as it’s a great way to tick off a lot of ‘must do’s’ in a short amount of time. The best thing about it is you don’t have to organise a thing, the tour guide does it all for you. For those of you that don’t know what Contiki is, it’s a company that caters bus trips for 18 to 35 years.
My travel companions consisted of about 40 Australians, a handful of Kiwi’s, 1 Canadian and 1 South African. Contiki is great if you are a solo traveller as you can make lots of friends on your trip. I made some amazing friends and I even got to watch two of them get engaged in the Swiss Alps!
The tour I chose to do was called European Impressions. I picked this trip because it was the perfect length and you got to see a lot of Europe – we went to 10 countries in 18 days. The style of Contiki trip I chose to do was ‘discovery plus’ – this allowed you to have lots of free time. I wasn’t so keen on the ‘high energy’ trip as I thought it would be too much partying and I would be too hung over to see Europe – however there was still a lot of drinking on my trip haha.
Below is a summary of where we went!
Stop One: Brussels, Belgium
- Check out the streets of the old town. Here you will see the Town Hall and the famous statue of Manneken Pis – a statue of a boy going toilet…
- Food: try the waffles, beer, chocolate and french frites (fries)
Stop Two: Amsterdam:
- Walk along the beautiful streets and go on a boat trip along the canals
- Visit the Anne Frank House
- Get a photo of the Iamsterdam sign and if you have time visit some of the surrounding museums
- Try on some clogs
- Visit a Coffee shop
- Check out the red light district and if you are up to it go to a sex show
Stop Three: Rhine Valley, Germany:
- Go for a walk through the beautiful surroundings
- Do a wine tasting of the local wines, including the famous eiswein
Stop Four: Lucerne and Engelberg, Switzerland
- Walk the beautiful streets of Lucerne, a stunning alpine town.
- Go up the Swiss Alps. We went up Mt Titlis. Prettiest scenery of the whole trip.
Stop Five: Munich, Germany
- Go on a bike tour of Munich – we saw so many historical buildings, went to the English Garden and stopped at the second largest beer garden in the world, the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower).
- Food: You must try the pork knuckle, pretzels and most importantly the beer! You can order either 500ml or 1L 🙂 Don’t forget to drink it quickly or else it will go warm.
Stop Six: Innsbruck, Austria:
- We only stopped here for a few hours for lunch but it was so pretty
- Food to try: pork schnitzel and apple strudel
Stop Seven: Lake Garda, Italy:
- Another quick stop, another beautiful location.
Stop Eight: Venice, Italy:
- Take a walking tour through the floating city. There are so many little alley ways, it is easy to get lost here
- Check out St Marks Square but be careful of all of the pigeons
- Go on a gondola ride, this is very touristy but it is still so cool
- Food: Eat your weight in pasta and pizza. Have chianti with each meal
Stop Nine: Pisa:
- Stop here to get a token tourist shot with the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Stop Ten: Florence, Italy:
- Take a walking tour, there is so much to see and so much to learn about in Florence. The most beautiful cathedral is the Duomo. If you have time check out some of the art museums where you can see David!
- Again eat, eat, eat!
- If you have money to spend buy some leather goods.
To be continued…