So what did I think of this trip?

Trip Start Jul 08, 2011
1
9
Trip End Jul 19, 2011


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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Overall, I had a blast!!! I met some of the most amazing people and wouldn't trade the trip for another! The group was made up of party ragers and non partyers...so go at your own pace! (I know a lot of people worry that it is all about partying, but from both my trips people were really only partying at night and definitely interested in everything the day had to offer). Also, if you are the type that likes to be included in everything, but you are shy...don't expect to be invited everywhere...invite yourself!!Speak up! Contikiers are friendly and welcoming, but shy people will certainly get drowned out. it is hard for everyone to remember to invite people everywhere especially if you don't speak a word on the trip.
I loved that I got to see so much, and it only made me realize how much I want to go back and experience everything all over again. Each city was special in its own way. I don't understand why this is one of the less popular tours, so if you are questioning between this and some contiki more along the lines of paris, florence and rome...don't have any doubts this trip will be less grand. BECAUSE IT WAS AWESOME. Speaking as a girl who has been to both Florence and Rome, If you asked me where I would head back to...it would be prague, vienna and budapest in a heartbeat.

Next stop... European Magic Sept 2012. My first extremely fast paced Contiki. If you have done a similar fast paced tour please let me know how it was!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free!!
If you want to sign up for this tour, or any others you can use my personal link below to receive a 50 euro credit for Tour Radar! They have loads of tours from various travel companies.
https://www.tourradar.com/invite/chxits

-Hayley
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Comments

corne on

thanks for sending me this link(on contiki website) I am going one of these days and it's nice to know that you enjoyed it. One Q: how much euro did you take? was it enough/too much/too little?

hms1987
hms1987 on

Hi, thanks for reading! I can't exactly remember the money I brought with me...maybe started off with 400 USD knowing I would be spending almost 200 euro on the optionals, which u can pay for at the start of the trip or as you go along. I def took out at least another 300 USD from my atm to cover gifts and other things I did on the trip. Don't worry because there are ATMs everywhere. I'm sure there were people who spent less. Or even more. Have fun!!

Emma on

Hey! your blog was amzing! i am thinking of doing this trip in a few months but I am nervous about how much walking is involved.. i did london/paris/amsterdam and i was in so much pain i have bad ankles/knees and i am scared to spend the money on a tour and not be able to experience anything... please let me know what you think..

hms1987
hms1987 on

Hey, I am glad you liked it! I actually just got back from european magic and it was amazing! surprisingly not that much walking since we were on the bus all day. The berlin to budapest tour def had a lot of walking. We had walking tours, pub crawls and basically everywhere the bus dropped up, we started walking. You don't have to do all the walking tours, but then like...how else are you going to see the cities you know? You can def go off on your own but it may be hard to find another travel companion who is willing to not walk around a lot and hang out with the rest of your group. Our walking was always split up by sitting down for lunches or just hanging around (ie vienna we just sat out on the lawn in front of the palace). I would say go and take it at your own pace! good luck.

Corne on

Hi,
@Emma:
I went in July this year. I have to be honest with you: the first few days the walking got the better of me. But part of the reason is that I got lost on 3 occasions (twice in Berlin & once in Prague) But I soon got used to the walking and later even enjoyed it. Since the tour I started doing fun walks & stuff, as the tour helped a lot with my fitness. So: don't let the walking influence your decision. If you don't go, you''ll lose out on a lot of fun.

kristy on

i loved reading this blog. but one question - what were the general ages of the people on the trip? im 23 and would be traveling alone, just want to be sure there's people i would get along with. thanks!

hms1987
hms1987 on

Hey, you will def get along with everyone. I am 25...did my 2nd contiki alone at 24. Honestly nobody even realizes how old everyone is unless you ask. Age doesnt seem to matter. And the age really does range from 18-35. I would say most people are in their 20s, and everyone hangs out together. Have fun!

Jess on

Hi! I came across this link on the Contiki forums as I'm thinking of doing the Eastern Road 13 day trip next year (what you did plus Warsaw and Krakow).

Your review is great! Definately gives me a bit more of an idea as to what to expect each day. Just a few questions...

- Having done a tour like this and a faster-paced, longer tour, which do you prefer? I like the fact that the shorter tours have 2 nights everywhere, but I don't like the idea of meeting amazing people and having to leave them so soon as I'll be travelling solo!

- For the types of cities such as Budapest and Prague would you recommend Contiki or individual plans? E.g If I was to do a Contiki of Western Europe and travel Eastern Europe by myself, or vice versa?

- How long was the longest bus trip in total for a day?

Any tips would be great! Thanks so much for your blog :)

hms1987
hms1987 on

Hi Jess. Good questions! I could go on and on about this but I know in the end what ever you decide to do i think you will have fun either way. I just got back from a paced paced western contiki (european magic...9 days) and although it was an amazing trip...you definitely dont get to spend enough time in each city and you spend the majority of most days on the bus. When I get a chance I am going to write a blog about it. Many of the people on that tour went off traveling solo to eastern europe to either meet friends or on there own. I know people who loved it, or missed all the people on the trip...its really really fun to travel with all those people. I enjoyed the slow pace of the berlin to budapest trip..I mean i wish I had more time in each city but looking back on it we had a lot of free time and went on amazing tours (ie tour guide Jim in Berlin...I will give you the link to find him if you decide to go there) Contiki includes him, but my trip was a long time ago so I dont know if they still use him or if he is even there anymore. If you do a longer western europe contiki...I would go with something that has at least 1 day in each place ie european escapade. Honestly contikis are fun but completely exhausting when fast paced..maybe your best bet would be to do a slow paced eastern contiki and travel to western europe alone. I think western europe is def more fun alone and easier to meet people...places like amsterdam, paris, london, munich. I can't imagine warsaw and krakow being as fun alone as the western cities. Also, one of my favorite cities on my euro magic tour was Lucerne. It was absolutely breathtaking and i definitely wanted more time there to just soak up the clean air and beauty. If you want to see my pictures from this tour you can add me on facebook (hayley steckler). So weather or not you decide to do the western contiki...try to make it to lucerne haha. if you have any more questions let me know..good luck with your choice!!

hms1987
hms1987 on

Also...the eastern road tour is separate from berlin to budapest....people dont drop off!! think that all may depend on if they have enough people for each tour though...a good way to figure that out is to see if the berlin to budapest and eastern road tour leave on the same day. Hopefully that should solve that problem.

Jess on

Hi Hayley,
Thanks for all your advice, that's really helpful. I like the sound of the Eastern Road tour being seperate! I'll have to have a look through the dates and see if they coincide with the Berlin to Budapest etc. or not.

Eastern Europe is definately at the top of my list, and so is Switzerland. I have a cousin in London so I was thinking of flying into London, maybe doing the London, Paris & Amsterdam 9 day tour then making my own way to Berlin for the Eastern Road 13 day tour. I would LOVE to then make my own way to Switzerland and stay for a few days to purely relax, go to a spa, take in all the scenery, and just not rush... you know? I had a look at the Euro Magic itinerary and I know you were only in Lucerne for a day, but do you think it would be enjoyable by myself from what you got to see?

I really want to go around May next year, I just need to make up my mind on what to do! That's the hard part!

Thanks again :)

hms1987
hms1987 on

I think your'e idea to do the london, amsterdam and paris tour and then eastern road is a good idea. make sure you plan out everything you want to do in each city (your tour guide will give you suggestions but trust me it saves time to plan out stuff to do when you have free time). I think Lucerne would be a great place for you to relax. I wanted more time there because we really only had a few hours...but I feel like you could do everything there in a day or 2. Its a beautiful city to walk around. we walked to go to the swiss guard lion statue, did a lake cruise that was amazing and relaxing, and then a pub crawl. You can prob do some research and join a pub crawl or lake cruise without contiki. there is a lot of good shopping and the chapel bridge is so beautiful!!!!!! Maybe you can take a little side trip to go up one of the mountains via gondola (ie stanserhorn). I'm sure you could find a spa but just a fair warning, Switzerland is the most expensive place I have ever been to. Its not the Swiss Franc exchange rate...its just everything is more expensive. I went to a plain old boring cafe in the morning and paid the equivalent of 11 US dollars for PLAIN eggs (about 14 euro). So be careful. try to go to Lucerne, but if you have not been to Italy...Go to Florence. It would be great to do alone, but there is SO much to do and see. You could wander around for days and just soak in the beauty, culture and food. I did that with my mom and sister...I didnt do the whole nightlife thing but I spent about 4 days there and every day was filled with shopping, museums, cathedrals...the list goes on. Venice is also very cool to see. It's almost all tourism but another great place to go on your own because you can just wander around and "get lost." you don't need someone to plan that out...hope this helps.

Jess on

Thanks again so much! You really have a lot of good advice. I have heard that Switzerland is very expensive, it's just somewhere I've always wanted to go. Florence is also on my list actually... definately under a 'get lost in' sort of category! It's just a matter of plotting a route to follow. Let the planning begin! Thanks so much :)

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