Check in to your hotel after 2:00pm and head out into the humming capital of Britain for a sneak peek at what's to come. At 6:00pm meet up with your Trip Manager and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner. Tonight, get a feel for this thriving cultural melting pot on a walking tour around some of London's landmark spots with your Trip Manager. Check out the cool and happening hub of Soho, the bright lights of the famous West End and the street performers in Convent Garden. **PLEASE NOTE: Departures from April 2015 will run as below: Check in to your hotel after 2:00pm and head out into the humming capital of Britain for a sneak peek at what's to come. At 6:00pm meet up with your Trip Manager and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner. You'll also learn about the darker side of London and it's most infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Visit the sites of the horrific murders, learn about the most popular theories, suspects and more from your very own "ripperologist".
With two days in London, there's plenty of time to get a real feel for this buzzing cosmopolitan capital, where iconic black taxis and red double-decker buses flash past historic buildings. Anything goes in London, so choose how you want to experience it. During your time here, jump on the coach for a look at London's iconic buildings and UNESCO World Heritage sites in our included tour. Learn about Big Ben, the Royal Family's place of residence (Buckingham Palace), the horror tales of the Tower of London, and the magnificent Westminster Abbey, where Princess Diana's funeral service was held. With an included day pass for the London Underground take advantage of the tube system. Use it like a local and move around the city at your own pace. Some ideas for your free time include a ride on the London Eye for awesome views over the city, or a visit to the Tate Modern to check out some of the world's most famous contemporary art. You can rub shoulders with the stars by walking through world-famous Madame Tussauds waxwork museum. Otherwise shop in the colourful Camden Markets or hit Oxford Street. If you're keen for something a bit more off the beaten track, ask your Trip Manager for some tips. On your last night in London experience a bit of London culture with a trip to a famous West End musical - it's on us! Afterwards, round up some friends and hit the town. London has it all; jazz bars, traditional pubs, pumping clubs and loads of live music - take your pick and dive into the action. **PLEASE NOTE: Departures before April 2015 will run as as below: There's also an optional excursion to see the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge. Choose to get up close to the famous ring of stones and learn more about the legends surrounding them. A trip to Bath means a look into a gorgeous city, complete with terraces, promenades and heritage buildings. Get the background on the city's name and Roman past in an optional excursion to the stunning Roman Baths. **PLEASE NOTE: Departures from April 2015 will run as as below: Opt to take a tour of the coolest London street art hot spots, including some famous Banksy originals
We hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. We travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme, to Paris. Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the ‘Tour of Illuminations', which shows off the French capital's transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris' romance. Your Trip Manager will fill you in on the world's most-recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!
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 Cathedral or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre and get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. Try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris' many green spaces. Give an optional bike tour a go and get off the beaten track and onto Paris' side streets with our Local Guide. Please note: The bike tour optional is not available on Winter departures There's a visit to 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. Time in Paris includes a trip out to France's most well-known château: Versailles, once home to ‘the Sun King' Louis XIV, and hot spot of the French Revolution. Check out the impressive exterior of this extravagant palace. Then there's an opportunity to explore the former Royal Family's luxurious living quarters. Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, 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.
Say farewell to the romantic city of Paris after breakfast. Today, it's a change of scene as you board your included flight to Italy's capital & the awesome ancient Rome! Maybe take an evening stroll through the streets to see the epic blockbuster monuments lit up by night. Please note: You'll travel independently by plane & will be met by a Contiki Representative in Rome & transferred to your hotel. Your stay in Rome is unescorted.
Wake up in stylish Rome. This place oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Use your included 3 day Metro pass to get around Rome at your own pace. Get into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline and check out, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia 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!). Maybe hang out at the Spanish Steps with your new friends, sit back with a few slices of pizza and people-watch. Uncover the remains of an ancient empire at the Roman Forum and Colosseum or visit the smallest country in the world and home to the Pope, the Vatican City. You've got plenty of time to take a closer look at St Peter's Basilica or Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafes and bars. Otherwise, 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. Before you hit the shops, get some pointers from hotel staff on where to go for the best buys. Dive into Rome's night action with your buddies and finish up your travels with a night to remember.
The trip ends after breakfast & it's time to say "arrivederci" to your new friends.