Days
24
Price from
£2,665GBP

Check out the best of the best from London to Berlin to Krakow to Venice (plus a bunch of others)

Lager in London, brew in Bruges, burgers in Berlin, vongole in Venice; chess in Budapest, art crawls in Prague, canoeing in Cesky Krumlov and – huh? – dragon-taming in Krakow?? From the Square Mile (aka London) to the Bride of the Sea (oooh Venice, you saucy minx), via heaps of other rad countries that have ‘other’ names, this ace adventure covers all things action, culture and FOOD!


Start
London, United Kingdom
Finish
Venice, Italy
Countries
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, United Kingdom
Code
GELVC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Contrast the booming city of Paris with time to see the city's world famous sights - such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre - without having to rush

  • The beating heart of modern Germany, Berlin is packed with history, arts and culture. The city's poignant memorials serve not just to recognise the past, but to educate new generations into the future

  • Soak up the royal history of Krakow's Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through its medieval main square

  • Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Soak up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague before stepping right into a fairytale of Cesky Krumlov

  • Escape city life on the peaceful shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake

Is this trip right for you?

  • The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. European trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning and toilets. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'Packing' section of the trip notes.

  • This trip is for travellers who appreciate a bit of independence. You'll get plenty of free time in each location to make your own choices and do your own activities. Your leader will always be there to give you tips and suggestions.

  • As there are cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with (an)other traveller(s) of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

  • As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Berlin.

Itinerary

Welcome to the Big Smoke! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Check with the hotel reception or the hotel noticeboard for where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you might want to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, just let the hotel reception know. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so be sure to have these ready for your leader. If you arrive early, why not board a double decker bus and see Oxford Street, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, or the newest addition to the London Skyline: The Shard. If the sun's out, hit up Hampstead Heath for some people-watching or chillax with a pint in a beer garden.
Optional Activities
  • British Museum - Free
  • Natural History Museum - Free
  • Victoria & Albert Museum - Free
  • National Gallery - Free
  • Shakespeare Globe - GBP14
  • London Eye - GBP23
  • Madam Tussauds - GBP33
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise and shine – it's an early start this morning as you head to London’s St Pancras Station to catch the famous Eurostar Train through the tunnel to France (approximately 2 hours 40 minutes). Now you can cross the Channel Tunnel off the ol' bucket list. You'll be in France’s capital Paris before you know it. Put on your walking shoes and explore stunning Paris. Along with many, many pigeons, Paris is of course a city of beautiful architecture, beautiful people and all the cheese you can possibly handle.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Croissant, boulangerie, fromage, tres bon. See? Anyone can speak French. Don your beret and stroll the streets of gay Paree – ooh la la! You haven't lived until you've had a picnic by the Seine with a nice big chunk of Brie. And make sure you don't miss out on the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou or the Rodin Museum. Icons like the Eiffel Tower or Sacre Coeur need no introduction. Be prepared for some weird looks as you declare ‘Paris, je t’aime!’.
Optional Activities
  • Rodin Museum - EUR10
  • Centre Pompidou - EUR14
  • Musee d'Orsay - EUR14
  • Louvre Museum - EUR15
  • Urban Adventures - Experience Bohemian Paris - EUR49
  • Urban Adventures - Secret Paris: Cheese, Art, and Local Life - EUR49
  • Notre Dame Towers - EUR10
  • Urban Adventures - Gourmet Marais - EUR75
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Another day, another train. This time to the beautiful Belgian city of Bruges (approximately 3 hours 15 minutes). It's called Bruges because of the multitude of bridges that are found in this city. It also happens to be the epitomy of European gorgeousness, with cobbled lanes, meandering canals, a chocolate museum and plenty of beer varieties to taste.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bruges is the place to be if you like beautiful medieval buildings, piano accordion music and hot chips. The awesome Groeninge Museum is highly recommended if you're the chin-stroking, art-appreciating type or a secret nerd for the Renaissance.
Optional Activities
  • Beer Tasting - EUR16
  • Beer Museum - EUR12
  • Bell Tower - EUR8
  • Bike Tour - EUR28
  • Choco Story Museum - EUR8
  • De Halve Maan Brewery - EUR8
  • Canal Boat Cruise - EUR8
  • Groeninge Museum - EUR8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands (approximately 4 hours, depending on connections). Give your feet a break and see this city by bike. This is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, so get involved! But watch yourself when cycling alongside those dreamy canals – an estimated 25,000 people end up going in each year.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today it might be time to discover some tasty Dutch treats. Practice getting gezellig (that means friendly, cozy and/or convivial) in a cafe with a little (read: big) pilsener and a bowl of bitterballen (deep-fried balls of yum). Make sure you make time for some of these great places while you're in Amsterdam: the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, the famous Rijksmuseum and the Heineken Museum. Or, for a different look at the city, take a canal tour.
Optional Activities
  • Canal tour - EUR14
  • Heineken Museum - EUR18
  • Anne Frank's House - EUR9
  • Bike Hire - EUR10
  • Van Gogh Museum - EUR17
  • Rijksmuseum - EUR18
  • Urban Adventures - Amsterdam Food by Foot - EUR38
  • Urban Adventures - Home Cooked Amsterdam - EUR51
  • Urban Adventures - Bikes and Dykes - EUR38
  • Urban Adventures - The Original Amsterdam Beer Tour - EUR52
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Welcome to Berlin, where beer is cheaper than water. The train trip here is a little longer than the others (approximately 6.5 hours). Here you'll find one helluva nightlife, a thriving arts scene and festivals galore. If you can peel yourself away from the city's nocturnal party schedule, and for a historic perspective, make sure you check out the Checkpoint Charlie museum. It's got some seriously amazing tales (and photos) of high-stakes civilian escape missions during the Berlin Wall era (get there early though, as it can get a little cramped).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Full of music and creepy old abandoned things (airports, theme parks, hospitals, a WWII listening post), Berlin is made to get your culture on. Today you might like to pedal through the streets on a cycling tour, or see the remaining fragments of the Wall and its many colourful murals. Or see some surviving pre-World War I attractions, like the Schloss Charlottenburg (the Prussian queen's summer palace) and the Prussian Victory Column. If you want to escape the hectic city streets (none of which are really that hectic, let's be honest), head to the Tiergarten, Berlin's largest green space with 23 kilometres of pathways. As this is a combination trip, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Berlin. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. You're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. In the evening of our last day in Berlin, jump on your overnight train to Poland and get comfortable.
Included Activities
  • Mauerpark fleemarket visit
Optional Activities
  • Story of Berlin Museum - EUR12
  • Reichstag (time slot must be booked online in advance) - Free
  • Jewish Museum - EUR8
  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum - EUR13
  • Berliner Dom - EUR7
  • Topography of Terror - Free
  • Berlin TV Tower - EUR13
  • Urban Adventures - Hidden Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Storyline of Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Stories From Friedrichshain: An Interactive Theatre Tour - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Food and Art in Funky Kreuzberg - EUR63
  • Urban Adventures - Storyline of Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Hidden Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Stories From Friedrichshain: An Interactive Theatre Tour - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Food and Art in Funky Kreuzberg - EUR63
  • Museum Pass, 3 Day Ticket - EUR24
  • Bike Tour - EUR20
  • Jewish Museum - EUR8
  • National History Museum - EUR8
  • Pergamon Museum - EUR13
  • River Cruise Sightseeing Tour - EUR25
  • Berlin Zoo and Aquarium - EUR20
  • Berliner Dom - EUR7
  • Berlin TV Tower - EUR13
  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum - EUR13
  • German History Museum - EUR8
  • Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz - EUR8
  • Reichstag (time slot must be booked online in advance) - Free
  • Schloss Charlottenburg - EUR21
  • Story of Berlin Museum - EUR12
  • Topography of Terror - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
Possibly the best-known Polish city, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its old town is a World Heritage-listed site. Which means you have some exploring to do! Take a stroll around Wawel Castle which sits on top of a hill next to the Vistula River. It provides a magnificent backdrop to Rynek Glowny, the town square. Dating back to the 13th century, the square is surrounded by awesome buildings, with the Cloth Hall as the centrepiece. There will be plenty of time to explore the city, so visit St Mary's Church, shop for amber or crafts, or just walk around with your jaw agape at all the old-world glory of the place, and be transported back in time by the well-preserved old town.
Included Activities
  • Obwarzanki snack - Krakow
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Communist Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Urban Adventure - Polish Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Jewish Krakow Adventure - EUR39
  • Urban Adventure - Home Cooked Krakow - EUR52
  • Bike tour, day or night - PLN60
  • Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN15
  • History Museum - PLN8
  • St. Mary's Basilica - PLN10
  • Walking tour - PLN30
  • Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines - PLN84
  • State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, transport and guided tour from - PLN50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
If you can tear yourself away from the charms of Krakow, venture out of town to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a deep underground network of tunnels and chambers that goes some 135 metres below the surface. The Blessed Kinga Chapel is a highlight not to be missed, with all its fancy salt chandeliers and carvings. You might want to take a day trip to learn more about the history of World War II at Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau concentration camps, sites where some of the worst atrocities were perpetrated (it's confronting, but important). Krakow has many cellar restaurants and pubs and a thriving cultural scene. You may want to end your day embracing Polish social traditions over a few drinks in one of these cheerful establishments.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Next up, journey to Prague. It's kind of a lengthy trip (approximately 7 hours), so try to nab a window seat and get cosy. Having served as the residence of rulers and archbishops for over a thousand years, Prague has been left with a unique gallery of historic buildings. This city is a wonderland of architecture, with buildings from the Middle Ages all the way through to the modern avant garde. They don't call it the 'City of a Hundred Spires' for nothing. Check out the controversial Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building) on the banks of the Vltava. In addition to the sights, there are many great restaurants and pubs, some in old vaulted cellars. The nightlife in Prague is some of the best in Central Europe. Whether dance clubs, traditional beer-halls or striking up conversations with locals at underground absinthe bars are your speed, there is something for just about everyone in this cosmopolitan city.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Discovery - EUR64
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour - EUR63
  • Urban Adventure - Bohemian State of Mind - EUR58
  • Bike tour - CZK490
  • Jewish Quarter - CZK480
  • Kafka Museum - CZK200
  • Day Trip to Kutna Hora - CZK250
  • Mucha Museum - CZK240
  • Museum of Communism - CZK190
  • National Museum - CZK120
  • Prague Castle - CZK350
  • Sedlec Ossuary - CZK90
  • Church of St Barbara - CZK60
  • Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK105
  • Simpaticka Kavarna Prague snack - CZK25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Don't miss Prague Castle, because it's not only the biggest castle in the Czech Republic, but it's oh-so-pretty too. It's where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. A walk through the Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the traditions and culture of Prague's formerly large Jewish community is also a must. Hip literary types can visit the resting place of Franz Kafka. Afterwards, why not take a seat at one of Prague's underground bars and sip some absinthe or Pilsener. Some of the best fun in Prague is had after the sun goes down, when the magic of the Old Town really comes alive. The city also has one of the longest-standing and most respected jazz scenes in Europe. If you should find yourself out until the early hours in a jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or Old Town Square for some sweet sunrise photo-ops.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Depart Prague and travel by bus to the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov (approximately 4 hours). This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and is straight out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov (pronounced 'Che-skee Krum-lov') means 'crooked meadow', which is befitting, since the town is nestled in a sharp bend of the Vltava River. It also comes complete with a castle on a hill towering over the cute little old town, which boasts a collection of beautiful old buildings and a confusion of cobbled alleyways. Check out the castle and its epic Masquerade Hall, or climb the tower for aerial views of the town. If the weather's fine and you have two or three hours up your sleeve, take a relaxing raft or canoe trip on the river that winds right through the centre of Cesky Krumlov. This is a classic summer pastime. It's also well worth visiting the Cesky Krumlov brewery for a glimpse of the brewing tradition that has existed here for hundreds of years (tours are often in English).
Optional Activities
  • Canoe Trip - CZK700
  • Guided walking tour - CZK300
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK160
  • Raft/canoe trip - CZK1200
  • Guided castle tour - CZK250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in cosmopolitan Vienna, where music is in the air and the grandeur of a golden past hangs thick in the air. Art nerds will be in heaven, with a huge selection of great museums to visit. These include the Albertina, the Leopold, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Modern Art. Those with an interest in 19th- and 20th-century Austrian art should visit the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt's famous painting, 'The Kiss'. Check out Hundertwasserhaus, or the Secession Building with its gold laurel-leaf dome. Visit Hofburg Palace, the winter retreat of Habsburg royals and now the official residence of the Austrian president. The options are endless! After all this sightseeing, indulge in the great Viennese institution of coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with some excellent Mozart, Bach or Schubert at the opera.
Included Activities
  • Vienna Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Budweiser Budvar brewery tour - CZK120
  • Albertina Museum - EUR13
  • Belvedere Gallery - EUR13
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR12
  • Leopold Museum - EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
  • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
  • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
  • St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
  • Vienna Boys Choir - EUR70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You might like to head out to Schoenbrunn for a guided audio tour of the summer palace designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. Here, the Gloriette Monument boasts killer views of Vienna. The palace gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Skip the queues by booking online at www.schoenbrunn.at. Alternatively, head to the Prater and take a spin on the famous Prater Ferris Wheel, or climb the 343 steps to the top of the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral.

Notes: The Spanish Riding School (Hofburg Palace) doesn't operate throughout the summer months. You will need to book tickets in advance to see the performance of the Lipizzaners. Phone +43 (0)1 505 77 66 55 or e-mail info@viennaticketoffice.com to arrange tickets.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a train from Vienna to Budapest (approximately 3 hours) and explore this exotic 'Pearl of the Danube', truly one of the great cities of Europe. Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. Glamourous and glitzy shops and restaurants sit alongside old-world architecture and groomed boulevards that evoke a time gone by. With so much to see and do, riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to get around. Budapest is the perfect city to enjoy from the water. From here you'll be able to see the magnificent buildings that line the banks of the Danube River and the bridges linking Buda to Pest (who would have thought?). Take one of the tourist boat trips to see the sights or cross the Chain Bridge for a spectacular views of the Parliament Building and the Castle District. Make sure you head down to the river after dark to enjoy the floodlit spectacle.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Urban Adventures - Happy Hour Budapest - EUR58
  • Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Pub Crawl - HUF5000
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Budapest Central Market - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head out to Statue Park to see all the communist monuments that were removed from the city streets after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is to soak in the hot thermal baths. There are loads of these around the city centre and they range from classy and elegant to simple outdoor types. There are pools of varying degrees - some with whirlpools and some even have chess boards so you can exercise your brain while rejuvenating your body. Feeling a little peckish? Don’t go hungry in Hungary, sit yourself down to a bowl of goulash or pay a visit to a traditional coffee house.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the lakeside town of Bled (approximately 8 hours). An eye-popping spot, Lake Bled is found at the edge of the Julian Alps in Slovenia. Needless to say, there are lots of outdoor activities on offer to get the blood pumping: rafting, caving, canoeing, swimming, to name a few. Explore Bled Castle, perched atop the 100-metre cliff overlooking the lake. Catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. If you are feeling active, why not hire a bike and head out to Vintgar Gorge (4 km) and walk through the natural canyon? For a sample of Bled cuisine, look no further than the famous Bled Cake – a vanilla, custard, cream and pastry delight.
Optional Activities
  • Mountain Bike Hire - EUR15
  • Pletna Boat Trip - EUR14
  • Canyoning - EUR60
  • Bled Castle - EUR10
  • River rafting - EUR55
  • Bus and cable car trip to Mt Vogel - EUR25
  • Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated within a glaciated valley in the Julian Alps. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear you might even see Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. Just remember that the weather conditions on top of Mt Vogel can be a bit all over the place (it's a ski resort in the winter), so bring some layers to wear in case the gods are not smiling down on you. Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, is not far away either and well worth a visit.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board the train and brace yourself for some amazing scenery on the way to Venice (approximately 5.5 hours). Venice is one of a kind, a unique city built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. As well as all those romantic canals, it has all the hallmarks of a fine old Italian city: world-class food, performance, art and architecture. Use your free time to explore – the best way to go is on foot. Take in all the famous sights, like the Grand Canal, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco and its golden basilica, and the evocative Bridge of Sighs. On the final day you are free to leave at any time.
Included Activities
  • Venice - City Orientation Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR19
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR10
  • Concerto - EUR32
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
  • Venice - Cicchetti Crawl - EUR20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

10 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Overnight sleeper train, Public bus

Accommodation

Hostel (16 nights), Hostel (3 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights), Overnight Train (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Mauerpark fleemarket visit
  • Obwarzanki snack - Krakow
  • Vienna Orientation Walk
  • Venice - City Orientation Walking Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

You don't have a lot of time in London and Venice at the start and the end of the trip respectively, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth, we recommend you tag on a few days before and/or after the trip. Please ask a Geckos Travel Consultant for more information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.