The Gothic Wiener Odyssey
The bars of Barcelona to the beer halls of Berlin. We’re not saying this trip is just about getting boozed… but it does go through Belgium. Reclaim a degree of class in elegant Paris and Avignon, before scoffing your weight in chocolate in Brussels.
Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany. That’s a pretty sweet Euro-sextuplet. It’s also the chance to hear a few different languages. Pro tip: smile a lot. A smile translates to: “I’m a nice dude and I’m super happy to be here” in any language.
Day 1-2 - Barcelona
Hola! Welcome to Spain.
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. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of 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 may wish 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, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.
Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of boisterous bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with run-down farmhouses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.
Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a groundbreaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget.
Visit the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum, wander the Rambla - the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard, or take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is possibly the most iconic landmark in this city rich with famous sHostal Levante or similar
Day 3-4 - Avignon
A train isn't a bad way to get to Avignon in south-west France. Hell, it beats walking - which you'll do enough of once you've arrived anyway.
With mistral winds, mountain hideaways and emerald vineyards, Provence is a flawless mix of Southern France's best. A shimmering Mediterranean coastline folds gracefully into tabletop mountains, where fields of lavender and wildflower embellish a landscape of intangible beauty.
An elegant, walled city at the apex of Provence's most picturesque valley, Avignon was the home of French popes for more than a century. Today, its legacy is an impressive collection of art, a grand papal palace and the Pont St-Benezet, immortalised in song as the Pont d'Avignon.
While in Avignon, hire a bike to explore this walled city and see more of this picturesque valley.
Be stunned by the largest medieval Gothic palace in the world, the Palais des Papes. Built in the 14th century after Avignon became the official residence of Pope Clement V, its sprawling grandeur decimated the papacy's income during construction. The fortified halls are now mostly undecorated, but the cavernous chapels speak volumes about the wealth of the papacy.Hotel Le Magnan or similarBreakfast
Day 5-7 - Paris
Travel north on the train to France's cosmopolitan capital, Paris.
'The City of Love', as it's affectionately known, is a pretty cool place to hang out. But even better than taking in the obvious sights (which you should definitely do, by the way), is kicking back with a bottle of red wine and thinking about all the great writers and artists who have passed through here (and how drunk they got!).
Rich in museums, art galleries, monuments, fashion and fabulous food, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and hidden treasures to discover in your free time.
Wandering around the Champs-Elysees, the student-filled Latin Quarter and the Bohemian Montmartre will give you a good feel for the city. The Tuileries, Plantes and Luxembourg gardens are all excellent places to enjoy a simple baguette with cheese on summer days, or head to a cafe to have a coffee - the French drink it black - and watch the world go by.
Explore the world-famous Louvre, where you can see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
To avoid queuing at the ticket windows, you can buy your ticket in advance, but pre-sold tickets can't be collected at the Louvre. The ticket is valid every day except Tuesday (when the museum is closed) and certain bank holidays. Book on this website: www.louvre.fr.
Join the Thinker in his eternal contemplation at the Rodin Museum.
Visit the Musee d'Orsay, home to some of the most famous Impressionist paintings.
Climb the Eiffel Tower (or take the lift) for some impressive aerial views of Paris.
See the Notre Dame Cathedral with its vast Rose Window and menacing gargoyles.Hotel Charma or similarBreakfast
Day 8 - Luxembourg
Hop across the border on the train to Luxembourg City (approx 2 hrs).
The second smallest country in the EU after the Vatican City and is the heart of Western Europe. With its turbulent past, Luxembourg has now changed this into a busy, successful, cultural and historical country has more natural beauty than you would imagine. Not bad for a country half the size of the city of Brisbane.
Luxembourg City's UNESCO-listed Old Town perches high above the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, offering spectacular vistas.
Luxembourg City is home to the Petrusse Express. The Petrusse Express is basically a little sightseeing train that drives around the city for an hour. You should give it a whirl, if only to get your bearings.
Stroll along the promenade of Chemin de la Corniche, said to be 'Europe's most beautiful balcony' and take it all in.
Contrast the charming, rugged, ancient heart of the city with it's gleaming art galleries and modern museums.
Perhaps visit the Palais Grand-Ducal, built in 1573, this palace is home of the Grand Duke. See how the other half live with a guide tour of this turret building.
Learn the history of Luxembourg at Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg. Go to the rock foundations and see the vaulted cellars and view the room sized reproduction of Marche aux Herbes.
MNHA (Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art) holds works of art, from Gallic tomb chambers to Picasso and Luxembourg’s expressionist artist Joesph Kutter.Hotel Pax or similar
Day 9-10 - Brussels
With romantic rivers and canals, 'chocolate-box' villages and impressive monuments from the Renaissance, Belgium exudes old-world charm like no other. Whether you're keen to dabble in the art world, discover historic battlefields, indulge in gastronomic delights or simply wander the cobbled city alleyways, Belgium will feed your senses, capture your imagination and steal your heart.
Brussels, capital of Belgium and the European Union. The crossroads of cultures for the country. With a stunning medieval core, this city hosts the best the square in Europe, sublime chocolate shops and lively café scene.
Visit the magnificent Grand Place, a hidden away on a cobblestone square. Can only be entered by foot from one of the 6 narrow side alleys. The square is alive with cafes, a great place to people watch, take in the 15th Century hall and wander round the local markets that might be on that day.
See Brussels famous landmark, Manneken Pis, a small bronze fountain-statue of a little boy taking a leak. This is the national symbol of Belgium! Well worth a look.
Take a look at the worlds largest collection of the surreal artist Rene Magritte.Hotel Beverly Hills or similarBreakfast
Day 11-13 - Amsterdam
Travel by train across the border into the Netherlands and on to Amsterdam.
A city famous for its wealth of culture, Amsterdam has a charming mix of canals, bridges and parks to complement its amazing collection of museums and galleries, so there are many optional activities that you can enjoy here.
One of the best ways to explore Amsterdam is by bicycle, so consider a half day tour of the city on two wheels.
Amsterdam is spoilt for museums. One of its best is the Rijksmuseum, whose most famous resident is Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch'.
Another option is to visit the Van Gogh Museum, which comprises nearly every painting, sketch, print, etching, and piece of correspondence that Vincent van Gogh ever produced including, of course, 'Sunflowers'. After seeing the painted variety, treat your eyes again with a wander through the real thing at the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market).
Anne Frank's House, the former hiding place of Anne Frank and seven others during World War II, and the place where she wrote her now-famous diary, is today preserved as a museum. A visit here not only allows you to climb to the attic and learn the history of those who hid here and those who helped them, but also challenges you to examine your views by posing modern ethical questions.Poets Hotel or similarBreakfast
Day 14-15 - Berlin
Travel by train into Germany and to its capital, Berlin.
Part living war relic and part internationally renowned hub of art, culture and good times. Berlin is definitely one of Europe's hottest destinations right now. It is a vivacious, fast-paced city with an art scene the envy of Europe and a chequered history both turbulent and grand.
There are countless unique memorials and sites holding significance in Berlin's more recent history, all designed to provoke thought as well as commemorate, such as the Jewish Memorial, the empty shelves of Bebelplatz or the confronting Topography of Terror. The Reichstag holds a special and symbolic meaning, outside its role once again as the home of Parliament, and the great glass dome that today crowns the building offers sweeping views over Berlin. At the very heart of Berlin stands the Brandenburg Gate, once a symbol of a divided city, and the crumbling remnants of the Berlin Wall that can still be seen.
Spend free time getting to know Berlin. Visit Checkpoint Charlie. This unique museum overlooks the former border checkpoint dividing the former East and West Berlins and explains how the city came to be divided overnight, as well as describing attempts to escape from behind the Iron Curtain.
For lovers of antiquity, the Pergamon Museum is a highlight. Named after the reconstruction of the full-size Pergamon Altar it houses, the museum's collection of antiquities, Middle Eastern and Islamic art makes it the most-visited museum in Germany. Don't miss the Ishtar Gate, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Aleppo Room. Other options include perhaps taking a bike or walking tour, or catching the view from the top of the Berlin TV Tower
Don't miss out on Berlin's up-beat nightlife. Consider spending an evening celebrating life as the locals do - at a bar, lounge, nightclub or embracing some live music.
On the final day, you are able to depart at any time.
This tour only includes one night in Berlin and you will not have much time for sightseeing. If you are planning to enjoy all that Berlin has to offer, you will need to book additional accommodation and stay on for a few extra days to discover this amazing cityPlus Hostel Berlin or similarBreakfast
What to Know
Tour leader, accommodation, transport and sightseeing where specified.
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed (including all lunches and dinners), any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
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