Austria Outside the Christmas market in Austria

Published on December 14th, 2015 | by Emma Hackwood


A European Christmas with Contiki

Have you always dreamed about exploring the Christmas Markets of Europe? Our Travel Consultant Ian Kivell shares his experience visiting four countries in Europe with Contiki Holidays and what you can expect when travelling with #NoRegrets.

Having been on a number of tours with different companies in the past, I was excited to experience the difference Contiki had to offer first hand. This opportunity was going to bring me to Munich, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. I’d only been to one of those places before, so my expectations for the remaining three countries were high; I was hoping to see everything they had to offer.

Contiki did not disappoint.

I quickly realized that the amazing Contiki team were professional, educated, helpful and some of the most fun people I’ve ever travelled with! From the Marienplatz in Munich to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, to the Hero Square in Budapest, they had the answers to all of my questions and interesting information I would have never thought to ask about.building in Budapest

The accommodations and transportation was noticeably top notch. The hotels were all 4-5 star properties, and located within 30 minutes of the city centres, usually even closer than that. The breakfasts were all included and had a variety of meats, cheeses, coffee, tea, bread, and hot choices like eggs, bacon, and sausages. The coach was one of the newest in their fleet. It had a washroom on board, wifi, lots of comfortable leg room, a video system, a music system, and about 10 power outlets where people could charge their devices. The outlets came in lots of different formats (European, UK, and others I didn’t recognize). They even had 10 USB outlets!

Contiki crew in Europe

The itineraries were a perfect combination of history, culture, fun, leisure, and discovery. I loved how there was ample free time so you could take it easy and go to the baths in Budapest, or go shopping in the markets.

markets in budapest

It was great to see that Contiki includes free time; travellers are often concerned that there will be too many organized activities, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was well balanced with just the right amount of free time versus organized activities.

baths in budapest

There were also several special extras that were completely unexpected! In Vienna, we had a beautiful classical music concert. I was especially looking forward to this because I’ve studied classical music since I was very young. The difference of Contiki was that we got to spend the intermission with the musicians drinking champagne! Then in the Swarovski store, we had champagne and a wonderful tour which independent travellers would not have received had they done that on their own.

Overall, I was so impressed with Contiki and I can confidently say they lead the industry in coach tours for 18-35 year olds. In fact, I’m trying to see what other Contiki trips I can take before I reach 35 in a few years!

Ready to book your flights to europe? Book online or stop by one of our Flight Centre stores today.

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About the Author

Emma Hackwood

a freelance copywriter, amateur glider pilot and full-time adventure seeker, has travelled extensively in pursuit of her lifelong dream of simply seeing it all. Up to over 50 countries, she lists American Samoa and the seldom visited Marquesas Islands as her current favourite destinations, with a wandering eye on Guam and Tonga to complete her Pacific escapades.

One Response to A European Christmas with Contiki

  1. Aditi Chopra says:

    My husband and I are planning a two week Christmas vacation in Europe. We’re thinking of doing Paris, Strasbourg, Colmar, and Rothenberg, Germany. Does anyone have any other suggestions that may have better markets in these areas? We’re thinking of sticking with France and Germany, but we’re open to other suggestions. Also, we’re not sure about transportation. We have rented a car multiple times throughout Europe, but never in December, so we’re a little uncertain about the travel conditions. Would you suggest traveling by train instead at this time of year? Thanks in advance for your thoughts/suggestions!

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