Day 1 - London to Paris, France (or join in Paris)
Ready to embrace the new and exotic? Go deeper. Meet the locals. Discover it all. The next 27 days are going to be life-changing. Meet your trip mates in ol’ Blighty, warm up with a cup of Earl Grey and hand around the AUX cord – we’re hitting the road early to jump across the Channel. Rather meet us in Paris? No dramas! The home of Coco Chanel, the Mona Lisa and world’s yummiest pastries – Paris deserves its rep as the European capital for culture and drool-worthy food. Trust us. We’ll tick-off all the showstoppers with a driving tour – before settling in for a hearty dinner with the gang. Cheers!
Day 2 - Paris
Yep, you’re finally here – so, this is your day to simply do you. Create a solid dent in your bucket list with a visit to the Louvre (book your tickets in advance!) and the Musée d'Orsay. Hunt down the cosiest patisseries in town (your Trip Leader knows where it’s at). Get lost amongst the shelves of history at Shakespeare and Co. Bookshop. Flash some plastic along the Champs Elysées. Or inject some feel-good vibes at the I Love You Wall. Feeling frosty? We got you – keep those calves warm on an optional bike tour. Or get an alternate view of the City of Love with a river cruise down the Seine. Tonight, go all-out with an optional evening at the cabaret. Think: bright lights, OTT costumes and death-defying acrobatics. You’re in the home of the Cancan after all.
Day 3 - Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Disclaimer: today is a bit of a drive. But you already knew that, right? Strap in. Get to know your trip mates better. And bust out some bangers as the most jaw-dropping, snow-capped scenery whizzes past the window. They don’t have views like this back home. Cue the fairytale villages and romantic castles of your imagination. Later, we’ll get stuck into a group dinner before heading to the hotel bar. Or sit back in the crisp (note: freezing) Alpine air with a steaming cup of glühwein. Yep, this is what you came for.
Day 4 - Swiss Alps
There’s one word to describe Switzerland in winter: MAGIC. So, here’s a free day to discover exactly what that means. Our suggestion for a clear day? Take the revolving gondola to the top of Mt Titlis for all the unbeLIEVABLE panoramas (without the effort). Or strap on your boots and explore the forest trails – ‘holy sh*t’ moments guaranteed. Rather uncover the gastronomic wonders of this place? Head into town and sip on the world’s best hot chocolate by a crackling fire. Whatever you choose, you’re going to have views for days. Dinner tonight is on you – haven’t tried cheese fondue yet? Now’s your chance (unless you’re lactose intolerant, obvs).
Day 5 - Swiss Alps to Milan, Italy via Liechtenstein
Pelt your Trip Leader with one last snowball and snap another pic of the dreamy frosted-peaks (it'll never do this place justice) – we’re outta here after breakfast. After making a pit stop in the teeny-tiny country of Liechtenstein, we’ll roll into the style capital of the world: Milan. Home to all the big-name labels (it’s called fashion, look it up), and the fifth largest Christian church in the world – take a stroll with your Trip Leader, before having the rest of the afternoon off to do your own spontaneous thing. Window shop your way around the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Soak up the views (and I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E architecture) from inside the Duomo. Walk the runway at the Triennale Design Museum. Or find a painfully stylish bar to indulge in an aperitivo. Here at Christmastime? Try panettone. It originated here, so you know it’s gotta be better than the packaged one your crazy Aunty brings every year.
Day 6 - Milan to Florence, Italy via Pisa
We’re rolling on to the capital of Tuscan cuisine today. You packed your fat pants, right? But first: the wonky tower of Pisa. If you’re gonna’ take THAT photo, think of something unique. Please. Before heading to dinner tonight, rug up and take a stroll along the Arno River for those this-is-what-I-came-for vibes. Then: did someone say karaoke? If you’re up for it, join the gang in a battle of the ballads at a local bar. Or hunt down a gelateria for a scoop (or two) of the good stuff. Who said you can’t have gelato in winter? No one.
Day 7 - Florence
Florence has more stories than you can poke a stick at, more culture than a Melbourne hipster, AND it gave the world David (putting dad bods to shame since 1504). We'll get the lay of the land on an in-depth walking tour with a local guide. Then: take your new-found knowledge and hit the streets solo. Uffizi Gallery. Ponte Vecchio. Piazza della Signoria. The Duomo. You can't see it all, but you sure as hell can try! Tonight, don your beanie and head to Piazzale Michelangelo - even in winter, the sunset is redic. Then, indulge in a centuries-old tradition at Babae restaurant: the only place in Florence with a functioning 'wine window'. We're sold.
Day 8 - Florence to Rome via Orvieto
Onwards! First: a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto - to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini (unless you're vegetarian, soz). Then: la bella Roma awaits. Strap in for one EPIC walking tour. We're talking a solid few hours of non-stop sights, off-the-tourist-trail hidden gems and a run-down of almost 3000 years of history. Pass by the Pantheon, (don't) sit on the Spanish Steps, check out the mighty Colosseum and throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain. Then, you're in Disneyland for foodies so our dinner tonight is gonna' be good.
Day 9 - Rome
You’ve watched (or been made to watch) Eat. Pray. Love. Now, it’s time to make like Julia and put this city to the test. You have 24 hours of freedom to explore. Count your blessings on an optional tour of Vatican City, then play ‘I-spy’ with two-and-a-half millennia worth of history. Head up Capitoline Hill for awesome views. Grab a bite at Lost Food Factory (arguably one of the best sandwich spots in town). Or do as the locals do and indulge in a little dolce far niente (delicious idleness) with a piping hot macchiato at a local cafe. Tonight, shake out those fat pants for round two. Cue: allllll the cream-filled, sauce-topped carbs!
Day 10 - Rome to Venice
The drive to Venice is your chance to share snaps with your new mates, catch up on some zzzzs and text the 'rents (trust us, you'll be too busy later). We'll park up in the birthplace of Vivaldi later this afternoon. Throw on your beanie and acquaint yourself with the who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a walking tour – ticking off the likes of St Mark's Square, Doge’s Palace and Accademia Bridge. Then, stop and take in the romantic winter vibes with a Venetian hot chocolate overlooking the canal. Yep, you’re finally here.
Day 11 - Venice
Centuries-old architecture. Inventive cuisine. And a bucket-load of culture. Venice is just begging to be explored. After an included gondola ride along the Grand Canal, you’ve got the whole day to do just that. Need suggestions? Insider tip: spend some time seeking out the out-of-this-world Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop or head off the tourist trail with a trip to Giudecca Island. Go wandering. Chat to the locals. Get lost in the maze of canals and piazzas. Then seek out Café Florian for a piping mug of rich hot chocolate and zaletti biscuits. That’s what makes the memories. Later, score a cheap meal at Osteria Al Portego or fill up on alllll the drool-worthy Italian pastries (no judgement here).
Day 12 - Venice to Austrian Alps, Austria
Order one last coffee in poor Italian (hey, you tried!) and prepare yourself for some I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E scenery as we make our way to the Austrian Alps. So much more than schnitzel, strudel and The Sound of Music, this thrill-seekers’ paradise should have been sponsored by GoPro. After dinner tonight, kick back and enjoy white-washed serenity. You’re gonna need the energy for tomorrow.
Day 13 - Austrian Alps
Rise and shine – the Austrian Alps await! This place is a snow-fanatic's ultimate fantasy and you’ll have a full day to shred to your heart’s content. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, ask your Trip Leader for the best slopes for you – then hit the powder! Rather soak up the snow-capped scenes from above? Tandem paragliding has your name on it. Or just sit back and enjoy a day sipping hot chocolate surrounded by gob-smacking Alpine scenery. It’s 100% up to you.
Day 14 - Austrian Alps
Icing sugar-dusted mountain ranges. Ski runs glistening in the morning sun. This place? MAGIC. Hit the slopes early and make the most of your last day here. Or strap on the snow-shoes and arrange a hike through the valley. Tonight, get the gang together for a wiener schnitzel and cup (or two) of piping hot glühwein. It doesn’t get more winter-y than this.
Day 15 - Austrian Alps to Munich, Germany
Next up? A country where beer is officially considered an essential food group (right next to sausage and sauerkraut). Say hello to Germany! We’ll kick things off with a walking tour of Munich then it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – an appropriate occasion to wear lederhosen. Head to the 428-year-old Hofbräuhaus for a royal Happy Hour experience or a cosy beer hall for a giant-sized pork knuckle with your trip mates. Prost!
Day 16 - Munich to Ljubljana, Slovenia via Lake Bled
Today we’re plugging Ljubljana into the GPS. Try pronouncing it, we dare you. But first: a visit to the mesmerising Lake Bled. It’s even better without the filter, trust us. Take a stroll around the glistening blue lake. Or hire a boat across to the island and ring the wishing bell. You wished for more wishes, didn’t you? After we roll into Slovenia’s hip capital, you’ll have the whole afternoon to explore on your own. The castle has been waiting for you since Celtic times – so don’t keep it hanging any longer. Tonight, gather the gang and hit the town for a vino with a side of live music.
Day 17 - Ljubljana to Budapest, Hungary
Our Ljubljana love affair was short but oh-so-sweet. Up next? The twin cities of Buda and Pest. See why they call this place the City of Bridges, as we’re chauffeured past the Chain Bridge, Castle District, Gellert Hotel, Heroes’ Square and House of Terror on a driving tour. SD cards full and tummies grumbling, we’re gonna’ take it up a level with a dinner cruise down the Danube. Grab your coat and sit on the upper deck – Buda Castle and House of Parliament look even better lit up like Christmas. Trust us.
Day 18 - Budapest
You wanted freedom to explore – here it is. Check out the Central Market Hall. Explore the Jewish Quarter. Play pinball at the Flippermúzeum. Get a harrowing education at the House of Terrors. Hunt down the Anonymous Statue. Soak in the warm therapeutic waters of the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Or head to Buda Castle and check out all the views from Fisherman’s Bastion. Tonight, get stuck into some local fare: goulash, chicken paprikash, langos, dobos cake. Hopefully you like paprika, they’re kinda obsessed with it here. Or hang with the hipsters at one of the original ruin bars. Our suggestion? Try pálinka (traditional fruit brandy) – it’s like a warm hug for your insides.
Day 19 - Budapest to Kraków, Poland
As the legend goes, a dragon had to be defeated for Kraków to be built - bit tougher than the usual council approvals emmiright? Get acquainted with Poland's beating heart and the largest medieval town square in Europe on today's walking tour. Then? Take Fleetwood's advice and go your own way. Top up your history knowledge at Wawel Castle, explore the quirky cafes and boutiques in the Jewish Quarter, head to Schindler's Museum (be prepared to queue) or find a local haunt and tuck into a heart-and-soul-warming bowl of rosól.
Day 20 - Kraków
It's your day to delve deeper – need some suggestions? Head to Hamsa in the heart of the Jewish Quarter for some 'Hummus and Happiness', shop for amber in the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall. Or do as the locals do and head to Okraglak for some drool-worthy street food – Zapiekanki is a must! Then: it's vodka time. On an optional tasting tour, wander the cobblestoned streets with a local guide – learning the history behind Polish vodka and sampling a few flavoured varieties as you go. This stuff is not for mixing with cranberry juice. Trust us. Feeling buzzed? Przypiecek is a 24-hour pierogi place with your name on it.
Day 21 - Kraków to Ceský Krumlov, Czech Republic
Up next? Ceský Krumlov. The entire place is UNESCO World Heritage-listed so prepare to be seriously WOW-ed. Take a wander around this historic city with your in-the-know Trip Leader – before getting out and exploring solo. A grand medieval castle. Twisting cobblestoned streets. Old Gothic churches. And a scenic meandering river. This place is what they meant by ‘fairytale’. Fact: they’ve been brewing beer here since the 1300s. So, get the low-down on the OG of Czech beer at Eggenberg Brewery before our included dinner tonight.
Day 22 - Ceský Krumlov to Prague
Onwards to the spire-filled skyline and mysterious streets of Prague! Get acquainted with this picture-perfect city as our Trip Leader takes us on a wander through Wenceslas Square, past the largest ancient castle in the world and across the medieval Charles Bridge. Try catch the quirky show the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock puts on every hour before tucking into a delish dinner with the gang. Tonight, head to a traditional pub to sample some of that famous Czech beer or (if you’re here in December), warm up with some mulled wine under the ginormous Christmas tree in Old Town Square.
Day 23 - Prague
That’s right folks – it’s your day, your way. So, make like Dora and get exploring. Check out the John Lennon wall. Soak up some history at the Communist Museum. Take the funicular up Petrin Hill for allll the views. Stroll the fairytale halls of the Klementinum. Or grab a delish roast pork roll at one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square. Fancy yourself as a bit of a hops connoisseur? Don’t miss the beer tasting optional this afternoon. Or delight your inner-fat kid with a sugar-filled serving of trdelník. Think: fire-roasted pastry coated in cinnamon sugar – add Nutella and you’ve got the stuff of dessert dreams. *wipes drool from chin*
Day 24 - Prague to Berlin, Germany via Dresden
From one beer capital to the next. Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden – a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt – before we make tracks to Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see the main sights including (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Museum Island, the Holocaust Museum and Alexanderplatz. Then: tonight dinner is on us. Prost!
Day 25 - Berlin
You’ve got 24hrs here. Make the most of it. Our advice? Opt in for a historic walking tour that’s, you know – not boring. Get a local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule and tick off the likes of the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburg Gate. Plus, get the in-the-know tips on where to spend your free time later. Or put those taste buds to the ultimate test on an awesome AF food tour. We’re talking kebabs, pastries, more currywurst, pierogi and local beers (you’re in Germany after all). Tonight, it’s time to see whether this city’s nightlife really lives up to the hype.
Day 26 - Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our trip may be coming to a close, but it’s not over yet! We’ve got our eye on Amsterdam today. Dump your stuff and hit the cobblestones – Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument are waiting. For dinner tonight, you’re gonna be spoilt for choice – Dutch steakhouses, trendy vegan haunts, fancy à la carte menus and the best take-away hot chips you’ve had in your life. Guaranteed. Later, there’s an option to experience a show in the Red Light district. Or for a realer Dutch experience – head to Proeflokaal Arendsnest for a selection of over 100 local beers and unique crowd.
Day 27 - Amsterdam
And just like that, this is our last full day together. FFS don’t hang about! Join the locals and check out Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks on an optional bike tour. Or for the culture fiends – delve a bit deeper with a visit to the Anne Frank House (don’t forget to book in advance!). Then: there’s 51 museums here but the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum should be top of your list. Or get lost amongst backstreets of this city’s diverse districts – each one’s got a distinct vibe. Whatever you get up to, make sure you’re back in time for tonight’s included dinner – we’ll be going out with a bang!
Day 28 - Amsterdam to London, England
Stock up on stroopwafels. Down that cup of Joe. And pile onto the coach – we’re heading back to London Town after breakfast. Crank the trip song one last time and swap those digits. Who’s up for a summer reunion trip?
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