Wonderlust

For many years I’ve had the travel bug however I just haven’t had the money. In January I will be booking a trip to Europe for 4 weeks! I will be going through the TopDeck Turing company as it’s probably the best thing considering my short timeframe. Anyway – watch this space for the exciting times ahead.

 

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Paris

    Our Topdeck trip begins early this morning in London. We depart and drive to Dover, where we cross the English Channel to France by ferry. Upon arrival in Calais we drive to Paris, capital of France and the world’s most popular city break destination. This evening, after an included dinner, we head into the city for a spectacular ‘City Lights’ driving tour. We’ll get to marvel at the renowned beauty of Paris as we pass many famous sights along the River Seine, including the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and much more!
  • Day 2: Paris

    Our free day in Paris gives us chance to explore the city at our own pace. Among the city’s most famous attractions are the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pompidou Centre, Napoleon’s Tomb and the impressive Musée d’Orsay. For a different perspective of the city, an optional ‘Fat Tire’ bicycle tour could see us cycling the streets of the French capital. This evening we enjoy a delicious French dinner in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we can complete our Parisian experience with a choice of two great optional activities – a Seine River Cruise or a show at one of the oldest cabarets in Paris, the famous Paradis Latin.
  • Day 3: Swiss Alps

    A long but scenic drive today as we make our way to the stunning country of Switzerland and the gorgeous Swiss Alps. We pass incredible landscapes and fairy-tale villages as we draw closer to our hotel. Tonight we enjoy a tasty included Swiss dinner.
  • Day 4: Swiss Alps

    A free day to soak up the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps, which are coated in a layer of snow throughout the European winter. Relax, sled on even ski on the snow past quaint wooden chalets and snow-capped mountains or simply sit back, relax and admire the spectacular views at our cosy hotel. Leave your troubles behind and unwind in picture-postcard scenery! Dinner this evening is included.
  • Day 5: Milan

    After this morning’s breakfast, we depart Engelberg with our destination being Milan, Italy. But before saying Ciao to Italia, we drive through the beautiful country of Liechtenstein, a small country with a population of only 35,000 people! We stop there for lunch to enjoy the beautiful landscape. After we depart Liechtenstein, we reach the borders of Italy through the Alps, and journey on towards Milan. Once checked in, your Trip Leader will take you on an orientation tour of the old town, including the magnificent Duomo. Tonight, dinner is up to you! Explore the local delights of Milan’s culinary scene.
  • Day 6: Florence

    Our Topdeck adventure continues as we journey south. This afternoon we head through the Tuscan countryside and arrive in Florence, the home of Renaissance art, gold and silver markets, great shopping and even better food! This evening we enjoy a fantastic included dinner at a local Italian restaurant, and afterwards we may wish to sample Florence’s nightlife.
  • Day 7: Florence

    A full free day to discover the wonders of Florence. There is so much to do and see in the city that is considered the birthplace of the greatest cultural movement of all time. Amazing galleries including the Accademia and the Uffizi await, with grand piazzas and palaces and some fantastic shopping, you might need an extra hand with getting the best of Florence. That’s why this morning you will be treated to a walking tour with a local guide taking in all the sites and a leather demonstration that follows will give you the confidence to shop till you drop in the local markets.
  • Day 8: Rome

    All roads lead to Rome! We have a short drive to the ‘Eternal City’ today, as we take a picturesque drive through the country side of Italy. For lunch, we stop at the dramatically positioned Orvieto, a village in Umbria that sits on top of an extinct volcano – the local wild boar sandwich is a must try! We continue our journey on toward Rome where once arriving, we embark on a walking tour by our Trip Leader that will take us through the ages. We also enjoy tonight a dinner in the city centre of local cuisine.
  • Day 9: Rome

    A free day to enjoy Rome! This morning we have the chance to visit Vatican City, where we can take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s remarkable frescoes. We’ll also be able to check out the immense and lavish St Peter’s Basilica. We have plenty of time to explore the rest of Rome today – you may wish to visit attractions such as the ancient Roman forums, the mighty Colosseum and the Palantine Hill area (the ancient commercial and political heart of Rome). Or alternatively, you could simply shop in some of Rome’s fashionable boutiques and relax with a coffee or two!
  • Day 10: Venice

    Today we make for Venice, the city of canals and gondolas. We stop en route at Verona, famously the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, where we visit Juliet’s Balcony and also see the impressive Arena (an ancient Roman amphitheatre). Then it’s on to our hotel, located on the mainland across the lagoon from Venice’s main islands. Tonight we enjoy an included dinner.
  • Day 11: Venice

    A free day to explore extraordinary Venice – a maze of canals, bridges, squares and incredible artworks. An included walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader will unveil some of the city’s amazing architecture, including the striking St Mark’s Basilica in St Mark’s Square. We also enjoy a brilliant ’Totally Topdeck’ included gondola ride on the Grand Canal – it’s the perfect way to see the city.
  • Day 12: Austrian Alps

    Onwards and upwards (quite literally) today, as we make our way to the Tyrol region of the Austrian Alps. After arriving at our Austrian Gasthof accommodation we have the opportunity to partake in optional tobogganing on an Austrian mountainside! This evening we enjoy an included dinner, after which we can check out the local bars in town.
  • Day 13: Austrian Alps

    Your first of two free days in this amazing part of Europe! Today is the day to test or develop your skills on the slopes! With most equipment available to hire in town, it’s not hard to get set up for your first day of spending your day on some of the best ski resorts on the continent. For those who don’t want to experience the slopes, there are plenty of other activities including paragliding, sleigh rides or just a scenic ride on the cable cars! Tonight, explore the many local restaurants in town for some local Austrian cuisine.
  • Day 14: Austrian Alps

    Get up early or as late as you want today, depending on how much adventure or relaxation you want on your second day in our Austrian Alps wonderland! Today, improve your winter sport skills, maybe try some snowboarding? If not, the village of Kirchdorf is at your door step, explore the local stores and restaurants in this quaint mountain village. Tonight we enjoy an included dinner back at our accommodation to finish another brilliant day.
  • Day 15: Munich

    A late departure this morning gives us one last chance to hit the slopes before we sadly have to leave Alpine Europe! However, our journey isn’t long today as we cross the borders into Austria’s close neighbour, Germany, with our destination is the old capital of Bavaria – Munich. Many consider the city to be home to ‘true’ German culture with its many palaces, beer halls, cathedrals and architecture. After a walking tour with your Trip Leader, make sure you head downtown to have a stein at the famous Hofbräuhaus!
  • Day 16: Ljubljana

    Over to the tip of the Balkans where our destination is Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. This ancient city’s eclectic mix of old and new makes it one of our most popular stops. On our walking tour with our Trip Leader we’ll see Ljubljana Castle and explore the Old Town. This evening we’re free to investigate Ljubljana’s many fine restaurants, al fresco cafés and quirky bars.
  • Day 17: Budapest

    Today we drive to Hungary and its grand capital, Budapest. The twin cities of Buda and Pest are situated on the banks of the mighty River Danube, and a driving tour around them with our Topdeck Crew takes in sights such as Heroes’ Square, Parliament House, Buda Castle and main boulevard Andrássy út. Tonight we enjoy a mouth-watering Hungarian feast in a local restaurant, and we also stay at world-famous Hotel Gellert, home to some of the city’s finest thermal baths.
  • Day 18: Budapest

    Explore Budapest with a full free day, but be sure to take advantage of our brilliant ‘Totally Topdeck’ inclusion – free entry to the elegant Gellert Baths! Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, where we can wander the banks of the Danube, visit the Buda Castle district and get great views of the city at Fisherman’s Bastion. Perhaps you might like to explore the fascinating markets or visit the moving House of Terror museum. Later on, we can always find some great bars and clubs to party long in to the night!
  • Day 19: Krakow

    To Poland, one of the most exciting and ever-changing countries in Europe. The ancient town of Krakow miraculously escaped the worst of World War II, and remains as the cultural heart of Poland. An introductory tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader takes in notable landmarks around the charming Old Town, including Wawel Castle, Market Square, Cloth Hall and St Mary’s Basilica. This evening we have an included group dinner at our accommodation.
  • Day 20: Krakow

    Today is a free day to explore Krakow’s intriguing, mysterious streets. One of Krakow’s top attractions is the former factory of Oskar Schindler, a saviour for many Polish Jews during the Holocaust and the man who inspired the Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List. Close to the city is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a 13th Century mine which houses incredible sculptures cut from rock salt. Back in Krakow, Wawel Castle is well worth exploring too, and there are great souvenirs to be found in Cloth Hall and Market Square.
  • Day 21: Cesky Krumlov

    Today we head to the Czech Republic and the beautiful Bohemian town of Ceský Krumlov. Like Prague, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also like the capital sits on the Vltava River. The place is full of cafes and bars and features the country’s second largest castle. We can spend our time visiting the castle or perhaps visit the museum of the painter Egon Schiele, who lived here.
  • Day 22: Prague

    Continuing our journey through the Czech Republic, we drive to the regal capital of Prague. Once checked in, we go downtown for an included dinner of traditional Czech cuisine. Our walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader tonight takes in the memorable Charles Bridge, Hradcany Castle, the Tyn Church and Wenceslas Square. Later this evening, perhaps we can check out why Prague’s nightlife is so famous!
  • Day 23: Prague

    Prague is a favourite city amongst our Topdeck Crew – for good reason! Today is free to explore this Gothic city full of dramatic spires, cobbled alleys, rumbling trams, hand-made puppets and artists around Charles Bridge. Stroll through the Jewish Quarter, visit Old Town Square and the medieval Town Hall, and perhaps find an old traditional inn to try the excellent (and cheap) local beer.
  • Day 24: Berlin

    Welcome to Germany! First up we stop in 800 year old Dresden, a city which has heroically rebuilt itself following near-destruction during World War II. After seeing the symbolic Frauenkirche and other beautiful buildings we continue on to Berlin, Germany’s vibrant capital. A driving tour with our Topdeck Crew takes in the remains of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag building, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and more impressive landmarks. Tonight we enjoy a ‘Totally Topdeck’ included dinner at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus – time for a roasted pork knuckle. Delicious!
  • Day 25: Berlin

    Berlin is ours to discover today. We can hear about the rise and fall of the Nazis on an optional ‘Third Reich’ walking tour this morning, which takes in sites of historical significance including the spot where Hitler had his bunker. Other attractions include world class museums such as the German History Museum and the Pergamon Museum, the massive Berlin Zoo, and a myriad of cool shops, cafés and bars. Tonight we can take an optional Nightlife tour and check out some of Berlin’s coolest nightspots!
  • Day 26: Amsterdam

    It’s a fairly long drive today, which gives us chance to conserve our energy for Amsterdam! The ‘Dam is a city of contrasts where bicycles, clogs, tulips and the infamous Red Light District live side by side in harmony. Just outside the city we stop at a traditional farm to see how Dutch cheese and clogs (wooden shoes) are made. This evening we head in to the heart of Amsterdam to see Dam Square, and we can even investigate the Red Light District itself!
  • Day 27: Amsterdam

    A full free day to enjoy Amsterdam. Our included ‘Totally Topdeck’ bike ride is the perfect way to tour the city, just like the locals. We’ll also have time to wander the canals or visit attractions such as Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Experience. This evening we have an included dinner to look forward to, followed by an optional canal cruise on a private boat along Amsterdam’s waterways.
  • Day 28: London

    We make our way to the Belgian city of Brugge this morning, where a walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader takes in the city’s excellent Gothic architecture. We’ll have free time here to seek out some Belgian specialities – chocolate, waffles and beer! Afterwards we drive to Calais in France to catch our ferry across the English Channel. Our Topdeck trip finishes upon arrival in London this evening, when it will be time to say fond farewells to our Topdeck Crew and travelling companions.

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