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European Whirl (Winter Season)

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Innsbruck, Austria
Tour Style: First Class
15 Days from $2,724 per person

The tring tring of Dutch bicycles launch your Europe adventure, from picture-perfect Amsterdam and vine-clad hills along the Rhine with their fairy-tale medieval castles, to the magnificent open-air museum that is Rome. Mountains and monuments dot your route to your final stops in Paris and London, with a visit to the infamous WWI battlefields in France en route.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Relax after your journey or spend time exploring this exciting city.
    hotel:Thistle Euston
  3. See a host of sights including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace during your morning guided sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Finishing in central London, you have the rest of the day to discover the city's delights.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  4. This morning meet your Travel Director before traveling to London's St. Pancras International to board the Eurostar™ for a high-speed train journey to Brussels. Continue by luxury coach to Amsterdam. Enjoy an orientation of the historic city center before joining your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception dinner cruise.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Welcome Reception
    hotel:Mercure City
  5. Cross the border into Germany, enjoy picturesque scenery all the way to Boppard, where an included cruise takes you past vine-clad hills and crumbling medieval castles to St. Goar. Later enjoy views of the red sandstone castle towering above Heidelberg.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Achat Premium Waldorf/Reilingen
  6. Crossing the Swabian Alps, arrive in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for an orientation drive including the Olympic Stadium and City Hall. View the Glockenspiel on Marienplatz. A short drive through splendid scenery and across the Austrian border brings you to Innsbruck. Admire the architecture of the Old Town including the Emperor Maximilian's famous Golden Roof. Consider experiencing traditional Tyrolean entertainment this evening.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Grauer Bär
  7. Drive along the Brenner Pass into Italy and across the Dolomite Mountains. Arrive in the enchanting city of Venice. Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square, viewing the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace along the way. Visit a traditional glassblowing workshop for a Cultural Insight demonstration, then spend the afternoon exploring the sights of your choice.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana
  8. South across the Veneto plain you pass by Bologna and over the dramatic Apennine Mountains, continuing into the Lazio region to Rome, the Eternal City.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Occidental Aurelia by Barcelo
  9. Today's sightseeing includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica − the most significant Christian church in the world − to view Michelangelo's Renaissance masterpiece, the Pietà. In ancient Rome see sites including the Colosseum with your Local Expert. Spend the rest of the day exploring or perhaps take an Optional Experience to see the Sistine Chapel inside the Vatican Museums.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  10. From Rome travel north into Tuscany, through rolling countryside and along the valley of the River Arno to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Discover the city's rich artistic and medieval history with your Local Expert. Visit the Piazza della Signoria with its impressive sculptures and stunning palazzi. Marvel at the baptistery and the multimarble Duomo, with its dome designed by Brunelleschi. Dine tonight at a local restaurant and enjoy a Regional Meal with your traveling companions.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel:Grand Hotel Mediterraneo
  11. Drive via picturesque Italian Lakes and across the Alps into Switzerland. Spend the next two nights in the beautiful lakeside town of Lucerne.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  12. View the poignant Lion Monument during your morning orientation. Walk along the 14th century covered Chapel Bridge, crossing the River Reuss. Don't miss the opportunity to take an exciting Optional Experience to one of the surrounding mountains with breathtaking views. Later there is time to shop for Swiss souvenirs including watches and chocolates.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  13. Pass Basel and cross the border into France this morning. In every direction, vineyards and picturesque villages provide a memorable backdrop for your journey. Consider an Optional Experience this evening to a famous Parisian Cabaret.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Renaissance La Defense
  14. See all the famous sights during your morning sightseeing tour with a Local Expert. View the Champs Élysées, Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. Ascend to the second level of the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking view of the city. Spend the rest of the day exploring the sights that interest you. This evening celebrate with your Travel Director and traveling companions at a Farewell Dinner in a local bistro.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  15. Today bid farewell to your fellow travelers and Travel Director at the end of your vacation. An airport transfer is available. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast

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Christmas & New Year’s Eve Highlights: The December 14th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Lucerne. The December 16th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Florence. Departure December 19th 2017 will celebrate Christmas in Venice and toast New Year’s Eve in Paris. Departure December 21st 2017 will celebrate Christmas in the Rhineland and toast New Year’s Eve in Lucerne. Departure December 26th 2017 will toast New Year’s Eve in Innsbruck. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $680 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $60 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $106 per person.

Optional Eurostar Extension: Includes one-way Eurostar train ticket from Paris to London Standard Class, London accommodations at the Cumberland and station transfers. From $390 per person on a double share basis, from $90 per person single supplement.

Airport Transfers: A return transfer on the last day will arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:00 am.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

18 meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 dinners.

Included Highlights

Authentic Accommodations

  • Enjoy the elegance of yesteryear and sweeping lake vistas at the Grand Hotel Europe in Lucerne, where warm Swiss hospitality and a grand past spanning over a century guarantee an unforgettable stay

Cultural Insight

  • Witness the exquisite craft of glassblowing on Giudecca Island, a delicate tradition that generations of Venetian craftsmen have perfected over the centuries

Local Expert

  • For included sightseeing in London, Rome, Florence and Paris

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in London, Rome, Florence, Paris
  • Orientation of Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Lucerne
  • Visit St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Cruise along the canals of Amsterdam, the River Rhine
  • View the canals in Amsterdam, the Golden Roof in Innsbruck, St. Mark's Square in Venice, the ancient sites in Rome, the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
  • See the Lorelei Rock, the vineyards of Burgundy

Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Michelangelo's 'David' & Accademia

Adult Price: € 40

Enjoy an insight into the world of Michelangelo and his masterpiece, David. We have fast track entry to the Academy of Fine Arts and its Michelangelo collection, where you’ll learn all about the life and works of this immortal Renaissance genius through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.


Tyrolean Evening With Dinner

Adult Price: € 67

You’ll enjoy a delicious meal of traditional Tyrolean cuisine before a lively folklore show, where singers, dancers and musicians dressed in national costume provide an evening of entertainment and fun. Drinks are included.


Alpine Farm & Carriage Ride

Adult Price: 67 CHF

A chance to get to know the Swiss, you’ll meet local farmers and enjoy a delightful countryside tour in horse drawn carriages. Soak up the stunning scenery as we trot around a typical rural community, en route to a working farm where you’ll savour local drinks and snacks.

Mount Pilatus And Lake Cruise

Adult Price: 112 CHF

We’ll ascend by cog-wheel train to Mount Pilatus’ summit, where you’ll have time to explore, admire the views, and breathe the pure air. Then, we’ll descent by cable-car to enjoy a scenic lake cruise. On certain departures this Optional may be operated in reverse.

Swiss Folklore Evening And Dinner

Adult Price: 99 CHF

Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasty Swiss meal, including the famous Swiss cheese fondue, in a typical restaurant. While enjoying dinner, you can also join in a lively folklore show which includes yodelling, flag-throwing and Alpine horn-blowing. Two drinks are also included.


Nouvelle Eve Cabaret And Dinner

Adult Price: € 139

Join us for dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town, where you’ll watch an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment – including the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night you’ll never forget.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner

Adult Price: € 162

Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!

Notre Dame And Latin Quarter

Adult Price: € 33

A guided drive through Paris' bohemian Left Bank with our Local Specialist brings us to amazing Notre Dame to discover one of the world's most famous Cathedrals and the epitome of Gothic architecture. Afterwards, take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares.

Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations

Adult Price: € 38

Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.

Versailles Palace And Gardens

Adult Price: € 65

Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler. Your Local Specialist will take you through the State apartments and famous Hall of Mirrors, with free time to stroll the symmetrical tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability.


Roman Evening with Dinner

Adult Price: € 61

This easy-going evening in Rome begins with a beautiful drive to see amazing city sights. We arrive at one of our favourite restaurants, where you'll enjoy a warm welcome and delicious dinner of local cuisine with drinks and music.

Explore Ostia Antica

Adult Price: € 42

Join us on a journey along the Mediterranean coast and visit the excavations of Ancient Ostia, the former harbour of Rome. These ruins offer perhaps a more complete picture of Roman urban life than either Rome or Pompeii. See the remains of the baths, theatre, apartment houses, drinking room, mosaics and wall paintings at this beautiful site, mirrored by cypress trees and umbrella pines.

Piazzas and Fountains of Rome

Adult Price: € 33

Starting with a lovely drive and continuing on foot, you'll discover hidden backstreets, piazzas and fountains of the 'Eternal City' with a Local Specialist. Along the way, you'll marvel at the timeless Pantheon, the best-preserved Roman temple in the world. Many additional highlights are revealed on this relaxed tour that also offers free time in a gorgeous Baroque square with street artists, trattorias and gelaterias!

Roman Delights With Dinner

Adult Price: € 47

Spend an evening getting to know Rome. We’ll take you via coach where you’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s much-loved sights. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a delicious light dinner of Italian specialities, alongside local music and drinks.

Inside The Vatican & Colosseum

Adult Price: € 79

We skip the lines at the Vatican Museums for this tour that shows not just remarkable works of art collected and commissioned over the history of the Papacy, but also Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Later we hear fascinating tales of gladitorial combat and more on our visit to the Colosseum, again with time-saving VIP entrance.

This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.


Gondolas & Grand Canal

Adult Price: € 69

On arrival in Venice, a private boat will be waiting to take you to St Mark's Square, where you’ll enjoy a gondola ride while being serenaded by local musicians. Later, private water taxi's will take you along Venice's Grand Canal, where you’ll admire the magnificent palazzos and Rialto Bridge.


Saturday, November 11, 2017
Service rating : Everything was very well organized and I had a wonderful time.
Vacation : I thought it was a very reasonable price for all that we did.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Service rating : Generally things were good. London could have been more comprehensive.
Vacation : I enjoyed it, but I didn't expect so much walking.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Service rating : Our trip was a real whirlwind as titled but our tour director made sure we were okay. All hotels were nice additional excursions were great
Vacation : Well worth the cost accommodations were very nice tour director was great because we were on a whirl and he made sure everyone and everything was fine. Not an easy task when you have 40 something people to hustle around
Monday, October 9, 2017
Service rating : They thought of everything - had all of the bases covered on the whole trip.
Vacation : This was a fast-paced tour of Europe, everything it promised it would be. We saw a lot, did a lot, and could not be happier with the experience. We had the best tour guide ever, the best bus driver ever, and the best group of tourists you could wish for. Plan on doing all of the "Optional" events. You will not want to miss any of it. It is a wonderful way to get an overview of a lot of Europe and the "go-to" destinations. No wasted time, no waiting in lines, go, go, go, fun -filled days,every day.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Service rating : Our tour was everything we thought it would be and more. We had an excellent tour director, a very skilled and courteous coach driver and wonderful experiences. The hotels were very nice, too. One of the great things about the tour was having everything arranged for us including the may tours we went on - and never having to wait in long lines to get in anywhere.
Vacation : Everything was provided: transfers to and from airports, our luggage was brought up to our hotel rooms and collected in the morning, the coach took us to all our destinations, all breakfasts and some dinners, and many wonderful tours We even had a surprise lunch at a castle in Tuscany!
Monday, October 2, 2017
Service rating : Very informative up front, but we're not as good just before the trip. Had to call several times to find out more information.
Vacation : Had a wonderful time. Saw & did so many awesome things in a short period of time.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Service rating : From the beginning, Daniel, our travel specialist, took care to ensure that all our requirements were met. He coordinated our travel plans from Florida with our daughter's plans from Seattle, Washington creating a stress free arrangement. We received travel documents in a timely manor that were accurate and comprehensive. The Travel Assistant at the Thistle Euston, London was helpful with information, maps and advice. Our Travel Director, Peter Ansell was excellent. He had years of travel experience and an extensive history background that increased our travel experience. We were in great hands. Our Driver, Dirk was excellent. We were completely safe in his hands. We would recommend GET/Trafalgar Travel Services to our family and friends anytime.
Vacation : The European Whirl Tour was excellent value for money. We couldn't believe we saw so many countries and sites on one trip.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Service rating : It is the most relaxing and stress free way to travel - they have everything arranged for you - you just have to be there. The Tour Guide, Peter Rosenthal was fantastic, knowledgeable and kept the tour interesting. I definitely would use Grand European Travel services again. Thanks for a memorable trip.
Vacation : A whirl through Europe - fantastic!
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Service rating : Peter was very knowledgeable and made the trip fun. We definitely would book another trip. Have recommended you to several people.
Vacation : Great value. Saw and did more than we expected. Especially the hidden treasures.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Service rating : Switch a few hotels. Make a few more stops on the European Whirl. Great tour director: Peter Rosenthal Great bus driver: Felipe
Vacation : Good trip but too much bus travel.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Service rating : Their response was quick whenever I had a question about the trip.
Vacation : The trip was well planned but we felt that some of the optional excursions should have been part of the tour. These excursions added so much to our final cost.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Service rating : London accommodation was very bad. City tour was also bad. The local tour guide cannot answer simple questions. Optional tours were over priced.
Vacation : Trafalgar should look the customers pocket not just theirs.
Monday, August 28, 2017
European Whirl with Eurostar Opt
Service rating : I loved the European Whirl tour! The Tour Director, Brendon Bush, made all the difference in the world. What started out as a little shaky (no one to meet us at the airport in London, resulting in $25 worth of international cars to get transportation to the hotel), turned out to be amazing. Brendon was funny, humorous, knowledgeable of the many areas we visited (having lived in several of them), and always ensured everyone on the trip was having a good time--he took time to personally talk with and visit with everyone, including my 9-year old son. He also took special care of my mother, who had to use a wheelchair, and even arranged for us to borrow a wheelchair when the one we brought to Europe was broken in an accident. Brendon even had us laughing and happy after we had a disaster where the bus' air conditioning malfunctioned. We stopped and were transferred to a second bus, and everyone was shocked when the air conditioning failed on that bus. Luckily, our bus driver, Dirk, had fixed our first bus, and caught up with us a short while later. We were back on our original bus, with our original driver, with a slight inconvenience. We didn't miss anything! For the entire trip, we saw amazing sights, had fun, met incredible people, and had a great time. My son fell in love with Venice. My niece fell in love with Amsterdam. My parents loved England. I loved Rome. We all had a blast! And, my son and I are already planning our next adventure with Grand European Travel!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this thorough review.  It's a great example of how an expert Travel Director can turn a negative into a positive and keep the trip on track.  We'll be sure to send your comments about Brendon to our operations team.  We look forward to seeing you again on your next GET vacation!
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Vacation : The European Whirl was a great tour for the price. My family went to so many different places and saw so many different things - and did so many different things. This was the trip of a lifetime, and very much worth the price (to include all of the optional tours we took, and we took them all!)
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Service rating : It was awesome. I had a blast. Brendon was an incredible tour director. He was kind, conscientious and went out of his way to help everyone. Would recommend this trip. However, would have loved to have more free time to sightsee, shop or just rest for a while. Could also do without that visit to the farm in Switzerland, but the horse and buggy ride were nice. Would do this trip again and highly recommend it. Trafalgar, simply the best.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for the great review! European Whirl is one of our top sellers and we're glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Vacation : It's like what their slogan says. Simply the best.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Service rating : Thoroughly planned, coordinated and executed. Credit to the travel director Howard Hazekamp. I lost diamond earrings, Howard phoned to Linda,Pierce, who took charge all th way at the end of the trip to deliver them to me. Integrity is precious nowadays. Wrote and posted recommendations in my LinkedIn profile. Thanks for a quality services, hope to do again
Vacation : Thorough coordination, plan and execution. Credit to Howard Hazelkamp. Plus, i lost diamond earrings, Howard phoned immediately, Linda Pierce took charge brought them back to me at the end of the trip. Integrity is a precious diamond nowadays. Posted many times good recommendations for GE Trafalgar on my LinkedIn profile. Thanks for the quality services.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Service rating : Great tour guides, accommodations, food, city tours, coach ride, and history lesson along the way. Our group bypassed many people in long lines at the Colosseum and Eiffel Tower to march in ahead of everyone because we were part of Trafalgar!
Vacation : Murano Glass Tour factory and select purchases
Friday, July 21, 2017
Service rating : all the highlights of Europe were in this trip for the amount of time that we had. Our first day was in London and that seemed pretty disorganized. No one at the hotel could help us find the welcome packet that we should have had telling us when and where to meet our tour or who we were to contact....very stressful beginning for what was a perfect trip otherwise
Vacation : all the additional trips were fun and beautiful Our tour guide Simone was the best!
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Service rating : They were adequate. They answered my questions. Tess was not overly friendly.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're sorry to hear that your booking process wasn't a better experience.  We will address this issue right away and appreciate you bringing it to our attention.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Vacation : It was great! Trafalgar was excellent. Our Travel Director, Brendon Bush, was amazing!!!
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Service rating : Great service and wonderful memories just excellent all the way. Thank you
Vacation : Just wonderful and great experience.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Service rating : Tour guide Bernie excellent. Accommodations very good. Itinerary excellent and the weather great. Value fabulous.
Vacation : Great value. Excellent itinerary
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Service rating : Great tour Director. Problems with airport transfers
Vacation : Once underway the tour was very good. Only problems were excess time in coach and some venues were very crowded
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Service rating : From the moment we arrived in London for the first leg of our tour, everything was organized perfectly. Our welcoming tour manager was there to greet us, our room was arranged, and we were briefed on what to expect in the coming days. And, the rest of the tour was conducted in the same manner.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy to see you enjoyed your trip.  Hope to see you again very soon!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Vacation : We purchased every option available to us. Without exception, we felt that the experiences were worth the extra cost, and would without question do it again.
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is fantastic to hear.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017
Service rating : The Director- Debra and Driver Dirk are excellent and great. Thanks them for bring us a wonderful European travel, even through it is a little tired.
Vacation : The director - Debra has a great knowledge and experience on the European history, culture and language and her leadership. The driver - Dirk has excellent deriver skill to deal with so long and sometime very difficult road condition. He treat all passengers pretty polite, friendly and fair.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Service rating : The entire trip was amazing. Each day was full of exciting places. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone .
Vacation : Wonderful trip. Tour guide was very good.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Service rating : My sister and I recently booked our 1st European trip through GET, but at different times so we were on different flights. Michelle G. assisted my sister. My sister had some anxiety about traveling alone, but was hesitant to ask me to change my flights because it involved a change fee. Michelle G. called me to ask if I would make the changes which I found to be unusual, but showed her care and concern for my sister's comfort. And yes, I made the changes.
Vacation : It definitely was a 'whirl' of a trip! Able to get a taste of the many aspects of European lifestyle, history and beauty.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Service rating : From start to finish this trip was well organized, well run, and more than met my expectations for a European "whirlwind" tour. Our leader, Bernie McCarthy was top notch. He was helpful every step of the way, and was so knowledgable especially from an historical perspective. We could not have asked for better service from our trip leader or drive, Nico.
Vacation : Well worth the money. We have no regrets after taking this tour.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Service rating : Highly recommend, the trip was super, Bernie was excellent knew what, where , when and how to do things. Very informant he knew the history of all the different cities, towns, country we were going to. And let's not forget NICO our coach driver who was super.
Vacation : We were very happy with the choices we had picked, for places we wanted to visit.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
European Whirl End London
Service rating : The information given before hand helped us get ready for our trip and helped us to know what to expect. The travel director and coach driver were experienced and capable. They were both very helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels were very clean and a good mix of modern and traditional. So glad we took the trip!!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much!  We hope to see you again very soon!
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Vacation : Great experience! So glad we did it!
Monday, April 17, 2017
European Whirl End Paris
Service rating : Graham Smith and our driver Kristyan were excellent!!! Graham was knowledgeable, personable and totally customer oriented. He made the experience overwhelming positive and fun. Kristyan was an incredibly expert driver, knowledgeable of the routes and a pleasure to travel with
Vacation : My only disappointment was not seeing the pipe
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering countries in the Schengen Area or the UK.

  • The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€).  Several exceptions apply including the Pound (£) in Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland.

    While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast. 

    Dutch cuisine is simple and rustic.  You might like to try specialties such as rookworst (smoked sausage), kibbeling (fried fish), and pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes).  And, if you’re feeling adventurous you can try local raw herring prepared with onions and gherkins.  For something sweet, try stroopwafels, a delicious chewy cookie made with two thin layers of waffle and sticky syrup filling.

    Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious.  Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings.  For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau.   Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers.  In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein).   Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions. 

    In Austria you’ll find hearty cuisine, but nothing beats the desserts. Try delicious treats like Viennese Sachertorte (dense chocolate cake) and apple strudel.

    While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water.

    Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings.  Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.

    The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from.  And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping through-out Europe is less common or generous than it is in the United States.  Some countries will add a service charge of up to 15%, so be sure to check your bill before leaving extra.  In most places it is appropriate to leave a few euros or between 5% and 10% for exceptional service.  Keep in mind you will likely want to leave cash on the table to ensure your server receives it.  

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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