Highlights of Europe: EF Ultimate Break
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Highlights of Europe

24 Days  •  9 Cities //@ts-ignore//@ts-ignore72
Travel Style:

Why Go?

Explore castles, cathedrals, and cozy little cobblestone streets. Hear at least six different languages (more if you count English accents). Leave the highlighter at college and explore the highlights of Europe with us. See what we did there?

What are the top highlights?

  • Visit six countries and nine cities in Europe
  • Cruise the canals of Amsterdam and Venice
  • Test your yodeling skills in the pristine Swiss Alps
  • Indulge in Italian food and wine while taking in the Tuscan countryside
  • Meet Ben and Abbey in London, AKA Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
  • Taste savory and sweet crepes in the capital of culinary creations, Paris
  • Walk where the Beatles once walked during an exclusive guided tour of Liverpool
  • Explore ancient Rome, served with a side of pasta

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private motorcoach
  • Internal flights & trains
  • 22 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Metro passes in each major city
  • Entrance to the St. Mark’s Basilica & other select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:

  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Overnight Flight

Find your seat, pick a movie, and then try to get a wee bit of shuteye. The majesty and raw beauty of Ireland awaits.

Day 2: Arrive in Dublin

Welcome to Dublin, the capital of Ireland! Once you arrive and drop your bags off at the accommodation, take a stroll to St. Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street, and Temple bar, where pub culture, literary history, and all-around charm await.

Today's Highlights:

  • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
  • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
  • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.

In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Mixer with your fellow travelers. Then it’s on to wherever the craic—Irish for ‘good times’—takes you.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Dublin

Today, see the best Dublin has to offer with a local guide on a tour of the city. In the afternoon, tour the Guinness Brewery and order a “pint of Gat” (that’s how the cool kids order a Guinness).

Today's Highlights:

  • Enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the 800-year-old church named after the famous saint.
  • Pass by Trinity College, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, home to the storied library that inspired Hogwarts’ own.
  • Sample Dublin’s natural beauty and urban escape at Phoenix Park—the largest park in Europe.
  • Tour the pint-glass shaped Guinness Storehouse, learn how the famous stout became Ireland’s favorite beer, then enjoy an included one on the house.

Free Time Suggestions
Book of Kells: Stick around Trinity College after your tour for a chance to see the Book of Kells—a pristine 1,200-year old illustrated collection of biblical stories—up-close.
Jameson Distillery: Sick of stout? Switch things up in favor of the strong stuff with a guided tour and whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery Bow St.

Day 4: Travel to Liverpool via Holyhead

Prep your sea legs—you’re taking a ferry across the Irish Sea today. Get off the ferry in Holyhead and then make your way to Liverpool. For being a center of innovation and invention for centuries, Liverpool sure is humble. They only invented the first lifeboat station, the first School for the Blind, and the first High School for Girls after all.

Today's Highlights:

  • Take a ferry to Holyhead and then continue on to Liverpool via private bus.
  • Cue up your Beatles playlist and join a local guide on a tour of the city where John, Paul, George, and Ringo grew up and formed the band.
  • See the band members’ childhood homes and some of the places that inspired their music.

Day 5: Travel to London

Next stop: London. Home of the Queen, tea, a wonderfully different form of the English language, and the largest city in Western Europe. Brimming with history and unique architecture, you’ll soon understand why it’s one of the most visited cities in the world.

Today's Highlights:

  • Head to London via private coach.
  • Stop in Oxford, home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, for some free time and lunch on your own.
  • Arrive in London and explore the area around your accommodations with your Tour Director.

Day 6: Explore London + Optional London Eye & River Cruise

Hit the highlights of London with a local guide giving you all the inside info. Get ready to see royal palaces, down a pint of room-temperature beer (it’s how the locals drink it), and walk like a Beatle—from the band. Not a bug.

Today's Highlights:

  • Dive into thousands of years of London’s secrets with a local guide.
  • Immerse yourself in London’s rich history at gorgeous landmarks from the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
  • Experience a royal ritual during the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.
  • Wave hello to Big Ben, the bell inside the famous clock tower. Though it’s under construction until 2021, rest assured that Ben says hello from behind the scaffolding.

Free Time Suggestions
Abbey Road: Want to walk in the literal footsteps of greatness? Head over to this famous thoroughfare and make your way to its southeastern end. There you’ll find the studio where the Beatles recorded their final studio album and the crosswalk they made famous with its cover.
Harrods: You don’t have to buy a ticket to get into the world’s most famous department store, but once you’re inside, all bets are off. At over a million square feet with 330 departments, its motto of “all things for all people, everywhere” makes complete sense.

London Eye & River Cruise(extra cost)

See London properly: from air and sea. Fly high on the London Eye: Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, providing panoramic views of all the iconic landmarks. Then, sail down the River Thames with tea & crumpets included.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

**Please now you must add this excursion on at least 2 weeks before departure**

Day 7: Free Day in London

Use this free day to check out and check off anything you may have missed in one of the world’s greatest cities. Dive in and act like you belong with some local slang, try some famous fare (looking at you fish and chips), and explore until you’re too knackered (tired) to continue.

Free Time Suggestions
The British Museum: Discover over 2 million years of human history at this free museum. With over 8 million objects and counting, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in existence—so don’t expect to see it all.
Westminster Abbey: This historic, royal church is the traditional place of coronation and burial for British monarchs. The mainly Gothic façade leads to a gorgeous array of paintings, stained glass, and artifacts. Get yourself a ticket and you’ll be treated to more than just a house of worship.

Day 8: Free Morning in London + Overnight Ferry to the Netherlands

Enjoy a few final hours in London, and then trade those crumpets for canals—you’re going to Amsterdam. You’ll travel by land and sea to the home of the Van Gogh Museum, the infamous Red-Light District, and a boatload of floating houses.

Today's Highlights:

  • Spend one final morning exploring London.
  • Travel by bus to Harwich, a coastal town located in Essex, England.
  • Board your overnight ferry to the Netherlands.

Free Time Suggestions
Tower of London: A ticket to this historic castle is worth the price of admission. Officially named ‘Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London,’ it has been used as an armory, menagerie, and home of the Crown Jewels of England.
Convent Garden: This popular marketplace in London’s West End offers a variety of entertainment options. Check out the Royal Opera House, fashion-forward stores, a bevy of street performers by St. Paul’s Church, or one of the many pubs and restaurants.

Day 9: Arrive in Amsterdam + Sightseeing

Amsterdam is one-of-a-kind. Seriously, how many cities do you know of with floating houses and hot waffles with caramel served anytime of the day? Today, you’ll experience the unique character of this city, guided by a local expert.

Today's Highlights:

  • Disembark the ferry in Hoek and finish your journey to Amsterdam by bus.
  • Join a local guide for a walking tour of the city that includes stops at Damrak and Neumarkt Squares.
  • Find your way to the narrow canals and streets of the trendy Jordaan neighborhood for indie boutiques, hip eateries, and antiques galore.

Free Time Suggestions
Heineken Experience: Whether you’re a big beer fan or just thirsty, this is a stop you’ll want to make. Once the main brewery for this green bottled beer and now a museum, you’ll take a self-guided interactive tour to learn the history of this brew before getting to enjoy two of your own.
Poffertjes and Herring: You’ve heard of chicken and waffles, but what about pancakes and fish? No, not together, but we do recommend trying them both. Nibble small, fluffy pancakes called Poffertjes, try some fresh herring, served raw with onion.

Day 10: Free Day in Amsterdam + Optional Dutch Countryside Bike Tour

Take advantage of your free day in one of the most diverse and bike friendly cities on the planet. Walk or ride across the countless bridges, wonder what it’s like to live in a houseboat, and maybe even stop by one of the coffeeshops that don’t just sell coffee.

Free Time Suggestions
Anne Frank Museum: Explore the life and times of Anne Frank in this preserved canal side house-turned-museum. See the secret annex where Anne, and her brave family, hid from Nazi persecution during WWII. But plan ahead, tickets have to be purchased months in advance.
Bloemenmarkt: Looking for flowers? Head to what was once the only floating flower market in the world. Today, you’ll find it bobbing on the city’s southern canal belt selling fresh flowers, gifts, and an assortment of the famously pretty Dutch tulip bulbs.

Dutch Countryside Bike Tour(extra cost)

Bike like a local into the stunning Dutch countryside. Ride through rural landscapes past picturesque windmills and 17th century villages, then enjoy pancakes and a drink in the quaint Waterland region by the sea.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 11: Travel to Paris

Next stop: Paris. Get ready to feast on croissants, baguettes, and any other deliciousness you can get your hands on while enjoying every moment as a temporary Parisian.

Today's Highlights:

  • Say goodbye to Amsterdam and hop on your private motorcoach to Paris.
  • Follow your Tour Director on a walking tour of the city and its sights including the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  • Float down the River Seine during a scenic boat ride that makes its way through the true heart of the city.
  • Watch the world-famous lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkle (every hour, on the hour after sunset).

Day 12: Tour Paris + Optional Versailles Excursion

Take the best bus ride of your life on this guided bus tour around Paris. See famous sights like the Arc de Triomphe, explore on foot during a couple of planned stops, and hope that there’s enough time to stop by Le Marais—the trendiest shopping area in the city.

Today's Highlights:

  • Saunter along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Known for its theatres and cafes—you may also recognize it as the finish line of the Tour de France.
  • Find peace of mind at Luxembourg Gardens, a tasteful collection of tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, statues, and the Medici Fountain.

Free Time Suggestions
Moulin Rouge: The original version of this famed cabaret burned down in 1915, but the birthplace of the modern can-can dance lives on. Just look for the large red windmill on the roof, buy yourself a ticket, and then send your friends the pics to prove it.
Montmartre: Once an artists’ village and the stomping grounds of Picasso and Dalí, this charming hilltop district is now home to numerous nightclubs and the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur. Walk its steep, winding streets for sweeping views of the city below.

Versailles(extra cost)

Walk through the landscaped gardens, and tour the living quarters of the famous over-the-top palace of Louis XIV. This is where French royalty reveled in their extravagant lifestyle in the decades before the Revolution.

Please note: This excursion must be booked at least 45 days prior to tour departure.

Day 13: Free Day in Paris

Oui! A free day to wander the city of love. Get inspired, get lost, and get your fill of new foods like coq au vin (chicken braised with wine). At over 40 square miles there’s always something new to discover, so keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready for whatever comes your way.

Free Time Suggestions
Catacombs of Paris: Dare to step through the “Gate of Hell” on your way below the city streets and you’ll be greeted by walls of stacked skulls and bones of past Parisians. Once only considered a novelty, this absolutely eerie attraction is now designated as an official museum.
The Louvre: Once the home of French kings and now the largest art museum in the world, this astounding collection of art from around the world is not to be missed. From the Palace to the glass Pyramid to the Mona Lisa itself, you’ll be surrounded by history and beauty at every turn.

Day 14: Travel to Lucerne

All aboard for a scenic train ride through the European countryside! Watch as rolling hills give way to majestic, snow-capped Alps. You're headed to Switzerland.

Today's Highlights:

  • Depart Paris via train in the morning.
  • Sit back and relax as you take in some of Europe's most dreamlike landscapes.
  • Arrive in the Lucerne region and check in to your accommodation.

Free Time Suggestions
Louis Bar: Ride a funicular to the lobby of this “art deco” hotel, classier than Sir Ian McKellen sipping fine bourbon whilst reading leather-bound literature.
Alpetizers: Try some hearty Swiss dishes, like rösti (potato cake), chügelipastete(veal with creamy mushroom sauce served in puff pastry), or weiner schnitzel (fried veal or pork; fun to say).

Day 15: Experience Switzerland + Optional Swiss Alp Adventure

Today you’ll experience why people are flocking to Switzerland (and it’s not just for the chocolate and cheese). Walk the streets of historic Lucerne, and marvel at the snowy Swiss Alps in the distance.

Today's Highlights:

  • Walk the narrow streets and take in the incredible mountain scenery with your Tour Director.
  • See the one-of-a-kind Löwendenkmal, a surprisingly impressive and massive rock carving of a dying lion, carved to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution.
  • Wander the maze-like, cobblestone streets of Old Town Lucerne.

Swiss Alps Adventure(extra cost)

Ride a gondola above the tree line of Mt. Titlis, then a panoramic cable car to the summit. At the top, there'll be plenty of time for tubing, sledding, yodeling, ice tunnel spelunking, or just plain old view enjoying.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 16: Travel to Venice via Como

Benvenuto (welcome) to the Venice Region, otherwise known as Veneto. Once one of the richest and largest maritime trade empires in the world, the sheer number of canals, bridges, and boats should come as no surprise. You’ll drop off your bags, stretch your legs, then explore the area around your accommodations with your Tour Director.

Today's Highlights:

  • Take advantage of a short stop in Como and explore the charming lakeside town set against the towering Alps.
  • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.

Day 17: Sightseeing Tour of Venice

On your first full day of adventure, you’ll arrive at the gorgeous St. Mark’s Square after a short boat ride into the city. You’ll be met by a local guide who’ll show you the famous sights of the city, including the intricate artwork of St. Mark’s Basilica. Just remember to observe the local custom of covering your shoulders and knees before entering—but covering your mouth in awe is completely up to you.

Today's Highlights:

  • Arrive in true Venetian style at St. Mark’s square via the Giudecca Canal.
  • Skip the line and gawk at the golden ceiling of St. Mark’s Basilica.
  • Stand in the footprints of history on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest spanning the Grand Canal.
  • See for yourself why the 15th century Scala Contarini del Bovolo staircase literally means ‘of the snail’.
  • Watch a local artisan in action during a glass blowing demonstration.

Free Time Suggestions
Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal: What better way to experience a city known for its bridges and canals than with a gondola ride down the grandest of them all? Your Tour Director will point you in the right direction if you decide want a ride but finding the gondoliers yourself won’t be hard either—just look for their traditional uniform of black pants and striped shirts.
Libreria Acqua Alta: Calling itself the most beautiful bookstore in the world, this gem is absolutely worth the visit. Wander through charming rooms stacked wall-to-wall with books in this unique shop that battles the nearly constant flooding by placing some of its books in waterproof basins, bathtubs, and boats.

Day 18: Travel to Florence via Ferrara

Head further down the boot that is Italy and add two more cities to your ‘been there, done that’ list. Watch the hills and trees of the countryside slip by out the window of your private coach before reaching your final destination for the evening and deciding what’s for dinner (pizza is never not an option).

Today's Highlights:

  • Break up your trip to Tuscany with a stop in Ferrara for some lunch and time to explore.
  • Check in to your accommodations in Florence and see what the place has to offer.
  • Get the scoop on the area you’re staying on a short walk with your Tour Director.

Day 19: Sightseeing Tour of Florence + Free Time

Join a local guide as you walk to some of the most famous sights in the city while taking mental notes of the best smelling restaurants you pass for later. After all, it is Italy and food is kind of a big deal.

Today's Highlights:

  • Take note of the Piazza della Singnoria, home of the Uffizi Gallery and the world’s most famous nude man, Michelangelo’s David.
  • March your way across Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge with shops built along it (formerly butchers, now jewelers and souvenir shops).
  • Visit the final resting place of some of the most illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Basilica di Santa Croce.

Free Time Suggestions
Pitti Palace: Pitti Palace once housed the dukes of Tuscany and their extensive art collections, these days the dukes are gone but the art remains. Be sure to check out the statues in Boboli Gardens out back.
Vivoli Gelateria: Would it really be a trip to Italy without gelato? The answer is no. Vivoli Gelateria is the local institution to go to for this frozen treat.

Day 20: Free Day in Florence or Optional Italian Riviera & Cinque Terre

Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the Tuscany region is known for its landscapes, history, and artistic legacy. It is also an area known for its wine, notably Chianti, which is sure to come in handy later when you have plenty of free time on your hands.

Free Time Suggestions
San Miniato al Monte: Snap the perfect picture of Florence’s skyline after hiking up to San Miniato al Monte. No filter needed.
Shopping in Florence: The area between Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo is ideal for fashionistas and foodies alike.

Italian Riviera & Cinque Terre(extra cost)

Note: This excursion is seasonal and only runs from May through September. Availability is subject to your tour’s departure date.

Lay your eyes on the most beautiful coastal scenery anywhere, Cinque Terre. Discover mountainside villages, iconic colorful seaside buildings, and spend the rest of your day enjoying the pebble beaches of Monterosso.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 21: Travel to Rome via Orvieto

Board your chariot (AKA bus) and head to the Eternal City: Rome. On the way, make a pit stop to the olive groves—get it? Pit stop!—of the rustic town of Orvieto. Take refuge from big city life among the relaxing vistas and winding streets, then continue on to today’s destination

Today's Highlights:

  • Say ciao to Tuscany as you head to Rome on the next leg of your odyssey.
  • Stop en route in Orvieto, to stretch your legs and snap your shutter at the never-ending Italian countryside.
  • Enter the arena that is Rome—you are the gladiator, and pasta is your lion—and get your bearings for the night.

Free Time Suggestions
Piazza del Campidoglio: Michelangelo didn’t invent the square, but he did revolutionize it when he designed this city meeting spot on top of the Capitoline Hill. Municipal politics never looked so Instagrammable.
Porchetta: You didn’t come all the way to Rome to not pig out. Ask your Tour Director where you can find an authentic spot for Porchetta—a delicacy of roasted pig with herbs and garlic served fresh from the countryside.

Day 22: Sightseeing Tour of Rome + Optional Roman Catacombs

They say all roads lead to Rome, but once you’re there you quickly realize that all roads actually lead to restaurants. Take the morning to satisfy your cravings and sip some espresso, then experience everything ancient Rome has to offer with a local guide.

Today's Highlights:

  • Tour the city with a local guide who will show you the Roman Forum, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Piazza Venezia, Teatro Marcello, and the Roman Ghetto.
  • Learn where we get the word “colossal” from as you check out the world’s most famous gladiator arena—the Colosseum.

Free Time Suggestions
Catacombs of San Callixtus: See dead people (or at least where they used to be) at Rome’s largest underground catacombs, nearly 2,000 years old.
Via dei Condotti: Stroll this “who’s who” street of high fashion shops, including Armani, Prada, Versace, and Gucci—all of which once charged entrance fees—ultimately culminating at the famous Spanish Steps.

Roman Catacombs & St. Paul's Basilica(extra cost)

Rome has a bit of a spooky side. Travel deep underground to catacombs built by early Christians. Then, head to St. Paul’s Basilica. Existing since at least 324 AD, they say St. Paul himself is buried there.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 23: Free Day in Rome + Optional Vatican City Excursion + Farewell Dinner

Rome looks goooood for being 2,000 years old. (It must moisturize.) Shop, eat, drink, and talk like an Italian (with your hands) during your free time. Embrace the culture and indulge in carbs during your last day in the Eternal City. Plus, if you're up for it, join an optional excursion to the Vatican.

Free Time Suggestions
National Roman Museum: Practice your Latin at this immense collection of Ancient Roman statues, frescoes, mosaics and more, housed across four different buildings throughout the city.
Campo de' Fiori: Veg out at the daily market held for centuries at this “field of flowers,” perfect for people watching and produce prodding.
Dancing in Testaccio: They don’t call it the Eternal City for nothing—keep the party going all night at one of the Testaccio Neighborhood’s many glamorous nightclubs.

Farewell Dinner
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

A Visit to the Vatican(extra cost)

Visit the Pope’s house: Vatican City. Take a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica, and get your dose of art history up close and personal—viewing Michelangelo's famed Sistine Chapel frescoes.

Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 24: Fly Home

Arrivederci, amici!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

–OR–

EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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