New Year's in Paris: Greeks to London, Paris & Amsterdam
So you want to experience New Year's Eve like a true European? The good news is that London, Paris, and Amsterdam are so quintessentially Europe, it seems like every building is fit for a king, every pastry recipe has been passed down from someone’s grandma’s grandma, and even the scarves have scarves. The <i>great</i> news is that we've got you covered—from the best place for macarons in Paris and late-night fish & chips in London, to the inside scoop on every museum. Saunter down grand French boulevards, consume London’s immense history (obviously washed down with a pint in the pub), and bike up, down, and all-around Amsterdam’s friendly confines. This is Europe 101, and class is in session.
What are the top highlights?
- Count down to the new year in Paris
- Meet Ben and Abbey in London, AKA Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
- Go for high tea before catching the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- Pedal through the streets of Amsterdam amongst hundreds of thousands of bikes
- Marvel at the City of Light from the Champs de Mars
- Taste savory and sweet crepes in the capital of culinary creations
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- Eurostar train from London to Paris
- 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro passes in each city
- Entrance to select attractions
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.
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.
Day 1: Overnight Flight to London
Board your overnight flight, bound for London. Find streets named Quaggy Walk, Ha Ha Road, and Cyclops Mews. If you see anything really out there, let us know.
Day 2: Arrive in London
Welcome to London! Home of the band Queen (and you know, the actual Queen). Visit grand palaces, famous parks, and local hotspots of the Royal Family, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, Jimi Hendrix, Charles Dickens, and many more.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Check in at your accommodations.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Take a quick walk around your area with your Tour Director.
- See River Thames, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden.
In the evening, it's time for our Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with your new friends and travelers. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere.
Day 3: Explore London
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. Afterwards, take a tour of the world’s most famous (and Europe’s largest) department store: Harrod’s.
- Wave hello to Big Ben, the bell inside the clock tower.
- Go to Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate, and decades of royals have been wed.
- Experience a royal ritual during the Changing of the Guards.
- Get lost in the 1,000,000+ square feet of Harrod’s, but whatever you do, don’t miss the ice cream parlor and the champagne bar.
Free Time Suggestions
Be a Beatle: Head to Abbey Road and walk what’s probably the world’s most famous crosswalk. This storied spot is a must-see for even the most casual Beatles fan.<br>
Tower of London: Feel like a royal in the historic castle and see the legendary Crown Jewels, just don’t play dress up with them.
Day 4: Enjoy a Free Day in London + Optional Oxford & Windsor Castle Excursion
Take the day to explore. Walk through some of the many royal gardens, shop on Oxford Street, go for high tea, or explore the city by foot. At 607 square miles, the city is an easy place to get your 10,000 steps in. Or, join the excursion to the second oldest university, Oxford—home to famous alumni and the name of a comma. Not the comma itself, just the name.
- Walk the cobblestone streets of London.
- Explore Piccadilly Circus. You won’t find clowns and trapeze artists here. Just shopping and all the entertainment your heart desires.
- Sip on a cup of English Breakfast at high tea—don’t forget, pinky’s up!
- Walk the grounds of one of the leading and oldest universities in the world (Oxford Excursion).
Free Time Suggestions
The Eye: London’s, not yours. See the city from 443 feet high on the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. To avoid incredibly long lines, book your ticket ahead of time. Stand in the capsule and experience a panoramic view on the Millennium Wheel.
Covent Garden: Where flowers bloom, vegetables grow, and a young girl finds a key to… woops, wrong garden. Seek out bargains at this bustling covered market full of souvenirs, clothes, crafts, and much more.
Oxford & Windsor Castle Excursion(extra cost)
**Please note this excursion is only available on 2019 departures.**
See the countryside roll by as you escape to Oxford, the picturesque city that doubled as Hogwarts and influenced J.R.R. Tolkien and Albert Einstein. After a guided tour, enjoy free time to explore museums, grab a Covered Market lunch, or simply wander through a place as magical as the stories it inspires. Then, visit Windsor Castle, a timeless royal residence, and the site of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding. Tour the priceless objects in the State Apartments with a local guide, and enjoy strolling the grounds.
Day 5: Travel to Paris
Bonjour! Welcome to Paris. Visit grand palaces, royal chateau’s, and famous museums by day, and then stroll through the romantically-lit city by night. After trying to read Mona Lisa’s expression and drooling over jaw-dropping sites, you’ll definitely have all the feels for the City of Love. (Cue romantic French café music).
- Board your train at St. Pancras Station—where Harry Potter caught the Hogwarts Express at platform 9¾.
- Travel below the English Channel on a smooth, relaxing and short (2 hour) ride to Paris.
- Take a quick walk around Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter with your Tour Director and your new BFF’s, AKA, your tour group.
- Stand in awe in front of the Eiffel Tower as the lights sparkle against the night. Pro tip: this happens every hour on the hour.
Day 6: Tour de Paris + Celebrate New Year's Eve
Tour the City of Lights and the highlights with an expert guide. Play a game of I Spy to find the major sites around every corner. I spy with my little eye, several glass pyramids surrounded by fountains.
- Head off the beaten path to some of Paris’s authentic districts: Montmartre, Parc de Belleville, Bastille, and about 17 more.
- Get the inside scoop on Parisian culture from fashion to snails for dinner, learn about it all.
- Find inspiration from the local fashionistas, royals, revolutionaries, and intellectuals that shaped the City of Light.
- Snap the perfect Instagram pictures at Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, and Luxembourg Gardens.
- Join forces with other Ultimate Break groups in the area, and count down to New Year's in style—with dinner, drinks, and a toast at midnight—in a private venue. Stay late, or head out on the town for more fun and fireworks.
Free Time Suggestions
Fall in Louvre: Paris is home to some of the world’s most incredible art collections. Read Mona Lisa’s expression at the Louvre or check out modern art and the insides of a clock tower at Musee d’Orsay. <br>
C’est Magnifique!: Head to Montmartre, a neighborhood filled with street art, incredible views overlooking the city, and the famous Sacré Cœur Cathedral. Home to, and inspiration for artists like Picasso, van Gogh, Matisse, Dali, and Monet, this is the perfect place to take a stroll and admire a more authentic side of Paris.
Day 7: Free Day in Paris
Paris is immense, yet intimate—full of hidden gems around every corner. Take the day to explore on your own. Try new foods like escargot or coq au vin (snails and chicken respectively), and stumble upon picturesque streets and gardens.
- Try local specialties and take a stroll along the quaint streets.
- Visit famous sites like the Jardin des Tuileries, Palais-Royal Gardens, and Musee Rodin.
- Shop along the rue Saint-Honoré and possibly run into celebrities.
- Enjoy free time suggestions like walking the old market streets of Rue des Martyres—full of chocolatiers, gourmet cafes, and pastry-shop.
Free Time Suggestions
Go Subterranean: Thanks to overflowing cemeteries in the late 1700s, the city’s dead were transferred to these dark, underground crypts. Sounds haunting, doesn’t it? Catch up with Parisian ancestors in The Catacombs of Paris. To avoid lines, purchase your ticket ahead of time. The 45-minute tour is also closed on Mondays and certain holidays.
Edit Sober: Visit the café haunts of literary giants like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and many others. Grab a coffee and a journal and you’ll fit right in.
Day 8: Head North to explore Bruges & Amsterdam
Au revoir, Paris! Today you’re going Dutch—as in, you’re going to Amsterdam. But first, a pit-stop in Bruges, Belgium for an eye-full of fries and pretty sights. In Bruges, there’s so many castles and beautiful old buildings, but keep an eye out for the one-and-only 38-foot whale statue made of trash bursting out of the canal.
- Swap baguettes for Belgian frites as you head to canal country.
- Follow your Tour Director around the fairy tale house-lined Market Square of Bruges (rest assured, the houses are not made of gingerbread, we checked).
- Stare in disbelief at the tallest thing around—no, not that Belgian guy over there. We’re talking about the Bruges Belfry Tower.
- Continue on to the other “Low Country”: The Netherlands.
- Take a quick walk around Amsterdam and think about how cool it is that the city is below sea level (no need to bring your snorkel, though).
Day 9: Experience Amsterdam
There’s so much to love about Amsterdam, from the canals to Van Gogh to the legendary, laid-back attitude. Home of the famous Red Light District and a city that consists of more bikes than people, 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.
- Meet your local guide for an in-depth tour of the city, and walk along a few of Amsterdam’s 165 canals.
- Stroll through the Jordaan Neighborhood. Nestled in central Amsterdam, this upscale area is filled with art galleries, patio restaurants, cafes, and music. Yeah, sounds pretty great.
- Tour Nieuwmarkt, a lively city square, market, and nightlife hotspot. Talk about a triple-threat.
- Stop in the Red Light District, an area that has been around since the 14th century consisting of a network of alleyways. Here, you’ll see everything from sex shops, to theatres, to museums, to coffee shops. Der Wallen is the largest and most well-known red-light district in Amsterdam, and a popular tourist destination.
Free Time Suggestions
Beer me a beer: Amstel and Heineken are rooted here in Amsterdam. Check out the Heineken Experience for a magical, behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's largest beer companies. <br>
Van Gogh Crazy: Enter the world of Vincent Van Gogh at the museum bearing his name. Dedicated to his life and work, he was the quintessential tortured artist, and arguably the greatest of the post-impressionists.
Day 10: Free Day in Amsterdam + Farewell Dinner
By now, you’ve probably realized Amsterdam is not your average city. It’s a multicultural, waffle-filled, coffee-loving place, home to some really friendly people. Spend the day exploring on your own and get a feel for the city’s history and culture. Kick back at a canal-side restaurant, wander across a couple dozen bridges, or, if you’re brave, try the famous Hollandse Nieuwe (which is essentially pickled fish).
- Make your way to Dam Square, the central public square of Amsterdam, and enjoy the happy, laid-back local attitude. We’re sure the coffee shops have nothing to do with that...
- Take a step back from the hustle and bustle of the streets and canals to lounge in Museumplein, an urban green space located near some notable museums.
- See how Amsterdam does nightlife with a visit to Leidseplein Square, an energetic area filled with bars, restaurants, and street performers.
Free Time Suggestions
The Anne Frank House: See the very same house and annex, now a museum, that sheltered a young diarist and her brave family during the Holocaust. Heads up, tickets for this must be purchased a couple of months in advance, so plan ahead.
Dutch Bros: Learn about the history of the city you’ve fallen in love with at the Rijksmuseum – a Dutch national museum dedicated to all things Amsterdam.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 11: Fly Home
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, <i>where?</i>
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.