You found it: the trip that puts the essential in quintessential. Sit in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, on a red double-decker bus, and in front of numerous plates of the world’s best pasta as you explore three of Europe’s most iconic cities. You’ll also ring in the New Year in dazzling Paris.
Walking Abbey Road, harnessing your inner Beatle
Shopping along Champs-Élysées
Making cacio e pepe from scratch with an Italian chef
Looking out at Big Ben from high atop the London Eye
Tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain (tip: right hand over left shoulder)
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
24/7 support from our travel gurus
A New Year's Eve celebration in Paris
3 insider city tours with local guides
Seine River cruise in Paris
Tour of the Colosseum in Rome
- Day 1: Overnight Flight
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 Dinner
Welcome to London! Where pubs rule, tea reigns, and buses are two stories tall. Visit grand palaces, famous parks, and local hotspots of the Royal Family, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, Jimi Hendrix, Charles Dickens, and many more.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
- 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.
- Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of London + Optional London Eye & Tea
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.
- 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.
- Walk around and explore the city.
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.
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.
London Eye & Tea (extra cost)
Fly high on the London Eye: Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, providing panoramic views of all the iconic landmarks. Then, for a more traditional English experience, you’ll enjoy some tea & crumpets.
This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than fourteen days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.
- Day 4: Enjoy a Free Day in London
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.
- 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!
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.
- 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 of the area with your Tour Director and your new BFF’s, AKA, your tour group.
- Hop on an evening Seine cruise and float past Notre Dame Cathedral. (Keep a lookout for the Hunchback.)
- 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 + Optional Versailles Excursion + New Year's Eve Celebration
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.
- Ring in the new year with all the friends you’ve made along the way. Cheers!
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.
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.
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: The Palace of Versailles is closed on Mondays. In the event that the itinerary day containing this optional lands on a Monday for your departure, the optional will take place the following day.
This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than 30 days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.
- 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 Notre Dame Cathedral, 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
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: Travel to Rome
Ah, the Eternal City. Home of bruschetta, Catholicism, gladiators, democracy, Michelangelo, and of course, the Roman ruins. Find yourself lost between modern time and ancient Rome while wandering through the winding croissant and cappuccino-scented streets. Not to be confused with flavored streets. Please, don’t eat the streets.
- Say “au revoir, Paris,” and take flight bound for Italy.
- Check in at your accommodations and get to know the area.
- Discover iconic sites like the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps.
- Enjoy free time to walk around and indulge in Italian food.
Free time suggestions
Trevi Fountain: Rumor has it, if turn your back to the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder, it guarantees you’ll return to the Eternal City. Throw in a second coin, and you’ll not only come back, but also find love. (Significant other not guaranteed by EF Ultimate Break.)
Shopping on Vide del Corso: Walk down the longest pedestrian street in the city for some prime shopping. Populated by both locals and tourists, there’s room for everyone on the narrow store-filled street.
- Day 9: Tour Rome + Pasta making Class
Time travel with your local guide to the beginning of democracy and gladiator fights. Feel the history as you explore the ruins of the ancient civilization. Don’t forget your tunic!
- Gather at the Roman Colosseum where bloody fights, battle re-enactments and many forms of entertainment used to take place.
- Stumble upon little cafes and enjoy an authentic, flavorful cappuccino. Bonus points if you order in Italian.
- Explore on your own at night.
Free time suggestions
Granita Time: Grab a granita, AKA, a fruity slushy, and slurp away in front of the Colosseum for a prime people-watching event. Or, take the slushy on the go and walk around the area, filled with ancient ruins like the Roman Forum.
Testaccio: Flip the switch and head to the anti-trendy neighborhood packed with those escaping the art-gazing, site-seeing scene. The rich history and authentic, mouth-watering food draw many to the circular streets lined with bars and nightclubs.
Taste of Italy Pasta-Making Class (extra cost)
When in Rome: cook pasta. Learn to craft the dough for homemade pasta, and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by your own hands. You’ll also get to taste local snacks and learn about Italian food traditions.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
- Day 10: Free Day in Rome + Vatican City (Optional)
Today you get to explore centuries worth of culinary perfection, unbelievable architecture, and local fashion on your own. And let it be said, 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 day. 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.
- Explore the bustling streets and famous sights while enjoying a cone of gelato.
- Take your carb overload one step further—by making your own pasta (Taste of Italy Excursion).
- Soak in the history by exploring ancient ruins.
- Act like a fashonista on Via del Corso, the main street in historical center of Rome lined with brand names and local eateries.
Free time suggestions
Capitoline Museum: Strike a pose with sculptures of ancient romans (face-swaps recommended). Up on a hill overlooking the Forum, this museum has some amazing ancient sculptures.
Piazza, please!: Head over to Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s best known public squares. Fountains, street performers, shops, restaurants, and so much more. Hangout, sip coffee, and embrace the atmosphere of this outdoor hub. 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.
- 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, where?
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.
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5
Based on 9 authentic traveler reviews
An amazing experienceAnonymous, traveled Dec.. 2019
I had the best time on this trip! It was such an amazing experience. Our tour director, Iraklis, made it even better. He was so kind and helpful. The people were also very friendly, we became family in such a short amount of time. I'm dreaming of the days when I can return to Europe
Awesome trip!Anonymous, traveled Dec.. 2019
This was my first EF trip, and I will definitely be traveling with them again! This trip was awesome, everything was planned and scheduled so it was super stress free. My tour guide, Iraklis, was AMAZING!! He is the kindest, most generous, and helpful person I think I've ever met. Anyway, I highly recommend this trip, or any trip with EF for that matter...th... See more
BEST TRIP AND TOUR DIRECTOR EVER!Arriana, traveled Dec.. 2019
If i could give this trip 10 stars i would. It is packed with sightseeing and even though it’s only 9 days you still have free time most evenings to explore more with friends and get free time included too. If you haven’t been to Europe yet and are nervous, book this trip! It is just enough to expose you without feeling overwhelming for first time travelers.... See more
BEST DECISION EVERRRRRRRRJacqueline, traveled Dec.. 2019
This was my first trip with EF Ultimate Break & i traveled solo so to say i was nervous going into it is an understatement. I do not regret it AT ALL. This trip was absolutely amazing & i made memories & friends that i’m sure will last me a life time. Our tour director Andreas was the BEST ever & made the trip extra special for us. I just got back from this ... See more