Europe—it’s a continent full of different cultures, food specialties, architecture, art, scenery, and histories—and this is the ideal Continental Introduction: experience and see what many of the European countries have to offer. You’ll spend two nights in Paris, Rome, Venice, and Amsterdam plus overnights in Lucerne, Lugano, Florence, Munich, and the Rhineland. On your sightseeing tours, you’ll see examples of the local art and architecture, such as Michelangelo’s David statue and the magnificent cathedral in Florence, Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings in Rome’s Sistine Chapel, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées in Paris, and the patrician mansions in Amsterdam. You’ll also learn about the fascinating histories as you visit attractions such as Rome’s Colosseum, completed in the 1st century AD; Lucerne’s Lion Monument, commemorating the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution; the medieval center of Innsbruck; and Rothenburg, a walled town that has preserved its medieval character, and is famous for Christmas ornaments. Food and drinks are important elements to local cultures and to any vacation to Europe. That’s why on this European tour, Globus has included some unique opportunities to sample the local food, like a dinner with Tuscan specialties at a local restaurant in Florence. A cruise on the River Seine, a welcome dinner at one of Paris’ fine restaurants, as well as a visit to Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus, dating back to 1589, are also included.
Magnificent scenery awaits you on this tour to Europe. You’ll enjoy spectacular Lake Lugano in Switzerland, the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps, a beautiful Rhine cruise passing by castle-crested hills and terraced vineyards, and more. Scenery, food, historical monuments, distinct art and architecture, and much more—it’s all available on this splendid European vacation!
Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE
Welcome to Paris! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an orientation drive for a first impression of this magnificent city.
Day 2 PARIS
In the morning, an optional excursion is available to the lavish Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Later, guided sightseeing features Paris’ main highlights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Champs-Elysées, and a relaxing SEINE CRUISE with spectacular views of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Tonight, you may wish to join the optional dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret as a proper au revoir, Paris.
Day 3 PARIS–LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Enjoy a scenic drive past Fontainebleau Forest and into Burgundy, with views of impressive castles and vineyards on your way to the Swiss Alps. In picturesque Lucerne, follow your Tour Director for a pleasant walk and admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church, the first large baroque church built in Switzerland on the north side of the Alps.
Day 4 LUCERNE–LUGANO
Morning at leisure. Why not climb Mount Pilatus? Later, admire the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard on the way to subtropical Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an optional boat cruise, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant is available.
Day 5 LUGANO–PISA, ITALY–FLORENCE
Pass the commercial capital of Milan and turn towards the Mediterranean Sea. Arrive in Pisa, and marvel at its amazing Leaning Tower. In nearby Florence, there is time to explore the many gold and leather shops on Piazza Santa Croce before joining dinner with Tuscan specialties and wine at Finisterrae restaurant.
Day 6 FLORENCE–ROME
Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic center and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Continue to Rome, the “Eternal City.”
Day 7 ROME
Guided sightseeing starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, enjoy views of other major sites as you drive to the Roman Forum to visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites, like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more.
Day 8 ROME–FERRARA–VENICE
In Ferrara, walk through impressive Este Castle to the marble cathedral and browse through the attractive little shops. Tonight, in Venice, why not try out local specialties at one of the city’s fine restaurants?
Day 9 VENICE
Enter Venice in style by PRIVATE BOAT. Highlights of your walking tour with a Local Guide are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and its basilica, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the famous BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Afternoon at leisure, to wander through the narrow streets with their numerous shops and later, you may wish to join an optional gondola serenade.
Day 10 VENICE–INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA–MUNICH, GERMANY
Cross spectacular Brenner Pass and head through the Tyrolean Alps to Innsbruck, where a pleasant stroll through quaint medieval lanes takes you to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Continue to Munich, Germany’s “Secret Capital,” and visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls. Highlight is a visit to the famous HOFBRÄUHAUS, dating back to 1589. Free time for dinner before going to your hotel.
Day 11 MUNICH–ROTHENBURG–RHINELAND
Enter the Swabian Jura with its lush hills and arrive in picturesque Rothenburg for a walk through this walled town. Time to join the locals at one of the many restaurants and to shop for Christmas ornaments, for which the town is famous.
Day 12 RHINELAND–AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
Admire castle-crested hills and terraced vineyards during a scenic and relaxing RHINE CRUISE, followed by a comfortable drive to Amsterdam, capital of Holland.
Day 13 AMSTERDAM
Meet your Local Guide and hear about the fascinating history of the 700-year-old capital during a leisurely CANAL CRUISE. Admire the patrician mansions and the gabled façades, the “Golden Bend,” the most prestigious part of the Herengracht and a monument to the Golden Age, the Stopera, Amsterdam’s proud concert hall, the Hermitage, a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, and much more. Also visit a major DIAMOND CENTER. For those who wish to experience Dutch life in the countryside, an optional excursion is available to picture-book Volendam, a fishing village at the former Zuiderzee, including visits to a working windmill, a clogmaker, a cheese farm, plus dinner.
Day 14 AMSTERDAM
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
LF] Welcome dinner at a local restaurant and orientation drive; guided sightseeing including a Seine River cruise
Walking tour including the Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge
Marvel at the legendary Leaning Tower
[LF] Dinner at Finisterrae restaurant; guided sightseeing, visit Michelangelo’s David and Signoria Square
Guided sightseeing, visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, and the Colosseum
Walk through Este Castle to the cathedral
Private boat ride; guided walking tour, visit St. Mark’s Square, Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs; glassblower demonstration
Walk through the Old Town to the Golden Roof
Orientation, visit Marienplatz and [LF] the famous Hofbräuhaus
Walking tour of the walled town
Canal cruise with Local Guide; visit a major diamond center
Headsets throughout the tour.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 6 three-course dinners), including dinners at a local restaurant in Paris and Florence
Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur
Hotel as shown or similar
Located at the foot of Sacré Coeur in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. This 305-room hotel is just a few hundred meters from the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret and close to the Haussman-Opéra district’s department stores, bistros and bustling cafés. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all guestrooms and public areas of the hotel and there is a fitness room. A plentiful breakfast buffet is served in the bright breakfast room and there is also a trendy lounge bar for snacks and drinks with an alluring outdoor terrace.
Ameron Hotel Flora
A centrally located 161-room modern hotel of minimalist design with urban flair, just a short walk away from the Lake Promenade and Old Town. Traditional Italian food is served with a contemporary touch in the Brasserie and drinks can be enjoyed from morning until late evening at the Apéro bar.
Novotel Lugano Paradiso
This modern mid-scale 97-room hotel is located just a short walk away from Lake Lugano with Free Wi-Fi connection and tasteful, elegant décor throughout. Soundproofed guestrooms perfectly blend comfort with technology and the restaurant is an informal setting serving fresh, tasty, healthy specialties with a bar area for simply enjoying drinks in a friendly atmosphere. The property also offers a fitness centre and an outdoor seasonal swimming pool & bar.
This 102 room modern property offers authentic Italian charm and contemporary comforts with Free Wi-Fi internet access available throughout. The restaurant specialises in authentic Tuscan dishes, served in warm, welcoming surroundings and the bar is a delightful spot for a morning coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea. While, in the evenings, its open fires and leather armchairs make it the perfect place for a romantic drink or late night digestif. There’s also a fitness center, relaxation area and a library, perfect for unwinding after a day in the city.
Crowne Plaza St Peter’s
Modern Hotel in rectangular 5-story building with recessed balconies located near Villa Pamphilli park & Vatican.
NH Laguna Palace
Modern hotel with conference facilities, moorings for almost 400 boats in adjoining marina; 25 minute shuttle to center of Venice.
Holiday Inn Munchen Leuchtenbergring
This contemporary hotel offers a relaxed and cozy atmosphere, with its open fireplace the Jazz bar forms the centerpiece of the hotel where guests can relax with a glass of wine or a cocktail. Traditional Bavarian specialties and international cuisine can be enjoyed at the cheery Sunlight restaurant. Get the extra boost of energy in the fitness center or relax at the peaceful greened courtyard. Free wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel.
NH Bingen at Bingen am Rhein
Contemporary Hotel in 4-story building located downtown, between River Nahe & Rhine.
Westcord Art Hotel Amsterdam
“This modern, themed 191-room hotel is decorated with a broad range of contemporary artworks, including some pieces by the renowned Dutch artist Herman Brood. There is a stylish Brasserie, a terrace with an open-air bar, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and Free high speed Wi-Fi internet access throughout.”
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