London to Budapest on a Shoestring
Experience the best of Europe with this 17-day tour that explores six countries and almost a dozen cities. Why settle for gaping at beautiful locations on postcards when you can see them in person? Picnic in front of The Eiffel Tower, snap photos beside the Leaning Tower of Pisa, wander through the grand buildings of Vienna, and maybe even jump into a thermal bath in Budapest or hang-glide over Interlaken. This tour has it all, including just enough free time to create your own adventures in between. Go. Create.
Big Night Out: Rome
Big Night Out: Budapest. Picnic in front of Eiffel Tower (Paris). Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Evening visit to Piazzale Michelangelo (Florence). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Relax with a picnic in Paris, share a photo op at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, marvel at the grandeur of Venice, explore glaciers in Interlaken
For 2018 “London to Budapest on a Shoestring” departures have changed duration to 15 days.
Please note that our Yolo accommodation in Europe is multi-share. For more info, see the “About Accommodation” section under “Tour Details”.
1.It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3. COMBO TRIPS. Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
4.This trip has a fast-paced itinerary with some long transport days – please check the itinerary carefully before deciding if this trip suits your needs.
5. Please note that if you wish to visit popular museums such as the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and Villa Borghese in Rome, and the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time (especially in high season May-September when it could be a question of hours!), it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at www.weekendafirenze.com or by phone (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. If you are interested in purchasing tickets we recommend that you do so once your G Adventure trip is confirmed (up to 2 months before if possible), especially for the ever-popular Uffizi, and for any time after 11am on Day 10. For additional museum resources you might want to refer to this website, www.firenzemusei.it, for more information to plan your day in Florence.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places. If you wish to take a guided city tour in any location our CEO will do their best to help you arrange this and pay locally.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 10.
1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Train, public bus, metro, ferry, walking.
About our Transportation
On this trip we will use local buses and trains for intercity transport and a mix of metro (subway), local bus, taxis and walking for transport between hotels and bus/train stations. Please be prepared to carry your own bags short distances (20-30 mins max) between hotels and transport, as well as to lift your bags on and off buses and trains. Please note that there is often limited luggage storage space on public transport.
Transport of Yolo tours:
As we rely heavily on public transportation during this trip, we ask you to be flexible for possible changes in the modes of transport and schedules, which may necessitate small itinerary changes.
Please note that the accommodation on overnight buses and trains varies in Europe. Overnight buses typically have airline-style reclining seats. On some overnight trains, tickets are for airline-style seats whereas other overnight journeys are in multi-share sleeper compartments. Please see day-to-day itinerary for specific information about accommodation type for overnight journeys.
Simple hotels/hostels (14 nts, multi-share), sleeper trains (2 nts).
The variety and local flavour of our accommodation is a favourite part of our European Yolo trips. Although the properties we use are simply furnished and with few facilities, we base our choices on location, character and cleanliness. We will stay in a mixture of hostels, and private rooms in local households.
All accommodation on this tour is multi-share, on a single-sex basis. This may involve 4-6 group members sharing and even (on rare occasions) dormitory-style rooms for the whole group. The majority of accommodation will have shared bathroom facilities.
Couples: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in Europe we are not able to take requests for double or matrimonial beds, or room you together on this tour. In multi-share hostels, couples will likely be accommodated in separate rooms.
The trip commences at 5:30pm at Cafe Benugo on the ground floor in St. Pancras International Station. It’s imperative to arrive on time to ensure boarding to the Eurostar. There will be a table reserved, and your CEO will be waiting with a G Adventures logo on the table. If you arrive early, luggage storage is available at St. Pancras Station. The exact time of departure from St. Pancras to Paris will vary, but there will be time for you to buy some food before we leave or maybe even a celebratory drop of champagne at the longest champagne bar in the world!
GETTING TO ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL STATION FROM THE AIRPORT:
From Heathrow Airport – Take the Piccadilly Line directly to Kings Cross. The single fair to Kings Cross is approximately £5.50 and the journey time is roughly 1 hour.
From Gatwick Airport – Take the Gatwick Express to Victoria Train Station. From there, take the Victoria Line to Kings Cross.
London City Airport – Take the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) to Bank. Once there, change to the Northern Line on to Kings Cross. Overall journey time is roughly 50 minutes. Cost for a single DLR ticket is approximately £4.00.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Your CEO can also show you where the you can get your laundry done.
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work – Check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: EELJ, ID: 24487
Day 1 London/Paris
Meet in London before departing for Paris by train.
Please refer to joining instructions for more information on where to meet.
Please note the trip departs London in the evening of Day 1 so it is imperative that you arrive on time for departure soon after the 5:30pm Welcome Meeting. Please allow plenty of time for the journey to London to allow for any possible delays.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Train (3.00 hour(s))
Day 2 Paris (1L)
Explore and discover the “je ne sais quoi” of the City of Lights. Paris has something for everyone and you can use your day here to picnic under the Eiffel Tower, explore the outstanding museums and churches, float down the Seine on a river cruise or people watch at one of the charming cafés.
Day 3 Paris/Interlaken
Take a train from Paris to Interlaken, a small city in the Swiss Alps with breathtaking scenery.
Train (8.00 hour(s))
Days 4-5 Interlaken
Enjoy an orientation walk of Interlaken. Opt to get the adrenaline pumping with some canyoning or whitewater rafting. Explore a nearby glacier or go swimming in a crystal clear lake. Don’t miss the nightlife.
Day 6 Interlaken/Rome
Travel to Milan by train. Fashion and people watch on an included orientation walk of Milan. Overnight train to Rome.
Please note: If you are interested in seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous artwork, the Last Supper, it is essential that you make a booking in advance for this afternoon (Day 6). You can book either over the telephone or online. The contact details are:
Telephone: +39 02 89421146
Please make your appointment for 3pm onwards (in case of possible delays arriving from Interlaken).
Train (3.50-4.00 hours)
Overnight train (beds) (9.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Rome
Opt to check out the famous Roman sites from times past like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican and Pantheon. Don’t miss the amazing Italian food, wine and nightlife.
It’s a good idea to book a ticket to the Vatican online from home or with some advice from your CEO prior to arriving to Rome, as waiting until the day you arrive may well be too late!
Big Night Out
Day 8 Rome (1B)
Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of the adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.
Day 9 Rome/Viareggio
Stop by the Leaning Tower of Pisa en route to coastal Tuscany, using Viareggio as a base for exploration in the region.
Leaning Tower of Pisa Visit
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 10 Viareggio
We include the Cinque Terre Day Pass, which gives access to trains and the entrance to the coastal path hike, which we recommend. However, it is up to you how you spend time in Cinque Terre.
National Park Pass and Unlimited Train Ticket
Cinque Terre Coastal Path Hike
Train (1.50 hour(s))
Train (1.50 hour(s))
Day 11 Viareggio
No city can boast of such artistic richness as the romantic Renaissance city of Florence. Food, art, culture, and beautiful views put this outstanding Italian city in a field of its own. The list of things to see and do in Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside is unlimited, be it art, nature, architecture, history, or food and drink!
Please note that it is strongly advised to book tickets in advance for both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries. The line-ups at these museums are always long and the time to visit them is limited due to the fact that Day 3 is a day trip to Florence. These tickets can be booked online from home before you leave at www.weekendafirenze.com or by phone (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 08:30-18.30, Saturday 08.30-12.30.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets we recommend that you do so once your G Adventure trip is confirmed (up to 2 months before if possible), especially for the ever-popular Uffizi, and for any time after 11:00 the day your tour visits Florence. For additional museum resources, refer to this website, www.firenzemusei.it, for more information to plan your day in Florence.
Train (2.00 hour(s))
Train (2.00 hour(s))
Day 12 Viareggio/Venice
Venice – the floating city. Marvel at the colourful Venetian architecture lining the grand canal, and opt to take a ride a gondola. Choose your favourite flavour of gelato from an ornate rainbow of options at a local gelateria. Go deeper into the winding backstreets streets and stumble into quaint shops, grand churches and quiet cafes. Opt to visit Piazza San Marco, or discover the magic behind Murano glass.
Train (4.50 hour(s))
Day 13 Venice/Vienna
Opt to explore the artisan islands of Murano and Burano with their picturesque streets, visit the Basilica di San Marco or Doge’s Palace. Overnight train to Vienna.
Overnight train (beds) (10.50-11.50 hours)
Day 14 Vienna
After tiring yourself out with sightseeing, pop into a café, a Viennese institution. For a slice of local life, the cafés are good places to relax and get your bearings while deciding what to do next. A delicious café experience involves Gugelhupf, one of Vienna’s specialty cakes, and a cup of Melange (half coffee, half milk).
Day 15 Vienna
Enjoy another free day in Vienna.
Day 16 Vienna/Budapest
Orientation walk upon arrival in Budapest, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore. Opt to check out the beautiful Parliament building, stroll along the streets or check out the thermal baths. Opt for an evening out with the group.
Big Night Out
Train (3.00 hour(s))
Day 17 Budapest
Want to see more of Budapest? Book post-tour accommodation to experience all this city has to offer.