A European tour…it should include the most popular and exciting cities, the must-see sights, tasty meals, picturesque scenery, and a mix of culture, history, and just plain fun. On this Traditional Grand European tour, you’ll experience all of this and much more. You’ll stay overnight in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, the Rhineland, Lucerne, Munich, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Florence, Nice at the French Riviera, Lyon, and Paris. On guided sightseeing tours, you’ll visit the must-see sights—including those that will delight history fans—such as London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, dating to the 7th century; Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge, originally built in the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications; Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a symbol of Vienna dating to the 12th century; in Rome St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and Roman Forum, dating back to the 7th century BC, and much more. On this comprehensive tour of Europe, you’ll also enjoy spectacular scenery. You’ll take a Rhine Cruise with its scenic countryside, historical castles, and charming villages, and you’ll enjoy breathtaking drives along the Italian Riviera and French Riviera. You’ll sit back and relax as you drive through the most attractive parts of Austria to Italy, as well as past the Burgundy vineyards and Fontainebleau Forest in France. You’ll stand in awe as you experience the fantastic views when you ascend the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and you’ll get a different perspective of Amsterdam as you cruise on its canals. Globus also includes special experiences you won’t find anywhere else. For example, you’ll enjoy a beer at a local café in Brussels, a wine tasting in Rüdesheim, capital of Riesling wine country, and a farewell dinner followed by a Seine cruise in Paris. All of this and much more—including a ride on the high-speed Eurostar train from London to Brussels and from Paris to London—await you on this magnificent European vacation!
Similar Vacations that may interest you:
LONDON Guided sightseeing, visit St.Paul’s Cathedral and see the Changing of the Guard, if heldLONDON–BRUSSELS By high-speed Eurostar trainBRUSSELS Visit Grand’Place; enjoy a beer at a local café; welcome dinnerAMSTERDAM Canal cruise; visit a major diamond centerRHINE CRUISERÜDESHIEM Wine tasting and dinnerBLACK FOREST Hear about the art of woodcarvingRHINE FALLSLUCERNE Walking tour including the Lion Monument & Chapel BridgeVADUZ Visit the capital of LiechtensteinINNSBRUCK Walk to the Golden RoofMUNICH Orientation drive featuring the Olympic Stadium and a visit to MarienplatzSALZBURG Guided walking tour, visit Mirabell Gardens and Residenz Square Vienna Guided sightseeing, visit St. Stephen’s CathedralVENICE Private boat ride; guided walking tour, visit St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs; glassblower demonstrationFERRARA Walk along Este Castle to the cathedralROME Guided sightseeing, visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Colosseum and Roman ForumFLORENCE Guided walking tour, visit Michelangelo’s David and Signoria SquarePISA Marvel at the legendary Leaning TowerÈZE Visit a perfume factoryAVIGNON Walk through the Old Town, see the Palace of the PopesLYON Orientation drive through the Old Town, see the Murales PARIS Guided sightseeing, ascend the Eiffel Tower; a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant and Seine River cruisePARIS-LONDONBy high-speed Eurostar TrainHeadsets throughout the tour
- For operational reasons, slight schedule changes to the Paris program cannot be excluded.
DAY 1Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and see the Changing of the Guard, if held. (Breakfast)
Changing of the Guard
"Changing the Guard dates to Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509) and was designed to show military discipline as well as ceremony. The tall bearskin hats were introduced in the 18th century to make the soldiers look taller and thus more frightening, and they were adopted for ceremonial use in 1832. The ceremony we know today started in the late 1800s and involves real soldiers who fulfill all military duties, guarding the Queen being just part of their service."
Houses of Parliament
"Big Ben may be the most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament, but equally impressive is the hammerbeam ceiling of Westminster Hall. The Hall dates back to 1097 and, at that time, the roof was supported by pillars. During the reign of King Richard II (14th century), however, it was replaced by the hammerbeam roof seen today. This roof – its beauty and sustainability – is even more impressive when you know its history. It was built with beams made from trees that were ancient at the time, reputedly acorns, dating back to the 6th century (or earlier). If only these walls (beams, rather) could talk!"
"Amid the splendor of modern cities it’s hard to imagine what places looked like before they became what we know today. In a previous incarnation, the ground where Buckingham Palace now stands was a mulberry garden cultivated by King James I as food for silkworms. The silk industry he hoped to nurture never materialized, and eventually a roadhouse was built there, followed in due course by the Blake House, Goring House and Arlington House.Originally known as the Buckingham House, built as a townhouse by the Duke of Buckingham in 1709, the estate was acquired by King George III in 1762."
DAY 3London–Brussels, Belgium
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels. Walk to the GRAND’PLACE and admire its baroque guild houses and the gothic Town Hall. You cannot leave Brussels without rubbing the statue of Everard t’ Serclaes, a 14th-century hero, for good luck, and taking pictures of the tiny but world-famous statue of Manneken Pis. Later, enjoy a beer at a local café. A welcome dinner with wine awaits you at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 4Brussels–Amsterdam, Holland
In Amsterdam, enjoy a CANAL CRUISE, the best way to see the 700-year-old capital, and visit a major DIAMOND CENTER. Later, maybe join an optional excursion to visit a cheese farm, a clog maker, a working windmill, and the pretty fishing village of Volendam at the former Zuiderzee. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 5Amsterdam–Rüdesheim, Germany–Rhineland
On the way to Germany, pass the Dutch region best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far. Highlight of the day is a romantic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and half-timbered towns. Stop in Rüdesheim, capital of Riesling wine country, and enjoy a WINE TASTING at Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss, followed by dinner with wine and local specialties, before going to your Rhineland hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
A Short Wine Guide
"Historically, Germany’s wine has suffered with an “inferiority complex” fueled by the reputation of wine powerhouses France and Italy. And in modern times, they’ve tacked of “how to compete with a Bordeaux or a Chianti” by improving quality, while keep prices reasonable. Finally, German vintners are starting to reap the rewards. The world famous Riesling region, centered on the Rhine and its tributaries and in eastern Germany near Dresden, is the biggest success story to come out of Germany’s 13 wine growing regions. White grapes form 80 percent of the harvest, but reds are on the rise, as well as the general reputation of German wines."
DAY 6Rhineland–Black Forest–Rhine Falls, Switzerland–Lucerne
Stop in the BLACK FOREST, renowned for its cuckoo clocks. Hear about the art of WOODCARVING from a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr, and enjoy a taste of the local fruit wine. On the Swiss border, take photos of the thundering RHINE FALLS, and continue to picturesque Lucerne. This evening, you may wish to sign up for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing. (Breakfast)
During your walking tour, admire the emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, shop for Swiss watches and maybe join an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus. (Breakfast, Dinner)
“The Lion of Lucerne” (Lowendenkmal) is a compelling statue in the north section of Old Town dedicated to the 42 members of the Swiss Guard who were assigned to protect Louis the XVI, Maria Antoinette and their family at the Royal Palace. When the Tuileries was stormed on August 10, 1792 by rioting Parisians at the start of the French Revolution, the king ordered the soldiers to lay down their arms. They were subsequently slaughtered by the crowd and the royal family was captured. Louis had made a big mistake. In 1821 Danish sculpture Berthel Thorwaldsen finished the sculpture, a 30-foot likeness of a wounded and dying lion with a broken lance in its heart and his paw resting atop the fleur-de-lys shield of the Bourbon king. The Latin inscription translated “To the bravery and fidelity of the Swiss.”
DAY 8Lucerne–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–Innsbruck, Austria–Munich, Germany
A short stop in Vaduz, capital of the pocket-sized Principality of Liechtenstein. Next, a spectacular drive through the Tyrolean Alps to Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol. Walk through its quaint streets and take pictures of Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF before continuing to Munich. Your orientation drive features Munich’s most famous landmarks: the Olympic Stadium and 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower. Also visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls and you may wish to try a Stein of beer at the famous Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s most famous beerhall, dating back to 1589. (Breakfast)
"Munich, Germany's Secret Capital"
"Munich is the only German metropolis that seems to have everything – wealth, beauty, prominence, fame. Some even call it Germany’s “secret capital.” Unlike Berlin, which some dub “architecturally challenged,” Munich bursts with historical buildings reconstructed after the devastation of World War II. Its grand Residenz, the former home of Bavarian kings, dominates the city center, which also boasts the flamboyant, gilded Cuvillié Theater. Nearby, the neo-gothic Neues Rathaus gives a medieval touch to the Marienplatz, the heart of Munich. "
DAY 9Munich–Salzburg, Austria–Vienna
Arrive in Salzburg and follow your Local Guide for a pleasant stroll through the historic center. Admire exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of The Sound of Music movie were filmed. See Mozart’s birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse and browse through the downtown market. Next, pass the lovely Salzkammergut Lake District, also famous from the same movie, and along the Danube Valley to Vienna, proud capital of Austria. (Breakfast)
Guided sightseeing features the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, HELDENPLATZ, a stop at the Hofburg Palace, and a visit to ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL. To make the most of your stay, you may wish to join an optional excursion to magnificent Schönbrunn Palace and later, an exciting optional Heurigen evening is available. (Breakfast)
DAY 11Vienna–Venice, Italy
Journey across scenic Semmering Pass and through the loveliest parts of Austria to Italy and the Adriatic Sea. Arrive in Venice, the city of romantics. Tonight, you may wish to join an optional evening featuring an exciting water-taxi ride along the Grand Canal, followed by dinner, Venetian style. (Breakfast)
Enter in style by private boat and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and its BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also enjoy a GLASSBLOWER DEMONSTRATION. Then, explore Venice at your own pace or join an optional gondola ride. (Breakfast, Dinner)
"It is no accident that one of history’s greatest explorers, Marco Polo, came from Venice. His hometown had been Europe’s gateway to the East long before he set sail in 1271; the influence of the Orient could be seen in its art, its fashion and its architecture, creating, in the words of one historian, “the most colorful, sumptuous, and sensually bewitching civilization that history has ever known.” Thanks to Venetian conquests in the eastern Mediterranean, the 17-year-old Marco had the first leg of his travel route mapped out for him – he was able to island-hop through friendly territory as far as Constantinople, from there he was seduced by China for more than 20 years. When Polo returned to Venice in 1295 as a bearded and vaguely Eastern middle aged man, even his relatives did not believe he had been in China the entire time."
Bridge of Sighs
"The world’s most poetically-named bridge, Il Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, was built in 1614 so that prisoners of the Venetian state could be transferred in secret from the Doge’s Palace to the so-called Nuovi Prigioni, or New Prisons. The wistful name was actually conceived by the English poet Lord Byron in the early 1800s that imagined the horror of prisoners taking their last glimpse of Venice before going underground to captivity. "
Enter the Po area and arrive in Ferrara, “City of Bicycles.” Stroll along imposing Este Castle, former residence of the ruling family, to the marble cathedral. Time to explore the shops and little cafés before continuing to the “Eternal City.” (Breakfast)
Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà, the amazing COLOSSEUM, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more. (Breakfast)
The Roman Forum
"Visitors can be a little confused by the Roman Forum; at first glance, it is a rather lifeless array of marble fragments. But we must remember that in ancient times, this space was far more than the temples and monuments whose ruins we can explore today. It was filled with bustling, noisy life as the popular crossroads of the city – the predecessor, in fact, of the modern Italian piazza. Every morning at dawn, average Romans would escape their cramped, dark apartment blocks (called insulae, or “islands”) and spent their days outdoors. "
"In the early 1500s, Rome was full of neglected ruins from the days of the ancient Empire, which still contained artworks buried amongst the rubble. The Renaissance had seen a sudden growth of interest in all things classical, and the popes – cultivated men who were in touch with the intellectual currents of the day – were the richest art collectors in Italy. They began offering substantial cash rewards for any sculptures, until Rome was scoured by freelance treasure hunters on the hunt for pagan masterpieces. The most dramatic discovery occurred in 1506, when a Roman father-and-son team of excavators reported a promising find near the ruined Baths of Titus. The artist Michelangelo himself excitedly hurried over to help with the work, followed by the pope’s official agent, Guiliano da Sangallo. When the excavators brushed away the dirt of 1,000 years, they found an enormous marble sculpture, perfectly intact, of a muscular Trojan hero being attacked by giant snakes. Guilano cried out in amazement, “This is the very Laocoön described by (the ancient Roman author) Pliny!” The sculpture was carted off to the Vatican Museum."
"Rome is one of the most filmed cities on earth, with its signature set location being the Fontana di Trevi, or Trevi Fountain, a romantic, 85-foot-high baroque masterpiece depicting the god of the sea, Neptune, and his Tritons. Not surprisingly, the best time to visit Fontana di Trevi is late at night, when the crowds have gone, the din of Rome’s traffic has died and floodlights dance magically on the water. In fact, the whole centro storico takes on a calm, timeless aspect after dark, and it is well worth stretching your legs after dinner on your own Fellini-esque promenade."
An easy morning drive to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Time to shop for leather goods and gold, for which the city is famous, before continuing to the resort town of Montecatini in Tuscany. (Breakfast, Dinner)
La Piazza Della Signoria
"What’s the best vantage point to ponder the most illustrious town square in Florence, the Signoria? An outdoor table in the venerable Caffè Rivoire – preferably over a delicious, if not painfully expensive cioccolata con pane, a dark and mud-thick hot chocolate. Late at night, when the crowds have gone, you can search the long shadows and imagine that very little has changed here since the 1400s. The Signoria is the most elegant sculpture garden in Europe. Masterpieces include the splendid Neptune Fountain by Ammannati, Hercules and Cacus by Bandinelli and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David, all strategically poised in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This grand public space has been the centerpiece of Florence since the 15th Century, the golden age when the city was established as the most beautiful in Europe. Eminent merchants in their ostentatious finery met here to discuss business in the midst of Florence’s raucous daily life."
DAY 16Tuscany–Pisa–èze-French Riviera, France
In Pisa, marvel at its amazing Leaning Tower. Next, enjoy a spectacular drive along the Italian and French Rivieras towards France. Leave the highway for the panoramic Moyenne Corniche and visit one of the PERFUME FACTORIES for which the area is famous. This evening, you might want to sample some French cuisine. (Breakfast)
"It was the most perfect experiment in the history of science. Holding both a cannon ball and a small musket ball, the 30-something Pisa native Galileo Galilei scaled the steps of his city’s famous Leaning Tower, and held them dramatically over the edge. Eight stories below, the town’s most learned scholars and priests were gathered as observers. They watched as the two balls dropped to the ground at the same speed – disproving, with a single stroke, the ancient idea that objects fall at different rates depending on their weight and size. This archaic concept, which had been espoused by the ancient Greek author Aristotle, had been accepted without question for more than 2,000 years, Galileo’s great innovation was to put it to a practical test of observation. Unfortunately, this famous story is probably not true. Galileo never wrote about it himself – it was recounted in a late biography penned by his secretary, Vincenzo Viviani. Most historians now believe that it was Galileo’s imaginative disciples who invented the Leaning Tower tale in order to make the theory so clear that even a child could understand it. "
DAY 17At Leisure in Nice
Full day to enjoy France’s most popular coast at your own pace. Exciting optional excursions are available to the picturesque artist village of St. Paul de Vence and to famous Monte Carlo. (Breakfast)
DAY 18Nice Riviera–Avignon–Lyon
Stop in Avignon, the medieval residence of several popes and antipopes. Walk through the OLD TOWN, and admire the bridge of the popular song and the magnificent Palace of the Popes. Time to browse through the many shops for traditional Provençal products. Next is Lyon, France’s capital during Roman times. Enjoy an orientation drive through the OLD TOWN, beautifully situated between the Rhône and the Saône Rivers. Catch glimpses of the city’s fortifications, the cathedral on Fourvière Hill, and the MURALES, examples of trompe l’oeil, started by a group of students in the ‘70s with the aim to bring art to ordinary people, not confined to galleries or museums. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Drive past the Burgundy vineyards and Fontainebleau Forest to Paris, the traditional climax of a European vacation. Afternoon at leisure to explore the world capital of chic and style at your own pace or join an optional excursion to the famous Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa. Tonight, dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge might be the ticket! (Breakfast)
There’s more than one way to conquer the world. The flabby, charismatic “Sun King,” Louis XIV, knew that he could impress the French people with his insanely lavish royal lifestyle, but he also wanted to make his mark on Europe. Throughout his 55 year rule in the 17th Century, he campaigned vigorously to establish Paris as the continent’s capital of style, promoting its gourmet food and wine, haute couture, cutting-edge perfumes, opulent furnishings and exquisite jewelry. Every new innovation required Louis’ personal imprimatur, making him the world’s first fashion dictator. Author Joan DeJean claimed in “The Essence of Style” that Louis’ devotion to elegance has shaped the culture of indulgence today – “Without the Sun King’s program for defining France as the land of luxury in glamour, there would never have been a Stork Club, a Bergdorf Goodman, a Chez Panisse or a Christophe of Beverly Hills.”
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of the EIFFEL TOWER. An optional excursion to the Palace of Versailles is available. Tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant, followed by a CRUISE on the Seine River as a proper way to say au revoir, Paris. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Imagining Paris without the Eiffel Tower is like London without Big Ben or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. But no sooner had the architect Gustav Eiffel beaten his 700 competitors in the design competition for the 1889 Centennial Exposition, celebrating a century since the French Revolution, than a vocal outcry began to halt construction of the edifice. Three hundred famous French artists and writers signed a petition in the newspaper “Le Temps” denouncing Eiffel’s radically modern design as “useless and monstrous,” a blight upon the elegant fabric of the City of Light. Others critics were even more vicious, describing the proposed tower as a “tragic street lamp,” a gymnasium apparatus…incomplete, confused and deformed,” “a giant ungainly skeleton,” “a half-built factory pipe,” “a carcass” and even “a hole-riddled suppository.” Nature-lovers argued that it would disturb the flight patterns of Parisian birds. Even as the iron lattice began to rise, Parisians continued to refer to it by the less-than-flattering nickname, “the metal asparagus.” Of course, no sooner had the tower opened in 1889 than the rabid criticism evaporated.
DAY 21Paris-London, England
Board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to London, arriving in the afternoon. Why not take in a West End show tonight? (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
High-speed Eurostar train; motorcoach; canal cruise in Amsterdam; Rhine River cruise; private boat ride in Venice; Seine River cruise in Paris. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 8 three-course dinners with wine, including a welcome dinner in Brussels and special dinners in Rüdesheim and farewell dinner in Paris
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
BRIGITTE MAIER KARALL
Years of Experience: 32 years
Traveling is my passion, and I see Europe as my doorstep. I get the opportunity to help you experience different cultures, languages, and various lifestyles on one vacation. My goal is to ensure each person has a unique and personal experience.
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Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
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UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Traditional Grand European with Extended Stay in London:
- Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
- Historic Centre of Vienna
- La Grand-Place, Brussels
- Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
- Paris Banks of the Seine
- Upper Middle Rhine Valley
- Vatican City
- Ferrara, City of the Renaissance
- Historic Centre of Florence
- Historic Centre of Rome
- Venice and its Lagoon
- 17th Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam
- Historic Centre of Rome - various properties Vatican City