Berlin to Venice Trip Notes

Berlin to Venice

Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016
Berlin to Venice
Trip code: AMRB
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Take the long road through Bohemia as you traverse from Germany to Italy. From historical landmarks and medieval squares to magical hilltop castles and romantic canals, this is an architectural extravaganza not to be missed. Wander among imposing Iron Curtain relics in Berlin, experience bohemian hospitality in an underground Prague bar and stroll the banks of the sparkling River Danube. With the freedom to choose your own adventure in each city, you'll be captivated by the mysteries and intrigue of these alluring lands.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Your fellow travellersEmergency funds
Why we love itSingle travellersVisas
MapAccommodationIssues on your trip
ItineraryMeals introductionWhat to take
We also recommendMealsHealth
Itinerary disclaimerTransportSafety
Culture shock rating Group leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining point Responsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsCarbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
TippingFinish point description
Style
Basix
  • Our Basix style trips are designed for travellers who want exceptional value, plenty of free time and having the flexibility to choose where and how their time and money is spent. By working plenty of free time into the itineraries and keeping many of the activities optional, we aim to make travel possible for those on even the most slender of budgets. After all, why pay for an activity or excursion you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in? Or a level of comfort you don’t require? As a wise person probably once said, a bed's just a bed when there's exploring to be done.
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, as well as some short distances to the hotel (no longer then 30min), so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- In many of the location we will be using different modes of local transport; trams, buses or metro; as this is often an adventure in itself, it may also bring some challenges – running up and down the stairs in metro stations or sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters. Please make sure you’ll prepare yourself for that!
- This is a Baisix trip; please make yourself familiar with our Basix style of travel; full of fun, flexibility and plenty free time to explore as you please.
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. Single supplement is not available to purchase on this trip.
- Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that are pushed together. In addition, please note that hotel rooms in many European hotels are rather small. Still, we have sourced the best option in each destination in order to provide as much comfort as possible.
Why we love it
- Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex history. See remaining fragments of the famous wall that once divided the city in half
- Soak up the royal history of Krakow's Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through its medieval main square
- Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Soak up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague before stepping right into a fairytale in the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov
- So much of what is great about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse
- Enjoy a scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe’s second longest river is also one of its most beautiful
- Escape city life on the peaceful shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake
Map

Itinerary
Days 1-2 Berlin
Guten Tag! Welcome to Germany. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on the first day of the trip. There are no activities planned until this important meeting so feel free to arrive at any time during the day. Please check the hotel notice boards or with reception about where and when it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arriving at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Berlin is a fascinating blend of complex history, modern development and a booming artistic counter-culture. Enjoy free time to discover the sights, perhaps on one of the many walking or cycling tours on offer. Check out the remaining fragments of the Wall scattered around the city, dropping by Checkpoint Charlie to see where the main gate between East and West Berlin used to stand. Perhaps visit the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic Reichstag building or the powerful Holocaust Memorial. If your interest is in pre-World War I attractions, hit up the Schloss Charlottenburg, the Prussian Queen's Summer Palace or the Prussian Victory Column. The Tiergarten is the city's largest green space and is home to the world famous Berlin Zoo. There also is some great street art in Berlin, especially around the neighbourhoods of Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain (where our hotel is). In the evening, you might like to get out and mix with the local hip young things in one of the city's many bars.
On the second evening of the trip, board an overnight train for Krakow in Poland.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Storyline of Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Hidden Berlin - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Stories From Friedrichshain: An Interactive Theatre Tour - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Food and Art in Funky Kreuzberg - EUR63
  • Museum Pass, 3 Day Ticket - EUR24
  • Bike Tour - EUR20
  • Jewish Museum - EUR8
  • National History Museum - EUR8
  • Pergamon Museum - EUR13
  • River Cruise Sightseeing Tour - EUR25
  • Berlin Zoo and Aquarium - EUR20
  • Berliner Dom - EUR7
  • Berlin TV Tower - EUR13
  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum - EUR13
  • German History Museum - EUR8
  • Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz - EUR8
  • Reichstag (time slot must be booked online in advance) - Free
  • Schloss Charlottenburg - EUR21
  • Story of Berlin Museum - EUR12
  • Topography of Terror - Free
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Days 3-4 Krakow
Arrive into Krakow, where you'll be spending the next two nights. Explore the city in your own time. Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries. Step back in time as your wander the World Heritage-listed old town, shopping for amber jewellery or local crafts. Discover Wawel Royal Castle, which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. Check out the 13th century town square of Rynek Glowny, poking your head into the impressive St Mary's Basilica.
In Krakow, you will also find a second oldest university in Central Europe (oldest is in Prague, our next destination!). Jagiellonian Univeristy counts Copernicus and Pope John Paul II among its alumni. In addition, thanks to Poland's devout Catholicism, Kraków, where Pope John Paul II served as archbishop, is graced with many impressive churches. St. Mary's features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece and lovely neo-Gothic St. Francis' Basilica has some of Poland's best Art Nouveau.
If you can tear yourself away from Krakow, head out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a network of tunnels and chambers some 135 metres below the ground. This is a salt mine that has been in operation for over 700 year and is listed as the UNESCO world heritage site. The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, pits, and chambers, all hewn out by hand from solid salt, with beautifully adorned chapels and underground lakes. Don't miss a look at the elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings in the Blessed Kinga Chapel. Alternatively, you might like to take a sobering day trip out to Auschwitz and Birkenau, the sites of some of the Holocaust's worst atrocities.
Krakow has many cellar restaurants and pubs. Perhaps end the day indulging in a few drinks and a plate of pierogis in one of the city's cheerful establishments.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Communist Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Urban Adventure - Polish Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Urban Adventure - Jewish Krakow Adventure - EUR39
  • Urban Adventure - Home Cooked Krakow - EUR38
  • Bike tour, day or night - PLN60
  • Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN15
  • History Museum - PLN8
  • St. Mary's Basilica - PLN10
  • Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines - PLN84
  • State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, transport and guided tour from - PLN50
  • Walking tour - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 5-6 Prague
Take two and half hours long trip in minivan to the town of Ostrava and then board the train to Prague for another three hours. Prague's architecture can be traced from the Middle Ages through to the avant-gardism of the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building). Spend time at Prague Castle, the biggest in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. Wander through the old Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the city's formerly large Jewish community.
The Old Town at night is truly special. There are many great restaurants and pubs, some in old vaulted cellars. The nightlife in Prague is some of the best in Central Europe. Whether dance clubs, beer-halls or underground absinthe bars are your speed, there's something for everyone. The city also boasts one of Europe's most respected jazz scenes. If you find yourself out until the early hours in a jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or the Old Town Square as the sun rises for magical photo opportunities.
The group will stay in private separate apartments in the city centre. You may be a short walk from other group members or your leader. Each apartment has 2-3 rooms with one or two shared bathrooms. Most of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens if you'd like to cook. The apartments are not hotels - there's no reception, room service, daily cleaning service, televisions or washing machines. What they do feature is plenty of charm in an unbeatable location.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Discovery - EUR64
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour - EUR63
  • Urban Adventure - Bohemian State of Mind - EUR58
  • Bike tour - CZK490
  • Jewish Quarter - CZK480
  • Kafka Museum - CZK200
  • Day Trip to Kutna Hora - CZK250
  • Mucha Museum - CZK240
  • Museum of Communism - CZK190
  • National Museum - CZK120
  • Prague Castle - CZK350
  • Sedlec Ossuary - CZK90
  • Church of St Barbara - CZK60
  • Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK105
Accommodation
Private apartment (2 nts)
Day 7 Cesky Krumlov
Depart Prague and travel by bus for four hours to Cesky Krumlov. This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and appears to be plucked straight out of a fairytale. Wander the cobbled alleyways of the old town, admiring the buildings. Climb up to the castle perched on a hill, and check out its fabulous Masquerade Hall. Great views can be seen from the tower. Weather and time permitting, take a relaxing 2-3 hour rafting or canoeing trip along the river that runs right through town. A tour of the Cesky Krumlov brewery will give you a glimpse into brewing traditions that have existed here for centuries.
Optional Activities
  • Brewery tour - CZK130
  • Canoe Trip - CZK700
  • Guided walking tour - CZK300
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK160
  • Raft/canoe trip - CZK1400
  • Guided castle tour - CZK250
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Vienna
Take a minivan and a bus to the cosmopolitan city of Vienna. Art lovers will be delighted by the vast array of museums on offer, including the Albertina, the Leopold, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Modern Art. Those with an interest in 19th and 20th century Austrian art should visit the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt's painting 'The Kiss'. Check out the colourful Hundertwasserhaus or admire the dome of the Secession building.
Perhaps visit Hofburg Palace, once the imposing winter retreat of Habsburg royals and now the official residence of the Austrian president. Climb the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral, take a spin on the Prater Ferris Wheel or catch a dressage show at the Spanish Riding School. Head to Schoenbrunn Palace, which was designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues by pre-booking your tickets at schoenbrunn.at.
After all this sightseeing, you might like to indulge in a traditional Viennese coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with a spot of Mozart, Bach or Schubert at the opera house.
Note: The Spanish Riding School doesn't operate throughout the summer months. You will need to book tickets in advance to see the performance of the Lipizzaners. Phone +43 (0)1 505 77 66 55 or e-mail info@viennaticketoffice.com to arrange tickets.
Included Activities
  • Vienna Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Albertina Museum - EUR13
  • Belvedere Gallery - EUR13
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR12
  • Leopold Museum - EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
  • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
  • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
  • St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
  • Vienna Boys Choir - EUR70
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts)
Days 10-11 Budapest
Travel from Vienna to Budapest on a three-hour train. Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest's grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by. With so much to see and do, hiring a bicycle is a great way to move between the sights. Head out to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in one of the city's many hot thermal baths. The baths feature pools of varying degrees; some even have whirlpools or built-in seats where you can relax or play a game of chess. Perhaps take one of the tourist boat trips along the Danube River for spectacular views of the Parliament Building, the Castle District and the bridges linking Buda to Pest. The spectacle is particularly beautiful at night.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Budapest Custom Tour - EUR35
  • Urban Adventures - Budapest Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF2900
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Pub Crawl - HUF5000
  • Thermal Bath - HUF4500
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Budapest Central Market - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 12-13 Bled
Board an eight-hour train to the town of Bled, situated on Slovenia's stunning Lake Bled at the edge of the Julian Alps. There are many outdoor activities available to get the blood pumping in Bled, such as rafting, caving, canoeing or swimming. Why not hire a bike and head four kilometres out of town to Vintgar Gorge, where you can take a walk through the natural canyon. Perhaps explore Bled Castle, perched atop the cliff overlooking the lake, or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Another option is to take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated in a glaciated valley. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear, you may even see out to Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. Please note that the weather conditions on top of Mt Vogel vary greatly (it's a ski resort in the winter). For a taste of the local cuisine, you must try Bled cake - a vanilla, custard, cream and pastry delight.
Optional Activities
  • Mountain Bike Hire - EUR15
  • Pletna Boat Trip - EUR12
  • Canyoning - EUR60
  • Bled Castle - EUR10
  • River rafting - EUR55
  • Bus and cable car trip to Mt Vogel - EUR25
  • Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
Accommodation
Guesthouse (2 nts)
Days 14-15 Venice
Travel by train through stunning scenery to one of the world's most unique cities - Venice. The journey should take approximately five-and-a-half hours. A city of canals, Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. Enjoy free time to explore. The best way to do this is by foot, taking in all the famous sights - the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (the ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco with its golden Basilica, and of course, the evocative Bridge of Sighs. Wander the cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas, crossing hundreds of tiny bridges. There are shops, markets, galleries and churches around every corner. Don't miss taking a gondola trip through the romantic canals or sampling a slice of region's desert speciality, tiramisu (coffee-soaked sponge cake).
On the final day of the trip, there are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Included Activities
  • Venice - City Orienation Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR18
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR8
  • Concerto - EUR32
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
    We also recommend
    If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    • Barcelona to Berlin (ZMRF)
    • Berlin to Rome (AMRRC)
    • Europe Explorer (ZMRFC)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    Included activities
    There are no activities included in this itinerary. For a list of optional activities available, please refer to the day-to-day itinerary.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE:
    To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
    Money Exchange
    The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
    You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
    When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
    Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
    You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
    For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
    The local currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN).
    The local currency in the Czech Republic is the Koruna (CZK).
    The local currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF)
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
    The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides.
    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers.
    Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    A single supplement is not available to be purchased on this trip.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (5 nts), Hostel (4 nts), Guesthouse (2 nts), Private apartment (2 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
    BASIX STYLE ACCOMMODATION
    As this is a Basix trip, accommodation is often on a multishare basis with shared bathrooms. Multishare includes triple and quad rooms or even dorm rooms. Couples may be required to share with other couples and you may be sharing with group members of the opposite sex. Couples or people travelling together may be separated due to rooming configurations. Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges. On occasion, additional beds may be fold-away or portable beds.
    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
    CHECK-IN TIME
    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
    VENICE ACCOMMODATION
    Please note that the accommodation we use in Venice is located in the suburb of Mestre, which is a short train ride away from the city centre and the lagoon of Venice.
    Meals introduction
    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
    Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.
    Meals
    3 Breakfasts
    Budget for meals not included:
    EUR 450.00
    There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)
    Transport
    Train, Metro, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Private minibus
    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE:
    Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
    Group leader
    All Intrepid group trips are 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. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
    Your leader 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 places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
    Joining point
    Plus Hostel Berlin
    Warschauer Platz 6-8
    Berlin
    GERMANY
    Phone: 0049 30 311698820
    Joining point description
    Hostel Plus is located in Berlin’s fashionable Friedrichshain district. The building is a charming former schoolhouse yet the interior decor is modern. Twin rooms contain 2 single beds or 1 bunk bed, an en-suite bathroom, hair dryer, flat screen tv, air-conditioning and WiFi access. The hostel has it's own restaurant and bar and there's also an indoor swimming pool and sauna on site.
    Joining point instructions
    From Tiegel Airport:
    Buy an Einzelfahrausweis (single ticket) for approximately €2-3 or a Tageskarte (day pass) for approximately €7 (not forgetting to validate your ticket), and take the Express Bus TXL to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. The bus journey will take about 20 minutes.
    From Berlin Hauptbahnhof:
    Head to the dedicated S-Bahn (fast suburban train) platforms, and take any of the following trains:
    S3 - Direction: Erkner
    S5 - Direction: Strausberg Nord
    S7 - Direction: Ahrensfelde
    S75 - Direction: Wartenberg
    Pass through five stations - Friedrichstrasse, Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, Jannowitzbruecke and Ostbahnhof - and then get off the train at Warschauer Strasse. The train journey will take about 20 minutes.
    Exit the station (there is only one exit), and turn left onto the bridge over the railway tracks.
    Walk past the entrance to Warschauer Strasse U-Bahn (underground) station, and turn left into the short pedestrian tunnel. On exiting the tunnel, PLUS Berlin is directly in front of you on the opposite side of the road.
    Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
    If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall, in front of the airport's exit doors.
    In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +49 30 2016 3040
    Arrival complications
    EUROPE:
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) please follow the instructions under the "Joining point instructions" in order to find your driver. Should you have any problems locating your driver, please call the number of our transfer company which can be found under the joining point instructions as well. Should you continue to experience any difficulties, please call the emergency number for our local operations team which is available on the 'Emergency Contact' section in these trip notes.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Hotel Mondial
    Via Rizzardi 21
    Venice
    30175
    ITALY
    Phone: 39 041930167
    Finish point description
    Hotel Mondial is located in the mainland district of Marghera, just 100 metres from the Venezia Mestre Railway Station. Venezia-Tessera Airport is only 10 minutes away. Please note that we are not located on Venice island, but public transport to and from the island is frequent and affordable.
    Finish point instructions
    If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
    Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. Maximum waiting time: 30 minutes from the expected time of pick up. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone numbers: +39 333 411 2840 or +39 338 204 4390.
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57.
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
    Australia: No - Not required
    Belgium: No - Not required
    Canada: No - Not required
    Germany: No - Not required
    Ireland: No - Not required
    Netherlands: No - Not required
    New Zealand: No - Not required
    South Africa: Yes - in advance
    Switzerland: No - Not required
    UK: No - Not required
    USA: No - Not required
    Please note that this trip transits through Croatia en route to Slovenia. Some nationalities require transit visas for this journey.
    Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them, except when we transit through Croatia on our way to Bled. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    EUROPE:
    On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
    Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    BIKE HELMETS:
    Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.
    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
    Other common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables.
    Gondolas - Venice
    Please note, life jackets are not provided on Gondolas in Venice.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 242.00 kgs per pax.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.