Berlin to Rome Trip Notes

Berlin to Rome

Last Modified: 25 Apr 2016
Berlin to Rome
Trip code: AMRRC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Embark on a tour of Europe as you travel from Berlin to Rome visiting Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy. Discover some of the highlights of Europe from the remains of the Berlin Wall to the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Unearth the secrets of Germany and Poland, live it up in the Czech Republic, eat cake in Austria, head outdoors in Hungary, see dramatic scenery in Slovenia and discover a wealth of antiquities in Italy. From the backstreets of Prague to the canals of Venice and beyond, this journey will be one to remember.
Table of Contents
StyleMealsFinishing point instructions
ThemesMoney mattersEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Group leaderVisas
Why we love itSafetyWhat to take
MapJoining pointClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryJoining point descriptionHealth
Itinerary disclaimerJoining point instructionsTravel insurance
Physical ratingAlternate joining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesAlternate joining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeAlternate joining point instructionsFeedback
AccommodationFinish point
Meals introductionFinish point description
Style
Basix
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
- The floating city of Venice is one place you’ll be happy to get lost in. The city's maze of alleyways, canals and lagoon islands lead to over 130 churches, all with their own distinct character
- Feast on mouth-watering seafood along Italy's coast, drink fine wine in Tuscany and indulge in the endless pasta dishes on offer in Rome
- Walk along Cinque Terre's rocky coastal pathways, calling into the sleepy pastel villages of Manarola, Riomaggiore and Vernazza
- Wander around Rome's famous landmarks including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and much more. This is a city where you'll be able to tick a lot off your bucket list
Map

Itinerary
Day 1-2 Berlin
Guten Tag! Welcome to Germany.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7:00pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. 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 please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Berlin is a vivacious city where fast-paced modern development is overlaid on a history familiar to everyone. Surviving pre-World War I attractions include the Schloss Charlottenburg, the Prussian Queen's Summer Palace, and the Prussian Victory Column. The Tiergarten, Berlin's largest green space with 23 kilometres of pathways, is also home to the world famous Berlin Zoo.
Board an overnight train for Krakow.
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 (2 nt)
    Day 3-4 Krakow
    Possibly the best known of all Poland's cities, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its old town is a World Heritage-listed site.
    Explore Wawel Royal Castle, which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. It provides a magnificent backdrop to Rynek Glowny, the town square. Dating back to the 13th century, the square is surrounded by grand buildings, with the Cloth Hall as the centrepiece.
    There will be time to explore the city, so visit St Mary's Church, shop for amber or crafts and be transported back in time by the well-preserved old town.
    If you can tear yourself away from the charms of Krakow, visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a deep underground network of tunnels and chambers some 135 m below the surface. The Blessed Kinga Chapel is a highlight not to be missed, with its elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings.
    You may want to take a day trip to learn more about the history of World War II at Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau, sites where some of the worst atrocities were perpetrated.
    Krakow has many cellar restaurants and pubs and a thriving cultural scene. You may want to end your day embracing Polish social traditions over a few drinks in one of these 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
      Day 5-6 Prague
      Travel by train to Prague (approx 7 hrs).
      Having served as the residence of rulers and archbishops for over a thousand years, Prague has been left with a unique gallery of historic buildings. The 'City of a Hundred Spires' is an architecture-lover's dream - you can trace the history of design from the Middle Ages all the way through to the avant-gardism of the most controversial building in the city, the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building) on the banks of the Vltava.
      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 Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the traditions and culture of Prague's formerly large Jewish community.
      The Old Town at night is truly special. In addition to the sights, 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, traditional beer-halls or underground absinthe bars are your speed, there is something for just about everyone in this cosmopolitan city. The city has one of the longest-standing and respected jazz scenes in Europe. If you should find yourself out until the early hours in an atmospheric jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or Old Town Square as the sun rises for magical photo opportunities.
      In Prague we stay in our own private apartments. We have several separate apartments located in the city centre so you may be a short walk away from your other group members and your leader. Staying in the city centre allows easy access to all the sights and the restaurants and bars - it's all an easy stroll from your front door. This is your chance to look behind those facades. Each apartment has 2-3 rooms with one or two shared bathrooms. Most of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens and you can choose to buy your own groceries and supplies for meals. Our apartments are not hotels, there's no reception, room service or daily cleaning service, no televisions or washing machines, but plenty of charm and you just can't beat the 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
        Day 7 Cesky Krumlov
        Depart Prague and travel by bus to the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov (approx 4 hrs).
        This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and is straight out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov (pronounced 'Che-skee Krum-lov') means 'crooked meadow', which is befitting as the town is nestled in a sharp bend of the Vltava River. It also comes complete with a castle on a hill towering over the quaint old town, which boasts a collection of beautiful old buildings and a confusion of cobbled alleyways.
        Explore the castle and its fabulous Masquerade Hall, or climb the tower for aerial views of the town.
        Weather and time permitting, take a relaxing 2-3 hour raft/canoe trip on the river that winds right through the centre of Cesky Krumlov, a favourite summer pastime.
        A visit to the Cesky Krumlov brewery - where tours are often conducted in English - will give you a glimpse of the brewing tradition that has existed in this town for hundreds of years.
        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
          Day 8-9 Vienna
          Once the centre of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is today a cosmopolitan city with music in the air and the grandeur of a golden past.
          Art lovers will be delighted by the vast array of museums available 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 famous painting 'The Kiss', check out Hundertwasserhaus or discover the Secession building with its gold laurel-leaf dome.
          Visit Hofburg Palace, the imposing winter retreat of Habsburg royals and now the official residence of the Austrian president.
          You might like to head out to Schoenbrunn for a guided audio tour of the summer palace designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The Gloriette Monument has incredible views of Vienna. The palace gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues for this by pre-booking your tickets at www.schoenbrunn.at.
          Climb the 343 steps to the top of the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral.
          Take a spin on the famous Prater Ferris Wheel.
          After all this sightseeing, indulge in the great Viennese institution of coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with some excellent Mozart, Bach or Schubert at the opera.
          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 nt)
              Day 10-11 Budapest
              Travelling from Vienna by train (approx 3 hrs), arrive in Budapest with time to explore the Pearl of the Danube.
              Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. The grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by, while glamorous stores and glitzy restaurants make this one of the truly great cities of Europe.
              With so much to see and do, hire a bicycle for a great way to move between the city sights.
              Budapest is the perfect city to enjoy from the water. From here you'll be able to see the magnificent buildings that line the banks of the Danube River and the bridges linking Buda to Pest. Take one of the tourist boat trips to see the sights or cross the Chain Bridge for a spectacular view of the Parliament Building and the Castle District. Be sure to head down to the river after dark to enjoy the floodlit spectacle.
              Head out to Statue Park to see all the communist monuments that were removed from the city streets after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
              One unmissable activity is a soak in the hot thermal baths. There are several around the city centre ranging from the sumptuous and elegant to simple outdoor types. There are pools of varying degrees - some with whirlpools, chess boards and seats where you can enjoy it all while recuperating in the therapeutic waters.
              Optional Activities
              • Urban Adventures - Budapest Custom Tour - EUR35
              • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle 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
                Accommodation
                Hotel (2 nt)
                Day 12-13 Bled
                Travel by bus to the lakeside town of Bled (approx 8 hrs).
                Situated on the stunning Lake Bled at the edge of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, there are many outdoor activities to get the blood pumping in Bled: rafting, caving, canoeing, swimming, to name a few.
                If feeling active, why not hire a bike and head out to Vintgar Gorge (4 km) and walk through the natural canyon.
                Explore Bled Castle, perched atop the 100-metre cliff overlooking the lake.
                Catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell.
                Take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated within a glaciated valley in the Julian Alps. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear you may even see 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 sample of Bled 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 nt)
                  Day 14-16 Venice
                  Travel by train through stunning scenery to one of the world's most unique cities - Venice (approx 5.5 hrs).
                  A grand city of canals, Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. Still rich with artistic masterpieces, modern Venice combines history with contemporary life through food, performance, art and architecture.
                  Use your free time to explore Venice. The best way to do that is by foot, taking in all the famous sights - the Grand Canal, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco and its golden Basilica, and the evocative Bridge of Sighs. Wander the narrow, cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas and cross the hundreds of tiny bridges. There are shops, markets, galleries, churches and stunning buildings around every corner - don't miss the opportunity to take a gondola trip through the romantic canals!
                  Be sure not to miss trying the popular dessert tiramisu - sponge cakes soaked in coffee and arranged in layers with mascarpone cheese - which is the speciality of this region.
                  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 (2 nt)
                      Day 17-18 Cinque Terre
                      Travel on a series of trains to the Liguria region, home to La Spezia and the Cinque Terre (approx 5 hrs).
                      A medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, La Spezia is our base for exploring the nearby (approx. 30mins by train) stunning stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre.
                      Cinque Terre ('Five Lands') is an area famed for the beauty of its coastline and its picturesque villages. Before the advent of the railway, its ancient systems of hillside footpaths were the villages' only link to the outside world.
                      Walk along the famous path of the Cinque Terre. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea - the vistas here are breathtaking.

                      If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approx 5 hrs) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. However, you can jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to our base whenever you want. Please note that some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Appropriate footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes) are required for this day.

                      Cinque Terre path sections:
                      - Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path.
                      - Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path.
                      - Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about 1.5 hours on a rocky path.
                      - Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path.

                      After working up an appetite, you'll appreciate indulging in the foods of the Liguria region, which take advantage of the products of the Mediterranean. Pesto is a speciality, and is often served with pasta, green beans and potato, or dolloped into a classic minestrone soup. Focaccia is also a speciality, and makes a great start to lunch - team it up with some cheese and ham and you have a simple yet delicious picnic.
                      PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the full extent of the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train for these sections.
                      Optional Activities
                      • Day Cruise - EUR25
                      • Pesto Class in Levanto - EUR13
                      • Cinque Terre Day Trip - EUR12
                        Accommodation
                        Guesthouse (2 nt)
                        Day 19-20 Florence
                        Board a train today and head to Florence, which should take around three and half hours. As you'll arrive in the late afternoon, there may not be too much time to explore the city. On arrival, check in to the hotel and go for a brief walk around the immediate to area to get your bearings. Food is a major part of the city's identity, so use your evening wisely and maybe head out for dinner with the group. Regional specialities are noted for their simplicity and fine flavour, and the use of high-quality olive oil, cannellini beans and fresh herbs. Meat lovers should try the bistecca alla fiorentina, a huge T-bone steak that's usually shared between two people, or ribollita - a thick delicious vegetable soup with bread, beans and greens.

                        After breakfast on day 20, head out into Florence. Perhaps visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, or see Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River. There are plenty of sights to see during your free time in Florence.

                        Note: Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance. Reserve tickets by phone on (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. You can also book online at www.weekendafirenze.com. We suggest that you book in advance (your leader can be of assistance), especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website - www.firenzemusei.it - has everything you need to know about all of them. Make your reservations for these museums for any time on Day 20 of this itinerary.
                        Optional Activities
                        • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
                        • Accademia - EUR16
                        • Baptistry - EUR10
                        • Medici Chapels - EUR6
                        • Museum Bargello - EUR4
                        • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
                        • Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR10
                        • Siena bus ticket - EUR24
                        • Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR64
                        • Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR53
                        • Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR73
                          Accommodation
                          Hostel (2 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Day 21-22 Rome
                          Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife.
                          See some of the world-famous sights such as the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Forum (the centre of ancient Rome).
                          No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free, and there's a small charge to climb the dome for the ultimate breathtaking panorama over bella Roma.

                          Also make the time to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). Check the Vatican website for these dates: www.vatican.va

                          Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm
                          There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                          Optional Activities
                          • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
                          • Christian catacombs - EUR8
                          • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
                          • Imperial Fora - EUR9
                          • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
                          • Vatican museums - EUR16
                          • Pantheon - Free
                          • St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
                          • St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
                          • Venezia Palace - EUR5
                          • Galleria Borghese - EUR15
                          • Urban Adventures - Ancient Rome: Archaeological Discovery Tour - EUR89
                          • Urban Adventures - Roman Dolce Vita - EUR63
                          • Urban Adventures - Trastevere: Trends and Tradition - EUR55
                            Itinerary disclaimer
                            ITINERARY CHANGES 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. 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.
                            Physical rating

                            Included activities
                            Vienna Orientation Walk
                            Venice - City Orienation Walking Tour
                            Group size
                            Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                            Accommodation
                            Guesthouse (4 nights), Hostel (5 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
                            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. 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
                            Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, fruits and dairy products. Vegans will find it even more challenging. Vegetarians might choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home, e.g. protein bars, dried fruits and so on.
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Money matters
                            General Europe no countries mentioned

                            The EURO:

                            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.

                            SPENDING MONEY:

                            Clients are responsible for expenses (e.g. meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but that may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Other costs to consider are tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies, which could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and reimbursement will be made later by your insurance company. This is the situation where having a credit card may be useful.

                            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 destinations.

                            Tipping in Europe although not compulsory is a widespread practice. Tips for good service are appreciated, if not expected. The amount depends on your resources, tipping philosophy and the circumstance. In restaurants, look out for the service charges. Tipping is an issue only at restaurants that have waiters and waitresses. If you order your food at a counter, don't tip. At restaurants with table service, menus usually state (at the bottom) if the service is included. If so you don't need to tip, although if you're pleased with the service you can round up a few euros. If the menu states that the service is not included, tip about 10% by rounding up or leaving the change from your bill. Typically, it's better to hand the cash to the waiter than to leave it on the table, particularly in busy places where the wrong party might pocket the change. In some places, you may want to tip in cash even if you pay with your credit card, otherwise your tip may never reach your waiter.

                            When you're paying for taxis, round up to the next euro on the fare (maximum 10 percent). Use common sense! If you feel like you're being driven in circles or otherwise ripped off, skip the tip.

                            At a hotel, tippers hand the porter, a euro for carrying bags and leave two or three euros in their room at the end of their stay for housekeeping.

                            Carry some change. If you stop at a public WC, you may have to tip the attendant anywhere from a bit of change to €1.

                            If you're not sure whether (or how much) to tip for a service, ask your tour leader for advice.

                            Tipping local tour guides at public sites and on city tours is appropriate, particularly for a job well done and many tourists give a few euros as gratitude.

                            Tips for leaders are greatly appreciated, and at your discretion, as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your holiday. We are often asked whether it is appropriate to tip the local leader and what a reasonable amount might be. Although we have considered including such tips in the overall trip cost, we have again and again come back to the belief that recognition for meaningful service is a personal matter. If you feel that your leader has provided an exceptional trip experience, tips are encouraged and appropriate at the trip end. The amount is at your discretion, but a sum of €2 - €4 per person / per day is a general tipping standard.  (€ = Euro).

                            Poland uses the Zloty (PLN) = 100 groszy. Notes are in denominations of Zl200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. The new coins are in denominations of Zl5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy.

                            ATMs (also called bankomat) are one of the best ways of obtaining local currency in Poland. They are located mainly in the city and town centre. The other way of changing money is by way of a kantor (a private foreign exchange office), these are located almost everywhere! The most widely accepted currencies are the US dollar, the British pound and the euro. If you are changing any foreign notes, make sure they are in perfect condition, if they are not, kantors may not accept them. It is not really recommended to bring traveller's cheques to Poland; they are quite inconvenient to change.

                            As the official currency, the Czech crown is the best and often the only possible currency to use when paying. Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the euro is not widely accepted here yet. Some stores, restaurants and hotels accept payments in euros but the exchange rate may not be very good. ATMs are plentiful in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic; in fact, there are about 900 cash machines for Cirrus, Maestro, MasterCard, Eurocard and over 400 for VISA. It is easiest to exchange US dollars and British pounds cash.

                            The currency of the Czech Republic is the Koruna (Kc) or crown. Notes are in denominations of Kc5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of Kc50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1.

                            In Hungary banks are usually open between 8 .00 - 16.00 on weekdays. Some banks are open on Saturday, but all are closed on Sunday. ATM machines and currency exchange machines are available throughout the country. The credit cards used most often - AMEX, Diners Club, EnRoute, Euro/Mastercard, JCB, VISA - can be used to withdraw cash from banks and ATM machines and to pay bills in hotels, restaurants and shops. Emblems at the entrance mark the shops where credit cards are accepted. Most banks have their own automated networks. You can use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary. More than 3200 post offices nation-wide provide this service.

                            Hungarian forint (Ft) = 100 fillér. Notes are in denominations of Ft20000, Ft10000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of Ft200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. A large number of commemorative coins in circulation are legal tender.
                            Group leader
                            Group leader - General
                            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:

                            TRAIN TRAVEL
                            Local interaction is certainly big part of travelling experience in Intrepid trip just be careful when it comes to drinking with the locals and playing cards with strangers on the Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian train journeys. Remember that often vodka sold on platform and by attendants is very low quality and can be dangerous for your health. "Card sharpers" (card sharks) will offer to play cards masked as a local travellers, the ultimate intent is to play for money.

                            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!

                            SEAT BELTS:
                            Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                            SCAMS:
                            We have become aware of passengers being approached outside of our starting point hotels by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or claiming to be Intrepid employees selling Urban Adventures or Intrepid trips. These people are not employees of Intrepid nor registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you' should suffice. If this does happen to you, please advise your leader or the reception of your hotel immediately so that the person can be reported to the appropriate authorities.

                            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.

                            MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
                            In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

                            SCAMS
                            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. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.
                            Joining point
                            Plus Hostel Berlin
                            Warschauer Platz 6-8
                            Berlin
                            GERMANY
                            Phone: +49 (0)30 311 698 820
                            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

                            Alternate joining point
                            For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                            03 Sep 2016 (AMRRC1609032), 24 Sep 2016 (AMRRC1609242)
                            A&O Berlin Friedrichshain Hotel
                            Boxhagener Str. 73
                            Berlin
                            GERMANY
                            Phone: +49 (0)30809475400
                            Alternate joining point description
                            Alternate joining point instructions
                            If you arrive to Berlin by plane:
                            Airport Tegel TXL: Use bus X9 until station Zoologischer Garten . Change to the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 and go to station Ostkreuz (10 stops).
                            Airport Schönefeld SXF: Take the S-Bahn, line S9, to station Ostkreuz (9 stops).
                            By train
                            Central Station DB: Take the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 to Station Ostkreuz (7 stops).
                            Station Ostbahnhof DB: Take the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 to Station Ostkreuz (2 stops).
                            To get the latest information on public transportation in Berlin: www.bvg.de (Berliner Verkehrsgesellschaft (BVG))
                            By bus
                            Take the subway line U2 until station Zoologischer Garten, (5 stops). Change to the S-Bahn, line S 3, 5, 7 or 75 and go on to station Ostkreuz (10 stops).
                            Walking direction
                            From Ostkreuz it is 3 min. to walk: From exit Sonntagstraße walk on and turn right into Lenbachstraße. Go ahead to Boxhagener Straße. There you'll find our hostel.
                            Alternate joining point
                            For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                            07 May 2016 (AMRRC1605072)
                            Hotel Transit Loft
                            Immanuelkirchstraße 14A
                            Berlin
                            10405
                            GERMANY
                            Phone: +49 30 48493773
                            Alternate joining point description
                            Alternate joining point instructions
                            Airport Tegel TXL: Use TXL bus to Alexanderplatz (all routes), then Tram M4 to Hufelandstraße.
                            Arriving from Schönefeld Airport (SXF): Airport Express train (RE7 or RB14) to Alexanderplatz, then Tram M4 to Hufelandstraße or S-Bahn S9 to "Greifswalder Str.", then Tram M4 to Hufelandstraße.

                            Arriving from Berlin Hbf and Berlin Ostbh, take S-Bahn to Alexanderplatz, then Tram M4 to Hufelandstraße.

                            Hotel Transit Loft is situated on Immanuelkirchstraße, 2 min walk off the Hufelandstraße.
                            Finish point
                            Hotel Stella
                            Via Castelfidardo, 51
                            Rome
                            ITALY
                            Phone: +39 064441078
                            Finish point description
                            Hotel Stella is centrally located near Termini Station and the biggest park in Rome, Villa Borghese. The hotel is a former 19th century mansion. All rooms have private facilities, air conditioning, room safe, TV and hairdrier.
                            www.hotelstellaroma.it/en
                            During your stay in Rome you may be asked to complete a City of Rome visitor tax exemption form.
                            Finishing 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.

                            Alternatively, Hotel Stella is approximately 3 minutes walk away from Roma Termini, the main rail station.

                            Pre booked departure transfer to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA) airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +39 335 568 5666.
                            Emergency contact
                            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.

                            For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                            Peak Europe: +49 8677 918 66 57
                            Visas
                            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

                            Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US or Canadian passport holders wishing to visit Europe. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.
                            What to take
                            Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame. Many hotels used in Europe do not have lifts, so you must be able to carry your own luggage.

                            We operate trips in Europe in spring, summer and the start of autumn. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place also depending on the time of year. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination - you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

                            Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

                            - Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
                            - Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
                            - Spare passport photos
                            - Money: cash/credit card/debit card
                            - Money belt and small padlocks
                            - Small first-aid kit
                            - Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
                            - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
                            - Electrical adapter plug
                            - Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
                            - Insect repellent
                            - Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
                            - Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
                            - Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
                            - 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
                            - Refillable water bottle
                            - Phrase book
                            - Warm clothes/fleece - when travelling in cooler climates
                            - Wind and waterproof jacket
                            - Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
                            - Camera 
                            - Swimwear

                            If you are purchasing new footwear for your trip we recommend that you undertake some walking before-hand to ensure that they are comfortable and are the correct size. In any event we advise some preparatory walking before you commence your trip.
                            Climate and seasonal information
                            Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (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 carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                            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.

                            Vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

                            For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see http://www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice.

                            General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at www.traveldoctor.com.au.
                            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 group 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.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                            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.
                            Responsible Travel
                            When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.

                            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.

                            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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