Grand Tour of Europe16 days
77.8% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Think of Europe as a cultural buffet, and of this tour as your chance to sample the continent’s most flavor-packed and historically rich regions. Whether you’ve always dreamed of traveling to the top of the Eiffel Tower, watching gondolas glide down the Grand Canal, looking out from Juliet’s balcony or just kicking back in a Dutch brown cafe or English pub, you’re sure to get a taste of all you come searching for (and much, much more).
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
14 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
London’s unrivaled (& free) museums
A ride on the Eurostar is unforgettable
European cafes, promenades & gardens
The alpine scenery en route to Lake Como
Italian cities are a feast for the eyes & stomach
You’ll get a taste of distinct languages & cultures
Overnight Flight1 night
London2 nights - hotel info
Europe’s biggest city extends its biggest welcome
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to London! After clearing customs and collecting your bags, look for the “Hotel by Bus” transfer desk. They’ll be providing the transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with the city before tonight’s included welcome dinner.
A Londoner lets you in on what the locals know
Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle
A local guide leads this morning’s guided sightseeing tour of London. Highlights of the panoramic tour include views of Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and a stop outside St. James’ Palace, where you might glimpse the ceremonial Changing of the Guard (seasonal and weather dependent). After your sightseeing tour, join an optional excursion to Windsor Castle, the centuries old retreat of Britain’s Royal Family.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Windsor Castle $99* pp
Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided visit to the world’s largest and longest-inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel (closed Sundays), where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary.
Paris2 nights - hotel info
Tunnel through the English Channel and surface in France
Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise
This morning, transfer to St. Pancras Station. Here, you’ll board the Eurostar, Europe’s quarter-milelong, high-speed train that whisks its passengers below the English Channel and resurfaces in France. Relax aboard comfortable, state-of-the-art transportation, arriving at Gare du Nord in Paris just three hours later. Tonight, consider joining our optional Evening in Paris, featuring dinner at a local restaurant and a cruise along the Seine.
Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $109* pp
Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris' bridges, you'll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: the dress code may vary depending your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.
Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe—oui, oui and oui
Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens
This morning, meet your local guide for a tour of the French capital. Motor along the fashionable Champs-Élysées and view the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and more. The afternoon is free to explore Paris on your own. Or, join an optional excursion to Versailles, the opulent estate of Sun King Louis XIV.
Must be booked 45 days before departure
Versailles Palace & Gardens $105* pp
The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.
Amsterdam2 nights - hotel info
Look out on the Low Countries as you amp up for Amsterdam
Take a picturesque ride on the Thalys train to Amsterdam. Watch the Low Countries zip past your window as make your way to the Dutch capital. After checking in to your hotel, a local guide leads you on an afternoon walking tour of Amsterdam, including Dam Square.
Take a moment to stop and smell the tulips
Optional Excursion - Canal Cruise & Dinner
Optional Excursion - A Day in Charming Delft
Today you’re free to explore the Dutch capital at your leisure. Alternatively, consider joining the optional excursion, A Day in Charming Delft. Stop at the world-famous flower market at Aalsmeer, for a close-up look at one of Holland’s best-known national exports: its brilliantly hued tulips. Delft is a charming town of canals, cobbled alleyways and medieval architecture. Tonight, you might choose to join our optional canal cruise featuring dinner.
Canal Cruise & Dinner $115* pp
Cruise along the canals of Amsterdam on a houseboat, enjoying the view of row houses lit up for the night. Your cruise will take you through the center of the city as you enjoy dinner by lantern light.
A Day in Charming Delft $105* pp
Pay a visit to the world-famous flower market at Aalsmeer for a close-up look at one of Holland’s best-known national exports: its brilliantly hued tulips. From there, travel to The Hague for a quick photo stop at the majestic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice. Finally, continue to Delft, a charming town of canals, cobbled alleyways and medieval architecture. Visit the Old and New Churches on a guided tour, and then enjoy free time to grab lunch and explore the town, perhaps visiting the former home of the famous painter, Vermeer.
Heidelberg Region1 night - hotel info
Fix your eyes on crumbling castles as you float down the Rhine
Board a bus this morning for Cologne, where a guided tour brings you inside the city’s landmark Gothic cathedral. You’ll also view the remnants of the city’s Roman-era and medieval walls. Then, transfer to Boppard, where you’ll board a river ship for a scenic cruise up the Rhine to Sankt Goar. There are six castles perched on the banks of this section of the Rhine, and you’ll view them along with dramatic scenery as you cruise southward. Then, take a bus to the Heidelberg region. Dinner is included on land tonight. (Please note: From mid-October to April the Rhine River cruise will be replaced with a German wine tasting tour in Boppard.)
Lucerne2 nights - hotel info
Discover the piece of rock Twain dubbed the “saddest” in all the world
Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus
A local guide introduces you to this charming lakeside city. Explore Lucerne’s Old Town and the captivating Löwendenkmal, a sandstone statue commemorating the Swiss Guards slain in the 1792 defence of the Tuileries. The rest of your day is free to spend as you like or join our optional excursion to Mount Pilatus.
Mount Pilatus $99* pp
This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you'll enjoy lunch on the mountain.
Lake Como Region1 night - hotel info
Venice2 nights - hotel info
Pin up a love note on literature’s most famous balcony
A motor coach brings you to Verona this morning, where you’ll embark on a guided sightseeing tour. Highlights of your tour include the Romanera Verona Arena and the Casa di Giulietta, where couples young and old pin love notes to the wall below what is said to be Juilet’s balcony. Then, continue on to Venice, arriving in time for dinner.
The romance of Venezia is just as undeniable as it is irresistible
Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music
Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two
Experience the romance of Venice during this morning’s panoramic guided tour, with stops at the Bridge of Sighs and legendary St. Mark’s Square. You’ll view the Gothic Doge’s Palace as well as several important churches. This afternoon, you might consider joining an optional gondola tour of the canals, complete with music.
Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65* pp
Glide down Venice's famous canals in one of the city's iconic black gondolas. Formerly the main mode of transportation around the Venetian Lagoon, all gondolas were once brightly colored. Following the Doge's decree that only nobility could travel in colored gondolas, ordinary Venetians developed the elegant black silhouettes we know today. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. Each gondola holds between four and six passengers.
Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise for Two $165* pp
More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, you'll enjoy a private, serenaded gondola cruise through the canals of Venice. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits.
Rome2 nights - hotel info
This ancient city’s ruins are the world’s riches
Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City
This morning, embark on a guided tour of Imperial Rome, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Then, consider this afternoon’s optional excursion to Vatican City. Tonight, enjoy an included farewell dinner.
Must be booked 70 days before departure
Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89* pp
This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sunday.
Extend Your Stay
Add Florence $329*
It only takes one glimpse of the legendary Duomo to realize the Renaissance never ended in Florence. Take a few days to discover the city that gave life not only to the Italian language, but also to the artists and movements that define Italy to this day. And, for a well-rounded taste of Tuscany, head to the countryside to visit the hill towns and vineyards that illuminate the region’s characteristic charms.
Florence2 nights - hotel info
The morning sun casts a new light on Italy’s Renaissance city
Optional Excursion - Dinner in Fiesole
Bascilla of Santa Croce
Transfer to Florence this morning, arriving in time to enjoy a guided tour of the city’s famous duomo and Church of Santa Croce. This evening, join our optional dinner in Fiesole.
Dinner in Fiesole $65* pp
Take a scenic ride to the town of Fiesole, where you'll be treated to some of the region's best cuisine over a relaxing three-course dinner. Unmatched views of nearby Florence serve as the perfect complement to your indulgent meal. Fiesole sits on a hill overlooking Florence, and its views of the city have been prized since pre-Roman times.
Sip your wine, savor the scenery, get a taste for Tuscany
Optional Excursion - Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns
Enjoy a day at leisure in Florence. Consider joining our optional excursion to Siena and San Gimignano, followed by a wine tasting.
Siena & San Gimignano: Tuscan Hilltowns $105* pp
Discover the essence of Tuscany on a full-day excursion. In Siena, a local guide introduces you to the town and its black-and-white marble duomo, where you'll find brilliantly colored 16th-century frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. You'll have some free time to explore the Campo, the square that serves as the center of civic life in Siena. Then, journey through the countryside to the town of San Gimignano, where you'll have some free time to explore the city's medieval towers or simply admire the Tuscan hills. As the sun begins to set, you'll head to a nearby vineyard, where an included wine tasting awaits. Please note: This excursion involves moderate walking.
Passport & Visa
This tour includes the following countries: England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks when traveling to England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland or Italy. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in London and depart from Rome (or Florence on extension). Your transfer upon arrival in London is provided by Hotel by Bus transportation, and you can find their desk when you make your way through customs and baggage. Included transportation is by train and private deluxe motor coach.
Clothing & Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.
Please note that porter service cannot be guaranteed on the trains from London to Paris, Paris to Amsterdam and Venice to Rome. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage.
You’ll have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of cuisines on this tour. In London, reasonably priced traditional fare can be found at local pubs (Stilton cheese, steak and kidney pie, haggis and Cumberland sausages). French cuisine is a national (and international) obsession, done with style and flair. Croissants and café au lait begin the day, followed by delicacies such as foie gras, pâté, escargot and truffles. French wines and coffees are some of the finest in the world. Traditional Dutch cuisine is hearty fare, primarily based on meat, potatoes and stew. The Dutch are known for cheeses such as Gouda, Edam and Leyden. Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated; the most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Cuisine varies by region in Italy—in Lombardy, you’ll find rice dishes such as risotto, while pastas such as spaghetti all’ amatriciana are more common around Rome.
The British pound, euro and Swiss franc are the currencies you’ll use on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination country, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take credit cards and ATM/bank cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your purchases for fraudulent charges.
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
77.8% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
This tour was by far the best experience I've had. I traveled alone but met many new friends and shared many good times. Marcellus was the best!! His knowledge of the languages & countries was impressive. This tour has a lot of walking so if you have trouble in that area (or a sprained ankle like me-4 days prior to departure), you may want to choose another tour. I, however wasn't letting anything keep me from seeing all I could regardless!! I went on every optional excursion and didn't regret choosing any one. They were all worth the money and because we were in a tour group and had reservations, we walked right into most without waiting in line. in summary: beautiful, breathtaking, informative, great food, even better wine/beer, good times, lots of laughs, great hotels, comfortable transportation, great local tour guides, the best tour director. Hated to leave...can't wait to go again. Ciao'
Marcellus is the BEST!
It was an invigorating tour of Europe. We could not have asked for a better tour guide. He is gifted with languages and knowledge. So young too! The tour was fast and heavy. One should be physically ready for a fast paced trip. There is a lot of train and bus loading and unloading. The luggage was always in the right place with porters taking our luggage to our rooms gratis. The guides for the special tours were spectacular. They brought the extra tours to life. Although I have lived in Europe in the 1970's I still learned a great deal concerning the background of the special tours. If you are young enough to go go go you should consider this tour.
Great tour to Europe
This was an excellent tour, well organize and our tour director Marcellus was the best, he took care of everything and did everything to give us the best, looking forward to do China with him and my whole family.
A Good Value
The overall tour was very good.....Paris and London the hotels were nice and the tour of those cities was good. We had time to explore on our own. In London our hotel window overlooked an outdoor garden with tables and many hours of people partying both nights. The second night till four o'clock in the morning. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep (this hotel should be changed). In Paris we went up in the Eiffel Tower (on our own). What a beautiful sight. Lake Como and Venice the hotels were dreadful.....we were suppose to be staying in 3 & 4 Star hotels, but these two didn't even rate a star. The hotel in Venice........wasn't even Venice, it was Lido.......couldn't accommodate us and put us in their other hotel which was dreadful. In our hotel in Lake Como we had three beds in the room (two of which were youth beds). I was traveling with a girlfriend and let her sleep in the big bed. All the hotels did not have enough lighting and some did not have enough electrical outlets. The tour was very rushed.....we were always on the move which left little down time. Had I known that there was going to be so much walking I would not have booked this tour. It was too much for me....especially walking on the cobbled stone streets. Some of the tour guides were hard to understand and some gave too much information for my taste. Our guide was great. He went above and beyond and we had a great time with him. Overall the tour was good, but if I were GoAhead I would change some of the hotels. This was my third trip to Europe and I would use GoAhead again, but I would find a tour that has more free time and less walking. We also took the extension to Florence. A beautiful city and a great place to visit. I could have used more time in Florence and our hotel was a little far from happenings, but it was clean and modern.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback with us. Your feedback in regards to the hotel quality on tour is very important to us as this is something we continually strive to improve and maintain across all of our tour departures. Your anecdotal feedback regarding the hotel in Como and Venice will aid us in our decision to locate a variety of other properties in the future. The Grand Tour of Europe offers a nice taste of each city visited; we also offer many different types of tours that move at a more leisurely pace and will give you more time to really explore and focus on all that a certain city has to offer. We are thrilled to hear your Tour Director was able to provide a memorable and enjoyable experience for you overall and we look forward to the having to pleasure of welcoming you on another Go Ahead tour in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or feedback.
Posted by Go Ahead Tours on June 17, 2014
Absolutely Wonderful Experience
This was my first experience going on an all inclusive tour. I was amazed at how effortless it was to travel around Europe with the group. We made friends with other group members. Having a local guide at each of the cities we visited was a real plus. Our tour director Marcellus was the best. He went beyond what we had been promised to make our trip something special. I Can't wait until the next one.
Great introduction to Europe!
The Grand Tour is a great sampling of some of the most famous and not-so-famous stops in six countries with the planning left to professionals. I was very impressed with the great attention to detail at all of our stops. In fact, there was much more than described in the itinerary. Our tour director, Marcellus, went above and beyond by not only offering suggestions on how to spend our free time, but his joyful willingness to lead us.
trip of a lifetime
this Grand European Tour was a trip I will treasure for the rest of my life. we made great friends on the tour so much it was almost like being with family. our tour director Rob was such a sweet and funny guy who spoke 6 languages and treated us like his best friend. he was so incredibly knowledgable about every exciting country we explored. he took our hand and guided us on this mystical magical tour of Europe.i will always remember Rob fondly!!!!! the hotels were incredible the buses trains and boats were also incredible what a way to see Europe.i have to say that all the Hotels breakfast buffets were fantastic.Rob also went above and beyond the call of duty to make our trip a truly awesome experience.if you tuly want to see the magical beauty of Europe then you must see it threw the eyes of Go Ahead Tours. I cannot say enough about this company they really treated us like vip royalty. try them you want regret it. I know I will again someday.
OMG...I just don't know where to start! It was a whirlwind trip...non stop,adventurous, amazing... there's just not enough words to describe how wonderful this trip was....From the flight there, to the hotels, food and a great bus driver along with a Great tour director...where do you begin its hard to explain....We had an awesome group and made new friends and Rob our tour Director was "the best" he went above and beyond to make sure we got to see everything that was scheduled in our trip...And had great advice on what we could do on our spare time...Great Big Thanks to Rob....From the moment we arrived in London till we returned home Every excursion we did was worth every penny we spent for it....Mount Pilatus was my highlight and on a beautiful day what more could any one ask for....The view is Unbelievable . I highly recommend the Grand Tour of Europe and Thanks to Go Ahead Tours for letting me have the opportunity to experience it.
Best Tour For Your Money
I have traveled to Europe twice before, but never on a land tour. This Tour was so much more informative and the personal treatment was amazing! You really get a feel for the countries visited. Stay in beautiful Hotels, eat in wonderful restaurants enjoying delicious traditional foods. Endless regional wines and or beers are an added plus. Mingle with the people and travel the country roads in comfort. The tour director will be your constant companion making sure all arrangements are taken care of. Of course leaving you free to enjoy your dream vacation without a worry in the world! Their expert Tour Director Robert made sure of that ;-) Looking forward to another Go Ahead Tour in the future~ Happy travels to all~ Sincerely, Satisfied Customer.
FANTASTIC TOUR AND TOUR DIRECTOR
THIS IS THE TYPE OF TOURING I LIKE. THIS WAS MY FIRST TRIP TO EUROPE AND I GOT TO SEE MOST OF THE AREAS I WANTED. THE TOUR DIRECTOR WAS VERY INFORMATIVE AND FUN. THIS COMBINATION MADE FOR A GREAT 2 WEEKS. MOST OF THE LOCAL TOUR GUIDES WHERE GOOD. I HAD SUGGESTED GETTING SOME TYPE OF SMALL PAMPHELET FOR THE LOCAL TOURS TO GO BACK AND READ ABOUT EVRYTHING WE SAW. ROB, THE TOUR GUIDE, SAID IT WOULD BE HARD BECAUSE EVERY LOCAL TOUR IS NOT THE SAME. MAYBE A SMALL PAMPHELET WITH EVERYTHING ON THE TOUR AND CAN CHECK WHAT WAS SHOWN. FROM THE ARRIVAL AT AIRPORT EVERYTHING WAS BASICALLY TAKEN CARE OF ALONG WITH WAKE UP CALLS AND BREAKFAST BEFORE THE START OF THE DAY. ALL THE TYPES OF TRANSPORTATION, TRAIN, BUS AND BOAT RIDES WHERE GREAT AND COMFORTABLE. THANKS AGAIN GO AHEAD AND ROB KEITH FAULK LAFAYETTE LA