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Speeding through Europe on a bullet train

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

European train travel is easier and better than ever, thanks to faster trains, new routes, and additional amenities to keep you comfortable and entertained on the journey. For me, there's nothing better than stretching out in a quiet car, blitzing through the European countryside, with hours of uninterrupted time to think and write.

Recently I ...Read more

Europe for the active traveler

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Whether you're a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, those who like to keep their heart pumping while sightseeing have plenty of great options in Europe. From scenic jogs through Stockholm to paddling a boat in Hyde Park to biking through bustling Amsterdam, active travel can be better travel.

Biking not only provides a workout; it's an ...Read more

Exploring colorful Coimbra

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

A couple of hours north of Lisbon, Coimbra is the Oxford or Cambridge of Portugal -- the home of its most venerable university. It's also the country's easiest-to-enjoy city -- a mini-Lisbon, with everything good about urban Portugal without the intensity of a big metropolis. I couldn't design a more delightful city for a visit.

One of the best...Read more

Eating local: Shopping for a European picnic

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

If you want to eat like a local -- enjoying tasty local specialties economically -- picnic. While I'm the first to admit that restaurant meals are an important aspect of any culture, in Europe I picnic almost daily. This is not solely for budgetary reasons. It's fun to dive into a marketplace and deal with locals in the corner grocery or market....Read more

John Paul II: Visiting the world of a modern-day saint

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

April marks the 10th anniversary of the death of John Paul II, one of the most beloved popes of recent times. During his papacy, from 1978 to 2005, he was the highly visible face of the Catholic Church as it labored to stay relevant in an increasingly secular world. Today, he is commemorated in statues and paintings throughout the great churches...Read more

Eccentric Europe: Offbeat but on-target sights

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Way back in my student travel days, I discovered a handful of completely offbeat sights that remain among my favorite places in Europe. From sculptures of salt to sculptures of marzipan, from a wall dedicated to love and freedom to chapels decorated with bones, a carefully balanced tour of Europe mixes famous must-see sights with quirky, less ...Read more

Thriving in Europe's most expensive cities

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Mastery of Europe's major cities -- Rome, Paris, London, Vienna -- is the mark of a good traveler. Teeming with color, energy, and cultural vibrancy, these places -- while expensive -- richly reward the thoughtful traveler.

There are plenty of ways to thrive in big European cities without going broke. And the good news is that, in so many ways,...Read more

The Peloponnese: Greece's unspoiled escape

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

While most travelers to Greece head for the islands, I head for the hills -- the mountains and valleys of the Peloponnese. Attached to the rest of Greece by a thin isthmus, this rugged land has always seemed isolated from the rest of the country. And while it holds some of Greece's greatest ancient monuments -- such as Olympia or Mycenae -- ...Read more

Travel as a political act

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

The great value of travel is the opportunity it offers you to pry open your hometown blinders and broaden your perspective. And when we implement that world view as citizens of our great nation, we make travel a political act. Here are my top ten tips for doing just that:

Get out of your comfort zone: Choose Managua over Mazatlan or Turkey over...Read more

Eat, view, save: scenic dining in Europe

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I'm all about traveling efficiently -- and a great way to do that is by savoring local cuisine as you soak up the splendor of the place you came to see. While view restaurants often come with a steep price tag, I've learned to find scenic places to eat where the food is delicious, affordable, and memorable.

You might call taking in the view ...Read more

Historic, heroic Gdansk

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

A port city on the Baltic Coast of Poland, Gdansk is truly amazing -- and amazingly historic. From its medieval Golden Age to the headlines of our own generation, big things have happened here.

Gdansk is the place where World War II began, and as any proud resident of the city will explain, it is the home of Solidarity, the workers' movement ...Read more

Romantic Europe: Places in the heart

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I love it when I convince people to engage with the Europe I show them. But when they become engaged with each other in Europe ... I like it even more.

Recently I heard from someone who took his girlfriend on one of my recommended hikes near Muerren, Switzerland. "I convinced Emily to get one last photo of the view together before it got dark, ...Read more

Europe's smart harborfront makeovers

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

If there's an industrial wasteland where a great European city hits the water -- London, Berlin, Amsterdam, you name it -- it's slated for a major makeover. Derelict areas on the wrong side of the river -- what we in the USA might call "the wrong side of the tracks" -- are being rejuvenated with modern buildings and fresh greenery.

My pick for ...Read more

What's New in Eastern Europe for 2015

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Eastern Europe has experienced more change in the last generation than any other corner of Europe. With war-era grandpas now gone, across the former Warsaw Pact zone new museums and memorials deal candidly with the dark side of communism -- and fascism before that. And now that the economy is perking up (with European Union help), impressive ...Read more

What's new in Germany and Austria for 2015

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Germany and Austria are a work in progress -- each country has great and innovative museums and galleries to share its culture with its many visitors. Here's the latest for 2015:

While trains are usually the easiest way for Americans to get around Germany, ultra-cheap buses are a new option worth considering. The main bus lines are MeinFernBus ...Read more

What's new in France and the Low Countries for 2015

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

France and the Low Countries have a wealth of art, history, and taste treats to share with visitors. While you'll never experience it all (thank goodness), if you're up-to-date, you'll get the most out of your time. Here's the sightseeing news for this year.

In Paris, the Picasso Museum has finally reopened after years of renovation. Because of...Read more

What's new in Italy and Spain for 2015

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Spain and Italy are working hard to accommodate hordes of travelers hungry to experience their delightful cultures.

The big news in Florence is the food scene. The steel-and-glass Central Market has undergone an exciting resurgence. The top floor is now an inviting, upscale food court, and several of the restaurants stay open late. On the ...Read more

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