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Booking It through Europe

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Getting close to one of the big icons of Western civilization -- the Acropolis, the palace of Versailles, the Colosseum -- can be the spine-tingling high point of a European trip. But don't paper over Europe's "smaller" achievements. Many of Europe's lasting cultural contributions are captured on dusty sheets of vellum or parchment. Paging ...Read more

Bucharest, Romania: Little Paris of the East

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Still haunted by the legend of a vampire count and the legacy of a communist dictator, Romania is complex -- with an epic history, a multifaceted ethnic mix, and an unusually rich cultural heritage. It may not be the easiest place to travel, but for adventurous souls, it's exceptionally rewarding.

If you go, start in Romania's capital, ...Read more

How to plan a dream vacation in eight easy steps

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

The best travelers aren't those with the fattest wallets, but those who take planning seriously. Jack might jet off to Europe as a free spirit, with no real itinerary -- and return home full of complaints about how expensive and stressful it all was. Jill, who travels with good information and a detailed day-to-day plan, returns home with rich ...Read more

A London evening has something for everyone

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

London, one of the world's busiest and biggest cities, bubbles with top-notch entertainment seven nights a week. It's also ever-changing and expensive, so it can be challenging to winnow down your options and stretch your dollars.

To get up to speed on goings-on, I like to pick up an entertainment guide such as "What's On" or "Time Out" at the ...Read more

Krakow: The heart and soul of Poland

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Krakow is easily Poland's most popular destination, located in the southern region of perhaps Europe's most underappreciated country. It's a charming, old-fashioned city buzzing with quirky history, unforgettable sights, and fun-loving college students. Even though the country's capital moved to Warsaw 400 years ago, Krakow remains Poland's ...Read more

Soaking it up in Europe's best spas

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

With my intense travel schedule, I savor detours where I put away the schedule and notes and simply enjoy the moment. And for me, there's no better detour in Europe than visiting a public bath or spa for a relaxing, good soak.

Some Americans are prudish when it comes to enjoying public baths in Europe -- especially when the dress code is just a...Read more

The Zen of Journaling

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

When I travel, I make it a habit to collect only one thing: memories. The most treasured keepsake of any trip I take is the journal I bring home, filled with descriptions and observations of the people I've met, the places I've seen, and the experiences I've had.

Thinking back, it seems I've always had a desire to capture my discoveries and ...Read more

The ugly tourist (and how not to be one)

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I'm going to be brutally frank: Many Americans' trips to Europe suffer because they're treated like "ugly tourists." But those who are treated like ugly tourists are treated that way because they are ugly tourists. They aren't bad people, just ethnocentric (and there are plenty of tourists from other countries who also qualify as "ugly").

Even ...Read more

What's new in Germany, Vienna and Prague for 2017

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

There's plenty of news for 2017 in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, including a big 500th anniversary and impressive new infrastructure, making travel here both more interesting and more efficient.

The big news in Germany is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation began in 1517 when Martin Luther, a priest ...Read more

What's new in France and the Low Countries for 2017

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

One of Europe's best organized regions for sightseeing, France and the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) are better than ever with new people-friendly zones, improved sights and comforting security.

France is a country full of beloved sights. While recent terrorist events may have scared away some travelers, I return every year for a ...Read more

What's new in Italy for 2017

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Italy -- with more culture, crowds and chaos per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe -- is most enjoyable when you're up-to-date on its sightseeing and infrastructure news.

As in other European cities, Florence is beefing up security these days. Visiting some major museums -- such as the Accademia (with Michelangelo's "David"), Uffizi...Read more

What's new in Spain and Portugal for 2017

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

Both Spain and Portugal have interesting stories to tell and interesting cultures to share. Here's some travel news for those visiting in 2017.

Neglected corners of Spain's cities are being made more inviting for visitors. Sevilla's Triana neighborhood, long considered the "wrong side of the river," is becoming the most colorful and authentic ...Read more

Beyond Havana: Cuba's Trinidad and Vinales

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

When visiting Cuba, it seems every tourist does the same three things: tour the capital city of Havana, visit the charming colonial town of Trinidad, and commune with nature in the beautiful valley of Vinales. Trinidad and Vinales are each about a three-hour drive from Havana -- one to the east and the other one west.

While Cuba has decent ...Read more

New Year's Eve in Havana

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

I welcomed the year 2016 in Cuba, where my family and I and spent New Year's Eve prowling the streets of Havana. Fun and festivity were in the air. In one wild night, I made a new friend and was invited to a party I'll never forget.

Anticipating a Cuban New Year's bash, tourists usually gather in Havana's old town....Read more

Stunning Mont St-Michel inspires

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

For more than a thousand years, the distant silhouette of Mont-St-Michel has sent pilgrims' spirits soaring. Today, it does the same for tourists. This island abbey in the Normandy region of France, one of the top pilgrimage sites of Christendom through the ages, floats like a mirage on the horizon.

For centuries, devout Christians endeavored ...Read more

Christmas in Austria

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

The festive swirl of heartwarming sights, sounds and smells of Christmas abound in Austria -- the land where the season's most-loved carol, "Silent Night," was first performed more than 200 years ago.

Austria is known for its slow-paced, stop-and-smell-the-strudel attitude. For Christmas, Austrians start early, go slow and touch all the holiday...Read more

Tower power in Tuscany

Travel / Rick Steves' Europe /

San Gimignano is the epitome of a Tuscan hill town. About 25 miles from Florence and Siena, it's the region's glamour girl -- visually striking and perfectly preserved -- getting all the fawning attention from passing tour buses. But despite its tourist-trap feel, it's still worth slotting into ...Read more


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