In Paris last June, I kept running into a delightful woman from Indiana on her first trip there. Wonderstruck by the city's charms, she was doing everything right -- picking up French words, conversing with every local she could, and enjoying the great artistic and cultural experiences.
To get the most out of France, it's essential to connect ...Read more
Tiny Slovenia -- wedged between the Alps and the Adriatic -- is one of Eastern Europe's most unexpectedly delightful destinations. Located where the Germanic, Mediterranean and Slavic worlds come together, its capital, Ljubljana, enjoys a happy hodgepodge of cultures but remains relatively undiscovered. Walking through its cobbled Old Town, you'...Read more
With borders so close and transportation a delight, it's easy to throw a change of scenery and culture into your European itinerary. Here are some of my favorite cross-border day trips.
London to Paris. Zipping on the bullet train from London to Paris (or vice versa), deep below the English Channel (a.k.a. "Chunnel"), is exciting -- and takes ...Read more
In Germany's southwest corner, the Black Forest ("Schwarzwald") is a range of hills stretching east of the Rhine River. Ancient Romans found the thick forests here inaccessible and mysterious, so they called it "black." Today, Germans and tourists alike are attracted to this most romantic of German regions -- famous for its mineral spas, clean ...Read more
Just an hour from major English destinations such as Bath and the Cotswolds, spunky Cardiff offers a taste of Welsh flavors that will leave you with great memories.
Most travelers planning a trip to Britain don't realize you can hop a train in London and, in just over two hours, you're in Wales' revitalized capital. From there, you can easily ...Read more
Last year I spent two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise, filming a one-hour TV show that will present an honest look at the pros and cons of cruising and will equip travelers with the knowledge they need to be smart cruisers.
You might not think of it as budget travel, but cruising can be extremely affordable. When you consider that the price ...Read more
On my last visit to Tallinn, while I was admiring the view from the terrace atop the city walls, a kindly middle-aged man approached. From a satchel on his shoulder, he pulled out a stack of music CDs, all recordings of Tallinn's famous Song Festivals. While he was eager to make a sale, my friend was even more intent that I learn the story of ...Read more
France and Switzerland are two of Europe's most appealing destinations, but they're constantly changing, so I've gathered these new items for your 2018 travel planning.
In Paris, prices at the Eiffel Tower are up nearly 50 percent to help fund a 15-year renovation, including a bulletproof, eight-foot glass wall around the tower's base. It now ...Read more
England, Scotland and Ireland are earnestly improving tourism infrastructures, adding worthwhile exhibits to well-known sights and investing in new experiences for travelers. Read up on these latest developments to make the most of your time in the isles in 2018.
Major changes are taking place at some of London's most visited sights. At ...Read more
Anyone traveling in Scandinavia this year will find a region that's investing productively in itself. Numerous urban, cultural and transit projects are underway, continuing the Scandinavian devotion to quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Here are some newsworthy notes to keep in mind as you travel in the region in 2018.
In Denmark...Read more
Italy bubbles with emotion, corruption, traffic jams, strikes, religious holidays and crowds. Irate ranters shake their fists at each other one minute and walk arm-in-arm the next. It's bella chaos, and if you're up-to-date on your sightseeing and transit info, you'll love it. Here's the latest, gleaned from research done for the 2018 edition of...Read more
I'm really into "second cities" these days. For generations, Industrial Age powerhouses in Europe turned into what we would call "the rust belt," while their elegant "first city" counterparts enjoyed the luster of the Information Age. But over the last decade or so, the rust has become a trendy accessory and industrial ruins have turned bohemian...Read more
Once, while traveling in the '70s, the youth hostel where I had planned to stay was full, and the staff directed me to a nearby convent instead. As I walked there, I wondered if I was signing myself up for draconian curfews, spartan accommodations, and Mass at dawn.
Without funds for much else, I was resigned. But I shouldn't have worried -- it...Read more
Germany's second-largest city, Hamburg, is awash with history -- from emigration to World War II to the Beatles. It's also a thriving 21st-century metropolis with an inviting harbor boardwalk, avant-garde architecture and Las Vegas-style nightlife. Every visit here makes me wonder why so many Americans skip it. I love this city.
Even though it'...Read more
As the capital of the country that gets my vote for the friendliest in the European Union, Dublin is a sightseer's delight: It's safe, thriving and extremely accessible. Dubliners are energetic and helpful, and visitors enjoy a big-town cultural scene wrapped up in a small-town smile.
Part of the reason Ireland is one of my favorite ...Read more
High in Switzerland, the mighty Alps seem to shout the glory of God. Up here, the Christmas season fills a winter wonderland with good cheer. I'll never forget the holiday I spent in the village of Gimmelwald in mountainous central Switzerland, where old traditions remain strong.
In Swiss villages like this, home windows serve as life-size ...Read more
The quintessential image of Spain is the region of Andalucia, home of bullfights, flamenco, whitewashed hill towns and glamorous Mediterranean resorts. And while much of the region's appeal is in its hill and coastal retreats, at the heart of Andalucia are three great cities: Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla.
Granada is the famous last home of the ...Read more