Rick Steves Travel Blog: Blog Gone Europe

I'm sharing my travel experiences, candid opinions and what's on my mind. If you think it's inappropriate for a travel writer to stir up discussion on his blog with political observations and insights gained from traveling abroad, you may not want to read any further. — Rick

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“From palm trees to snowballs”–perhaps the most thrilling juxtaposition of sights you can enjoy in a day of touring in Europe–is our nickname for driving from the Italian Riviera (Cinque Terre) to the heart of the Swiss Alps–the Berner Oberland. To have the most wonderful mix of cow culture and alpine thrills, we have long stayed in my favorite little alpine village…tiny Gimmelwald, a humble peasant hamlet where nearly everyone has the same last name.  Check out this video clip taken high upon “scalps of the Alps,” and you’ll see why I get excited just thinking about my upcoming trip to Switzerland.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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In May I’ll give myself a little vacation. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. It collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week journey.

Of all our tour itineraries, a consistent best seller is our Venice-Florence-Rome in 10 Days thriller. Talk about mainlining all the travel wonder of Italy: I can’t think of a more intensely entertaining 10 days in Europe for anyone who enjoys great food, people, fun, art, and culture then joining what my staff fondly refers to as “VFR.” So for eight out of the 21 days in Europe on my tour, I’ll start with a cappuccino and a cheery “Buon giorno!” in these three magnificent cities. When in Rome, I’ll be sure to go on the city’s ritual evening stroll–the passeggiata.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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In May I’ll give myself a little vacation. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. It collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week journey.

Of all our tour itineraries, a consistent best seller is our Venice-Florence-Rome in 10 Days thriller. Talk about mainlining all the travel wonder of Italy: I can’t think of a more intensely entertaining 10 days in Europe for anyone who enjoys great food, people, fun, art, and culture then joining what my staff fondly refers to as “VFR.” So for eight out of the 21 days in Europe on my tour, I’ll start with a cappuccino and a cheery “Buon giorno!” in these three magnificent cities. In Florence, I’m going to see my old friend David.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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In May I’ll give myself a little vacation. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. It collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week journey.

Of all our tour itineraries, a consistent best seller is our Venice-Florence-Rome in 10 Days thriller. Talk about mainlining all the travel wonder of Italy: I can’t think of a more intensely entertaining 10 days in Europe for anyone who enjoys great food, people, fun, art, and culture then joining what my staff fondly refers to as “VFR.” So for eight out of the 21 days in Europe on my tour, I’ll start with a cappuccino and a cheery “Buon giorno!” in these three magnificent cities. In Venice, I plan to get lost.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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In May I’ll give myself a little vacation. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. It collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week route. We’ll spend a total of three nights in Germany.

Of the hundred people who work here at Rick Steves’ Europe, we have plenty of Francophiles and Italophiles. But around here Germany is not quite so sexy. Actually, I find Germany very sexy. (People even say the language isn’t sexy. But–being a fan of the German band Nena of “99 Luftballons” fame–I strongly disagree.) I also find sausages, frothy lagers, Martin Luther, and ruined castles sexy. And I can’t tell you what dirndls and lederhosen do for me. Check out this clip to better understand why Germany keeps popping up in the most inviting of my travel dreams.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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In May I’ll give myself a little vacation. After 25 years of guiding our bus tours, I decided to retire from that 10 years ago and simply enjoy the amazing teaching and experiences our bus tour guides dish up–so I go as a participant. Each year I sign up for a Rick Steves tour–incognito. It’s fun. I use a pseudonym…and get letters from myself. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. Simply put, this tour collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week route. It starts in Amsterdam. This clip shows why Amsterdam is a great place to kick off a tour covering Europe’s greatest hits.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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I’ve been giddier than usual this week as I’m finalizing my travel plans for 2014. I’ve got an amazing itinerary promising four months of fun and learning, and there’ll be lots of great new information to share. I’ll be vigorously posting almost daily from some of my favorite corners of Europe. And for the next week or so until I fly away, we’re running video clips to get us all in the mood.

In May I’ll give myself a little vacation (as much as I can actually be on vacation in Europe with so much work that can never be finished…poor me). After 25 years of guiding our bus tours, I decided to retire from that 10 years ago and simply enjoy the amazing teaching and experiences our bus tour guides dish up–so I go as a participant. Each year I sign up for a Rick Steves tour–incognito. It’s fun. I use a pseudonym…and get letters from myself. This year, I’m booked on our Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour–the same route I drove in my minibus back in the 1970s and 1980s. Simply put, this tour collects Europe’s greatest hits into an amazing three-week route.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest




I’ve been giddier than usual this week as I’m finalizing my travel plans for 2014. I’ve got an amazing itinerary promising four months of fun and learning, and there’ll be lots of great new information to share. I’ll be vigorously posting almost daily from some of my favorite corners of Europe. And for the next week or so until I fly away, we’re running video clips to get us all in the mood.

This May I’ll meet my TV crew in north Italy to shoot new shows on the great cities near Venice (Verona, Padua–a.k.a. Padova, and Ravenna). Here is a clip illustrating why I love Padua so much.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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I’ve been giddier than usual this week as I’m finalizing my travel plans for 2014. I’ve got an amazing itinerary promising four months of fun and learning, and there’ll be lots of great new information to share. I’ll be vigorously posting almost daily from some of my favorite corners of Europe. And for the next week or so until I fly away, we’re running video clips to get us all in the mood.

Ten years ago we shifted to high-definition in our filming–as wonderful a jump in video technology as was the leap from black-and-white to color TV in the 1960s. I’ve spent the last decade redoing our old standard-def TV shows. We’ve just about redone everything now, so our library of TV episodes covers all of Europe in HD. This May I’ll meet the crew in north Italy to shoot new shows on the Cinque Terre. Two years ago, two of the five little ports of the Italian Riviera (Vernazza and Monterosso) were buried in a flash flood and mountains of mud. Knowing they’d dig out and start anew, I put off filming until this year. Now all cinque of the Cinque Terre are ready for prime time, and we’ll bring it home for travelers all across the USA. Here is a clip illustrating why I love this region so much.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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I’ve been giddier than usual this week as I’m finalizing my travel plans for 2014. I’ve got an amazing itinerary promising four months of fun and learning–and there’ll be lots of great new information to share. I’ll be vigorously posting almost daily from some of my favorite corners of Europe. And for the next week or so until I fly away, we’re running video clips to get us all in the mood.

Barcelona is vibrant and proud. Midway between Madrid and Paris, it has a Madrid-style love of life and a Parisian elegance and sense of taste. Now that Europe is uniting, Madrid is no longer so threatened by this powerhouse on the Mediterranean. And locals are allowed to wave their Catalonian flags and teach their children Catalonian first and Spanish “as a second language.” This clip captures the spirit of this economic and cultural dynamo.

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.

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