Rick Steves

Amsterdam

Europe's best-preserved 17th-century city, Amsterdam is quaint and jarring, traditional and modern. Filled with history and happy-go-lucky, it's a delight to explore. Uniquely entertaining Amsterdam shows us Rembrandts and Van Goghs, more bikes than cars, flirting prostitutes, and pot-filled coffeeshops - all under tall, skinny facades leaning out below quaint church towers.

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Oslo

The proud spirit of the Norwegian people shines in every dimension of their capital city-from its once-fearsome Viking ships to its sleek new Opera House, from tales of World War II heroism to the constant festival of its thriving harborfront. Connecting with the culture, we enjoy art-from Vigeland's statues to Monch's scream-and cap things off by joining local friends for a sail on their fjord.

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Highlights of Castile: Toledo and Salamanca

Castile sparkles with Roman Segovia, walled Avila, student-filled Salamanca, and holy Toledo! We marvel at El Greco, pop some explosive pickles, and ramble Spain's most awe-inspiring medieval walls. Then, just for fun, we drop in on a bachelorette party with local troubadours, slice and savor tasty jamon, stroll with the crowd, and grab a front-row seat to enjoy Europe's most enchanting square.



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Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains and Bergen

For Scandinavia's most thrilling sightseeing, we sail under towering fjord cliffs, hike on powerful glaciers, and find surviving traditions in remote farm hamlets. Then we delve into the Hanseatic heritage and enjoy the salty hospitality of Norway's historic capitol, Bergen.

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Normandy: War-Torn Yet Full of Life

After exploring the half-timbered charm of Rouen, we reflect on Monet's lily ponds, peek in on local artisans, and set up an easel at Honfleur's harbor. We venture into composer Eric Satie's eccentric world and feast on the finest of Normandy cuisine. After pondering sacrifice and celebrating freedom on the D-Day beaches, we hike with pilgrims to the enchanted island abbey of Mont St. Michel.



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Stockholm

Sweden's capital, confident and self-assured, glitters with souvenirs from the day when it ruled as a superpower. From pondering gilded royal staterooms to sampling gourmet reindeer and sipping vodka in an ice bar, we experience the city's cultural highlights. Then we sail the archipelago for the prettiest island-hopping in northern Europe.

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Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland

No trip to Emerald Isle is complete without a visit to Northern Ireland. We tour bustling Belfast, sneaking a peek at its politically charged neighborhoods. Then we head for the Antrim Coast and go wild in Portrush, Ulster's Coney Island. We taste-test Irish whiskey, scramble over six-sided rock columns, putter through a world-class golf course, and stomp our feet to Irish music in rough-and- tumble Derry.

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Helsinki and Tallinn: Baltic Sisters

The fascinating capitals of Finland and Estonia offer a chance to sample each country's history, art, and distinct love of life. We'll start in Helsinki with its Neoclassical old town, modern flair for design, and steamy saunas. Then it's just a two-hour boat ride to Tallinn-with its medieval charms and new-found prosperity-celebrating its freedom and thriving in its post-USSR renaissance.



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London: Mod and Trad

London is quintessentially English...yet cosmopolitan. We check out the new - the Millennium Bridge and the British Museum's Great Court, and admire the old - well-wrapped mummies and a rare Leonardo. After bantering with Beefeaters at the Tower of London, we do some riverside beach-combing. Strolling the trendy South Bank of the Thames takes us from the Tate Modern to the dizzying London Eye.



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Galicia and the Camino De Santiago

We follow the trail pilgrims have trod for centuries, from the French border to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest corner of Spain. Along the way, we stop off in Pamplona to run with the bulls, and dive into the unique Celtic culture of Galicia-where Riverdance meets flamenco.



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Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Creme Brulee

Packing the best of Paris into one episode, we scale the Eiffel Tower, then savor classic treats - from steak tartare to creme brulee. We marvel at Monet, Manet and company in the stunning Orsay Gallery. Tracing the sad steps of Marie Antoinette, we relive French history from its bloody revolution to its extravagant belle epoch.

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Basque Country

The homeland of the proud and resiliant Basque people is split between France and Spain. From our San Sebastian home base, we tour the ancient Basque capital of Gernika, the dazzling Guggenheim Modern in Bilbao, and then cross into France for more Basque Country charms. From yummy tapa bars to lightning-fast jai alai games, we'll experience Basque culture at its most vivid.



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Belgium: Bruges and Brussels

Belgium is a land of contrasts. From the powerhouse headquarters of the European Union and Europe's grandest square in big-city Brussels, we go quaint with delicate lace and back lane bike rides in small-town Bruges. We check into a medieval hospital, savor the exquisite art of Memling, and climb a bell tower to get up close and fortissimo at a carillon concert. Then passionate chefs - creators of French fries and Europe's finest chocolate-give us a taste of their art.



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Rome: Ancient Glory

Part one of three on the Eternal City, this episode resurrects the rubble and brings back to life the capital of the ancient world. Focusing on the grandeur of classical Rome, we marvel at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the empire's exquisite art. Then we go offbeat by bicycle to see the Appian Way and marvels of Roman engineering.

Read our ancient Rome travel guide.

  • 2017-05-08T02:00:00-07:00
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French Riviera: Uniquely Chic

A longtime favorite escape of Europe's elite, the Riviera coastline still sparkles with yachts. We follow in the footsteps of 19th century aristocrats along Monaco's harbor and Nice's promenade des Anglais. Then we visit the picturesque, artist hangouts of Chagall, Matisse and Picasso.

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Rome: Baroque Brilliance

This second of three episodes on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque. We ramble through the venerable heart of Rome, admire breathtaking Bernini statues, ponder sunbeams inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, and mix and mingle with the Romans during an early-evening stroll. Following an exquisite Roman dinner, we join locals after dark, lacing together the Eternal City's most romantic nightspots.

  • 2017-05-09T02:00:00-07:00
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Poland Rediscovered: Krakow, Auschwitz and Warsaw

Poland is ready to be rediscovered as the old "east" transforms itself into the new heart of Europe. Krakow, with its bubbly Baroque and cobbled charm, is emerging as the exciting "next Prague." Nearby, a visit to Auschwitz teaches us a timeless, soul-searching lesson. Systematically destroyed during World War II, Warsaw is a lively, thriving capital once again.




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Rome: Back-Street Riches

In this third of three episodes on the Eternal City, we explore this grand metropolis-so rich in art and culture-on a more intimate scale, delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners. Venturing through the crusty Trastevere district, visiting the historic Jewish Ghetto, and enjoying art treasures in a string of rarely visited churches, we uncover charms of hidden Rome that compete with its marquee sights.

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Florence: Heart of the Renaissance

Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of our modern world. In this first of two episodes, we gaze into the self-assured eyes of Michelangelo's David, enjoy Botticelli's Birth of Venus, delve into the 3-D wonders of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, appreciate Fra Angelico's serene beauty, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. Then we cross the Arno to where Florentine artisans live, work, and eat ... very well.



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Lisbon and the Algarve

Experiencing the best of Portugal, we start in Lisbon, a ramshackle mix of glorious old and fun-loving new. Salty sailors' quarters and wistful Fado singers mix with ornate architecture to recall the glory days when Vasco da Gama and Magellan made Portugal a world power. Then we head for the south coast of your travel dreams-the Algarve. We explore the Land's End of Europe-windy and historic Cape Sagres before savoring pristine beaches and arm-wrestling octopi in the sleepy fishing village of Salema.




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Florentine Delights and Tuscan Side Trips

In this second of a two episodes on Florence, we enjoy more of the exquisite artistic treasures of the city that propelled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Then we side-trip to a couple of rival cities and cultural capitals in their own right, Pisa and Lucca, where we'll marvel at a tipsy tower, circle a city on its ramparts, and enjoy some Puccini in his hometown.



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Sevilla

Sevilla is the flamboyant city of Carmen and Don Juan. It's where bullfighting is still politically correct and where little girls dream of growing up to become flamenco dancers. Sevilla has soul-and we feel it in its lacy Moorish palace, massive cathedral, lavish royal tombs, labyrinthine Jewish quarter, and its people-filled streets. After munching tasty tapas, we head south for Andalusia's ultimate whitewashed hilltown, Arcos de la Frontera.



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Paris: Regal and Intimate

In Paris, amidst all of its grandeur, the little joys of life are still embraced. In this first of two episodes on Paris, we cruise the Seine River, visit Napoleon's tomb, and take in the Louvre. Then we feel the pulse of Paris-shopping in village-like neighborhoods, attending church in a grand pipe organ loft, and celebrating the mother of all revolutions with a big, patriotic Bastille Day bang.



  • 2017-05-15T02:00:00-07:00
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England's Bath & York

Medieval York and Georgian Bath - easy side-trips from London - pack an exciting pair of sightseeing punches. Rick explores Roman hot springs, cruises quiet canals, marvels at England's finest Gothic church and gets a surprising dose of Viking history as he enjoys England's easy urban delights.

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Paris: Embracing Life and Art

In this second of two episodes on Europe's "City of Light," we ride a unicorn into the Middle Ages at the Cluny Museum, take a midnight Paris joyride in a classic car, get an extremely close-up look at heavenly stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle, go on a tombstone pilgrimage at Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and savor the Parisian cafe scene. Few cites are so confident in their expertise in good living-and as travelers, we get to share in that uniquely Parisian joie de vivre.



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North Wales: Feisty and Poetic

From towering Mount Snowdon, to evocative medieval castles, to sweeping Victorian promenades, North Wales is a poem written in landscape. We'll climb a mountain aboard a steam train, learn some Welsh, follow a miner deep into a slate mine, herd sheep with a very clever dog, and work in a pop pilgrimage to the Beatles' Liverpool.



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London: Historic and Dynamic

In many-faceted London, we ponder royal tombs in Westminster Abbey, learn how to triple the calories of an English scone at teatime, discover treasures in the British Library, enjoy the vibrant evening scene in Soho, uncover Churchill's secret WWII headquarters, join the 9-to-5 crowd in the new London, shop where the queen shops, and straddle the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the historical and cultural heart of Scotland. We'll explore the castle, peek at the new parliament, dabble in the local literature, sip a little Scotch, get wrapped up in a kilt, and then stow away on Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia.

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North England's Lake District and Durham

Hiking through the Cumbrian Lake District-England's green and pristine mountain playground-we admire idyllic lakes, discover misty waterfalls, tour a slate mine, and conquer stony summits. And we'll meet the locals-and their beloved dogs and sheep-everywhere. Then we play a little cricket, hike Hadrian's Wall, and are dazzled by Durham's Norman cathedral.



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Naples and Pompeii

Naples is Italy in the extreme. We'll prowl backstreet fish markets, dodge fast-moving Vespas, and dine on pizza where it was invented. We'll climb to the top of nearby Mount Vesuvius, then wander through the amazing ruins of Pompeii, the Roman town it destroyed.



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Venice: City of Dreams

After sorting through the monuments of Venice's powerful past, we trace its decline from Europe's most powerful city to its most hedonistic one. We cruise the Grand Canal, luxuriate in a venerable cafe, and savor fresh fish canalside with Venetian friends. Becoming as anonymous as possible in this city of masks, we'll be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance and get intimate with the city of Casanova...on a gondola under the moonlight.



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Italy's Amalfi Coast

Just south of Naples we'll experience the breath-taking Amalfi Coastline, the trendy resort of Positano, the limoncello charms of Sorrento, the ancient Greek temples at Paestum, and the iridescent Blue Grotto hidden beneath the enchanting isle of Capri.



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Venice and Its Lagoon

Venice, more than any other European city, has an endlessly seductive charm. For centuries, it was nicknamed La Serenissima, "The Most Serenely Beautiful One"-and for good reason. Along with sampling the sumptuous art treasures of Venice and exploring its back-street wonders, we cruise its lagoon, stopping in fiery Murano for glass, pastel Burano for lace, and murky Torcello for a sense of where Venice was born.

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Milan and Lake Como

No trip to Italy is complete without Milan and Lake Como. In Milan we'll take a peek at Italy's highest fashion, fanciest delis, grandest cemetery and greatest opera house...not to mention Leonardo's Last Supper. Then we'll cruise along Lake Como, settling down in the lakeside village of Varenna...classic honeymoon country, where Italy meets the Alps.



  • 2017-05-22T11:30:00-07:00
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European Travel Skills, Part I

The first episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. Shot on location in Amsterdam, Germany's Rhineland, Venice, Siena, the Italian Riviera, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and London, these episodes cover Rick's favorite 3,000-mile European loop while providing viewers with essential travel skills.

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Tuscany's Dolce Vita

The small towns and rural charms of Tuscany give us a healthy dose of the "sweet life" as we hunt for truffles in an oak forest, nibble through an artichoke festival, share a farmhouse feast, and ride a classic convertible through the cypress groves of Mona Lisa's back yard.

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European Travel Skills, Part II

The second episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. Shot on location in Amsterdam, Germany's Rhineland, Venice, Siena, the Italian Riviera, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and London, these episodes cover Rick's favorite 3,000-mile European loop while providing viewers with essential travel skills.

  • 2017-05-24T02:00:00-07:00
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Italy's Great Hill Towns

Connoisseurs of Italy find that its quintessential charms survive in its classic hill towns. From San Gimignano's medieval towers, to Cortona's charming lanes, to Orvieto's papal intrigue, to Civita di Bagnoregio's cliff-hanging vistas...all sit on lofty stone perches that now seem to protect them only from the modern world.

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European Travel Skills, Part III

The last episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. Shot on location in Amsterdam, Germany's Rhineland, Venice, Siena, the Italian Riviera, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and London,these episodes cover Rick's favorite 3,000-mile European loop while providing viewers with essential travel skills.

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Vienna

In Europe's classiest capital we'll tiptoe through the palace of Maria Theresa and be dazzled by the Hapsburg crown jewels. Then we'll picnic on the Danube, nibble strudel in an old world cafe, blush at slinky Art Nouveau, and waltz to the three-four beat of Johann Strauss.



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Western Turkey

From the port of Kusadasi, we wander the streets of ancient Ephesus, soak in a natural spa at Pamukkale, learn why the dervishes whirl at Konya, munch lunch in a Turkish pizzeria, and cruise the Mediterranean on a traditional Turkish gulet from Antalya. Turkey is a mighty nation whose ancient heritage, Muslim faith, and western ways are coming together...and we'll see how.



  • 2017-05-26T02:00:00-07:00
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Salzburg and Surroundings

The birthplace of Mozart - and everyone's Sound of Music fantasies -Salzburg is a Baroque jewel of a town. It's also the springboard for lots of alpine fun-from thrilling summer bobsledding, to idyllic boat rides in the Salzkammergut lake district, to exploring the delightful romantic town of Hallstatt.



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