Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2020
Built in the 12th century, the St. Benezet Bridge lasted until 1668 when a devastating flood took out most of the half-mile-long span. Tourists can pay to walk out on the bridge for a sweeping view of Avignon.

Clinging to a bend in the Rhone River in the south of France, Avignon looks and feels like it stepped out of a medieval fairy tale. While it's largely famous for its 14th-century heyday as a papal capital and its even older 12th-century bridge, Avignon has plenty to offer beyond history. Today this walled Provençal town is a youthful place full of atmospheric cafes, fun shops, and numerous hide-and-seek squares ideal for postcard-writing and people-watching.

An easy...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2020
It’s easy to find Wi-Fi at cafés, transit hubs, tourist offices, and public squares throughout Europe.

When I took my first solo trip to Europe in 1973, I must have kept my parents on the edge of their seats.

The day after my high school graduation, I headed to the airport, accompanied only by a good friend, a rucksack, and a youthful sense of adventure. Throughout the months-long trip, the only way of communicating with my folks back home was through postcards, since paying for international calls was beyond my Europe-Through-the-Gutter budget. Still, I managed to send a...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2020
One of Lucca’s surviving towers is the Torre Guinigi, with 227 steps leading up to a small garden of fragrant trees.

On a sunny summer evening in Lucca, Italy, I was inspired by the simple joy of watching an old man bicycling with his granddaughter atop the wide, fortified wall that once protected this proud city from its enemies -- and now seems to corral its Old World charm. Then, on rented bikes, a group of chatty tourists frolicked by. Their enthusiasm was contagious. Squinting at the energy in their smiles, surrounded by dazzling sunshine, it struck me that the sun in Italy seems to...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2020
A clear view of the spectacular Matterhorn isn’t guaranteed, especially if your Zermatt visit is a quick one.

On my two previous trips to Switzerland's tiny-but-touristy Zermatt, I failed to catch a glimpse of the glorious Matterhorn mountain that draws so many to the burg at its base for a peek at the peak.

My third try was the charm, and now I have a confession: I'm in love with the Matterhorn. Now I get why this mountain town of 5,800 people is so popular.

There's just something about the Matterhorn, the most recognizable mountain on the planet. Just seeing the...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, March 2020 -- Page 47
Canterbury Cathedral, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, will soon have a new welcome center. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

Britain, while engulfed in Brexit politics, is constantly investing in first-class projects to share its heritage, and, in so many ways, Britain’s heritage is linked to our heritage.

While many travelers are understandably curious about how Brexit is affecting tourists, from my experience it isn’t. The only impact I’ve found is that the tourism industry seems to respect visitors more than ever. (And, for those who like to talk politics, the topic is a fascinating...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, February 2020
A jubilant pilgrim on Spain’s Camino de Santiago marks the end of her journey in front of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

To travel as a pilgrim is to experience "travel with a purpose"--to go beyond tourism and connect more deeply with a place, a culture, or a faith. Travelers considering pilgrimages in Europe have the opportunity to follow centuries-old routes or trace new paths in a search for perspective on their own culture -- or the culture of others.

"The Camino de Santiago -- the "Way of St. James" -- is Europe's ultimate pilgrimage route. Since the Middle Ages,...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, February 2020
If booking same-day tickets to Dublin’s Book of Kells, you’ll find few crowds at the side-entrance ticket kiosks.

Ireland is more than an "Emerald Isle." It's an isle filled with cultural and historic wonders...and lately with lots of tourists, too. And at many of its top sights, reservations are now either required or highly recommended.

In Dublin, it's more important than ever to buy advance tickets for the most popular sights. These include Kilmainham Gaol, a museum housed in a former prison for political prisoners (visits are by guided tour only), and the Guinness...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, February 2020
Canterbury Cathedral, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, will soon have a new welcome center.

Britain, while engulfed in Brexit politics, is constantly investing in first-class projects to share its heritage -- and, in so many ways, Britain's heritage is linked to our heritage.

While many travelers are understandably curious about how Brexit is affecting tourists, from my experience it isn't. The only impact I've found is that the tourism industry seems to respect visitors more than ever. (And, for those who like to talk politics, the topic is a fascinating...

CONTINUE READING »