Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2018
European emigrants crowd a dock in Antwerp, Belgium, before boarding a Red Star Line ship for New York.

Every year millions of Americans visit Ellis Island, where their ancestors may have arrived from "the old country." But Europehas many excellent "Ellis Islands in reverse" -- museums at the places where millions said goodbye to the land of their birth.

Is there anything more poignant than a person willing to sacrifice everything in pursuit of a better life? That's the story of many hard-scrabble Europeans heading off to dreamed-of opportunities in far...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2018
The enormous Vasa, decorated with hundreds of wooden statues, was designed to show the power of Sweden’s king. The top-heavy ship sank on its maiden voyage.

Scandinavia's Viking days may be long gone, but its legacy of maritime exploration (and plunder) continues to capture our imagination. Tap into the region's seafaring heritage by visiting excellent museums in Stockholm, Oslo, and just outside Copenhagen.

Scandinavia's entrance into civilized Europe was swift and dramatic. On June 8, 793, a fleet of pirates came ashore on the northeast coast of England and sacked the Lindisfarne...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2018
The interior of Strasbourg’s cathedral includes an elaborately carved stone pulpit from the 1400s (lower right) and an exquisite gold-leafed organ (upper right).

Nestled on the Rhine across the border from Germany, Strasbourg offers your best chance to experience the urban side of France's Alsace region. Each time I walk its people-friendly streets, I'm struck by how progressive and livable the city feels, with generous space devoted to pedestrians and bikes, sleek trams and meandering waterways. With delightful big-city energy and a name that means the "city of streets," Strasbourg is...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2018
At the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, artifacts recall the games’ ancient Greek beginnings.

In the southwest corner of Switzerland, Lake Geneva separates France and Switzerland with a serene beauty. A collage of castles, museums, resort towns and vineyards, this region merits a few days of exploration, though you can get a swift overview of its highlights even in a day.

Last summer I took time to relax and enjoy the tranquil and elegant city of Lausanne (the area's best home base). With a characteristic old town, towering cathedral and...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
At Jugendherberge Stahleck, one of Europe’s most scenic hostels, travelers sleep in a medieval German castle and enjoy a royal view of the Rhine River.

Many travelers wonder: "Youth hosteling ... can we still do that?" You can: Many hostels are filled with travelers well past their 20s -- and age cutoffs are generally a thing of the past. Even the International Youth Hostel Federation has removed the word "youth" from its name and is now known as Hostelling International (HI). If you're alive, you're young enough to hostel.

Of course, hosteling originated as a way for young...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Iceland’s easy stopovers and dramatic scenery — like the geothermal field that’s home to Geysir on the Golden Circle — have quadrupled the number of tourists to the island since 2010.

With striking glaciers, craggy peaks and steamy geysers, Iceland appeals to the curious and the adventurous. In recent years, this remote and cold island-nation has vaulted from out-of-the-way backwater to can't-miss destination. Tourism is booming.

Part of the recent travel surge is convenience, of a sort. Nowadays, many Americans are dropping in to Iceland on their way to or from Europe. Both Icelandair and Wow Air typically allow a...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Lingering in outdoor cafes is the norm in France — eat long and well.

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 with the culture. Go on a wine tour, play boules with the locals, and make an effort to understand what...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Ljubljana’s exquisite architecture reflects its history as a crossroads of Germanic, Mediterranean, and Slavic cultures.

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'll encounter one-of-a-kind architecture, festivals filling the summer air, and a leafy riverside promenade...

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