Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2020
ATMs are a frequent target for travel scams in Europe — if anyone’s around, cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

Europe is a surprisingly creative place when it comes to travel scams. Many of the most successful gambits require a naively trusting tourist, but seasoned travelers can be taken in, too. We should all be wary of the numerous subtle scams -- a cabbie pads your fare, a hotel business center computer records your password, or a waiter offers a special with a "special" increased price. But if you're cautious and not overly trusting, you should have no problem. Here...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, January 2020 -- Page 49
A cruise ship offers memorably fantastic views of the classic whitewashed villages of Santorini. Photo by Cameron Hewitt

I’ve spent the last several decades exploring Europe from every conceivable angle. And this includes checking out Europe the way millions of people do: from a cruise ship.

I’m not out to promote or put down cruising. For some people it’s a great choice, and for others it’s not. On the plus side, cruising can be economical, with transportation, a room and meals all included in one price. It can be ideal for those who want their vacation logistics taken...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2019
The essential elements of the French Riviera — azure water, blue sky, and endless sunshine — appeal to vacationers and artists alike in places like Nice.

With its romantic coastline, inviting beaches, and reliable sunshine, southern France's Riviera region has been a tourist destination since the 1860s. A hundred years ago, aristocrats from London to Moscow flocked here to socialize, gamble, and escape the dreary weather at home. But the area also attracted a who's who of 20th-century artists, who were drawn by the Mediterranean's bohemian atmosphere, luminous light, and contrasting colors of sea, sand, and sky...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2019
Hiding in a distant wing of Vienna's crowded Hofburg Palace, the Albertina Museum's 19th-century state rooms are usually empty.

Seeing the top sights in Europe's big cities can be intense. It's hot, it's crowded, and your dream of having a quiet moment with the Mona Lisa is shared by around six million people every year.

The mission of my most recent trip to Europe was finding peace and tranquility in big cities that, in many ways, feel overrun with tourists. And it's surprisingly easy to do.

Many travelers stick to the most famous sights -- and I don't...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2019
Travelers who visit Paris in winter get to experience a less congested, more European Europe.

Every time I travel to Europe in the off-season, I find myself enjoying a cool and comfy tranquility -- and not missing the heat and crowds that so often come with peak season. But even more than that, I enjoy catching Europe by surprise -- at its candid best, living everyday life. When I travel outside of the tourist season, Europe seems even more welcoming than normal.

Some of my warmest European memories have been gained while wearing a sweater...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, December 2019
The picture-perfect setting of the Cinque Terre villages (in this case, Riomaggiore) draws millions of tourists annually.

When I first came to the Cinque Terre, then an isolated stretch of the Italian Riviera south of Genoa, it was a classic "back door": a string of five pastel-hued hamlets, gently and steadily carving a good life out of difficult seaside terrain. It was authentic, romantic, and without a tourist in sight. Fast-forward several decades ... and the once-sleepy villages are now on Instagram bucket lists and mobbed in high season by organized tours and cruise-ship excursions...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2019 -- Page 47
Coimbra University’s King João's Library, in Portugal, has a spectacular ceiling and is one of Europe’s best surviving Baroque libraries. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

When touring any city, it’s fun to drop in on the local university. But in Europe, universities can be essential sightseeing, as some are home to great architectural, artistic and cultural treasures.

• One of Europe’s top university sights is the Book of Kells, tucked away in the library of the venerable Trinity College in DUBLIN. This famous illuminated manuscript is a 1,200-year-old version of the four Gospels, elaborately inked and meticulously illustrated...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, November 2019
St. Michael's Gate in Bratislava's old town is the last surviving tower of the city wall.

Strung along the Danube River, three capital cities -- Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest -- make up a triangle of enjoyable urbanity at the heart of central Europe. Each of these capital cities shares a common Habsburg history, and thanks to their proximity -- only one or two hours apart by train -- combining all three into one trip is a breeze.

Vienna ranks at the top of my list of elegant European cities. Once the capital of the mighty...

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