Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2019
Buchanan Street is the heart of modern, commercial Glasgow — and it’s a fascinating place to people-watch.

Glasgow, astride the River Clyde, is a surprising city -- and Scotland's most underrated destination. Just an hour from Edinburgh (making it an easy day trip), Glasgow offers an energetic dining and nightlife scene, fanciful architecture and top-notch museums -- most of which are free. Today, this once-run-down city feels revitalized, and Glaswegians (sounds like "Norwegians") are eager to give visitors a warm welcome.

Locals here...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2019
Some of the best-preserved buildings from antiquity are found in Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, an ensemble of ancient Greek temples built 2,500 years ago.

The Italian island of Sicily is -- perhaps more than any corner of Europe -- a layer cake of civilizations. On one island, visitors can marvel at a well-preserved Greek temple, admire the glittering mosaics of a Norman cathedral, wander through Carthaginian ruins, and feast at a market that evokes an Arabian souk.

One of my favorite places to experience Sicily's rich stew of history and cultures is at the Norman cathedral of Monreale, just southwest of...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2019
In Vienna, the neighborhood coffeehouse down the street doubles as the locals’ “living room.”

Back in the summer of 1969, I took my first trip to Europe. My father, a piano importer, brought me to Vienna's Bosendorfer piano factory. Together, my dad and I watched the world's finest pianos being built by hand, in hundreds of meticulous steps.

Each hand-crafted piano had its own personality. And, as I played a selection of new pianos, my dad analyzed the personality of each and matched it to a client's taste back home. Witnessing and enjoying this...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2019
April Fair is a time for both men and women to show off their traditional Sevillian clothing.

Spring fairs enliven towns throughout Spain, but I've found that nobody does it bigger or better than Sevilla, the capital of Spain's Andalucia region. If you come in April, you'll find one of the most exuberant and colorful festivals in a country known for fiestas -- the gigantic Feria de April (April Fair).

The fair is a vibrant and secular indulgence that comes two weeks after Holy Week and Easter, which is also an epic event -- especially in...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2019
Handmade lace in Belgium can be pricey, but it’s a characteristic, packable souvenir.

Shopping in Europe can be fun, but don't let it overwhelm your trip. I've seen half the members of a guided tour of the British Houses of Parliament skip out on the tour to survey an enticing array of plastic "bobby" hats, Big Ben briefs and Union Jack panties instead. Focus on local experiences, and don't let your trip become a glorified shopping spree.

-- As a fanatic about packing light, I used to wait until the end of my trip to...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2019
Try some traditional cuisine in one of Lyon’s bouchons — simple, cozy bistros filled with character.

Straddling the mighty Rhone and Saone rivers between Burgundy and Provence, Lyon has been among France's leading cities since Roman times. With cobbled alleys, pastel Renaissance mansions, Paris-like shopping streets, evocative museums and renowned cuisine, it's relaxed, welcoming and surprisingly untouristy. Just two hours from Paris by train, Lyon makes an easy one- or two-night stopover.

Regarded by many as France's foodie...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2019
The 16th-century marble fountain, on Evora’s main square, was once an important water source. Now it’s a popular hangout for young and old.

From Romans to Moors to Portuguese kings, the proud little town of Evora -- set amid the cork groves of Portugal's Alentejo region -- has a big history. Just 90 minutes east of Lisbon, Evora has impressive sights -- Roman ruins, a 12th-century cathedral, and a macabre chapel of bones -- coupled with a laid-back local scene and a hearty cuisine that makes me think of Tuscany.

From the second century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., Evora was a Roman town important for its...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2019
Raphael’s School of Athens celebrates mankind’s intellectual achievements and connection to the great minds of classical Greece.

Among the many things I love about Italy is how the Renaissance can be spliced into your travels. Imagine: In Florence you can sleep in a converted 16th-century monastery that's just a block from Michelangelo's David, around the corner from Brunelleschi's famous cathedral dome, and down the street from the tombs of the great Medici art patrons -- and that's just for starters.

Before the Renaissance, Europeans spent about 1,000 years in a cultural slumber....

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