Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, February 2019
After several years of being covered in scaffolding, the Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau has returned to its romantic glory.

France has a rich history, an impressive infrastructure and a tourism industry trying valiantly to cope with its big crowds. Travelers who plan ahead enjoy big rewards.

Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, has a new look. A glass wall now rings its base for security reasons, with one access point at each side, meaning you can no longer wander freely under the tower. Visitors should allow an extra 30 minutes to go through screening. Also, summit...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, February 2019
Lisbon’s trolleys can get unbearably crowded, so have a plan if you want to ride one. CREDIT: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli, Rick Steves’ Europe.

Like many travelers, last spring I visited Barcelona dreaming of seeing Antoni Gaudi's breathtaking Sagrada Familia church. When I got there, the ticket office was closed, with a posted sign: "No more tickets today. Buy your ticket for another day online." Thankfully, I knew to book tickets in advance.

Along with Sagrada Familia, Spain's other sights to book ahead include the Picasso Museum, La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and ...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, February 2019 -- Page 48
A footpath is all that connects Italy’s Civita di Bagnoregio to the “mainland.” Photos by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

In my early days as a guidebook writer, Europe's undiscovered nooks and undeveloped crannies held the most appeal for me, and they still do. But with ever-more sophisticated travelers armed with enough time and money to see the Europe of their dreams, places I "discovered" a few decades ago are now suffering from Back Door congestion.

Given that, I've come to treasure even more those destinations that still have the feeling of a world apart. Away from the...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Cruising might not be for everyone, but it’s an economic, efficient, and popular of mode of travel in Europe and beyond.

Recently, I was on a massive cruise ship with 3,000 passengers blitzing the great ports of the Mediterranean -- and having lots of fun. No, I'm not suddenly abandoning my independent travel principles and becoming a huge proponent of cruising. But I am impressed by the economy, efficiency and popularity of this kind of travel ... and, to be honest, I enjoy cruising.

I'm the first to admit that cruising doesn't appeal to everyone. For some, it's anti-travel....

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
One of the best ways to see the University of Cambridge is by punting on the River Cam.

Cambridge and Oxford have been in a centuries-long competition as England's top two universities -- but I've always felt that seeing one is enough. The big question is: Which one?

For years, I've had it lodged in my mind that Cambridge was much better to visit than Oxford. But on a recent visit, I changed my view. Though it's a close call, I'd give an edge to bustling Oxford -- the more substantial town with plenty to see and do. Cambridge is a close...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Blogging, trip planning, and sending updates back home are great ways to combat loneliness while dining solo.

I've been inspired over the years by female colleagues and friends who happily and safely travel solo overseas. There are challenges, but also many rewards awaiting women who venture out on their own.

Whether it's due to concerns about loneliness or safety, many women put off their travel dreams because they don't want to do it by themselves. But traveling with the wrong person can make you feel lonelier than traveling alone. When you're solo, you're more...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
Portree, the largest town on the Isle of Skye, is nestled deep in its protective harbor, where colorful homes look out over bobbing boats and the surrounding peninsulas.

Scotland's islands may be distant fringes, but those who venture to them are richly rewarded with dramatic landscapes, a rich heritage, and a warm welcome. Among Scotland's countless islands, the favorite among travelers is the scenic Isle of Skye, with its narrow, twisty roads winding around the island in the shadows of craggy, bald mountains, and a coastline ruffled with peninsulas and sea lochs.

Just off the northwest coast, Skye is the country's...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, January 2019
A footpath is all that connects Italy’s Civita di Bagnoregio to the “mainland.”

In my early days as a guidebook writer, Europe's undiscovered nooks and undeveloped crannies held the most appeal for me -- and they still do. But with ever more sophisticated travelers armed with enough time and money to see the Europe of their dreams, places I "discovered" a few decades ago are now suffering from Back Door congestion.

Given that, I've come to treasure even more those destinations that still have the feeling of a world...

CONTINUE READING »