Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, January 2010 -- Page 68

Eating and drinking in Europe is sightseeing for your taste buds. Every country has local specialties that are good, memorable or both. Here are many of the fun experiences that stick in my mind after 30 years of travel. Seek out any of these on your next trip.

• In the Netherlands, try a rijsttafel (rice table), the ultimate Indonesian meal, with as many as 36 delightfully exotic courses, all eaten with rice. One meal is plenty for two, so order carefully.

An even more...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2009 -- Page 65

Wearing a green T-shirt under a blue work shirt, I was about to depart for Europe. At my farewell breakfast — one last eggs-any-style — my stylish, college-aged daughter said to me, “You look like a scrub. Okay if you’re painting a house.”

Whether I’m a scrub or not, my bag is light. As compartmentalized as a TV dinner, it includes a folding board with four shirts and an extra pair of pants; bags for small garments, such as underwear and five pairs...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, November 2009 -- Page 63
Don't confuse the 2 euro coin (left, value $3) with the old 500-lira coin (right, value $0).

• Gelato in hand, you’re strolling down a street in Italy when suddenly an attractive woman starts arguing with a street vendor. A crowd gathers as he accuses her of shoplifting. To prove her innocence, she starts to strip. Once she’s down to her underwear, the vendor apologizes, the woman leaves and the onlookers disappear… and so have their wallets, thanks to a team of pickpockets working the show.

This is just one of the new, inventive ways that European...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, October 2009 -- Page 67
The best way to nickel-and-dime banks and credit card companies is to pay for as much as possible in cash.

On my last trip to Europe, I didn’t take my usual $200 cash reserve. With just a few bucks in my wallet, I landed in Madrid, relying entirely on two ATM cards and no cash safety net. It turned out okay.

At the airport, I withdrew some euros from an ATM and tucked the bills into my money belt. After decades of traveling to Europe, I have found that the cheapest, safest way to go is to pay with cash for most items and withdraw money as I zip from one place to the next. The reason...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, September 2009 -- Page 58

My mantra being “pack light,” I used to be against packing electronics of any kind. But now I bring my laptop, iPod, digital camera and mobile phone to Europe. With hotels retiring their fax machines in favor of e-mail and with mobile phones getting cheaper and easier to buy and Wi-Fi hotspots popping up everywhere, it’s never been simpler to get connected.

There are plenty of Internet cafés in Europe. Large European chains such as easyInternetcafe.com offer inexpensive access in big...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, August 2009 -- Page 67
Some hostels are really travel destinations, such as the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald, Switzerland. Photos: Steves

If you want to save money while traveling, consider hosteling. Several thousand hostels provide beds throughout Europe — in cities, towns and the countryside — for $20 to $40 per night.

For this rock-bottom price, you get “no frills” accommodations in clean, stark dormitories. The good news for couples and families is that many hostels have a few doubles and some family rooms (book ahead for these). It’s a great way to enjoy some privacy while saving...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, July 2009 -- Page 74
Many of the best restaurant experiences occur in the cheap, mom-and-pop places. Photo: ETBD

Given the economy, the number-one question I’ve gotten lately from people is whether to go to Europe or not. It’s true that many people will put off their trips for another time, but millions of globetrotters — who see exploring our world as a way of life — will find a way to keep on traveling.

Let’s be honest. Europe is expensive. Prices are high for locals — and for Americans. Yet, regardless of the soaring cost of living, Europeans remain experts...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, May 2009 -- Page 73
Entry to London’s Westminster Abbey includes the audio guide. Photos: Steves

While updating my guidebooks for 2009, I found plenty of changes in Britain and Ireland.

• Fortunately, one of my favorite offbeat sights in London — the Bramah Museum of Tea & Coffee (www.teaandcoffeemuseum.co.uk) — will reopen later this year. It had closed following the death of its founder, Edward Bramah. He believed that the tea bag, invented in the 1950s to let Brits brew tea during a TV commercial, spelled the death of a good “cuppa.”...

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