Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2015 -- Page 52

Europe is a treasure chest of great cultural monuments, but it’s also a continent filled with natural beauty, often overlooked by tourists sprinting from sight to sight or searching for the perfect souvenir. I’ve found that a day biking in the great outdoors can be just as culturally fulfilling as time spent in a great church or art gallery.

Biking through the countryside (using a town as a springboard) is extremely popular in Europe. Thanks to the laws of supply and demand, you can...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, October 2015 -- Page 54

Crowds are becoming an increasing nuisance at top European attractions. There’s almost no way to experience places like the Sistine Chapel or the Palace of Versailles without a constant and raging commotion of tourists. 

It’s not uncommon to find waits of an hour or more in ticket-buying lines and rooms packed shoulder to shoulder with visitors and intercontinental body odor. So it’s up to smart travelers to do whatever is possible to minimize hassles and maximize their experience....

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, August 2015 -- Page 54

I’ve always been a fan of budget travel tips. For 30 years I’ve written and lectured about ways to stow away, picnic and get special deals to be able to afford international travel. My feeling has long been that “you experience more by spending less.” 

While that’s still true, over the years I’ve realized that you can also justify splurges as good values when you consider the experience gained and the time saved.

 

If you stay in a B&B rather than a fancy hotel, you’ll...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, July 2015 -- Page 0

The great value of travel is the opportunity it offers you to pry open your hometown blinders and broaden your perspective. And when we implement that world view as citizens of our great nation, we make travel a political act. Here are my top ten tips for doing just that:

Get out of your comfort zone: Choose Managua over Mazatlan or Turkey over Greece. When visiting Israel, explore the West Bank. You can enjoy far richer experiences for far less money by...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, June 2015 -- Page 0

When you've traveled in Europe as long as I have, you experience changes, big and small. And more and more, I've been noticing that traditional local businesses are being pushed out by the playground economy that comes with modern affluence.

It's one thing to see hotels, restaurants and shops come and go in the normal course of business. But I've also seen the slow churning of local traditions and lifestyles as unique family-run enterprises have given way to...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, June 2015 -- Page 52

Mastery of Europe’s major cities — Rome, Paris, London, Vienna — is the mark of a good traveler. Teeming with color, energy and cultural vibrancy, these places, while expensive, richly reward the thoughtful traveler.

There are plenty of ways to thrive in big European cities without going broke. And the good news is that, in so many ways, the less you spend, the more you’ll engage in the life around you. 

So stow your camera, roll up your sleeves and enjoy the real thing. Here...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, May 2015 -- Page 0

The rising Riviera sun touches the tip of Vernazza's bell tower and greets a peaceful world. When the bells chime six, I know it's time to get up. Last night's wind is gone. There's a refreshing damp coolness in the air and a rare Italian silence. With my head down and lost in thought, I wander downhill, passing under the tracks. Then, out of nowhere, a train rips like a table saw through town. In the wake of the train, distant roosters angrily crow "kee-kee-ree-kee...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, May 2015 -- Page 0

With the value of the euro dipping in the past few months, I've been able to experience Europe without as much of a strain on my wallet. I'm enjoying thinking of the euro as being worth a buck. I've done this in the past -- when a euro cost$1.35 -- just to con myself into splurging a bit. But now, with a rate of about $1.10 to 1 euro, that shortcut is almost honest!

The euro is used in 19 countries throughout the continent. That means more than 300...

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