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

Eastern Europe has experienced more change in the last generation than any other corner of Europe. With war-era grandpas now gone, across the former Warsaw Pact zone new museums and memorials deal candidly with the dark side of communism -- and fascism before that. And now that the economy is perking up (with European Union help), impressive renovations and infrastructure improvements are springing up across the region. Here's the latest:

In Prague, the ...

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

Germany and Austria are a work in progress -- each country has great and innovative museums and galleries to share its culture with its many visitors. Here's the latest for 2015:

While trains are usually the easiest way for Americans to get around Germany, ultra-cheap buses are a new option worth considering. The main bus lines are MeinFernBus (with the most extensive network), FlixBus, Berlin Linien Bus, and City2City. Taking you across much of Germany ...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, January 2015 -- Page 59

Here’s a tip. Don’t stress over tipping.

RESTAURANT tips are more modest in Europe than in America. In most places, 10% is a big tip. If your bucks talk at home, muzzle them on your travels. As a matter of principle, if not economy, the local price should prevail. Please believe me: tipping 15% or 20% in Europe is unnecessary, if not culturally ignorant.

Virtually anywhere in Europe, you can do as the Europeans do and (if you’re pleased with the service) add...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2014 -- Page 0

In my work throughout Europe, I struggle almost daily with this issue: When is a tourist experience actually a unique slice of a culture, and when is it a tired cliche kept alive by the travel industry? Amped-up Spanish flamenco bars, dirndl skirts in Germany, ape tours of the Rock of Gibraltar -- when does something slip from being authentic to cheesy?

When you've traveled for several decades as I have, you witness genuine customs giving way to rising commercialization...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2014 -- Page 0

I find the holiday season in Rome a joy: crisp air; stylish big-city Italians cupping hot cappuccino in corner cafes; and hurried shoppers bundled up with panache, thoughtfully pausing at grand manger scenes. The season here stretches for over a month -- not to maximize shopping days, but to fit in the season's many holy days.

As home to Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, Rome is rich with Christmas' most sacred...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2014 -- Page 0

Paris celebrates Christmas with its typical urban flair: extravagant lighting, yummy window displays, and ice skating in the heart of the city. If you go, here are 10 ways to have a "Joyeux Noel" in the City of Light ... without breaking the bank.

FIND A CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL. These seasonal merry-go-rounds (called "Maneges de Noel") pop up in every neighborhood in Paris. The biggies are at Hotel de Ville, Place Joffre near the Eiffel Tower and at the base...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, December 2014 -- Page 0

From a traveler's perspective, Nurnberg -- Bavaria's second city -- has it all: excellent museums, thought-provoking history, glorious red-sandstone Gothic architecture, and a charming Old Town encircled by a nearly intact medieval wall. It also boasts Germany's largest (and most famous) Christmas market, along with the country's tiniest (and most beloved) sausage.

Nurnberg was one of Europe's leading cities around 1500. Its large ...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, November 2014 -- Page 61

Sometimes I wonder why I lug my bag through airports, following my own recommendation to pack light enough to carry on and avoid checking any bags on international flights. It can be a drag, dragging your bag through airports, but when scrambling with last-minute changes in flight plans, those without checked bags are far more nimble. 

Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks on dealing with European airports. Here are a few of them.

 

Pack Light and Carry It On — When you...

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