Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, July 2008 -- Page 77

Each summer, Europe greets a stampede of sightseers and shoppers with eager cash registers. Before jumping into the peak-season pig pile, consider the advantages of an off-season trip.

Given the current weakness of our dollar overseas, the potential price savings of an off-season trip are enough to brighten a gray winter day. Airfares are often hundreds of dollars less. And with fewer crowds in Europe, you’ll sleep cheaper; many fine hotels drop their prices, and budget hotels...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, June 2008 -- Page 82
Pack light. Be happy. Photo: Steves

You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags, “Every year I pack heavier.” The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy, happy and cheap. Pick two.

Too much luggage and camera gear marks you as a typical tourist. It throws up a wall between you and the grizzled Spanish fisherman mending his net. Serendipity suffers. Changing locations becomes a major operation. Con artists figure you’re helpless and...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, May 2008 -- Page 77

Jolly olde England and the Emerald Isle of Ireland continue to enchant and entice, even with the pound whomping the dollar nearly two to one. Here’s what to expect if you visit in 2008.

Great Britain

• The Heathrow Express train connecting LONDON’s Paddington Station with Heathrow Airport is now the most expensive rail journey per mile in Britain. Save money by riding the tube (London’s underground) or using the regular train.

• Those going...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, April 2008 -- Page 78

Travelers heading to these rewarding destinations will be greeted by a host of new museums, improved infrastructure and special events. Here’s what to expect if you visit.

Germany

• MUNICH celebrates its 850th anniversary this year with a series of cultural events (theater, cabaret, concerts, exhibitions, tours and so on), mostly on weekends in June and July.

Munich’s new Jewish Museum features a small but well-done exhibit on Jewish life, and its City...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, March 2008 -- Page 76

Bella Italia, my favorite country in Europe, is a wonderful work in progress. Here’s a look at what to expect in 2008.

TRAFFIC ZONES

• Italy is gung-ho for restricted traffic zones in its city centers. This is great for pedestrians but not for drivers, who are finding 100-dollar fines in their mail when they arrive home.

In Rome, Florence, Milan, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, Orvieto or Verona, if you drive in restricted areas marked by a Zona Traffico...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, February 2008 -- Page 78

No one planning a trip to Europe needs to be reminded to see Big Ben and the Leaning Tower. But it’s the unusual experiences that are often the most memorable part of a trip. Study up in advance and you can enjoy places and experiences like these.

EUROPE’S SKINNIEST PARK —Paris’ skinny, 2-mile-long Promenade Plantee park is a narrow garden walk on a viaduct no longer used for train tracks. The elevated park, which cuts through lots of modern condos, gives a...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, January 2008 -- Page 88

I remember a bleak time in Poland when the economy was so maddeningly out of touch with the needs of its people that anyone lucky enough to own a car would remove their windshield wipers at night and take them inside. In their command economy — oblivious to the laws of supply and demand — some official forgot to order wipers and, consequently, they weren’t for sale anywhere. Inspired by a hungry black market, thieves would work late into the night snapping them up.

...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, April 2006 -- Page 0

by Rick Steves

For a memorable day in Scotland, visit two of its most scenic islands: Mull and Iona. Part of the historic Hebrides, they lie on Scotland’s west coast and make an easy day-trip from the seaside town of Oban. Hop on an early-morning Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull. After sightseeing Mull, you sail across gray waters on a second, smaller ferry before eventually landing on Iona’s stark, windswept shore.

Bowman’s Tours, located near Oban’s...

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