Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, August 2018
Taking an educational tour often means you’ll visit a struggling part of the world and engage with the locals — like these schoolchildren in El Salvador.

Honolulu or Havana? The world is full of travel opportunities that are more than enjoyable -- they can be transformational. By getting out of your comfort zone, you realize that different people find different truths to be self-evident and God-given. You gain empathy for the other 96 percent of humanity -- and in many ways you can learn a lot about your own country by viewing it from afar.

While many extremely rewarding destinations are not on the typical bucket list, they...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, August 2018
Bastille Day block parties throughout Paris (and all of France) bring locals and tourists together for music, dancing, and patriotic celebration.

For the ultimate summer party in France, visit during Bastille Day, the country's Independence Day. This July 14 holiday is celebrated with gusto, with all-night parties, picnics and fireworks. And the fun permeates the country, from tiny towns to Paris.

The day marks the symbolic start of the French Revolution that brought down the monarchy. In 1789, France was under the tyranny of its king, bishops and nobles. The corrupt monarchy spent...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, August 2018 -- Page 45
Less than an hour from London, Windsor Castle is the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II and was the site of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Photo by Cameron Hewitt

Chances are you weren’t invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which took place at Windsor Castle (neither was I), but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the place where it happened or other royal residences in Great Britain.

In addition to Windsor Castle, there are London’s Kensington, Buckingham and Hampton Court palaces and the more remote Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands — great places to put yourself in royal shoes for a...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, July 2018
Workers at Scotland’s Speyside Cooperage fashion oak casks for aging Scotch whisky.

When I was in Scotland recently updating my guidebook, I came to a sobering conclusion -- this is a land of booze geeks. Some of my favorite discoveries have been inviting whisky bars and historic distilleries, run by people evangelical about Scotland's favorite beverage. When it rains -- as it often does, the showers elicit a cheery "That's tomorrow's whisky!" from the locals.

Scotch whiskies come in two broad types: "single malt...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, July 2018
To mentally reconstruct a ruined ancient site like Italy’s Ostia Antica, it pays to do some homework in advance.

Climbing the Acropolis, communing with the druids at Stonehenge or marveling at the sprawling remains of Pompeii -- exploring the remnants of Europe's distant past brings a special thrill to those of us able to resurrect all that rubble.

I had such a thrill recently in Epidavros, where I visited the finest and best-preserved of Greece's many ancient theaters. With my travel partner sitting on the top row of the stony grandstand, I stood alone in the center...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, July 2018
The “Barcode Project,” a sleek and distinctive collection of high-rises built on former industrial land, has reshaped Oslo’s skyline.

I'm always inspired by Norway's capital Oslo -- a classic old city that keeps chugging into the future. It's architecturally fascinating, extremely livable, and mellow. While buying things is expensive, many of Oslo's joys are free.

Situated at the head of a 60-mile-long fjord, Oslo sprawls out from its historic core. Its streets are a mix of glassy high-rises, and -- especially in its finer residential neighborhoods -- grand...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, July 2018
The picture-perfect village of Oia in Santorini, resting a thousand feet high on a volcanic crater, is a dream come true for photographers and sunset watchers.

The words "Greek Isles" evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder-to-shoulder against a hillside with a mesmerizing view of glittering blue water. But with more than 200 Greek islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, where do you start?

Chances are Santorini is the island you're picturing. Once a complete island like its neighbors, it was a volcano that blew its top thousands of years ago, creating a giant caldera. Today its whitewashed villages crowd the...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, July 2018
On the colorful streets of Dingle, you’ll hear a steady beat of Irish folk music ringing out through vibrant pubs like Dick Mack’s.

When someone asks me about visiting Ireland, I tell them not to miss the southwest coast. This is the place to experience the wonders of the Gaelic language and old Irish civilization, as well as the country's contemporary charms. It's the most mystical, Celtic, spiritual and rugged region of Ireland -- and the towns along the way are just plain cute. There's even a competition for the best-kept town.

Every year, the Irish government holds a ...

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