Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Lingering in outdoor cafes is the norm in France — eat long and well.

In Paris last June, I kept running into a delightful woman from Indiana on her first trip there. Wonderstruck by the city's charms, she was doing everything right -- picking up French words, conversing with every local she could, and enjoying the great artistic and cultural experiences.

To get the most out of France, it's essential to connect with the culture. Go on a wine tour, play boules with the locals, and make an effort to understand what...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Ljubljana’s exquisite architecture reflects its history as a crossroads of Germanic, Mediterranean, and Slavic cultures.

Tiny Slovenia -- wedged between the Alps and the Adriatic -- is one of Eastern Europe's most unexpectedly delightful destinations. Located where the Germanic, Mediterranean and Slavic worlds come together, its capital, Ljubljana, enjoys a happy hodgepodge of cultures but remains relatively undiscovered. Walking through its cobbled Old Town, you'll encounter one-of-a-kind architecture, festivals filling the summer air, and a leafy riverside promenade...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Mostar’s Old Bridge — a 21st century reconstruction of the 16th century original — is traditionally considered the point where East meets West.

With borders so close and transportation a delight, it's easy to throw a change of scenery and culture into your European itinerary. Here are some of my favorite cross-border day trips.

London to Paris. Zipping on the bullet train from London to Paris (or vice versa), deep below the English Channel (a.k.a. "Chunnel"), is exciting -- and takes just 2.5 hours. Catch an early train, spend about 10 hours in the City of Light, and be back by...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
At Jugendherberge Stahleck, one of Europe’s most scenic hostels, travelers sleep in a medieval German castle and enjoy a royal view of the Rhine River.

Many travelers wonder: "Youth hosteling ... can we still do that?" You can: Many hostels are filled with travelers well past their 20s -- and age cutoffs are generally a thing of the past. Even the International Youth Hostel Federation has removed the word "youth" from its name and is now known as Hostelling International (HI). If you're alive, you're young enough to hostel.

Of course, hosteling originated as a way for young...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2018
Iceland’s easy stopovers and dramatic scenery — like the geothermal field that’s home to Geysir on the Golden Circle — have quadrupled the number of tourists to the island since 2010.

With striking glaciers, craggy peaks and steamy geysers, Iceland appeals to the curious and the adventurous. In recent years, this remote and cold island-nation has vaulted from out-of-the-way backwater to can't-miss destination. Tourism is booming.

Part of the recent travel surge is convenience, of a sort. Nowadays, many Americans are dropping in to Iceland on their way to or from Europe. Both Icelandair and Wow Air typically allow a...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, April 2018 -- Page 52
Visitors to Switzerland’s gorgeous Berner Oberland can take in spectacular peak views from the Thrill Walk on the Schilthorn cliffside. Photo by Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli

I’ve gathered these new items for your 2018 travel planning.

• In ENGLAND, major changes are taking place at some of London’s most visited sights. 

At Westminster Abbey, a medieval balcony that’s been closed off for 700 years will open permanently this summer as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, featuring a collection of artifacts from the abbey’s rich history as well as breathtaking views of the abbey’s interior. (Expect timed...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2018
The bucolic landscape of Germany’s Black Forest is punctuated by scenic towns and memorable hiking trails.

In Germany's southwest corner, the Black Forest ("Schwarzwald") is a range of hills stretching east of the Rhine River. Ancient Romans found the thick forests here inaccessible and mysterious, so they called it "black." Today, Germans and tourists alike are attracted to this most romantic of German regions -- famous for its mineral spas, clean air, hiking trails, cheery villages ... and cuckoo clocks.

Some travelers, driven by "bucket lists," get...

CONTINUE READING »
Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, March 2018
Sometimes called the “Welsh Big Ben,” the landmark Pierhead Building dominates the waterfront in Cardiff’s Docklands district.

Just an hour from major English destinations such as Bath and the Cotswolds, spunky Cardiff offers a taste of Welsh flavors that will leave you with great memories.

Most travelers planning a trip to Britaindon't realize you can hop a train in Londonand, in just over two hours, you're in Wales' revitalized capital. From there, you can easily side-trip to an open-air museum to experience Welsh-culture-on-a-lazy-Susan, or head into the...

CONTINUE READING »