Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, June 2019
A short hike up to Bled Castle rewards visitors with sweeping views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Tiny, overlooked Slovenia is one of Europe's most unexpectedly charming destinations with spectacular natural beauty, a fascinating recent history, and a spirit of adventure -- yet much of it is still off the typical tourist path. Here, in the land where the Adriatic meets the Alps, lies a romantic getaway that once entertained emperors and presidents -- Lake Bled.

Nestled up against the northeast side of the rugged Julian Alps near the Austrian border, ...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, June 2019 -- Page 42
Handmade lace in Belgium can be pricey, but it’s a characteristic, packable souvenir. Photos by Rick Steves

Shopping in Europe can be fun, but don’t let it overwhelm your trip. I’ve seen half the members of a guided tour of the British Houses of Parliament skip out on the tour to survey an enticing array of plastic “bobby” hats, Big Ben briefs and Union Jack panties instead. Focus on local experiences, and don’t let your trip become a glorified shopping spree.

As a fanatic about packing light, I used to wait until the end of my trip to shop, then go hog-wild in...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2019
Collioure’s sand-and-pebble beach ends at the Notre-Dame des Anges church, a view that has inspired many modern artists.

Along the western Mediterranean coast, two easygoing -- and easy-to-enjoy -- beach towns stand like sister cities on each side of the border between France and Spain. Both Collioure, in France, and Cadaques, in Spain, are off the grid when it comes to glitzy resorts. And each has a delightful ambience, with welcoming beaches, quaint back streets, and scenery that inspired many notable 20th-century artists.

On the French side, Collioure is where I like to unwind and regroup. When...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2019
Belgians are happy to educate you on the numerous varieties of beer made in this small country.

Whenever I think of Belgium, I recall digging into a dish of mussels while seated on a sunny square in Brussels, in the shadow of a lacy medieval spire. My waiter bragged, "In Belgium, we eat as hearty as the Germans and as fine as the French."

Wedged between Germany, France and the Netherlands, Belgium often gets lost in the mix. But this overlooked country rewards with some of Europe's finest cuisine, including the...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2019
Made of pink marble and decorated with Gothic spires, Milan’s cathedral is one of the largest in Europe.

While many tourists come to Italy only for the past, those who make time for Milan find that this powerful, no-nonsense city is a delightful mix of yesterday and today. Anchored by its historic cathedral, Milan is a modern, time-is-money metropolis of refined tastes. The window displays on its shopping streets are gorgeous, the well-dressed Milanesi are ultra-chic, and even the cheese comes gift-wrapped.

But beyond the bling, Milan has historic highlights...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, May 2019
The Bavarian town of Fussen has a rich history and evocative corners beyond its cobbled core.

Like so many travelers, my images of Germany -- cute villages, dirndls and lederhosen, and fairy-tale castles -- are from Bavaria, in the foothills of the Alps. You could easily spend a week here, soaking up culture as you bike along fragrant fields and tour the sights.

My favorite home bases for exploring the Bavarian Alps are Fussen and Reutte (just over the border in Austria). They put you an easy drive from the region's most popular sights: the wood-carving...

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Rick Steves' Europe
This article appears in our Print Edition, May 2019 -- Page 41
Book reserved-time tickets online as far ahead as possible for Granada’s Alhambra to ensure that you’ll see its best part: the exquisite Palacios Nazaríes. Photo by Cameron Hewitt

Looking at 2019, here are selected news items and warnings from a few of Rick’s recent articles. — Editor

• Like many travelers, in spring of last year I visited Barcelona, SPAIN, dreaming of seeing Antoni Gaudí’s breathtaking Sagrada Família church. When I got there, the ticket office was closed, with a posted sign: “No more tickets today. Buy your ticket for another day online.” Thankfully, I had known to book tickets in advance.

Along with...

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Rick Steves' Europe Supplemental
This article appears in our Online Edition, April 2019
Some of the best-preserved buildings from antiquity are found in Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, an ensemble of ancient Greek temples built 2,500 years ago.

The Italian island of Sicily is -- perhaps more than any corner of Europe -- a layer cake of civilizations. On one island, visitors can marvel at a well-preserved Greek temple, admire the glittering mosaics of a Norman cathedral, wander through Carthaginian ruins, and feast at a market that evokes an Arabian souk.

One of my favorite places to experience Sicily's rich stew of history and cultures is at the Norman cathedral of Monreale, just southwest of the...

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