If you watch public television and love to travel, chances are you own a couple of Rick Steves Travel Guides – or you've thumbed through a few, when thinking of traveling to Europe.
With an almost cult-like following for his particular brand of travel, Rick Steves has - for most of his adult life - guided, tutored, and educated travelers throughout the nooks and crannies of Europe.
His advice and suggestions give both newbie and experienced travelers a broad perspective on European history and culture, while savoring the best the Continent has to offer up close and personally.
For traveling Americans, it’s not uncommon to see fellow country-men with one of the familiar yellow and blue Rick Steves Travel Guides under their arm or bulging from their backpack in some far-flung corner of the Conti-nent.
Or, chatting up like-minded travelers in some picturesque off the beaten track locale, doing what Rick Steves' brand of travel does best: see Europe like a local European.
Rick knows Europe - literally - like the back of his hand.
Having made his first Continental trip as a teenager, he’s grown to be the authority figure for travelers wanting a personally styled, fully-immersed European trip.
Whether you travel independently using Europe travel packages to build your own itinerary, or choose a Rick Steves tour from his list of escorted vacations, when you follow any of Rick Steves Travel Guides, you'll experience a trip to Europe that's packed with value, close to the ground, and as Rick routinely says: like a temporary European.
In Rick Steves Travel Guides you’ll find his personal travel recommendations to be authentic, candid, and credible.
His tips of what to do and where to go, what to see and what to avoid, are always on the mark.
Rick Steves books are known for pushing travelers to stay in, and eat at, small local establishments, some of which he's personally patronized for years.
A teacher in disguise, Rick Steves travel books guide you through the art, history, and architecture of Europe, and you won’t even know you were in class!
But you will know and understand what you see!
If you want to see Europe like a European, with a keen appreciation for what makes them and their countries tick, the first of Rick Steves Travel Guides to read should be one of his earliest works - constantly up-dated and increasingly popular: Europe Through The Back Door.
Billed as a travel skills handbook, this is a book to thoroughly devour before you travel.
Even before you plan your travel.
Rick's Travel Skills Handbook
Understand What You're Going To See
Rick's Picks For Where to Go & What to Do
Whether or not you choose his brand of travel, this Rick Steves book will prepare you as no other travel guidebook can on how to understand and appreciate the Europe you're about to experience.
If you hope to comprehend the history, value, and significance of European art and architecture [a major part of what you’ll see in Europe], your pre-trip reading should also include another early Rick Steves book, revered almost as gospel by his legions of followers: Rick Steves Europe 101.
This easy to read pictorial guide will walk you through a progressive time line of Europe’s artistic history, from the Paleolithic cave-wall paintings at Lascaux, to the ultra-modern Pei pyramid at the Louvre.
No boring history lesson, this!
Like reading your map before a road trip, this Rick Steves guide gives you some idea of where you're going.
And once you get there, what you see will actually mean something!
Add to these, any of his 30+ other easy to read and understand Rick Steves Travel Guides [20 of which are updated each year], and you can’t fail to have an innovative and exciting European travel vacation, no matter which part of Europe you visit.
Beyond his distinctive guidebooks, it's now possible to get free audio versions of Rick's travel bites in the form of podcasts and audio tours, for download to your iPod, iPad, smart-phone, or computer.
For use while traveling, these audios in-clude walking tours with Rick's descrip-tive [and often humorous] commentary, plus navigation tips for top sights and landmarks, notable museums, major churches and cathedrals, and city areas of historical interest throughout Britain, France, and Italy.
At home, you can download and listen to Rick's special book editions on Iran and European Christmas traditions, or travel clips from his TV shows, archives of his weekly radio shows, and individual audio versions of his U.S. travel lectures.
Even as our global world continues to shrink, Rick has made it his personal objec-tive [not to mention his life’s work] to encourage every traveler to Europe to do it differently.
And through his Rick Steves Travel Guides he provides the means and the knowledge for all travelers to see Europe as more familiar than it is foreign.
Rick recently added several full-color pocket guides to his growing list of can't do without guidebooks.
Which international cities do Americans choose to visit most? London, Paris, Rome. And now you can choose a pocket guide for each of these world class European cities.
In each guide you'll find Rick's top walking tours, info on major sights, his personal recommendations for hotels and restaurants, plus the familiar Rick Steves commentary and practical content.
Rick uses them himself - and he says they're great! [You can check them out here.]
For more tips on selecting the best Europe travel guide for your trip, see
Before you go, follow one of Rick's suggestions: tear out and take with you only the sections of your Europe guidebook that will be most helpful. This eliminates having to carry whole books throughout your trip, especially since luggage weight is such an issue with the airlines.
Pare down the printed material you travel with to the bare-bones-best ideas, and as Rick suggests: before you return home, give it away to fellow travelers you meet on the road.
Great Tips for European Travel
On Rick Steves' 12 Disc, Blu-ray, Collector's Edition
Thanks for providing all these awesome resources for travel addicts on your website! – Sally D./Canada
I enjoyed looking through your website, especially the article you've written about yourself and your passion for travel. I share that same passion. – Theresa C. /US
This is the first time I’ve visited your site, and it's fantastic. I think it's a great resource as an all-travel-portal nationwide. – Steven F. /US
I’ve been reading your blog [travel-safe-travel-smart.com] and found the article 'Use The Best Travel Guides To Plan Your Trip' very interesting. – Jessica B. /US