If you watch public TV and love to travel, chances are you own a couple of Rick Steves Travel Guides. Or you've at least thumbed through a few of them, when planning a trip 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 through the nooks and crannies of Europe.
His advice and on-point sugges-tions give newbie and seasoned travelers alike a broad perspective of European culture and history, while allowing them to savor the best of Europe up close and per-sonally.
For traveling Americans, it’s not uncommon to see fellow countrymen with the familiar blue and yellow Rick Steves Travel Guides under an arm, or bulging from a backpack, in some far flung corner of the Continent.
Or chatting up like-minded travelers in some picturesque off the beaten track locale, doing what Rick Steves' style of travel does best: seeing Europe like a European.
Rick knows Europe literally like the back of his hand.
Having made his first Continental trip as a teen, he’s grown to be the authority figure for travelers wanting a hands on, fully-immersed European trip.
Whether you travel independently on your own itinerary, or choose one of Rick Steves tours from his growing list of escorted vacations, following a Rick Steves Travel Guide allows you to experience your European trip close to the ground, packed with value, and as Rick routinely says: like a temporary European.
In Rick's European guides you’ll find his personal travel recommendations to be authentic, candid, and always credible.
His tips on what to do, where to go, what to see, and what to avoid, are consis-tently on the mark.
Rick Steves guides are known to push travelers to stay and eat in small local establishments, many of which he's personally patronized for years.
A teacher in disguise, Rick's 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 updated 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.
It will teach you to travel like a 'seasoned pro'. But more importantly, you'll understand Rick's back door approach to travel in Europe, and if this is the travel style that's right for you.
Whether or not you choose his brand of travel, this Rick Steves book will prepare you as no other 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 travel to Europe to see], 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 a map before a road trip, this Rick Steves guide gives you a reference to 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 comprehend Rick Steves Travel Guides [20 of which are updated annually], and you can’t fail to have an innovative and exciting European travel vacation, no matter which part of the Continent 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.
To be used while traveling, these audios include 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 Rick's special book editions on Europe Christmas tra-ditions and Iran, as well as 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 know-ledge for 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 travel books.
Which international cities do travelers visit most? London? Paris? Rome?
Now you can choose a Rick Steves pocket guide for each of these world class Eurocities.
In them you'll find Rick's top walking tours, up to date information on major sights, personal recommendations for hotels and restaurants, and the familiar Rick Steves commentary and practical content.
Rick uses them himself when he travels - and he says they're great!
For more tips on selecting the best Europe travel guide for your trip, see