Rick Steves

The fortified ghost town of Vathia, on Greece’s Mani Peninsula, was once as wild as our Wild West.

Rick Steves: The best way to spend two weeks in Greece

The nation’s true joy and character can be found outside of touristy Athens and the islands.

 

People stroll along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, one of Europe’s most interesting historic walks, as Edinburgh Castle looms in the distance. (Rick Steves' Europe)

Edinburgh, the cultural heart of Scotland, packs a cultural punch

Once a medieval powerhouse, it is today one of Europe’s most lively and festive cities.

 

The Greek theater in Taormina: With a view like this, no play is a tragedy.

Halfway between Europe and Africa, Sicily oozes with energy

If you like Italy for its people, tempo and joy of living — rather than for its touristic icons — you’ll dig Sicily.

 

Sagrada Família, under construction since 1883, is the culmination of Antoni Gaudí's wildly creative Modernista style.

The spirit of Catalunya lives in art, culture and politics

Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, is jammed with tourists. But there’s plenty to enjoy — especially the architecture.

Sagrada Família, under construction since 1883, is the culmination of Antoni Gaudí's wildly creative Modernista style.
Locals know to hold their nose when enjoying the stinky cheese of Olomouc.

Olomouc layers communist heritage with Czech charm and cheese

For a taste of workaday Moravia, a little nudge on Stalin’s birthday and some cheese you’ll never forget, make your way to this town.

Locals know to hold their nose when enjoying the stinky cheese of Olomouc.
Hilly Villefranche, on the French Riviera, is a cascade of splashy colors.

Rick Steves’ Europe: Savoring the good life on the French Riviera

From Picasso to Saudi sheiks, this stretch of Mediterranean beach has a unique heritage of hedonism.

Hilly Villefranche, on the French Riviera, is a cascade of splashy colors.
The Eagle’s Nest: Hitler’s 50th birthday present.

Berchtesgaden: A lair of evil in a breathtaking Alpine setting

Hitler’s mountaintop retreat is a place to take in the scenery — and contemplate the place’s monstrous legacy.

The Eagle’s Nest: Hitler’s 50th birthday present.
At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)

Enjoy the simple life on Ireland’s starkly beautiful Aran Islands

Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Stockholm’s city parks are great places for people-watching and for young families to relax. (Rick Steves' Europe)

Rick Steves’ Europe: Stockholm: Sleek and progressive yet steeped in tradition

When sightseeing my way through Stockholm, I take full advantage of the local tradition of the fika: Sweden’s ritual coffee break.

Stockholm’s city parks are great places for people-watching and for young families to relax. (Rick Steves' Europe)
At Switzerland's Ebenalp, you can stay in this cliff-side guesthouse and enjoy stunning mountain scenery.(Rick Steves' Europe)

Rick Steves’ Europe: Mountain fun in Switzerland’s Appenzell

They say you should set your watch back 10 years when in Appenzell, Switzerland’s most traditional region.

At Switzerland's Ebenalp, you can stay in this cliff-side guesthouse and enjoy stunning mountain scenery.(Rick Steves' Europe)
Rugged Cape Sagres, on the Algarve -- Portugal’s south coast -- was the "end of the world" in the days before Columbus, Magellan, and the Age of Exploration.

Salema, a peaceful pocket on Portugal’s lively south coast

It’s just the place to mix with the locals, work on tans and enjoy some very fresh octopus.

Rugged Cape Sagres, on the Algarve -- Portugal’s south coast -- was the "end of the world" in the days before Columbus, Magellan, and the Age of Exploration.
Baden-Baden’s casino has the elegance of a royal palace, but anyone who pays the fee and meets the dress code can come to gamble or people-watch.

Rick Steves’ Europe: Time to relax in Germany’s Black Forest

Baden-Baden offers the ultimate spa experience. There’s one catch for body-conscious Americans — you have to disrobe.

Baden-Baden’s casino has the elegance of a royal palace, but anyone who pays the fee and meets the dress code can come to gamble or people-watch.
A view of sea, sky and Vernazza.

Taking in beautiful Vernazza from Lorenzo’s view

The hilltop cemetery in the Italian Cinque Terre village offers and unbeatable vista of a timeless setting.

A view of sea, sky and Vernazza.
Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.

Roaming the Alps brings cultural insights along with the views

The Swiss have great respect for Alpine traditions and culture — and contempt for tourists who disrespect both.

Gimmelwald, built in an avalanche zone, yet specializing in alpine tranquility.
Writing on Belfast's Peace Wall.

Rick Steves’ Europe: Europe tears down walls — and builds bridges

The walls of antiquity — and of the Cold War — were symbols not of strength, but of mistrust and insecurity.

Writing on Belfast's Peace Wall.
Inside the dome of the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. (Rick Steves' Europe)

Berlin’s Reichstag: Teary-eyed Germans and a big glass dome

For tourists unaware of history, the restored Reichstag building in Berlin, which reopened to the public in 1999, was just a new dome to climb.

Inside the dome of the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has for centuries been the grandest place of worship in all of Europe. (Rick Steves' Europe)

Strolling Istanbul: The most thrilling and affordable of Europe’s great cities

Of the great cities of Europe – London, Paris, Rome and Istanbul – Istanbul offers the most thrills for the best price.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has for centuries been the grandest place of worship in all of Europe. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Blackpool, its beach, and its tower.

Rick Steves on Blackpool, Britain’s working-class playground

With kitsch and greasy spoons galore, it’s been a (guilty) pleasure for Brits for 150 years.

Blackpool, its beach, and its tower.
Pageantry and people at Siena’s Palio.

Rick Steves’ Europe: 90 seconds of medieval madness in Italy

The Palio di Siena horse race through the streets of Siena is a cherished summer tradition that goes back 500 years.

Pageantry and people at Siena’s Palio.
Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul—for centuries the grandest place of worship in all of Europe.

Strolling Istanbul, one of the world’s timeless great cities

It’s proof that traditional cultures are things to value and preserve, not stifle with modernity.

Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul—for centuries the grandest place of worship in all of Europe.