Eastern Europe Guidebook
Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations:
Best: Prague - Vienna - Coatia - Hungary
Why: VERY detailed and thorough explanation of anything and EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know (and a bit more on topics you wouldn't think to ask). Rick Steves excels, as always, in his research and descriptions. Well said, Mr. Steves.
Worst: Bulgaria! Not one printed word on this entire country. Rick Steves made an excellent DVD on the highlights of Bulgaria around the year 2000 but doesn't offer a guidebook of this area.
Why: I am an avid Rick Steves fan. I've done a considerable amount of European travel and always base my itinerary on Rick's guidance. I have a library full of Rick Steves guidebooks and maps and even purchased some travel accessories and bags via the Rick Steves website. I am a walking reference and champion of Rick Steves. Having said that - I'm a bit surprised (and disappointed) that his 30 years of experience in this industry doesn't include a guidebook to Bulgaria. I would prefer not to purchase information on Bulgaria via Lonely Planet or other publications and instead remain a loyal Rick Steves consumer. You're breaking my heart, Rick.
Jan Werner in Elk River, MN USA 11/17/2013
Why: Great place to use rs walks
Worst: ATM at Budapest airport
Why: Would not take my ATM that was accepted before and after everywhere. Had to use change office which charged 20% I had to get $ to buy minivan from airport. Found out I could have bought ticket on line and avoided the change booth/ATM mess
Pam in Santa barbara, Ca USA 10/17/2013
Best: City/sites written tours in your books
Why: Nice descriptions and good directions. Really hits the "must see" items.
Worst: Leichtenstein Museum - Vienna
Why: It is closed. We planned a day for this one based on your 2013 guidebook.
Kathleen in Salem, OR USA 08/19/2013
Best: Krakow Square
Why: A wonderfully romantic and casual square. A square where you can still easily find a table, relax, listen to music, and sip a beer or coffee. Skip Prague and see Krakow.
Bill Checovich in Madison, WI USA 08/03/2013
Best: Applied Arts Museum, Budapest
Why: Great exhibits, including Hungarian ceramics, the French Art Nouveau Bigot, etc. Wow!
Dave Hook in San Jose, CA USA 07/03/2013
Best: Andrew Durman - Tour Operator/Guide
Why: We spent a day with Andrew in Krakow, Poland and he was outstanding. He is extremely knowledgable, resourceful and as another reviewer said "fun-loving". I don't believe you could get a better person to take you around than Andrew
Ken Fabrizio in Snohomish, WA USA 06/26/2013
Best: Krakow, Poland – Wawel Hill
Why: Wavell Hill is a definite must, when visiting Krakow. It sits atop a hill with a beautiful view, overlooking the modern everyday Krakow along with the Vistula River. The hill grounds themselves are beautifully manicured and there are many museums to visit. The highlight however, is Wawel Cathederal, which itself is a treat! The exterior with its unique domed and spired architecture as well as the fine baroque interior with its tombs and memorials makes this cathedral worth the visit. With it’s history and beauty it is easy to see why this is a very sacred place. (Trip taken mid/late Sept. 2012)
Kaz in Santa Clarita, CA USA 03/31/2013
Best: Andrew Durman, driver in Krakow
Why: His knowledge, professional and fun-loving nature were just fabulous.
Darlene Esola in San Bruno, CA USA 03/09/2013
Best: Kutná Hora in Czech Republic, Széchenyi fürd? in Budapest, Hofburg New Palace museum in Vienna
Why: -Kutná Hora Nice relaxing break from Prague (plenty the cashiers gypping tourists by shorting change). Nice even w/o seeing the interior of the churches or museums, just strolling around town. -Budapest Széchenyi fürd?. Beautiful and relaxing at night. Interesting watching people relaxing in the pools and playing chess etc. -Vienna Like the guidebook says, free of crowds and great collections of musical instruments and ruins from Ephesus.
Jeri in Detroit, Mi USA 12/19/2012
Worst: Wieliczka Salt Mine
Why: While the mine may be interesting, we had a horrible guide. He raced ahead, only the few people immediately surrounding him could hear what he had to say, he was always running into the group ahead of us & having "words" with that tour guide. When we complained at the end of our tour, saying our 3 hour tour only lasted 1 1/2 hours, we were informed that we'd missed the entire second part of the tour - the technical part, which i think would have made the mine visit much more interesting. We knew nothing about it! If our guide mentioned it somewhere along the way, we never heard it. We were not offered a refund, or opportunity to do the rest of the tour. All we were told was that our guide should be fired. overall very disappointing, especially considering the cost.
Cheryl Owens in Minneapolis, MN USA 10/19/2012
Why: Incredible recent and touching history. Beautiful place and very friendly people.
Why: The people seem a bit unfriendly and the sights in Budapest are way more expensive then similar sights in the other seven countries we've visited.
Jeff Nordvall in Spokane, WA USA 10/12/2012
Best: jagellonian university
Why: short informative tour but so much history and building is gorgeous.
anne marie in dover, nh USA 05/28/2012
Best: Andrew Durman & Auschwitz/Birkenau
Why: Andrew was a great guide! He gave us so much information about the city, country and countryside while driving out to Oswiecim - as well as backround information about WWII, Auschwitz and Birkenau. He also took us to the Salt Mines - at each place helping us get into the respective museums quickly - yet never rushing our time to see each one. He was helpful on our first day in Krakow, spending about two hours with us as we walked around the city to get our bearings. We enjoyed out time with him immensely.
Worst: House of Terror
Why: We didn't feel it warranted the several pages in your book. While it is historical for the Hungarian people, it seemed to be over hyped to us.
Linda Lew in Wausau, WI USA 05/09/2012
Best: Andrew Durman for Aushwitz/Brikenua & Crazy Guides
Why: Andrew was very informative, friendly and made the day very memorable. Crazy Guides was a kick and well worth it.
Judy Sepik in Forestville, CA USA 10/01/2011
Best: Warsaw Uprising Monument
Why: I had read a great deal about this action and was deeply moved.
Worst: B&B Bed and Breakfast
Why: Disappointed in not meeting owner. Marta was a dear. The rooms and service was not good. Would not suggest this place to anyone visiting Warsaw
Patricia in Walenista, VA USA 10/01/2011
Best: guides recommended by Rick Steves
Why: Goras & Sasha are good guides recommended by Rick Steves in his book. I engaged their services. Sasha is humorous & speaks fluent English. Goras engages me with his narration of the ancient days of Slovenia. They provide me with an insider's guide to the local life in Slovenia before & after the disintegration of Yugoslovakia
Tay Siew Hua in Singapore, Singapore 09/09/2011
Best: Hagia Sofia
Why: It was an awe inspiring structure, and the details given in the guidebook allowed me to thoroughly enjoy it at MY pace.
Carol Sullivan in Mount Vernon, WA USA 08/24/2011
Best: Krakow Main Square
Why: It is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the European culture. I spent every evening in Krakow here for at least part of the night; it was just such a happy and welcoming place.
Bri Morris in Little Rock, AR USA 08/15/2011
Worst: Traveling from Ljubljana to Budapest
Why: 1) We did Rick's Eastern Europe Trip in reverse. Getting from Ljubljana to Budapest is a huge problem. The night train leaves Ljubljana @ 01:50 and crosses three borders, so we were awkened 6 times as we left each country and entered the next one PLUS we had to run into the first Hungarian station at twilight to validate our Europe East Rail Passes. I just looked at flying from Ljubljana to Budapest. There are convenient flight times, but there is at least one connection needed, and they look expensive. If one drives, then a day is lost from the itinerary. I don't see a good solution, but to plan on little sleep or spending money on a plane ride if traveling that direction, except driving, & I don't know if one can get a one-way car rental between those two cities. ANYBODY HAVE A GOOD SOLUTION FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS?
2) By the way, the night trains from Budapest to Krakow and from Krakow to Prague were relatively comfortable, but I still advise ear plugs. Since those countries are in the EU, there were no Customs people banging on our doors in the middle of the night, the the travel times were appropiate for a normal night's sleep.
Larry Iversen in Bremerton, WA USA 07/01/2011
Best: Konoba Kamenice restaurant in Dubrovnik
Why: Besides their octopus salad, their shrimp risotto was delicious!
Larry Iversen in Bremerton, WA USA 06/12/2011
Best: Wawel Hill & Main Market Square.
Why: Beautiful architecture.
Francine Miller in Seminole, FL USA 05/18/2011