Best European Travel Web Sites: 2008
What Web sites have helped you plan your trip? What do you like about the various sites? Anything missing that we could add to ours?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
www.EuropeUpClose.com - A Wonderful Resource
I came across this website while googling for information for an upcoming trip to Europe and was pleasantly surprised to find lots of unique ideas and tips. Not quite as thorough as Rick's guides but worth a look!
New York, NY USA Mon 12/22/2008
Awesome villa in Tuscany
We rented a true Tuscan villa in August via intuscany.net. Great experience with the whole process and at the villa (http://www.intuscany.net/villas/villetta_gardenia.htm). The villa has 2 bedrooms (for 2 people each, you can put an air mattres for a child on the floor in the upper room). I never regretted that we stayed there. Hospitable owners Antonio and his wife met us with pizza, local wine and a fridge full of food (no extra charge) when we arrived tired at 10 pm. Close to all major sea-side resort towns in Tusacany/Liguria. You need to rent a car to get there.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 12/13/2008
Tour Guide in Dubrovnik,CROATIA
We visited Dubrovnik and had one wonderful Dubrovnik Tour Guide who is native.His name is Denis and you can E-mail to him : firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles, Ca USA Sat 11/22/2008
Florence and Tuscany Great Tips
A Stanford University student studying in Florence has posted a Best of the Best in Florence and Tuscany. Great travel tips with expertise and humor. We used and did not go wrong! Made the trip more enjoyable because from an insider's view: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&om=1&z=14&msid=114786430104940626993.00000111fb5a60631b91b&msa=0
Portland, OR USA Sun 11/16/2008
Amalfi Coast villas
Rentvillas.com was a great place to find homes to rents and they were extremely helpful every step of the way from suggesting places to stay to things to see. The rental did not disappoint either. We rented a villa on Italy's Amalfi coast and the views were wonderful and the location was superb. The price wasn't bad either. I highly recommend them.
Penfield, NY USA Sat 11/15/2008
RentVillas.com web site
We found RentVillas.com to be a fantastic site for finding apartments in Italy for our recent trip. We had three great places in Rome, Florence and Venice - all at greatly reduced prices from hotels.
Seattlw, WA USA Thu 11/13/2008
travel tip laundry
Here is a great travel tip. We just came back from 21 days in China. I brought along the luggage size space bags to throw dirty clothes in. This way I could squeeze all the air out of the bag and make it really small to fit into our luggage until we could do laundry.
Mesa, AZ USA Sun 11/09/2008
Great site for first timers
Be sure to check out noambit.com before you head off to Europe. Particularly for the first timers this site is full of info and they've just started producing audio tours too. Of course none could be better than Ricks!!
Lakewood, CA USA Mon 11/03/2008
Rented a Villa in Tuscany area from rentvillas.com
I rented a villa in the Tuscany area from rentvillas.com. I along with 12 other family and friends spent 2 wonderful weeks, just outside Siena. the Villas was fabulous, 7 bedrooms, 5 baths, 2 kitchens. The grounds were located on a hill top, so views were awesome. My contact, Cami, at Rent Villas was great and assisted me every step, from helping me choose the best villa for me to advice that made everyone's vacation a memorable one. I highly recomment this company.
Redwood City, CA USA Tue 10/28/2008
Hotel Amadeus in Sevilla, Spain
Hotel Amadeus in Sevilla is great, good service and very clean. Husband, me and son Ricky stayed at the attic beautiful large room. Only there's the big hand on the night stand next to me and spooky. Just cover it with towel. Forgot John's laptop and they contacted our taxi to turn around. Thank you Hotel Amadeus.
HAYWARD, CA USA Tue 10/21/2008
Great Blog for Americans Visiting Italy
Check out MOLTO GENTILE, ITALIA, a blog for Americans visiting Italy, with itineraries for trips from 1 to 2 weeks, recommended hotels based on personal experience, a pre-trip reading list, brief language guide, currency converter, photos and more. Go to http://moltogentileitalia.blogspot.com
Chicago, IL USA Thu 10/09/2008
I highly recommend this agency. They arranged for a beautiful apartment on Ile St. Louis, airport transfer and even had the refrigerator stocked with provisions.
Deborah A Kemp
Richmond, CA USA Tue 10/07/2008
Private Berlin Guides
We hired Lesley and Robert of the Tour-the-East Company (www.tour-the-east.com) to show us the sights in Berlin relating to World War II.
Before our arrival in Germany, Lesley and Robert asked for information about what we thought we wanted to see, what our interests were and if we had any special requests. Our 13 year old son wanted to see as many sites and attractions as time permitted relating to Hitler and World War II.
We had two days in Berlin with Lesley and Robert to accomplish our goals. We were sent an extensive reading list to help prepare us for the itinerary Lesley and Robert had chosen. Without a doubt it was the most informative and entertaining two days of touring we have experienced. Their in-depth knowledge of Berlin and all of its history is phenomenal. Our son enjoyed hearing the tale of Robert's escape from East Germany.
Our family continues to talk about our time with Lesley and Robert and how much we learned as well as having fun with them.
In fact, we cancelled the rest of our scheduled tour guides in Germany because we thought none of them would be able to compare with Tour-the-East and we did not want to be disappointed.
Phoenix, AZ USA Thu 10/02/2008
www.allistanbultours.com Best of Turkey web site best price and friendly
USA Thu 10/02/2008
Great Europe Blog
This is an excellent, complete blog that covers a trip by two backpackers summer 2008 through England, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. They have some great adventures and the writing is very entertaining! I found myself cracking up at some of the antics and being able to relate with my own crazy stories! Ha ha! What a hoot!
Newport, KY USA Mon 09/15/2008
The best travel information site overall, baraaza.com
New York, NY USA Tue 09/09/2008
We have just returned from a holiday in France where we spent two weeks in Paris. We rented two apartments through FranceForRent.com and found the apartments absolutely lovely and the people from France for Rent both at the booking stage and on arrival, terrifically helpful.
Sydney, NSW Australia Tue 09/09/2008
Best Turkey Travel web site
Best Turkey Travel web site for more details http://www.turkeytravelservice.com/
New York, USA Thu 09/04/2008
We made reservations online with Rentvillas.com. Arrangements for our party of four was very easy. The villa we rented had everything we needed and was pleasantly situated in the country overlooking rolling green fields and quiet roads, red poppies, roses and iris. May was the perfect month, we thought. Our location was close to town; we could use Visa at the alimentari and the gas stations. My artist son wants to come back next year.
Sarasota, FL USA Fri 08/29/2008
Through rentvillas.com we, a family of 6, 2 grandparents, their kids and teenaged grandgirls had a perfect villa in Barberino Val d'Elsa, a small town near Tavernelle very centrally located in Chianti country. Barberino V.E. was charming, boasting a large church, a fabulous bakery, two restaurants, lovely walks, spectacular views from almost everywhere and very friendly townsfolk. We felt very much at home there even with our limited Italian. The villa is in the town, not outside, but it had the feel of both country on the west, and town, on the east. That charmed us.The town is 1 hour from San G. 1 hour from Siena, 1 1/2 hour from our favorite city, Volterra, and 1/2 hour to Florence. Driving in a rental van was perfect on the winding but picturesque roads. Wine-lovers are close to Chianti country, so the driving views are spectacular.Olive groves, and grape vines, and poppies, hills and valleys, and small antica towns.
Las Cruces, NM USA Mon 08/25/2008
Clean/Sober travel message board
I started this message board to be able to communicate with people like myself, who enjoy travel but would like to recover from alcoholism/addiction as they do so. Come share your experience, strength and hope of staying in clean abroad at www.12steptraveler.com
Park City, UT USA Tue 08/19/2008
Good Itinerary suggetions
Looking for great information on itineraries for the independent travel? go to: http://gadtravel.blogspot.com/
Johns Island, sc USA Wed 08/06/2008
I just came from Prague in the first 2 week of July. The 2 most helpful websites besides RickSteves was Sarka Kacabova www.prague-guide.info which Steve recommended and the tour guide she provided me with Katarina Kruspanova www.prague-perfect.cz Katarina was so knowlegeable on history and culture and the sights to see in Prague she was friendly and helpful, teaching me how to use the metro and train system. She also rents an apartment that I am going to check out next time I go to Prague.
Kris A. Berger
Whitewater, KS USA Sun 07/27/2008
Insiders Guide to Rome
I cannot recommend more emphatically BEFORE going to Rome to listen to all the ipod casts of RomeReview and looking at their site: http://www.romereview.com/?home which was created by an American who has been in Rome now for over 12 years. The site is full of suggestions from real travellers as well as the host Charlie Q and his partner (a real Italian) Southern Bella.
San Rafael, CA USA Tue 07/22/2008
Renting Villas- Rentvillas.com
Rentvillas.com was invaluable for us as we planned to spend quality time in Italy this spring. We were able to find villas in the size and price range we wanted, the staff was very competent and professional in answering our questions and getting our paperwork in order. When we got to our destinations (Florence and the Amalfi Coast) we found clean, beautiful villas and in one case even a well stocked kitchen. I've spent years traveling to time share trades, but this was the best experience I've had. Therefore I HIGHLY recommend them
Troutman, NC USA Wed 07/09/2008
Renting a Villa in Italy
We used Rentvillas.com and they were terrific. After visitng their website I talked to them on the phone and they were able to recommend about a dozen villas out a an overwhelmingly large number on their site. Just giving them information about our group was helpful, e.g., we wanted a large kitchen so we could all help with the cooking, a swimming pool, and a location accessible to various vineyards, etc. Then my friends and I narrowed it down to the one we wanted. Their site is very detailed with explicit information regarding number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and which rooms are located on the ground and first floors. Another really important aspect was the contact with the on-site rep. He was totally reliable and went out of his way to be helpful. Since our villa was down a long lane with many curves, turns, and forks, he actually met us at the Autostrada exit and we followed him to the villa. He was also prompt about returning our deposit at the end of the week. All in all, I couldn't recommend them more highly. (Even though I got the initial recommendation from the Frommer guidebook.) We used Rick Steves for everything else.
Ann Arbor, MI USA Wed 06/25/2008
Someone else on this site suggested Danielle Santal at Adler Travel: we had her plan our trip to France in 2007; she is now working on our Spanish trip for 2008. We found her tireless and she really listens. www.go-journeys.com
San Diego, CA USA Tue 06/24/2008
three weeks in Italy
Rentvillas.com was truly helpful as We planned a three week trip with 18 people staying at 3 different sites and they were the very best. The people at Rentvillas were very helpful and personable and answered every question we had. We could not have had a better vacation!!
Canyon Country, CA USA Tue 06/24/2008
I would highly recomend two web sites if you are planning a trip to Italy - Rentvillas.com and onestepcloser.com. Rent Villas was very helpful at every step of the planning process and One Step Closer helped us to book tours and authentic experiences that were outstanding.
Reston, VA USA Mon 06/23/2008
Franceforrent.com! I was able to secure the most excellent flat in Paris with personal help from Emmeline (out of San Francisco!)- Paid in US dollars AHEAD of time (so did not get screwed by a falling dollar at a hotel)- and they arranged flawless airport transportation. The flat was marvelous, and I WILL use them again!
Denver, CO USA Wed 06/18/2008
apartments in Paris
June 10.2008. We used Franceforrent.com with great results. Our apartment was just as pictured, very clean, and the staff was very helpful. We would definitely use them again and recommend them to our friends.
Atlanta, GA USA Wed 06/11/2008
Traveling to Paris
Paris This Summer I am excited about a trip to Paris this summer and as a new traveler I am trying to get more information in preparation for my trip. Several of my friends told me to learn a little French before I go and to be sure and get a language course by Pimsleur. They said it is the best.
I looked up a site called www.pimsleurmethod.com and have ordered a beginning course. I found two very interesting articles on Paris and France. For anyone going there you might find the articles interesting.
Reasons Why You Should Learn to Speak French http://www.pimsleurmethod.com/language-learning-articles-reasons-why-you-should-learn-to-speak-french.html
Paris, France – A City of Diversity
Salt Lake City, Utah USA Tue 06/10/2008
I had a great experience booking a villa through Rent Villas (http://www.rentvillas.com/). Easy to work with and the villa was great. We stayed in a small town between Siena and Florence, close to Tavernelle. The price for two weeks was less than what we would have paid for a decent hotel for one week. We found it was a great way to get off of the beaten path.
Seattle, WA USA Wed 06/04/2008
We planned our trip to Croatia using www.croatiatraveller.com which is by far the best Croatia website. Cool hotels, budget tips, ferry and train pages; it's really comprehensive. Most useful was the downloadable ferry guide with all Dalmatia schedules. (http://www.croatiatraveller.com/support/FerryGuide.htm)
Cherry Hill, NJ USA Tue 05/13/2008
I planned our trip using various websites. One of the best was rentvillas.com. We booked 7 days at Castello di Bibbione in San Casciano in Val di Pesa through RentVillas, and it ws more than we could have ever hoped for. The castle was absolutely amazing, from the actual apartment in the castle to the grounds and the views. RentVillas provided us with everything we needed to make the trip enjoyable, including a book called "living like a local". I would highly recommend RentVillas, and Castello di Bibbione. We also used tripadvisor. while i gained a ton of great information from seasoned travelers, I would recommend that a newby to Italy search old threads, and study what people are and have been discussing, rather than post a lot of questions. I got the feeling that the regulars on this site get frustrated with some of the posts, and maybe don't have the patience with the "newbies'. Again, tons of practical information, worth the time to read everything! The last website i used quite a bit was venere.com. We booked a B&B in rome through them called B&B Barberini. What a great place!!! and the owner was wonderful! He helped with where to go, what to see, and how to get there. The B&B was very clean, tasteful, and homey. We loved it!!
broad brook, ct usa Mon 05/12/2008
Europe on Less than a Shoe String
Europe can be insanely expensive but this blogger goes to the other extreme and does Europe on less than a shoe string, literally. She did 5 days in London for under a 100 pounds including travel and train. Insane! Focus is on free and cheap things, very well researched.
Madrid, Spain Sat 05/10/2008
France For Rent
www.FranceForRent.com provided a wonderful experience for my wife and I in Paris in April 2008. The Notre Dane Terrace apartment was absolutely perfect for us. The apartment itself was just as described and everything was neat, clean and in great working condition. We had absolutely no trouble. It was wonderful to come back to the apartment after a busy day seeing the museums or shopping, or after an evening meal, and relaxing in our own apartment rather than a cramped hotel room. The jacuzzi took the aches away from all the walking we did during our stay, too!
We were met at the airport exactly as planned and taken to the apartment, where we were met as planned and shown how all of the various appliances worked. Our driver arrived exactly as scheduled for out return trip to the airport as well. Simply said, there really was nothing that could have made the experience better.
All e-mail communications before the trip were answered promptly and with the information requested.
We look forward to another Paris trip in the future. When we do return, we'll plan to use www.franceforrent.com again.
St. Louis, MO USA Wed 05/07/2008
Priceline dot com, work for high end hotels
Believe it or not , PRICELINE.COM Europe works!
I stayed at a 5* hotel in Brussles for less than 90.00 a night ( US$ ), but first you go to www.betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com to get an idea how to bid!
Miami Beach, FL USA Tue 05/06/2008
I found that www.mapdango.com is a great resource for travelers. Just type in a destination and you can access photos, current weather conditions, maps and more. The best thing is that you can find information on many small towns as well as cities.
Salem, VA USA Sat 05/03/2008
I have found some great hotel and air pricing at www.CheapEurope.com
Portland, OR USA Fri 05/02/2008
Acarnos.com - Travel Directory
I always use a website called Acarnos.com. Here's why:
- Contains 40,000+ travel links in 1,500 subject categories - Budget accommodation guides - City Guides to London, Paris, Rome, Prague & Amsterdam - Guide to the Top 100 best travel sites - Links to the website's of 100's of hotels
An essential bookmark for any traveler!
Houston, TX USA Wed 04/23/2008
I love ItalianNotebook.com
Hands down my favorite planning site is www.italiannotebook.com newsletter. It features one great piece a day about something I want to see/buy/eat/learn about throughout Italy written from an insider's point of view. The archives make it easy for me to find the old articles as I get ready for my next Italian trip.
Western Springs, IL USA Mon 04/21/2008
This is the absolute best accomodation search site for Croatia: Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula, Split/Trogir. www.dubrovnikapartmentsource.com It shows pics, map location, price, availability. It also has links to all kinds of information on Croatia. CHECK IT OUT!
Snoqualmie, WA USA Tue 04/08/2008
I was recently in a hostel in Lisbon. The "Oasis Mansion" and they had this blog that I found pretty useful for killing time, booking cheap flights, and booking hostels. They keep a selection of travel blogs there and have some cool tourism sites that let you amoung other things take a virtual tour through a forest. Site is pretty simple but if you browse through it it is actually quite helpful and cool.
San Francisco, CA USA Fri 03/21/2008
Not quite a 'travel' web site but invaluable for directions, distances, maps, reasonable accomodation information (linked to TripAdvisor & others), & getting a feel for the 'terrain'. It's a free download, you can trace a route visually (block by block, tree by tree) from the train station/airport to your hotel, or your hotel to a restaurant/sight/attraction. Marvelous invention!
BC Canada Sat 03/15/2008
I've used otel.com to book hotels in Vienna, Berlin, and Budapest. I got better deals than with the other websites most times I've tried it (though there have been exceptions!)
They give you a "5% back" good on a later booking and this has worked for me. Very happy so far. Be sure to read the agreement--you are paying in advance and need to cancel by a certain date.
NYC, NY USA Tue 03/11/2008
Gemut.com was helpful to us on our first European trip. We rented our car through them and got a good price, less than $300/week for 3 weeks.
USA Mon 03/10/2008
Our trip to France
My partner and I have recently returned from a trip around France, and used www.meetthefrench.co.uk for absolutely everything! Before leaving the U.K. we booked four different sets of accommodation around France - a Gite in Brittany, a Farmhouse in the Loire Valley, an apartment in Paris and a villa in the South of France (Antibes). It all worked out beautifully. We booked a hire car in France and the Eurostar train to France from the U.K. using MeetTheFrench as well. We basically drove from one set of accommodation to another with my partner map reading, taking us about 4 weeks all in all for the round trip. A fun, rewarding and relaxing trip around France. I would recommend it and the site to anyone. We did actually have a problem with one of the advertisers, but the website was very helpful in getting things sorted for us, so I don't suppose we can really complain! I would suggest the South of France for sun lovers, and the Northern half of France for those who like walking and history, buildings and the like.
Bristol, Avon UK Sun 03/02/2008
When in Rome Tours
http://www.wheninrometours.com My wife and I just got back from Rome, we took their Vatican tour. It was just wonderful! Unfortunately, I'm having a senior moment and can't remember the name of our tour guide but can remember just about everything else about her. She was petite, dark haired, attractive, originally from California, USA, married an Italian and has three children, one of whom was having his birthday celebration that evening.
The young woman explained everything so well and with such enthusiasm. She even helped my wife, who was rather an amateur with her new digital camera, get some excellent shots, a particularly excellent one of the "Pieta" through glass and another one of the Pope's balcony. The tour made us feel special, as though we were the only ones and not part of a larger group, more personalized and friendly.
We highly recommend this tour group to anyone going to Rome. They really made our stay in Rome so memorable and informative.
Santa Fe, NM USA Sat 03/01/2008
Apartmental Rental Paris
My wife and I spent a week in Paris during the first week in February. We arranged to rent an apartment thru an agency, France for Rent, wwww.franceforrent.com, that is based in the US. The apartment was well located, nicely furnished and spotless. The agency arranged airport pick-up and return and we were met by at the apartment by a greeter. It was a great experience and cost roughly half of the cost of a 4 star hotel with at least 5 times the space.
Metairie, La USA Tue 02/26/2008
St Guillaume apartment
Paris Luxury Rentals is a great service. Whether it's your first time in Paris or (like me and my family) you've been around the block, they are friendly and helpful and most importantly honest. Patrick was the Paris Luxury Rental agent that we spoke with. We contacted him through parisluxuryrentals.com and he called us back the same day with loads of information about the types of apartments they had available for our dates, different neighborhoods, even restaurants in the area. He advised us to stay in the Saint Guillaume apartment because there were six of us and it turned out to be the perfect sized place for us.
Red Hook, NY USA Tue 02/26/2008
trendy cheap travel in Paris and London
If you are going to London or Paris and want some fun ideas for where to go, check out http://glamorousglobetrotter.blogspot.com/. There are some good, cheap restaurants in London and shopping for the ladies in Paris.
CAN Tue 02/26/2008
lodgephoto.com... photographs to inspire your next trip to Europe.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 02/24/2008
FranceForRent.com is GREAT!!
I used FranceForRent.com (FFR) to book a furnished vacation apartment rent in Paris. FFR' service was just perfect! Their representative, Pat, was really polite, fast and extremely helpful in replying all my (many) inquiries. Her answers about the apartment were always straight-forward and honest. The apartment was really cozy, comfortable, very well-located... and it looked just liked the pictures on FFR website! Plus Pat's description on the apartment was 100% accurate! They even arranged a nice crib and a high chair for my baby! I will definitely contact FFR again in the future when traveling to France. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful apartment to stay in Paris, you can be sure you will receive a fantastic rental service!
New York, NY USA Mon 02/11/2008
Free Walking Tours in Europe
I found a great sight that has free pdf downloads of do-it-yourself walking tours of European cities (Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona). Great maps to guide you through the walks. The website is www.eatndrink.com (look under the Best Walks of Europe tab).
Chicago, IL USA Wed 02/06/2008
noambit.com great advise for newbies
I found this great article at www.noambit.com which really lays out the thought process of the first steps in planning a trip. http://noambit.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/01/you-can-approac.html I've glanced over the rest of the site and it all seems very useful for newbies to european travel. Watch out Rick, you might have competition. Just kidding, you're great.
San Diego, CA USA Fri 02/01/2008
Just to say that I am at the Limegrove Hotel in london Victoria, for the nth time,enjoying the kind hospitality of hardworking Joyce and her two,equally hardworking girls.
Colarado Springs , COL. USA Wed 01/30/2008
Site with photo travel guides to many european destinations
munich, germany Sat 01/19/2008
Apartments and B&B in Rome
We used http://www.sleepingrome.com We booked an appartment through them in December and the service was perfect.
David & May
Tolose, FR FR Fri 01/18/2008
Apartments in France
We recently visited Paris & used franceforrent.com as our source for an apartment. A perfect experience. Emmeline (based in San Francisco) coordinated the rental. She was more than helpful. Lcation was as described. No games or problems about the rent or deposits. The lady who owns the apartment became our hostess in Paris. We had a ball and made a friend. Most highly recommended. Rick, thanks for all your help with our travels over many years. Paul Buskey
Sarasota, FL USA Thu 01/17/2008
Apartments in Rome and Florence
I just returned from Rome and Florence. Booked through guestinitaly.com prices are reasonable and Sarah is helpful. In Rome we were in an apartment in campo fiori called orbit delux and really it's been great! Owner Alessandro was very kind and helpful and we were close to all the sites. In Florence we were at the Town house Villetta and also was clean and pleasant.
South Hadley, MA USA Fri 01/11/2008
Bavarian Alps holiday accommodation
UK Thu 01/03/2008