Best European Travel Web Sites
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.
Backpacking and Budget Travel in Europe
TheSavvyBackpacker.com is a really good site if you're planning your backpacking in Europe trip. There is a ton of information there.
Kansas City, MO USA 10/15/2013
Got "married" in Paris.
I recently visited visited Paris with my husband on our honeymoon. We had just been married here in Iowa, but like many, had dreamed of a Parisian wedding. When we researched it before our wedding, the logistics of arranging for family to come and having a legally recognized/ binding wedding in Paris was tricky. But we found a celebrant that does symbolic ceremonies. So we had a second "wedding" of sorts while we were there, just him (my husband, not the celebrant!) and I. It had never occurred to me to do do it like this, but thought that maybe other people too had run into the same dilemma, so I thought I would mention it here. (Who doesn't check out Rick Steves when traveling?!?!) The gentleman who officiated the ceremony was very knowledgeable and understanding and we ended up having a beautiful "wedding" in Paris after all!
Calmar, Iowa USA 10/05/2013
Wandering Europe with Kids
The best travel site for parents and kids is http://walkingontravels.com/ It's mission is to prove you can travel anywhere with kids with a little planning and a sense of adventure. From your home town to the hills of Tuscany and the streets of London, http://walkingontravels.com/ offers lots of practical tips, introductions to exciting places, and family-priced lodgings in Europe, the US and around the world. The pictures alone are worth a peek!
Elkins Park, PA USA 10/03/2013
Great Days In Europe Blog
I love these short, intelligent articles about European travel. They have inspired me in my own travel dreams, along with Rick's books! http://onelifetours.blogspot.ca/
New York, NY USA 09/29/2013
Food Tours Parma Italy
Food n Walk Tours Parma serve the best Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma Ham, and Balsamico tours in the food valley of Parma.
Food n walk tours
Parma, Parma Italy 09/16/2013
Great deals on boutique hotels
I always refer to the great collection of Boutique and Luxury hotels by http://www.johansens.com/
London, London UK 08/25/2013
Good Travel Website
I like www.itats.org. They have a quirky travel point of view and some good museum guides.
Banner Elk, NC USA 08/07/2013
A Great Read
The best blog I have come across is by far: www.draghusbandacrosseurope.blogspot.com The writer has a great sense of humour and keeps it short and sweet. Her interesting travel experiences are written about succinctly and cleverly and are fun to follow.
Christchurch, New Zealand 07/29/2013
Paris - Cut the line tickets
For Paris, we used www.MonAmiParis.com/shop as our top reference. They offer skip the line tickets for most museums as well as shuttles from airport. We got our Versailles tickets delivered in the US and our Louvre tickets delivered at the hotel when in Paris. Everything worked out perfectly.
SF, CA USA 07/07/2013
Man in Seat 61
Its been discussed before. I want to add my two cents. The Man in Seat 61 site is hands down the best reference guide to all rail travel in Europe. It even includes pictures of the various sleeper cars and seat coaches you'll probably ride in. A great site at http://www.seat61.com/
Pacific Palisades, CA USA 07/01/2013
RailEurope delayed making reservations from Krakow to Budapest, saying the schedule for a second leg to Zagreb was not posted. For 50 days, I kept contacting RailEurope, which said the schedule was still not posted. I finally got tickets from Krakow a few days before we departed, but the tickets included changing cars in Czech Republic at 1:30 a.m. which was very inconvenient. Fellow travelers got tickets with no need for changing cars, much later than we did. We never got an explanation from RailEurope. The consultation line at Rick Steves told me to trust RailEurope, but this turned out to be something I should have tried to avoid.
Portland, Oregon USA 06/02/2013
Backpacking across Europe
Above is a blog that I hope will be entertaining and helpful to anyone who might be interested in backpacking across the continent. This is specifically for anyone who's ever for a moment considered packing up a bag full of stuff and striking out on some adventure travel experience. I hope you enjoy, and please keep up if so because I will be adding to it over the next two months as I continue my trek.
Memphis, TN USA 05/15/2013
Save time in Paris
We rented an apartment from Karl (found on this forum) and he also recommended www.monAmiParis.com to book 'skip the line' tickets and cabs from/to the airport.
We saved one day out of our 4-day stay in Paris. Thought we would share it here too.
Westwood Lassen County, CA USA 05/08/2013
Wiki for Europe
For general info to get you started the wiki page is pretty good:http://wikitravel.org/en/Europe
We belong to a travel club and even though most of the tours are done for us we always refer back to the above page.
John with http://photoflytravel.com/
San Francisco, CA USA 04/11/2013
South of Spain + Barcelona
We did a trip last fall to Spain, starting in Andalucia with a fun 5 night Best part was mom (this mom) could relax and let our wonderful guide worry about the details :-) We started in Sevilla and finished in Granada and the alhambra and boy did we put a dent in the tapas and wine supply of Spain! The tour was run by Magical Spain & they did a great job! We found them on line at www.magicalspain.com. Then we did 4 days in Barcelona on our own There we enjoyed the fat tire bike tours, despite the crowds. In retrospect, Id have spent more time in Seville and Andalucia and less in Barcelona to avoid the crowds. We have those at home already : )
Chicago, USA 03/19/2013
Ukraine Travel Guide : Ukraine Tours
Ukraine Travel Guide : Ukraine Tours http://ukraine-kiev-tour.com Information for travellers: hotels, hostels, restaurants, banks, supermarkets, ATMS with addresses and map.
Kiev, - Ukraine 03/13/2013
Travel Club and Good Europe Info
This travel club has a France trip that is pretty awesome...they have a blog and do a lot of articles about Europe too but its not JUST europe... http://www.photoflytravel.com/
Free to join too...
Phoenix, AZ USA 03/08/2013
Spain trip for smart, active foodies
My sister and I & spouses & teen kids are active foodies who like cultural fun, some luxury & getting a lot out of each vacation day. So, no sun bathing all day on crowded cruise or beach for us. :-) We found an ideal tour in Spain with Magical Spain. Rachel, Nuria & Dan were so helpful, fun and really cared. They even arranged a private paella & tapas class, plus wine tasting and took us for a jog and to the gym in Madrid. We learned so much, too, about traditions and modern life in Spain. We did their southern Spain adventure from Sevilla! Their web is http://www.magicalspain.com. We also found these Spain travel videos helpful in deciding what wanted to do & see etc: http://www.youtube.com/user/SpainVIPtravel
NYC, NY USA 02/19/2013
Self catering in Britain
I notice that there isn't a lot of information on self catering in Britain but this can be a highly economic way to stay and perhaps rest for a few days in one place before continuing a hectic itinerary. The tourist boards offer an inspection facility and rate places with between 1-5 stars but there is no requirement for this. I own a property on possibly the most photographed street in Britain in the south west of England, where Ridley Scott filmed the advert for Hovis Bread in the 1970s. It is rated as 5* with a Gold Award and I would be delighted to provide details. Cottages can provide a much higher standard of stay and facilities than many hotels for a fraction of the cost. Everything except meals is provided including a welcome grocery basket for your first breakfast, all bathrobes, towels, toiletries, basket of logs for the fire, Wifi and even a baby grand piano & spectacular views!
Shaftesbury, Dorset UK 01/30/2013
Agriturismo in Italy
I would like to recommend www.MyItalySelection.com for booking a farmhouse/ Agriturismo in Italy. Margot is living herself in Tuscany and has personally visited all of the holiday accomodations, so she was really helpful with advice. We stayed in the first Agriturismo in Tuscany (no. 22), with views of San Gimignano!
New York, NY USA 01/30/2013
Secure email website for sending credit card info
In booking B&Bs, I have needed to send my credit card information via email to secure the reservation. Rather than take the (somewhat risky) route of emailing the number or using separate emails to send it, I found www.sendinc.com. This website lets you send securely encrypted emails for free, and it is also free for the receiver to get your email. It is simple to set up the account. Both Italian B&Bs I sent my credit card information to using Sendinc received the messages and were easily able to confirm the reservations. I felt much better than emailing the number without encryption and saved money and trouble not having to send an international fax.
Nacogdoches, TX USA 01/17/2013
European Travel Web Site
I really enjoy reading about European travel and just Europe in general on this blog http://onelifetours.blogspot.ca/
Vancouver, BC Canada 12/14/2012
We visited Krakow in November 2012. We hired a guide and driver we found in Rick's book. Andrew Durman took us to my grandparents hometown. He is great! He is professional, witty, articulate, and fun. He has passion for his work and it shows. http://www.tour-service.pl/contact.html
Chicago, IL USA 12/08/2012
Self-catering in Prague
We were looking for self-catering accommodation in Prague and found a great place to stay in the city centre. We booked the accommodation through Bohemia Apartments, and it was comfortable, fully equipped and in a quiet location too. We'd recommend this company to anyone, and it was a good alternative to a hotel.
Glasgow, UK 11/14/2012
New Years Eve in Istanbul
If you are going to istanbul for new year than you can check this web http://www.newyearistanbul.net I have been their new years eve cruises on the bosphorus between Europe and Asia continents. It was very lovely.
SA, Australia 10/30/2012
I have found this site: http://www.travelerstoday.com/
And is quite useful.
New York, NY USA 10/29/2012
A new Italian News IN ENGLISH podcast
Finally, an Italian news broadcast IN ENGLISH! Periodic podcast that offers Italiaphiles the latest in Italian politics, society, culture and sport news. Free via iTunes at:
Chicago, IL USA 10/14/2012
Recommended TEFL Prague program
I wanted to reccommend a teaching English program which I completed (successfully) last month: ITTP TEFL Prague. Yay! The course gave me the confidence to go into a classroom and the great thing, of course, is that it's all paid work. The school's website is www.tefl-prague.com. I'd highly recommend them and teaching in Prague in general is awesome.
Portland, OR USA 10/12/2012
Eastern Europe & France with travel club
We belong to a travel club great for solo travelers! Heading to France with them next year and just got back from Prague, Budapest, & Vienna on an awesome adventure. Its a free group so if interested you can check them out here: http://www.photoflytravel.com/
arlington, VA USA 10/12/2012
Poland private chauffeur service
We recently came back from a anscestry search tour of Poland. We wanted a private driver service since we had very little time and do not speak Polish. We found Andrew Durnam from Krakow to be excellent. He speaks English very well and has many contacts and his cars are comfortable. He helped us by pre-organising contacts in the small town we were visiting to research family history and then he drove us hundreds of miles and was our translator. His services were invaluable to us and I would highly recommend him. http://www.tour-service.pl/
Adelaide, SA Australia 10/11/2012
Great web site for Italy!!
I found this great travel site and took one of the tours. They are very insightful. They are experts about Italian cultures and Italian landscapes! Check out their blog and BOOK with them!!! www.naturalitaly.it
Colombus, OH USA 10/05/2012
I've used both http://www.eurocheapo.com and http://www.bootsnall.com and thought they were great. Eurocheapo is more for hotels and travel advice and Bootsnall is more backpacker-oriented and sort of younger.
Cocoa Beach, FL USA 09/26/2012
Good Morning Paris agency (bed&breakfast in Paris)
We have used Good Morning Paris services (www.goodmorningparis.fr) to find a B&B for our stay in June. I have to say that we were fully satisfied-central location, clean and quiet place with a balcony and last but not least our hostess was fantastic (helpful sightseeing information, mouthwatering breakfast...)Do not hesitate to contact them! Wish to visit Paris again someday and be sure I will use Good Morning Paris services again!
Miami, USA 09/05/2012
"You Tube" is a fantastic source for doing research for your next trip. Particularly if you are trying to find a real "Back Door" destination. I have discovered places not listed in any guide book and that are absolutely charming. It doesnt work all the time (no decent videos of the town) but for the most part is an invaluable source for planning a trip. Our discoveries have always been very rewarding. The video did do justice to the town. Pick a town on a map and see if you can find a video on it.
Livermore, CA USA 08/02/2012
Europe Travel Blog and Club
We love this travel blog-they have great photos and articles on Europe (elsewhere, too). They are also a travel club and plan trips to Europe. We are going to go to Eastern Europe with them this year! Here is there site: http://photoflytravel.org/
Lexington, VA USA 07/23/2012
Florence for Free
Visiting Florence? On the Cheap? Hannah and Meg at this blog, http://florenceforfree.wordpress.com/ very intelligently and informatively tell you about free ways to enjoy one of Italy's most historically rich cities! Enjoy!
Kansas City, MO USA 07/20/2012
Hiking in Andalucia
If you like to hike see the www.hikingwalkingspain.com web site for Frigliana mountain hiking. Frigliana is a white pueblo village with a "Tres Culteras" history (Moorish, Jewish and Christian).
Nerja, Malaga Spain 06/08/2012
Apartment in Paris
For a fantastic apartment in Paris, go to www.monamiparis.com
We rented from Karl and could not have been more pleased. The price is right and his apartments are in good locations with comfortable beds.
Orinda, CA USA 05/07/2012
Girls' Guide to Paris
This site is a great guide to Paris. Their downloadable walking tours are great. They're cheaper than hiring a guide and let you go at your own pace, which is really nice. They have different They've recently started a travel club that has a lot of savings on hotels, restaurants, etc.
New York, NY USA 05/06/2012
Solo travel in Europe
As a solo traveler I really like companies that offer roommate pairing or very affordable single supplement rates. This travel club does both. They go to other places aside from Europe but I have been to Greece with them and am going to Eastern Europe in October! Singles by the Bay: http://singlesbythebaytravel.com/
Chicago, IL USA 05/03/2012
Roman Empire tours is outstanding!
Having visited many websites in order to book a tour through the Vatican Museums, I stumbled across the site for Roman Empire Tours. Honestly, at first I was a little skeptical of the gushing reviews, but now am adding my husband's and my own wholehearted recommendation of this company. This tour was truly one of the best tours we've had anywhere and we've traveled and toured quite a bit. Having Jimmy as our tour guide was like having one of your best friends who just happens to be living in Rome personally escort you through the museums. He was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and full of fascinating stories during our visit. Although I know he has conducted this tour hundreds of times, his delivery and attention to us made us feel as though we were his special guests. Whatever you do, make sure you book a tour with this company.
Boston, USA 05/02/2012
Blog for Tuscany
Natural Italy has great tours for Tuscany, and they have a really informative blog
Boston, MA USA 04/23/2012
Western Mediterranean Europe
If you plan visiting the Western Mediterranean Europe, specially Catalonia (Spain) and Southern France, a humble and chaotic, but funny and trustworthy resource (in English) is a local blog named "Covetotop". Just search for it in Google.
I found a great series of adventure guides for Spain that cover most regions and adventure activities. Check them out! http://www.matt-gibson.org/2011/07/spain-adventure-travel-guide
Eastern Europe: Budapest, Prague, Vienna
This travel group plans really unique trips to Europe as well as other spots. They are real fun and we just got back from Costa Rica with them.
Denver, CO USA 03/28/2012
Going to Rome you must check out the tour company Roman Empire Tours
We booked the Vatican and Colosseum tours with Jimmy through Roman Empire Tours and had a great time on both. Jimmy will amaze you with his knowledge of art and the history of Rome. He's a great guy and makes the experience entertaining and enjoyable. He gives you a real appreciation for the city and its rich past.
If you decide to book only one tour, do it during the early part of your trip. Booking early during your stay will leave enough time to schedule a second or third tour ( you definitely will want to).
Chicago, USA 03/27/2012
Flightfox is Disappointing
From a link on Rick's site I read about Flightfox on the Budget Travel site You pay $29 for "experts" to find you a cheaper flight. So far I'm not getting anything I haven't already found myself using the standard flight search sites. And certainly nothing cheaper.
My advice: Avoid using Flightfox.
Ipswich, MA USA 03/25/2012
great tour company
Our group was small, only 6 people, and Andrea expertly led us through the packed Vatican museums through the massive tour groups with 20-40 people each. The tour is long and he spent just about enough time at each place to show the highlights and talk about interesting facts without boring the group. He was also very accommodating and made sure that if we were tired, we sat down in some rooms while he explained what we were looking at. He was professional throughout and you can't get a better, or better value tour than this. www.7hvaticantours.com
chicago, ill USA 03/18/2012
this is my favorite for US and Europe http://www.cheapandsingletravel.com/
indy, in USA 02/12/2012
Fly.com and Travelzoo.com
I have had really good luck finding cheap flights on fly.com. I usually look for flights both there, and on kayak, and I've found that the flights are almost always cheaper on fly.com. Also, it has a very clean look, and it's pretty easy to use.
I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter at Travelzoo.com. They don't spam your email with much correspondence, but they do send out a Top 20 email each week, with the 20 best deals their researchers have found. Those include flights, hotels, cruises, and activities (discounted meals in famous restaurants, for example). When they find a really great deal that is relevant to you (and something time-sensitive), they send out a Newsflash email. I have actually bought two of these. In October, I flew round trip from Chicago to New York for $86, including tax (on Spirit Air). Last March, my dad and I flew round trip from Chicago to Barcelona for $389, including tax (on United). Those deals are rare, and you have to buy them pretty quickly before they are sold out, but if you have been bit by the travel bug, this is the best way to make sure you catch the best deals.
Palatine, IL USA 02/01/2012
Great trip planner for European cities
When planning an European trip, try www.tripomatic.com. It's a free trip planner and it covers the most visited cities all round Europe. It's great for travelers like me who are always in a hurry and don't have too much time for research and planning.
Brno, Czech Rep. 01/31/2012
Dingle Peninsula Website
Best website for planning your holiday to the Dingle Peninsula Ireland. The website includes HD Video http://www.dingle-region.com
philadelphia, PA USA 01/28/2012
Checked out a travel website that has links in case one has passports or credit cards stolen. Not much for the planning, but I think good to have in case something is going wrong during the holiday. www.touristmayday.com
Lisbon, Lisbon POR 01/07/2012