• Paris
  • Burgundy
  • Swiss Alps
  • Munich's Marienplatz
  • Venice
  • Tuscany
  • Florence
  • Rome's Colosseum

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Europe in 14 Days Tour

Dreaming of how to pack Europe's top travel thrills and cultural treats into a two-week vacation? You've found it! Your Rick Steves guide will surround you with the art treasures of Paris, followed by a hearty taste of Burgundy, a hike in the majestic Swiss Alps, festive Bavaria, the romantic canals of Venice, Renaissance Florence, a countryside stay in Tuscany, the must-see sights of Rome — and chances to connect with Europeans like you never thought possible. Join us for the Best of Europe in 14 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Europe come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass • Louvre Museum • Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • Sainte-Chapelle • Hôtel Dieu in Beaune  • Wine tasting in Burgundy • Hiking orientation in the Swiss Alps • Munich walking tour • Nymphenburg Palace tour • Venice walking tour • Florence walking tour • Uffizi Gallery tour • Florence's Accademia Gallery including Michelangelo's David • Colosseum tour • Forum tour • Pantheon • St. Peter's Basilica tour...and more
  • All group transportation from Paris to Rome
  • 13 nights accommodations (all stops but one are for 2 nights) in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including three books (Rick Steves Best of Europe, Snapshot: Munich and French-Italian-German phrase book), Europe Sightseeing Supplement, map, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Europe

We'll kick off our tour with a “Welcome to Europe” meeting around 2 p.m. at our hotel in Paris. Then we’re off to explore Europe’s greatest museum – the Louvre – where we’ll come face-to-face with the works of Raphael, Delacroix and Leonardo, and timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo and hundreds more. We'll end the day by celebrating the start of our European adventure over dinner together. Sleep in Paris (2 nights). No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 2: Historic and Artistic Paris

Let's begin where Paris did, on the Ile de la Cité. Your guide will lead a walking tour to reveal the city's early history, including visits to a pair of the world's most important Gothic churches: the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral and the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle. Then we'll take a stroll through the bohemian Latin Quarter. The rest of the day is free to visit the world's greatest collection of Impressionist art — from Monet and Degas to Cézanne and Gauguin and more — at the Orsay Museum; be inspired by Monet's incredible Water Lilies at the recently renovated Orangerie; or puzzle over the whimsical water fountains and modern art at the Pompidou. With your included Paris Museum Pass, the City of Light is yours to discover. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Beautiful Burgundy

This morning we'll hop aboard our bus and roll into the French countryside, passing pastures and vineyards en route to the "profoundly French" town of Beaune in the heart of Burgundy. After an orientation walk through the town, and a visit to Hôtel Dieu, the medieval hospital in Beaune, you’ll have the afternoon free to explore the many charms of village France. This evening we'll enjoy a wine tasting followed by dinner together. Sleep in Beaune (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Scenic Drive to the Swiss Alps

Today we'll leave the rolling hills of beautiful Burgundy, and climb high into the heart of the Swiss Alps. Our destination is the Berner Oberland's magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, flanked by towering, waterfall-laced cliffs and crowned by a trio of Switzerland's most formidable peaks: the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Tonight we'll share a hearty Swiss dinner together at our creaky old chalet in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 5: Spectacular Views in the Alps

The day is all yours to enjoy some of Europe's most dramatic scenery. You may want to join your guide for an optional mountain excursion that combines the local narrow-gauge railway, a gondola lift, and a spectacular Alpine walk above the tree line, surrounded by a panorama of cut-glass peaks...or ride a gondola lift up to the Schilthorn at 10,000 feet, loiter in the thin air, and hike down...or for a more restful day, just wander through the valley and walk to the thundering Trümmelbach: a unique set of waterfalls encased behind the valley walls. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 6: On to Bavaria

Today's drive is a good time to catch up on your journal, listen to music, curl up with a good book, or just sit back and enjoy views of pristine mountains and sparkling lakes. Along the way we'll find a small town to stop for lunch. Then we'll continue on to the heart of Bavaria to the people-friendly city of Munich, where after an orientation walk together, you're free to savor a traditional Bavarian feast. Sleep in Munich (2 nights). Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 7: Marvelous Munich

This morning we'll be joined by our local guide for a walking tour through the center of Germany's most livable city. Then we'll hop on a bus to explore more of Munich, including the Olympic Park. We'll also stop to tour the opulent Nymphenburg Palace, home to the Wittelsbach dynasty, rulers of Bavaria for 700 years. Your afternoon is free to choose some great options: be dazzled by the Deutsches Museum; rent a bike to explore the sprawling English Garden; or poke around the Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt looking for the cuckoo clock of your dreams. This evening, feel free to join the party at the Hofbräuhaus beer hall, where you can hoist a liter-size mug of beer, and a pretzel as big as your head. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Over the Alps to Venice

We'll take a scenic, all-day drive to Venice today, stopping en route for lunch together in a characteristic Italian-Tirolean village. At the edge of Venice we'll board a vaporetto boat for an "am-I-really-here?" Grand Canal ride to our hotel in the historic heart of this seductive city. Tonight we'll take an alleys-and-canals orientation stroll to St. Mark's Square. Later, your guide will organize an optional gondola ride for this romantic, uniquely Venetian experience. If the moon is out, it will hit your eye like a big pizza pie. Sleep in Venice (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: Seductive Venice

This morning our local guide will take us on a winding walking tour through Venice, blending historic and modern-day stories of this one-of-a-kind treasure, and giving us a local's perspective on Venice's fascinating past...and its uncertain future. The rest of your day is free to visit St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, or the Titian- and Tintoretto-packed Accademia art gallery. Better yet, get lost (remember, it's an island) exploring the alleys, cruising the canals, and "crawling" the pubs. No bus (too much water). Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Timeless Tuscany

Today we say "Ciao Venezia" as we hop back aboard our bus and drive south into Tuscany. We'll wind our way through the verdant Tuscan hills to our destination: a working family farm that also serves as our country hotel. You'll have free time this afternoon to take a scenic stroll amid the peaceful vines and olive groves, relax by the pool or taste some of our host's family-made wines before we sit down to a hearty Tuscan feast, enjoying a country-style dinner together. Sleep peacefully near Florence in Tuscany (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 11: Renaissance Florence

We'll drive to Florence this morning, and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center — learning how Brunelleschi's cathedral dome and Ghiberti's Baptistery doors helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces by Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and more. After some free time for lunch, we'll regroup for a visit to the Accademia Gallery, where we'll marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. We'll return to the countryside late this afternoon with plenty of time to relax and freshen up before dinner together. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 12: A Walk Through Caesar's Rome

This morning we'll drive straight to the heart of Rome. After a quick lunch and a Roman transportation lesson, we'll spend the rest of the afternoon uncovering Ancient Rome as a local guide takes us through the monumental Colosseum, history-drenched Roman Forum, and the awe-inspiring Pantheon. Tonight you may wish to celebrate la dolce vita Roman-style, with an after-dinner stroll through the floodlit heart of the city, lacing together the lively campos, classy piazzas, and splashy fountains. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: St. Peter's and Renaissance Rome

Today we'll focus on Renaissance Rome. We’ll meet our local guide on the other side of the Tiber river and introduce you to the greatest church in Christendom, the awe-inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà. You'll have the rest of your afternoon free to wander through this immense church, climb the dome if you're feeling energetic, and explore the nearby Vatican Museum on your own. As it's our final night together, we'll have a grand dinner to share travel memories and toast new friends. Salute! No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Europe in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Be content with the possibility of sharing bathroom facilities at one hotel during this tour.

Reviews

Dana

Cedar Hill, MO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a WONDERFUL time. Our tour guide was informative and fun. The tour schedule had the right amount of group time and free time. The size of the group was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of many was the river cruise in Paris. You saw building after building of beautiful architecture."

Tom

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were terrific. The rooms were fine to excellent. The food was great. The group meals were a blast! The idea of eating at one long table was great. It made it a lot of fun getting to know all the tour members who were all terrific people. Throwing the stay in Tuscany came at the perfect time and gave us a well needed break.I'm realy glad we took a few extra days before the tour started in Paris to see all the stuff the tour didn't have time to cover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The group dinners!"

Kathryn

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour met all of my expectations and then some. It was well-planned, with our guides providing enough information yet empowering us to venture out on our own. This experience caused me to yearn for more, and while not a history buff, I am seriously considering taking some history and history of art classes to further enrich my exposure from this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I actually saw Michelangelo's "David." Impressive!"

James

Harpers Ferry, WV

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderfull experience. Appreciated the expertise of the guides and driver. Enjoyed doing things as a group. Italy was a little crowded, perhaps its always like that or perhaps it might be better at another time of the year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Singing by everyone on the Munich subway ride back to the hotel after Germany won the World Cup final."

Matthew

Pottstown, PA

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of this tour either met or exceeded my extremely high expectations. My wife and I were looking for the most efficient and affordable way to see as many amazing things and places in Europe as possible and I cannot imagine any other tour doing it better. Our guide Marijian was an absolute superstar. We were far outside our comfort zone but the structure of this tour enabled us to navigate each city with confidence and fully absorb each new wonderful experience. Absolutely wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be easy to say all of Paris or all of Venice (which on the whole is like nothing I have ever seen)but I'd have to say that after a long, hot, humbling day at Dachau my wow-moment was the best glass of beer I've ever had which was waiting for me at the Augustiner brauhaus restaurant in Munich. Sitting outside people-watching with some amazing new friends / tour-mates was one of the many things about this trip that I'll never forget."

Billie

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, and after the amazing time we had it is not going to be the last. It was a perfect combination of a perfectly scheduled trip (where we didn't have to do a thing but show up and enjoy) our amazing tour guide Marijan, and a group of people ranging from 11 to 81 years old. We couldn't have ever created a trip as wonderful as this one was. I will recommend taking a Rick Steve's tour to everyone I know, and can't wait to plan our next one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments throughout the tour, but I must say standing in the Alps of Switzerland takes first prize. I have waited all my life to go to Vatican City, and don't tale this wrong, it is was one of the best wow's of the trip, but actually standing in a 360 degree view of God's work of art takes your breath away!"

Laura

Chino Valley, AZ

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steve's tour and "Best of Europe in 14 days" exceeded all of our expectations. Marijan was an excellent guide and our group became a family from the beginning. We had a bonus with Riccardo assisting the first week and everyone enjoyed his unique sense of humor. The hotels were great as were the French, Italian and German dinners, wine, beer, chocolates, gelato, pork knuckles, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved each and every day - Paris and the Eiffel Tower; Swiss Alps gondola to top of the Schilthorn; evening gondola ride in Venice with music accompaniment; evening entertainment in Tuscany countryside; and magnificent, grandeur of Rome."

Jeffrey

Edina, MN

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour and I would do it again in a minute. I have already recomended it to friends. It was very well organized, well thought out, we were fortunate enough to get a great group of other people on our tour, and my family really enjoyed it. We really enjoyed our tour guides and enjoyed learning about the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland and Tuscany (spelling?) were wonderful. But, I enjoyed the entire trip, so pulling out one or two highlights is difficult."

Meghan

Rockford, MI

Tour: 06/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience was very good. Not only did we see many important sites (museums, churches, palaces etc...) our tour guide shared historical insights that brought places to life. He also created a strong bond with tour members with many small gestures such as small gifts for members with special events during the tour (i.e. wedding anniversary and birthdays).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Lauderbrunnen Switzerland was a "wow" moment with such natural beauty. The waterfalls, snow capped mountains and beautiful valleys were just breathtaking."

Patricia

Osprey, FL

Tour: 06/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The purpose of our tour was to expose our granddaughter to as much of Europe as possible in 2 weeks. In that regard, the tour was a success. The mixture of the large cities, monuments, museums, & galleries with the smaller, laid-back villages was a good experience. Trish was a huge asset with her knowledge and gave just enough info on the bus to create an interest in the upcoming sights. Henri was a bonus with his careful driving and good humor. Cristina was always cheerful, as was Trish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went 2 days early to see Versailles and go up in the Eiffel Tower(consider these). Highlights for sure! Our delightful guide at Versailles made it very enjoyable. I also thoroughly enjoyed "David" and the cleaned Sistine Chapel, preceded with a detailed explanation from our local guide. The Schilthorn was amazing, a must, even for those fearful of heights."

Jeanne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. I was most worried about the group experience, and couldn't have been more pleased with the people we met. We were surprised and thrilled that there were so many teens and twenty-somethings in our group. Everyone was polite, respectful, kind, helpful, upbeat and interesting. The hotels also exceeded our expectations--all charming and clean. Usually it's the things that go wrong that make the best stories when you get home; unfortunately, I have no good stories to tell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Group dinner in Tuscany with live music, dancing, amazing food. Wow."

Brian

Glendora, CA

Tour: 06/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great tour, starting with our guide and group. Trish and Christina were so helpful. And our group was so amicable despite the span of generations in the group. We all had a lot of fun together, despite the rain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of Paris from the Arc de Triumph was amazing. It had just finished raining and the clouds were beautiful just before sunset."

Jonathan

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 06/28/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We were taken to great places to be sure, and that's the main thing you go to Europe for. The guides at the various locations were quite good as well("Francesca" in Rome was a standout). However, I must say that overall experiencing this tour made me conclude that if I were to visit Europe again (this was my 2nd time there) I would prefer a 'self-guided' approach, rather than being a part of a RS group -- for a few different reasons.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was during our visit to the Colosseum that the power and glory (and horror) of Rome came home and alive to me as never before. It left a very deep impression on me. Francesca, whom I mentioned in my earlier response, was instrumental in bringing this vision before our eyes."

Stephen

University Place, WA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a really good time. It was nice having all of our transportation and lodgings taken care of. All of the people in our group were kind and helpful. I would not hesitate to take a Rick Steves Tour again if I get the capital to do so. Most of the local guides were amazing and their knowledge surpassed anything I expected. The only one I wouldn't recommend would be the one in Florence. She ws dry and monotone and not very good at waiting for us to join her in a room before she started.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What I really wanted to do before I went on the tour and what I told friends I was most looking forward to was the walk in the Swiss Alps. That walk did not disappoint. It was everything I hoped it would be and more."

Marilyn

Reading, PA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well designed with structured and free time. This allowed us to select additional sites that were of particular interest to us. The tour guide was very helpful in describing options for our free time. In Munich, we would recommend that the tour substitute the palace in the city instead of the summer palace. The time taken to travel to the summer palace made our trip to Dachau very rushed during our free time that afternoon. Overall, the tour exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first night in Venice was wonderful. It included a gondola ride. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and were selected to ride in the gondola with the musicians. The walk to the Piazza san Marco was the perfect finale to the evening."

Amalie

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. When I look back at what we did and saw in 2 weeks I am amazed. Fabulous itinerary, great people. I look forward to taking another trip to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Swiss Alps was breathtaking! My hotel room window was truly a "picture window.""

Peggy

University Place, WA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most fantastic people on the tour. With the exception of one of the tour guides, these guides were that absolute best that I have ever encountered. There were possessed a breadth of knowledge,spoke with authority and moved us through crowds efficiently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cooking demonstrations were awesome! I would now very much like to do a culinary tour in Tuscany! Night walks and hike through the Alps definitely a highlight."

Patrick

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am recommending it to everybody. Friends followed our daily post on facebook and are requesting your contact info, which we are gladly providing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many but for me it was Saint Peter's in Rome. The Best of Europe tour format, locations and pace was exactly what I wanted and allowed me to add about twenty check marks to my bucket list!"

Mary Jo

Anamosa, IA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the quick orientation portion of the tour to help us feel comfortable in any city or location. Loved the provided dinners, they truly reflected the culinary and wine specialties of the area. We went as a family group and all enjoyed our time together - very well paced for all ages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Saint Chapelle - beautiful!"

Victor

Anamosa, IA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip which was well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Seine River ride was great and a nice relaxing evening."

Karolyn

Fond Du Lac, WI

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the dream of a lifetime and a wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the Eiffel Tower! I studied French in high school and college so I was somewhat aware of the French culture and history! Seeing the Eiffel Tower was very special for me, especially when it was lit up at night."

Delinda

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was everything I hoped it would be, I loved every minute! It was a perfect combination of spending time in cities and spending time exploring the country side. I loved that we had structured tours with expert guides and then we had independant time to explore by ourselves. (Dave our guide, was always available to suggest additional attractions and resturants.) We experienced delicious food and wine and made life long friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many favorite moments but my absolute favorite "wow" moment had to be driving into Lauterbrunnen Valley and seeing the majestic mountains and waterfalls!!! It was an unforgetable experience! I have never seen anything so beautiful! I hope to return to Switzerland someday!"

Steven

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itenerary. Everything went smoothly. A nice ratio of organized versus free time. The other participants in our group were great to travel with. Everyone seemed to get along very well together. The local guides were a strong point.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stunning natural beauty of the Swiss Alps (despite the fact that there was rain and clouds for much of the day)."

Marie

Mayville, WI

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, destinations, travel arrangements and accommodations were outstanding. I can think of nothing that I would have wanted any other way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Included in this tour I would say the Rome and the Vatican square. Not included but experienced was the first glimpse of the gondolier and then riding in one with the music accompaniment."

Robert

Mayville, WI

Tour: 06/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well done and our guide David was super. Great group and we saw all and more than we expected to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome and the forum"

Dawn

Ovilla, TX

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was outstanding. It was a good mix of time spent on our own and with the group. The wine tasting and cooking demonstrations were enjoyable as well. Joe, our bus driver, was great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not just one "wow" moment for me. There were many!"

Lynn

Wadsworth, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It couldn't have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the gondola ride in Venice. The surprise of the musicians put it over the top."

James

Fargo, ND

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great with a possible change in how the tour is ended. After many days of traveling ending the tour in Rome with the fast pace schedule was not fun. If the tour was ended in Paris or even Switzerland or Tuscany it would be much more relaxing end to a wonderful tour. Ending in Rome everyone is tired and we did not enjoy Rome or take in what was offered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was for sure a wow and Gondola ride (not included) was really nice. While we did not care so much for Florence we did enjoy the Uffizi museum."

Jeanne

Reedsburg, WI

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I imagined and more. The tour was orchestrated so well with stops, guides and information and well balanced activities. I knew it would be active but was surprised how much we packed in those 14 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have a hard time measuring one wow moment against another. The beauty of Switzerland was so overwhelming but so calming it certainly stands out.."

Jennifer

Shaker Heights, OH

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we had hoped it would be, and more. I loved our tour guides, our tour members, and the variety of experiences we had both as a group and exploring on our own. I loved the pacing of the tour, with a mix of busy, cultural hubs like Paris and Rome, along with the more scenic and relaxed touring we did in Switzerland and Tuscany. I always wished we could stay longer wherever we were, but I was also excited to get to the next adventure. We would do this again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each member of our family had a different "wow" moment - there really was something for everyone. For some of us, it was hiking in the Alps in Switzerland, for some it was an evening gondola ride in Venice - complete with musicians - and for others it was exploring the ancient ruins of Rome. A particular delight for me was our "vacation from our vacation" in Tuscany, which offered a respite from a busy touring schedule. The agriturismo is something we would not likely have found on our own."

Mitch

Ovilla, TX

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour and a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just enjoyed the experience as a whole."

Steven

Centerville, OH

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This family of five could have never navigated Europe and seen so many sights on our own. I was impressed how each step was planned and organized, down to every turn of the bus. At times the crowds were overwhelming even though it was evident your tour tried to avoid them by starting tours early or taking less traveled allies or museum rooms. Your tour has given me and my family the confidence to return to Europe someday and independently explore sights and lands we found interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Probably inside St Peter's Basilica."

Nicole

Powell, OH

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing! The hotels, the guides, the bus driver, the sights, the dinners, and the group were all unbelievable! I'm thrilled that I selected the Rick Steves Tours to make my first trip to Europe so enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie between the river boat cruise in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower start to "sparkle" at night, and being in St. Mark's Basilica to see the lights come on and mosaics shine!!"

Emma

Centerville, OH

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had such a great time! Our guide, Roy, was amazing and clearly knew what he was talking about. The hotels were very nice, and the restaurants that were provided really gave the true feel of whichever country we were in. After this trip, I would only want to travel with a Rick Steves tour group!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't just have one "wow" moment. First, was the Eiffel Tower. We climbed all the way to the top around 9pm. From there we could see EVERYTHING and it was all lit up. We even got the chance to see it sparkle while we were up there!!! The other was hanging around St. Marks Square at night. The music was so nice and it was so much fun singing and dancing around to The Sound Of Music songs the bands were playing."

Jill

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't believe how much we saw and experienced in just 14 days in Europe. The tour was well organized, exceptional tour guides, great meals and convenient hotel locations. Going with this tour group saved us many, many hours of planning as well as eliminated many of the frustrations that often occur with travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The exceptional natural beauty in the Swiss Alps will always be treasured!"

Mary

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely fantastic. The sights, guides, foods, and experience were one-of-a-kind and I am very glad to have chosen this tour for my introduction to the heart of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments for me on this tour; the gondola ride in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Coliseum in Rome...all stunning artifacts of Europe's grandeur!"

Claire

Woodland Park, CO

Tour: 06/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was amazing! We had a great group including a wonderful tour guide and bus driver. I felt like we saw all of the important landmarks in ever city and country that we went down. Everything was very organized and it made the tour very relaxed and fun. Not only were the group events and gathering awesome, so were the free days where we were able to use Rick Steve's guide book so explore other interesting parts of the countries and go to some great restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's hard to choose just one! Seeing the Eiffel Tower was spectacular but so was going to the Louvre and all of the other art museums and churches. Everything was awesome and breathtaking."

Mary

Coeur D Alene, ID

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and I had a wonderful time! The other tour members were great, as was our guide, Stephanie. I was very happy with the small tour size as I saw many other tour groups who were packed into their bus like sardines. We had two seats apiece--plenty of room to have your backpack or book right there. I wanted more time in every place we stayed, but I realize this was just a "taste" of Europe and I would have to come back for more. That's probably the plan, right?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I stepped off the plane in Paris. It was almost surreal--"I am really in Europe! Really!!""

Renata

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. There were numerous aspects that made the tour special. Stephanie was a fabulous guide. She helped each day with all her normal duties and added a piece of herself to each day. Even days that were her free time, she helped us organize activities and even participated with us. She never tired of answering where things were on a map and where we were. The other guides were also a key aspect in making the trip rewarding. Sandro, our driver was great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike above Lauterbrutten, unbelievable beauty."

Kimberly

Miles City, MT

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous native tour guides and of course our fabulous, knowledgeable and helpful Stephanie! Great mix of cities and country,a fun-loving and open-hearted tour group to travel with, a nice balance of organized time together as a group and our own time to do as we pleased. It was such a BIG, wonderful experience, that I don't think I've fully processed all of it yet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, I believe hiking in the Swiss Alps above Lauterbrunnen was tops among several "WOW" moments. Another was coming up from the subway into central Paris for the first time. Traveling to Europe has been on my bucket list since I was a young girl and I'm now in my 50's, so absorbing as much as I could was important to me. I'm still pinching myself!"

Sandra

Charleston, WV

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been watching the Rick Steves shows and using the guidebooks for years, but a guided tour takes the experience to another level. A guided tour ensures you get the most out of your time, not just easy entry into the big attractions, but also great local guides and local experiences your wouldn't get on your own. Our guide ensured we had successful lessons in local culture and in how to navigate the transportation systems, with a good balance of planned and on our own activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I expected the cities (Paris and Rome) to be the highlights, my favorite "wow" moment was taking a walk the first evening in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, where the snowcapped peaks showered with waterfalls rose up right in front of me. My "wow" day was the all-day hike led by our guide Stephanie, including two gondola rides, stunning scenery,rushing glacial water, fabulous weather and a waterfall inside a mountain."

Michael

Windermere, FL

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A trip of a lifetime for our family. Prior to our tour we had spent a week on our own in London, Normandy, Mont Saint Michele an Versailles. After a week of traveling on our own, I was happy to join our tour group and sit back and relax. Our guide, Stephanie really cared that our group have an awesome experience. The tour allowed us the ease of doing many things that we wouldn't have been able to execute on our own. Highly recommend Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday we had a "Wow" moment at each destination. My overall "Wow" was how organized our tour was laid out and implemented. First class guides, front of the line entrance, nice accommodations, ease of transportation made the investment all worth it."

Patricia

Baldwin City, KS

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great locations in the cities, easy access to shops, metro, dining, Stephanie, out guide- excellent, gotta keep her Rick. Very knowledgeable. Great group of people we were with, we all bonded and meshed together, would travel anywhere with this group again. Loved the local guides we had, knew there stuff...This tour was easy, except for the 7 mile hike in Interlachen, but the fresh trout for our lunch was worth it. It was a tour we looked forward to,and it fulfilled our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was in the Pantheon in Rome--it was raining and to see the rain come down inside the dome and then wash away, and everyone was going about their business, fabulous."

Barry

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience was very good. We chose the Europe in 14 day tour because it was our first trip to Europe and we wanted to experience several countries with the thought that would discover that we would like one location better than others. We spent time in France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. However we discovered that every location was unique and special in their own way, and we liked them all more or less equally.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The density of the major cities (Paris, Munich, Florence, Rome) was expected, yet there was a warmth and charm that we cannot experience in the US with our orthagonal street grid. I loved the non-grid layout of the streets, providing opportunity for 5 and 6 corner intersections - creating interesting left-over space for small parks, plazas, street cafes, and street markets. It felt like many small neighborhood gathering spaces, transforming the big city reality to charming smaller neighborhoods."

Nancy

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and am so pleased I chose this tour! I was able to thoroughly enjoy the experiences and stay "in the moment" without thinking of the logistics of travel, hotels, museum tickets, lines, and "how do I . . . ." Our group of 28 became fast friends and tour buddies. Our relationships did not end on the last day of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A recurrent "wow" moment was the depth and expanse of the churches. Every surface of these structures was planned and executed with glory and precision. There was so much to see and take in, overwhelming at times. St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel were my favorites."

James

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 06/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie was an excellent tour guide. She made this a very special experience. Stephanie went over and above to make it a wonderful experience, she has really studied the areas we visited and provided so much insight and so many great recommendations that resulted in priceless experiences. I was concerned before the trip about a group event, but it worked out okay and the people formed a team that watched out for each other and ensured everyone was safe and had fun. The tour made it easy.

Jack

Jersey City, NJ

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was a great experience! First off, it eliminated the headaches and stress that go along with researching and booking hotel accommodations. Once we got there, the predetermined itinerary drastically reduced the time and stress associated with navigating a new city and deciding which sites were worth seeing, given the limited time available.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from our hotel balcony in Lauterbrunnen was definitely my "wow" moment."

Carolyn

Friendswood, TX

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My daughter and I have been on a number of tours - most to Central/South America, most very enjoyable, but this one was exceptional. VERY well organized and seamlessly executed. I have no complaints about anything on this tour. Our tour guides were outstanding- I'd travel with them again in a heartbeat. Tour destinations, hotels, local guides, food, transportation, local activities - all exceptional. We had a wonderful time & will go again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard call. We fell in love with Paris and Hotel Muguet - I think I want to live there. However, the Lauterbrunnen Valley was perhaps the most beautiful place on earth I've ever seen. Alpine meadows filled with wildflowers, so many waterfalls, belled dairy herds - I just knew I'd see Julie Andrews any minute (our guides did play the Sound of Music soundtrack as we drove through Austria. . . ). And then there's Tuscany. . . I can't pick! Awesome introduction to Europe - we'll be back."

Pamela

South Wales, NY

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best. I had watched the video you sent and was just as advertised, although there were little surprises. Lindau, Germany was a beautiful stop. I think you prepared us perfectly for the busy itinerary,the walking, guides, and hotels. I loved the orientation walks, then seeing the sights with local guides, but then having time to ourselves. It was great the little ways we got to know our fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh let me see, the first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, or wait, Notre Dame lit up at night. No, it was it Switzerland, hiking in the majestic Alps and the base jumpers were landing next to us. No, it was Venice, late, having dinner by the Rialto Bridge. Wait I think the Colosseum was awesome. Seriously, I enjoyed every moment."

Brian

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a blast on the tour. Our guides made everything run incredibly smoothly, and gave us a perfect amount of free time vs scheduled time. Travel between cities was easy and comfortable, and we gained a lot of skills from our guides on navigating public transportation and finding the necessary things for a good travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Colosseum in Rome was my favorite moment of the tour. It was absolutely eye opening."

Wendy

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. It definitely was Not a vacation, it was an adventure, a bucket list, and a history lesson. Our bus and driver were superb, our guide and assistant were fun, playful, knowledgable and always helpful with a smile. I cannot stop talking about my trip, and sharing it with everyone I know - those who ask and those who do not. I am having a hard time finding adjectives appropriate enough to describe the joy, the beauty, and the awe. THANK YOU!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of them in different ways were WOW moments....every single one... So, my least favorite was Munich, but even that was amazing in it's own way - compared to the stunning valour of the Swiss Alps and France, not as beautiful, but certainly distinct. I was surprised at how suppressed it was... I would have preferred Salzburg in Austria to Munich."

Brynne

Corona, CA

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour surpasses all of my expectations and dreams. I wanted to see as much of Europe as possible in a little amount of time, I had my doubts that this tour would be fulfilling and personal due to busy scheduling and the quick pace. This tour was beyond fulfilling and personal for me. The hotels, tours, guides (both local guides and Dimitri/Jorge), bus driver, daily schedules, group meals and suggested free time activities created a very intimate travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While we were in Rome on our walking "local tour" with Francesca I was so lost her her story telling and the sights around me I hadn't noticed where we were as the tour stopped to take photos. As I looked up I saw the most mind blowing skyline, the Colosseum and the ruins of ancient Rome. The way Francesca had educated us about Rome and ancient Rome as we walked the streets made this "wow" moment of seeing the Roman skyline that much more impressive. A moment I will truly never forget!"

Emily

Decatur, AL

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all I had hoped it would be and more. Fifteen years ago I took the 21 day Best of Europe tour and loved it. My husband was unable to go and I really wanted him to experience the trip. He was able to go this time and I enjoyed the trip even more this time. Dimitri and Jorge were excellent. The itinerary is excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the trip was the Alps last time and that remains the best for me. Weather prevented us going as high but hiking in the Alps is just the best."

Joan

Omaha, NE

Tour: 05/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and the tour ran smoothly! No unexpected surprises, as with your pre-tour information I felt like I was well prepared. The small group made the trip more intimate and fun; got to know others better. Felt very safe on the trip. Guides Dimitri and Jorge, and bus driver Sondro were very nice and professional. Loved to sit back and relax, without having to make the decisions and plans.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Easy: the tour itself!!"

Tauseef

Ewa Beach, HI

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Margaret and Kayla were the best! Margaret was always a step of the tour, thinking of little details that made our tour more memorable. For example after we visited Sainte Chapelle in Paris, Margaret and Kayla mentioned the bathrooms were not too clean so Margaret brought us to a little cafe across the street, bought everyone an expresso and people watched for a little bit while everyone in the group freshened up in a cleaner bathroom.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose one but if I had to, I'd say when we arrived at our hotel in Tuscany. The grounds and hotel itself was so beautiful."

John

Venice, FL

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am 76 years old. I saw places I'd heard about and read about all my life. There were two times I felt physically challenged, while on the Swiss walk and when climbing a long bank of stairs on the Metro in Rome. My goal was not to hold the other tour members up and I believe I achieved this.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing all the sights in Paris, doing the Swiss trek, seeing David in Florence and the Forum in Rome, and the gondola ride with the opera singer."

Nan

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It had been 50 years since I hosteled in Europe. Seeing places I'd remembered and others I'd never seen was mind-expanding. The tour was so well-organized with all details covered. As we got to know each other, our group of 28 travelers proved to be easy to get along with. Everyone was friendly and positive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In the darkened night, I relaxed on a cushion in the rear of our gondola with my honey of 47 years. I listened to the gentle slapping of the water against the hull as the gondolier guided his craft through the narrow channel toward the Grand Canal. The accordianist began to play, and the beautiful young woman standing on the bow, arms outstretched, sang the aria from Carmen. Joining the others of our group in the Grand Canal we sang Volare as we built a memory in the moonlight."

Deborah

Boulder City, NV

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never been to Europe before, I was a little nervous about getting around on my own. Those worries disappeared immediately upon meeting our guide, Margaret, and assistant, Kayla. They were totally prepared and informative about every detail in question. Our transportation was first class and all the tours were professionally guided. No wasted time, no standing in lines! We came to love every person on our tour by rotating sitting with different people at mealtimes and activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride with the musicians. Her voice was like an angel and hearing that beautiful music while gliding on the water reflecting the lights and passing people having dinner and wine shouting out Bonjourno! That was magical for me."

William

Sugar Hill, GA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was amazing. We had only 1 complaint with the hotel in Paris where unfortunately we had a horrible experience and the hotel did nothing to address our concerns. Luckily this would turn out to be the only negative for the entire 2 week trip! Our tour guide Margaret did a simply incredible job of moving such a large group around the various cities we visited. Learned a great deal from new facts about history I didn't know to the varying cultural differences of the country's we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"EASY! Switzerland. Never forget the hike through Murren and Gimmelwald. The gondola ride up to the Schilthorn was breath taking. Weather was perfect, Even Margaret commented she had never experienced such perfect conditions before. Second highlight was the tour Guide on our first day in Rome. Her emotion about Roman history was inspiring. It was an amazing experience to be a part of."

Susan

Seekonk, MA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an exhausting, but wonderful trip! I cannot imagine doing this without the expert guidance of the Rick Steves' guides Margaret and Kayla. The first thing they do when you get to a new area is help you become self-sufficient and comfortable your hotel's neighborhood. As we were leaving France, I was notified by our air carrier (Aer Lingus) that our flight home was cancelled due to a strike. Margaret's calm manner reassured me that it would all work out in the end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is hard - there were so many of them! Hiking in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, our stay at a Villa in Tuscany, strolling down the Champs Elysees, standing in the Coliseum in Rome."

Cynthia

Seekonk, MA

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had so much fun! I loved the sense of adventure knowing that we were heading to a new country every couple of days and would look forward with anticipation every night. The size of our tour group was perfect, and it was so nice getting to know some very nice people from all areas of the US. Travel from country to country was very comfortable on our coach, and we had a great driver (Philipe) who took good care of us. Margaret and Kayla were very helpful, informative, and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Swiss Alps for the first time as we traveled from France to Switzerland (breathtaking)."

Rachel

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and I can't imagine doing it any other way. Can't think of one negative thing to say about the entire experience. The itinerary was perfect and hit all the highlights that we've ever wanted to see. Our guide was just a jewel (as was her assistant) with great people and organization skills. The hotels were great, the bus driver was great...the whole thing was great. I wish all of my family and friends could do a Rick Steve's tour--it's the way to see Europe!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At first, when we signed up for the trip, we weren't very excited about being on a bus between stops. But now we've decided that a bus is the very best way to see all the beautiful European countryside that is in between the cities. Just breathtaking. So many "wow" moments with each ancient church or hillside castle. But I think my favorite "wow" moment was entering Lauterbrunnen valley and seeing the waterfall behind the village. Magnificient."

Donald

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

OUTSTANDING TOUR. Including, variety of countries, cities (large and small), cultures, museums, churches, history by very knowledgeable guides, central-located hotels, food (with and without group),and a group of people who always showed respect and acted in a positive manner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow #1 "Da' Bus" Large, comfortable, extra space, great driver, and a guide who provided the knowledge, experiences, and stories for each area as we traveled, Best of all I didn't have to read maps, figure out foreign signage, and experience the "stress" of driving. Wow #2 The total Rick Steves Experience. Congratulations and thank you for providing the "know how", ability, and willingness to put together a perfect plan for those of us who have not been European travelers."

Marta

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was good and very enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in the Alps and the visit to Munich. It was unfortunate that the Market was closed during our visit.Florence and the Ufizi Gallery and the Academy."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Our guide, Colleen, gave us great insights into the history and politics of the regions we were entering. We had excellent guides providing artistic explanations of galleries and museums. We moved rapidly but had a choice always to decline if we felt taxed or disinterested. I could not have wished for more except a longer stay in each city. I am very glad my wife talked me into this excursion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice in the evening was beautiful."

Brian

La Mesa, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Apprehensive to start, Colleen was amazing, putting the group at ease and showing herself to be professional, knowledgable and very personable. The living out of a suitcase for one or two nights each stop proved to be a challenge since it always appeared that something I needed was always in the bottom of the suitcase and a search ensued. The hotels for the most part were great...one exception being the room in Venice which was very small. All hotels were clean and well maintained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the visit to Lauterbrunnen Valley. While we have the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and we've driven through the Casades in Washington, the valley was spectacular. Its beauty is offset somewhat by the limited number of activities."

Thomas

Winston-salm, NC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very smooth and well balanced between city and country, tour time and personal time, various accommodations and travel time. If our tour guide encountered even one glitch, we never knew. She kept the group informed about process and options well in advance of events. The group was the right size, and everyone was congenial.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every moment was a WOW event."

Carol

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just a great trip, my first experience traveling in Europe. Our group was probably like most, we seemed so different at first, I wondered if traveling with so many was a mistake. That feeling didn't last. We all got along very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to pick just one, the Statue of David, eating pizza with the group our first day in Italy, hiking in the alps, the magic night gondola ride in Venice. I even like the bus rides(maybe not all were "wow" bus rides but a couple of them were)"

Joan

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. Of course we enjoyed every country visited and for our first trip to Europe were extremely happy with hotel accomodations, restaurants and especially enjoyed the bus tour, bus driver, tour guides commentary on the bus and the fact that someone else was in charge of transportation. Our group was fantastic and Colleen's people skills were probably a part of that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - but probably the evening gondola ride Colleen put together for all of us in Venice, complete with singer and accordion player."

Terri

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous! I've never been to Europe but had a big list of "must-see" things and places -- this tour covered almost all of them. The local people were friendly -- especially Switzerland and Munich. Wish I could have done the 21-day version to spend a little more time in each place we stayed. The only real "bummer" was getting to Munich late Saturday, and almost everything closed on Sunday. It would have been great to have Sunday as a travel day to get a better feel for Munich.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything about Switzerland including the view from the Schilthorn (?), the cheese dishes, and the exceptionally cold beer in the "base-jumper's" bar after a long day hiking! Venice was a close second; it was just as picturesque as I imagined and St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace were the best buildings of the trip. Last but not least, Michelagelo's David was absolutely amazing! I will remember seeing it forever; pictures definitely do not do justice"

Jimi

Brogue, PA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fast and furious but oh so informative, everything was new so it was exciting. The hotels weren't as rustic as I anticipated but that was good it threw class in there. Still needed the stamina to trug up flights of stairs with your suitcases. In Europe in general "ladies" don't look to have toilet seats on the toilets and then paying 1 Euro to use facilities where were used to getting for free was different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were on the Gondola ride in Venice with the music and singer at 9pm. I never thought I'd be there let alone with my husband of 30 years who made the whole trip happen."

Kurtis

Brogue, PA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colleen was an outstanding guide and was very much part of our great experience. She ensurthat our groups experience was an enjoyable and pleasant as we traveled multiple locations. The bus company and driver (Peter) were outstanding. The hotels we stayed in were very nice and allowed us to enjoy the local pleasures and people, (much better then staying in the big chain hotels). We enjoyed each city location and places we visited, and even wish we had more time in some locations like Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was in the wonderful Alps of Switzerland. The country side, sights and landscape were wonderful and relaxing. I enjoyed the country side location, hotel and people. The weather was perfect, great photo ops and so much more. This little town was a great pick by you and your team."

Merv

Redding, CA

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FABULOUS...experienced history...learned new ways of life...became comfortable with getting lost and finding our way back...met new people and made new friends...ate food I would never do otherwise...and humbled and reminded me... of how fortunate I am... in so many ways. (It doesn't get any better than this).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping out into traffic and walking without hesitation...thank you Dimitri...(...whew...)"

George

New York, NY

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour 'far exceeded' our expectations. The entire experience including all of the communications and followups before the trip were pointed, timely, of great value at the time received and just enough to keep us fully informed on what is expected and what to expect. We ha a choice obviously among a number of tour companies, e.g. Perillo, but we took this one because he had all the key sites we were interested in, was nicely planned (not over planned) and for what we received well priced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To me it was simply riding on the bus and seeing all of natures wonders. This was especially true when we first entered Italy even though a case can be made when we were in the mountains of Switzerland. I live in NYC and to see the beauty of the land and how it is worked by the locals was just incredible to me as a City product who can be at times jaded. So that would be my 'wow' , that there is a different type of life out there and it is not all that bad :)"

Brad

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to start...the trip was for our 30th anniversary and the first trip to Europe for both my wife and myself. We decided to go with Rick Steves' because of the travel philosophy he preaches on his PBS shows, however, we dont know anyone personally that has gone on a Steves' tour before, so we felt like it was a bit of a gamble. Well, as it turnsout it wasn't a gamble at all. Everything promised was delivered and the trip exceeded all of our expectations - by far.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one, but our first afternoon in Rome was pretty amazing with the tour of the Colosseum & Roman Forum, then the city walk to the Pantheon and finishing at the Trevi Fountain. To experience these 4 major sites that I've only ever dreamed of seeing in one afternoon (& evening) was overwhelming."

Francisco

Coconut Creek, FL

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am not much of a writer, but Dimitri was able to turn a good experience into an awesome experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I though my WOW moment was going to be the view of the Schilthorn, but the weather did not want to cooperate (total whiteout). Dimitri had a plan B and took us for a hike in the snow, and that unscheduled hike was my WOW moment."

Vicki

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! For my first trip to Europe, it was more than I could imagine. Our guide, Dimitri, was great. So good at familiarizing us with each new city. A good guy and great fun to be around. The members of our group were all great and we all got along well. I'm ready to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland. Absolutely beautiful. Our hike in the snow was great. Trummelbach Falls are a must see!"

John

Maryville, TN

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations such that we are considering another Rick Steve's tour. We have bought into the Rick Steve's concept; smaller hotels, mingling with the locals, and becoming part of a tour family. There were 26 in our tour and we became friends with all of them. The local guides were all excellent. We feel that we have gained an education and enjoyed every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was especially impressed by the unscheduled stop we made at the Memorial to the American soldiers who gave their lives for freedom in Northern Italy in WWII. It changed my view of the Italian people; I did not realize how much they appreciated the sacrifice we Americans made for all of us. Marty especially loved the mask making demonstration in Venice."

Patricia

Manchester, NH

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? From the first day to the last was an adventure. So many places to see, so little time. Everything was organized for us. The daily schedules that were posted were fantastic.

Richard

Manchester, NH

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WE had a wonderful time in each and every area we visited. We learned a lot about the other cultures that we interacted with as well as each other. Better than expected!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pinpoint a particular moment but we really enjoyed staying at the Tuscan farmhouse. The atmosphere and scenery were spectacular."

Roberta

New York, NY

Tour: 05/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I'd hoped for and more. I learned so much, was challenged by it, and enjoyed the company of my tour mates. In 14 days we saw the highlights of Paris, Munich, Venice, Florence and Rome. We enjoyed the French wine country, the Swiss Alps and rustic Tuscany. Each day was carefully crafted to provide structure, while giving us plenty of free time to explore. We traveled in comfort in the tour bus which allowed us to enjoy the scenery between stops on the tour. Bravo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one "wow" moment: Was it the night river cruise on the Seine? Was it the wine tasting in Burgundy? The beauty of the Alps? The pretzels the size of our heads in Munich? Venice? Florence? Rome? On a tour chock-filled with wow moments, I'd have to say that my favorite one was exploring the Alps in Switzerland. The gondola ride, the walk in the snow, the hike through the valley, the delicious lunch (and black forest cake!)all added up to a memorable day."

John

Arvada, CO

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was probably too much activity to pack into the 14 days, but with the tour we were able to by pass many of the long waiting lines and get to actually see the main attractions or sites that were key to the trip. Many of the museums were very crowded and we were able to get to the main works with our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to most of these cities many years ago and each one had something special to offer to me, but on one of the longer bus rides we stopped for lunch in a small town and had pizza in a very quaint little restaurant where many of the locals would go. Really broke up the day when I thought we would be in for a long ride."

Charity

Lolo, MT

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was amazing and more than I expected. I expected that we would be taken to all the "must see" places and I expected that Ben would orient us to the surrounding areas. What I didn't expect was Ben's teaching ability, the amazing depth of knowledge he has, and the amount of passion he feels for what he is teaching. It seemed as though every place we went (on the coach or on foot), Ben knew and spoke eloquently about. Ben was always available and I appreciated that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a wow moment each day. The Louvre and it's masterpieces, wine tasting in Beaune in a cellar built hundreds of years ago, the Uffizi and it's masterpieces, Venice, the David, Florence... it was all amazing and I'm relatively certain my mouth was open in awe and amazement most of the trip. Thankfully no photos caught that! Probably the best wow moment was sitting in Venice in St. Mark's Square at night listening to music and enjoying the night."

Suzan

Oakville, ON

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip of a lifetime. It was Fun, interesting, inspiring as well as exhausting. I loved every minute of our trip. I will be back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one, but St Peter's in Rome took my breath away. Both beauty and history, like I have never experienced before."

James

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip far exceeded any expectations I had. I miss Europe, our fantastic traveling buddies, and the Rick Steve's magic. I miss the French pastries and macchiatos, the easy drinking wine, Italian gelato, the adventures, history, on and on. It was a fantastic intro to Europe - great itinerary with a good pace. Our group was a diverse bunch, all interesting and fun. I don't think I have laughed as much in a two week period - ever. It was so much fun. We are already saving for our next RS trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the tour ended in Rome we flew to London for a couple of days. On the train back to Paris we were talking about the tour. I said "WOW, that truly was the trip of our life." So many wonderful experiences."

Dianne

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was such a stress relief to have transportation, hotels, and tickets to multiple sites taken care of for us. Even our bus driver was friendly, fun, and extremely competent. It was a treat to hear summaries of history countries and cities we were traveling thru, and fun to share the trip with others who were so grateful for the experience. Everyone seemed to enjoy being together. Sharing serious & light moments enriched the trip for all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding on the bus, seeing the alps, looking out window in hotel at the alps in Switzerland, May Day in Beaune with lily of the valley on every corner, lunch outside in Eigna, the farm in Tuscany, all day in Florence, tour of Colosseum, Forum, Ben for our leader, English Gardens in Munich, ice cream at English Gardens, gelato in Rome, apple tart/pie in Ru Cler, trying escargot. Sorry, couldn't think of just one. Oh yes, seeing David in the Pantheon!"

Isaac

Catonsville, MD

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

my overall tour experience was amazing. the guides were incredibly knowledgable and helpful. any misgivings i had were completely allayed. we saw, did, and learned more from this tour than we ever could have accomplished on our own in double the time. there was a good balance of pacing and a practical mix of group time and "alone" time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"david"

Stephanie

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 04/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not have been more pleased with the overall tour experience. It was the stress-free way to see Europe! With all the logistics, accommodations and tickets to the big sites taken care of, the only thing we had to do was sit back and enjoy soaking in all the beauty and rich history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was seeing ancient Rome. To see something in person that I've heard about all my life... We just don't have that history in the states. Very impressive!"

Patricia

Nottingham, PA

Tour: 04/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just over the top. Our guides and bus driver were extremely knowledgeable and helped us to get acclimated to our new surroundings instantly. That was important so we could make the best use of our free time. Free time and planned activities were just the right mix. It was nonstop for the most part which we prefer. The guides which joined our group at in different countries were outstanding, too. Just an A++ experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "wow" moments. For my husband and I this was our first tour of Europe so just about around every corner was a "wow" moment. Ours #1 experience was in Rome touring the ruins and the guide we had just absolutely brought the past to life. She was extremely passionate and painted such a vivid picture of what life was like in Rome in 44 BC. It was breathtaking. Our guides Colleen and Cary did a great job of that as well. They used the bus time to teach us about the area we were entering."

Lee Ann

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 04/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our first experience in Europe and it won't be our last. It was the trip of a lifetime. Everyone on our tour got along great. We laughed, had fun, and enjoyed each others company. The guides and our bus driver, Henri, were awesome. First rate trip and first class experience. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was walking into San Marcos Square and it was all lit up for the night time experience and music was playing at the cafés - dancing under the moonlight and stars celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary is a memory I will never forget."

Ann

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an exciting, eye opening, educational, fun experience. It was also exhausting sometimes. I was afraid I would not be able to keep up with the "young people" on our tour, but I found that I could and it gave me a boost of confidence for the rest of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many highlights, but the one that stands out is looking out over the Lauterbrunnen Valley and saying to myself, "Wow -- this doesn't look real. It looks like something out of a movie." The grass was super green, the valley surrounding us was shrouded in fog with snow on the top, and all 72 waterfalls were flowing down because of the snow and rain the day before. I would love to go back."

Rod

Gresham, OR

Tour: 04/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous. We did the 14 day tour of Europe to get a feel of several countries. Then we could determine where we wanted to come back and spend more time. I really liked the out door cafe living in Paris, the beautiful country side of Switzerland, Germanys beer gardens were fun and lively, but Rome was the best. The history all over Europe is amazing but I really liked the history around Rome. Buildings, paintings and sculptures many hundred years old.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the statue of David. I had no idea the statue was 17 feet tall. The detail of the scupture is great. Notre Dame was amazing too."

Debbie

Gresham, OR

Tour: 04/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was magnificent .. We hit all the top spots in the cities we toured. Colleen and Cary our guides were top notch. Our group melted perfectly. The food was fantastic. We loved the old hotels we stayed in. Overall it was a 10 in our book .. can't wait for our next trip !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All my friends ask this question. The WHOLE trip had WOW moments everyday. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louve .. Notre Dame .. Swiss Alps Beer in Munich .. canels in Venice .. The Mona Lisa, Daivd, Trevi Fountain .. The Coliseum .. Ancient Ruins .. Sistine Chape. We saw the Pope on Sunday after our tour was over ... ALL the history .. from start to finish .. WOW !!"

Nancy

Florence, SC

Tour: 10/05/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and thought it was well organized and executed. Roy was excellent in every way and extremely knowledgeable. We can not say enough positive about his execution of the the tour and about the other guides. They were all superb!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was Switzerland and the hike we took up the mountains stopping for lunch in a tiny village. We were lost, so this was by accident."

Marcia

Horseheads, NY

Tour: 10/05/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This vacation was better than we ever could have dreamed of. Everything we perfect. Roy was a fabulous guide and played a huge part in making the trip as wonderful as it was. We are hoping to take another trip next year with this group, and have suggested this trip to all of our friends and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pin it down to a "wow" moment, as we had soo many of them. I would have to say it was either the wine tasting/dinner in Boune or the dinner / music in Tuscany. Those were 2 of my most fond memories."

Steven

Long Beach, NY

Tour: 10/05/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful mind / body experience. Not quite sure how to respond, but overall I was so pleased with the locations of the hotels, the effort, the planning, the genial nature and the enthusiasm of the TOUR GUIDE as well as well as the great experience with the other tour members - were all fantastic. I had very high expectations for this trip tour met and exceeded all of them. If I had to change anything I wouldn't.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many. Every day. Seeing The David. Seeing the real Van Gogh "Starry Nights over the River Rhone" - I have copy over my couch in the living room :-). Lauterbrennen hike. The duck and escargot in Paris. Wine tasting at the abbey in Beaune. Tour of The Coliseum. Ahhh..getting lost in Venice."

Tamara

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had never been to Europe and quite frankly did not know if the tour option was the best option for us. So, we began to try to plan our own trip and quickly became overwhelmed with the challenge of booking hotels and finding tickets to museums etc....The Rick Steves Tours was recommended to us by friends who have used your books to plan their own travel vacations. We chose our trip and decided to give it a try. It was a very positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people on our tour made it a special time. Everyone was wonderful and making new friends, meeting new people, made each place we visited that much more enjoyable."

Paul

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour schedule was well planned and balanced. Although the schedule was structured to cover the highlights of Europe, it mixed in enough "on your own" time to allow individual experiences. As an introduction to Europe, it teased you with tastes that whet your appetite to consume more. Overall, it is a trip we will remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Florence, turning the corner in the Academy to see Michelangelo's "David" and then to see his unfinished works, "The Prisoners". The combination gave me an appreciation of the mastery required to achieve the perfection of his "David"."

Kay

Wooster, OH

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

iI was very ,very pleased with my overall tour experience. I have recommended a Rick Steves Tour to many people since I returned home. The pre-tour instructions and information was everything any traveler would need. I was pleasantly surprised with the breakfasts and the 8 group dinners that were provided. The hotels were quaint and the restaurants that were recomended more than met my expectations. I always felt safe and felt that our tour guide, Dave Stringer, always warned us of any dang

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments! The Eiffel Tower at night was one. The cruise down the Seine was another. Munich during Octoberfest was enjoyable. Eating in the Abby in Beaune was another wonderful memory. Venice was a highlight also. I loved Rome and could have easily spent two weeks there."

Jeff

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good tour guides. Great fellow travelers and a fantastic experience! I never could have recieved as much knowledge of Europe on my own. My advice to potential tourists: Go ready to see and learn more than you ever imagined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Switzerland and the wonderful "farm" in Italy."

Dennis

Richland, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really had an enjoyable experience. Dave was great and our group was too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several 'wow' moments but if I had to choose just one I would have to say Michelangelo's David."

Susan

Penticton, BC

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Travelling with a tour enabled me to see as much as possible in a 2 week time frame. I was comfortable on the coach, our driver Matt was good natured and professional. I enjoyed the diversity of the landscapes, and the activities that were planned, and done during my free time. the food was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Never realized how magnificent David is. Unbelievable. There were so many things that wow'd me, every day since I got back, my mind goes to something I saw or wanted to see, that I found really inspiring or interesting."

Andrew

Miami, FL

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very pleasantly surprised with the experience. I thought the strict structure and group atmosphere would be the worst part of the trip, but both turned out to be the best. My wife and I had been to Europe before, but it was more enjoyable with knowledgeable guides to tell you what you should and should not see. It was great getting to know the other trip participants and their diverse personalities and perspectives really added to the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oktoberfest. Great atmosphere bigger than life. I feel like beers should be a liter from now on."

Paula

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about our tour: the cities we visited, the transportation we used, the other tour members, our awesome guide Jennifer, the restaurants, hotels, and museums. The extra activities were outstanding: a river cruise on the Seine, wine tasting, hiking in the Swiss Alps, and Oktoberfest, to name a few. This was a trip of a lifetime for me, and I loved every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment from our tour was visiting the small village of Wengen in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Being from Oklahoma, I am not used to seeing mountains in my backyard, but that's what we had while we were there. The beauty and majesty of the mountains are breathtaking. I could sit for days and admire the view."

Duane

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great motorcoach and driver, great hotels, good food, good choice of sights to visit and great cities

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the city of Venise"

Patricia

Menomonie, WI

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very hard to be concise, but everything was beyond expectations. Loved the intellectual stimulation provided by the guides, including Jennifer's commentaries on and off the bus. The sights, sounds, and tastes during the entire trip were fantastic, and the intimate looks at local culture were charming. (Mask making, cooking, wine tasting, etc.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The walking tour through Florence, especially the Uffizi Museum. Fantastic commentary by our guide; (Cindy, if I recall correctly)."

Kevin

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time, enjoying the tour guide, and tour members. Everything was pretty well planned out and scheduled. It was nice not waiting in lines and having been prepped by the guide on what we were going to see or interesting things to look forward to seeing. The local guides were also a wonderful resource.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one. However overall the trip was wow..."

Pam

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jennifer is very knowledgeable and fun. We had a terrific group. Was very sad we had to leave early due to mother's illness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Swiss Alps. Breathtaking."

Karen

Lincoln City, OR

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience. It was our first time traveling to Europe and I would highly recommend a Rick Steves Tour for anyone who is the least bit nervous about doing it on their own. It was a perfect mixture of organized activities and free time. Jennifer was a great tour guide and we appreciated her leadership skills and no-nonsense approach to dealing with the group dynamics. It was fun, interesting, inspiring and I can't wait to go back. Jennifer was the perfect tour guide for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay in Wengen was my "wow" moment. The Swiss Alps left me breathless and eager to return. Before the trip I thought of Switzerland as just a stop on our tour. Paris, Venice & Rome were my destination spots. Climbing to the top of the Mannlichen viewpoint with a 360 degree view was a "wow" moment. It was a party cloudy day and the sun was peaking in and out of the clouds. Breathtaking is all I can say. The walk along the ridge to Kleine Scheidegg was one of my favorite days."

Mary

Wasilla, AK

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first, I'll admit, I was a little skeptical about taking a tour. But almost immediately I realized that it was going to be everything we wanted/needed! I would have never been able to dedicate as much time and effort into planning such an elaborate vacation! We saw so many amazing things and didn't have to worry about a single thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To be honest, there was not a solitary "wow" moment for me. Every place we saw was so different from the others, there is no way to compare them! I loved the art, museums and architecture of Paris, the scenery of Switzerland, the culture of Germany, and the food and history of Italy. It was all amazing!"

Susan

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Hotel Le M in Paris was very disappointing; location good, staff friendly, however, we had lighting and door problems we asked to be resolved for four days and they were not. In addition, we lost power numerous times. Did not like all the music on the bus with no option to turn it off. This made it difficult to read, sleep or relax. We were made to feel that being on our own was not encouraged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed touring places we would not have gone, e.g., Beaune & Lauterbrunnen Valley."

Virginia

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a family event including my husband and two children and their spouses. We planned and discussed our "once in a lifetime tour" for over a year until September finally arrived. As our tour date loomed on the horizon I felt apprehensive that maybe I was too old and would be unable to keep up. I'm pleased to say my fears were unfounded and each day's activites very doable. I think of our experience as a taste of Europe and now there are definitely countries I want to return to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each of our fantastic tour guides created a wow moment as they discussed their particular country and its history. I loved splurging on a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower in the early morning with my daughter. I loved Beaune, our quaint surroundings and tour of the history steeped hospice. I also loved Venice and how easily their citizens navigate their waterways as though they were paved streets. One of my favorite wow moments was the evening in St. Mark's Square with musicians playing."

Suzanne

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Visiting these countries through a Rick Steve's Tour made the experience effortless regarding hotels, popular tourist sites and many meals. Often one gets bogged down with the concerns of whether a hotel or a meal will be good or not--these concerns were eliminated during this trip, which was wonderful. I could not imagine trying to visit many of the tourist sites on my own--the lines were unbelievable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"no doubt--the family farm which we stayed in Tuscany-outside of Regello. I did not want to leave it!"

David

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our expectations were high, and were all surpassed. The accommodations, transportation, meals, and most of all content and presentation by guides were excellent. This was our second RS adventure and will not be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bourne and Switzerland were "wow" moments for me as I went in thinking of them as stop overs along the trail and they turned out to be future destination points."

Mary

New Riegel, OH

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough for your tour. It was so amazing . I learned and saw so much. Our guide Sara was so wonderful. She taught us a lot and always took care of all our needs. She is simply the best. I can't say enough for her. Your tour was all I hoped for and more. The group size was just right. The only thing might be, was to have tiny longer bathroom breaks. Our bus driver was very good and helpful also. This was a lifelong dream and you helped make it happen. Thank you, Mary schalk

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I started to write this 4 different times, there are to many wow moments, I just loved it all, the country side, the hotels, the food, the guides, it just was amazing."

Andrew

North York, ON

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was exceptional! Our tour guide, Sarah was very informative and knew how to create a fun and exciting group dynamic. At each stop, Sarah would set the stage and give us historical insights about where we are visiting, this made each site feel like an opening act to a play. The free time was a great opportunity to explore on our own and allow us to have a personalized adventure, all under a safe environment. Our driver, Henri, was excellent and acted like a second tour guide. :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two wow moments. The first was Lauterbrunnen Valley with the beautiful landscapes and sceneries and delicious food. Two words: breath taking. My second wow moment was our Rome tour guide, Francesca. I've visited Rome before, but she made me see the city in a new light. She was not merely a guide, she was a narrator to a wonderful story of human history."

Erika

Hayward, CA

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was more than I what my expectations ever were. Sarah was an great tour guide , everyone that we met has become a long distance friend. The trip and all the accommodations, food, sight's were AWESOME!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was Wow about Sarah, she was like a walking history book & was able to squeeze in places that were not on our tour itinerary which made the trip even that much more WOW!"

Thomas

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience! Our guide Sarah was truly amazing. She had tremedous knowledge of the region and helped us enjoy the local flavor in every location with her history and interesting facts on the bus as we approached each region. The trip far exceeded our expectations and we will definitely put a Rick Steves' Tour at the top of any future way to see Europe as we explore other regions soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome. It was the last few days of our trip, and yet with Sarah and Francesca taking us through the ruins and explaining the amazing history all around us it was magical. It was breathtaking to walk through over two thousand years of history while dodging Vespas and drinking wine!"

Pat

Carey, OH

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was beyond my expectations. I felt we hit all the highlights of each of our destinations and were well informed of the impact each site had on us, our world and it's history. It was a good balance between experiencing busy city life and taking in the beauty of awesome landscapes. I can't tell you how many times I said "it can't get any better than this"...and IT DID...time after time! I hope everyone gets a chance to experience what we did!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were sooo many WOW moments but I have to say the Alps were my favorite. We were blessed with a beautiful clear day and could see for endless miles. I picture heaven to look something like what we saw that day. On our hike down I kept thinking the same thing."

Katharen

Goffstown, NH

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every bit of it. This was the best vacation of my life. Each day brought new adventures and Sarah provided us with the history and a perfect perspective to experience each fabulous step along the way. The bonus rounds included knowledgeable and entertaining local guides who added wit and philosophical interpretations to both the physical and political landscape.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As for WOW moments... as l look at my pictures of each location I say 'Oh that was my favorite" it is like asking me which of my children I love best... I can't choose as I was blown away by all of it, Paris, Beaune, Swiss Alps (Schilthorn), Munich (Oktoberfest), and every where we went in Italy was superb. Even stopping for lunch in Lichtenstein makes me smile."

Elizabeth

Cordova, TN

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Europe Tour was amazing! It was the right amount of structured "guided" tour time with just the right amount of free time for ourselves. Sarah, our guide was the BEST. She did a fantastic job of preparing us on what we would be seeing before we arrived at each our destinations. She made the cities and places come alive for and gave us the tools we needed to navigate on our own when necessary. Having her as our guide, totally took any stress out our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking through the Swiss Alps on the North Face Trail and enjoying a beverage at Suppenalp "alp" along the trail. Views were outstanding!"

Michael

Goffstown, NH

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did not know what to expect, this was my first trip out of the United States.I was somewhat intimidated by the prospect of not knowing how to speak a foreign language. After meeting the other members of my group, and spending a couple of hours getting oriented in Paris, I felt at home with them and the prospect of a wonderful experience. Every day was a new learning experience, and every day was as novel as the first.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel that when I looked out of my hotel window and saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time, this was the moment that I truly realized that the trip I had been waiting for all year was finally in progress."

Bryan

Exeter, NH

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations on all levels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour of Rome with Franchesca. She opened my eyes to an entire new universe of thought on society, past and current, how we view the past and how it has influenced us now. She brought me to tears."

Sheri

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm still pinching myself as I keep thinking of all the wonderful sights I've seen in Europe that I use to just dream of. It was simply wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though it was terribly crowded it would have to be the Louvre . WOW! I loved the building, the tour guide, the enormity of it and of course all of the glorious art."

Larry

Andalusia, AL

Tour: 09/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond all expectations! Sarah made our experiences special and made us feel the same.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our last night in Rome."

Frank

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is hard to believe that my wife and I experienced so much of Europe in such a small amount of time. As we view all the photos taken during the trip, it only reminds us of the wonderful experience we shared. Our guide, Roy made the trip unforgettable with his knowledge, and his caring and warm personality to help create memories that will last a lifetime. The people in our group we traveled with quickly became friends. I am ready to do it all over again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say everyday was a "wow" moment. Especially enjoyed Switzerland as it was breathtaking and so peaceful. Every city and every countryside was awesome to visit."

Allison

Avondale, PA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This trip was our first to Europe and was a perfect way to see the biggest highlights of Europe. We were able to relax and truly enjoy each experience along the way, greatly due to our wonderful guide Roy and bus driver John who's guidance and suggestions allowed us to travel with ease and to make the best of our brief time in so many different incredible places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, our guide organized a hike up the Swiss Alps for those who were interested. The higher we climbed, the more beautiful the view. It was absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience such beauty. I had to tell my husband to stop taking pictures because every where we turned was just breathtaking."

Betsy

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Best of Europe tour! It was a wonderful way to do the things we wanted to do and see the sights we wanted to see without having to worry about transportation or hotels! We had the information and tools we needed to go out on our own and feel very independent in each place. Roy, our tour guide, was fantastic and our driver, John, could not have been nicer. They made everything about the tour even better. We really enjoyed the time with the group and the "free time" on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, seeing the Eiffel Tower for the very first time with my own eyes! And turning the corner in the Accademia in Florence and seeing Michelangelo's statue of David standing there. A true "wow" moment! Also, of note, a "surprise trip" to the American Cemetery in Florence was a very special moment. We had taken our free time in Germany and gone to Dachau Concentration camp, and the cemetery was a perfect bookend to this profoundly moving experience."

Craig

St Joseph, MO

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Paris a day ahead of time. Wish we would have come even earlier. Met up with Roy are Tour Guide and are travel group, the next day. Couldn't have had a better group. We packed light, and will probably always pack light now. Met up with John are bus driver a couple of day later. It was a great exhausting trip. Now I know where I want to go back too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one "wow" moment. Every city is different, everyone "wowed" in its own way. Paris was beautiful, the parisians were great. Beaune was relaxing. We had great weather, for Switzerland, and enjoyed a nice gondola ride and hike to Gimmelwald. Along with a nice lunch with beer and wine, while looking overlooking the Alps."

Frank

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Completely wonderful. We had a really nice group of people. It was an excellent blend of escorted & pre-arranged visits, as well as time to explore & experience things on our own. An added bonus was our coach driver, who was friendly, helpful & really part of the tour group. Roy was a terrific guide, mentor, & friend - can't say enough good things about him!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David was more amazing than I had thought. The Alps were spectacular. The windows at Saint-Chapelle were stunning."

Diane

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very well organized tour. Our guide and our driver were very professional but also very fun and engaging. Our tour group became like a family. Everyone watched out for each other. It was a nice balance of organized time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. I think seeing the beauty of the Swiss Alps for the first time was my favorite "wow" moment."

Ian

Pontypool, ON

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I wanted to see the best of Europe's history and geography in 14 days and I was not dissapointed. I have always wanted to see some of the major cities of Europe, the artwork, and the architecture, and the history of how the past is blended into the present. The regional guides were excellent in giving an overview of their city, or specialty. Sitting in a school class cannot give the nuance of history as seen by the local people. This brought the history and present to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every city had exceptional moments. Each day had a wow moment. It would be unfair to pick just one, but my favorites were the Orsa, the Louvre, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Munich and Octoberfest, Vennice, and Rome."

Marcy

Klamath Falls, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a "first timer" on a Rick Steves tour...let alone a "first timer" to Europe...my expectations were exceedingly met!! Everything was so well planned and executed with warmth and class. Our tour guide, Roy, seemed to have a magical sense of when to "check-in" with us and when to leave us to our own adventures...always encouraging us to explore and experience the best the area had to offer! His knowledge of history and the arts added so much to the tour experience. Trip of a lifetime!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down!...Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland! I will share from my journal entry after the first day in that breathtaking valley:" A day full of Alpine hikes through quaint and pristine villages and beautiful waterfalls...with the back-drop of the Eiger Mountain and Alps...while listening to the delightful "clankeling" of cow bells on contently grazing cows. It is breath-taking here...so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes...such appreciation for Creator!""

Kenneth

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time we have taken a tour, and it was a fantastic experience. It was a perfect blend of scheduled activities and free time, our group was very compatible, and our tour guide and bus driver were excellent. It was a perfect way to experience so many destinations in 2 weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in the Swiss Alps was extraordinary. We started our "free" day with an optional hike led by our tour guide, and then completed the day hiking on our own. The scenery was breathtaking, including lunch outdoors with a view of snow-covered mountains, and Lauterbrunen was a wonderful village to stay in."

William

Odenville, AL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a great overall trip. I really enjoyed the tour guide, Roy and thought he really brought the trip "alive." From the other tour guides to the sights and museums this trip was very thought out, informative and culturally embracing. I hope to do this again soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every waking moment!"

Alecia

Odenville, AL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I was very satisified with my European tour and am glad I chose Rick Steve's. I feel that I was well informed on what to expect from this tour. All my pre-tour questions were answered quickly (I had several) and the guides were able to help me with everything that came up along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were amazing and I LOVED the hotel."

Lea

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a whirlwind two weeks of bus travel, walking, climbing, visiting interesting sites in large cities and in small villages, local history, food, wine, beer, meeting people, experiencing different cultures, and wonderful fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first that comes to mind are seeing the Alps rise through the clouds as we came into the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. Hiking on the valley rim and riding the gondola lift in the clear crisp air was very special. Loved hearing the cow bells on the mountainside."

Jane

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

from beginning to end the trip was great. I definitely feel that my 1st European trip was greatly enhanced due to our tour guide "Roy". His extensive knowledge of each locale we visited greatly enhanced our experience. We also appreciated his sense of humor and helpful tips before visiting each country. We also want to give out for our bus driver "John". He is a very accomplished and safe driver, and always eager to provide information to Roy and the tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moments: Night cruise on the Seine river in Paris. Eifel tower twinkling at night. View from top of Arc de Triumph. Hiking in the Swiss Alps Statue of "David" The coliseum in Rome."

John

Occidental, CA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very good first visits to the cities we went to. Could have skipped Germany for extra days in Switzerland and Venice. The bus trips were comfortable and relaxing. The crowds at most of the tour sites were overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps in Switzerland and the gondola ride in Venice"

Ray

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Well planned and organized. Structured yet flexible. Guides had great personalities, made the trip more enjoyable, and encouraged positive rapport among tour members. Just the right amount of "front loading" (specific information shared before arriving at specific tours or cities). Local guides were also good.Group meals were high quality and were wonderfully representative of local regions. We had a great time and not one single complaint over the two week period. I recommend it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it. People keep asking me this question - - I just can't compare, for example, Paris to the Swiss Alps. The whole trip was a wow two weeks!"

Roberta

Gonzales, LA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the fact that we did group activities, but then we were left to do wha we would like to do also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eiffel Tower. I've never been to Paris"

David

Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THE VIDEO SOLD US ON THE TOUR BUT THE ACTUAL TRIP WAS EVEN MORE AMAZING. OUR TOUR GUIDE DAVE WAS PHENOMENAL ALWAYS EXTREMELY EFFICIENT AND AVAILABLE FOR ADVICE ON SIGHTS TO SEE AND RESTAURANTS TO VISIT. BUS DRIVER WAS EXCELLENT AND BUS WAS VERY COMFORTABLE. HOTELS WERE CLEAN COMFORTABLE WITH HELPFUL STAFFS AND GREAT LOCATIONS.GROUP MEALS WERE FANTASTIC. LOCAL TOUR GUIDES WERE KNOWLEDGABLE AND EFFICIENT . GROUP SIZE WAS PERFECT FOR ALL THE ACTIVITIES, AND VERY COMPATIBLE.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"TWO THINGS REALLY STAND OUT. THE WATERFALL VIEW FROM OUR BEDROOM IN THE ALPS AND THE VIEW FROM THE EIFFEL TOUR AT NIGHT."

Cheri

Warrenton, OR

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really enjoyable to travel by motor coach to so many different places. The coach driver was great and the coach itself very comfortable - I was pleasantly surprised. Loved the cities and countryside that we visited. It was well organized - had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps! We were able to hike and see the cows and goats on the Alpine meadows and hear their fabulous bells in the crisp clean air of the Swiss Alps. the weather even cooperated. Loved the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Gondola ride up the mountains."

Elizabeth

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot say enough good things about all aspects of our trip. From pre=planning materails to the trip itself. All hotels and food provided were outstanding. I cannot pick what city or site I liked best, they were all great. Our guides were excellant, and prepared us for the day. The "special" guides were the great as wll. I think I learned more art, history and religion in 2 weeks that I have in my whole life. Our co-travelers were a joy to meet and get to know. Our driver was safe and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were just so many. The mountains to Switzerland and the valley with waterfalls and beautiful views. Paris and walking aound the city, eating the wonderful pastries and just sitting outside people watching.. Venice and feeling like a rat in a maze but havng fun finding our way.. the gondola ride with musicians at night.. The Tuscan farm and the view and relaxing by the pool, Rome, the history, the Vatican and the art,, Hearing wonderful musicians in each city just walking down the street."

Negar

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a GREAT tour. I grew up watching Rick Steves' shows and would always feel like I was there with him. It was such a wonderful experience to finally have a chance to visit Europe. Every day was loaded with fun events, amazing food, wonderful people, and eye-opening sites. This tour had the perfect amount of driving, walking, time with the tour, time alone, and cozy hotels. Every city was so unique and special that I find it hard to pinpoint my favorite location. Superb experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, this is just a really tough question. I had so many great experiences on this trip that I cannot even pick one over the other. However, since I have to, I would say that my favorite WOW moment was taking a hike in Lauterbrunnen Valley with the sun shining and the alps glistening. This place was AMAZING! I felt so small in this valley but at the same time felt that I was on top of the world. Such a wonderful and peaceful place. I will definitely return one day!"

William

Litchfield, IL

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As noted to Colleen, Great guide, great plan, great food, great people, great bus and driver. The (guided) hike in the Alps and Lauterbrunne Valley was breath taking. The needed rest in the Tuscan countryside hotel following a day in Florence, we could have stayed for days. Those that skipped the walking tour in Munich and went to Dachau instead may not have liked the City, but the two of us that walked to the local festivals loved it. The best food and beer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in the Alps! Surreal views!"

Abbey

Parker, CO

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to travel outside the U.S., and the 14-Day Best of Europe tour was better than I expected. We loved our group and guide (Colleen is AWESOME!!), and the trip was perfectly planned. The local guides that were arranged were knowledgeable and entertaining. The accommodations were just right... great locations that allowed us to experience each city morning to night. We were able to bypass many of the lines to make the most of our time. We highly recommend this trip!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many 'wow' moments that it was hard to pick.... One that sticks out was the night walk in Rome with our guide, Colleen. Seeing the Trevi Fountain at night was a magical experience. It would not have been the same in the daytime. Another deatil perfectly orchestrated by the guide/tour."

Judy

Shorewood, WI

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an excellent balance between high energy walks and touring sights and relaxing downtime breaks. It was nice to have options as well as time with the group and time on our own. The atmosphere was one of fun and adventure together!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the train and gondola from Lauterbrunnen up the mountains and then walking on a sunny day in the dazzling Swiss Alps was truly breathtaking! I couldn't believe I was there! Even now it seems like it was a dream."

Susan

Saginaw, MI

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group made the tour. A very diverse group of people and everyone seemed to have the attitude of its going to be fun and there weren't any "grumps". The historical knowledge from our tour guide made every aspect of the trip come alive. The cities and activities were well planned and allotted plenty of "my" time also. To be informed of simple customs and courtesies enhanced the experience. Colleen's ability to orchestrate the group and meet everyones needs. Big WOW!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The magic of St. Marks Square in Venice as the sun was setting, music in the background and the overwhelming of a once in a lifetime moment."

Regina

Ashland, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour! Travelled with a great group of fun-loving people which really adds to the experience. I liked that we were so active walking and touring, climbing stairs, etc. I ate all of that delicious food and didn't gain any weight! The cities and towns on the tour were all very different and offered a variety of cultural experiences. The bus was very comfortable and the driver Rony was skillful at manipulating the big tour bus through the cities as well as on country roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments I cannot choose a favorite. A few were D'Orsay Museum in Paris and the Impressionist painters, Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland is gorgeous and everywhere I looked I was treated to a beautiful view. Venice was also so much fun. Also, Michelangelo's David in Florence was mind blowing! And Michellangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel moved me to tears because of their beauty. Rome, very cool."

Linda

Forest Grove, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a once in a lifetime experience. We put our trust in your company and it was perfect, flawless. Everything you promised and more. I felt like Rick was hands on for the full experience. We celebrated our 45th anniversary and nothing could have made this any more special. I believe we also were the oldest and we kept up perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you pick! My surprise was Switzerland. I thought I would like it but did not know I would love it. Hiking in the alps, WOW!"

Jeffery

Troy, OH

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All I can say is TRIP OF A LIFETIME.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch in Switzerland with the view of the Eiger."

Keith

Huntignton Beach, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Our guide (Colleen) and driver (Ronnie) were both excellent! The places we visited were exciting. The hotels were very nice and centrally located. Everything that was promised was delivered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountains in Switzerland."

Kristi

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience. A good sampling of different countries and cities with the safety of the Rick Steve's guided tour. If you are intimidated by the language barriers, or just scared to go to another country, BUT want to go, this is a great way to build your confidence. It was a good balance of time with the "group" and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colleen led us on an amazing hike in Switzerland. We had lunch up hight on the mountain too. Just breath taking. Our night walk in Rome was amazing in so many ways."

Debra

Waukesha, WI

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was extremely positive! We felt there was a perfect balance of 'directed' time and 'free' time. Colleen was extremely knowledgeable, flexible and warm. There were little surprises every day that helped to enhance our experience and, while we had an excellent group of travel mates, she made the trip extra special. We always knew what was going to be happening (schedule) and how to prepare for each new place. We would take another Rick Steves tour in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal 'wow' moment had to be the hike in the Alps. The whole time I was walking and looking around I was thinking "I can't believe I am actually in the Alps!" It was so beautiful and our group walk was so collegial. We were all sharing the same feelings and delighting in the same sights and sounds (cow bells!)."

James

Oak Lawn, IL

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized and efficient. Our time was well-spent and the overall experience was very much in keeping with the dvd "Rick Steves Tour Experience". To my surprise, I learned and remembered the names of all of the 28 members of our tour. The tour leader was very helpful in building this team approach and establishing a buddy system. The group was mutually helpful, supportive and pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming out of the metra terminal in Rome and seeing the Coliseum for the first time in my life."

Linda

Ault, CO

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rolinka was an excellent tour guide! She went out of her way to provide opportunities to see and do "extras" at reduced costs. She was energetic and enthusastic in her bus "talks" and really enjoyed each of us individually. She went out of her way to make sure that the group was "together" by having expectations of mutual concern for each other. She certainly engaged in conversations with each of us as individuals and couples and took pride in trying to meet our expectations and wishes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Sistine Chapel and realizing the significance of each of the pictures. The local tour guide was just excellent at explaining everything as we gathered in the garden first before going into the Chapel. I also had a wow moment in the Roman Forum seeing the actual platform where St. Peter spoke against Pagan gods."

Diane

Oak Lawn, IL

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all of my expectations formed from the Rick Steves' Tour Experience DVDs which I watched numerous times prior to the tour. Our guide, Rolinka, was fantastic. The local guides were well-informed and concise. The hotels and food were great. Matt, our coach driver, did an excellent job of moving us safely through our tour destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was experiencing the Louvre. Our local guide moved us expeditiously to the most important works in the museum, while giving us just the right amount of information about the pieces of art to appreciate the stature of the artist and the piece artistically and historically. Elizabeth spoke clearly, articulately, knowledgeably and passionately."

Julie

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing. This was my first tour and my first time in Europe. I didn't know what to expect. I hoped that I would not be disapointed and I wasn't. The landscapes, architecture, history, people, were all breathtaking. I felt like I was in a movie. In Switzerland I expected to see Heidi come walking around the corner. The people in our group were wonderful, each and every one of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Tuscany I got to (thanks to Rolinka) sing "Brown Eyed Girl" with an Italian rock band!! It was so much fun."

John

Gahanna, OH

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Recipe for a great tour experience: mix 28 diverse travelers, one experienced tour guide, a competent driver and a comfortable bus in beautiful and historic settings for two weeks. We experienced and saw things we never could have on our own, all while making many new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking alpine trails above Lauterbrunnen was a spectacle for anyone spending 50+ years in the flatlands of Oklahoma, Kansas and Ohio. We thought this was just a convenient stop between Burgundy & Bavaria, but what surprises we discovered. This is where our tour group started bonding together while sharing lunch at an open air restaurant in Gimmelwald and Pinot Noir at the town's only laundromat. We were in a new building across from the hotel with chalet lights that looked like stars."

Nancy

Gahanna, OH

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my 14 days in Europe. Our guide prepared us for each new day in a way that built enthusiasm for & curiosity about the venues we would visit. Our tour mates were all intelligent, interesting people, whom we now call friends. Our driver kept us safe & only missed one turn... which turned out to be a highlight of the trip. I was tired & ready to go home by day 14, but at the same time, I was wishing for just one more day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most of my wow"experiences on this tour centered on the moment when I would be standing in a spot & the realization would hit me! Wow! I really am standing right where this or that event took place. But, the outstanding "wow" moment happened when I woke up in the night in Lauterbrunnen & looked out the window. I said to myself, "wow, those stars are bright!" As I woke up a little more, I realized that the stars were actually lights from the houses at the top of the mountain behind out hotel."

Paul

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's Tour staff facilitated a carefree top notch experience. The hotels were comfortable, clean and well located. The transportation between stops was always on time and safe. The destinations were unique and mostly "back door". Our tour guide Rolinka was amazing and the source of most of our enjoyment

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch in Gimmelwald"

Malcolm

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable. The people on the tour were great; friendly, and easy to get along with. Our guide, Dmitri, was a consummate professional, hitting exactly the right balance between informative commentary, practical advice, and allowing us to soak up the experiences. The local guides were informative. And having all the transport and hotels taken care of (and very well done) made the trip very easy and enjoyable. RS is onto something here.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Hiking in the Alps. Wandering around Venice after dark. Wandering around medieval walls in Burgundy. Chatting with Dmitri and John (the driver) over lunch and dinner, and learning about their lives and their profession. And of course, seeing such wonderful art."

Mark

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a life time with so many "bucket list" items complete. I got to see Starry Night and the Mona Lisa and view all 17 feet of David. The ceiling in the Sistine Chapel was breathtaking as were so many other works of art and historic sites. Throw in the largest painting in the World, being serenaded on a gondola, a cooking lesson at a Tuscan Villa, and an afternoon hike in the Swiss Alps and you still haven't captured the variety of sights, sounds and experiences on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to answer because there were so many. The physical setting for Florence was amazing. The views while hiking in the Swiss Alps were breath taking. Seeing God give the "breath of life" to Adam in the center panel of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were all among my many "Ah Ha" moments."

Sara

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations, and I started out with some pretty high expectations. The people in our tour group were all very friendly and inquisitive. Everyone wanted to learn and explore and enjoy and appreciate the new experiences we were having. I was prepared for friendly tour mates, helpful guides, and good food. I was not prepared for how impossibly beautiful many of our tour destinations are. I found the locals to be friendly. I enjoyed learning new languages and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hiking through the Swiss Alps"

Julia

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime for me as I have never been to these countries and I have never been on a tour at all. I would have never been able to see as much as I did if I had not been on a tour that was as organized and scheduled and planned. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. Our tour guide was great and I met lots of wonderful people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I especially liked seeing the Coloseium in Rome. Especially being on the top floor looking down. I have always wanted to see it and have read so much about the history. It was awe inspiring just being there."

Carolyn

Macomb, MI

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing. I knew what our itinerary was but, couldn't begin to imagine all that we would see and do. We were treated to the most amazing vistas, histories and cultures. This was my first tour as well as my first trip overseas and, from the comfort of the bus, the centrally-located accommodations, delicious local food, wonderful surprise side trips, blocks of free time, to the thoughtful command of our tour guide, this was truly a trip of a lifetime. We did experience the "best of Europe."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a preconceived idea of what I thought my "wow" moment would be, but was truly blown-away by the beauty of the Alps and villages in Switzerland. You could not take in all of the magnificence. Every step you took and every turn you made was filled with one more wonder (Cows in the Alps? Waterfalls?) or a scene more beautiful than the last. I still find it hard to describe – no words are adequate."

Marco

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The truth is that the guide makes the tour. Our guide for the Best of Europe 14 day tour, Colleen, is simply incredible. We never had to worry about anything except having the best time in every location. Everything was organized, efficient and so much fun! The history came alive with local guides, the sights were amazing and delicious food was never in short supply. Our group was a blast! Every person came to have a good time and we bonded like one big happy family!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking through the Swiss Alps above the Lauterbrunnen Valley on a clear sunny day was stunning! It really does take your breath away."

John

Northbrook, IL

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2013 "Europe in 14 Days Tour" was actually much better than I could have expected. They say great people make for a great party and to a person we had an outstanding group of fellow travelers. That and the fact that we had a superb tour guide helped make this, for me, a trip of a lifetime. The pace was just perfect, the sites were exceptional and the choice of restaurants and the respective food choices could not have been better. I also loved imbibing the "magic wine"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were a number of "wow" moments in this action-packed trip, I would have to say I was most blown away by actually walking in and around Le Foro Romano. I could not believe how much of ancient Rome was still preserved and I was especially riveted to the site where Julius Caesar was cremated. Still cannot believe that I was able to walk the same steps where infamous figures in ancient history actually walked."

Paul

North Bend, WA

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The time spent in each location was about perfect to experience a taste of the area. Not too much depth but just enough to give a tease. The group was a nice mix of people and ideas. The on our own time was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time in Switzerland was the best moment for me. The place was simple amazing."

Thomas

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great way to see Europe for the first time. You get to visit 4 countries in one trip and learn enough about each country and get a feel for the areas. Traveling by bus is a great way to see the sights while getting historial [INVALID]s from guide. The tour was well organized, the hotels were very comfortable, and the group was a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of "wow" moments, but my two favorites were (1) the mountain walk in Switzerland where we viewed the 3 highest peaks in Europe (2) tour of The Coliseum in Rome."

Sue

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and exceeded my expectations! I liked the balance between structured time and free time; I saw several countries within a relatively short amount of time. My husband and I were celebrating our 40th anniversary and this trip marked the occasion quite well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tuscany location. It occurred after quite a bit of travelling and we were ready to kick back. We came close to passing up the day trip to Florence (glad we didn't) because it was so nice to experience a slower pace and appreciate the fabulous scenery and gracious hospitality of Sonia and her family and staff. It also allowed the group to interact on a very informal, relaxed basis. This was a nice, welcome change of pace but still didn't prepare us for the Rome whirlwind."

Peter

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 08/26/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour exeeded my already high expectations in virtually every respect. Tour guide Colleen provided wonderful information and leadership. Local guides were exceptional. Good mix of organized activities and free time. In short, it was a trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking up from our hotel window in Switzerland."

David

Plainview, TX

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well organized so we saw a lot in two weeks. Liked having free time to explore on our own. Can't say enough about our guides, they were the best tour guides ever! Liked the small group so we got to know everyone and it was a great group of people. We made lots of new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed places with less people like Switzerland and the working farm at Tuscany."

Netta

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a rich and satisfying travel experience, with many surprises and "extras" all throughout. I had not been to Europe for a number of years, and the guides immediately set the tone for all to feel comfortable and excited about our upcoming travels. I loved the how the itinerary had a balance between city/country, activity/relaxation, and group/independent adventures. This tour really offered the "best" of everywhere we went -- sights, people, food, history -- and it was REALLY FUN!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose from so many, but will always savor the night in the Tuscan countryside with the full moon, incredible dinner, and wonderful entertainment from local musicians. Also adored the waterfalls (especially the one inside the mountain), vistas, fresh air, chocolate, local honey and cheese in Switzerland. And of course there was that magical moment at the end of our Seine river boat cruise in Paris when the Eiffel Tower's twinkling lights came on at dusk."

Sherry

Heath, TX

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's been almost 2 months since we got back and I still can't say enough good things about the trip! Ben, our guide was absolutely amazingly good, his sidekick, David, was very nice and helpful, the people on the trip were lots of fun, the food was fabulous and we saw many many wonderful sites. We had some down time, if you wanted to relax, but we spent most of that time going to other places that weren't on the tour[INVALID]like the Roland Garris Tennis Center where the French Open is played.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say The Colosseum was the WOW moment on the tour for me. We had a great local guide, Francesca, who explained things from a different point of view, rather than just presenting facts. By listening to her, she actually made it come alive and you felt like you were there. She gave it new life and you truly had the sense you were there seeing the wild animals for the first time. The Colosseum was not even on my top things to see on the tour when signing up."

Weather

France / Paris

Paris Weather


Switzerland / Bern

Bern Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about FranceSwitzerland, Germany, and Italy. Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Important arrival note: To make the most of our time in Paris, this tour begins at 2 p.m. (the hotel will store your luggage if your room is not ready).

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Paris and out of Rome (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Paris before your tour begins, use Rick Steves Best of Europe guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of French, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few sightseeing suggestions that we will not do as a group: walk the Champs-Elysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe*; visit Montmartre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Old Opera House; day trip to Versailles*. Visit these museums: Cluny* (medieval art), Pompidou* (modern art), Marmottan (Impressionist art), Invalides* (military), Rodin* (sculpture) and the Jewish History* museum. (* Entry is free with the Paris Museum Pass you’ll be given when the tour begins. To save money, you may want to save a couple of these for your free afternoon on Day 2.) This tour does not include a visit to the Eiffel Tower. However it is often a highlight for any traveler and one we highly recommend. Avoid the lines by booking tickets several weeks in advance at: http://ticket.toureiffel.fr.

Spending extra time after the tour in Rome? Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing that we do not do as a group: Borghese Gallery (reservations mandatory); Spanish Steps; Capuchin Crypt; National Museum of Rome; Ancient Appian Way (great for biking) and catacombs.

Packing

While hiking boots are not necessary for our time in the Swiss Alps, you’ll want to bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes that offer good traction. Also, if swimming interests you, we'll have a couple of opportunities to get wet, so bring along a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.