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

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 21 group sightseeing events • 2-day Paris Museum Pass • Louvre Museum tour • Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame • Seine River cruise • Sainte-Chapelle • 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 • Trevi Fountain • Colosseum tour • Forum tour • Pantheon • St. Peter's Basilica tour • Vatican Museum tour • Sistine Chapel...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 2014
  • 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
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

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 have a group meeting at around 3 p.m. at our hotel in Paris, followed by an orientation walk through our neighborhood. Then we'll get acquainted over dinner together, and celebrate the start of our European adventure with an evening boat cruise on the river Seine. Sleep in Paris (2 nights). Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: light.

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: Louvre Masterpieces and Burgundy

We'll spend our morning taking a guided tour through Europe's greatest museum — the Louvre — 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. Then 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, 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

After some free time to explore Beaune this morning, 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 may combine 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 stop for lunch before continuing 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 the splashy Trevi Fountain. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum

Today we'll focus on Renaissance (Catholic) Rome. At the sprawling Vatican Museum we'll tour what seems like a limitless collection of treasures as we make our way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Our guided tour will continue at 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 day free to wander through this immense church, climb the dome if you're feeling energetic, and explore more of the Eternal City on your own (don't forget to taste some refreshing gelato along the way). 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

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!)."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Logan

Dover, DE

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with everything on the trip. I met several new friends and saw a lot of nice places. Our guide was off the scale good. He really cares about the travelers and the countries we visited. He dealt with the few problems we had in a fine manner

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were amazing"

Laura

Bothell, WA

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded our expectations. Well organized, comfortable bus, excellent local guides, and extra meals and tour opportunities that turned out for us to be highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen trip up to the Schilthorn and hiking in the Alps."

Terra

Durango, CO

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour. My son had never been to Europe and I had always intended to take him. The tour allowed us time to bond and I didn't have to push my own schedule of what we would do each day. An unexpected surprise for me was the great time we had with the tour group. We made some wonderful friends and my son loved interacting with everyone. It was very hot and crowded and in the future, I plan to travel off-season in the Spring or Fall, which I would highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the cooking demonstration in Tuscany. I had asked them to put a candle on Jeremy's dessert that night (we were having a group dinner at our hotel and it was his 13th birthday). The owner and chef came out with a home-made cake with 13 candles. It was so unexpected. Our tour group gave him a card that everyone signed and sang him happy birthday. The sweet and amazing people were my biggest "wow" moment. I think that underlies everything...beautiful art, churches, food...connecting--"

Dan

Durham, CA

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel tour, delicious group dinners"

Lois

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on the tour to see the history and culture of other countries and this tour definitely went over the top in those respects. The first words that I use to describe this trip to friends are amazing, unbelievable, and everyone should go see at least one of the cities we got to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first "wow" moment was coming into Venice and seeing this absolutely beautiful city surrounded by water and how it looked just like the pictures and paintings. However, the real jaw dropper was the Colesseo in Rome when we got off the subway and saw it right in front of us! It truly deserves to be one of the "Seven Wonders of the World"."

Andrea

South Jordan, UT

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience on the tour. I was able to travel with my 2 daughters, ages 15 and 19. This tour gave us everything we wanted...access to the sights in a timely and efficient manner, a knowledgeable, AWESOME tour guide, flexibility and freedom when we wanted it, a great group of friendly people as travel companions, super hotels, and of course great food. Essentially, this was a "dream trip" for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was so impressed with our evening in Tuscany. We were staying in an amazing location! I enjoyed being at the farmhouse hotel. One evening, we had a cooking demonstration, a great dinner and then live music! Everyone had such a great night and I remember looking around and thinking how much I was enjoying being with people I had only met a week and a half ago! Of course all the sights are "wow" factors, but that evening was really special and unexpected!"

Jeremy

Durango, CO

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I really enjoyed it and it was really exciting. It was very fast paced so maybe fewer places with more time would be nice. I especially enjoyed the rural places. We had great tour guides and the trip was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think My favorite "wow" moment was getting to see Michael Angelo's statue of David."

George

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Should have more lunches and meals included for the tour price. The evening boat cruise in Paris was noisy and crowed. Too much free time and too many "optional" extra-fee activities that should be included in the tour price. For example, the entire day in Switzerland was a free day however everyone in our group participated in the optional activity to the top of the Schilthorn and the hike. Everyone in our group also participated in the optional evening gondola ride in Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the rustic hotel in Beaune and the awesome "working farm" country hotel in Tuscany!"

Roger

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. The tour was much better than we expected because: a. Our guide was tremendous[INVALID]well organized, conscientious, attentive to detail and the needs of all tour members; b. We learned much more than expected because of his knowledge, and the local guides; c. We had a great group of people[INVALID]not one know-it-all, or abrasive person; d. We had time to see some sights not on our tour, and our guide helped plan those.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Dinner at Eiffel Tower; and 2. Moulon Rouge show"

Kathleen

Riverside, CA

Tour: 07/20/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour and time in Europe was definitely my experience of a lifetime, although now I want more! It whet my appetite for further exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. The Eiffel tower lights at night during the Seine River cruise. The view from the Lauterbrunnen Valley Hotel room. The ambiance, warmth and serenity of the Tuscan agrifarm. David. The Pantheon."

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."

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."

Janet

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time that I traveled to Europe. It was a wonderful trip...more of an adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would be too hard to say because each new place that we went was a new WOW."

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."

Harold

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Vacation of a life time... Exceeded all of our expectations... We absolutely visited the Best of Europe. With We a wonderful travel family our guide team was the best as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I lived in Europe for six years and during our tour I was able to see, do and learn more about Europe, that the entire six years that I lived there. Rick Steve's "Best of Europe" was not just a tour it was truly living the Best of Europe...."

Roy

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience. We enjoyed the informative speeches by our tour guides. It was great not having to woory about how we were going to get to our hotels, the museums and other sites. It was also great to experience Europe in a small cordial group. We did pick the hottest time of the year to experience Italy and even Munich, which caused us to be hot and a little inconvenienced, but we really wouldn't change anything about our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our biggest wow moment came when we arrived in our room at Lauterbrauten, Switzerland and opened our balcony doors to a view of the lighted waterfall cascading down the side of the mountain. What an incredible view it was."

Leanne

Playa Vista, CA

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was awesome. A great mix of group activities to hit the highlights, and some free time to make it your own. Our guide was also outstanding as our guide - friendly, knowledgeable, and energetic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our gondola ride in Venice followed by sitting and listening to the musicians in St. Mark's Square and sipping wine."

Theresa

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 07/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime and our guides made the trip that much more wonderful. They were always there with answers to our questions and there if we needed assistance of any kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think stumbling across a corpse in Paris was a "wow" in and of itself, but seeing Michaelangelo's David was a truly wow moment."

Matthew Wells

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour. My wife Stephanie and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience! I could not imagine being able to visit so many sites in such a short amount of time. There is no wasted time on this Trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Swiss Alps was our "wow" moment. I would love to return and continue to explore!"

Stephanie Nicole

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best of Europe in 14 Days was an amazing tour experience. It was my first experience in Europe and everything was extremely well planned and organized. My husband and I did not have to worry about a thing...except enjoying ourselves. I was telling my friends about the tour, and I told them that there was not one single thing that I would have changed or wished would have went differently--everything was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard question but I would have to say that I had 2 "wow" moments. The first one was when our whole group hiked in the Swiss Alps. The scenery was absolutely breath-taking. It was like a storybook fairy-tale setting. The second "wow" moment for me was in Venice when our group rode in gondolas on the Grand Canal, and we were serenaded by a musician under the moonlight."

Lisa

Centreville, VA

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I took my daughter on this tour with me and we had a fabulous time. The Tour guide was a really cool guy which definitely added to the tour. the time with the tour vs the free time was just right and it gave you the option of going alone or hanging with other tour members. All of the meals provided for dinner were excellent. I especially liked the meals in Tuscany and the dinner in Beaune. Breakfast was so so since it depended on the hotel and the choice of Hotels was goo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"my favorite wow moment was going to the "Top of the World" Jungfraujoch. We were the only ones on the tour that paid the extra cash to do so but I think others would have also if the guide would have told them more about the things to do up there. Another WOW moment was when our guide took us all for gelato and Grenada in Florence it was WOW."

Mary Jean

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour met AND exceeded expectations-we were well prepared by the R.S. Travel group-website,books,staff. Tour guide was passionate, knowledgeable, and energetic. He made a point of connecting with all tour members, and I feel we were the lucky recipients of his connections in cities we visited. Assistant guide was fun, fabulous[INVALID]always ready to chat, share her knowledge and had a wonderful warm influence on the whole group. Tour members great and there were other teens for our son!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moments[INVALID]so many -Scenery -Art -Seeing how much our travel group connected -Breakfast/Coffee"

Jan

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was top-notch in all respects. I loved it and it was a great experience for our whole family. The best part was that our son had three other teenagers and some 20-somethings to hang with, and that was perfect. I loved the educational part of it, the bus rides were fun; it was all good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a fave, but the gondola ride comes quickly to mind."

Robert

Pitman, NJ

Tour: 07/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been Rick Steves PBS fans for years and this was a dream trip for us. It was fabulous, I think it was even better than we hoped for. The ability to have lodging, transportation, meals and no - waiting time admissions taken care of in such a smooth fashion made our FIRST European trip a joy. No regrets!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sainte Chapelle literally took my breath away when I got to the top of the steps. Lautenbrunnen Valley, we had a fabulous room at the Oberland Hotel with a balcony and waterfall view...stunning! And, our railroad/cable car trip up into Alps for hiking was spectacular. Finally, I hope we can have three, a group moment, during one of our FABULOUS dinners in Tuscany at Villa Il Crocicchio, our guide had some live music during dinner. One of our tour members sat in and everyone sang along. Fun!"

Karen

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 06/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first trip to Europe. We arrived in Paris two days before the tour began. This gave us a chance to get acclimated to the time zone and explore a little on our own. We were blessed with an amazing group of fellow travelers. The itinerary was wonderful! Each time we left a city, we all felt like we needed more time to explore. It was nice to have some time on our own as well as group outings. The bus was very comfortable and our driver, Jean, was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick just one? The morning after we arrived in Paris, we had to make a trip to the Apple store (below the Louvre) to avert the untimely loss of the iPad. It was repaired and we hopped on the Metro to make it to Eiffel Tower in time for our reservation. When the Metro popped out from underground and crossed over the Seine, I got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! I got goosebumps-I was REALLY in Paris! Add the Colesseum and an evening ride in a gondola with our entire group. WOW!"

Jim

Fremont, CA

Tour: 06/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing experience; exciting and rewarding in so many ways. Every day while we were soaking in the sights, tastes and sounds of Europe, we felt we were getting a degree in European history, art, language and culture - from our guides! The itinerary was very well planned, every detail worked out in advance, and every activity very well coordinated. We've done independent trips before, and now we will most likely not travel to Europe again on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day we had 'wow moments' and every day they got better, from Paris to Beaune, Lauterbrunnen to Munich, Venice to Florence to Rome. My favorite 'wow moment' came in Rome - at St. Peter's Basilica. We spent some precious time quietly viewing the Pieta, and talking with our guide about the history of the Vatican; priceless. My real "wow moment.""

Lara

Rhododendron, OR

Tour: 06/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was GREAT from the very comfy bus and skilled driver to our outstanding guide, Stephen! The pace was quick, but not frenetic. We saw a lot and learned a lot. Hotels were comfortable and food was very good. Local guides were very knowledgeable. No complaints!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment happened after dropping our bags off at our hotel in Rome and meeting our tour guide in front of the hotel 15 minutes later to take the subway to visit the Colosseum and Forum. We were so preoccupied with staying with the group as we waded our way through the crowds that it took a shout of, "OMG...is THAT the Colosseum?", from our guide to make us take notice that there it was -- the Colosseum that we've seen so many times in history book and magazines! WOW!!"

Melissa

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all expectations that I had. My husband and I have been raving about our experiences since we came home. Our tour guide was phenomenal!! He was the perfect fit for our group: extremely knowledgeable, personable, and passionate about Europe and all it has to offer. Our group could not have been a better, more cohesive group of people. No party poopers on our tour. We already miss all of our new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our wow moment was, unexpectedly, the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. We live in a mountainous area, but the Alps were absolutely breathtaking. When we first looked at the itinerary, Switzerland was a bonus for us: a "nice to have" but not a "must have." Walking in the Alps and taking in the scenery became a favorite experience for everyone!"

Julie Ann

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing! The guides were the best, our driver was the best our group was the best and the weather was the best! We feel truly blessed to have had such a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It just kept getting better and better. When we didn't think our guide could top our last experience he did up until the very last moment with the amazing view of the fire works over Rome, timed perfectly by the way."

Judy

Meadow Vista, CA

Tour: 06/10/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our guide was the best ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Argritourismo outside of Florence. Nice retreat & nice surprise to have a band for us to dance after dinner. The food was spectacular and the cooking demonstration was very very well done. Not too long. A beautiful property and well managed."

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.

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.

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Check with the local TI or your guidebook. Here are a few sightseeing suggestions that we will not do as a group: go up the Eiffel Tower; 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.

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; Cappuccin Crypt; National Museum of Rome; Ancient Appian Way (great for biking) and catacombs.

Transportation

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. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaw" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). It's easiest to fly into Paris and home from Rome. Paris and Rome are transportation hubs, making travel before or after your tour quite easy. 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 and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

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.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

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

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there are a couple of items you may wish to include when packing for this tour. There is a great opportunity to hike in the Swiss Alps. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend bringing a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering 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 ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.