• The Netherlands
  • Rothenburg, Germany
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Rome
  • Italy's Cinque Terre
  • Swiss Alps
  • france-beaune-wine-tasting
    Wine Tasting in Beaune, France
  • Paris

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour

Our classic, three-week Best of Europe tour packs more travel thrills into a single vacation than you can imagine. Starting in the Netherlands with your Rick Steves guide, you'll experience the best of Amsterdam, Germany's Rhine Valley and Romantic Road, castles and forests of the German-Austrian Tirol, canals of Venice, Renaissance Florence, the art and history of Rome, seaside villages of the Cinque Terre, the majestic Swiss Alps, country charms of France's Burgundy region, and the City of Light — Paris. Join us for the Best of Europe in 21 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 2428 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 34 group sightseeing events • Haarlem walking tour • Amsterdam walking tour • Rijksmuseum tour • Anne Frank House • Amsterdam canal cruise • Dutch Open-Air Museum • Rhine cruise • Rheinfels Castle tour • Bacharach walking tour • Rothenburg Night Watchman tour • Dachau Concentration Camp tour • Wieskirche • Hohenschwangau Castle tour • Neuschwanstein Castle tour • Mountain luge ride (weather permitting) • Venice walking tour • Florence Renaissance 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 • Italian hill town visit • Orientation for "vacation" day on Italian Riviera • Hiking orientation in the Swiss Alps • Hôtel Dieu in Beaune • Wine tasting in Burgundy • Louvre Museum tour • Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame • Sainte-Chapelle...and more
  • All group transportation from Haarlem to Paris
  • 20 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' Best of Europe guidebook, French-Italian-German phrase book, Europe Sightseeing Supplement, map, money belt, 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 the Netherlands

We'll start in quintessentially Dutch Haarlem, a quick 30 minutes by train, bus, or taxi from the Amsterdam airport. We'll meet at our hotel around 4 p.m. for an orientation and chance to get acquainted, followed by a walking tour of this charming town and a traditional rijsttafel dinner together. Sleep in Haarlem (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Progressive, Artistic Amsterdam

We'll take the train into Amsterdam this morning, and then hop aboard a tram for an introduction to this progressive, artistic city. Our first stop will be a visit to the Anne Frank House, followed by a walking tour of Amsterdam's historic streets, lined with teetering, gable-topped houses overlooking centuries-old canals. This afternoon we'll tour the remarkable Rijksmuseum, featuring masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Afterward, you'll have free time to see another artist's rich legacy at the nearby Van Gogh Museum. We'll finish up in Amsterdam with a relaxing canal boat cruise and eye-opening Red Light District walk, before returning to Haarlem for dinner on your own. Train: 1 hr. Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Dutch Treats and Rhine Views

We'll travel to Arnhem's open-air museum this morning to see what life was like in this corner of Europe centuries ago. We'll wander among the quaint houses, village storefronts, and working windmills, followed by a traditional Dutch pancake lunch. Then we'll work our way down to Germany's castle-studded Rhineland, enjoying dinner together at our 700-year-old hotel, nestled in the medieval village of Bacharach on the Rhine (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: Rhine Castles and a River Cruise

This morning we'll take a walking tour of the village of Bacharach with an entertaining local guide. At nearby St. Goar we'll hike up the hill to tour the mighty medieval Rheinfels castle, and enjoy its commanding view of the Rhine Valley. We'll then board a boat for a relaxing Rhine river cruise, passing picturesque villages and feudal castles, followed by free time for dinner on your own. Boat: 1 hr. Bus: ½ hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Medieval Rothenburg

We'll get an early start today, arriving in Rothenburg, Germany's best preserved medieval town, just before lunchtime. After a helpful orientation tour, the afternoon is yours to see the best woodcarving in Germany (Riemenschneider's altarpiece), walk the medieval wall, tour the Crime and Punishment Museum, or hunt down the best apple strudel in town. This evening we'll tag along on the legendary Night Watchman's tour. Sleep in or near Rothenburg (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 6: Dachau and Austria's Tirol

Today we'll make a 21st-century pilgrimage to the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, where we'll learn powerful lessons about the Holocaust and WWII. We'll then drive across the Bavarian countryside to visit Germany's greatest Rococo-style church, the Wieskirche. Winding our way toward Austria, we'll arrive at our rural Tirolean guest house in time for a traditional dinner. Sleep near Reutte (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Royal Castles and a Luge

It's a short drive to Hohenschwangau Castle, the boyhood home of "Mad" King Ludwig. After touring the castle and learning about his childhood, you'll have time to grab some lunch before making the half-hour walk uphill to visit Ludwig's idea of a home fit for a king, the deservedly famous Neuschwanstein Castle. Afterward (weather permitting) you'll barrel down the Tegelberg luge, and still have free time to stroll in the woods or relax at our peaceful hotel before dinner together. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 8: Italy's Incomparable Venice

We'll take a scenic, all-day drive to Venice today, stopping en route for lunch together in a characteristic Italian-Tirolean village. In Venice we'll park our bus and board a vaporetto boat for a 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 our first Italian dinner together. Afterward your guide will organize an optional gondola ride for this unique 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: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 9: The Art of Wandering in 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: Florence and Michelangelo's David

An early-morning vaporetto ride will reunite us with our bus and driver. We'll drive straight to Florence, and hit the ground walking with a Renaissance tour of the city's historic center. We'll see and learn about Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome, Ghiberti's Baptistery doors, and other creations that helped define this world-changing era. We'll end our walk at the Accademia Gallery to marvel at works of sculptural genius: Michelangelo's rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. We'll have dinner together tonight, and sleep in Florence (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Wonders of Renaissance Florence

This morning is on your own. You can sleep in — or get an early start and scramble to the top of Brunelleschi's dome, or browse through Florence's colorful food and craft markets. After lunch, we'll tour the wealth of Botticellis, Leonardos, and Raphaels in the greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere — the Uffizi Gallery. This evening is free to make your own discoveries. No bus. Walking: moderate.

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 its vast collection of treasures as we make our way to one of the world's most famous works of art: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Our tour will continue inside 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 and evening 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 delicious gelato along the way). No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 14: To Italy's Cinque Terre

We'll drive along Italy's western coast today, with a refreshing stop at one of Italy's enchanting hill towns. This afternoon's destination is Italy's dramatic Cinque Terre: five perfectly preserved fishing villages, laced together with hiking paths that meander between vineyards and the deep blue sea. As we approach the Cinque Terre, we'll park our bus and take a short train ride into seaside Monterosso al Mare, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 15: Free Day in the Cinque Terre

Ahh, it's time to take a "vacation from your vacation" today in our Mediterranean getaway. Pick a Cinque Terre village and spend your day exploring the stairways and alleyways, sunning yourself on the rocks, or sipping a cappuccino and catching up on your journal at an outdoor café. Or, if you're looking for lots of exercise, fresh air, and panoramic views, start your day early and hike the cliffside paths that connect the towns. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 16: To the Heart of the Swiss Alps

Today we'll catch an early train back to our bus and head over the hills, past the farms and along the pristine lakes of northern Italy, and into the Alpine wonderland of Switzerland. After a breathtaking drive into the very heart of the Swiss Alps, we'll arrive at our creaky chalet in the magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, where we'll have dinner and sleep (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 17: Free Day 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 wander through the valley and walk to the thundering Trümmelbach: a unique set of waterfalls encased behind the valley walls. We'll have dinner together tonight. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 18: A Hearty Taste of Burgundy

Today we'll say Auf Wiedersehen to the Alps and Bonjour to la belle France. We'll drive into profoundly French Burgundy for a look at small-town France. We'll have an orientation walk through the heart of Burgundy's inviting wine capital, Beaune, visit the famous Hôtel Dieu medieval hospital, then enjoy a wine tasting together. Sleep in Beaune (1 night). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 19: Historic and Neighborhood Paris

This morning we'll drive straight to Paris, where you'll have an orientation of the neighborhood markets and cafés to find lunch on your own. After checking into our nearby hotel, we'll have a transportation lesson and Métro ride to the historic heart of Paris: the Ile de la Cité. Prepare to be awed by the brilliant stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle, and enlightened on a historic walk through the Latin Quarter, ending at the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral. Your evening is free for dinner and more discoveries. Sleep in Paris (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 20: Parisian Masterpieces

This day provides a busy, star-studded finale for our tour. Our morning is devoted to touring Europe's greatest museum — the Louvre — where you'll come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and hundreds more. You'll be free for the rest of the afternoon to round out your Paris sightseeing with a walk down the Champs-Elysées, or perhaps a visit to such legendary museums as the Orsay and Rodin. This evening we'll have our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our newly made friends. Salut! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 21: Tour Over After Breakfast

If you're staying on in Paris, today would be a great day to hop on the train and tackle the sprawling palace and grounds at Versailles. If you're headed home, it's a breeze to reach Paris' airports by taxi, shuttle, or public transportation. Au revoir!

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 21 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

William

Ham Lake, MN

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. It went well and it was obvious that things were well-planned, and maybe even routine for the tour guide. I knew what to expect and I was not surprised in a negative way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the towns of Cinque Terre from a distance."

Dorothy

Ham Lake, MN

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an absolutely wonderful time on the tour. It completely met my expectations and took the stress out of traveling through Europe for the first time. I feel like I could go back and my own and do very well, but why would I do that when there are more Rick Steve's tours available.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had a "bucket list" these three moments would be on it: Taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice; standing in the Colosseum of Rome; and hiking through the Swiss Alps. The gondola ride was magical with nearly a full moon and musicians playing and singing "That's Amore". I will always remember that ride with great pleasure and affection."

Clara

Yale, OK

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was superb! No kidding, it was just as perfect! Everything from the locations, hotels, bus driver, tour guide and assistant, food, tour group just outstanding! I have recommended Rick Steve's Tours to everyone since I've been home and if I ever go back to Europe, I will use this tour company. I really liked the idea of a small group, staying and eating with the locals, and being in the middle of all the culture. It was wonderful to stay in hotels that were right in the middle!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Dachau Concentration Camp! It wasn't a place we raved about, or even talked much about, but I am so grateful I got to be there. It was so surreal and powerful. I will never forget. Driving on the bus into the Swiss Alps--majestic is the only word I can think of to describe it. I video taped it the whole day, amazing!"

Brian

Vinton, IA

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We actually stayed an extra day in Paris after the tour ended. After having had Lisa as our guide, we were confident that we could use the Paris Metro with two "correspondences" to reach St Lazare, take a train to Vernon, rent bikes in Vernon and get to Giverny to tour Monet's house and gardens all by ourselves! Exactly the perfect end to our Rick Steves experience because now we can confidently travel in Europe on our own. Still though, I expect we will be back for another R Steve's tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sistine Chapel Ceiling, riding rental bikes in Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum on our own with locals during their morning commute on our first day in Europe, Michelangelo's David and Pieta, the Pantheon interior while it rained, walking across Rome from the Vatican to our hotel at night, a thunderstorm brooding over the Forum, painting watercolors from a water taxi dock by a bridge on a canal in Venice; you try to pick one!"

Kimberly

Vinton, IA

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I remember thinking during the tour "Rick Steves is a genius"!! After sharing my pictures on Face Book I was once again blown away by the MANY opportunities we got to experience!! I LOVED the Best of Europe in 21 Days!! Thank you for working so hard and caring so much about our total experience. Your attention to detail is amazing and comforting! After watching your PBS videos for years we came to trust your every judgement in travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Bicycling with the locals along the canal in Amsterdam to find the VanGogh Museum on the day before the tour. 2. Discovering amazing people and mixing with the locals in every country. This confirmed my belief that we are the same the world over. 3. The care and attention Europeans give to their communities in gardens and architecture is evident all over Europe! I wish we could have that here. And many more... can't pick just one..."

Carol

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 21 Day Tour of Europe was outstanding. Thanks to our Tour Guide Lisa and Jesse. We were on the move everyday but it was well worth it and we saw so much is the 21 days! Lisa was so good to make plans for our group everyday (and I know there was much of her time spent making arrangements etc.) but so nice to be able to have hotels ready, meals ready and tickets to museums and more! Lisa was so great to be in tune to our group and her interactions, personality and history were so good!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but the most favorite moment was the special Gondola ride in Venice with music, full moon and our entire group in 5 boats singing and celebrating Chuck's birthday!! (Thanks to Lisa's arrangements for us)"

Roxana

Durham, NC

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. From the start I was happy where we stayed to the sights that were planned for the day. I enjoyed all the places, museums, restaurants that were organized for the group to attend. I never had a problem with the staff of the tour or the staff of the hotels we stayed. My tour guide Lisa did a wonderful job of letting the group know just what we needed to know when we arrived to a new country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WoW moment was when we arrived in Paris and we saw the Eiffel Tower as a group right after our last group dinner. It was unbelievable to think about all the places we had seen, all the things we had done and we ended the tour in an amazing place. I could not have asked for a better ending."

Charles

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Above expectations! Excellent experience ion learning about different culturals, from large cities to small villages, their food, history, art and environment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps. Sistine Chapel, David, Rhine River,"

Richard

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic efficiency in navigating schedule and locations. Great management of group. A lot of learning. Inspiration from the sights and cultures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David."

Heather

Bellevue, NE

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Overall I was quite disappointed in the tour. The most disappointing thing was the tour guide Jennifer. I was also disappointed in the hotels. I felt that the one day stop-off's in Rothenberg and Beaune did NOT enhance the trip at all, but instead were a resting point for the bus driver who made it perfectly clear what his daily and weekly hours were. If I travel overseas again, I will definitely not do it with a tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery in Switzerland."

Gordon

Carlock, IL

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and implemented. This was our 5th Rick Steves Tour. Good group of participants that got along well. In that we took two of our grandchildren-age 19 - we were pleased to find that there were six other young people from the age of 18-24 years on the trip and they bonded immediately! We also had some great 'area guides' in Harlem, Bacharach, Rome, Florence and the Louvre in particular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose Swiss Alps! We hadn't visited Amsterdam before and found it interesting."

Cheyenne

Hemet, CA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it very much. I got to meet a lot of cool people and the views of historical monuments were amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"King Ludwigs Castles."

Elizabeth

Surrey, BC

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was more than I had ever hoped it would be. With the organization and planning done for me, I felt all I had to do was show up and soak up the experience. With our knowledgeable guide Jennifer, and the other gallery, and city walk guides, I was able to appreciate and understand more of what each location offered. I enjoyed my great group of fellow travellers, lovely hotels and the relaxing bus ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Anne Frank House, Wow. Herr Jung in Bacharach, Wow. Castles, Wow. Dachau, Wow, Riding in a gondola in Venice. Wow. Michelangelo's David, Wow. Historical Rome, Wow. Lemoncello, Wow. The Cinque Terra, Wow. The beauty of Switzerland, Wow. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Paris, Wow."

Lorrie

Long Beach, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Seeing Europe for the first time with our wonderful guide, Reid, was a great way to find out about the different countries and cities. I learned so much about the history, making everything come alive for me. I appreciated staying in the centrally located hotels. Being close to the main attractions saved a lot of time. Our individual tour guides for the cities and museums was also very good. I thought they were all great. Especially Herr Jung in Bacharach and Elizabethan in Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Riding the luge near the Neoschwanstein Castle was one of the most fun and thrilling moments for me. Of course riding the gondolas up to the Schilthorn was also very exciting."

Linda

Bonney Lake, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip and Reid was a great guide. His history lessons helped us to understand what we were going to see and how it related to other things and countries. I was wishing I had known that our guide would be giving these mini lessons as I would have loved to have had a small recorder with me. To much info in to short of a time for me to remember it all. This is a good tour for anyone who has never been to Europe and wants an overview.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was my big "WOW" moment. I could have spent a whole week there just looking at the Alps."

Therese

Salem, OR

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed by the tour for the places we visited, the accomodations for most places and for the tour guide that took us on our 21 day tour of Europe, as well as the informed tour guides of individual sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the whirlwind tours prior to this stop, I welcomed the stay in Switzerland. The stay at the small alpine hotel in Stechelberg was so restful and the food being home cooked made for a regeneration of energy to ride the cable car to the Schilthorn. We had great weather and fresh air in this beautiful village"

Stanley

Salem, OR

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As a first time traveler to Europe, it was enlighting about culture and customs. The trip had many historical significant sites and the art was extraordinary. I was impressed with the old buildings and use of agricultural resources. The tour guide was very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss hotel and cablecar and hiking experience."

Ken

Titusville, NJ

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth tour with your company. Everything about this tour was outstanding, from the hotels, to the meals, to the local guides, the tours and in particular Reid Coen and the bus driver from Heidebloom. This was a compatible tour group that got along very well and enjoyed every minute of the tour. Even the rain at the start of the tour didn't dampen our spirits. The only negative thing that happened to me was my wallet was stolen in Rome, my fault.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paris and Notre Dame Cathedral and "St. Chapelle" Church were my wow moments. I had never been to Paris before so seeing these sights for the first time was truly amazing. It was also our 32nd Wedding Anniversary."

Deborah

Sequim, WA

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome amazing better than I could have imagined I started smiling the first moment I met our tour group members and Martin our guide and I never quit smiling the plane home tookoff the history the local people the weather the cities the countryside the mountains the seas boats train buses even the Metros new food local wines all of the walking Awesome & amazing Our tour members are now my friends for life & we await our next Martin guided Rick Steves tour together

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most special was Herr Young the 83 yr old tour guide we had in Baccarach, Germany. He touched my very soul With his speech, his compassion, his fortitude It was living history abut a war time I never knew until Herr Young spoke to me. To get out of the rain he took us into a local artists shop where he played the piano and Herr Young whistled along The tune was "what a wonderful world" Not one of us had a dry eye. my photo of Martin & him I will treasure always"

Kathy

Davidsonville, MD

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed it all!"

Harold

Longview, WA

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect. Martin was interesting and knowledgeable, the weather was wonderful, our group had great chemistry with an adventurous attitude. Combine this with a fabulous 21 day tour of Europe and that's as perfect as anyone could ask for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It had rained and snowed overnight but it was clearing as we walked to the main lodge for breakfast. The sunlight on the dissipating fog and clouds in this Yosemite like valley was awesome. There hundreds of other "wow" moments but that is the one that took my breath away."

Patti

Chilliwack, BC

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and also my first group tour. I was absolutely 'gob smacked' in a very good way. Our guide, Martin, our driver, Paul, and the 26 people who were banded together as a group formed quick bonds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On top of Mount Schilchorn on Day 17. It was a clear day and we were on top of the world."

Linda

Pembroke Pines, FL

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about the tour. I think the reason I loved it so much was because of the people on the tour with us. We could not have hand picked a better group of people! They were all amazing! I cried when we said goodbye. I also know that Martin and Paul made our tour so special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments but my favorite was Switzerland and the Cinque Terre! I loved Monterosso and sitting with the locals and sharing stories with them."

Joan

Henderson, TN

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled for years and enjoyed each trip, but this tour gave us the best opportunity to see more "bucket list" places in any 3-week period ever! The itinerary is awesome, full of gorgeous scenery and wonderful historic places of importance, while sharing the whole time with great new friends and the best tour guide and bus driver. Loved the trip so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest WOW moment for me was probably when the Eiffel Tower started twinkling at 10:00 pm as our cruise on the Seine River was ending. The Swiss Alps with the trip up to the Schilthorn and the views that cannot be described would be a close second. I also adored the day at Cinque Terre. There are so many "wow" moments on this tour."

Debra

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide, Martin, driver Paul, were amazing. Group of 28 + 2 had so much fun together. I learned a lot about the history especially through art, but was dying to learn more about women in these historical retellings; was feeling claustrophic surrounded by the dark images of men. I'd love for ETBD to delve into women resources more, e.g., art of women in early church that is (perhaps) intentionally hidden. Cinque Terra and Lauterbrunnen Valley were highlights of trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow was the Lauterbrunnen valley, surrounded by cliffs with waterfalls, and riding up 10K feet via 3 sets of gondolas to the Schilthorn. Then hiking with our group in the Valley. The grandeur of this part of the planet has yet to be compared to any other place I've had the good fortune to travel. It was the Pacific Northwest beauty (my home) times 10."

Maureen

Chemainus, BC

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful, Excellent bus ,love Paul, MARTIN great leader. Really appreciated the snacks bus provided, it was a super trip with an exceptional group of people who really were like a close nit fa mily. Itinerary was well planned . I know a few of us would add another day cinque terra!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland my favorite so beautiful, rothenburg loved it, historical interesting cinque terra my fav."

Kathleen

Hollywood, FL

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! Absolutely loved this tour. Our tour group was composed of 28 people who blended very well together and being a Rick Steve's tour, there were NO grumps. Our tour guide was exceptional!!! What a wonderful experience traveling on a 21 day tour between 7 different countries not having to worry about transportation, hotel lodgings, tour tickets as well as many of our meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick one WOW moment out of so many wonderful experiences. One very memorable moment, on our final night together, my husband and I went to the Eiffel tower with Martin as well as with some of the members of our tour group. We sat on the lawn watching the tower twinkle while drinking champagne. What a perfect way to end our vacation. Thank you Martin!!!"

Joyce

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very special experience for both my husband and myself. We didn't just see places that we had dreamed of seeing but we experienced them, the sights, sounds, smells, and emotions. Our tour experience was one that will live on with us as a wonderful life-changing learning experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it is hard to pick just one. Two that stand out are an alpine hike we took in Switzerland with amazing views on a very nice day and a river cruise on the Seine River at night in Paris with a sparkling Eiffel Tower."

Bernard

Broadview Heights, OH

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of each location we visited as well as able to provide us with accurate directions. We had a total of 28 people in our travel group in addition to our tour guide and tour assistant all of whom got along very well. I attribute this to the skill of our tour guide who was very professional in making sure everyone's needs were met without penalizing the entire group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to Switzerland (the Lauterbrunnen Valley) where the scenery was just breathtaking. Loved the hiking we did here."

Herbert

Anderson, SC

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour and first time in Europe. I saw all the major sights that I had on my list. I could have stayed longer at almost all the sights and stops but we were running out of time. We had the best tour guide and best local tour guides. We were very well informed about each area we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to come up with one "wow" moment. Switzerland had the most beautiful mountains and countryside. Germany had the castles. Bacharach had the most colorful hotel rooms and the best medieval town. Florence had the best domed church and statue of David. They were all equally great at taking your breath away."

Cynthia

Broadview Heights, OH

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your tours were highly recommended by my friend Donna, who has toured with you multiple times. My high expectations were surpassed. I wont' be surprised if nearly everyone who responds tells you this particular tour was extra special, as if a lucky star were following us the entire way. Ben was fantastic, the group coalesced almost immediately, the bus was comfortable, driver was great, weather was almost perfect, and the adventure in each country and town was memorable. FUN!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 stand out: the ancient ruins of Rome, due mostly to how Francesca made history come alive. Could have listened to her all day. I did not expect to enjoy this part of the itinerary as much as I did. I was enthralled. I loved Switzerland. The breathtaking beauty of this area was mind boggling. I really enjoyed a day where we could exert ourselves physically in nature, rather than by climbing circular staircases up to hotel rooms."

Jeanne

Anderson, SC

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a wonderful time. My goal was to experience Europe since I had never been. I picked this tour specifically for the itinerary since the planned tours, museums, churches, castles, and scenery were just what I wanted to see. It was the trip of a lifetime - one that I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several "wow" moments, but hiking in the Swiss Alps had to be my favorite. The beauty of the Alps was breathtaking. Actually being there instead of seeing it in pictures was inspiring and made me feel so blessed to have that opportunity. I felt closer to the creator in his majestic creation and felt at perfect peace in such beauty."

Cathy

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall really great. Loved the guides the driver and the group. Higher highs and lower lows than expected. Fun and engaging group with surprisingly no complainers and minimum cliques. Very homogenous group, however. My grandson was the youngest by 30 years, much to my surprise, since my previous best of Europe in two weeks tour with two grandchildren was extremely diverse in ages, group make-up, politics, families and couples, etc. Richard, our driver, was a fabulous part of the tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly, there were several, and they were all found on our own:(1) Seeing the actual Crown of Thorns paraded in Notre Dame when we went there on our own, having missed the group tour due to Eiffel Tower reservations (2) The afternoon spent climbing to Ehrenberg castle with five others, including meeting the drunken medieval actors who posed for pictures with us and stopping by the farm next to our hotel on the way back and introducing ourselves to the farmers and animals (3) The brewery in"

Colleen

Salem, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 2nd tour with Rick Steves and it was very enjoyable. We had a good group and a great driver (Richard). (The coach was very comfy.) The trip went by so quickly it was hard to believe it was 21 days. I am amazed at how balanced the tour is. There are busy days (hiking like crazy) but then we can recuperate on the travel days. There is just the right amount of fun mixed with the educational stuff. Also, I appreciate the free time even though I enjoyed the time with my tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had been to Italy before so I was not surprised by the wonderful sights there. I don't think there was any one wow moment, only the realization that Europeans are just like Americans - friendly, curious, helpful. I was most impressed by Herr Jung in Bacharach. What a charming man with a great story to tell. I'm lucky to have met him. The biggest non-wow was the wine tasting in Beaune. I expected to taste from a local winemaker, not corporate Italy. It was so UN-backdoor!"

John

Winchester, TN

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had very high expectations for our once-in-a-lifetime tour of Europe! Your programs on NPR, your guidebooks, and your radio podcasts thoroughly convinced us that your traveling philosophy was a perfect fit for us. Even with such high performance expectations, your team exceeded them! The entire Rick Steves experience, from beginning to end, was absolutely top notch. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ben, our outstanding guide, led us to the Duomo in Florence on a late afternoon walk. The sun was out and the light was just perfect. He led us in such a way that we had no inkling of the sight we were about to behold. We turned a corner and then WOW! The Duomo in all its glory. We returned the next morning and climbed to the top of the dome and then to the top of the tower. Wonderful!"

Thomas

Westfield, MA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Each day was fabulous. We had a great group of fellow travelers and we all became very comfortable with each other in a very short time. The itinerary was great and I would have trouble picking out my favorite stop, each one was a new and different experience. Our guides were absolutely the best and extremely knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I was listening to Francesca in Rome at the Coliseum she mentioned about how the Romans probably lived and their general feeling about the values of life. She mentioned that, because of a relatively short life span, loosing a life or taking someone's life didn't have much of an effect on them. She also described how the "games" most likely took place. I had never heard about this way of thinking or acting when learning about the Romans and it really impressed me."

Marguerite

Westfield, MA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The stars were aligned for this trip!! Everything was wonderful - despite our paying for 2 air fares (gambled our Icelandair flight would be cancelled due to the pilots' strike and bought 2 tix on Delta, but lost that bet!), everything went perfectly from the time we landed in Amsterdam to the time we left Paris. Our guide, Ben, our bus driver, Richard and our fellow travelers were the Best!! A trip to remember often and fondly - always!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating lunch in Cinque Terre (Vernazza) at Castello. The view of the Mediterranean down below, the perfect weather and the new friends with us made this my most memorable lunch. Just loved this Italian Riviera area. A close second is the view from the park in Orvieto where we had a picnic lunch. Breathtakingly beautiful!"

Lois

Maple Ridge, BC

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 6th trip to Europe. I've travelled independently and as a tour group member. I like the flexibility of independent travel. But I also found that this tour was well organized, educational and entertaining. I liked being able to go out for a walk and run into other tour group members - not quite so all alone in a strange environment. I'm not so keen on sticking to a schedule but I know that this is necessary to keep a number of people on task. I did enjoy the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the Swiss alps and listening to the cow bells near Stechelberg, and stumbling across the perfect sunset in the park in Rothenberg. There were other moments as well but these were the most outstanding."

Gary

Woodstock, GA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Outstanding tour leader in Colleen.....great itinerary.....food just ok.....hotels not so good...in that we had a hard time getting sleep, rooms were too warm with no AC and no top sheet...couldn't open the windows on most rooms due to traffic/train noise or bugs or flies...as in Swiss Alps....this was my first tour experience so I don't have others to compare to....overall had a really good time but always felt tired due to lack of sleep.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming above the clouds in the Swiss Alps..."

Nancy

Greenbank, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I decided to take this tour I was concerned that I may not be able to keep up with the pace, but decided in advance that I could opt out of some of the Rome tours of the ruins(I had been there in the last few years and wanted to be ready for the Cinque Terre). I didn't have any problems keeping up and enjoyed all the experiences. The number of stairs(30 steps between floors)in the hotel in Rome was excessive when you have 4 floors to get to the front desk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the little towns and the Cinque Terre. Switzerland was one gorgeous site after another and I'd love to go there again. History was so easy to grasp from the open air museum at Arnhem (Loved it). Herr Jung in Bacharach is a priceless gem. Rothenburg, my favorite, was like finding a combo of unspoiled history and Disneyland. Beaunne's wine tasting was a delightful experience. I enjoyed all of it."

Michael

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our guide the sights and personal guides we had at various locations. The fellowship among our group was quite special. The food was awesome, never had a bad meal. The bus was very comfortable. Rooms were quite nice. I would recommend this tour to any of my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on the lovely beach in Monterosso. I also loved the lovely hill top town and its charm."

Joseph

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour exceeded my initial expectations. A large part of that was due to Colleen's expertise and guidance throughout our journey. Colleen is extremely knowledgable, very capable and an excellent tour guide. Colleen also has the ability, that few people have, to handle a large group of people very diplomatically. She knows to praise in public and discipline (change behavior) in private. I must add, that I did not know Colleen prior to this tour....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was meeting Herr Young (sp) in Germany. That man has seen it all, lived through WWII and is able to bring the "event" to life for his audience. He is an outstanding ambassador for his Country and his presentation should be captured on video tape for all to see, learn, and enjoy. I would suggest Rick arrange for this to occur ASAP if it has not been done yet. I would even volunteer to hold the camera or mic."

Cynthia

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel = amazing!"

Stanley

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swiss Alps"

Phillip

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable mix of cultural, geographic,and historical experiences, blended with high/low exertion days. I have already highly recommended the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The raw beauty of the Swiss valleys and mountain ranges."

Carlene

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought our trip would be memorable and fun filled but I had no idea it would be as great as it was. A diverse group of single people and married couples as well as older and younger people made our tour group special. What I learned and the memories I will keep forever are priceless. I will definitley do more Rick Steves tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything but I was especially impressed with our "day off" in Monterossa, Cinque Terra! Exploring on our own the old and the new town areas and then renting beach chairs/umbrella for a day in the sun was a treat we needed. My husband and I felt we had walked and hiked plenty for days prior so that day to relax was well needed and timely! I also loved wandering in small town Orevetto."

Peter

Roselle, IL

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tiring, but enjoyable and educating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre - hiking and seeing eyeball of octopus staring at me at our dinner together."

Sandra

Roselle, IL

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the tour and felt it was exactly as described - amount of walking, carrying of bags, number of tour members and extra space on the bus. There was a good mix of activity followed by day with extended travel time to regroup and prepare by reading guide for next destination. Going to the front of the lines at museums was great. Good mix of scheduled activities and free time. Thankful to have opportunity to get clothes cleaned. Great group of people (including guide and driver).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was when our cable car rose above the cloud cover to see the mountain ranges come into view."

Karlene

Auburn, CA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never visited Europe before, so this was the perfect way to see see a variety of places with the idea of coming back to re-visit the ones I liked best. Although the days were busy, there was still down time with a chance to get out on our own. Our group was made up of wonderful people from all parts of the country...strangers at the start, but friends at the end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all very "wow-ish", however the gondola ride in Venice & Michelangelo's David were 2 of my most memorable moments."

Nancy

Walla Walla, WA

Tour: 05/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very well planned and efficiently executed. The different countries, various languages, and unique sites were educational and entertaining. Colleen's commentary was erudite and informative. Visits to different countries and their special sites were mapped out with skill and gave a good balance between education then relaxtion on the Cinque Terre and Switzerland. Lots of walking was included as promised and we were happy Colleen did not baby us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visits to some of mankind's greatest artistic and architectural achievements[INVALID]stunning! Then there was Switzerland. Nature still trumps mankind's achievements with grandeur and power. Inside the conch shell of mighty Trummelbach Falls[INVALID]wow! Being in the Alps on the alpine trail in the sunshine, close enough to the Eiger and its glaciers was like standing in front of a freezer with the door open[INVALID]wow! Popping out into Montarosso in sunshine and coming upon the ocean unexpectedly...astonishment!"

Barbara

Canal Fulton, OH

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. No exaggeration when you said it was strenuous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You suggested we try to use the native language so I tried my French. The sales lady thought I was French. We just laughed and it was good to connect with someone from another country. Another time I was watching a child on the train in Italy. She just keep asking 'Why?' to her mother (in Italian). Finally the mom set her phone down and just started playing with her daughter. Moms and their babies are the same the world over."

Richard

Roswell, NM

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A magical three weeks. Every day was a new adventure. The sights made the trip awesome! The others in our tourist family made the trip awesome! A good mix of activities and free time. A definite great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is impossible to narrow down to a single "wow" moment. I would have to come up with 10-15."

Patrick

Brush Prairie, WA

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busier, more active and more academic than I expected. (all good things)

Kerry

Crestview, FL

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire experience was absolutely first rate. The tour provided an excellent blend of sightseeing and free time to search and expire on or own. With Robyn as our knowledgeable tour guide, we were always prepared to enjoy and appreciate the areas we were able to visit. Even the longer days of traveling between locations were well spent with a variety of stops and breaks and information, questions, and answers to better enable us to thoroughly enjoy our next destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Stechelberg, Switzerland was the most amazingly beautiful stop of our tour. The opportunity to hike from one small Alpine town to another, stop and enjoy cheese fondue and a glass of wine, and continue hiking in the Alps was an experience of a lifetime."

Rita

Covington, WA

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was as promised, covered an immense slice of Europe, and I am really pleased to have survived the experience. Our tour leader was indefatigable and kept us on time and in line. The other tour members were great fun to be around, and it was a rare moment when there wasn't a wise crack resounding about. For me personally it was a boot camp kind of tour, and I am considerably more fit than when I arrived in Haarlem. It also took a week for the swelling in my legs to reside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, so its hard to choose. After struggling through the evening tour of Rome, and climbing a steep hill which culminated in three long flights of stairs, we came to a plaza with a commanding view of St. Peter's dome, all lit up in the sleepy city distance. That will stick in my mind for ever. Second place goes to climbing solo on the paths behind our hotel in Switzerland, and delighting in the wild flowers and cool mountain peace."

Helga

Fairview, TX

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exhausting but wonderful. Saw major attractions plus the "back door" towns and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque terra and castle Neu Schwanstein"

William

Fairview, TX

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In the past I had been to all the big cities we visited, but I was normally on business or acting as my family's tour guide. This trip let me enjoy the thoughts and information from our primary guide as well as the local guides we used. I loved learning all the things I had missed on my own. The smaller cities/towns were a treat. It was fantastic seeing the countries from "the back door".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were plenty, but the one that sticks in my mind the most was the ride to the top of the Eiffel tower. WOW! I still get chills remembering the view and the thrill of the height. A close second was the Tiramisu we had in Florence. The best ever! It wasn't part of the tour, but the guide for Fat Tire was very, very good. Make sure people know how much you will walk. We walked over 150 miles in our 21 days."

Charles

Fairview, TX

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional trip, one we'll never forget! Robyn, and our bus driver Sylvain, made our experiences on this tour so rich that it has set the standard for European tours! Our local guides in the different cities we visited gave us a wonderful flavor of local history and current lives as well. You have exceptional staff, and the planning that goes into this European tour was obvious. Thank you, and I'm excited for our next tour with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many "Wow' moments on this trip. Scenic Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Cinque Terre was unbelievably beautiful!"

George

Coeur d' Alene, ID

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was wonderful and we saw and experienced more than I imagined. I guess the only concern I had was trying to see so much in that amount of time. It seemed like we just got oriented and then we moved on. I understand that was the nature of the tour but it was a bit frustrating. We also walked A LOT! Perhaps too much. Nonetheless, it was a great experience and the tour was well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Swiss Alps and the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley. It fulfilled a life long-dream, and I was not disapponted."

Tina

Cedar City, UT

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was grueling, but astounding. Seeing so much history and different cultures just left me awestruck. Our guide was outstanding with the knowledge, experience and helpfulness she added to our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paragliding the Swiss Alps. But, I have to say the second best was when I waked around with our guide, just my husband and I and saw some of her favorite places in Rome. It was just a magical time, watching people eating, drinking , getting a gelato on a place where chariots had raced."

Melissa

Naples, FL

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip, saw everything we wanted to see, and had a great time with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the scenery in Switzerland and how relaxing it was."

Sharon

Fairview, TX

Tour: 05/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When our tour guide, Robyn, said we were starting our tour as "friends" but would end up being "family" was so true. The Rick Steves Europe in 21 Days turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. As a child, I find it hard to believe that I actually got to visit such gorgeous and historical sights. I felt we were able to get a taste of the European lifestyle and we enjoyed every moment. I can't say thank you enough for the organizers and to Robyn, our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to visit Cinque Terre was my "wow" moment. I have pictures of the villages in my bedroom, and finally getting to see this area of the world was amazing. Thank you so much for including Cinque a Terre on this tour?"

Gerry

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour and an excellent tour guide in Lisa! Lisa was very knowledgeable and helpful throughout the tour. I enjoyed every moment of the tour. I can't really say I had a favorite place we visited because there were so may! The group we were with were all great tour mates. the only negative part of the trip was some rain and clouds in Switzerland.. Will have to go back again and hope for better weather

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many wow moments I just cannot pick one I enjoyed the gondola ride in Venice at night, Rothenburg, Haarlem, The Cinque Terre, Paris , the food and the dinners together,Paris, the bus driver, Ben"

Ralph

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The communication before and during was excellent. We knew what to pack, knew what we were likely to see, and the whole event was well executed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Valley. The scenery was spectacular."

John

Pompano Beach, FL

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Please believe Rick Steve when he says there can be taxing days. Fast walking from one venue to the next, be it bus to hotel or bus to Museum, can be a challenge. The tour gives an excellent overview of the areas visited. I now know where I want to go and see in more detail. I'll be taking my time to enjoy. I learned alot about how to navigate my way around Europe. Lisa,our tour guide, was excellent. Very personable and always willing to help. I did enjoy the great views on the bus rides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It may surprise people but my "wow" moment was standing outside our chalet in Switverland with sheer cliffs on either side watching and listening to the waterfalls. It took my breath away. I had to call my children and describe in detail what I was experiencing. The snow capped mountains, the misty fog, the roar of the falls. WOW!"

Janet

Lodi, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Europe tour was well organized and featured large, busy cities and small, more rural towns. There was a good balance of group trips and free time to explore on our own. Lisa, our tour guide, kept us well informed about the history of the places we visited and helped us learn to navigate local transportation on our own. Our tour group was friendly and quickly became a compatible, caring group of travelers. The tour was a wonderful introduction to Europe for me. A fabulous trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have always looked forward to visiting Switzerland and it did not disappoint in any way. Switzerland was everything I hoped it would be (and more.) My "wow" moment was the afternoon we walked from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. The path followed the beautiful creek and, often, my husband and I were the only ones on the path. A peaceful afternoon surrounded by extraordinary beauty- waterfalls, wildflowers, gentle cowbells, green pastures, and charming homes. Absolutely unforgettable."

Gary

Orange, TX

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. We saw so many magnificent things in such a short period of time.. I thought the tour exceeded my high expectations. Our tour guide was great, the places visited were amazing, and the overall experience was the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very difficult to find my favorite wow moment but I think mine was in thevVatican museum when we saw Raphael's paint over a window there of Peter''s Miraculous Release from prison. The use of light in so many ways was pointed out by our guide. It was an emotional experience for me. My second favorite wow moment was listening to live bands in St. Mark's Square in Venice."

Gwen

Manteca, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a lifetime. My sister and I bonded over gelato in Italy and hiking in the Swiss Alps. Our tour guide, Lisa, was knowledgeable about each area that we visited and gave us tips on what to see and do when we had free time. She also had a great sense of humor which came in handy on those long bus rides. I must admit that the tour was as rigorous as described on the website.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When our bus driver, Ben, pulled up to the Hotel Stechelberg in Switzerland, it was jaw dropping beautiful scenery there. It was the most amazingly, beautiful, landscape that I have ever seen."

Dennis

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour lived up to the description, but we were prepared and enjoyed our tour greatly. The group got along nicely and Lisa and Nicole were wonderful and kept the group focused. We laughed a lot and cried some as well. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am glad my wife and I took the plunge. There is nothing I can say that was negative in any way. Our tour guides were great and let the history, flavor and atmosphere of the places and people we met shine through.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Herr Jung in Bacharach, Germany. What a wonderful man, he made me cry and laugh and think. I could have listened to him talk for hours. The other wow was the Sistine Chapel, I just wish the place was empty so I could lay down on the floor to look up at the art work of the celling in order to capture everything instead of spinning around trying to take in the beauty and majesty."

Russell

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a really great time. Lisa and Nica really made it all flow and kept it interesting. The folks we met in the group also contributed to the overall satisfaction of family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the folks from the west coast!! Staying in a castle on the Rhine."

Debbie

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolutely wonderful experience! The Europe in 21 Days Tour was the perfect trip to take to celebrate our 35 wedding anniversary and to get a feel for European travel. The sites, the food, the tour guides, and fellow traveling friends we made will be forever remembered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Switzerland! The mountains, the waterfalls, the quaint villages with sheep and cows all wearing bells around their necks...so beautiful and peaceful!"

Emily

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This itinerary is great!

Kim

Montverde, FL

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 1st trip to Europe & I think it was a great way to see alot in 3 weeks. Our tour guide Lisa & assistant guide Nika were fabulous. We definitely saw more than we would have been able to see on our own & made some great friends along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland!"

Milly

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more than I expected and quite delightful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The comfort I felt getting lost in strange cities...even including Paris."

Harry

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime and it was everything I expected and much more. One of the reasons it was so enjoyable was the superb planning by your staff before the trip even began. Entry lines are long in Europe and on your own you would be wasting valuable time, but we were prepared and went right in and enjoyed every minute. Even when we were in transportation mode our guide was giving us local history, words and phrases we could use in speaking with the locals and just relevant info.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a very difficult question to answer with this trip. Aside from the sights of Paris and Rome, for me it was the pure beauty of Austria. I was just overwhelmed because it was like a piece of heaven in our mist."

Elaine

Richmond, TX

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much history on the tour. Our guides did a great job of telling about the history of the countries or cities before we arrived or while at a particular site. Also, we were taught simple things like how to use a toilette at the rest stops before we arrived. And how to use simple phrases in the different languages was fun when we really used them to communicate to the locals. This was a very rigorous trip with very little down time and a person needs to be in good physical shape.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It was so tranquil and peaceful and green with the mountains all around with all the waterfalls, green pastures, cows, wildflowers and streams."

Tim

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! The tour guide was excellent and the group we traveled with were a pleasure to be with. We made a lot of new friends that we hope to see again in the future. A great group of folks with diverse backgrounds that shared a common interest in traveling and discovering new things.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! More wow's than I can count. Austria and Switzerland were beautiful! Paris was magical! Italy was fascinating."

Peggy

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We didn't know quite what to expect with this tour. Could we keep up? (Yes, although tired at the end of many days!) Could we be around a group of people for days on end? (Yes, we thoroughly enjoyed the group we were with!) Many unknowns before this trip. The tour exceeded our expectations in many ways. We saw so much more during this tour than we ever would have on our own. The tour was very well organized, and thoroughly enjoyable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's hard to narrow it down to one! Probably the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Walking out of the Metro and seeing the walls of the Colosseum was incredible. Then, as we walked from the Colosseum to the Roman Forum, I was in awe. I could almost picture what the Forum looked like hundreds of years ago. Amazing place!"

Charles

Pompano Beach, FL

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really liked the way an additional stationary guide took us through significant sites and had unlimited knowledge and sometimes passion towards the site. This made me feel as did many other planned activities that somebody sure did their homework. I was also impressed with our guide Lisa and how she explained everything we would be doing in a competent and personnal manner. Nicole surprised us too with how much she knew about the site and about history overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum made the biggest impression with me. Then moving on to the many other remants of that culture which always facinated me."

Kathleen

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectation. We had a wonderful group of people who meshed well and had a passion for travel. Our tour guide was excellent. I enjoyed getting a taste of each city and enjoyed all the activities. The balance between activities and free time was perfect. I absolutely would travel with this tour company again and have already recommended it to several friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many 'wow' moments! From seeing the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, to Trummelbach falls in Switzerland, to watching the sunset over Manarola in Cinque Terre....there were too many to name!"

Galen

Cedarburg, WI

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were skeptical about the tour since we usually do our traveling on our own. We were very surprised to find that the tour was well worth the cost. We learned so much from our guides and saw so much more than we could of by ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Art museums were not on my top ten lists till I went on this tour. I learned so much from the guides and appreciate art so much more now. I vow to always hire a docent guide on any visit to an art museum."

John

Dokkhamtai Phayao,

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We both had a great time and everything lived up to our expectations. Professional and well organised at all times and all we had to do was relax and enjoy each stress free day as we worked our way around some of the best parts of Western Europe

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Paris and everything it has to offer 2. Switzerland 3. David in Florence"

Joy

Burr Ridge, IL

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exhausting at times but just as exhilarating. I think everyone in our group knew the Company's philosophy and knew what they signed up for so there were no complaints. Unfortunately a virus was shared by most of us in the group and at times made travel that much more challenging. Jennifer, our tour guide, lost her voice a day or two because of it. Other than that unavoidable problem, your Company does an outstanding job both in pre-tour preparation and the tour experience itself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like most responders, I, too, have many favorites. But forced to name just one I would have to say it was seeing the Alps in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland, for the first time. The landscape in Baveria is a close second."

John

Whittier, CA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour experience. As such, I had no preconceived expectations. Looking back at the just completed trip, I would say that RST delivered as advertised. The experience of traveling with a great group was a nice experience. Would I go on another RST tour?...Absolutely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen Valley and King Ludwig's castles were "wow" experiences for me. To be in such beautiful locations was truly humbling."

Patricia

Cedarburg, WI

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Impossible to do in 500 characters! The trip was incredible- surpassed my expectations by 100%! Each country- each city- each-day was an experience of a lifetime. My 1st trip to Europe-and The Best of Europe was the perfect introduction to the 7 countries we explored. The guides made this the perfect 3 week trip- wish it would have been about one week longer. Traveling with a like minded group was also part of the fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Moments: Netherlands- the bikes,walking tour of Haarlem and Amsterdam,Rejyks tour with amazing guide. Germany- Herr Young tour of Bacarach and his stories, side walk cafe in St Goar, Rhine River Cruise, waking up to church bells, HX of WWII as seen thru Dachau, Ludwigs castles. Italy- gelato, wandering/canal boat rides thru Venice, wine, fresh mozzarella, why art follows money,climbing the Duomo while listening to a Gregorian chant mass, standing in St Peters, Cistine Chapel, Roman ruins, CT!"

Laura

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime for my husband and I. Our Guide Jennifer & Pal were fantastic, and made the trip very exciting. Jennifer was extremely fun and very knowledgeable in world history. All the group got alone and had so many different back grounds and from around the world. The hotels we stayed in and the place we were eating at were always very nice. We had a saying for Jennifer and her 5 minute walks they were never 5 minutes and we all gave her a bad time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it and most of all the village in Switzerland with our host Otto. Just loved loved it. Otto was one of the cooks we had and maybe the best. We loved the luge in Germany, I wouldn't stop asking her if we were going to be able to do that, the weather allowed us to do it, FUN FUN FUN... She provide different tasting of food and candy."

Frank

Burr Ridge, IL

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well worth the investment. At times exhausting but very satisfying. The tour made me a traveler not just a tourist. Thank you Jennifer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The small valley hotel in Switzerland. Outstanding views, quiet, good food, plenty of Mother Nature, no statues or paintings !"

Michael

Galesburg, MI

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour group was just great! No drama! Just cordial and friendly people who tried hard to make everyone's experience good. Overall, I felt that perhaps too much was packed into the tour. Let me explain: There seemed to be too little time to really explore Venice and certainly Florence. Rome had just too many activities packed into one day and the group resented that. Perhaps a shorter time in Bacharach and Rothenburg. These were nice but giving us an extra day...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All travels within Switzerland and particularly in Stechelberg. The surroundings were breathtakingly beautiful. Massa Marittama was out of this world as well. What a stunning setting and wonderfully preserved town. I would have like to stay there frankly. We were able to go to the Borghesse Gallery again on our personal time. We went to see the Bernini sculptures and again were awestruck!"

Anne

Comox, BC

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour, it was VERY busy but we were glad we were able to see and do all the things we did. Great places and a nice [INVALID]ion of rural and city.We had a great group of people. No one was late and everyone did their best to be easy to get along with.Still reeling from all we did and saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favourite WOW moment was at Dinklesbuhl---It was a gorgeous little town and our hotel was " INCREDIBLE"--we had a suite of rooms all furnished in a most beautiful , modern way--we could have swapped our house and lived there !!"

Alan

Comox, BC

Tour: 05/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour...found it a bit intense ..21 days is getting to be too much for me. Great hotels, meals provided were excellent..sometimes almost too much food. The large 54 passenger bus with 26 passengers made for a comfortable trip. Venice Florence and Rome with all the history and sights overloaded me and really needed the rest day at Cinque Terre. Would do it again but probably only on a 14 day tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many..I really enjoyed the Lauterbrunnen Valley with its many waterfalls shooting over the near vertical valley walls. Beautiful to look at pleasant place to hike and enjoy the countryside. The cog railroad up to Wengren was a good ride."

Pamela

Spring Lake, MI

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best travel experience EVER! There was a new adventure every day! Of course, having Rick Steves himself as a "co-traveler" was a wonderful surprise. Reid Coen is a great guide, keeping us informed on the history of each area as well as making us feel comfortable in each new set of surroundings. The history talks gave additional richness to each part of the visit (great job!) The bus experience, the hotels etc. were exceptional. Best was the "no grump" group! We'll be back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first and best WOW was having Rick Steves travel with us! The tour of Ehrenberg castle ruins, which was a "special treat" arranged by Rick, was the biggest WOW site for me!. I loved the museums and historical icons but especially enjoyed Bacharach and Rothenberg for their history and charm. Every day was a new "WOW!" Great sites, lodging, travel, friends...It all made for the experience of a lifetime."

Linda

Fort Myers Beach, FL

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

If a person wants to actively see many parts of Europe with a manageable group of people traveling in a roomy bus, led by a knowledgeable tour guide who gives timely history lessons to tie together each experience, and who also arranges worry-free sightseeing, back-door accommodations, and meal experiences of the area, this is the tour to take. Each day was a new adventure usually led by a guide, but times were also provided on our own after being armed with suggestions and navigation tactics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. It felt unreal to be in such a significant historic area with modern buildings nearby. Swiss Alps, gondola ride up mountain, perfectly blue sky with fresh snow cover and a James Bond tie-in, ending with hot chocolate in a rotating, sky-high restaurant and time to walk trails down the mountain. What more could you want? Stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle were unforgettable. Loved all the castle opportunities. Shimmering Eiffel Tower was a big WOW."

Jackie

Roxboro, NC

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Europe in 21 Days Tour was my first European travel experience. It did not disappoint me and I absolutely loved all the experiences included in the itinerary. Reading about history is one thing but actually being in that historical place and experiencing the culture, people, and history was an incredible and powerful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many...Italy's Cinque Terre and the small villages of Monterosso and Vernazza; spectacular views of the Swiss Alps on the Schilthorn; viewing Michelangelo's David and the amazing art in the Louvre and Orsay Museums and all the in between unexpected moments that will become a part of this once in a lifetime experience."

Brogan

Burke, VA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Brogan's favorite moment was going up the Schilthorn in Switzerland. THe views were amazing."

Robert

Spring Lake, MI

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I expected plus a lot more. It's hard to believe we did so many diverse activities in 21 days. From the Keukenhof to the Schilthorn in Switzerland, every day was an adventure that will be remembered for a lifetime. Every local guide was professional and warm, the bus was roomy and comfortable (Joe was great) and Reid kept everyone up to speed with his knowledge of history and local culture. Add Rick Steves and Trish and you have an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the unscheduled stop to the Ehrenberg Castle ruins was a true "backdoor" experience. After visiting King Ludwig's crowded castles, we had Ehrenberg to ourselves. The castle was semi preserved but you could easily imagine what it was like 700 years ago. I hope Rick decides to make this a scheduled stop on future tours."

Teresa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations for this tour from comments of online reviewers and friends who had experienced other Rick Steve's Tours, but this experience exceeded all expectations! You knew what was going to be included, but so pleasantly surprised by all the extras that I didn't expect: special treats shared by Reid on the bus, to big things like all the ideas for optional activities that Reid would organize and buy tickets. We tripled the amount we could possibly experience on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There is absolutely nothing I would want taken away. Multiple wow moments every day. The first few days we made comments how it couldn't get better and Reid would say "oh, it's going to get even better!" and he was go right. Of course the wow moments of having Rick and Trish join us, the wonderful extra Ehrenberg Castle experience, and clear blue skies at the top of Schilthorn and wonderful hiking in Switzerland will never be beat ;-)"

David

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Europe, so we wanted to sample everything. Our trip was everything it was advertised to be, only better. I read a lot of Rick's books and we attended seminars in Edmonds, but the mental images I created from those efforts didn't compare to the real thing. The bus was terrific, our driver was a lot of fun, our guide was great, and our "auxiliary assistant" guides were a lot of fun and an inspiration. Our group was wonderful, with folks from all over, of every age.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a fair question!! The whole trip was a favorite wow. However, I will fess up that three hikes were my favorites: the hike to Ehrenberg Castle ruins, the hike from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza, and best of all, a hike in the Alps near Gimmelwald, ending at one of the old hotels that were used for the tour, sitting in the sun with a beer and enjoying spectacular scenery. I told Reid, our guide, to just leave me there!"

Susan

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour! This was our first trip to Europe and we wanted a guided experience. And we had a fabulous time with the group and on our own. The travelers who are attracted to Rick Steves' tours are fun-loving, low-maintenance folks who I enjoyed being around. I can understand why Rick has so many repeat customers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was probably sitting, mouth agape, as Rick Steves strolled into the room during orientation on the first night. He was a lot of fun to have on the tour, and obviously gave wonderful restaurant recommendations. But really, my "wow" moment was visiting the Colosseum with Francesca. After battling crowds in Venice and Florence, Rome was a bit intimidating. But Francesca helped me make a personal connection to Rome and its historical sites. She is an A+ docent - never let her go!"

Aynsley

Burke, VA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations on all aspects, especially the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the hour hike at the beginning of the day of King Ludwig's castle. The trail was gorgeous and it was so nice to be in nature."

Mary

Campbell, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my first RSE experience. We weren't sure we were "tour people", but everyone in our group contributed to the travel experience - interesting individuals, who traveled well together, always on time. I really appreciated having someone else do the driving, make the arrangements, and find the way. It was very efficient, so we saw much more than we would have on our own, and at a competitive cost. We have already signed up for our next tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments were the gondola ride in Venice, the Swiss Alps, especially the trip up the Schilthorn and Trummelbach Falls, and Sainte-Chapelle."

Joan

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not have dreamed a more perfect European experience for my family and me. Since we did not have much time in any one location, it was important that we had the cultural and historical information prior to getting to a location and a local guide explaining what it meant to live in the location. I felt as though each stop along the tour was expanded to the maximum. I also appreciated the way the tour prepared you to become a better traveler. Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many highlights, but the most impressive to me was the preparation and then the presentation of David in Florence. David is breathtaking and to be able to view him from every angle and look into his face, you feel you are on the battlefield with him. Incredible!"

Brian

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. I wish I had taken Europe in 21 Days Tour years ago to plan for some later more concentrated tours like maybe the Best of Germany, Austria & Switzerland in 14 Days Tour or the Best of France tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say visiting the Ehrenburg Castle ruins."

Denise

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Ehrenberg Castle -- a great treat to visit the castle and have an after hours visit to the museum. Loved the Schilthorn -- perfect weather and amazing scenery. Trummelbach falls -- this is a must see -- the power of those falls is breath-taking. David -- Continues to WOW and inspire me every time we visit. Herr Jung -- A great privilege to meet him and hear his stories of WW2."

Rick

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very smooth

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hiking to Ehrenburg Ruins with Reid and Trish and Rick"

Malcolm

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-lead and carefully controlled. We all really appreciated the appearance and participation of our special host on this tour (icing on the cake) despite his "rock star" status and followers everywhere. RSE's use of select, local presenter-guides at special sites was really appreciated. Their knowledge and talent to "bring things to life" as well as to describe in detail was unequaled by other tour providers ( Rome's, Francesca, was of special note). Thanks for the memories, RSE

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "unofficial" Ehrenberg Castle tour with only the group members present. Truly a "Back Door" moment with the sense of history, the spectacular views and weather and the comradeship of our group members horsing around like a bunch of knights of old."

James

Belt, MT

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the 1st tour i have been on, I did not expect to have a great time,but to my unexpected surprise i had a great time. This was due to your excellent arrangements, and your great team that lead us thru Europe. Martin,Jesse and Paul were great. The hotels were better than we expected and the food was over the top. With all the walking i stuill gained 7 lbs. So the only other expression i have is Thanks for a job well done, you and your team obviously love your work, it shows.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe the the day I met Herr Young at bacherack will stay with me forever, He tugged and my heart strings, made me proud to be an American, and if I would ever consider moving to Europe that's where i want to go. I will be able to rember all the trip this winter when we go thru our photo's but the one day i will always remember is Herr Young's presentation."

Donna

Belt, MT

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed everything about our trip. The history from our guide was wonderful. The group of fellow travelors we were with were all very nice and we all got along very well. The trip was very well planned out and well organized. The hotels were comfortable and we felt welcome in all of the places we stayed. We were kept very busy, and when we did have free time, our guides were very good about giving us suggestions and directions on what sites to see. The group meals were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have one "wow" moment, I had so many, I cannot name them all. The churches, the Art, statues, the water falls. The concentration camp was very moving as well as the Anne Frank house. We enjoyed every country and area we visited."

Jay

Westminster, CO

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the trip was great. The itinerary was great (other than it seems too early in the season for Switzerland), the group size was great, the local tour guides were awesome and it is astounding how much we were able to see and do. I would take another Rick Steves tour and have recommended them to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites in Rome - the Coliseum, the Forum, etc. Francesca was awesome."

Christina

Bothell, WA

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Europe and I feel I really was able to see and experience a lot over the 21 days. I'm pleased that we chose to take this tour instead of trying to go on our own. I learned a lot of the history of the countries we toured which made it so much more interesting. Martin was so good about explaining the train system in Paris so the extra days we spent there we were able to get around the city and see a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Switzerland the weather was very overcast so we could not see the higher mountains or hike much. But Martin made the day fun for us by taking us on the trail through Lauterbrunnen valley and to the beautiful, exciting Trummelbach Falls. We then took the gondola to Murren. It started snowing about halfway up the gondola and was snowing in Murren. Some of the people on the tour had not seen snow and their reaction was fun to see. I loved the waterfalls from the high mountains to the valley"

Margaret

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 21-day Best of Europe tour was embedded in a 60-day, first-ever trip to Europe. In the midst of having a wonderful time traveling on our own (with much knowledge gained from free lectures & resources available at Rick Steves' travel store in Edmonds), we joined this tour & greatly appreciated 1) having all the details taken care of for us, 2) having other people to share the traveling experience with for 3 weeks, 3) gaining so much in knowledge from our excellent lead & local guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Francesca, the Rome native who guided us through the Colisseum, Forum & Pantheon, was truly inspiring. Within the space of just a couple hours, she made us feel welcome in Rome, helped us acknowledge Rome as the cradle of our own history, invited us to accept Rome as our own city, and shared a thoughtful & compelling commentary on the contrast between the magnificent accomplishments of the Roman Empire & its cruel use of power to accomplish its goals & maintain its position."

Richard

Little Rock, AR

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a "dream come true" trip for me overall. From the first meeting of our group to our last night on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower, I was overwhelmed with all the wonderful places we had seen up close. The methods used by our tour guides Martin and Jesse to keep us together and teach us history was a big factor in regards to enjoying the trip. This was my first trip to Europe but after this incredible experience, it will not be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would share that "wow" feeling among three places: Rothenburg, Rome, and Paris. To see a real castle up close; the first glimpse of the Colosso, and see the Eiffel tower through the trees really confirmed that I was not in Kansas any more!"

Jerrel

New Braunfels, TX

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was simply fantastic. We saw it as an intro to Europe to identify the areas we would like to revisit. It was that and much, much more. All the areas visited were marvelous, and the insights provided by Martin on geopolitical and art history were invaluable for understanding the historical big picture. Local culture insights were also extremely valuable, such as don't put your feet up on chairs, or always greet the French before getting down to business. This knowledge will serve us well

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was visiting the Coliseum in Rome. This spectacle cannot be understood without being there. No amount of pictures, videos, or written descriptions can convey the impact of actually standing in the coliseum and understanding its size and complexity. A true understanding of the brutality that routinely occurred there is also a very impactful and sobering realization."

Cheri

Westminster, CO

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot think of a better way to do Europe than the 21 day tour. Looking back it is astounding how much we did and how much we saw. I love that all the planning and coordinating was done for us. It was great to show up at a museum, bypass the long line of individual travelers and do a tour with our personal local guide. If we had attempted this on our own we would have only seen half as much and not understood or appreciated it. The Rick Steves tour was a great value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite wow moment as there were so many. If i had to pick one I would say drinking champagne and watching the light show at the Eiffel tower."

Zachary

Rio Rico, AZ

Tour: 04/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over all it was really wonderful, met some great people that will have a lasting impression

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the places we visited had its own wow and it would be difficult to select any one area or moment"

Fred

Rio Rico, AZ

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was well designed to hit the top, well-known attractions in Europe. There were some very enjoyable small town sites thrown in as well. The mix between organized tour time and free time was just about right. As a learning experience the tour was great. We'll know how to do it right the next time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheer beauty of Switzerland was something I was not expecting."

Karen

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional trip, and one I'll never forget! Martin & Trish, and our busdriver Peter, made our experiences on this tour so rich that it has set the standard for European tours! Our local guides in the different cities we visited gave us a wonderful flavor of local history and current lives as well. You have exceptional staff, and the planning that goes into this European tour was obvious. Thank you, and I'm excited for my next tour with you! Thank you so much Martin & Trish!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome was awe inspiring, and the history and rich background as well as current political and economical info Martin shared with us, all came together here. I felt an immense pride in our neighbors across the "big pond" and feel a definite connection with them now- something I had never given much thought to before!"

Susan

Florence, OR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was amazing! We were so pleased with everything, our guides, our bus driver, our accomodations. We are so glad we took a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Cinqepue Terre. Absolutely beautiful area. Wished we could have spent more time there."

Chonita

Rio Rico, AZ

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour was great but I was not in the best of shape. I felt that it was going too fast for me. My knees were killing me but I kept up with the rest most of the time. Martin is incredibly knowledgeable. Trish was very good too. The tour has given us a taste of Europe and we plan to go back. We would like to do a smaller one concentrating on certain parts of Europe. We would love to do a WWII tour and would also like to go to Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Rothenburg! I loved going up to the Baroque church and finding snow! I loved the small towns we visited!"

Candace

Medford, OR

Tour: 10/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Far exceeded my expectations1

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the Cathedral's."

Cassandra Leah

Old Ridge, NB

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful experience. Not ever travelling to Europe before, we had no expectations. We just packed our bags and from the time we landed in Amsterdam Rick Steeves Tour took care of everything and more. Every day was filled with "ah ha" moments! We feel very lucky to have chosen Rick Steeves Tour as our first introduction to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our "wow" moment was in the Swiss Alps. Our guides took us up the mountains and we walked back a beautiful path. There was truly amazing scenery to see and better yet we had a very memorable day. Pictures we took couldn't show the vastness of this beautiful country."

James

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was even better than my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were plentiful. The transition from alpine Austria to the water based world of Venice was the most amazing day. While the late afternoon and evening walking tour of Rome - the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, dinner, and Trvi Fountain would be the most outstanding part of the tour."

Patricia

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw and did so many interesting and fun activities-museums, hikes, dinners and discoveries on my own. Tour guide-Ben was amazing and his assistant Carey was very kind and helpful. It was such a relief to walk directly into museums rather than stand in a long line to get tickets/reservations and also to be in "off the beaten track" lovely hotels and restaurants I don't think I would have found on my own. The tour also gave us plenty of time and options to explore areas on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. Loved the group dinners and walking tours-especially in Rome."

Everett

Innisfail, AB

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We'd picked our Rick Steves tour from a large array of tour companies because they provided excellent detail of what was included in their tours, and also what was expected of us if we were to participate. In the end, we knew we'd chosen the best tour company, and loved every day of our European trip. A great bus and bus driver, a wonderful selection of hotels to stay in, and the best tour guides we could have wished for. The tour had an excellent pace and balance of activities throughout.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was so enthralled with everything I witnessed that I never even slept on the bus as I didn't want to miss anything, especially the interesting commentaries and insights from our excellent tour guides. Probably my biggest wow moment, which made me instantly realize Europe was quite different than Canada, was when we were pulling our luggage to our hotel in Haarlem and saw everyone riding bicycles or scooters. Not a day went by without many such WOW moments - like the Eiffel Tower at night!"

Jared

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fantastic time. Our tour guides and bus driver were wonderful, I saw a lot of amazing things, and everyone got along exceptionally well. The tour exceeded my expectations in every possible way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland was absolutely incredible. I've never seen anything like it."

Sherry

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were simply blown away by the level of expertise our tour guide exhibited the entire trip. He told us of the history of places, people, helped us understand the cultures of areas we would visit. His knowledge of architecture, struggles of people throughout history was very impressive. He made our trip a grand adventure of foods, music, experiences, many places we never would have found on our own. He was kind, bent over backward to help us get the most from each day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide that never faltered in three weeks of touring! The cathedrals, Colosseum, Rome's ruins, the David, Louvre, the Eifel tower, Cinque Terre and the beach, boat rides, food! We loved the hill towns of Switzerland. We loved all the bicycles in Amsterdam -- and the Rijks Museum. The FOOD was wonderful -- everyone on the tour exclaimed again and again about all the incredible dinners. The different modes of transportation we enjoyed, as well."

Jack

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! The guides were incredible at providing relevant information and history concerning the places we visited. Scheduling was efficient, yet not frantic as to be uncomfortable. Lodging was superb. Facilitation of relationships between tour members was thoughtful and effective. Could not have asked for a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wows" to be able to isolate only one. Every city, town, restaurant, museum, cathedral, and shop had it's own distinctive and absorbing charm. Even the bus ride was a "wow"."

Martha

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our "trip of a lifetime" and we are so pleased that we decided to travel with a Rick Steves group. After watching him on PBS for several years, we knew that this style of travel was just what we were looking for. We loved staying in independently operated hotels, we enjoyed the ambiance of our group, the food was wonderful, and our guides were probably your best...very knowledgeable and very fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As you probably hear over and over, every day was a Wow for me. I had been dreaming of going to Europe for years and so just to wake up each morning in Europe was a Wow. Every destination was special for different reasons. The Lauterbrunnen Valley definitely was a major Wow, though. Not only was the scenery breathtaking but we felt so welcome staying at Otto's in Stechelberg. I will never forget the gently tinkling cowbells as we hiked home through the valley...pure magic."

Lynn

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our local guide, Franchesca, used 'awesome' in describing Ancient Rome's Coliseum. In Webster's, the definition is 'causing feelings of fear and wonder'. I want to describe one of those days. Note: the day before we lived in a fairy tale. We ate a beautiful hearty breakfast in Rothenburg. Then, had a day experiencing a range of emotions from remembering the stark horror of Dachua. visiting the ornate Wieskirche in a pasture and ended with the delight of lugging. Overall... it was awesome!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""wow" moments: 1- seeing Michelangelo's David... to a point where I was misty eyed 2- the Swiss Alps I didn't think I could be impressed... after all, I've seen mountains, and the Alps and David through photos. Something to be said when you start at eye level and your eyes keep going up. serendipity moment: ~the local Egna band striking up a tune as we walked into the square and their Herbstfest. Felt like magic happening."

Frederick

Wynantskill, NY

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have signed up for another one so we must have been pleased with the operation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most enjoyable part was the Swiss Alps."

Shirley

Land O Lakes, FL

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I was very satisfied with the tour and the number of sights we were able to see in 21 days. I did feel rushed at times while on the walking tours with our guide and felt we would loose the group and become lost in the large cities. A slower pace would have been beneficial for some of us. That said, it was still a wonderful trip. I met some great people and will never forget all the beautiful cities we visted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all of the smaller towns and would definitely consider returning to several of them. I would say my WOW moment was St.Peter's Basilica."

Kianna

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had just graduated college with my best friend and decided to book a Rick Steves tour. At first we were a little nervous about the age difference among our group, however, we couldn't have had a more amazing experience! We became a close knit family in a matter of 48 hrs! This was my third time going to Europe. I had previously gone with a cruise and on my own. This was my first guided tour experience, and I don't think I will ever go to Europe again without doing a Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In all honesty, the entire trip was a wow moment for me! Every scenic drive, cathedral, museum, food, entertainment, was all amazing! If I had to narrow it down it would be taking a gondola lift to the top of the Schiltorn in Switzerland and later Paragliding down the Swiss Alps!"

William

Land O Lakes, FL

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exactly as described with each day not traveling on the bus being filled with a lot a museums and tours that required a lot of walking and many stairs which always seemed mostly up. Many times I wished I was 20 years younger and would have had the energy to enjoy the traveling more. At the end of each day the bed was a welcome sight. Toward the end of the 21 days many of the churches and museums seemed to blur together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say that the Sistine Chapel and St. Perter's Basilica were beyond belief in the size and detail that was incorporated during the construction."

Henry

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I'd do it again. It was a bit more active than I felt comfortable with, but I don't what I'd cut out if I were to shorten up the itinerary. I do worry that I won't be physically able to participate in tours like this as time goes by. But I enjoyed the places we visited, the food we eat, and the company we kept. I'm tired, but happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps. I loved Reutte. I loved Switzerland. I loved hot chocolate on top of the Schilthorn."

Caitlyn

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing! As a person who often travels solo, this was my first time going on a guided tour and admittedly, I had hesitations about what it was going to be like. I don't usually like abiding by someone else's itinerary, and since I've been to Europe before, many of the activities scheduled were places I'd already been. This tour BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paragliding over the Swiss Alps. I've never been to Switzerland, and when one of the other group members and I were given the opportunity to do that, we literally jumped on it....then jumped off a cliff."

Gloria

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! Our guide, Robin, made sure we had just the right amount of info when needed and was so helpful with planning extra activities several of our group wanted to schedule. The food was absolutely delicious in every place we visited and the variety of hotels and events kept us engaged for the whole 3 weeks. We began as 28 tour participants, one "mama duck" guide, one kindly tour assistant, and one meticulous bus driver and we finished as treasured "friends"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up with twinkling lights!"

Thaddeus

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great way to sample several countries, to be able to plan future trips. Our tour was better than expected. The locations were great, our tour guide, Dimitri was knowledgeable, helpful and fun. He really added an extra dimension to the tour. Our driver, Paul, was superb. We enjoyed the other tour members and was very pleased with the hotels and meals. From the outside an average tourist may not have considered the various hotels, but they were all comfortable and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Eiffel tower, at night and sparkling with the strobes was fantastic. And being a short walk from the hotel made it easy to enjoy it several times."

Tracy

Chesapeake, VA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was everything I had hoped for and, even after 21 days, I left the tour pining for more travel. I fell in love with so much of Europe through the quiet walking towns we visited, our knowledgable and enthusiastic guide, the breathtaking scenery we saw, and the wonderful group of people I got to share it with and came to call friends. I loved the mixture of busy city with quiet towns, the contrast of viewing famous art pieces along with people watching while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the gondola up to Schilthorn and seeing that amazing scenery was my visual "wow". I really appreciated Dimitri making arrangements for the group on our "free" day. It turned out to be a highlight. And, of course, I can't leave out Paris. People watching with a fresh baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower, taking a cruise along the Seine, using the metro to jump from Sacre Coeur to the Latin Quarter for dinner, and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle and dance with lights wowed me!"

Nancy

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

21 day Europe tour. This tour did for me all that I wanted. It put me in all the places in Europe that I have wanted to visit forever. It made it ultra easy for me to get to those places and I learned so much about the different cities and countries while I was travelling. The fact that hotels, entrances to sites, local tours which were so informative were all prearranged made a busy, full schedule go so smoothly. This tour accomplished all that I expected of it and much more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wows. How to just choose one? Can't, however Switzerland was so beautiful and I am so glad that it was on the tour itinerary. I live in the mountains and so would never have visited Switzerland if I had picked my own itinerary but this was so very different and I am thrilled that I was there and rode those gondolas and walked those trails and stayed in the calm green beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley. Thanks! Venetian gondolas! Hotel tower in Florence, DAVID wow"

Allen

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fully met my expectations! All tour literature was accurate and prepared us well for the tour. It taught us how to be independent which was well demonstrated by those who stayed after tour partaking in their own adventures in Paris and beyond. It was physical at times, but nothing more than advertised and I learned to travel with less. We wanted to see the highlights of Europe - mission accomplished!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Three weeks in Europe there was more than one "wow" moment. In chronological order: 1. Oktoberfest Munich. So much larger than ever imagined. 2. 5 gondolas wide on the Grand Canal on a beautiful night in Venice. 3. David. No matter what you hear or read beforehand it does not truly prepare you for the experience of actually seeing the statue. 4. Hiking the Alps in Switzerland. 5. Paris. Exceeded all expectations. 6. The Eiffel Tower at night. Far better than any picture."

Leslie

Valley Center, CA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could never have accomplished on our own what we did on this tour! We were looking for a big overview of Europe and an educational experience- which is what we received. Every day was jam-packed with activities and information, along with adequate time on our own to choose what we wanted to do and see (and eat!). Our guide Dimitri was a pleasure to spend 3 weeks with- his patience, knowledge and enthusiasm were unbelievable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one particular WOW moment, but rather a series of them- -The excitement and anticipation of arriving in Haarlem from the Amsterdam airport and seeing all the bikes in town- -Seeing the Grand Canal in Venice for the first time- and taking the night gondola ride- I thought it would be hokey but it was a wonderful experience -Eating yummy Amphora at the Belvedere restaurant in Monterosso al Mare - The farmer herding his cows past us on the hiking path in Lauterbrunnen Valley"

Teresa Jayne

Lake Forest, CA

Tour: 09/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sept & Oct were good traveling weather months. Experiencing humanity outside North America was both emotionally & intellectually enriching. The recommended carry-on packing list was perfect. Using the two basic foreign hello & goodbye words with a smile helped you to quickly acclimate yourself to your surroundings. Having the correct Euro change for public bathroom use became humorous, but necessary. After each maximum 2 night stay in one place, the tour just got better & better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments, but the moments that took my breath away were: 1) seeing my first windmill in the Netherlands; 2) running out solo to see a Venice canal & being surprised by the view near our hotel of the Grand Canal on the Accademia; 3) after learning that our Florence hotel had a tower, running to the top & being floored by the city's night time view; and 4) walking up towards the sight of the Eiffel Tower."

Nancy

Rye, CO

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time! Fellow tour members were a fun group to be with & our guide Colleen, Assistant Chris & Bus Driver Peter all went out of their way to ensure that we had a very good experience. Colleen even did a record sprint back to our hotel to retrieve my forgotten sweat shirt - certainly an unexpected extra on her part. Also, thanks for the extra stop at a Beer Garden so that we might enjoy Octoberfest. Thanks to all for an outstanding time. A great way to celebrate my 70th year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment, was an unexpected running into the Pope in Rome while my son & daughter-in-law wandered the streets looking for a particular piazza. We had gone a little astray, but what a great bonus. I got the picture of a life time, only 15 feet from the Pope."

Thomas

Port Austin, MI

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour, almost as good a venue as the Eastern Europe tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sainte Chappell upper floor Windows."

Mary Ann

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a great trip --- I thoroughly enjoyed it -- saw a great deal and learned a great deal. The pace of the trip was challenging, but overall I was able to do just about everything. One of the things that caused me to not enjoy parts of the trip as much as I think I could have involved inclement weather. While there is nothing that could have changed the weather, I do believe that the advice about what clothing to pack could have made it a more enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best day of the trip for me was the hiking in Switzerland. It was amazing and I wished I could have stayed longer. Another important moment for me was getting a grasp of some of the history of the places we visited. As a historian and teacher, I had many insights into European history that up until now I had only read in books. An example of that is the importance of the support of King Ludwig to Richard Wagner's work and its link to rising fascist trends in Germany and Austria."

Robert

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly an unforgettable experience! It's rare when all expectations are met, most often exceeded! The itinerary, while very active, was always interesting and doable. The group was fun-loving and friendly. The hotels' central locations more than made up for any deficiencies in individual hotels. The included meals were memorable and spurred greater group interaction. More than anything, it was the tour director, Colleen, who made everything work smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but two stand out. One was our day spent hiking in the Swiss Alps: it was spectacular; great exercise combined with unforgettable vistas. The other was our walk through ancient Rome: from the Colosseum through the Forum and ending at the Pantheon. Years of reading and studying ancient history came to life; our guide (Francesca) was unbelievably knowledgeable and had answers for all my (many) questions. [The Army Museum/Napoleon's Tomb was another wow(we did this on our own)]."

Corina

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been to Europe and the tour was a great way to experience " the best of Europe". Flying into Amsterdam was a good way to be in another country. It was not too overwhelming. We were able to catch the bus from the airport to Harrlam. It felt like I was eased into the whirlwind journey through Europe. Overall my experience was amazing and I will never forget it. Our tour guides were experts and I had every confidence I was in good hands. Colleen explained things over and over.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments... Everything from the Van Gogh museum ...actually seeing the work of an artist I have admired for many years to the enormous Collosium... The amazing local guides who brought the history to life... The Sistine Chapel.. To our Pope sighting... The Swiss Alps... How can I not say WOW.....at the Swiss Alps..."

Derrick

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was such a great and efficient use of time. There is no way that we would could get that much done even throughly planning a schedule. The fact that our awesome tour guide could navigate us directly out of each train station saved us so much time! Such a great mix of activities - both indoors and outdoors that could accommodate all age groups. Just when I thought I was over saturated in churches, we'd be taken on a walking tour of the city or given some time to explore on our own!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are to many to name a "favorite" - From the castles of Germany to the Coliseum and forum of Rome to the breathtaking landscapes of Switzerland, the whole trip was a "wow" moment to me. It being my first time in Europe, I was "wow"ed by something in every place that we visited!"

Teresa

Davison, MI

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The philosophy and the activity level of the tour matched my expectations completely. The guides had that special chemistry to share their love of European culture and history in a meaningful way. The group dynamics were great, close but not forced. Half the fun was in getting to meet other travelers and share their life experiences. The group dinners were a great way to mix it up with fellow tour members and to sample and array of cuisine. I also liked the push to explore independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice was particularly magical. Canals and bridges, couples kissing in St. Marks Square, the fish market, mask making, gondolas and gelato. Frari Church was amazing, saw my first Bellini there. The twisting turning streets that were impossible not to get lost in added to the adventure."

Brooke

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I just simply can't get over how many countries and how many sights I saw on this trip. I've been to Europe twice before this trip, so some of the cities and sights were duplicated for me. Nevertheless, to see them with either our regular guides or the local guides really made it like I was seeing some of these things for the first time. I keep raving to my friends and family about how great this tour was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland. It was cloudy the days we were there, but I was blown away by how beautiful the country was. The mountains were so tall, the grass so green, and waterfalls everywhere you look. When we hiked towards Murren, I thought we were pretty high up, but there were still mountains much higher than where we were. We took pictures where we jumped in as many cities as we could, but our picture in Switzerland has the beautiful background of the mountains behind us."

Kristine

Port Austin, MI

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Swiss Alps. The hiking was a bit strenuous and it was a low cloudy day, but when the peaks were visible it was fantastic!! Stained glass windows in Sainte Chapelle and the Ovieta hill country town also were right up there is wow wonderful experiences!!"

Paula

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Europe tour was terrific. I loved staying in the quaint, well-located, authentic European hotels. I really like the mix of small town experiences and large metro areas. The pacing of the tour was perfect in that we saw lots of sites as a group but also had plenty of time to pursue our own interests at our individual activity levels. I was traveling solo but never felt like a "fifth wheel" because my companions were so welcoming, interesting, and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the luge! ALSO: At the end of the tour I stayed 2 extra days in Paris during which time I met up with a German friend and had dinner with friends from the US who were staying across town. I was so much more comfortable as a traveler that I surprised myself. I traversed across town on the Metro, requiring a transfer, and ordered dinner in French (believe me, I don't speak French, but she seemed to understand me)."

Allen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The absolute best vacation, I have ever taken!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THe "Rick Steves Experience"!!"

Terry

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I were excited, but apprehensive, about the idea of international travel, since we have never traveled abroad before. However, our tour guide, Colleen, and tour assistant, Chris, took very good "care" of us throughout the course of our amazing 3 week trip through Europe. The headaches of planning/purchasing tickets for travel, accommodations, and tours was taken care of, so that we could just relax and enjoy the experiences ahead of us on the trip. It was wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour bus driver, Peter, led us through a climb of 5,000 feet into the Swiss Alps, and as our bus twisted and turned slowly from one amazing vista of clouds and mountainside surrounding us to another, our tour group was quiet (unusual!) and we all held our breaths.....it was almost a religious experience.....so absolutely beautiful...that was my "wow" moment.."

Dianne

Show Low, AZ

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I imagine the first factor for a tour's success is the guide. So, our success was guaranteed as our's was exceptional. Stephanie was personable and thorough. On a tour you want to be independent when possible but also have as much information as necessary to feel comfortable. The bus was great and the size of the group allowed us to spread out. One factor that is beyond the company's control is the makeup of the group. Ours was exceptional. Everyone was considerate of others and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland. While the sights of man's creativity were astounding, the natural beauty of God's creation was overwhelming. Yet, it is impossible to name just one as the Louvre, the cathedrals, Versailles, are just a few of the many WOW moments."

James

Cathedral City, CA

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent trip, great group dynamic. Intense at times a lot to take in, but all worth it and I was able to pull back at recharge when ever I felt like it. There where many opportunities to explore on my own. Our guide was very informative well educated about each place we visited. The language sessions on the bus where well appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hike in the Swiss alps!"

Robert

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My research into Rick Steve's tours gave me a good idea of what to expect but the actual experience far exceeded my expectations. I feel that I gained 26 new friends and greatly expanded my knowledge of Europe and its people. The tour really whetted my appetite and desire to visit again and to also explore other tours. Our tour guide, Stephanie, really enhanced the adventure with her in depth knowledge of the various city's and the key attractions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to [INVALID] one "wow" moment from a series of eye popping events but viewing the fireworks along the Rhine River as part of the wine festival in St. Gore was an unexpected surprise. The whole Bacharach experience; hotel, meals, local transportation and guide tour with Herr Jong were something I will never forget."

Rosalyn

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every part of the tour, our guide Stephanie was very flexible and made the best use of our time. Using local guides added to the experience, they were very informative and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. The hotels and locations were outstanding, I enjoyed the locations that I had never heard of and is not a destination for most tourists ie Lauterbrunnen Valley. Venice was the only location that I would have liked to see before Cruise ships started visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite location was Bacharach. The choose of hotel, the food, Heir Jong. Stephanie and her local friend making arrangement to see the fireworks in St Goar, the best I have ever seen. Just one more adventure Stephanie arranged that was unexpected."

Jeanne

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having taken this tour two other times I must say I wasn't bored a minute and found it to be a wonderful experience with my daughter. So glad we have free time or can opt out if needed. Many had bad colds and it helped to stay away from the group. I loved being in Europe again. I noticed several changes in our tours, no assistants, no picnics, lots of pressure on the guide, however, she handled everything very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite was the unscheduled Fireworks outside Bacharach that Tomas told us about. Was wonderful and well worked out to get us among the huge crowds and back safely to our hotel. Overlooking the Alps from the gondola and from our lunch table in Murren. The surprise festival in Arnhem. All wow moments."

Nancy

Centerville, KS

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was all we had hoped for and more. Stephanie was terrific. She was so organized, I loved how we got an orientation walk shortly on arrival. This helped us to do things on our own when we had time. She always told us what to expect, even at the rest stops. We saw the highlights of each area. There wasn't enough time to see it all, but she always told us how to best use our free time to do some of those things. She really promoted fellowship, helping us to get to know each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think for me it was seeing the colosseum in Rome right as we came out of subway!! Also seeing the Swiss alps, and finally seeing the Eiffel Tower !!"

Michael

Show Low, AZ

Tour: 09/12/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was world class, due mainly to our guide, Stephanie. I don't know how Rick Steve's finds such good people, but Stephanie is a "keeper." The 21 day Best of Europe is a whirlwind tour to be sure, as we expected. But what a breadth of Europe that is covered! We've been home several days, but still will take weeks to appreciate all that we did. The tour had a great mix of travel and exercise. We really needed the walking as Europe has great history, beer, wine, and especially baguettes!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say the Sistine Chapel was the most inspiring. What an incredible gift Michelangelo was given! I have to admit that I also loved his humorous/rebellious streak for being forced to do the painting."

Dorisendo

Capitol Heights, MD

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful first time experience!!!Rome and Paris a little busy for me but it was good to go for future trip planning. I was Amazed by the Forum! I LOVED all the small villages and towns we visited. The one day stops made me wish for more time in those places. KEITH was AWESOME!! When we entered a country he played their anthem, held up the flag and gave us a history lesson. He would surprise us with a small treat too! The Local Guides get 100% Gold Stars as well. NOW to my 2014 tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's going to be HARD to do! The family run hotels, the bread, the beautiful landscaps, the fresh food, ALL that preserved history!WOW! I would say the Dachau Concentration Camp "The camp is a real reminder of the worlds history". Italian School of Leather at St. Crocr Church "The school in the Church is the beauty of what we are capable of if reach outside ourselves. Also the Hotel Due in Beaune France. That was a wonderful vision of helping your fellow man rich or poor!"

Janice

Kapaa, HI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first trip to Europe. It was the most educational, challenging and energizing experience of my life. Every hour, minute, and second of every day was totally exciting surpassing all my expectations plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""David" by Michael Angelo was by far my most favorite "wow" moment from the tour. The sculpture of "David" far surpassed my imagination."

Michael

Kapaa, HI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 21 days with your tour weren't a vacation [INVALID] no umbrella drinks, no sleeping late. Rather, one new experience followed another almost without a break. One of our members calculated from a pedometer that we'd walked 135 miles [INVALID] all of it uphill or up steps. We came home familiar with places all over Europe [INVALID] a movie on the plane had a shot in Paris on the bridge with all the locks, and we said, "We know that place." And now we read about European civilization with new enthusiasm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both of us agree that seeing Michelangelo's David was the unexpected high point. We expected simply another statue. Other wows were the Alps in Austria and Switzerland, Rome, and Paris. My personal high point was the luge ride. We're ready to start one on Kauai."

William

Lorain, OH

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This exceeded my expectations. The countries visited and the places I stayed in were wonderful. Keith, our tour guide, was excellent. I learned so much and the people in our group were fantastic. The walk-through of Rhinefels Castle, the Nightwatchman in Rothenburg, the mask making in Venice, the gondola ride in Venice, the fondue making in Stechelberg and the wine tasting in Beaune were very unique and special experiences. I will treasure them!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. I especially like the Roman Forum and Colosseum, but Venice, the Swiss Alps as well as Paris were fantastic. There were also "wow" moments with our dinners. The dinners in Bararach, Ruette, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre and Stechelberg were awesome."

Mary

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Took same tour in 2011. Found having a European guide vs. an American brought over to serve as a guide two different learning experiences. Keith is a fine person, as good a guide as any American could be, but the insights of a knowledgeable European guide can't be matched. That colored the overall experience. Loved the trip so much in 2011, decided to take it again. Can't say that about 2013.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's in Rome"

Alison

Marshall, VA

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. Seeing The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and finally, France was spectacular. I enjoyed the 2 night stays vs. the 1 night. I especially liked arriving in the town/city and Keith would have us get settled in our room, then on to a walking tour with explanation about the transportation system, sites to visit on our own, history, places to eat, etc. It was nice to be with the group for 1 day and then option to be on our own the next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had to change up our plans from 1 day to the next due to weather. Keith called the Luge folks in Austria, and they ended up staying open for our group! Riding the luge was SO MUCH FUN!!! I also appreciated seeing the grandeous art live and in person, so much better than the Art History books and slides in class. We also met some really great and fun people in our group."

Pamela

Lorain, OH

Tour: 09/10/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all my expectations. Each country and city visited left me with a memorable experience and a good understanding of it's history, culture and artifacts. This was achieved by having great guides, in addition, to Keith's innate ability to layer the historical periods repeatedly to reinforce our knowledge base. I achieved what I hoped for; to experience each county through mind, body and spirit and through all my senses.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many. Herr Jung made me laugh, he made me sing, he made me cry, he made me see another perspective of how his city experienced World War II. He was such an incredible teacher/guide and he imprinted my memory of Bacharach forever. A full moon on St. Mark's Square, listening to the the battling orchestra's on a warm night, sipping a Spritz. The gondola ride in Venice and the passionate Italian singer that accompanied our group. Standing in front of Michelangelo's David."

Andrew

Tipp City, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The only way to tour Europe. Exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Herr Young in Bacharach. The Bus ride in the Alps and the valley in Switzerland."

Debra

Campbell River, BC

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am writing this evaluation for both myself and my husband William. We were so excited with this whole tour. It was so much more than what we expected! The group we were blessed with was perfect and the staff were top notch. Around every corner of this tour were pleasant surprises and there was nothing we did not enjoy. The experiences were special and the people we met made every adventure , just that....an adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For my husband and myself, our 'wow' moment was the Alps. That was the first time I cried with pleasure seeing the magnificence and beauty. The weather cooperated and it was incredible. There were so many special moments though, with every part of this adventure."

Mindy

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were hesitant to do the 'group' thing. This experience changed our minds about group tours. We traveled Europe before; the big stress was figuring out hotels, transportation, etc., and never really seeing more than the touristy stuff. We wanted a more enriching experience. So we turned to a Rick Steves Tour. We were not disappointed. Our guide, the food, the sites, the history, the camaraderie, was all just like we see on Rick's television program. We're already planning our next tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me one of the top (of many) unforgettable experiences was Herr Jung, Bacharach's retired schoolmaster who graciously took us on a historic walk through Bacharach's cobbled lanes sharing his memories of WWII. His gentle remembering moved us all to tears. This was a day few travelers ever experience. With all the fun we had (and we had a lot of goofy fun) this trip was also grounded in history; Dachau, Anne Frank House and Herr Jung – an education I wish the world could have."

Kate

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was truly a trip of a lifetime kind of trip for me :) I felt... Happy. In awe. Interested in everything. Befriended by wonderful traveling buddies. Exhausted. Grateful for the bus rides. Inspired. Taken care of. Encouraged to be that 'independent traveler,' and was. Surprised. Educated (and interest awakened to learn more of the art and history). Immersed. Delighted. Thankful...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My extraordinary North Face hike with 3 friends in the Alps; no contest... there aren't adequate words, really, to describe the feeling of being in such a majestic spot on earth."

Marti

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A whirlwind of excitement ...each locale offered unique food, customs and culture.just as soon as we learned to navigate our way somewhat, We were off to the next adventure, not wanting to leave but anxious for the next experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vernazza ,we hiked from monterosa and found the recommended restaurant in the hunt for a view and Pesto Wow did we find it! Al Costello we were invited to a waiting area overlooking the whole marina and I gathered my sketchbook and drew the local church. Magnifico. we were seated in the corner table with a 270*cliff view ,I was giddy with excitement .Marco took our orders trying the local favorites (anchovies)and PESTO lasagna. Mouthwatering..Food and vista...."

Blair

Maple Ridge, BC

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing, fantastic, wonderful experience. There was one wow moment after another with such a variety of incredible scenery and sights. It was an efficient way to visit such a vast array of popular European stops. The pace was uptempo with structured activities planned for our available time. We witnessed and learned about the history, art, and culture of the places visited. Our tour guide Lisa was fabulous bringing the present locations alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having just come down from the spectacular Mt. Schilthorn, my wife and I were leaving Lauterbrunnen, returning along the valley to our hotel. The sky was a deep blue and the sun was just dropping behind the sheer cliffs that lined the valley. The waterfall glowed with the back light from the sun, the grass was a vibrant green, the cow bells were clanging, the composition of color and sound was stunning. It was a masterpiece of beauty that I will never forget."

Bradley

Powell, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a trip of a lifetime for me. Because this was my first trip ever to Europe, it is hard to describe the feelings I had when seeing so many things I had only seen pictures of. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, seeing things with your own eyes is indescribable. What an opportunity! The pace sometimes was almost too much but in order to cover this itinerary, there isn't really much choice. In just a few words, this experience is one of my top 5 in my life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one. I guess seeing the cows come down from the mountains on September 24th and parade through Lauterbrunnen all decked out with their bells really hit home with this old farm boy."

Sally

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa is a great tour guide, funny, helpful and informative. Our bus driver, Ben was an important asset to our group, not only possessing excellent driving skills, but helping with tour information and experiences. From day one, it was as if I had known the other members of the tour and we were good friends. As a solo traveler, it's great when others include me in dinner plans and other activities. This group was exceptional, I felt right at home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but driving through the Swiss Alps was breathtaking. And then there was Venice. The waters of the Cinque Terre and having lunch hanging out over the ocean. The Eiffel Tower at night and eating crepes on the streets of Paris. Hard to pick just one."

Louise

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the itinerary, the expertise and warmth of our tour guide, Lisa, the bus rides, the hotels and our meals together everything I experienced during the 21 days was educational and fun - even after a full day of climbing stairs and walking on cobblestones.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have waited a long time, being of French descent, to visit Paris, the City of Lights and be present for the 10 pm viewing of the Eiffel Tower. Spectacular and filled with so many memories for years to come."

Rita

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour logistics and people were wonderful. Lisa was amazing. Ben the bus driver was outstanding as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and the gondola ride, because it felt like we were able to actually "gear down" and relax. It was an amazing treat. Equally amazing for different reasons was Switzerland. The beauty was overwhelming, it was quiet and there wasn't anything that wasn't breath takingly beautiful. Finally, Cinque Terra. I wanted much more time in both Switzerland and Cinque Terra."

Roberta

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the 21day Best of Europe Tour. Excellant leadership was provided by our tour leader Rick. The bus was very comforatble and our bus driver was awesome. The hotels were well within my high expectations for a Rick Steves tour. I loved seeing and experiencing so many places in Europe on one trip. The fine group of people we traveled with could not have been friendlier. The "weather gods" were favorable to us which served to enhance our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many memorable "wow" moments. I loved seeing the great works of art up close. I loved the sense of the ancient in the Forum. I was moved by the drama of Dauchau. I loved the grandeur of the ruined and restored castles and churches. The "wow" for me was seeing and feeling the incredible sense of history and of lives lived over the centuries that has lead to modern Europe."

Paul

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time, absolutely wonderful, on our first trip to continental Europe. Seeing so much in "only 21 days" left us wanting more...a lot more. There were so many places we would have lingered. It was enormously helpful arriving in Haarlem early and staying over in Paris several days. If doing it over, we would have come to Haarlem 2 days early rather than just one. Rick was stellar in his management of the tour. We had great companions and fortunate fall weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking in all of Florence from the top of the Duomo dome...no, circumambulating David...no, gently and quietly climbing through Anne Frank's house...no, meandering through the Louve...I mean the Orsay...no, the concert at Nortre Dame in Paris, or was it the one at Haarlem's Grote Kerk...I mean the explosion of color in Sainte Chappel...or perhaps Michaelangelo's Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel. Yea, that was my favorite."

Mary

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I had a good time. The group I traveled with was great. Our tour guide was fantastic. I appreciated that our days seemed to be divided between busy and less busy. I would have liked if all cities in Italy were not treated as equally important. For example, Venice was given the approximate same amount of time as Rome and in my opinion, should not have been.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was seeing the sculpture "David." That was amazing. It took my breath away--the beauty, the detail."

Brenda

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we told our family and friends that we were taking a Rick Steves' tour , even those who had traveled independently to Europe (using Rick Steves' books), indicated a RS tour would be the only one they would consider taking. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. We experienced Europe in a way we never would have been able to do if we had traveled on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been asked a lot what my favorite place on the tour would be. I can't answer that. Each country/city we visited had amazing sites to offer. I think my favorite "wow" moment would have to be the appreciation I came home with about the cultures and people in another part of the world."

Sheila

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely wonderful and surpassed my already high expectations. I appreciated so many things about it: - the organization which made travel, hotel and sight-seeing efficient without feeling rushed - the leadership and humanity of our guide Rick Garman - the diversity of destinations and mix of urban and rural - seeing the "must-sees" - the camaradarie of our group - lessons in how to be independent travelers - having independent time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow is a big word! - some quiet time I spent walking alone outside our chalet/hotel in the Lauterbrunnen Valley - climbing the Duomo in Florence and seeing the city laid out below me - wandering through St. Peter's Bascilica - the Cinque Terra: standing above Vernazza after the hike, then later swimming in the Mediterranean - spending time in Anne Frank's house - and unexpectedly, visiting Dachau - Standing in Sainte Chappelle - then cruising down the Seine at sunset with friends - Rothenburg"

Tabb

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, Haarlam to Paris, our Best of Europe tour was much, much more than my wife and I had expected. Our tour guide, Rick, shared a wealth of knowledge in history, culture, recommendations, and travel tips with our group. His planning was exceptional, making our experience very enjoyable and without any glitches. Our tour group got along exceptionally well as we experienced the back doors of Europe. Jean, our driver, was very professional & enjoyable to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Walking into St. Peter's Basilica. The gondola ride through the canals of Venice. Seeing the Jungfrau and Eiger in Switzerland. The meals throughout the trip. The quaint Haarlam. The Museums. The local guides."

Lowell

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was exceptionally well-organized and well-planned. We were on the go almost constantly, but that was a good thing. After all, there was so much to see and experience. I think we all felt well cared for and looked after. With a fantastic, experienced driver and a seasoned guide, we were in excellent hands. I would recommend another Rick Steves tour without reservations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peter's Basilica was my favorite "wow" moment. However, the cable car ride up the Alps in Switzerland would be a close second. Most importantly, there were at least another dozen "wow" moments."

Ruth

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned. All we had to do was show up. No worries about where to stay, how to get there, where shall we go? Getting tickets to major attractions, food. I would definitely ( and are planning) take another Rick Steve's tour) Our bus driver was excellent and we all felt very safe with him at the wheel. The places we went to were places I had wanted to go to all my life. They pretty much covered civilization.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but the favorite was seeing the Pantheon. It was like going back to ancient Rome. My breath was taken away at seeing it. Also the night walk through Rome was wonderful seeing the fountains lit up and all the people strolling about. Switzerland was another eye opener. Beautiful!!!!! Cinque Terre was a welcome rest from the fast pace of the tour."

Fred

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group of fellow travelers Tour exceeded our best expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the alps Weather wasn't the best but still amazing"

Glenn

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time with a great tour guide, fantastic bus driver, great bunch of other tour members. I especially liked the smaller towns and less crowded cities. We were surprised at the crowds in Cinque Terra (hard to get on/off the train).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to the guest organ player inside the Harleem market square church. It wasn't on our tour so it was a real plus."

Brenda

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely amazing. It was everything I had hoped for and so much more. As a person who is blind I didn't need to see the landscape, art or castles, churches or cathedrals. The tour made me experience everything through all my other senses. Our guide, our driver, our travelling companions and the guides along the way enriched the varied experiences I had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one specific WOW moment. I believe that each town and city that we visited is not just a dot on a map but people, culture and history. Everything that i have learned in my lifetime and all the stories and news of these regions has been clarified and I have been able to put together a timeline that creates a complete picture in my mind. As a person who is blind I had wondered how I would enjoy all the art but it all came alive for me as each piece has a story regarding the artist"

Neil

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/03/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour brought European history, art, culture, languages, music, food, wine, personalities and geographies to life for us and cemented all the little bits and pieces together. It was an experience that we will be talking about and relating to for many years to come. My wife is a person who is blind and for me, it was terrific that she was able to experience all these things with me. We were so excited to concentrate on the experiences and not have to worry about hotel and transportation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Herr Jung, our guide in Bacharach was absolutely spellbinding. His talk about watching dogfights over the Rhine in WWII makes me want to cry every time I think about it. There was not a dry eye in the group when we had these most intimate chats on the walking tour. It was a great positive for me as I had been trying to fit the picture together since I was little and his story related it in deeply connected family terms. He should get a medal for his ability to express all that to people."

Jerry

Seatac, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The accomidations were good. No waiting in lines to see a site. Transportation and driver were very good always on time and ready to go. Plenty of free time and our tour guide was always ready to help fill the free time with suggestions. NO EXTRA TIPPING REQUIRED!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland and the scenery"

Penny

Seatac, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was all we had hoped for and more. Our guide, Jennifer, was over the top! She was energetic the entire time and seemed to have a genuine desire for showing the best Europe had to offer and doing everything in her humanly power to make sure we experienced the best Europe had available. Even giving up her free time to schedule many events like the Gondola in Venice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland - so beautiful and another day Jennifer gave up her free time to "play" with us in the Alps. She was amazing!!"

Geoffrey

Maple Ridge, BC

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a man of many spoken words. Very few written words. Can only say it was worth every penny loved every minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Herr Jung was a standout for me. But seriously, each day was filled with wows."

Brenda

Maple Ridge, BC

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Apprehensive about a bus tour because of horror stories from friends. I have nothing but glowing praise for a trip that was amazing and a guide who was exceptional. There was not one moment of this trip that I would change. I feel, though my travelling has been limited, that I did see so much in 21 days and learn so much about the different cultures,foods,customs, history and politics that I have been on the most extraordinary immersion, tour experience of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Was it the God created Swiss Alps in all their splendour: the amazing accomplishments of the Romans and the colleseum in Rome: the magnificent sculpture of David and the beauty of the Sistine chapel by Michelangelo , the gorgeous work by Monet of Waterlillies . Or was it the sparkle of the Eiffel Tower in the distance as we sipped champagne on the rooftop of our restaurant and a full moon rose over Paris. Perhaps it was Herr Jung's poignant memories of wartime Germany. I cannot choose!!"

Gary

Oregon, OH

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a "Bucket List" trip for me, I couldn't imagine any way it could have been any better! I feel we really lucked out by getting Jennifer as our guide and Richard as our driver. Jennifer was amazing, she went out of her way to make sure our experience was the best it could be. On the itinerary in the times listed as free time, Jennifer would have optional activities that we could participate in if we wanted to join her. They were some of the best times we had the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We got into Switzerland on Monday afternoon and it was raining with very low clouds all evening. The next morning when we walked out of the hotel to go to breakfast, the clouds had lifted and it had snowed in the mountains. My jaw hit the sidewalk when I looked up at the Alps, it was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen!!"

Daryl

Surrey, BC

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Europe in 21 days trip was outstanding! From our fantastic bus driver Richard, the local guides and of course our tour guide Jennifer, every person involved in making our tour experience a good one did an amazing job and far exceeded my wife and my expectations of the tour. The site were amazing, emotional, breath-taking & life changing. Our hotels all had a great amount of character and history, and the hotel staff were all great as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were definitely more than a few "wow" moments, with Venice being at or near the top for myself. The feeling of Venice made me feel as though we had travelled back in time. From accessing the city by boat to the grand intimacy of St. Marco's square at night with the duelling orchestra's, as well as seeing life go on around us, only being able to travel by foot or boat, we felt we could spend an eternity wandering, and getting lost in the streets of Venice."

Bob

Coto De Caza, CA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

By far the best trip we have ever gone on. Every day was like a picture postcard and they just kept getting better and better, Our guide Jennifer was outstanding, she made it a lot of fun, she was flexible when she needed to be and gave us great intro's to all of the countries that we visited. We were on the 21 days of Europe tour. The other people in our group were great and it was a nice mix of folks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is really difficult since there were so many wow moments. Probably in Rome getting to see all the sites that we have been reading about for years, but the same goes for Paris and Venice etc. The whole trip was a wow factor."

Andrea

Surrey, BC

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was amazing! As never having traveled to Europe before we chose a tour so we didn't have to worry about hotels, transportation, etc. which allowed us to focus on the history and beauty of each country. We never could have seen everything we did in three weeks had we done this on our own. You can't put a value on the knowledge that we received from Jennifer and all of our local guides. It was truly an incredible experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the entire trip was a "wow" experience, there were two moments that really stuck out for me. The gondola boat ride in Venice which Jennifer arranged for our group was spectacular. Riding through the canals at night listening to the live music was amazing! The second "wow" moment was going to the top of the Schilthorn in Switzerland and then taking in the breathtaking views of the fresh snow and beautiful sunshine on our mountain walk back down. I was in awe."

Janet

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. I learned a lot and laughed a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one. There were so many "wow" moments. Lauterbrunnen Valley took my breath away."

Daniel

Shawnee, KS

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great. The group was an amazing, with the best parts of them brought out by Jennifer. Her willingness to flex as necessary and adjust rub off on the group. Turning the tour into an adventure of a lifetime. Jennifer's ability to communicate the view from the other side of the fence allowed us a better understand of how others see us. This also gave us an ability to blend in. We no longer have a fear of traveling to Europe alone. My wife is already talking about our next trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alps and Rome"

John

Newport, RI

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was delighted with the entire trip. We arrived in our first city two days early and enjoyed touring on our own. We met our tour guide, Jennifer, for dinner the first tour night and were on our way the next morning. Our time on the bus became our group's bonding time. The places we visited were varied and absolutely delightful. We had some local guides for more in-depth discovery. They were very professional and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I felt a profound appreciation for the ruins of the Roman Forum. Rome was very special, but for me, seeing the Forum was a look at early Roman society, and an immersion into what we had studied in our history classes in high school. To be able to stand where Caesar spoke, and see where he was killed, was a bit of an overwhelming moment for me."

Ken

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had very high expectations for the tour. They were exceeded in nearly every aspect. I knew I would see Europe's best places, but I had no idea how much I would learn about Europe's history, culture and people. All of this while having a great time getting to know my fellow travelers, enjoying their company and sharing our travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It snowed the night we stayed in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. When we went up in the Gondola the Mountaintop was socked in with no view. Later that morning the skies cleared revealing the Valley and Mountains clad in a fresh coat of new snow. It was stunningly beautiful and an unforgettable visual experience. However the time that resonates the most with me was not visual, but emotional. that was listening to Herr Jung in Bacharach describe his and his family's experiences during World War II. ."

Beth

Newport, RI

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very fast paced, but complete, intense education about the history and current events of six European countries and Europe at large. Immersed in the culture, food, wine, beer, customs and language of six beautiful countries. Wet our appetites for more, once we catch our breath!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the place that awed me the most was Venice. The decaying elegance, the beautiful canals, the great sites and of course, shopping left me speechless. Jennifer arranged our gondola ride, with music, and I will never forget it!"

Linda

Guthrie, OK

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

i was very skeptical at our first group meeting. We picked our buddies and by the 3rd day at our buddy toast & roast I felt like I knew everyone forever.At the tour end we were all sobbing and wishing for more time together. I would like more history and less art. Our guide, Reid, was the greatest. He spread his time among everyone, and gave great interesting info about each destination. He is a very caring person, and a stickler for timeliness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was my favorite since it looked like I stepped into a Hanzel and Gretel storybook. Cows in the meadows with bells around their necks and sounds like a beautiful windchime. The Cinque Terra along the Mediteranian was also a beautiful old Italian area."

Melissa

Medicine Hat, AB

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing! It gave a great cross section of the different cultures and countries in Europe. I enjoyed the balance of smaller towns and villages, such as Bacharach and Rothenberg in Germany, with the larger centers such as Rome and Paris. I am satisfied that I saw all the main monuments and sights that I wanted to see including the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice and the Swiss Alps. I also enjoyed the freedom to choose what activities you wanted to partake in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Piazza San Marco in Venice was wonderful. There was such romanticism in that City. We went there are first night after the canal right and I very much enjoyed the different orchestras playing at the cafes and watching everyone dancing and laughing and just socializing in the square. It wasn't for a particular event or a weekend thing only, that's just the way of life there; very relaxed and fun! Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower was also spectacular!-I can't choose only one "wow" moment."

Sandy

Brandon, MS

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It took a while for me to decide to book this tour. So many factors. After searching & researching for months my heart told me this was the tour. We don't know if we will ever make it to Europe again so we wanted to do as much as possible. Also we wanted to learn to be independent travelers in places that were out of our comfort zone. This trip was overall PERFECT. Forget the day to day picture, step back and see the whole picture and I could not have asked for more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband is beginning to have difficulty with short term memory. Nothing major yet, but I keep a special eye on him. Our fellow travelers realized the situation and everyone at one time or other in some way let me know that they were keeping an eye on him. This group bonded so well and so fast. I believe that we have all become friends and will continue to stay in contact with each other. That camaraderie is one of the main things that made this trip so wonderful."

A C

Mcloud, OK

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was one of the very best experiences of my life. Traveling with my spouse of 45 years, my brother and his spouse, and a bus full of brand new acquaintances that have become dear friends. Our group was varied, from 20 somethings, to 70 somethings. The respect and concern exhibited by everyone in the group had to be experienced to be believed. Reid, everyones new best friend, had the unenviable job of trying to herd cats.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice at night! Having been there before, but never giving it the time required, and realizing how different it is after the cruise ships depart, was great. The gondola ride was great also. I got the gondola with the guitarist, and singer in deference to our anniversary. It was truly magical."

Andy

Guthrie, OK

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was one of the best traveling experiences i have ever had. i learned a new way to travel because of reid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"it was all overwhelming. but la cinque terre and switserland were yhe most breathtaking. as well as venice."

Bill

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Put simply, this was a great experience. It was a good introduction to traveling around Europe and it also left us with a depth of understanding and appreciation for European art, history, and cultures that I doubt we could have acquired without investing in multiple trips and much study on our own. And it was great fun thanks to group members as well as to Reid. Often the daily schedule felt like one really good idea after another. I liked how well this tour has been thought out and polished.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: Skill and ease with which Reid moved our entire group around subways of Rome and Paris despite crowds. Likewise the efficiency of transporting our group to and from hotels in crowded cities. Singer with amazing voice on gondola ride in Venice. All of Switzerland when the drive as we crossed the border seemed to go from number of miles/wow to number of wows/mile. Couple of group dinner meals."

Duane

Columbia City, IN

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well paced tour. No wasted time figuring out logistics, getting tickets, figuring out what the "best" tour might be. Our guide loves history and explained the significance many times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Peter, our bus driver, was able to navigate the hair pin turns in the Alps, providing us with beautiful scenery without dropping us hundreds of feet."

David

Littleton, CO

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third trip to Europe but my first with a Rick Steve's tour. The 21 Day Best of Europe tour is an outstanding offering; great sites, excellent location guides, wonderful meals. Our tour guide was knowledgable, attentive to the needs of the individual and group, excellent with group dynamics, prepared with information, and loaded with historical insights. Note: bring the right shoes and pack light!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was our gondola ride. Our tour guide arranged for our group to be serenaded by a guitarist and singer, in Venice. This night ride can be expensive, but we divided up into four gondolas and the cost came out to around €27/person; well worth the price. Having never been in Venice, let alone Italy, it was a magic moment, riding below the night's sky."

Sal

Fayetteville, GA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am at one with the group in so enjoying the cities, towns, country, art and architecture that "Europe Through The Back Door" had to offer. The tour was tightly organized and led by an a sensitive buff of history. Reid Coen led me through an often irreverent version of the triumphant and tortured annals of European history. This is greatly appreciated as it answered some of my questions and helped to further define who and what I am. This is a trip not for air heads. Sal Benigno

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When a fellow soldier asked me where did I take the lieutenant (a lady friend) one evening in Hinesville, Ga.; I answered that we did the Camps-Elysees right next to Piggly Wiggly. This remark also betrayed my desire to actually having been there. For me there were a lot of "wow" moments on this tour, and it had to do simply with being there."

Leigh

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all our tour guide Reid was awesome! I am a celiac (gluten free) and he took such good care of me making sure I had wonderful GF meals with no hassle. We saw and did so many amazing things so much more than we would have ever on our own. Our tour group was a wonderful group of people! I wish you did a tour for over 65. The pace was a little harder for us, but we kept up and loved every minute if it.We were amazed at how easily Reid kept 27 people all going in the same direction.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I guess experiencing and seeing everything for the first time. The historical guidance of Reid, and all of the amazing guides in each city."

Virginia

Littleton, CO

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Rick Steves! You are the best. Our tour guide, Daniela, was also the best guide. Unbeknownst to you, you put just the right people together with Daniela to make the perfect tour group! Thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOWs! The David. The Anne Frank home. Venice! But not getting lost in Venice and wondering if I would ever see my grandchildren again. The Mona Lisa. The Vatican. The View from the top of the Eiffel Tower. And many more."

Bob

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps...pictures don't do it justice."

Tim

Naperville, IL

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were extremely happy with our Rick Steve's 21 day Europe Tour. The quality of the our guide, the itinerary and layout of the tour itself, accomodations, the total group experience, the amount of free time, bus driver and getting to know some of the locals in the cities were excellant. We feel as though we saw twice as much and enjoyed it twice as much as we would have if we had done the trip on our own. Our level of stress was very low knowing all the details were taken care of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were amazing! I have to add the total group experience was much better than I had imagined. We are still in touch with many people from our group."

Thomas

Davidsonville, MD

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time for our first European trip. The itinerary and our tour guide were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was entering the St. Peter's Basilica and viewing Michelangelo's Pieta. My wife was reading aloud Rick Steve's supplement for the Basilica and started to choke up reading the description of work of art. I also started to choke up. It was one of those "lifetime moments" that will never be forgotten. I also greatly enjoyed the beauty of the Swiss Alps. We took great walks on a beautiful day."

Barbara

Davidsonville, MD

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an outstanding experience. Most of the places we visited more than met my expectations. I was very impressed with how the tour was organized and the attention to detail. Everything seemed to work seamlessly and we really appreciate your ability to arrange for nice weather the three weeks we were on the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were magnificent and hiking along the mountains was spectacular. The oldness of Rome and the beauty of St. Peter's was also impressive."

Nancy

Bemidji, MN

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I took this tour because I wanted to introduce my 33 year old daughter to Europe and celebrate the 50th anniversary of when I myself first toured Europe with my family in 1963 and 1965 in the "Europe on $5 a Day" era. Having lived and traveled overseas before I had seen many of the sights (except for Florence & Venice). However, this tour brought the added dimension of ease of travel, knowledgeable local guides & prearranged museum tours and fabulous local hotels centrally located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"* Time on my own to sit in awe with Michelangelo's sculptures in Florence[INVALID]I had done extensive reading & was looking forward to times when the guide gave us the background information & guidance and then "let us go exploring". We were well prepared with Daniela's orientations. * Learning from Herr Jung in Bacharach with his heartfelt history of the area before, during and after the war; * Walking the valley in Lauterbrunnen & speaking w/ travelers auf Deutsch y un poquito Espanol...."

Glenda

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was wowed throughout the 21 days and would recommend your services to my friends, especially for a first time intro to Europe. Our guide was extremely informative on the details of European history and its influence on art and culture. She was easy to understand and made the trip not only entertaining but enjoyable. Her knowledge for navigating Europe safely made sense and gave me a feeling of empowerment in the midst of seeming chaos at times. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime! ggg

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thoroughly enjoyed paragliding in the Swiss alps! What a thrill to see a birdseye view of God's beautiful creation! Loved it!"

Carol

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We had a good time! We were apart of a great group of people who traveled well together. We had a great driver & guide that were knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. It was great that we were able to move effortlessly into hotels, museums, churches, and galleries, etc. because of reservations made for us. The bus was large & roomy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland! I could not believe the lovely scenery & the wonderful location of our hotel!"

Mark

Erie, CO

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best trip of my life! I knew it would be overwhelming - and it was - but I wouldn't have it any other way. Every day that passes since my trip I savor the amazing memories and sites I've seen and experienced. Rather than "do"ing, I spent the trip "be"ing because all the logistics were taken care for me. My only worry was where to show up at what time for our next outing. These tours are so well organized, with just the right mix of adventure with some downtime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trummelbach Falls. This hidden gem in the middle of nowhere is simply awesome."

Ed

Tigard, OR

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, food, accomodations, and people on the tor were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss alps."

Gene

South Lake Tahoe, CA

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Europe Tour in 21 Days was a phenomenal experience. It combined the best of cultural, historical, gastronomical, and interpersonal ingredients into an unforgettable journey of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sistine Chapel and the statue of David for art plus, everywhere we went the food was outstanding."

Richard

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very exciting! First time to Europe and the 21-day tour was just the "sampler" we were looking for. We spent 4-days in London on our way to Amsterdam and used Rick's London book and his audio tours. We saw so much in such a short time. I see now why everywhere we went we saw folks with his book! But it was nice to meet up with the tour and have someone else worry about the logistics, transportation, lodging, meals, etc. Donald is an outstanding, hard working, knowledgeable tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David. WOW!"

Barbara

Monroeville, IN

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed every part of the trip! It was everything that it promised to be. I especially appreciated the ease with which we got into our hotels, museums, and restaurants. I'm glad we stayed in so many local hotels that were located within walking distance of town centers. It was physically exhausting at times, but we were told it would be like that and were prepared!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we took the gondola to the top of the Schilthorn and walked part of the way down into the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It was like something out of a storybook!"

Nancy

Monroeville, IN

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great chance to experience some of the most famous sites in Europe in only three weeks. We never would have been able to see and do everything that we did on the tour in three weeks if we had gone on our own. Our tour leader was great, and we had a great group to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the trip was visiting Switzerland. The scenery was breath-taking, with mountains and hundreds of waterfalls all around. We also had the opportunity to go to the top of the Schilthorn, which had a spectacular view!"

Sylvia

Greenvale,

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour experience was wonderful. A trip I will cherish and remember forever. I enjoyed every aspect of the trip and would dearly love to do another Rick Steves tour in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday had a "wow" moment but ultimately hiking in Switzerland and staying in Stechelberg was my favorite."

Emily

Sultan, WA

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wondrous!! Absolutely wondrous. I had such a wonderful time because I was surrounded by a great group of people and was guided by two guides that wanted us to experience everything that we possibly could. Our bus driver was absolutely amazing getting us everywhere that we needed to be, and every hotel we stayed at was run by such friendly people who you not only saw when checking in, but also during breakfast. Everything was just wonderful (again) and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say that my favorite "wow" moment from this tour actually wasn't about a place we went (museum, etc.) or about something we learned (although there were many). My favorite "wow" moment, was when we were in Switzerland at our hotel and a local band, out of the blue, came out and serenaded us with beautiful music, while a group of women would join in and perform a dance to the music at the time. It was completely unexpected and a great way to spend a relaxing night with the group."

Anna

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fabulous! I wanted a tour that gave our children the most exposure to Europe in a way that would motivate them to return for more and feel comfortable doing so.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day had a "wow" moment, but for me turning the corner in Florence and seeing the Duomo was the biggest "wow". Unlike other places and churches on the tour, I knew nothing about this and was completely amazed."

Eric

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! A once-in-a-lifetime event for me and my family. The tour did not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly cannot narrow it down to one moment. There were many wows. Dinner with my family in a pub in Haarlem, the city tour with Herr Yung in Bacharach, walking the wall in Rothenburg, hiking across the border into Germany, crossing the grand canel in a vaporetto, seeing the David in Florence, touring the Colosseum in Rome, hiking along the Italian coast and in the Swiss alps and touring the Louvre. Too many wows to count. Thank you!"

Ann

Oxford, WI

Tour: 06/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just great!!! Fun, great group of people to travel with. Great leaders!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my husband paraglide in the Swiss Alps! The area we were in was absolutely breathtaking."

Dean

Port Hadlock, WA

Tour: 06/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I have traveled with a group and it was the best. I can't wait for the next opportunity to arise so I can try one of your other tours. The guide was fantastic, the group was great and the driver was excellent and the sights, just exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a wow moment around every corner."

James

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 06/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We developed fine esprit de corps, as I have come to expect of a Rick Steves tour. We had delightful spots of fun, like the luge. Our guide was quite helpful teaching us things the dumb tourists need to know to function in unfamiliar places. And part of the joy of the experience is in learning you can adjust to the unfamiliar. Our guide did not quite match the Irish guide, whose knowledge of the material seemed truly supreme.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The luge, the Alps, Switzerland, marble sculptures and the esprit de corps."

Weather

Netherlands / Amsterdam

Amsterdam Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather


Austria / Vienna

Vienna Weather


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Florence

Florence Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome Weather


Switzerland / Bern

Bern Weather


France / Paris

Paris Weather

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 Haarlem or Amsterdam before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' Best of Europe guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Dutch (although most locals speak very good English), and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise. Take advantage of the flat terrain and rent a bike in Haarlem!

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Haarlem and Amsterdam that we will not do as a group. Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum, canal cruise, Teylers Museum, Corrie Ten Boom House, Grote Kerk (main church). Amsterdam: Amsterdam Museum, Jewish History Museum, Dutch Resistance Museum, Tropical Museum, Heineken brewery tour.

There is plenty to keep you busy with extra time in Paris. We suggest visiting the Orsay or Orangerie Museums for great Impressionist art. If modern art is your thing, you can't miss The Pompidou Center. Feeling museum-ed out? Then explore great neighborhoods of the Marais, St. Germain or the Montmartre. Spend some time in one of Paris' people-friendly parks like the Luxembourg or Tuileries Gardens or hop on a boat and take a tour of the river Seine.

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). Amsterdam and Paris are transportation hubs, making travel before or after your tour quite easy. The most direct route is to fly into Amsterdam and home from Paris. If you have extra time, you may want to consider a roundtrip flight into/out of either Amsterdam or Paris. These flights may be cheaper, but you'll need to consider the cost of the train fare between the cities, as well as an additional overnight stay.

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 Netherlands, France, Austria, Switzerland, 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.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, there are a few things we'd like you to consider including when packing for this tour. There are some great opportunities for hikes in Italy's Cinque Terre and the Swiss Alps. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of sturdy walking shoes. If you like to swim, we'll have a couple of opportunities to get wet, so bring along a swimsuit and perhaps a light-weight microfiber towel.

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.