• Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
  • Hôtel Dieu in Beaune, France
  • swiss-alp-hiking
    Swiss Alps
  • Odeonsplatz in Munich
  • Venice
  • Manarola in Italy's Cinque Terre
  • Colosseum in Rome
  • Vatican City in Rome

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

My Way®: Europe in 14 Days Tour

from $3,395 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

On a two-week, "greatest hits" route that takes you from Paris to Rome — via Burgundy, the Swiss Alps, Munich, Venice, and the Cinque Terre — Rick Steves' money-saving My Way tour gives you the freedom to decide your own daily sightseeing priorities and pace. We cut the stress by providing comfortable rooms in centrally-located hotels, private bus transportation from city to city, and a Euro-savvy trip escort to help advise you along the way. Join us for My Way®: Europe in 14 Days!

Dates & Prices

2015

    • Sep 21–Oct 4 (Mo-Su)
    • $3,395 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

  • This is an "un-guided" tour — giving you the freedom (and responsibility) to manage your daily sightseeing schedule and meals
  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people will share our big, comfy bus during the trip, but not do organized sightseeing together
  • A Rick Steves escort will manage the group's transportation and hotel arrangements, and provide advice for sightseeing, meals, etc.
  • All group transportation from Paris to Rome
  • 13 nights accommodations (all stops but one are for two nights) in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts are included
  • All tips for escort and driver
  • Free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) featuring Rick's audio walking tours of sights, museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Munich, Venice and Rome. Also includes Rick's radio interviews with experts on destinations covered in this itinerary
  • More free stuff including a Rick Steves Best of Europe and Snapshot: Munich guidebooks; Europe Through the Back Door travel skills handbook (one per household); French-Italian-German phrase book; map; moneybelt; and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • 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

Sightseeing notes

(r) = reserve a time before you leave the USA
* = included in Rick's audio walking tours

Day 1: Welcome to Europe

Welcome to Paris, one of the world's most thrilling cities! Today is a great day to start tackling some of Paris' amazing museums: the Louvre*, the Cluny, the Rodin, the Orsay* and the Pompidou (plan accordingly; many museums are closed one day a week). We'll rendezvous at our hotel at 5 p.m. to meet your escort and have a group get-together. Your escort will give an overview of the days ahead, answer your questions, and offer a quick orientation to our neighborhood and Paris' easy-to-use public transportation. Then you're free for dinner on your own. This evening you could stroll around the brilliantly-lit Eiffel Tower(r) and enjoy a twilight ride to the top. Or, enjoy the view from below, aboard one of Paris' numerous floodlit Seine River cruises. Sleep in Paris (2 nights).

Day 2: All Day in Paris

Today Paris is all yours. With your Best of Europe guidebook and Rick Steves audio tours in hand, you might begin your day where Paris did — on the Ile de la Cité* — visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral* and exquisite Sainte-Chapelle*. Or explore the sprawling grounds of the ultimate royal palace at Versailles* — every King's dream. This evening, head up to Montmartre to savor the bohemian flair of Amelie's "village Paris" and take in the breathtaking vistas from the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Or go to the Arc du Triomphe and stroll down the grandest boulevard in the world — the Champs-Elysées. As with every day of this trip: it's your choice! No bus today.

Day 3: Burgundy's Wine Capital

This morning we'll pack up, bid adieu to Paris, and hop aboard our comfortable bus (your escort will always post departure times well in advance). Then we'll roll into the French countryside, passing pastures and vineyards en route to the "profoundly French" town of Beaune in the heart of Burgundy's wine country. After checking in to our hotel early this afternoon, you'll have time to stroll around the town's center, rent a bike for a ride along the Côte d'Or vineyards, enjoy a wine tasting, and savor the rich regional specialties over dinner. Boeuf bourgignon et escargots, anyone? Sleep in Beaune (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs.

Day 4: Scenic Drive to the Swiss Alps

We'll leave the rolling hills of beautiful Burgundy this morning, and climb high into the heart of the Swiss Alps. By suppertime we'll be in the Berner Oberland's magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, flanked by towering, waterfall-laced cliffs and crowned by a trio of Switzerland's most formidable peaks: the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. After settling into our creaky old chalet, you'll find hearty dinner options and spectacular views just a short hike away. Sleep in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs.

Day 5: Spectacular Hikes in the Alps

You'll wake up in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth...and the day is all yours. Take off on a mountain excursion that combines the local cog railway, a gondola lift up to Männlichen, and a spectacular Alpine walk above the tree line, surrounded by a panorama of cut-glass peaks. You could also explore what's above the opposite side of the valley, ride a gondola lift to the top of the 10,000-foot Schilthorn, loiter in the thin air, and then hike down. Closer to the valley floor, you can witness the roaring, thundering, crashing, splashing display of nature's awesome power in Trümmelbach — a series of subterranean waterfalls that plunge hundreds of feet into darkness behind the valley's cliffs. No bus today.

Day 6: On to Bavaria

Today's drive is a good time to catch up on your journal, listen to music, curl up with a good book, or just sit back and enjoy views of pristine mountains and sparkling lakes as we make our way into the heart of Bavaria. Our destination is the people-friendly city of Munich, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 7 hrs.

Day 7: Marvelous Munich

Germany's most livable city, Munich is pleasantly explored by foot*, bike, or public transit. Today you can take in the opulent Residenz palace, the dazzling Deutsches Museum, the sprawling English Garden, or take a short bus or subway ride to Dachau Concentration Camp or the state-of-the-art BMW Museum. This evening, feel free to join the party at the Hofbräuhaus beer hall, where you can hoist a liter-size mug of beer, and a pretzel as big as your head. No bus today.

Day 8: Over the Alps to Venice

We'll take off early this morning for a scenic, all-day drive to Venice. At the edge of Venice we'll board a vaporetto boat for an "am-I-really-here?" Grand Canal ride* to our hotel in the historic heart of this seductive city, arriving late this afternoon. Tonight you can enjoy dinner at an out-of-the way trattoria and soak in the outdoor nightlife of St. Mark's Square*. If the moon is out, it will hit your eye like a big pizza pie. Sleep in Venice (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 8 hrs.

Day 9: Seductive Venice

The entire day and evening are yours to experience (with the help of Rick's audio tours) the Byzantine majesty of St. Mark's Basilica*, the formidable Doge's Palace, the masterpiece-packed Frari Church*, and more. Along the way, take time to simply get lost (remember, it's an island) exploring the alleys, cruising the canals, and "crawling" the pubs of this amazing city. No bus today (too much water).

Day 10: Cinque Terre

Today we say "Ciao Venezia" as we hop back aboard our bus and make a beeline for the relaxing beaches and villages of the Cinque Terre. To get there, we'll traverse Italy's agricultural breadbasket and the forested spine of the Apennines, finally winding our way down to the seaside village of Levanto, where we'll board a train for the 10-minute ride to Monterosso. We'll arrive late this afternoon, with plenty of time to enjoy Monterosso's pleasant eateries and ambiance. Sleep in Monterosso (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 6 hrs.

Day 11: Riviera Livin'

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 cliff-side paths that connect the towns. For dinner tonight, enjoy what's local and fresh: the seafood and pasta with pesto. No bus today.

Day 12: Historic and Nighttime Rome

This morning we'll get an early start as we make our way from the Cinque Terre to Rome. Arriving at our Rome hotel late this afternoon, you'll have the cooler part of the day to eat at the outdoor café of your dreams, then celebrate la dolce vita Roman-style, with an after-dinner stroll through the floodlit heart of the city, lacing together the lively campos, classy piazzas, and splashy fountains. Don't forget to taste some refreshing gelato along the way. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Train: ¼ hr. Bus: 6 hrs.

Day 13: A Day of Roman Roamin'

Rome is the grand finale of our trip, packed with historical riches, cultural delights and an infinite supply of wows. Today, aided by Rick's audio tours, you could follow the footsteps of emperors through the Roman Forum*, Colosseum* and Pantheon*. If the Renaissance is more your speed, the immense St. Peter's Basilica* (home to Michelangelo's sublime Pietà) and the sprawling Vatican Museum*(r) (home to his mind-boggling Sistine Chapel) are a Metro or bus ride away. It's your final night in Rome, so get out and make it special. Salute! No bus today.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

It's a breeze to reach Rome's airports by taxi or train. Your escort will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On My Way: Europe in 14 Days — 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. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  4. Be responsible for your own daily sightseeing, admissions, meals (except breakfasts) and non-group transportation.

Reviews

Matthew

Fredericktown, OH

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt the tour went very well and exceeded my expectations. Cynthia did a great job of letting us do our own thing while also providing good suggestions/alternatives. The transportation was great and I was pleased that there really were only 24-28 people on the tour. Not that I doubted you.....but being our first Rick Steves tour, I had to see before I believed (sorry, just being honest). Having the luxury to spread out on the coach was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pinpoint one, but Switzerland was definitely one. Another would be Cinque Terre. I really like architecture and the outdoors, so seeing everything in person that I've only seen in pictures or on TV was a highlight for me. From Paris neighborhoods to the French countryside to the mountains in the Berner Oberland....too much to mention! I wish I was still."

Jennifer

Fredericktown, OH

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been looking forward to this trip for several years, and we were not disappointed. We were pleasantly surprised at how wonderful our tour manager turned out to be. Being a My Way tour, we thought we would be completely on our own and we did our best to prepare, but to our benefit, Cynthia was there everyday to discuss our plan with us, offer us advice and assistance, and be our general go-to expert for all of our questions. It was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My absolute favorite experience was walking out on our hotel balcony in Lauterbrunnen and looking up to see the mountains soaring up on each side of us. Breathtaking!"

Cristy

Malvern, PA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience during the Best of Europe Tour was incredible! The tour members were wonderful, friendly families. Our tour manager, Mary, was so helpful, resourceful and accommodating. Our bus driver, Big John, was so skilled, knowledgable and personable. Then there was the tour itself, it was a dream come true! Every destination was unforgettable. I enjoyed every location and all it had to offer. It was truly a trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was probably the perfect day we had in the Swiss Alps. It was a beautifully clear sunny day and my family and I hiked for over 10 miles. We had so much fun together and the views were breathtaking! I'll never forget the gorgeous scenery we were so lucky to be experiencing on a summer day."

Barbara

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all of it, and tour guide Mary and driver John were outstanding. Not sure how this could be done with privacy concerns, but would be nice to be able to "connect" with other tour members in advance of the tour to see if anyone wants to do "group things" while on the tour -- ie., once we were on the tour, we met others with teenagers who were doing guided tours of various sites, as were we, but on different times/days... so it would have been nice to have been able to schedule the same ones

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Uncrowded bus, view of Alps from hotel, nicely located hotels... and that Rick Steves has conquered Europe! books and references everywhere..."

John

Wylie, TX

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe (wive, me, and kids[INVALID]11 and 14). I'm writing the review for us 4, FYI. The tour accomplished what we'd hoped it would: whet our appetite for international travel. It was great, if a little tiring, to visit so many places in such a short amount of time. We definitely have our sights on places we'd like to go back to. Beaune was a bit ho-hum, but we understand why it was a stop. BTW, tell people dinner reservations there 100% required. We learned the hard way :-)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My son and I paraglided in Lauterbrunnen. That was amazing! Otherwise the trip was full of too many "wow" moments to list."

Carolyn

Springfield, VA

Tour: 06/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was perfect. Mary was an excellent tour manager, very helpful, knowledgeable, and very pleasant to everyone. Big John, the bus driver, was also great. The trip itinerary was wonderful, with an excellent balance of time spent in big cities and in smaller resort areas. The size of the group was also perfect, allowing for plenty of room on the bus, and also for the opportunity to get to know everyone. The My Way concept is wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the beautiful scenery in Switzerland and the gorgeous alpine views from The Schilthorn."

Debra

Siloam Springs, AR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had a great time. The experience is a once in a lifetime event. Enjoyed getting to know everyone on our My Way Tour. We all seemed to bond well and have become great friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think there was more that one! The Eiffel Tower, the Swiss Alps, St. Peter's Basillica, the Sistine Chapel. The Orsay Museum, Cinque Terre!!! They were all wonderful!"

Sorbee

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really like 'my way' tour. We are 'equipped' with sufficient information and tips by the escort plus Rick Steve's guide book to enjoy each new destination. At the same time we are not bound by the rigid schedule of the guided tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment has to be the spectacular view atop the Schilthorn and the hike down the valley below. Also the best meal I had at the Alps - lamb chops."

Denise

Burton, OH

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Europe and I'm still processing all the amazing sites we visited. Four countries, seven stops in 14 days...truly the best of everything. A perfect mix of must visits like the Eiffel Tower in France and busy Venice and Rome with the opportunity to hike in Switzerland or lay on a beach in Cinque Terre. Our escort was engaging, our bus ride gave us the opportunity to rest and enjoy the scenery and our group formed lasting friendships as we enjoyed our visit together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"They were all "wow" moments! Really!!!"

Paul

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was exactly what I expected and met my needs very well. Normally, I would take a guided tour, but I was accompanied by a family member who had never been to Europe and who wanted the freedom to make her own choices. I had already seen many of the sights that are on the fully guided version of this tour. This My Way tour promised to deliver the goods, and it did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunned Valley and the area above it was #1 for me. It's just wonderful."

Poka

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect trip for a 1st time traveller to Europe. With so many places to see, this tour was a great way to start my 5 month adventure. I liked the pace of our travels and the freedom to explore on our own. You can never see or do everything in a day or two but you can return to your favorite places and I'll be returning to Paris in late September for at least a week to soak in more of that beautiful city. I miss our big bus! Thanks Rony.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on a bench in Murren trying to absorb the beautiful view surrounding me. In mid-July I'll be spending a week in Wengen and I'll find a bench to sit and relax and I know the view I see will be just as stunning."

Brent

Siloam Springs, AR

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my dream to visit Europe. The experience was better than I thought it would be because of your tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many Wow moments from the Eiffel Tower, Swiss Alps and Rome. One of the favorite things that happen was the connection with the other tour members."

Linda

West Kingston, RI

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was a dream come true. The bus driver was exceptional, great driver, great humor and like one of the gang. The tour director was amazing. She made us all feel very comfortable and just knew the right amount of info we needed and became one of the gang also. The drive through the countries was so beautiful. We had a small group that melded well together. I have wanted to do this trip for many years and it was magic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Peters Basilica~ seeing the Pope!"

Elizabeth

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been to Paris and Rome using Rick Steves' tips before but this time wanted to visit many other European cities in a short amount of time. My husband just wanted to rent a car and drive all over which I thought was scary, so he was the one that found the My Way Tour. When we travel we go go go from 6am-11pm seeing everything there is to see in a city. So I think the My Way was perfect for us. We let someone else do the driving and we could still go go go on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the Lauterbrunnen Valley as well as Cinque Terre were both breathtaking."

Mikayla

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing! Fantastic sites and frequent stops made it the perfect overall length and being able to "wet your feet" in getting a preview of what each city holds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I went paragliding in the Alps. This was not covered in the tour but was something I wished to experience and was completely safe. Although, next wow moment was a few days later sitting on the beach in Cinque Terre."

John

Annapolis, MD

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Laurel was a great tour leader and John the bus driver was outstanding, becoming an almost asst. tour leader. They made a great team. I understand that this is somewhat unusual My overall reaction to the tour is that it is a real worldwind, constantly moving from place to place. The only suggestion I would make is to make sure that this is reflected in the literature describing the tour. You are'nt spending 2 days in each destination, the travel between is much of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one place of event stands out."

Carol

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, nice folks. Good value. I wasn't aware that pork is the primary meat available, but it makes sense in countries with mostly small farms.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice. I didn't expect it to be such an amazing place (I'd thought it was probably over-hyped). Though I know Venice is sinking, the impression is of an ancient city rising out of the water, being part of the water instead. We didn't rent a gondola, but riding the water bus into the evening in the grand canal was just lovely. We sat in the prow, in the soft air; it felt very special."

Janyce

Annapolis, MD

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EXACTLY as I had hoped. We were pleasantly surprised at having 17 people on a very large bus (thanks a lot to Jean, the driver)! I really have no complaints; just a lot of praise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time spent in Cinque Terre. Dinner particularly. Of course the weather was perfect, and the dinner (across from the hotel) very good. I first heard about Cinque Terre, probably when I heard about Rick Steves from my friend who's family owned the Edmunds movie theater (Giezentanners). Of course since those 40+ years, the place has been "found" and is full of tourists. So, the only thing I would have liked was info on the "trails" between villages. Doable at 20, not so much at 69."

Donna

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience matched what was said in the brochures and calendars. I will add that our bus driver had very safe habits on the road, gave us a nice smooth ride, took us through some unbelievably exciting driving and tourist areas on his way to the hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was my first glimpse of Cinque Terre. We did, however, waste some time waiting at the train station for the next train."

Charles

Canton, GA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. Excellent fellow tour members who all really enjoyed the "my way" experience. Hotels were well located and quite nice. Chris did a good job of covering the basics of each city and giving advice as needed. I really enjoyed having stops in the Swiss Alps and the Cinque Terra to break up the big-city experiences. Absolutely loved the "my way" layout - no worries about transportation or hotel stays, and complete flexibility once pulling into each town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Would rate the arrival in both Venice and Cinque Terra as top "wow" moments. Frankly, the entire trip was a wow."

Beecher

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around Rome at my pace allowed me to discover so much that I missed with a targeted tour. I found little places all around the area that were intersting and easy to miss if headed to a specific goal."

Gerald

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

our bus driver was a real pro! chris gave us enough info to have good visits his advice on walking in Rome traffic, was very helpful. So much so, instead of using a hop on bus service, we were encouraged to walk to the colieseum and to the Spanish steps, on 2 separate walks. the hotels were in great locations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was impressed with the traffic in Paris, and glad I did not have to drive in it! and the amount of boat traffic in Venice was impressive. the views in, around and above Lauterbrunnen. and we had no one on the trail, when we walked from Montessaro so we had great views and felt like we were really exploring."

Pamela

Gilroy, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With the arrival of our box of Rick Steves resources and checklists, I never had one worry or concern. This was our first of any kind of tour, and I felt I was in good hands. The trip was seamless, and each travel stop delivered a great experience. When thinking back, I can't think of anything but great thoughts of a great adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I immediately fell in love with the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We visited Murren and saw the goats herded through town early in the morning. The vegetable gardens on every site were a thrill for me since I am a gardener. After walking through Murren and then Gimmelwald, I didn't want it to end, so we hiked from Gimmelwald to Stechelberg. My WOW! moment was on this hike when I realized we were in the Alps alone with just the sound of cowbells and vistas of waterfalls, streams and mountains!"

Brenda

Lexington, KY

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Europe Your Way was a good choice for my husband and me. We have been to France 5 times and Italy 3 times so we had a chance to plan our agendas. Germany and Switzerland were just amazing and definitely to be revisited....:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switerzerland. Awesome. Loved walking Rick's "favorite" tour and meeting the COWS and hearing the cow bells all around us."

Lynda

Glenmont, NY

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The My Way Europe in 14 Days tour was ideal - we traveled to cities we had always hoped to see (Paris and Venice) and to return to towns we had hoped to visit again some day (Lauterbrunnen and Cinque Terre). It was great having all the hassle of getting to each sight taken care of for us along with clean, comfortable hotels in great locations. All we had to do was map out what we wanted to see in each town. This time of year was really nice and we got to see Octoberfest in Munich - a bonus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Valley was our very favorite. We took the gondola up to the Schilthorn early in the morning which was breathtaking and exciting. We stopped on the way back down in the town of Murren for a delicious Swiss lunch. This area is so beautiful , peaceful and small enough to easily tour."

Kay

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Bus was comfortable and hotels were all centrally located. Good group of people on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I personally enjoyed Switzerland and the Cinque Terre. Both were stress-free and beautiful. My son enjoyed Oktoberfest in Munich!"

Eddie

Lexington, KY

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking in the Swiss mountains."

Lorraine

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't know what to expect with it being my first time to Europe, but the entire trip was well above and beyond what I had expected. I thought the trip was very well organized and the perfect tour for a couple like us who wanted to have the freedom to do our own agenda but still have a little "hand holding" to get us there. I had the absolute time of my life and would recommend the tour to anyone with similar interests/experiences as ourselves in terms of seeing Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel like the whole tour was a "wow" moment in general, but my favorite "wow" moment from the tour was the Swiss Alps. I am glad that it is a part of the tour and seems to be a bit less overwhelmingly touristy."

Donald

Glenmont, NY

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! We were able to see and do so much. With the tour providing the transportation and lodging it enabled us to relax and enjoy the other segments of the trip. The bus trips were comfortable and in no way tedious or boring. I have no complaints about any portion of the trip. I think the "My Way" concept is very good since it provides us with so much free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were spectacular!"

Marilyn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We met up with the tour group after spending 6 days in Europe, so we were ready to go. Andrew made early efforts to get people familiar and comfortable with one another. Each of the stops was worthwhile, the Beaune stop felt especially rushed, but we knew that it would be going in. We moved from place to place much faster than we would normally do on our own. We enjoyed our interactions with the tour escort and with the other travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen Valley and hikes. Gorgeous scenery. Too bad it rained."

Bill

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Was well organized with a very good leader and bus driver. Cities visited were interesting, the hotels very strategically located to make visiting easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the clouds cleared seeing the Alps during our hike."

William

Paw Paw, MI

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great introduction to Europe. Andrew was a wonderful guide and the group of people could not have been better. Ben, our driver, was also top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering Lauterbrennen."

John

100 Mile House, BC

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable! The people on the tour were wonderful. We enjoyed getting to know them. The trip was stress free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the Swiss Alps and the city of Rome."

Leslie

Paw Paw, MI

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time meeting many nice people and seeing so many interesting sites.

Deborah

Lynchburg, VA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. Andrew was an excellent leader. Enjoyed other members on the tour. This tour was special because we saw such a variety of places - the big cities of Paris, Munich, Venice, Rome, and the smaller, more isolated spots of Beaune, Lauterbrunnen Valley and Monterosso.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Grand Canal of Venice."

Susan

Inman, SC

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are so happy and trilled about our trip with Rick Steves. It was everything we thought and more. We loved our escort, Andrew he was so much help and a lot of fun! My way tours are just what we wanted it took all the hassle out of booking hotels and traveling in foreign countries and we meet some really great people in our group. I will highly recommend touring with Rick Steves to all my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its really hard to narrow it down to one WOW moment there were so many. I guess our favorite place was Switzerland, just the beauty of the snow capped mountains and the Valleys below were just breath taking."

Thomas

Billings, MT

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time touring Europe in a blazing 14 day period. We really enjoyed getting a chance to see so much in a short period of time, we hope to return one day and spend more time, but this was an excellent brush stroke of Europe. Also, this trip his enhanced my confidence in traveling abroad, while I liked the tour and would take one if it overlapped with my interests, I am not detoured from attempting my own solo trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from enjoying the sheer happiness that my wife exuded for 14 days straight I'd have to say that Versailles was so much more than I would have ever imagined. I'd also say that Paris was so much more interesting and enjoyable than I'd ever imagined. I'm not really a big fan of cities, but I'd like to return and spend more time in Paris."

Karen

Elk Grove Village, IL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thank you. Overall I thought the tour was great. The places we went and pacing were very nice, except hitting Rome after a wonderful place like Cinque Terre was so wrong...being relaxed and then thrown into a hotel in a bad neighborhood in a large, desperate city. That was tough. The guide Cristina and bus driver Phillip were wonderful, helpful and made the trip work. Wonderful memories keep filling my mind, and I haven't yet had time to look at a picture. Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved feeling enfolded in a new environment, Venice, Switzerland and the Cinque Terre provided this great feeling. I guess for a Wow moment I loved the Grummelbach Water Falls. I 've seen falls all over the US and wasn't expecting anything. It was an amazing expeience. I also loved the jammed Euro beach at Cinque, and the crazy, scary crowds in the tight streets of Venice. The Effel Tower at night, and night boat tour were Fabulous. Had a wonderful meal near Eiffel at Chris Constant restaurant"

Jayne

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized, and we had a great time. It was exactly as described.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Swiss Alps the most, and as far as what I considered the most interesting, that would be The Colosseum and Roman Forum."

John

Denver, CO

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the dream vacation in Eastern Europe that we have been planning for years. Everything was nearly perfect. There were some irritating moments but they were so minor that they are not memorable, with one exception: Having to sleep under duvets in all hotels except for one that had the traditional layered American bedding of a top sheet, blanket, and bedspread. With the duvets, I was too hot with them on and to cold with them off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sun set from the top level of the Eiffel Tower, and the subsequent lights and views of the city from there after dark."

Jane

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Europe was an absolutely amazing experience. You know a trip was successful when you can cross things off your bucket list that hadn't even made it on yet (Mona Lisa, David, the Duomo, etc.). The My Way format allowed us to squeeze in all the museums, sites, and activities that we wanted to do, without being hindered by a tour schedule. Although we would have spent more time in Switzerland and maybe less time in Munich, it provided a great overview of the European cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was in Murren, Switzerland. Our hotel was at the bottom of Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is surrounded by mountains, cliffs, and waterfalls. We thought the view was breathtaking from there, but we took a cable car 1/3 of the way up the mountain, and you could see twice as much mountain! We hiked up further to a village on the mountainside, more mountain...another cable car, more mountain. It was absolutely incredible to see the Alps - they seemed neverendingly tall."

Linda

Denver, CO

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour Guide, Christina and bus driver, Phillip did so very much to make our experience successful. Both were knowledgeable about the cultures and cities we visited. The orientations were so helpful. The extra attention given to anyone with a special need or concern made each of us feel valued. Our group was great and several of us have become friends on Facebook sharing our photos. Each location was carefully thought out and accurately described. Rick's audio guide was also great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the summit of the hike between Monterosso and Vernazza."

Mark

Orinda, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hotels in terrific locations, breakfast was always delicious, and choice of tour spots was exemplary. Christina has endless energy, superior knowledge and a great command over the languages in the places we visited. My kids absolutely adore her. Phillip, our driver, was outstanding as well. Bus was comfortable and well air conditioned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rome - I've been there before but it really came alive this time."

Lisa

Bloomington, IL

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time to Europe and the thought of planning the destinations, transportation, & hotels was a little intimidating. The My Way Tour was the perfect solution. The cities that were chosen for our tour was a great sampling of Europe, and we really enjoyed the freedom of planning what we wanted to do in each city. I also felt our tour escort, Reid, did a great job of setting the tone for the trip-be respectful of bus departure times and live as Europeans - go with the flow!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments to choose from.... Really loved the beautiful countryside in Switzerland and enjoyed hiking in such a gorgeous setting We were in Munich Germany during the World Cup Final! And the Mike's Bike Tour was a fabulous way to see the city! Loved Cinque Terra and the beautiful coastline Florence - what a great historical city"

Jennifer

New York, NY

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. So well organized, and so much fun! I signed up for this tour because I didn't want to take chances with unsafe/risky accommodations and arranging travel from place to place, but I also didn't want to sit on a bus and be "narrated" to--I wanted to be able to do my own thing. This tour was exactly what I wanted. It took all of the logistical stress out, so all I had to do was have an amazing time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose from! Switzerland was a big highlight though!"

Hayley

Wooster, OH

Tour: 07/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent organization and execution. John was a great driver and Reid was and excellent escort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the World Cup in a Beer Garden in Munich when Germany was in the cup and won."

Mary

Friendswood, TX

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We would have seen the big cities on our own, but the smaller, out of the way places we would have missed without the tour. My Way was perfect for us because it provided just the right amount of stress relief and gave us just the right about of freedom to truly enjoy our vacation. The bus was comfortable, the rooms were special, and the people were friendly but not interfering. We knew where we were going to lie our heads each night, but we were able to plan our days. Perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire town of Beaune took my breath away! First, the Church of Notre-Dame is still a spiritual experience,even after seeing Notre-Dame in Paris. The organist was practicing while we were there, and there was a tapestry on display. And the lights at night! And then the Hotel-Dieu, with its history and beauty, along with the museum pieces, was spiritually moving. And, of course, the Caves Patriache Pere and Fils provided impressive spirits of their own! WOW in Beaune!"

Weather

France / Paris

Paris France


Switzerland / Bern

Bern Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather


Italy / Venice

Venice Weather


Italy / Rome

Rome 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.

Trip Resources

Learn more about France, 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.

Transportation

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

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

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Use your Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) which includes a wealth of Paris neighborhood walks and self-guided museum tours. Check your guidebook for museum hours (some are closed one day per week; some stay open late one day per week).

Remember, you will be in charge of your own sightseeing for ALL destinations on this trip. We strongly suggest you begin planning well before you fly to Europe! To guarantee entrance, we recommend you make reservations in advance from home for the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Vatican Museum in Rome. See your Rick Steves guidebook for details on how to reserve.

Packing

There are great opportunities to hike in the Swiss Alps and between the Cinque Terre villages. While hiking boots are not necessary, we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction. If swimming interests you, you’ll have a couple of opportunities to get wet, so bring along a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

We also recommend that you consider bringing a smart phone, tablet or other device to assist in planning your activities, and to access Rick's Audio Europe app and walking tours.

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