September Travel News

Hi from Rick: My 2015 Tours, the Best of Now & Then

Back in the 1980s, when most of my time in Europe was spent guiding our tour groups, we had a day in Bavaria called "Castle Day." We would visit two famous and fanciful 19th-century castles — plus a little-known, completely ruined medieval castle hiding atop a steep, forested hill in the nearby Austrian Tirol.

There was no road; we hiked up a rocky, centuries-old path. After countless switch-backs, we’d come upon the crumbled remains of an outer wall. Soon after, we’d emerge from the woods into a meadow. Standing before us was a towering ruined castle, complete with ragged stone walls, broken gothic arches, stranded ramparts with arrow-slits, and grand views making the strategic value of that castle eight centuries ago — overlooking the point where three valleys came together — perfectly clear... Read more

In this issue

Slideshow: Best of Scandinavia, Day by Day

What's it like discovering the Best of Scandinavia on a Rick Steves tour? For a fun preview, take this day by day-tripping slideshow. Let's go!... Read more

Tips on Tipping in Europe

Here's a tip. Don't stress over tipping. Restaurant tips are more modest in Europe than in America. In most places, 10 percent is a big tip. If your bucks talk at home, muzzle them on your travels. As a matter of principle, if not economy, the local price should prevail. Please believe me — tipping... Read more

Kraków: Poland's Historic and Cultural Gem

Kraków is the Boston of Poland — a charming and vital city buzzing with history, college students, and tourists. Though not the capital, Kraków is the cultural and intellectual center of the country — and easily Poland's best destination. At the center of the Old Town is the Main Market Square... Read more

Understanding French Culture

I love France — it is one of Europe's most diverse, tasty, and exciting countries. It brims with the good life and a special appreciation for culture, music, art, food, and wine. But Americans can feel pretty dowdy when confronted with the casual sophistication of the French, who are matchless... Read more

Forum Question of the Month: Get Through Airport Security Wearing a Moneybelt?

With the new high-tech (and old hands-on) methods in use by airport security (TSA, et al), can you get through airport security while wearing your money belt?... Read more

Video of the Month: Reliving My Early Tour Guiding Days at Ehrenberg

Hiking to the Ehrenberg Castle ruins with our group brought back memories of the 1970s, when I was a college kid taking gangs of eight through Europe in a minibus on our very first tours. Over years of experimentation, we discovered the fun sights that distinguish our tour program to this day... Read more