• 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

from $4,995 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $925

See Tour Dates

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!

Dates & Prices

2015

2016

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Europe come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 33 group sightseeing events • Haarlem walking tour • De Adriaan Windmill 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 • 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 • Capitoline Museum tour • Pantheon •  Rome night walk • Colosseum tour • Forum tour • Italian hill town visit • Orientation for "vacation" day  in Cinque Terre • Hiking orientation in the Swiss Alps • Hôtel Dieu in Beaune • Wine tasting in Burgundy • Louvre Museum • Paris walking tour • Notre-Dame Cathedral • 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
  • $100 Shopping Spree (per household) at the Rick Steves Travel Store to get guidebooks and gear for your trip
  • 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 2016
  • 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 at 2 p.m. for an orientation and chance to get acquainted, followed by a walking tour of this charming town including a guided tour of Haarlem’s historic windmill, De Adriaan.  We’ll cap off our first day with a traditional rijsttafel dinner together. Sleep in Haarlem (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

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 half-timbered 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 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: Neuschwanstein and a Luge

It's a short drive and a half-hour hike to “Mad” King Ludwig’s deservedly-famous Neuschwanstein Castle. We’ll tour the castle and have time for lunch. Afterward you'll barrel down the Tegelberg luge (weather permitting) .This afternoon you’ll be free to visit another nearby castle, take a stroll in the woods or just 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: Capitoline and the Pantheon

This morning we'll drive straight to the heart of Rome. After a quick lunch and transportation lesson, we’ll be introduced to Ancient Rome by touring the world's oldest public museum, the Capitoline. Home to many recognizable sculptures, this museum brings Roman art to life by placing it next to the ancient city it was made for (and which we will visit tomorrow). Then we’ll wind our way to the awe-inspiring Pantheon where you’ll be set free for dinner. Later, you may wish to celebrate la dolce vita Roman-style, and join your guide for an after-dinner stroll through the floodlit heart of the city, lacing together the lively campos, classy piazzas, and splashy fountains. Sleep in Rome (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: A Walk Through Ancient Rome

Today a local guide will take us on a walking tour through the heart of Rome, telling us vivid tales of the larger-than-life Colosseum and the birthplace of Ancient Rome: the Forum. You'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to wander through the nearby Palatine ruins, enjoy the panoramic city view from atop the Victor Emmanuel Monument, or make a modern-day pilgrimage to St. Peter's Basilica and Vatican City. 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 cliff-side 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

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. 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

Jean

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 07/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded all expectations and it was with a lovely group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment."

Ed

Ellensburg, WA

Tour: 07/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great. Very hot and crowded in August however.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in Switzerland"

Marvin

Beach City, TX

Tour: 07/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an "over the top" & "out of bounds" trip of a lifetime experience! It was more than I had expected. Everything was planned out and it was perfect in myopinion. Our guide Dimitri, has to be your best and our coach driver Sylvane was the best. Our group was from all over, mix of ages & backgrounds & no "grumps". The itinerary was great, busy, interesting, informative, demanding & diverse. The accommodations were good, food great & great locations for our activities & close to the action.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, St. Marks & St. Peters basilica, Venice, Cinque Terra, & Rhine river castles were my favorites but everyday had numerous wow moments for me being my first trip to Europe. Getting to share this with my wife on our 34th anniversary & having our 30 yr. old son with us for this experience was a once in a lifetime, & greatest vacation ever! It wasn't a contest but I did shoot 5,100 pictures & movies!"

Florence

Surrey, BC

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I had never been on a tour of this type before I was a little hestitate in booking the 21 day Europe Tour. But the tour exceeded my exception's in every way. The size of the group ( 21 ) was perfect. Our guide was fantastic and very informative. The amount of free time was a great balance to the group time. I would certainly love to do another Rick Steves Tour in the future

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite moment was Cinque Terre - I loved every about this place, the quaintness about the towns, the awesome restaurants and the down time to relax. My only regret would be that we should have stayed 1 more day in this spot, as it was a rush to see everything and still be able to enjoy some quite relaxing time."

Gene

New Ulm, MN

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had high expectations for the tour and they were exceeded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was an amazing experience."

Erin

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was simply AMAZING! The absolute best thing I have ever done. I loved it from beginning to end!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not have one favorite, but many. Just to name a few.... seeing Michelangelo's David. He was larger than I expected and presented so gloriously. a gondola ride in Venice all the food in Italy taking a vacation from my vacation in Cinque Terre But most of all having FUN wherever we went!"

Betty

Montesano, WA

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This truly was an amazing experience. Sharing this adventure with such a wonderful group was amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking beauty of Schilthorn - and the wonderful views from the four trams we took to get to the top - was just fantastic! Yodeling across the valley to some of the speedier hikers in our tour was fun. My jaw really did drop when I saw the stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle. The Eiffel Tower twinkling on the hour and on our river cruise was another amazing sight! I could go on but since you asked for only one I have to limit myself!"

Nancy

Richland, WA

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience from our family (husband and two 14 year old sons). In addition to seeing and learning so much about Europe and European history we found traveling and the new experiences an unexpected opportunity to get know and appreciate each other. I am sure that had we not been on the tour we would have been distracted by all the planning and organization to truly just enjoy the time together, and all the wonderful people in our tour group! All made possible by our great guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" experience was the evening gondola ride in Venice accompanied by great musicians and vocalist. Visually my "wow" moment was the Duomo in Florence. Spiritually, the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. What a great trip!"

Crisse

Billings, MT

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic tour! Every day was a "once in a lifetime" experience because every detail was meticulously planned and executed. Our travel goal was to tour Europe with our two teenage sons in a stress free, active, and family friendly environment. This tour fit that requirement perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment! However, the highlights for us were climbing to the top of the Duomo and seeing the gorgeous view of Florence, taking the cable car to the breathtaking mountain peaks of the Swiss Alps, and floating at sunset on the Seine River cruise (an added bonus!) to see the Eiffel Tower at night."

Kristen

Montesano, WA

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciated this tour because there was a good mix of the bustling European sites (Ann Frank House, Neuswanstein Castle, Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, etc) with the quaint towns (Bacharach, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Beaune, etc) that offer a more relaxed view of Europe, and frankly, my favorite stops on the tour. Of course, the food was WONDERFUL (still dreaming of that cheese fondue from Switzerland and pesto in Cinque Terre...), our guide was AMAZING, and the the people on the tour were FABULOUS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One at sea level (Gondola Ride) and one almost at 10,000 feet in the Alps (Schilthorn). If I'd really have to pick one, I'd say the trip up the cable cars to the most beautiful breakfast I've ever experienced on top of the Schilthorn!"

Laura

Montesano, WA

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really loved the whole trip! Even things that I had decided beforehand I likely wouldn't be as interested in were actually fascinating and lovely experiences :) I liked the mixture of city/cultural things and country/outdoorsy things to do. The people on the trip were also just a great group to travel with - I really feel fortunate that everyone was just so very nice and great travelers, even as we were all definite individuals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I just adored the little Tuscan town we stopped at for lunch on day - I could have stayed there forever! I wanted to get out into the hills and explore :) And when a sudden thunderstorm delayed our departure, I thought I was going to get my wish of staying longer! Alas, I guess I will have to return on my own..."

Alan

Surrey, BC

Tour: 07/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was truly amazing. I was not sure how I would do with a group of people I did not know but must tell you that it was wonderful. It was a great way to meet new people. Our tour guide Ragen was exceptional. He was very knowledgable and was a lot of fun. Our apprentice Frank was also very knowledgeable in explaining Europe. Hotels were great. Our bus driver Mat was a great driver and had a great personality. I would suggest anyone interested in this trip to take it. Well worth the cost.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite WOW moment was seeing the beautiful Cinque Terre. I would love to go back and spend a week there. Just an amazing place to see."

Rika

Newport Beach, CA

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful!!! Jesse and Julia were just outstanding. Everyday was fun and filled with history, art and facts. Our group of travelers are some of the best people you could ever meet. All I can say to ALL who were on this tour is Thank You Thank You Thank You! You all made it the very best vacation ever!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really did not have a favorite wow moment because everyday was a WOW moment!"

Amy

Jackson, TN

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I saw more sights and experienced more things than would have been possible on my own. While I was on "vacation" from my life, this wasn't a typical leisurely time. But, knowing that I could opt in or out of activities as my energy level agreed to allowed me to chose when to push and when to relax. Using the term "experience" is perfect! So glad I went with a Rick Steves' group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd spent a few days in Germany before starting the tour, but had been in cities. For me, arriving in the quaint town of Bachrach provided my "wow" because it was as I imagined a small European village to be like."

Alice

Montgomery, TX

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the experience for the July 2015 BOE Tour was beyond expectations. Jesse, Julia and Richard forged a synergy within the group that was truly special (in church lady's vernacular). Local guides augmented each segment, providing excellent personal & historical perspectives. The trip is an excellent intro to Europe & a method of bookmarking 'must return' sites for more in-depth & slower paced time. Also appreciated the personal exploration time apart from group activities. RECOMMEND!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"'Wow' is too pedestrian for the experience of stepping off the bus into a beautiful mountain meadow and seeing the magnificent Wieskirche, rising like a white vision from the green rolling hills. Entering the church and unexpectedly being surrounded & lifted by the ethereal instrumental and vocal chorus of the rehearsing orchestra, choir & pipe organ performing Hayden. Every sense was involved, & it was powerful."

Mary

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 07/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything I wanted for my first trip to Europe was there and more! The "more" was what amazed me. Places that would never have been on my "must see" list turned out to be spectacular. What an adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We stopped at a church in Wieskirche, Germany to see the Rococo architecture and scourged Jesus painting/sculpture/carving(?). I'm not sure what it was because we never got to see it. When we walked into the church, there was a choir and orchestra rehearsing. Our entire tour group just sat down and listened. It was wonderful. We did remember to get up and get back to the bus at the appointed time. When we were sure everyone had made it back, we seemed to exhale as a group and just say "Wow!""

Diana

Saint Helens, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Oh my gosh!! Words cannot adequately express. I have never been to Europe so everything was new to me. The days were packed-not a single moment was wasted! I appreciated the information given for each particular place, the informed tours and then the time allotted to explore on your own. And the food!!!! I never would have eaten that well on my own. The hotels were lovely. A bonus which I hadn't anticipated were the friendships made. The tour members are now some of my dearest friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wows, the beauty of David down the long hallway. The birthday dessert arranged by Matt on my birthday. Stepping out of the subway and being greeted by the Colosseum were just a few of the many "wow" moments. But the biggest "wow" moment was when the bus drove into Switzerland and we had a most beautiful awe inspiring view of the Alps. It took my breath away."

Tamarind

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 21 Day Best of Europe Tour was truly amazing! Pace was great; a lot packed into each day, but not frantic. Hotels were small, clean and centrally located. Driving between countries turned out to be very enjoyable, stopping every 1 1/2-2 hours at interesting places or nice rest stops. We felt comfortable and safe wherever we were, and learned how to navigate public transportation in each country. Our tour members and guide (Matt) were the best!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to think of just one moment, since those moments happened on a daily basis. Perhaps standing in front of the Eiffel Tower at 10:00 p.m. on my birthday, right as the tower began twinkling. Or maybe our hike in Switzerland; so incredibly beautiful and amazing. Or maybe it was riding in gondolas (con musica!) through the canals of Venice with all of our wonderful tour members. Truly, every day there were "wow" moments! Too many to list!"

Lynn

Yachats, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I traveled with my two children; 18 and 15. The tour was well organized, educational, and fun for us. Our tour guide Matt made sure we all had our questions answered and needs met, from the oldest to the youngest (15-69yrs). Each country was a new adventure embraced by the group. We definitely had no "grumps" and all enjoyed each others company as well as respected our personal abilities. A great tour and great company!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure if there was one "Wow". The overall beauty, history, and people in each country made a collective "Wow". The local guides as well as our RS guide Matt made the history come alive. Perhaps coming off the subway and standing in front of the Colosseum in Italy, or taking my children to the Orsay museum in Paris, watching the Eiffel Tower light up and twinkle, could it be walking through the Alps? No, maybe the luge ride in Austria, or the castles, the food? Or just being in Europe."

Jeffrey

North Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best experiences of our lives. It was an outstanding overview of Western Europe. The countries we visited were beautiful, and all of the excursions were well planned and organized. The local tour guides were excellent and very informative. We particularly enjoyed the experience with Herr Jung in Bacharach. He was wonderful. One suggestion...even though we enjoyed the wine tasting experience, drop the visit to Beaune, France and add an additional day in Switzerland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, the beauty and tranquility were amazing. The hike through the Alps at the foot of the Jung Frau will remain in our memories forever. We also enjoyed Paris. People were surprisingly friendly. All of the other destinations exceeded our expectations."

Anne

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Europe and I had great hopes for a good trip. My expectations were more than met and I definitely highly recommend a Rick Steves tour as the way to go!! In fact I am ready to go again! We saw and did so much and I liked the pace as we got to have a taste of so many places. The crowds and hot weather were a detriment , but certainly didn't slow us down. It was fantastic and amazing and awesome!! Thanks to everyone involved!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming around the corner on the bus and seeing the first of absolutely amazing sights of the Alps! The sound of the "wows" as the whole group caught sight of the beautiful Swiss countryside and immediately started taking pictures!, and it continued as we rode the train and gondola up to the peaks and began our gorgeous hike! And my other favorite "wow" moment eas stepping off the train in Monterosso and spotting the fabulous Mediterrean Sea in all its glorious deep blue colors!"

Jesse

Saint Helens, OR

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It has clearly been refined to a precision experience. Not only was the teaching clear and concise about how to get along in the culture, but also the pacing to allow us to independently use what we had learned. The local guides were amazing, especially Herr Jong and Francesca. They not only taught history, but principles. I have continued to ponder the politics of architecture. The pace was fast, not frenzied. The friends we made were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfair question, like asking which was your favorite bite of chocolate. Top 10 list. 1. Every moment with my wife. 2. Gondola ride with music in Venice 3. Herr Jong 4. Francesca 5. Talking to a Swiss farmer about hay 6-10 are private moments hard to explain to other people."

Linda

Carlsborg, WA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful. Loved the smaller group size. The balance of free time with group events was just right. Not only was our guide fantastic, all the local guides were exceptional. The information they offered was so interesting,,, learned so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving the pass in the Alps on the way to Lauterbrunnen was stunning!!!"

Ronald

Roseville, CA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have traveled to Europe four time previously but never with an organized tour. We have been big fans of Rick Steves for years and decided to take the plunge and sign up for the 21 day tour. Not only were we not disappointed but every aspect of the trip exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed our tour guide, Matt, the fellow travelers on our tour, and all the wonderful sights and local tour guides, as well. A trip of a lifetime and one we would repeat again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the entire package. There were so many incredible things we did and saw. I'm still recovering from thinking about all the great times we had with our fellow tour members. Each stop was a highlight for us. The food was great along with the accommodations. Even though we had traveled to Europe before, the experience was enhanced by all the nice people we met on the tour and along the way. Europe has so much to offer and we had a chance to experience much of it."

Patricia

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour! It was an opportunity to see things previously read about in books or seen on t.v. ( the Rick Steves shows, of course! ). My world has been expanded and for that I am glad. The pace is hectic but manageable due to the built-in "opt-out" option. The individual local guides were a total attribute to the trip experience. I appreciated that we were taught words of greeting in each local language.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was one big "wow" moment! If I have to choose one it would be coming out of the hot, hectic metro and coming face to face with the Coliseum. I didn't like Roman history while forced to study it in school. Seeing this in person made the history real."

Jeanne

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing! There was a nice balance of planned tour activities and free time to explore and shop. Our tour guide set a high bar for any future tours. I appreciated the written agenda that was posted when we arrived at a new location to help prepare the day's activities. The travel, history learned and experiences were priceless. I would highly recommend this trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were to many to list"

Greg

Omaha, NE

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect. The tour was a fantastic way for a first timer to see a broad area of Europe in a relatively short period of time. The other group members and my family gel well and we had excellent guides. It was edutainment at its' finest; we learned quite a bit and had fun doing it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was Bastille Day and the fireworks extravaganza off the Eiffel Tower. Second "wow" was Switzerland, in general. The landscapes (and escape from the oppressive heat of Italy) were breath-taking. Third "wow" was the Biergarten with the Apfelweissen Bier and our two new friend from Munich, Stephan and Hans. ... and seventh was bumping into Natalie Portman at Shakespeare and Company. You should add her to every tour!"

Jon

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First big Europe tour - life changing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"David - Blew my mind"

Cathi

Omaha, NE

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, I truly enjoyed the tour. When I look back I'm amazed at how much we covered in 21 days. A few suggestions are, we needed less time in Florence and more in Switzerland. Rome, I'd suggest avoiding the Metro at all cost. We were all forced to rush onto the overcrowded train. My daughter was the last and struggled to squeeze on. She nearly didn't make it and that terrified her. On the bus back, I was dry humped. We hated Rome after that. And, it was the one place she wanted to see most. :(

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hands down, Bastille Day, fireworks behind the Eiffel Tower! I know that's not available on every tour. It was the highlight of this one for sure. Otherwise, I'd have to say the Alps! Breathtakingly beautiful. The luge was a blast, too. I would have enjoyed more time in the mountains for activities such as that. The Biergarten in Germany was awesome as well. Chatting with the locals, drinking beer, eating a pretzel, overlooking a gorgeous countryside, doesn't get much better then that!"

Dana

Clovis, CA

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Historical, fun, great small group,Riccardo our tour guide made the trip. Would like to have him every time!!! Paul our bus driver, professional, helpful, guy you just like having in the group. Lisa the assistant guide, was professional, fun loving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stechelberg, switzerland. Swiss alps were awsome!"

Shellie

Rohnert Park, CA

Tour: 06/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great journey. We could not have done this on our own! Having never been to Europe, this tour was a perfect taste of many places. I loved the blend of huge cities and small towns, traveling through the countryside and landing in a beautiful village. The tour provided a perfect blend of planned activity and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I would have to say driving through the Swiss Alps. Breathtaking views. The great little end of the road chalet that we stayed at in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The trip up to the Schilthorn and hike along the mountain trail was breathtaking."

Brian

Midlothian, VA

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In today's world, most things are "over-hyped." Prior to the trip, we thought that this tour would be good, but may not live up to the videos, books, and other pre-tour descriptions. Our concerns were un-founded! The tour was every bit the incredible experience that we hoped it would be. The guides, bus driver, local guides, and hotels owners went above-and-beyond in their efforts to make this an awesome experience for us. Looking back at our photos and diary, we are amazed at all we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Co-workers and friends keep asking "what was your favorite place?" I honestly cannot answer that. We enjoyed each place for their own unique qualities, and would return to any of them again, if we ever have the opportunity to do so."

Julie

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was even more wonderful than I expected. We were well taken care of, with the right balance of group time and family time for exploration. Our guide and apprentice were fabulous, and the guides at the specific site were phenomenal. We were given all the information we needed to be successful travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two......walking out of the Rome metro and seeing the Coliseum, and the mountain hike in Switzerland (the glaciers and wildflowers were special). The Night Watchman in Rothenburg was another highlight."

April

Enumclaw, WA

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides Ragen and Tim were excellent, they were full of information. Told us about every region we went through, and played music for each region. My daughter and I enjoyed everything. In Amsterdam especialy liked the Rijksmuseum, canal ride and rijsttafel dinner. Loved the pancake lunch at Arnhem. Loved Bacharach, St. Goar and boat ride bak up the Rhine. Really liked Rothenburg. Loved Reutte, Ernburg. What was the owners name? Really liked Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castl

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Neuschwanstein Castle did it for me. I am a fan of the "Monuments Men", so loved seeing it. Loved Italy even though it was unbelievably hot! Switzerland was cooler. Beaune was great and Paris was the best as usual. We went to Pere Lachasise Cemetery and saw lots of graves we did not see on other trips. Did the Louvre Museum and enjoyed it as usual. As you can see I had to finish "overall tour experience" as my computer quit when I was doing evaluation. Basically I loved everything."

Darlene

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My trip was better than I could have planned. Ragan and Tim were a terrific team navigating us through cities; countries and special tours. I enjoyed the posting every evening of what the next day's itinerary looked liked; loved the info on languages, money, courtesies that we could extend to our hosts. Loved the sense of humor! Really enjoyed the special tour guides in each city and the special care that Regan and Tim took to see that we enjoyed ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The special tour guides were particularly "wow". I would say the woman in Rome that spent several hours giving the best history lesson on the history of Rome and how it fits into today's Rome. Her discussion brought the stones and columns alive with the backward view to its history but also how it is juxtaposed to current day Rome trying to move forward in a city where every time you dig to build new you encounter history in your shovel."

Kenneth

Pocatello, ID

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, our tour was fantastic! As new travelers, this tour was a perfectly positive introduction to Europe. Our tour guide, Colleen, showed us all of the "ins and outs" for successful traveling. We felt that this trip gave us the confidence (and eagerness) to travel to Europe again, in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling to the top of the Schilthorn in the Swiss Alps was a highlight for both of us. We were awed by sheer magnitude and beauty of the mountains! We were equally "wowed" by the twinkle lights of the Eifel Tower in the evening.It was spectacular. I loved Rothenburg! The wall was very cool and the tour with the Nightwatchman was very entertaining!We really enjoyed it. THe history of Rothenburg was fascinating. We also loved Franscesca's tour in Rome. That was definitely a highlight!"

Hugo

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 13th Rick Steve's tour. This time is I was accompanied by my 17 year old grandson. For Zachary it was a great learning experience and he is very enthusiastic about the tour. The crowds were bigger than ever especially at the Vatican making it an ordeal. Like Rick I prefer the villages.

Janet

Aromas, CA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful to learn about the history of each city and country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many! Each stop is a new adventure: the history, the castles, the antiquity!"

Ying

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We learned a lot of European history along with our sight seeing and it improved our understanding of the places we visited. We really enjoyed the small group setting so we can know each other better. This is the first tour that I actually learned of everyone in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was impressed with all the churches with their elaborate paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows. Also I was astonished by Richard's good driving skills in which he was able to get us out of the Cinque Terra roads even with a bus behind us a a couple cars in front of us."

Rasnaam

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/16/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience that was superbly well-rounded, in the way that it taught so much about art, history, culture, and more all at the same time! We actually took time to delve into the culture of the countries we visited, which is something I really appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to see Michelangelo's David in Florence, but seeing the Neuschwanstein is a extremely close second."

Leslie Ann

American Canyon, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My two teenaged daughters and I enjoyed our first trip to Europe! The tour was a good mix of large cities and small towns, and the right amount of group activity and free time. The hotels were conveniently located near attractions, and the local food was tasty. The local guides were amazing, especially Francesca, who brought Ancient Rome back to life for me. We had an excellent tour guide (Dimitri) and a great group of people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Breathtaking views of Switzerland! -- the drive to Lauterbrunnen Valley, the trip up the Schilthorn, hiking the Alps, seeing the waterfalls, even the cows with the bells! Night-time gondola ride in Venice – a quiet and peaceful ride (after the daytime crowds have left Venice)"

Jane

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with a blend of structured learning and sightseeing AND flexible time to explore areas independently or shop or relax. Great organization of our time and activity level, with comfortable amount of time traveling from one location to another. Our group happened to accommodate three generations of travelers and Dimitri handled it easily and extremely well. I appreciated the choice of hotels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I most enjoyed the informative local tours: the art museum tour in Florence, the city tour of Bacharach and the nearby castle, and the Openluchtmuseum (Open Air, outdoor)."

Philip

Chatsworth, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous! I can't begin to describe how awesome each city was to visit. Our tour guide, Dimi, was AMAZING in so many ways. His knowledge and his way with people were outstanding. HE IS WORTH GOLD (PLATINUM, 10 STARS) and made our trip so enjoyable. Dimi handled the unexpected so easily and smoothly and it was such a pleasure seeing him in action. He has the ability to turn a potentially bad thing into something good or at least neutral.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My fav was hiking in the Swiss Alps. Sharon really liked the gondola ride in Venice with the singers."

Michelle

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have always traveled independently in the past, I have always been the family travel planner, so I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about giving up "my turf"... To summarize, I was pleased with how much was packed into a day. I had been concerned that being in a group would slow us down, but no... we were busy all day and any gaps along the way we filled up on our own. Often times we found that what we thought would be "free time" was planned out by our guide (optional of course).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably,doing the Gondola ride in Venice with the group as a whole. Honestly, doing a Gondola ride was not something we probably would have done on our own, BUT it was a highlight..in the dark canals at night, very quiet..you heard only the paddle in the water.. then all the groups Gondola met in the Grand Canal while a local singer serenaded us in the moonlight..WOW! There were many more but that was the one that stands out. Oh and Germany! What a beautiful country!Friendly!Didn't expect that!"

Michael

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations and those expectations were very high to begin with. Dimitri was an excellent guide, Dirk was also an excellent driver. Together they contributed great to the success of the tour. In addition to a vacation I feel we also got an education from Dimitiri and the local guides. The all provided perspectives that would have been missed if we did the tour on our own. I was worried about the bus time but it was perfect for recharging for this very active tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to narrow down, there were wow moments daily. Having to narrow it down I would say the gonola ride with the singer and musician aboard will remain a lasting memory. Secondly, the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps. Followed by the daily wonders of walking around Paris, Rome, Florence, getting lost in Venice, the medieval cities of Baccarach and Rothenburg, serene moments along the Rhine and finally the commraderie of the group, the guidance of Dimitri, and the driving of Dirk."

John

The Villages, FL

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great experience. Eventhough we had taken four previous RS tours, this was wonderful. We chose this one to introduce our granddaughter to European travel. The small group size is always a distinct advantage. Everyone was very friendly and interested in the overall experience. The itinerary has wonderful variation, among structured tours, free time, large cities and small towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although I been to the Lauterbrunnen Valley previously with the RS Germany, Austria, Switzerland tour, I loved the walk at 7000ft on the east side from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidig. The scenery is magnificent"

Frank

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought that Demitri was the factor that made the greatest difference in why this trip was so outstanding. He was upbeat, astute, and able to manage all the people while staying positive and informative. Generally, the logistics flowed well, and the trip exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was Switzerland and the surreal majesty of hiking amidst the beautiful mountains."

Sharon

Chatsworth, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the trip was great. The bus was comfortable, the driver was great and stopping every 2 hours was very helpful. Dimitri the guide was excellent. The cities chosen gave us a good taste of European culture. The hotels were comfortable and there was plenty of planned tours each day. The group size was manageable on most occasions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in Venice on 6-21-15 we took the optional gondola ride at night. It was our wedding anniversary so the guide let us sit in the gondola with the music and singer. That was very special."

David

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 21 day tour put us in the middle of cities we were visiting which is excellent. Having museum and other tours preplanned really helped in not having to wait in lines except at the Ann Frank Museum in Amsterdam. The audio head phones are an excellent tool we used throughout the tour. Museum tours are excellent with museum specific tour guides. Very sad the Louvre tour guides who speak English will no longer be giving Rick Steve tours. They are a great asset to getting through Louvre.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the Lauterbrunnen Valley with the water falls and sheer cliffs on both sides of the valley. The bus being able to drive up the pass on way from Italy to Switzerland."

Susan

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My two children and I thoroughly enjoyed your 21 day tour of Europe. Having two days at most hotels worked well and the hotels all had a unique character and were within walking distance of major attractions. The group itself was very cohesive and thanks to Jesse, we all knew where we needed to be at what time. The combination of scheduled group tours and free time was also appreciated. It allowed for us to explore places on our list also. Jesse did a great job of recommending places too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Lauterbrunnen Valley was thoroughly unexpected and spectacular. Staying at the inn at the end of the valley was also a unique experience. It was so serene, unspoiled and quiet."

William

Lino Lakes, MN

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great 'sampler' of Europe. Really glad we went; tons of memories. Picnic by Ludwig's castle was a mess; eating paper wrapped sandwiches in the rain with no shelter was miserable. Many times I am sure my mouth was open in awe as we entered walled cities, Roman sites, grand palaces, etc. Still using journal and photos and Itinerary to sort it all out. Stimulation overload but in a good way. Getting lost in Swiss Alps (our fault) for a while was scary but exciting. A Happy Traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our two hour lunch break in Massa Marattima. Very few other tourists, no selfie sticks, a sense that this was a real town where real people lived. Beautiful, quiet streets. Fresh air. Able to sit at an outside table without being jostled and enjoy a few (too many) glasses of wine. This stop convinced me that I want to return to Italy. Glad I saw Rome, Venice and Florence, but once was enough."

Susan

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much! After reading your tour materials I thought I was prepared.I could walk a lot and carry my carefully packed, lightweight luggage easily. However the cumulative effect of going hard day after day from 6 am to 10 pm began to wear me down. I would have liked to have seen a time schedule of the tour days to realize the endurance factor. I feel I did get a survey experience of Europe. I asked my daughter if her world was bigger now, and she agreed heartily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the upper floor of Sainte-Chapelle with the late afternoon sun streaming through the stained glass windows took my breath away. Before this tour, I had never heard of this site. What a gem!"

Sandra

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/09/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There wasn't anything I didn't absolutely love! Jesse (tour guide)was fabulous! Ben (bus driver)was awesome! I have referred this tour to literally a 100 people since returning home! Thank you-

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland! I wasn't expecting to love Germany as much as I did either!"

Carol

Gold Canyon, AZ

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe and it did not disappoint. We traveled with a great group of travelers and our guide was very knowledgeable. It was truly an experience and trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "Wow" moments.........but I believe for me it was Switzerland.......the Alps are awe inspiring. They leave you breathless. Also for me personally our tour guide for Bacharach, Herr Jung, shared many of his personnel experiences from World War II. My father is still alive and a World War II vet......the letters he wrote home of his time in Germany were brought very close to home.....it was emotional experience."

Paige

Gaffney, SC

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all of it! Had been 11 years since the last time I was in Europe and I'd been wanting to go back for a long time. Got to see so much and meet some fantastic people...both in the travel group and locals at our stops. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable w/ current facts & history about each place, often giving a little history & culture lesson before arriving in each place to give us background info & a better appreciation & understanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great moments. For foodies, every group dinner, whether in our hotel or local restaurant, was fantastic. The museums and churches were amazing! One of our local tours in Bacharach, Germany with a local, Herr Jung, was very poignant and made you want to be a better person when he told of his life and personal experience as a boy there during WW2. I wouldn't have traded my experiences on this trip for anything..."

Ruth

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/31/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour overall, despite my early departure! Margaret was super nice and real! She went out of her way to instill some common sense in my darkest and confused moment! Just want to thank all of your staff, especially Deanna, who hooked me up with Travel Guard going home!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I only got to go to three of the featured destinations, I picked the Bacharach region! So much history and magnificent medieval buildings and awe inspiring views! I'd like to go back there with my family and show this spectacular place!"

Mike

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 05/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really got a feel for almost every major city in western Europe. Prior to the trip I was apprehensive about planning a self guided trip even using the Rick Steve's guide books. I now feel confident that I can handle any city and metro we encounter. The word of the trip as stated in our pretrip advisory was to stay Flexible. Amen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the first impressions of every new venue were wow moments. At every new location my wife and I had to say to each other "we are at the ...". The biggest wow moment for me was a spur of the moment and uninhibited dancing the Tango to Ballero in St. Marcos Piazza, Venice with my wife to one of the bands that play in front of the restaurants. It was just magic."

Paul

Sycamore, IL

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw everything we wanted to see, and then some. The tour was well-organized, and the number of participants was just right. The tour guide was well-prepared and efficient, and the bus driver was an expert and also very engaging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Switzerland, standing outside the hotel and looking up at a thousand-foot-tall cliff, thinking how impressive that was, only to watch the swirling clouds suddenly open up and reveal thousands of feet more of the mountain beyond, covered with snow and even a glacier. Wow!"

William

Indian Land, SC

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I expected Europe through the back door. Instead we had Europe through the front door at a very fast pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coliseum."

Will

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great. This is the best way to tour Europe in 21 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say my wow moment was when we had the scenic view of the town and ruins in Bacharach, Germany."

Rita

Sycamore, IL

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The places we traveled were awe inspiring.I would say we stayed about the right amount of time in each location. Sometimes,I thought it would have been nice to have at least half a day longer to experience some things on our own, without the structure of a guided tour.I was not so enamored of the guided tour of some museums.It may have been the headsets that put me off as I couldn't hear in the Louvre at all and had to turn mine off. Also, I had that same problem in the Rijks Museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 3 favorite wow moments were seeing the statue of David. I was so impressed with that sculpture, I couldn't believe how stunning it was to see in person. Secondly, I was blown away by the Swiss Alps. Lastly, I was in awe of our bus driver, Richard, who took us into that traffic circle by the Arc de Triumph with such skill. Everyone on the bus cheered as he exited this roundabout. It was a real rush to experience that."

Harry

West Richland, WA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent Europe "sampler" tour. It had a bit of everything.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the size of Roman Colosseum up close was very impacting. However, I liked observing the bicycle lifestyle in Haarlem; how trim the locals all looked, how they carted their children around on bikes, and how contented they all seemed."

Bill

Dallas, TX

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was great. The tour members were nice and proved to be good travelling companions. Our guide, Jennifer, did an great job. Our coach driver, Richard, was great. His personality and professionalism improved the trip in meaningful ways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my college-aged kids listen to Herr Jung take us on a tour of his home town and realizing how lucky we were to get to spend some time with him."

Carole

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was fantastic but exhausting! I feel I saw and experienced many of the things I had learned only in history books when in high school. Medievel times came to life while walking over cobblestones in roads built in the 14th and 15th centuries and seeing a whole room filled with armor worn by warriors in those days. Seeing the original Mona Lisa and a statue of Venus in the same morning was incredible! Being at the top of the Eiffel Tower when it sparkled was exciting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking outside to look way up to see the Swiss Alps after dinner the first day made me cry with delight they were so beautiful! Actually going to Paris after wanting to for so long made seeing the Eiffel Tower a surreal experience."

James

Fox Island, WA

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had lots of fun. There was much value added from going on the tour, getting in to museums quickly and with knowledgable guides, arrangements for travel and meals, learning to navigate the cities and transportation systems. Without these I know I would lost in Europe and would have wasted hours in lines. There were some remarkable highlights such as the piano player in Bacharrach, the Fillipino singers in the Vatican, the luge ride in Austria, the gondola ride, the friends made, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The multiple modes of transportation. Gondola, trains, subways, river boat, canal cruises, luge, bus, taxi and a few that I have forgotten"

Linda

Charlevoix, MI

Tour: 05/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the [INVALID]ion of sites. The tour gave us a slice of life at each destination that was more authentic and educational than would have been possible with a large group. There was a good balance of city/country experience and a good mix of culture/scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "Wows" to pick just one. I was simply in awe of the size of St. Peter's in Rome. The exhilaration of being on top of the world at the Schilthorn was another. Walking atop San Marco at the level of the horses in Venice was another."

Kathleen

Heyburn, ID

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations. It was so well-organized and packed with great experiences and information. I could not have possibly planned such a trip on my own without first spending hours and hours in preparation - and even then I couldn't have planned anything so comprehensive. It was reassuring to know that everything was arranged. Riding on the comfortable bus to each new destination, with Ben's great driving, helped make the tour relaxing and stress-free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me one of the biggest "wow" moments was our side trip to Orvieto, on the way to Cinque Terre from Rome. It was such an unexpected surprise because the itinerary only described it as a "refreshing stop at one of Italy's enchanting hill towns." Orvieto truly was enchanting and a place that I would love to return to for more exploring. Riding the funicular to the old-town hilltop, and then walking through the town and coming upon the amazing cathedral was definitely a "wow" experience."

Stephen

South Pasadena, CA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific time. Loved the places, the people on the tour and, of course, Daniela.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the awesomeness of Switzerland. Enjoyed the Rothenberg night watch tour's humor and history combined."

Connie

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trying to tell friends and family about my experience in a quick, concise summary is almost impossible. This was a trip of a lifetime for me. Everything from the history lessons, intimate tours, food, accomodations, sights and personal moments were perfect! My guide Daniela helped pull this all together in a fun yet professional manner. Our group was fabulous. I want to send my thanks and appreciation to all involved.

Bobbie

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have travelled extensively as independent travelers. This was, however, our first trip to Europe. We are so glad we joined this tour. We had a marvelous experience and all of the logistics worked perfectly. While I have planned many international trips, it would have been impossible for us to have covered as much, as smoothly, as we did on this tour. Best yet, we had our fantastic guide, Daniela, who really made the trip for us. She is amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count. Seeing The David, Winged Victory, Venice and the Eiffel Tower for the first time are right up there. Taking the gondola up to the Schilthorn in the Alps, and eating lunch in the sunshine of the tiny village below was amazing. On the other hand, the "self cleaning toilets" in the rest stops along the German Autobahn provided the ladies with some real "Wow!" moments!"

Shirley

Huntington, TX

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a fabulous time on this trip!! Everything was very well organized, planned out. I felt very well informed about everything that was going on and knew what to expect at each stop we made. Our group size was just the right size that made travel easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard to pinpoint because everyday was unique and everyday got even better as we traveled. The views were spectacular and all the different people we met were amazing!"

Steven

Woods Cross, UT

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding does not do justice for my overall experience... My experience was an "Life Changing Experience" the tour changed my life in many ways. When (not "if") I go on another trip; I will only use Rick Steves Tours. The tour exceeded any and all of my expectations on the Best of Europe tour. Thanks for an amazing time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every minute of the Best of Europe tour was a wow moment... but if I had to single out one wow moment. It would be Switzerland; the alps, Schilthorn, and Lauterbrunnen was breathtaking! A close second was celebrating my wife's 50th birthday in Venice/Gondola ride and dinner along the canal. If anyone is thinking of going on a tour; The Rick Steves Tour is the only one to take!!! It is a wow moment."

Pamela

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! Liked the fact that we had scheduled tours (especially of the "must sees") but also time on our own. The bus was comfortable and our bus driver,Ben, was great!! It was a great way to cover a large area and hit the high points in a short amount of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"VENICE"

Susan

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely Fabulous!!! I had never been to Europe, this tour exceeded my expectations!! I have given an honest rave review to all that ask about my trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"People ask me this and I still can't decide. Everyday was "Wow" moment for me."

Crystal

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although 21 days is a long time, I felt as though this tour was the perfect tour to allow us to see all the "big" sights in the cities that we visited. I absolutely loved having time in each city to ourselves, yet still having our guide to help us plan what we could actually fit into our free time. The next time we visit Europe, we will be able to do a more specific itinerary without missing out on certain sights, because we feel like we have a good little taste of each country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking around Switzerland was filled with pinch me moments--we kept saying that the scene around us couldn't be real. Another wow moment was seeing St. Peter's Basilica and the beauty of it."

Richard

Mission, BC

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Daniela was simply outstanding. Mother duck constantly herding her ducklings. She provided insight, passion, and context for a group of travelers largely unfamiliar with Europe. She made every effort to add extra value to every stop along the way. Her range of connections and contacts in the various cities is quite amazing and certainly added to our collective experience. Our bus driver Ben was also first rate. A consummate professional who made our travels worry free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman Coliseum was more impressive than I imagined."

Russell

Heyburn, ID

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never could have imaged how great this tour would have been. From start to finish was it was educational, visual, enjoyable and a wonderful bonding experience. The tour touched history, art, architecture, food and drink, people (some with personal stories), nature, transportation, and everyday life. Some how this was all put together in the tour and everybody loved it. The individual guides at the museums were very informative. I have enjoyed retelling the stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful guide, Daniela, was the "wow" moment. You might have others as good, but I can image non better."

Linda

Centralia, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. I have traveled extensively on my own and this was the first organized tour I have been on so I was not sure how much I would enjoy it, but I did. We had a wonderful group experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, for sure."

Nancy

Harrison, AR

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was all wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a simple thing but in Holland, there are markers on the ground of the people that were removed from their homes and sent to prison camps during WWII. On the street we were on there were seven people that were taken."

Carol

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour fulfilled its promise of being "the best of Europe in 21 days." We saw places we had only read about, or seen on Rick Steves PBS programs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were different "wow" moments. The Swiss Alps were the most beautiful part of the tour."

William

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland"

Robert

Bossier City, LA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best 3 weeks of my life. My sister and I, both still in college decided on a Rick Steve's tour to try and see a lot of beautiful art, architecture, sights, as well as make new friends and sample different cuisines and cultures. Everyday was a great day on the tour. They set it up perfect with good mixtures of group time and activities as well as free time. We skipped all of the major lines in every huge attraction that we visited, and got GREAT recommendations from our guide, Reid.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at 10,000 feet at the Piz Gloria on the schilthorn in Switzerland. What a beautiful place, I've never seen anything like it. And we couldn't have had better weather! Best day on the tour! But basically every day and tidbit of information was a "wow" moment on this tour. Outstanding!"

Clark

Harrison, AR

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was exactly what we were looking for[INVALID]a good combination of things taken care of for us (no worries about hotel reservations, some meals provided) vs. things left for us to figure out on our own. We booked this tour because we wanted to learn how to be as comfortable traveling on our own in Europe as we are in the U.S. and Canada. We're probably not 100% to that goal, but we came as close as any one tour could do[INVALID]maybe we need another Rick Steves Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There honestly is no single "wow" moment--the entire trip was wonderful."

John

Ledyard, CT

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, and my first trip to Euope. My wife had lived in Holland for a year and a half when she was a teenager. We both felt that an immersion type tour would be best for us, and we were looking for a moderately high level of activity. We wanted the logisitcs to be worked out by experts, and we hoped to gain some skills and experience so that we might return on our own some day. The tour met all of our expectations - other than the hotel room in Rome, it was close to perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: the illumination of St Mark's Basicila in Venice, David at the Uffizi in Florence, the north face of the Eiger from Kleine Scheidegg, St Chappelle, and the Rembrandt room at the Louvre. Both the Rijksmuseum and the Vatican Museum were too crowded and loud to generate any "wow" moments, unfortunately - I understand that it's part of the game these days."

James L

Centralia, WA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought the overall experience was very good. I am very glad I went and the Rick Steve's tour was a great way to see it. I liked Reed. He was a good tour director. I liked the bus & driver. There was plenty of space and Jon was a good driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland."

Rachel

Bossier City, LA

Tour: 05/12/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was absolutely phenomenal. I can't even put into words the expectations that the tour exceeded. I had the absolute time of my life and my tour mates were so enjoyable. Our tour guide, Reid, was great. He was so enjoyable, bright, and loved to have a great time with us. He knew valuable and helpful information everywhere we went. I would go on another Rick Steves' trip as soon as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my whole tour was "wow" moments. My favorite "wow" moment was taking the hike from Monterroso to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. I had never done anything like that in my life. It was absolutely breathtaking, and it wasn't even a bright, sunny day out. My second favorite "wow" moment was taking a helicopter ride through the Swiss Alps. On that 15 minute ride, I was absolutely speechless with the biggest grin on my face. I was absolutely amazed."

Gregory

Torrance, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. We really saw a lot of historical sites, famous museums/art, and beautiful country sides. My tour expectations were high and every stop managed to come up with something to exceed them. This was especially true in the non-big name cities such as Bacharach, Rothenburg, Reutte, Cinque Terre, and Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was filled with wonderful memories, but two stand out. Setting my eyes on the Colosseum and seeing how majestic it is and the beauty of the Lauterbrunnen Valley."

Duncan

Auckland,

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. It was very enjoyable. Joining a tour group minimizes the amount of planning and organizing, which is perfect for a lazy traveller like myself. Also, using the group entrance for some of the busy locations saves a lot of time waiting in line. I made some friends. It is like an extended family. The members of our group got along well and we had excellent dynamics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum was truly breath-taking."

Margaret

Torrance, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the most wonderful tour imagineable! I loved the the whole experience; the museums, the scenery, the size of the group, the tour guide, all of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many 'wow' moments on our trip it is nearly impossible to pick just one. Neverthess, two highlight were St Marks Basilica in Venice and the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. The history, mosaics and horses of St Mark's were amazing! The Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps was so beautiful with all the waterfalls, milk cows, tall mountains amd snow (as viewed from the web cam at the top)."

Judy

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the experience was very good. I would have rated it outstanding, but at times it felt too rushed and too much jammed in whereby it became overloaded and members seemed to shut down. I know the tour wanted to hit all the tourist highlights but I think some items could have been eliminated or could have been switched - (canal cruise - really nothing but dirty canals, also switching the Rijksmuseum to the first part of day and Ann Frank's towards end I think would have been more enjoyable).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a conversation with a German Grandmother and Grandson at Dachau concentration camp cafeteria. She had asked where my buddy and I were from in perfect English, her grandson wanted to know where we were from since I spoke so fast and he could not understand me. We had a lovely conversation. Also enjoyed speaking with the young woman who was a guard at the Rijksmuseum. The moment that really wowed me for sites was the Colosseum and Francesca's tour. Favorite site overall!!"

Valerie

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was fun. We had a great group of people and Martin, our tour leader, was excellent, caring and knowledgeable. I enjoyed all of the walking and the bus was very comfy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was seeing the waterfalls inside the cave in Switzerland. I have been to many countries and have never seen anything like that! Beautiful."

Patrick

Kissimmee, FL

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our trip was a bit overwhelming at times. We saw so much, experienced something new every moment. Our group was always on the move together as one big group, fractions of the total group or couples. Our guide Martin offered some directions, suggestions for us as a group and individually. Rest time was welcome because several of us caught something that slowed us down. Sleeping at the sea side resorts in Italy gave me time to recover and regain strength for our Swiss visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Herr Jung in Baccarach. He was just as amazing in person as on the RS TV show. He was as genuine and warm a person as one could hope for and he added a bit of humor and music. He took us to a shop where a local played piano for us while our group hung on every note he played. Francesco in Rome was as passionate as always about her city. I shocked her when I walked up to her and hugged her as if I we had met before. Yodi in Haarlem was amazing. Hard worker and fun personality."

Gloria

Waco, TX

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

My experience was different than most, due to a recently diagnosed spinal condition. I had already committed to go, and didn't want to disappoint my sister by cancelling. Also, it was past the cancellation date, and I couldn't afford to lose the entire price of the tour I had already paid. I did my best to keep up with the group. Jesse was very helpful. I opted out of several activities that I knew I couldn't do. I made some wonderful friends and saw some beautiful scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, without a doubt! As we drove into the Lauterbrunnen Valley, it was breathtaking! We awoke to snow the next morning. That just added to the magical beauty of God's creation."

Irvine

St Michaels, MD

Tour: 05/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband Irv and I celebrated our 50 Wedding Anniversary by going on this Rick Steves Best of Europe Tour in 21 Days. Our trip which started in Amsterdam on May 5 and ended in Paris on May 25 was a dream trip for us. Everything that was promised was delivered. Our tour guide Jesse was top-knotch. His genuine enthusiasm was heartfelt and made our experience go beyond anything we had anticipated. The incredible variety of experiences we had was fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "WOWS"! Our walking tour of Amsterdam, the Keukenhof Gardens, beautiful Rhine Valley and Bacharach, medieval Rothenburg, the spectacular Bavarian Alps (and castles) and Austria's Tirol. Add then there's Italy! Getting to walk the streets of Venice, Florence, and Rome with enthusaistic and knowledgeable guides emmersed in history and art! Cinque Terre- a jewel of a place. Our snowy hike in the Swiss Alps with Jesse- frozen in our memories! And Paris- a perfect ending of a perfect trip!"

Imants

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A bit grueling, but I understand it had to be in order to see as much as we did. Also, I was not feeling well, so that didn't help. But I hung in there and am glad I was able to. We didn't have to spend so much time hearing about how tolerant the Dutch are of homosexuals, drugs and prostitution....we hear enough of that in the States.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum in Rome knocked my brain for a loop. Imagining how they built it and how it has survived all this time. Of course all the other marvelous structures along the way were unbelievable!"

Shirley

Loveland, CO

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour, Europe in 21 Days was totally awesome! This was our first trip to Europe so my husband I picked the Rick Steve's tour because of friends that had gone on a 14-day tour to Italy and had raved about their experience. Every detail was taken care of for us; hotels, meals, tours, etc. Exceptional in every way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour! Everything was a "wow" for us. Never have been to Europe and the whole tour wowed us!"

John

Loveland, CO

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Europe so we wanted to get the most out of our experience that we could. Rick Steves accomplished that and more. The tour guide was excellent, the bus driver was super. Hotel accomdations were great as well as the group meals. Just enough time on your own to get a break from the tour regiment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking beauty of Switzerland"

Lori

Columbia Falls, MT

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Europe is an amazing place! Rick Steves and his company helped me to discover Europe in a way where I felt well cared for and safe. I truly believe that accomplishing the 21 Day trip through Europe would have been impossible if we had not decided to go through Rick Steves. The destinations are wonderful. Each has its own special treasure. I enjoyed every destination and was happy to share that experience with my family and my new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This trip was filled with many "wow" moments, however I think that my favorite "wow" moment was the first time that I saw Neuschwanstein from the window of our tour bus. I had anticipated that sight for so long and was shocked to see the castle sitting right there up on the hill. It was magic. Another "wow" moment was pulling through the woods and catching our first glimpse of the Wieskirche gleaming in the sunlight, set within a field of green. The inside of the church was "WOW" as well!"

Karen

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I loved seeing the many locations and different countries we toured during our 21-day journey. It was the trip of a lifetime; however, it was also strenuous . We would do it again in a heartbeat, and that says a lot for two individuals who are over 65. Our only criticism of the tour would be concerning our first room in Haarlem. The carpeting was unspeakably filthy, stained, and discolored--definitely not up to Rick Steves' standards.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our "wow" moment was the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands. The flowers were in full bloom[INVALID]tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, and more. The exhibition in the Juliana Pavilion was spectacular. The time we spent in the gardens was unique, spectacular, and unforgettable. We would love to see it again."

Suzanne

Columbia Falls, MT

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour! Each new day brought amazing sights and fun adventures! We really enjoyed everyone in our tour group! Our tour guide Dimitri and bus driver Richard were amazing! We have so many golden memories from our tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "Wow" moments, but if I had to pick my favorite, I would have to say it was Keukenhof Gardens. Words and even photos just can't do it justice! We walked around seeing one amazing sight after another the entire visit. Love that place!"

Christine

Sault Ste Marie, ON

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 21 day tour covered many places and sights in Europe that we had always wanted to explore. The things I liked about the tour were...well informed, approachable and always upbeat Dimitri our tour guide, excellent food, nice but now elaborate accomodation, skipping wait line at major tourist venues, free time to explore at our own pace, a group of people to travel with that were like minded and definitely not grumpy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite wow moment, though it ranks up there with about a dozen others was hiking in the alps and reaching Gimmewald and seeing an elderly farm couple eating their breakfast of bread jam and coffee at a rickety old table in front of the barn in the morning drizzle...it doesn't get much more back door than that."

Mark

Sault Ste Marie, ON

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had the time of our lives. Seeing in person some of the art, cities, towns, and landscapes we've read and heard about for so many years was a once in a lifetime experience. We would do it again without hesitation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colloseum!"

Patrick

Driftwood, TX

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I especially appreciated not having to worry about the logistics of anything[INVALID]scheduling, getting tickets, making reservation, etc. Also, the screening that goes into assembling the tour groups is very wise. You do indeed have to do a lot of hiking and hauling luggage up four flights of narrow winding staircases. There are inevitable moments of frustration in which the temptation toward grumpiness could bubble to the surface unless clear messages suppressing it are broadcast in advance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the vistas in Switzerland are jaw droppingly beautiful. Your bus comes around a bend and BANG--the valley, the sky, the mountains, the streams, the waterfalls, the charming little town below hit you ten times harder than the best Disney artist could render them."

Buckner

La Mirada, CA

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

very nice. Great tour guide and driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland"

Rob

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Experiencing some of Europe's great sights with a wonderful group of like minded travelers was simply wonderful. Each day brought a heaping plateful of new sights, sound , smells and tastes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest wow moment for me was entering St. Peters Basilica. There was something amazing anywhere you could look, and the sheer size was overwhelming. A close second was the gondola ride in Venice. That made me feel like I was really in a different world."

Barb

Independence, OR

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being newbies to Europe, this was the perfect way to experience a bit of everything. Our guide Dimitri was knowledgeable, personable, very helpful, and fun! Our bus driver Richard was extremely capable, and added to the experience. Leaving the planning, logistics, transportation to you; we were able to just enjoy and soak in the experience. Having the tickets ahead of time and not having to stand in line forever was also a big plus! Met some great people and we are ready to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last night in Paris, we gathered in the park below the Effiel Tower to recap the journey; highlights, funny stories, etc. and champagne! Lots of last photos; hugs, and tears. And then the tower started twinkling... what a way to end the tour!"

Tom

Independence, OR

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were first time tour participants and this was our first time to Europe. I really appreciated the fact that we didn't have to deal with the details of travel, lodging, and itinerary. This allowed us to focus on the sights and enjoy the expertise of our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough because there were so many.... I believe Francisca's description of the Roman Forums had to be the top, she just had the best style for bringing the civilization to life...."

Julie

The Villages, FL

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was substantially greater than anticipated! I thoroughly enjoyed all the little surprises Dimitri, our tour guide, sprung upon us on an almost daily basis. From regional food specialties to unexpected optional activities, Dimitri kept our group wondering what our tour "dad" was going to come up with next.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though I knew Raphael's "School of Athens" fresco was inside the Vatican Museums, I felt overwhelmed as I rounded the corner and turned around to see it staring me in the face. So much larger in person, my eyes began to water with amazement as I stopped to take in the moment. This was my number one piece of art I wanted to see since learning about it in art history class during college."

Joe

The Villages, FL

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Professional guide, driver and we'll run operation. A lot of walking and in mean a lot. I average 10,400 steps every day, wither three days nearing 30,000. Way more than I expected. I had something to do every day and most days were full ticket days. The one down day in Italy, I payed on the beach and recuperated. I would highly recommend this tour as long as you can keep up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local guide at the Coliseum, in Rome. Her passion for the story was infectious. I loved her explanation of how people seeing a lion, having never seen or heard of a lion, would be like us seeing a character from Star Wars, come to life!"

Barbara

Silver Spring, MD

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taxing, but rewarding. We were well cared for during the whole tour by our guide, Dimitri Rigas & our driver Richard....a well matched team! If we did this on our own we thought a minimum of 3 nights in a location would be better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough one...either the walk to and around the lake on our way to "The Castles" or The Baptistery in Florence or taking in the overall picture of the Forum with Francesca's visual guidance."

Patricia

Bristol, IN

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the trip was a great experience and we got a taste of a lot of different places, giving us a sense of where we would like to visit again in more depth. The itinerary covered more sites than we would ever be able to do on our own in this amount of time. Additionally, it's fun to meet the other members of the group and share the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Keukenhof tulip gardens in the Netherlands, which isn't even a part of the normal itinerary for this trip. We were fortunate in our timing in that the tulips were at their peak, so the gardens were substituted for the planned visit to Arnhem's open-air museum. My second "wow" moment was everything about the Swiss Alps. Also, Ehrenberg ruins, which is not on the itinerary but should be. An additional "wow" moment was the luge ride. Great fun!"

Christopher

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unbelievably amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss alps were so much more impactful in person. Really though, the success of the tour was much less about a few wow moments and more due to the many little experiences that happened every single day."

Ron

Columbia, SC

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was a recap of places we had visited before, but getting it all covered again in 21 days was a wonderful experience and just enough time at each place to see anything we had missed before and to revisit those places we loved on other visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: First was Keukenhof Gardens. Our first time there and what a magical place. Every turn was another breathtaking vista of beauty. Second, it was a chance to see our very first Rick Steves guide from six tours ago, when our tour and her tour both crosses while taking gondola rides in Venice. All our guides have been wonderful, but since Colleen was our first, she still holds a very special place in our hearts and memories!"

Richard

Columbia, SC

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fantastic three weeks. We experienced the intensity of major cities as well as the serenity and calm of small town Europe. In many of the places we had visited in years past, we were able to make new discoveries that whetted our apetite to return in the future. Meals on the trip were all outstanding, providing more than food, they were fun experiences. There was lots of free time "to do our own thing" as well as group excursions led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was the time we spent in the Alps. Looking out our room window in Lauterbrunnen and seeing the peaks of the Alps was a fantastic. Moreover, it was almost spiritual hiking along the peaks from Gimmelwald to Murren. We passed less than ten people all morning and the sun shone brightly making it even more special."

Kimberly

Tarzana, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just what I was hoping for! A wonderful experience - a sampling of diverse western European locations (geography/climate, culture, customs, cuisine) with a fun, nice smaller group of 'travelers' (not 'tourists') & great guide, Jennifer. Jennifer helped us go beyond the surface, for deeper exploration, understanding, appreciation. I had a couple glitches (ex: ATM card stopped working) & Jennifer + 'travelers' helped me resolve them. Recommend!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the high Alps in Switzerland. Felt like I'd just stepped into "Heidi"."

Pamela

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Europe in 21 days covers an amazing variety of experiences. Everyday was an adventure ready to happen. As I go through our pictures, it is hard to believe now how much we experienced throughout Europe in terms of scenery, locations, culture, history, food, music, and fun. I had high expectations and the tour exceeded them. The tour members were an interesting diverse group that were fun to travel with. The bus time provided opportunities to rest and enjoy the scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most unexpected "wow" moment was a combination of experiences. The first was the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank house. The second was the emotional experience of hearing Herr Jung in Bacharach tell of his life during the war as a young teenager. The third was the guide we had in Munich! His combination of intellectual study and personal family experiences that he shared in his attempt to understand and research what happened during the war to the German people was riveting."

Teresa

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A smattering of all things great & small! Left us wanting more & comfortable knowing when we do go back, we can get around easily!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"JUST ONE?!?! Near impossible! Francesca made Rome come alive! Our bus driver Sylvain wowed us daily!!!! He even made sure when our guide took ill, she had medical attention & never skipped a beat! Most tour members didn't even know she was sick at all! Professional teamwork at its finest!!"

Robert

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing experience. Not once did I wish I was someplace else or find my mind wandering off topic. This is significant because I usually have the attention span of a housefly. I'm still working on a mental narrative tying the whole thing together. As I work my way through my pictures it is easy to see how skillfully all this was packaged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I try not to rank experiences, favoring a comparison of the elements in the arts, nature, history and so on of each area we visited. That said, we sure did see plenty of mind blowing Renaissance art. This was nicely contrasted with the natural beauty of the countryside rolling along just outside the bus or during hikes."

Susan

Garberville, CA

Tour: 04/28/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was an very good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole thing."

Patricia

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and it exceeded our expectations. Our hope was that we'd get an overview of sites that would help us discern how we'd like to spend our travel dollars in the future. Also, we wanted to gain a certain comfort level with some of the larger cities like Rome and Paris which had seemed too intimidating to tackle without guidance. Mission accomplished!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many "wow" moments to count: our first view of the Alps, the emotion of stepping into the Anne Frank house, the astonishment of looking up and seeing the stained glass in St. Chapelle. I could go on and on."

Arnold

Powder Springs, GA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

All of the Guides were excellent. The areas we saw we interesting by themselves, but the historical context made the visits much more meaningful. Also, I a lot of the side trips and excursions, were something that I would not have considered had I not been a part of the tour. I was somewhat disconcerted, by the hotels, but I realized after awhile what you meant by "Thru the back doors." I would recommend these tours again to friends and neighbors. I enjoyed our group experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps in Switzerland."

Sam

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall - wonderful. We got exactly what we were looking for which was an overview of Europe which will allow us to return on our own for a deeper visit into the areas that most interested us. Staying two nights in every location was very helpful in that it allowed us to achieve a comfort level with each city before moving on to the next. One night at each location would have been dizzying and overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps were stunning, but the stained glass of Sainte Chapelle was my favorite "wow" moment because it was so unexpected. I expected to be impressed by the Alps, but I did not expect to be overwhelmed by stained glass."

Katherine

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mix together two dozen (some familiar, mostly strangers) people, plop them in seven different countries, and overlay them with the Rick Steves tour structure, pacing and philosophy to yield 21 days packed with adventure, excitement, and cultural and historical enrichment. In short, a recipe for the best time of my life. Of course, the confluence of fair weather, better than fair exchange rate, and the fairest of tour guides, driver, assistant and local guides helped.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to single out the best "wow" moment--it's apples and oranges. Favorite food wow: gnocchi in Florence Favorite historical wow: tour of the Colisseum with Francesca Favorite scenic wow: the Swiss Alps Favorite adrenaline rush wow: the luge Favorite art wow: the Sistine Chapel"

Edward

Janesville, WI

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were high and the tour exceeded them. Our guide was excellent, our traveling companions were interesting, our accomadations were good, and the weather was great. If I had a disappointment, it was with tourists and their cameras. My wish would be to restrict picture taking in all the major buildings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That was always changing. If there was a moment, it was when I saw the Rhine at Bacharach and that was for personal reasons."

Sue Ellen

Janesville, WI

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We traveled with an excellent tour guide who was knowledgeable, personalable, well-organized, and indespencable! I'd go anywhere with Colleen! Our fellow tourists were all congenial people. Everyone got along well. It was, as expected, a rigorous program with no wasted time, so 21 days was a bit of a slog by the end, but we well-prepared for everything by following the whole Rick Steves approach. We feel pretty prepared for independent travel in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is the toughest question. Seems to me that every day brought a new WOW."

David

Carbondale, CO

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colleen was awesome. The coach was comfy. All our guides were great. Food and beds were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland and the coliseum in Rome"

Carol

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Seeing the different cultures of each country was amazing. Loved the big city and small town experiences. We appreciated all the effort Rick Steve's tours puts into the tour to make it the best that it can be. Of course with Colleen (and Trish for one week) as our guide things have not been better. They are so knowledgeable about the history, etc. of each area that was so helpful in understanding what we were about to experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scale of buildings, like seeing the Duomo for the first time. Had seen photos of many of these historical places but seeing in person was fabulous. So I had several wow moments."

William

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was outstanding! This was my first time traveling overseas and of course I was a little apprehensive but that was all for naught. The whole trip was an unbelievable experience. Each city had met or exceeded my expectations. The tour guide(s) were very professional and knowledgeable and were just fun to hang around with. It was amazing on all the cultural and historical information that we received on this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each city had certain "wow" moments, so it would be hard to pick out only one. If I had to choose, it would be the absolute beauty of Switzerland!! Walking through the valley with all of the snow capped mountains and waterfalls everywhere, cows with their bells ringing each step as they walked past, made me feel like I was walking through a Postcard. That would be my WOW moment!"

Ted

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 04/19/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My 21 days in Europe was great. Colleen our tour guide was outstanding. Very knowledgeable. Trish was great too along with our bus driver Ben. You have a great team! I will remember it the rest of my life. My only complaint is that I spent close to a thousand dollars extra for single lodging when I was the only single male on the trip. That was a waste of money when I would have had single lodging anyway. But in general the trip was incredible. I would recommend it to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Netherlands flowers. Austria. Germany. Switzerland. Exploring by myself. The locals were very nice. The food! The new friends I met!"

Donna

Dallas, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than I expected, and just what I needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but the time I enjoyed most was spent in Cinque Terre, Italy. The beauty of nature, the strenuous hill climbing, the fabulous food and, last but not least, the amazing wine."

Linda

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely met or exceeded my expectations & hopes. So much fun! First time to Europe, & RS provided just the right mix of taking care of the travel, hotels, tickets, etc. & gave me the tools (& words)needed & opportunities to explore on my own. Using the tour book was very helpful. Nice to be able to choose to participate or not in the group events. Loved it that we had all signed on to the No Crabbiness pledge; it worked!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the ancient Roman structures; Colosseum, Pantheon, Forum, etc. Our tour guide there was wonderful- her "big picture" view of local history was fascinating, and so educational. Lots of small details that were very interesting, too. So awesome to stand in these buildings that have been occupied for 2000+ years! Inspiring me to learn more about Roman history!"

Joe

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I am a man of few words, the group was a great mix of folks from across the USA, Canada and Australia. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and organized. Overall the mix of countries and experiences were just incredible!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" was the coliseum in Rome. There were many many smaller wows as well!"

Nancy O'Brien

Chesterfield, MO

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience because of the combination of having Jesse as our guide, Mark as his assistant, a small, like-minded and friendly group of travelers, professional bus driver, excellent weather, less crowds in major sightseeing venues, &the selection of hotels to stay at over 3 wks.. Pete & I honestly enjoyed every minute of the 3wks! We are very grateful for this time. Nancy Stratte

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aside from the Swiss Alps- Jesse pointing out the white plaster on the outside of a worn looking castle - explaining that castles were beautiful and magnificent inside and outside. This little point completely changed my attitude about castles. They were no longer the cold,dank, dark, ugly stone forts!"

Sandra

Oxnard, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We are experienced travelers, and have traveled on our own throughout the British Isles, New Zealand, Canada and even into Alaska. "Back door" travel is our style. This tour, only our second, the first being a Trafalgar, lived up to, and exceeded our expectations in almost every way. There were some shortcomings, however, which are described later in this survey, but overall our experience was unforgettable and positive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, my favorite Wow moment was at the top of the Schilthorn peak. We were so fortunate to have a clear day, so our views were magnificent! Following that incredible moment was another when we walked through the small villages below the snowline after disembarking the gondola."

Kathleen

Woodstock, GA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My third time on a best of Europe tour and as always Rick Steves tours never disappoint. An outstanding tour guide in Jesse and second great experience with Mark as our assistant guide. But what is always the best is the wonderful tour members. Everything was seamless and went off without a hitch. Being my sixth experience with Rick Steves tours I am certain to be back next year.

Brenda

Alamo, TN

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot believe what a great experience I had! Great in every way. Our tour guide, Jesse was fabulous from the beginning, very good at his job. I felt very safe with his guidance.. He was thoughtful, trustworthy, very informative. He made the places we visited come alive even before we arrived at our destinations! I loved the loccossional little stories he would read to us on the bus, the impromptu poetry that always fit the occasion. We knew he always had our best interest at heart!,,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Jesse, Mark and Richard having set up a picnic lunch for us when we returned from King Ludwig castle, it was so thoughtful and nice! The whole trip was a WOW moment from beginning to end. Jesse, Mark And Richard just made it the greatest experience ever, now I'm spoiled and can't even imagin a trip without all three!!!!!!!!!!"

Ronald

Missoula, MT

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was beyond our expectations! The bus times were so well orchestrated that it never seemed long/tedious. There was something new/fun/exciting ALL the time. The free time was wonderful. The guides were so knowledgeable, considerate, organized, personable - loved the stories/poems/history/music!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WAY too many to list. For us - the countryside of Germany was a 'wow' - all of Michealangelo's works - WOW - ALL architecture."

Brenda

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Europe, and I'm really glad I went on this trip. Being able to see many different countries and experience the food and culture was a beautiful thing! I will never forget the opportunity I had to experience Europe without having to plan all the necessary travel details. The guidebooks were extremely valuable for our travel adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coach driver's driving skills, professionalism, & impeccable attire was a "wow." Richard Hanson not only served as our driver, he served as another assistant. He was a wealth of local information and made the long bus rides pleasurable."

Everett

Burnsville, MN

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was great! This tour was a last minute idea for my wife and I we literally booked it 3 weeks before the start day. As newbies to European travel we wouldn't have been able to match this tour on our own. Stress free & easy. RST was the clear choice over other tour companies because we knew exactly what we were getting, the others left us guessing. The guides & driver were knowledgeable & welcoming; they made the group into a family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The insight that came from seeing / experiencing the country that my ancestors came from. I could see myself & family in the personalities I met. The other "WOW" the coach driver Richard was extremely professional, well-versed & impeccably dressed. His driving was excellent."

Citlali

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was an amazing experience. I was expecting to learn a lot regarding cities/cultures/structures but our amazing tour guide Jesse and tour assistant Mark along with the wonderful group dynamic during the trip just sent this trip over the top making it a lot of fun! The hotels were nice and centrally located which allowed us to walk to significant sites during our "free time", the food was always great and plentiful, and sites/museums visited as a group were well chosen/organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my first time in Europe, so each city had its own "wow" moment. But if I had to choose only one moment, it would be the moment we were walking in Rome as a group down small streets and rows of houses, and suddenly...BAM! the Roman Colosseum came into view...WOW! It was unreal and such a great moment for me."

Terry

Bay St Louis, MS

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned an amazing amount of history in the short time we were together. Entering a museum or church or traveling from city to city was a wonderful experience with our guide's information about our daily destination. The tour is physically demanding, so the information given about the need to be in shape for walking, stair climbing and standing needs to be acknowledged. Entering amazing sites such as Vatican Museum and all the rest without having to wait in line is wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day had a "wow" moment for each of us, but my favorite was entering St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City."

David

Hull, MA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to Europe. We saw the major sights, met people, and had a thorough background provided by Martin. Hotels were good, meals superb, and the bus was comfortable. John the bus driver was the star of the trip for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting the bus over the pass to Interlachen -- driving through those mountains was an experience. Europe through the Backdoor should also be Europe through the Backroads."

Eung Soo

Pohang-si,

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have travelled America a few times, also I have travelled some of asian countries, including china and Japan, neighbour countries of South Korea. But I had never been in European Countries. To learn about the western culture, especially the vestiages of the renaissance period was why I had joined the Best of Europe 21 days. The church after church, the scupture after sculture made me feel fantastic and the kindness of each of tour members kept me happy all the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each moment of the tour should be "wow" to an asian mind as you know. To me the time to visit Rome is the moment. After seeing the Batican, I walked the Borgesse garden, and had a cup of coffe in a shop and I saw the sunset over the Basilica Scanti Petri at the Spanish Steps in a free time the tour schedule gave me and my wife."

April

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour. The first was Ireland and guide Stephen was outstanding. I was hoping that the Europe tour guide would be as good. Martin was excellent in his knowledge, humor, skill at keeping us entertained and safe. I don't know how Rick picks his guides but I am very impressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was a side trip to the Florence US Military Cemetery. I don't know if this was scheduled or a spur of the moment decision by Martin. It was a very moving experience to see how our fallen soldiers have been honored with such beautiful site."

Judith

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful group of people, great guides, the best bus driver in the world, plus Europe! What a trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the cable car(s) to the top of the Schilthorn, and watching the houses in Murren shrink below us. The vistas at the top were spectacular."

Karen

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I found the tour a little regimented. A bit more free time would have been nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot chocolate in the rotating restaurant at the Shelthorn!"

Marsha

Galloway, NJ

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought it was well planned out with a mix of active days and down time. On the 21 day tour one 3 night stay somewhere in the middle of the tour would be a welcome relief from moving every 2 days. I am not sure where you would insert that or what you would have to cut out to do that though.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one since everything was awesome, but I would have to say that hiking in the Cinque Terre was my wow moment. A close second was being in the Colosseum in Rome."

John

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We picked this tour to fill in some gaps from previous European travel and revisit old favorites. The tour was hectic, but very well organized. Almost everything was interesting and very well done. We had a very compatible tour group which meshed well from the beginning. The itinerary was good in that it included a lot of small towns and countryside, not only big cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were many. A favorite was Switzerland and our guide's walking tour of Murren and the beautiful mountains. Weather was perfect. Loach was interesting and away from usual tourist trail. Hotel was outstanding. Another Wow was Venice, particularly the Peggy Gudenheim museum."

Suzanne

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was a wonderful first time travel to Europe experience. There were many wonderful aspects including fellow travelers, guide, driver, hoteliers, restaurants and meals, scenery, route and stops. I especially appreciated the RS 'stay in the middle of things and interact' orientation with guidance and coaching by guide. Had a really wonderful time and will have a lifetime of great memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were actually many for me as was my first time to Europe. Bicycling Moms with young children in Netherlands. Rijksmuseum and guide in Amsterdam. Dachau was a somewhat low but impactful wow moment. Beautiful scenery in the area of Hohenschwangau, Germany Beauty of Swiss alps and spectacular Susten pass bus trip over alps. Walled village near coast in NW Italy where they served the best tomatoes I have ever tasted. Italian art. Charm of Beaune and people of France ."

Elaine

Hull, MA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a pleasure to travel in the orderly fashion that was the norm on this trip. We fell easily into the tour routine and, although some days were hectic, each day was pleasant and full of new experiences. Our tour guide Martin provided information and guidence (pun intended) to enhance our experiences, the local guides were--each and every one of them-fabulous, and our bus driver Jon was the best: keeping us safe and secure while making each leg of our jouney exciting and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting outside on the Tour boat meandering down the Rhine River. It was chilly and raining but the air was brisk and clean, the wine we were sipping was light and delicious, the vineyards and villages along the river were all clean and tidy and breathtakingly beautiful, and we were sitting with new friends enjoying the realization that this adventure of a vacation was all about relaxing and absorbing the essence of right now: and all the right nows to come."

Jerry

Galloway, NJ

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I found the vacation to be beyond my expectations. I found this tour to be well planned and loaded with lots of activities as well as needed down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was our first "Rick Steves'" tour. The fact that we visited the best of Europe in 21 days is my "wow moment." I enjoyed every day."

Sherry

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first major travel experience and I could not have asked for a better introduction. The trip was well planned and I was able to go places and do things that I would never have been able to do on my own. The local guides were exceptional and our Rick Steve's guide Keith was very personable and approachable. Also, our driver, Paul added a lot to our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think making 25 new friends was my "wow". Our group just seemed to gel from the first. We took care of each other and although I was a single woman traveling alone, I was always welcomed by other couples or groups. Even though we were from different backgrounds and countries we had so much in common and everyone was pleasant and fun to be with."

Peter

Evans, GA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

too much walking for no reason; walked adjacent to major streets with street-cars and buses flowing; "Heidebloem" driver never had the HVAC set according to the temperature; bus is too cold (or too hot) when we board the bus, and rarely can maintain a comfortable temperature without passenger inputs; Rick Steves' should add time to permit more Paris and Versailles touring; two-day museum pass is beneficial, but the tour is not planned accordingly so separate museum entry fees become excessive

Favorite "WOW" moment

"dinner at "Giglio Rosso" was the best food of this tour; owners and staff went out of their way to impress!"

Debbie

Evans, GA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Paris visit without a trip up the Eiffel Tower or a boat ride down the Seine is not a quality tour; too much emphasis on the museums and not enough time allocated to other sights; final group dinner engagement prevented some from Eiffel Tower visits and long hours at Versailles; since tour guide left before breakfast on Day 21, we will consider this a 19-day tour; Rick Steves' should offer one-page maps of each country; tear-out pages from guidebook and large map of Europe are insufficient

Favorite "WOW" moment

"tour guide led gondola ride to Mannlichen, with hiking options was a tour highlight"

Kimberly

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew by reading previous reviews of this tour that this would be a great experience, but I was blown away by how well thought-out and organized this tour was. From our guide Keith, to our most-excellent bus driver Paul, to the tourmates themselves, me and my mom could not have had a richer experience. The accomodations were in the heart of the cities, the group dinners were first-rate, and the local guides were outstanding. Some of the most memorable times were not even on the itinery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Luging in view of Neuschwanstein Castle, turning the corner of the Accademia and seeing David, climbing the Duomo with spectacular views of Florence, seeing the Colosseum and walking the Roman Forum, seeing works of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Van Gogh in real life was incredible, and the historical education we received from the local guides was "WOW"!"

Barbara

Grand Lake, CO

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour experience, but I have traveled to Europe many times. I saw things on this trip that, on my own, I would have passed by; Keith knew all these little tidbits of information (like the little church hidden in the shopping district in Amsterdam). My husband and I averaged 8 miles of walking a day, yet we weren't tired! I think that's because all of the headache-producing things, like where to stay and driving, were taken care of, and we could focus on enjoying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my "wow" moment was two days after arriving home from this near month-long vacation. I wanted to be back with the group, exploring something new!"

Edward

Melbourne, FL

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With this tour being our first, but based on our experience not our last, we did question ourselves as to what we were getting into. What made this experience so great was our guide Keith and bus driver Paul, the size of the group and their similar interests to ours plus the location visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its hard to limit this to just one, but feel we enjoyed the small towns more than the big cities. While we wanted to visit places such as Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris, we enjoyed the slower pace of the smaller towns and most likely will plan our next tour around an agenda that limits itself to the smaller towns."

Nora

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This 21 day tour was everything we hoped and more: an affable, knowledgeable guide; a congenial group; outrageously unique and insightful local guides; a comfortable bus; decent local hotels; and wonderful opportunities to learn about history, art and politics where it really happened.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"World War II was fought on European soil and is still real to people who live there. As an American, I never fathomed the impact of occupation, loss, politics and the pain on the whole continent and successive generations."

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was fantastic, the local guides were all good some were great, the accommodations were mostly good with one not so good and one better than good. Weather cooperated too! All in all it was better than I expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The luge ride! The other more cultural/historical ones were too many great moments to choose just one."

Karen

Melbourne, FL

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gave me the confidence to travel in foreign countries even without being on a tour. Keith, our guide, and Paul, our bus driver, we excellent and were full of information. They were great at keeping the group interactive and we all got along very well because of their leadership style and guidance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many."

William

Grand Lake, CO

Tour: 09/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, outstanding guide and local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I really had a wow moment..."

Lois

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the local guides the most. Overall I thought the tour did what it "advertised" it would do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Switzerland, hiking around the mountains. Of course, the weather being perfect -- beyond what Rick Steves could take credit for -- helped a lot!"

David

Potomac, MD

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was excellent. There were a few days when I was sure my lower limbs were going to fall of and a couple of times I wished we could have had more time in a specific spot along the way. Served the purpose of getting to visit Europe and see where we might want to come back to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Switzerland. I expected it to be grand but my expectations exceded greatly."

Jack

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was wonderful. The ability to jump lines, have reservations to go to the most crowded and touristy sites, museums, etc. and walk right up and in made the most of our time. The hotels located in the heart of the areas we visited helped make the free times that we had very pleasant and productive. The tour dinners were in restaurants that we likely wouldn't have found and the food was excellent. Our tour group seemed to click right from the start and we had a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps in the Lauterbrunnen Valley were spectacular. Then to go from the valley floor in the gondola to the edge of the cliff up 1400 vertical feet to where a whole new village was (Muurren) was really great. We had fresh snow the night before we went in the gondolas up to the top of the Schilthorn on the mountain tops."

Paul

Milford, IL

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had many "got-cha" moments.Something at every stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best was five gondolas side by side on the Grand Canal in Venice with yje opera singer and accordian."

Cheryl

Idaho Falls, ID

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first Rick Steeves tour we had been on. I was very impressed with our tour guide, Margaret and her ability to manage 28 people and coordinate so much every day. She did an AMAZING job of giving us information about each area we were visiting and made each new area we visited as exciting as the last. She took such good care of us. The food and hotels were great! Our bus driver, Jean, was also AMAZING and helped to make the trip even more wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite moment was seeing the beautiful mountains and surrounding countryside in Switzerland. We went to the top of Schilthorn on the gondola and the scenery was breathtaking. Also Trummalbach Falls was also pretty spectacular. The Colosseum in Rome was also very memorable. Our guide, Francesca, had a lot of knowledge and passion and it was so interesting learning the history about the Colosseum from her. Seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre was also one of my favorite highlights!"

Ruby

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt Margaret did an excellent job of providing guidance throughout the tour. Would of liked more hands on experiences and/or demonstrations. Museum and architecture choices were well thought out but felt some were redundant. Free time activities could have suggested more opportunities to interact with contemporary artists, craftsmen, and citizens of the areas visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mr. Jung's guided tour and sharing of WWII experiences were most moving. The tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon was the most antiquity "wow". The guide was very knowledgeable; she made the past come alive and put us back to the time of Julius Caesar."

Douglas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It would take three weeks to describe the three week Best of Europe trip. The great food and drink. The pure awesomeness of the Alps. The grandeur of the Forum and Coliseum in Rome. Paris, ah Paris. All the wonderful people. This has to be the best trip ever - so far!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being on top of the world in the Swiss Alps on a crystal clear morning. Absolutely breathtaking."

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great experience that allowed me to see a large cross-section of Europe. The pace at times was very hectic and fast, but I believe I really got my money's worth for what I did and saw in 21 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Colosseum and Roman Forum were just amazing. Imagining the things that happened during that time, picturing all of the buildings being covered with marble, walking in the steps of the emperors, and just the sheer magnitude of everything made a big impression on me. Was even more awe-inspiring than I had imagined."

Kathy

Warsaw, IN

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip. Well organized and very enjoyable, well planned out. It was all we had hoped it would be and then more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the alps, riding the gondola up the Schlithorn Mountain."

James

Warsaw, IN

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I appreciated Margaret, our host and John our bus driver. I especially enjoyed the small towns in Germany,and the Swiss Alps. The pace was very well thought out. Staying two nights at most places, and the mix of high intensity and relaxation was good. The historical background information and cultural distinctions shared by Margaret was just right in content. Not too much, but just enough to be helpful and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local tour guide, Herr Young,in Bacharach, Germany was a real rich experience. This elderly gentleman was an inspiration! His personal stories of WWII, his stories of the youth in Bacharach today,his delightful wit and sense of humor, humble spirit, yearning for peace, love of God and people just filled my heart with joy. Being in his presence even for a short time was blessing. The other "Wow" moment was being in the Swiss Alps, and the Lauterbrunnen valley."

Cynthia

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The level of service offered from our first contact through the last by our tour guide Margaret was outstanding. Every day I woke up expecting to have a great day, but each day somehow turned into a fantastic day! The camaraderie within the group developed throughout the weeks so that when I left my new friends in Paris at the end of week three,I was very sad to see them all go. Thanks for a trip that was absolutely wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment came during a beautifully moonlit night during a gondola ride with an accordian player and a vocalist along with us. The moon was out, the water was calm, Venice was the background upon which our vocalist sang her melodies. It was absolutely perfect."

Irish

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was really great..no dissapointments..Margaret our tour guide and Shaun the driver were fabulous together...I got tired of the stairs with our luggage...but other than that...the food was awesome..the places we ate at so cooooooooooooool...and the individual tour guides were so into explaining their cities it was really a learning lesson I will never forget...I needed more than an hour at the Anne Frank site...but we reconnected with the group later.....I can't wait for the reunion in January

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the runions at Rome"

Terry

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was jam-packed with so many exciting things to see and do. I know that we got our money's worth! It was more of a smorgasbord of Europe in 11 cities. In the future , I hope to return to certain areas and spend more time. Having the Museum Pass in Paris was fantastic... but then trying to fit in 4 museums and/or sites in each day was overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments- and all for different reasons! The Alps, St. Marks's Square (even though I'd been there 37 years ago), Cinque Terre sunsets. My favorite Paris moments were taking the Bateux Mouches in the early evening and touring during sunset and then darkness, with lights dancing on the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower exploding with shimmering , sparkling lights. Our guide had suggested we do this on our own when we had finished with the tour. Good advice."

Richard

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A knowledgeable guide, new experiences, good tour companions and great food... in a nutshell. It was more of a European Sampler than a vacation. Too short of a time in each city/town except for the beginning and end where we stayed extra days. For us, maybe a shorter tour length, in smaller cities and fewer moves...but, we are on the older side. May work better for younger folks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cinque Terre, Beaune, Rothenburg and Lauterbrunnen Valley were interesting, different and enjoyable. Octoberfest in Munich was a wow."

Margery

Atascadero, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good trip! The first week was pure joy - so many interesting things to see and do, and such a wide variety of sites, from museums to houses to castles to city walking tours, and everyday was something unexpected and different. Then we went to Italy, and the trip shifted a bit, to seeing lots of museums, and I pretty quickly maxed out on that. (Except for the ancient Rome part - wonderful.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the gondolas up in the Alps - what a great experience, and we lucked out on the weather. In addition, being able to spontaneously go to Octoberfest was just great, and perhaps the unexpectedness of it was part of that. Also, I'm one of those people who didn't want to go to Anne Frank's house, or visit Dachau, but I'm so glad we did."

Terry

Billings, MT

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour and our tour guide Daniela!I think the sign of a good tour is when people ask you what you liked best you find it difficult to choose. This was our first tour of any kind and we have traveled extensively.Honestly we were a little worried to try one, but had heard good things about Rick Steves:no umbrellas to follow, no assigned seating on the bus, free time, dinners on your own,in short, being treated as adults.We also cannot say enough about the local guides, they were great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Alps!Going to the top~Schilthorn was awe-inspiring,and we come from the mountains!We would have enjoyed our day off there(or really anywhere)vs the Cinq de terre. An odd WOW was the Autogrills:) So clean,terrific food, and a nice break.The US could take a page from their book. Another WOW was the food in general,we never had a bad meal (with the group or alone)I felt Daniela gave us many great options and ideas, and she knew what she was talking about.Daniela was a WOW of a guide!"

JoAnn

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, which was a feast for the senses. Sylvan was an excellent driver, and Daniela a very good guide. Except for one glitch, which was beyond Daniela's control, the tour was executed as described on the website. With one exception, I thoroughly enjoyed the hotels we stayed in. While a few of the breakfasts were a bit disappointing, overall the food provided was outstanding. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is in good physical shape.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I do not have any one particular "wow" moment from the tour - so many of them were wow moments for me. Climbing to the top of the Duomo di Firenze, listening to the guide at Dachau, visiting Neuschwanstein castle, standing there in front of Michelangelo's David, looking out over the Alps and seeing Mont Blanc from atop the Schilthorn, hiking in the Cinque Terra region, standing under the Eiffel Tower...the list goes on!"

Jennifer

Rensselaer, NY

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful and enlightening experience on the tour. Truely the only thing I was disappointed with was the gondola ride in Venice[INVALID]I thought this was going to be romantic,and I would have been except for the fact that my husband and I were seated apart, I did not expect that at all and would have paid more to have been seated together (or even across from eachother) if I had known the setup prior. It was no cheap date either lol

Stephen

Big Lake, MN

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hi all, this tour is amazing , we enjoyed all the stops along the way and especially the side trips on our journey to the next destination. It is a great adventure without all the headaches of planning such a complex trip on your own. It was a great mix of city and country Europe , from walking the streets of Rome to hiking in the Alps .We had a great group of people who made the trip very enjoyable .The bus rides were comfortable and after a couple of strenuous tour days ,they were welcomed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment would have to be Switzerland and the gondola ride up to the summit of the Schilthorn , the views were amazing that morning and was a great hike down from Murren . The setting of the Hotel Schtecklberg in the Lauterbrunnen valley is stunning, and we saw Base jumpers diving off the cliff above and gliding down to the valley floor right behind the hotel. Sitting in the beer garden and watching the neighbor children bring the cows home for milking added alot of local charm."

Douglas

Atascadero, CA

Tour: 09/23/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I would say the tour was mostly outstanding. I rate my experience very good only because I caught a cold when we were in Rome that lasted for the rest of the trip. While I don't hold the tour responsible in any way for my cold, it did diminish my overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many great moments on this tour. Three of them come to mind as especially important to me. The Colosseum, Pantheon, and Ancient Rome. I'm trained as an engineer, but you don't need an engineering degree to stand in awe of the building achievements of the Romans. Although I was aware of much of what I saw, complete appreciation comes from being there. The Lauterbrunnen Valley, riding the trams and hiking the trails. Our guide teaching us about Europe and its history."

Ginnie

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was an amazing experience for me. It was my first trip to Europe. Although I watched several seasons of your shows on PBS and read a few of your books, Europe face to face still provided that quirky but thrilling excitement. This tour was an excellent overview of parts of Europe. I am looking forward for another overview tour of the other parts of Europe some day. Thank you for putting this wonderful tour together especially for first timer like me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I like the Swiss Alps and the Austrian Alps hiking the best. Big sky, high mountains and wide open space are great for me who live in the concrete jungle of LA."

Suzanne

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was an exceptional experience with wonderful food, museums, Oktoberfest!! and lots of walking so we got plenty of exercise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Coloseum in Rome and the trip up the Eiffel Tower were special moments. Cinque Terra was an exciting place, being able to hike from one town to the other was great."

Patricia

Eagle River, WI

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more than we anticipated or expected. We learned and saw so much that we are still processing and remembering. It was an absolutely great experience that we will always cherish. I was very nervous about the whole group travel idea and the activity level, but was pleasantly surprised that both of these concerns were unfounded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Colosseum tour was marvelous. Interesting to get the real "skinny" instead of the usual movie script. I have several other "wow" moments, but then I will just keep going on and on!"

Carolin

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide kept the tour very organized keeping our experience hassle free. It was obvious that Colleen, our guide loves her work and has extensive knowledge about every place we toured/visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps are spectacular. Having the Canadian Rockies at my back door for my entire life, I didn't think mountains could be any more beautiful......the Swiss Alps are stupendous, mesmerizing, my favourite part of the tour. We hiked over 14 miles that day, I didn't care that my feet hurt, I couldn't take my eyes away from the beauty of Switzerland."

Stevan

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent tour. The guide was very informative and kept us all on track. This guide was also excellent a wonderful historian.the group of people with all audible and we continue to talk online.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"probably seeing the Statue of David for the first time."

Ann

Portola Valley, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fun, informative, educational, and strenuous! There was not a 'dud' in the group, and we've communicated with each other since we've been back home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was walking high in the Swiss Alps, on a gorgeous day. My wife and I had lagged behind because we were taking photos of the incredible views. The great thing was that our assistant tour leader checked on us a couple of times but didn't make us feel that we were a nuisance. It was just a perfect day in a perfect place."

Ronald

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I feel the tour was a taste of Europe. I enjoyed every spot we visited, but felt we covered so much ground in too short of period of time. The trip was a wonderful learning experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the countryside, and the preservation of the old buildings (especially the gables, windows and doors)."

Joe

Kankakee, IL

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was absolutely amazing! We saw and did so much in 3 weeks it would have taken 3 months for us to have done this on our own. Colleen was just GREAT! she tried and was successful in making the tour special for each of us. We took a cruise back from Europe to the US and told everyone what a great experience the RS Tour was. James was very knowledgeable and I think he will also be a great guide. The local guides were wonderful as well, with a special shout out to Yodi and Herr Young.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it is hard to choose. Germany was very high on the list. Rothenberg and Bacharch were just amazing! Soo much history. October Fest was a great treat, (we could have stayed a few more hours)!"

David

Junction City, OR

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a Great time. The tour was perfect in all respects.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Swiss milk cows being hauled on the end of a cable underneath a helicopter in the Swiss alps"

Dick

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. The itinerary was a great introduction/overview to Europe and my wife and I got spoiled by Colleen, James, Richard, et al. In the process, I learned a tremendous amount about culture, history, art, and myself. I have already recommended Rick Steves' Tours to several friends who have asked about our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gee, that's awful hard to say as there were lots of wonderful moments. Rather than a "wow" moment, I think that I'd have to say that my favorite "ah ha" moments are the realization that we are all connected and that we don't seem to learn from the mistakes of the past."

Michael

Imperial Beach, CA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's 21 Day Best of Europe was everything the itinerary stated and so much more! This was a prayer come true as we had been wanting to go to Europe for years and dreamed of this 3week vacation as the best way to see Europe w/o getting lost and wasting time. Never thought we would be able to take the time to go let alone afford yet so glad we were blessed to go. Loved the entire trip, and it was exactly like the reviews and itinerary stated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Venice and Switzerland were magical. Although Venice was hot, dirty and moldy, we would go back in a heartbeat! Prettier than I could imagine. Switzerland was so beautiful too, journey to almost 10,000 feet up with snowflakes and rainbows overlooking all that God has made! Then an awe inspiring hike in the Swiss Alps for 11 miles with unmatched scenery! 16th Anniversary in Paris, saw Mona, walked the Champ Elysees and went to the top of the Eiffel!"

Anthony

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extraordinarily well planned, organized, and conducted tour: "Best of Europe in 21 Days". the arts, music, history, buildings, foods, and people we met at each country...I enjoyed and appreciated every moment of the 21-days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, many favorite "wow" moments. Just name a few: Michelangelo's materpieces in Florence/Rome, Impressionist paintings at d'Orsay museum, magnificent buildings architectures, History of Science at Museo Galileo, and such heart-felt wartime experiences of Mr. Herr Jung's presentation in Bacharach. I shared some difficult wartime experiences as I grow up in Japan and survived. He and I are very thankful to American for helping us after the war."

Johannah

Duncan, BC

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a 12 year-old girl from Canada. I went to Europe with 3 of my older siblings and mom and dad, and I have to say that it was the most wonderful trip that I have taken. I've been to Europe on a Rick Steves tour once before with my 3 older sisters, on a Germany, Austria, Switzerland My Way, but I really liked the guided tour. You get to know everyone way better, including the guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments on my Rick Steves tour. But I think that my biggest one was when we were coming through the mountains on the bus towards the Mediterranean Sea, and then all of the sudden we came around the corner, and there it was. It was so beautiful that made us all gasp. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was one of the most breathtaking scenes that I have ever seen."

Lane

Ione, CA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on this tour. Each stop gave the real feel of its surroundings. There isn't a country that I would not want to revisit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say that Oktoberfest in Munich was the greatest. It was fun and craziness visiting the different tents. So glad we were able to stop there."

Ross

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never been on a tour before so I have no prior experience. That said, the tour was everything and more!!! Our guide, Lisa was wonderful. Very organized, always a step ahead of us. If something wasn`t working, she had a backup. Our bus driver was also first class. We did everything as a unit and it was fun! Our meals together were special. It was a time to get to know everyone else, and did we. I have email address from everyone. I hope to stay in touch with as many people as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, no question about it!!!!! We stayed in Shoultsburg (?). Breath taking. So beautiful and so....well I can`t find the words to describe it. You have to see it to believe it. The whole trip was a "WOW" to me."

Tom

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were impressed by the depth of knowledge regarding history, politics, culture, and art that our tour guide (Lisa Friend)shared. We really felt like we saw and learned so much more that we would have if we had gone alone. Also the tour group provided muck comfort during our adventures. The Rick Steves company support was more than expected. The bus and driver added joy to our experience. The hotels and food were very comfortable and the hotel staffs were very accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments and my favorites were Rome, the historic sites, the Vatican, and the neighborhoods. I was also very moved by the walk in the mountains in Switzerland."

Ellen

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the tour very much and would take a Rick Steve's tour again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Herr Jung's talk in Bacharach. Anytime we can get a historic perspective on the sites we see adds to our overall experience."

Lori

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole trip was great. The right mix of guided tours and private time. Robyn was energetic and upbeat. Art gallery tours were fabulous. I've never been so engaged and excited by art as I was by our local gallery guides. Ben and Robyn were able to take us to Oktoberfest [INVALID] an unexpected treat. Having such a roomy bus made a huge difference. Weather was great. Overall it truly was the trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable experience was on my own in the market in Florence. I had a brief but meaningful conversation with a local gentleman. I've found most of my cherished memories are experiences with people. That's one of the benefits of a Rick Steve's tour: Time on your own to explore and connect with local people."

Margaret

St Peters, MO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was all that I had hoped. The pace was sometimes too rushed, especially our visit to Dachau. But the "extra" stops -- like opening day at Munich's Oktoberfest -- were delightful. The weather was perfect all but two days; coincidence, or Nature's response to Robyn's bubbly personality? I came home ready for a long rest -- sure sign of a successful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was amazing. I was so focused on Italy and France that I had not prepared at all for our visit to the Alps, so it was a stupendous surprise and complete delight."

Allan

Regina, SK

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was fantastic, Robyn was very helpful and knowledgable. The whole group was great and overall the trip was well worth the time and effort.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Almost every stop was a wow moment. I think that the one thing that sticks out in my mind the most is the beauty and solice that is in Switzerland."

Bonnie

Murphysboro, IL

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was quite good and met my needs/desires for the most part. Great tour guide and bus driver! I would have enjoyed having a few more single women in the group since the couples, for the most part, stuck together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountains in Switzerland were magnificent as was Lauterbrotten, the village we stayed in. Charming, friendly people, loved the cows, goats, dogs, cats, chickens in the yards. It was a magical, relaxing, happy environment. Also the Cinque Terre and Orvieto....not to be missed!"

Sheila

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Meals were very good. Sights were spectacular and I did't feel I missed anything or had a moment where I said I wish that we saw something or that we had missed seeing it. Very good balance of tour time and free time. Good balance of time on the bus and off the bus. Overall I really enjoyed the whole experience. I did not fee stressed about trying to figure out logistics that go along with traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the small out of the way towns like the mountain top town in Tuscany, or the smaller city of Haarlem rather than Amsterdam. I liked that we saw some of the big cities like Rome and Paris but seeing the samll quaint cities were more enjoyable to me. River cruise on the Rhine and staying in that area was wonderful. The Cinque Terra's were a wonderful holiday on our holiday. Switzerland was beautiful."

Anne

Abbotsford, BC

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime for me. First trip to Europe,and very first tour. Waited many years to go. I think my husband and I were the oldest ones on the trip. Looked forward to everyday and what new adventures we would begin. Having a small group meant we got to know everyone and considered them "family". Always felt well taken care of. Lovely bus to ride in, lots of room, comfortable. Great company, great guides, exceptional tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to take part in everything, including October Fest in Munich which was not on our itinerary, as well as the gondola rides in Vienna and Switzerland and the wonderful luge ride. Favourite Wow moment(s) would have been when I visited King Ludwig's fairy tale castle as well as St. Peter's Basillica in Rome. There really were wow moments every single day."

Rosemarie

Durham, CT

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, from start to finish. It was well designed to balance a variety of experiences in large cities, small cities and rural areas as well. There was a balance of exposure to art and architecture in museums, in churches and cathedrals, and by exploring neighborhoods. Sharing in local culture and enjoying local foods was such a pleasure. Our tour group was particularly friendly and we soon felt like a large extended family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. A few that stand out are the natural beauty of Venice at dawn, the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Switzerland and the Cinque Terra. In Paris, when we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, a service was in progress. A soprano vocalist was singing with such a pure, clear voice. The beautiful setting with the transcendent music was a trip highlight."

Richard

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Europe; exceeded expectations, though 21 days was only a skim! - Tour director, Robyn, was great - Most local expert guides were perfect - Ben, our bus driver, was skillful and responsive - Good balance between organized group touring and free time for exploration - Selection of towns, cities, sights was well thought-out - Hotels above expectations - Tour sponsored meals were fine; most hotel breakfasts were wonderful - Enriched understanding of Europe and its history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland blew me away. I'm an outdoors lover, and the Alps (the bucolic valley and quaint villages, the symphony of cowbells, the amazingly varied and efficient transportation, the friendliness of the people, and the calm atmosphere) all served to enchant. Particularly so, given the bustle and press of tourists in the larger cities. I was also impressed with the culture there, which holds fiercely on to traditional values and self-sufficiency. Luge (Germany) was glorious fun!"

Darcie

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved my trip!! Everything went so well...Weather was awesome and our tour group was great, our tour guide has to be the best ever, Ben the bus driver is undeniably the BEST driver ever. The bus was surprisingly comfortable and definitely more roomy than the Italian bus. I am so happy we did the 21-day tour, it was perfect! We got to see some very unique places, try new food and see lots of historical sites. A perfect combination of history, culture, beauty and adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick just one "wow" moment??? Seriously...Every stop, every country had a new "wow" moment!"

Katheryn

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the experience of seeing so many countries and cities in Europe. It gave us a glimpse of what we would like to return to for a more lengthy experience. The towns/cities chosen were wonderful. It was apparent that Rick Steves has left a positive impression on everyone we saw. We often saw tourists carrying his books. The restaurant experiences were unique and tasty. Boy, did they feed us well! I really did not expect the tour schedule to be as grueling a pace as it was though!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I did not expect the gondola to be so sweet! Venice is better than the movies. Also, the Cinque Terre really is special. Paris was crazy and rich with experiences! I had many Wow moments."

Rosetta

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time to Europe and I am so happy that I chose a Rick Steves tour. We were taken to places that I probably would not have thought to go see and these places had a lot of history. We had a wonderful bus and bus driver. Our group was 28 people so we were very comfortable on a bus that could hold 50 and our driver, Ben, was very good. We did not have any worries. The restaurants and our meals were wonderful. We never went hungry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments from the Royal Castles in Austria, the sunny beaches in Cinque Terre to the lights on the Eiffel Tower. We saw many beautiful cathedrals; it is just too hard to pick one "wow" moment."

Marilyn

Maricopa, AZ

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With this being our first trip to Europe, we were so glad to have chosen the 21 day tour! There was a lot of walking & stairs, but well worth it! There was so much history/culture learned and with our guide "Robyn" helping/teaching us, it made the trip so enjoyable & interesting. Also, our bus driver "Ben" was the best, keeping us all safe in our travels. Our tour "family" all got along and had some great laughs!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All places visited were "wow" moments, but I was really wowed by Cinque Terre and the Swiss Alps!"

Dora

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Tour: 09/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

During the trip, our tour guide Robyn made the transition from an unseasoned European traveler to a comfortable, eager traveler relatively easy . She had the right balance of direction, information, and tips to allow that to gradually happen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh sure, how can I pick just one !!! Ancient Rome though would be up there. Also, I really was "Wowed" by the genuine friendliness of the locals in all the countries we visited. Mingling was one of my favorite memories; had to step out of my comfort zone at times to do so but it was always rewarded and rewarding."

Kenneth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A special thanks you to our tour guide Matt who made the experience special. Through his leadership, 28 diverse individuals were able to become a cohesive travel group. The best aspect of the travel tour was that it provided entree into many venues that would have taken up valuable travel time as we may have missed those memorable moments.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing ALL the places that only were known to me in pictures, movies, and books. I wanted to "see" where our cultural roots emanate and this provided it in grand fashion. Probably Herr Jung who was knowledgeable but also moving with his experiences during WWII including the loss of his brother and the tough life he had to endure during that time without a hint of malice. He is a treasure and brought me to the verge of tears."

Mike

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is no way a person could handle all the logistics of seeing all the sights, meals, getting to our hotels in such a short amount of time. We saw and did so much in 21 days. As the description of the tour emphasizes, this is not for those looking to relax. The small tour group size, the excellent bus and driver, the great guide (Matt), the Rick Steves philosophy of travel - great. I would do another tour in a minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone ask me what was my favorite place. I tell them i truly loved every place we were at and just couldn't pick one. One point though was kind of my wow moment. I had never been out of the US and the moment i walked out of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to start the adventure was something i will always remember."

Christian

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a really good time. Great service, great people, and met our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably, when it was over - although we stayed on for a few more days in Paris as well as other memebers of our tour group - so the tour really didn't end for us until three days after the "official tour" had ended."

Graciela

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first Rick Steves tour I have no idea... I was pleasantly surprised by many of the places we would have never thought of visiting like Bacharach, Orvieto, and Haarlem. I enjoyed the convenience of having the museum passes metro tickets and hotel reservations provided to us and having our own bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many times when I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming. However, when I walked out from Saint Peter's Basilica into the square where Pope Francis comes out every Wednesday and Sunday. That was my Wow moment!"

Jennifer

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was much more than I could have every expected. With a tour this large we could never have managed our time and seen so much on our own. Being with the 28 other new friend made each destination just that more exciting and fun. It was hard to leave areas such as the Cirque Terra but boarding the train then the coach we were off to Switzerland, a new adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting with the local guides such as Herr Jung, watching the families riding their bikes everywhere and working together in their family owned business. Sitting in an outdoor cafe and enjoying a coffee or snack and just taking in the sun and sites of the community. Each day was something new for me."

Evelyn

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a dream of a lifetime and it was a dream fulfilled. I loved our group interaction, our guide and oh, the places we saw! The surprises along the way were delightful - like the visit with an Italian mask maker! Our guide made adjustments when the weather did not permit an event (rain on luge day) and made up for any disappointments with a special stop - like the Monastery stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the Roman Forum touched me in a way I never anticipated. My mother was my high school Latin teacher and so I learned to read Latin - and often it was tales of the Roman senators and speeches delivered on this spot. She never was able to afford travel to Europe so when I touched those stones and gazed at the pyre of Caesar it was for her as well."

Michael

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an outstanding experience from Haarlem to Paris! The small cities surprised us with their quiet and pristine character. The large cities awed us with their historical sites and amount of people, vehicles, and bustle. Cinque Terre is a treasure that everyone enjoyed and agreed to return to one day. What surprised me most was that although prior to the tour I was most interested in Italy in its entirety with a plan to return and explore the interior, France and especially Paris blew me away

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Their were too many "wow" moments to count. But we especially enjoyed the cystene chappel, St Peters, and ALL of Paris. We NOW want to return to France to explore more of it, especially Normandy and the Provence."

Beverley

Pittsburg, TX

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Europe with other "tour groups" in the past but this was the best experience I've had. We had a wonderful group of people led by an outstanding tour guide - Matt. The entire trip was very organized, prepared, and fun. We saw the major "have to" sites with great local guides and then we experienced more small town flavor and character with some of the other stops. I must say the quainter places remain in my memory strongest along with the bonds formed with great people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With so many to choose from - I'd still have to say Switzerland was a big WOW! It rained the day we were to go up to Schilthorn. We sill had a breathtaking Alpine walk. To top off the experience we walked to the top of Trummelbach Falls. Talk about beauty and power - WOW! The other WOW was the Pieta at the Andech's Monestary. It was the most moving Pieta I've ever seen including Michaelangelo's. As a mother with a son would feel."

Denise

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Europe. I have watched the Rick Steves shows on PBS for 20 years, and was not disappointed by my trip. The magic of being in Europe came alive for me. I was very interested in the history, art, architecture, and people of Europe. The pod-casts were great to listen to on the tour bus. Our driver was professional, our tour guide great. I would never have been able to accomplish so much in 3 weeks as I did on the tour. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Herr Jung's tour. Bacharach was such a charming medieval village, when I saw it at 6:30 a.m. my breath was taken away by it's quaint beauty. Herr Jung made the times and history so tangible with his personal stories. There were so many beautiful wow experiences, there isn't enough space to recount them all. Hiking the Cinque Terre was certainly a wow, with all of it's natural beauty. And of course seeing the 3 Davids in Florence! In conclusion, experiencing the age of the places, WOW!"

Joseph

Windermere, FL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful,but as a senior citizen,a little to hectic for me,it seemed we were always on the go,which is not a bad thing,also I thought some considerations,should be made to try to keep older people on lower floors of the hotels Sometimes that could be a-problem for them,also some times when we went on trips we were shown some parts of the city and then had to find our way back by our selves,I thing if you go on a trip,the tour guide should bring you back if you are unsure on how

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going on a gondola ride,going to the top of Eiffel tower,and the many fine dinners,and boat rides"

Toni

Windermere, FL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow where do I begin? I never ever thought I would be exposed to such great culture, history and personal experiences. Although my husband and I visited Italy 10 years ago, we never had the insight and expertise of our tour guide, Stephanie! To visit 5 additional countries for the first time was absolutely phenominal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I have to choose 'one' moment I think it has to be going to the top of the Eiffel Tower and seeing the city below. If I had two choices, it would be the gorgeous and beautiful mountains in Switzerland, which ironically I didn't think would be that great an experience..I was so wrong! Having grown up in the Adirondack Mts of New York I thought I had seen enough mountains but Switzerland totally blew my mind!"

Nancy

Sagle, ID

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unplanned night trip to the biergartens in St. Goar, Germany for an annual fireworks display. The most amazing fireworks I have ever seen, choreographed, with music and, of course, good company and beer."

Merry

Johnson City, TN

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely loved this tour! It was more than I expected. Our tour guide was wonderful and I enjoyed learning how to travel independently. The hotels were charming, the food was great, the bus rides were even fun. I learned a lot about Europe and it's history and art. I have already started recommending your tours to others!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several favorite "wow" moments. One was seeing Michaelangelo's David after being very well-prepared by our guide Stephanie. I also really loved the Alps, such breathtaking beauty! Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night is another favorite moment I will treasure."

Dennis

Sagle, ID

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephanie was an excellent guide. The tour is well thought out to cover a wide range of interests and certainly gave us a great overview of much of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pin down just one "wow" moment but I surely enjoyed the Alps. In many ways the whole tour was a wow moment with lots of new things happening everyday."

John

Port Orchard, WA

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My experience on the 9/11/2014 21 day Best of Europe tour, now in hind sight was very good. The entire experience was somewhat overwhelming, the pace, the scheduling and the sheer volume of information and sights that we took in those 19 days, 1 evening and an hour of the 21st day was pretty amazing. Why I mention in hindsight, my original feelings upon my return home, was that I had not gone on a vacation as much as I had gone on a trip, which including forced marches, much too fast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments to pick a particular moment out of the entire 19+ days. I have been reviewing my 5000+ photos, and there were many amazing historical sights that we were able to experience."

Cynthia

Mount Prospect, IL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour. Stephanie was a great tour guide...sharing historical details, local color, and transportation info. Paul was a safe bus driver, and seemed to go out of his way to be sure we enjoyed terrific views from the bus. The walking was not a problem, and the experiences available on foot were superior. Hotels were well located and generally quite charming. Food was awesome. (Thanks to the walking, the great food didn't result in dramatic weight gain.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and I chose a couple of extras that I really enjoyed. We rented bikes in Dutch Haarlem and biked to the North Sea. We rented an old Fiat in Florence and drove through the Tuscan countryside. The air in Austria was so fresh! The Swiss Alps were breathtaking, and the sound of cow bells chiming through the valley will not be forgotten. Fireworks over the Rhine were the best I've ever seen!"

Roberta

Lowell, MA

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour, led by Stephanie,was well-organized, informative, entertaining, and enjoyable. I was an older single traveler, but Stephanie and the other group members were friendly, helpful when needed, and respectful of the times I wished to wander and sight-see by myself.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a specific favorite as there were numerous "wow" moments. Art: from viewing the Vermeer's in Amsterdam to David and the Pieta in Florence to the Raft of Medusa at the Louvre. Places: from the wonderful city of Haarlem to the "intellectually interesting, but emotionally devastating" Dachau to St. Mark's in the evening rain to the first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea in Monterosso. All powerful, all worthy of retrospect."

Nora

Missouri City, TX

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a learning experience and a pleasant one. I just needed more time in the morning. Breakfast may be provided, but if you do not have time to eat and get ready (use bathroom) without eating in one bite and running to my room it's not enjoyable. Example: breakfast is from 7:00-9:00, but you have to be at the bus or outside to start the tour at 7:50. You have 26 or more people waiting to get food from the buffet. Maybe you can arrange for breakfast to start 30 minutes earlier.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland, the beauty of the area. Maybe add 1 more day to Switzerland."

Walter

Mount Prospect, IL

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour exceeded by lofty expectations for the following reasons: 1. Choosing hotel locations (eg. Haarlem) that are part of a city square. You became part of a neighborhood right away which increased your comfort level. 2. Group size. You had a chance to spend time with everyone and share from their experience and knowledge but still retained the intimacy of a small group that could move about easily. 3. Towns visited. The must see cities (Amsterdam, Venice, Florence, Rome and Paris) SEE 16.BELOW

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Th whole tour seemed like a wow moment. Favorites would include 1. Drive through the Alps, scenery was majestic and villages made it seem that time had stopped 200 years ago. 2. Swimming in the Mediterranean on the Italian Riveria on my birthday. 3. Driving a 1969 Fiat 500 in the Tuscan countryside 4. Taking a bicycle ride from Haarlem to the North Sea 5. Listening to a symphony of cow bells as I hiked through a Swiss valley 6. Fireworks on the Rhine 7. Understanding the metro system in Paris"

Erin

Gresham, OR

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow where to start,I was an amazing time. We started out with a great indonesian food and great conversation with other tour members. I have to say we had great people on tour with us. We seemed to have so much to talk about. As we made our way though the different countries we were able to have many different dinners with many of the members on our nights that we were not have amazing dinners together. Our Tour guide Stephanie was amazing! she knew so much about the history and art that we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were sooo many. I think it was Switzerland. We were lucky to have 70s while there and crystal blue skyes. The beauty of the Aples was amazing. The whole trip was a wow thought would totally do it again, already saving!"

Stephen

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a true 'value' from the beginning. Good itinerary, good hotels centrally located, a 'local flavor' which we value much. Nice restaurants, important sites highlighted, strong tour guide leadership and very knowledgeable local guides. Quite a multi-faceted package which did more than meet our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having viewed what must be the entire gamme of Rick Steves travel videos in our home, my best recollection from those videos was the compassionate, insightful moments spent with Herr Jung in Bacharach, Germany. Imagine my amazement when our group was met on our first morning in Bacharach by this gentleman himself! His story is so much more than 'survival during some of the darkest hours of history', his story is that of a young boy who has practiced the heartfelt art of forgiveness."

April

St Louis, MO

Tour: 09/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I would never have managed getting to half of the sites or activities if we had attempted to make all of the arrangements ourselves. We saw a lot, did a lot and enjoyed every minutes of the 21 days. Well, some days were more strenuous than others! It would be great to have two highly active days and then a down day. I could sacrifice Rome, Florence, and Venice to accomplish this. Venice was not the highlight of my cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Swiss Alps and the Roman ancient ruins. Having the local guide share her expertise as we walked through the ruins was enlightening and so very necessary."

Karyn

Fountain Hills, AZ

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Please allow more than 500 character limit for the evaluation questions. Tour guide, assistant, and driver- outstanding! Our tour was extremely well organized and efficient. All hotel rooms were clean. Some were more welcoming and than others. Many of our tour participants caught a cold/virus during the tour. It seemed to travel through bus. It sounds like this is not unusual. Suggest - inform potential participants so they can bring along their favorite remedies, just in case.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorites: Gondola lift up to top of the Stilthorn. Free day - boating to each of the towns of Italy's Cinque Terre. Least favorite: Crowds at the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Suggest: try to visit the most congested sights early, upon opening."

Elizabeth

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

What a positive experience. Starting with Jesse The guide, the introductory dinner right through till final evening. Many surprises along the way made this tour a memory of delights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moments were the ones with the local tour guides. It would not have been so insightful without their thoughts and understanding."

Tom

Homer, AK

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. The places visited were the best of Europe for the time allowed. Jesse provided valuable background information for each country/area visited including history and brief language lessons. Local guides were phenomenal and the opportunities for free time very appropriately timed. Through this tour I have a greater desire to travel on my own in other countries. It was well worth the money and I will enthusiastically recommend your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Historically and architecturally the Roman ruins were amazing. Franchesca, the local guide, put the people and social morals of the era in great perspective for me. Geographically(Geologically?), the Lauterbrunnen Valley blew me away! Fantastic! I want to go back and hike."

Alan

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being novice travelers to Europe, we weren't quite sure what to expect from our tour. We were anxious about encountering people, cultures and languages not familiar to us. And of course, the thought of spending 21-days on the tour with only a 'carry-on' size suit case. Well, all of that anxiety subsided due to the very professional and friendly tour guides (Jesse, Heather & Henri). They ensured our concerns were addressed, as well as, educating us on how to overcome any obstacles we encountered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Everyday" was a "wow' moment for us. Each day it kept getting better and better even though the previous day had raised the bar on our expectations even higher. Again, Jesse, Heather & Henri added to the tour's success through their professionalism, knowledge and sincere willingness to help us enjoy, understand and experience the trip's sites, history, culture, moments and of course the food. Being a picky eater I was nervous, but I did manage to step 'outside the box" and try everything."

Barbara

Langley, BC

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were really looking forward to our tour, but from the first night we knew that it would be something special. We are so fortunate to have been part of the group that we were in. I would say that 90% of us were newly retired and that this was our first experience on a tour. Everyday was new and exciting and we traveled with people that shared that excitement and became like family! Truly amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So difficult to pick one "wow" moment. The drive from the Italian hill town to Cinque Terre was even more perfect that I thought it would be. That was the the part of the tour that I was really looking forward to, and it really did exceed my expectations, but Paris was a wonderful surprise. Such a beautiful, relaxed city and so easy to get around. Sorry, I couldn't pick just one."

Karen

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful! It exceeded my expectations. Each day was full of amazing experiences, scenery, historic sites, museums and great people. At the end of a day we would ask our guide, "How are you going to top that?' Then the next day would be even better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many people ask about a favorite place or experience on the trip. It is really hard to choose as it was a trip full of "wow' moments. One very special "wow" moment was the gondola ride in Venice at night, gliding through the canals, seeing the lights in buildings and on bridges and listening to the musicians' soft guitar music and vocals. It was magic."

Sandra

Lawrenceville, GA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we couldn't have been more pleased with our experience. Everyone we came in contact with in your company was very professional and exceptional in there jobs. They really made our trip enjoyable and a very valuable learning experience. The travel portion of the trip was exceptional also. The guides made the bus, train, boats, metros, all seem so easy. We didnt' have to worry about anything except enjoying the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. Each city we went to, we enjoyed to the max and couldn't see how the next stop on the tour could possibly compare. I cannot think of one city that I could have left off the tour. They were such a vital part of experiencing all of Europe."

Sharon

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have a feeling that I will never be able to duplicate our tour experience. We didn't know anyone the first day, but we were all good friends by the end of the trip. The policy of NO GRUMPS sets the tone for an enjoyable vacation. We were blessed with wonderful weather, high energy and thoughtful representatives of Rick Steves. Our experiences were beyond our expectations. We departed our tour very satisfied.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was walking off the Metro in Rome at the Colosseo exit and right there in front of us, the magnificent COLOSSEUM. Images that we only see in films or books and there it is! WOW and as our tour guide Francesca would say "Awesome". I'll be very careful how I use that word anymore."

Sandy

Homer, AK

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Europe in 21 Days tour surpassed our expectations. I love the Rick Steve's philosophy of traveling light, staying in local hotels, and teaching us how to travel on our own. I went from being terrified of big cities such as Paris to feeling confident and comfortable making my way around them. The smaller hotels, local restaurants, and local guides, all made each place we visited special. Our guide Jesse took excellent care of us. I wish we could have this experience all over again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Every time I first saw something amazing, such as the Colosseum, a castle, or an ancient bridge at sunset, it was a wow moment. The biggest surprise for me was my reaction to seeing the Pieta. I had enough time to really study it and think about the emotions portrayed. It was overwhelming at the time and still makes me stop and catch my breath when I think of it."

Nicholas

Sherwood Park, AB

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. It was informative and useful for future travels. It decreased the amount of planning required and allowed me to focus on the sights and experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the Eiffel tower light up."

Peter

Thousand Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time we traveled with a group. I don't know if we can every have this much fun again. We always felt safe, as we were educated about every town and city ahead of time. Traveling is an education and you sent us off with the best. Our group was almost the same age except one young man. The weather was perfect and even when one thing came up unplanned, your crew took it in stride and we never missed a fun step. I will nver forget these 3 weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved all the ports of call so that may give it away. It was all new for us but when we got lost in Venice and found families away from the tourists, to see mothers picking up school children in their boats, to know what a small world we live in, we all want the same."

Jeffrey

Brooklyn Park, MN

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Jesse was an informative and poised tour leader. He handled the big hiccup we had gracefully (our bus broke down). Heather was a great and informative assistant. Our bus driver, Henri, was much more than a bus driver. They were all great companions. I loved everyplace we went. The local guides were stellar. The group meals were some of the best I have ever eaten. The hotels were quirky yet fun and more than adequate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot so I hate to single out any one moment. I would probably say either Herr Yunn (?) in Bacharach or the explanation from our guide about the Nightman's Watch in Amsterdam."

Bill

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fulfilling, satiating, joyous, meaningful, historic (while experiencing the ancient history, we also witnessed history being made...tons of hail in Florence, a cow flying in Switzerland and landing on all fours just in time for milking,,,I have photographic proof);a great balance of seeing, doing, learning, and being.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoying the wine & tastes of the Buranco Winery in Monterosso del Mare for two+ hours. Incredible hospitality...we are early but welcomed with a lovely pitcher of lemon water and colored glasses at an outside tree-shaded table overlooking the vineyards; great wines...we each have a flight that includes glasses of white, red, and dessert; and food...a delicious tray of olive, tomato, and pesto based treats."

Lisa

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude for this fabulous tour. Every detail was considered. We got so much value. We saw far more than I could have on my own. No time was wasted. Each day brought us something fascinating. Our bus was so comfortable: we all got to spread out and people were very considerate about the "front seat." Also, Keith gave up his front seat so that people could see the scenery in Switzerland -- and what scenery! I cannot praise this tour company or itinerary enough!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day came with its own wonders and "wow" moments. However, the day we met Herr Jung will stay with me forever. I was so touched by his personal anecdotes and the pictures and maps he kept pulling out of his case to bring his stories to life. He was so passionate that his stories brought tears to my eyes. I was amazed by his energy. He climbed those hills and stairs with the rest of us! He made a special anniversary gift for a couple on our tour. I feel honoured to have met him."

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a person who normally does not choose to travel with a tour. However, this tour was like traveling with a group of friends who enjoyed traveling together. The tour gave me a good overview of this part of Europe. The planned activities caused me to have many profound experiences that changed my way of thinking, and how I view the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one wow moment, but several. If I had to pick one place that had the deepest impact it would have to be the Pantheon. I am not sure why. Every time I visited the site, and I returned more than once, there was something about it that caused me feel a sense of awe. This was an experience that can not be expressed in words."

Joan

Forestville, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was so much more than I has expected, our group was the best each and every one .Keith our guide and most of all friend was the best as was Joe the bus driver. the on e thing I need to say is that we were not really prepared for the few days of really cold weather we had in Austria other than that all good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to the music in Venice.. fantastic"

Yvonne

La Quinta, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far surpassed my lofty expectations for my first European experience! Our guide Kieth was so knowledgeable about the history and art in each country we visited. His expertise deepened my appreciation for each new destination. In addition, he was a great leader. He handled any problem that arose and made sure each tour member was having the trip they had dreamed of! We had a super tour group! We are already planning our next Rick Steves tour together! Loved every moment!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to pick one. I knew I would love Rome with all it's amazing history. I also was looking forward to cinque terre They did not disappoint. But Venice and Switzerland stole my heart! The grandeur of the alps can't be described in words. Even the pictures don't do it justice. And Venice is magical. Being in St Marks Square listening to the dueling bands was my favorite wow moment."

Barbara

Lake Barrington, IL

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience surpassed any expectations I had. Keith was fun, knowledgeable, and organized. Joe was professional and fun to be around. The group was all inclusive, game for anything and enjoyed each other throughout the 3 weeks. The places visited were sometimes, as if, out of a fairytale, while others brought you back to a sobering reality. The culture, the art, the history - A great mix of serious and light hearted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Switzerland was my favorite wow moment. From driving into the Lauterbrunnen Valley with the first look at the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch to the gondola ride to the top of the Schilthorn. It was absolutely stunning! Then later in the day we took the cog wheel train to Wengen and walked down to Kleinischidig with a picnic lunch along the way. What a perfect day! I don't think I have stopped smiling yet."

Lynda

Altona Meadows,

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Coming from Australia & not knowing much about Rick Steves, we were originally a little nervous about our tour. On day one, the nerves were gone. We had the most amazing group of people on our tour, when it ended, we felt like we were leaving best friends behind. The tour was fantastic. It gave us a taste of all the best bits of Europe & the confidence to continue to travel the world on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My 'wow' moment, although there were many, would have to be our group dinner in Monterosso, Cinque Terre.Our meal consisted of homemade gnocchi & pesto sauce, followed by the best seafood soup I have ever tasted. Full of local caught seafood, it was delicious! After dinner our group ended the night with dancing at the local 'Anchovy Festival' in the town square. Our Conga Line, led by our guide, Keith, had us all in fits of laughter."

Bernadette

Fair Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/07/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This European trip was a life time dream come true. I have been singing "The Rick Steve's tours" praises during the trip and now that we are home. I was in awe of how well thought out the planning and pace was as we approached each new location. Time for exploring, time for rest and wonderful eating experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Wow" moments truly came with each area we visited as well as along the drive. I was not expecting such unbelievable beauty as we drove through so many countries. I loved having the "history lessons" in the bus by Keith as it enriched our experiences in each location. Not only was "wow" part of my vocabulary but "OMG, this is amazing!" became a reoccuring comment."

Alex

Eden Prairie, MN

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steves Tour and it was another fantastic travel experience. More wow moments packed into one trip than I could have imagined. Great hotels and group meals. Spacious double decker bus for excellent views and privacy on the road. I was able to fit in everything I hoped to in the free times (thanks to the help of our guide Rick who offered good tips for maximizing time) and we had the best local guides for city walks and museum visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was laying on the beach at Monterosso in the Cinque Terre soaking up the Mediterranean sun enjoying the views of the distant villages along the shore reflecting on all the sites we had visited in Amsterdam, Germany and Italy...all the while knowing that a stop at the nearby gelato stand was soon to follow ;) Priceless."

Steve

Dundee, IL

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantastic. It was everything I had hoped for. Having never been to Europe before it was all the high points and we had an incredible stretch of perfect weather for 21 days. We had great tour group and made a bunch of new friends. They really became our family for the 21 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 21 days of wow moments. How can I pick one? I stood in the Colosseum and walked on 2000 year old roads in the Forum and saw the Sistine Chapel. Then a couple of days I was in the Swiss Alps staring at 14,000 ft peaks covered in snow. And then ending in Paris under the Eiffel tower."

Michael

White Bear Lake, MN

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really hard to choose; maybe the gondola ride reaching the Grand Canal in Venice."

Diane

Victoria, BC

Tour: 09/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves tour provided me with my "trip of a lifetime". I was very pleased with our tour guide, the local guides, the comfortable bus, group meals and the hotels. The tour provided great exposure to some of Europe's greatest cities and highlights. I just loved seeing the different cultures and sponged in all the history and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everywhere I went was a WOW! The whole trip was a WOW! But I must say my favorite was the Swiss Alps for all it's natural beauty, close second would be Cinque Terre. Loved the frantic pace in Paris & the friendly people in Amsterdam also."

Peggy

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was over and above my expectations! It was a very fun time, with an amazing guide (Jennifer). Everyone on our tour was great and fun to be with. I feel like I made a lot of new friends. I also would like to commend our driver, Sylvain. He was so professional, no matter what the circumstances were. He was alot of fun, too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments, but one that really stands out is the time we got to spend with Herr Jung in Bachrach. His guided tour was exceptional. He is an amazing man, who had so much to share from his heart. It was an honor to spend even a little time with him. Also loved our guide, Francesca, in Ancient Rome. She made the Coliseum come alive for us!"

Laurie

Chico, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was so well planned. Our guide, Jennifer was extremely knowledgable about any subject we might throw at her. I liked the diversity of traveling through the countryside for a day or two and then exploring the beautiful cities with such rich historical artifacts. I only have positive feedback. I loved it!! Our travel mates were fantastic. Amazing how close we all became in such a short period of time. The small size of our group (24 initially) was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots...but I think when we were on the boat, in the evening, on the Seine River. We came around a bend and there, in all it's glory, was the Eiffel Tower. OMG!! It was lit up and appeared to be golden. Then, as if that were not enough....sparkling lights started shooting from all over the Tower. That was amazing!"

Joe

Union, KY

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience! Several things stood out, and there was one surprise! The surprise was how well our group got along & enjoyed each others company, which obviously enhances the experience beyond expectations of seeing history, art, architecture...stuff...things. In the end, its always about the people. Time management was exceptional, along with our guide Jennifer, allowing us to see and do much more than one might expect. The overall tour experience was A++.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, having already been to many of the large cities we visited (on business, not as a tourist) I especially enjoyed the small towns and off the beaten path places. Switzerland's Lauterbrunen valley was stunningly beautiful and probably my favorite stop among many "wow" moments. Without a doubt though, my favorite part of the whole trip was seeing my wife enjoying herself."

Roberta

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful combination of a well thought out itinerary, a fabulous tour guide, a fun tour group and great weather. It was great to not have to worry about the logistics of moving from place to place and to have entry to the big sites all lined up. Our hotels were great, the bus was very comfortable and the places we went were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When the clouds cleared on the Schilthorn and the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, along with the dramatic surrounding scenery, came in to view - that was my favorite "wow" moment!"

Kelly

Union, KY

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were able to see and experience a great deal more by doing this tour than we would have been able to do on our own. The attention to detail was wonderful and made us feel that we were important to not only our guide but the Rick Steves' "family."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't come up with a single wow moment; but I would say that the getting to know the others on our tour and traveling with all of them was a true highlight."

Beverly

Lithia, FL

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If you had a category beyond "outstanding" I would check that box. At the end of each day we would ask ourselves how Jennifer was going to top that . . . and she did! The 21-day Tour was well-designed, providing an amazing experience of much of what Europe has to offer. Each member of our group became a friend. Not a negative comment from this traveler!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have asked myself that, and been asked by friends. My first thought is of Schilthorn. It was an beautiful morning, thrilling gondola rides, and at the top . . . well all I could think of was "How Great Thou Art!" But the other days were wonderful as well; seeing the Pieta, Mona Lisa, David and Botticelli works. The Coliseum, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, beautiful Cinque Terra, the beautiful landscapes, the castles, Dachau . . . and the list goes on!"

Greta

Larsen, WI

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved, loved, loved it. We experienced about 95% of everything on the our list. My interests lay in the the art of Europe...maybe, maybe have more time in the museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I WOWED the city of Rome the most. If I was to go back I would need to revisit Rome. The guide was perfect in her interpetation of the places, events and feelings of the early roman times."

Alice

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the day we signed up and the whole way from Haarlem/Amsterdam to Paris, the tour exceeded my expectations in every way. From the preparatory materials, the response when we called your organization for pre-trip advice, the well thought out itinerary, our fabulous guide, (Jennifer), the hotels, food, accessible laundry facilities just when we needed them, language and culture training on the bus, all of it. The biggest surprise was our 24 absolutely wonderful travel buddies, now friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fell absolutely in love with Cinque Terre and Rothenburg. The biggest surprise was our midday stop at Massa Marittima. Would go back to all of these three in a heartbeat!"

Joseph

Victoria, BC

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have only visited Europe once before (to Italy and Greece), despite being an experienced traveler. The tour lived up to the published description in every way. Additionally, there were little "surprises" along the way supplied by our wonderful guide Jennifer. As a solo traveler, I found the group were a friendly bunch of people, who helped make our travels more interesting, and they were always "up" for more experiences! This is a long tour, but the pace is just right for fit people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wows" on this trip, but I keep coming back to Switzerland and our gondola ride to the Shilthorn...to what seemed to me the top of the world. I live in a mountainous area of the world, and I'm an experienced traveler, but I have never seen such breathtaking vistas which the Alps gave us that beautiful, sunny, perfect day. Truly a big "wow" for me!"

Dennis

Dryden, ON

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 21 day tour exceeded all our expectations! It was a great mix of small, quaint towns and busy, culturally rich cities. It was an experience we will never forget. Traveling with a small group of people (24) was one of the best parts of the tour. We all got to know each other and really enjoyed sharing all our experiences. Jennifer, our tour guide, was incredible. We will certainly be doing another Rick Steves tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All our moments were "wow". It's hard to choose one. I loved Switzerland! It was wonderful to experience the world I have only read about in books. The history, culture and landscapes, I'd read and learned about in school became very real. In Canada 100 years is old, in Europe 2000 years is the norm."

Kay

Hood River, OR

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 21 day European tour was even better than I expected it to be. I also accomplished one of the goals of my trip which was to get a taste of several different countries and decide in which I may want to spend more time. We hit all the highlights-- museums, cathedrals, etc. but still had time on our own to sit in a café with a glass of wine and watch the people go by. It was great going to different venues and being able to skip the lines and go right in because we had tickets in advance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love music. I was in the Notre Dame in Paris when the pipe organ began to play and a woman begin to sing in a beautiful soprano voice. The music filled the entire church. I began to cry because it was so beautiful. I found a seat in the back of the church and sat and listened and cried from the beauty of it all -- being in Paris, in this ancient building listening to this beautiful music. It was one of those "pinch me" moments."

Paul

Larsen, WI

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our firt rip to Europe so we wanted to go with a guided tour and we're so glad we chose rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sure everyone says it's hard to pick just one since there are so many. If I can pick only one I'm going with seeing David up close and with an excellent guide to tell us about the statue."

Dan

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was everything that I expected and more! The bus was so comfortable and with the small group we could spread out because of empty seats. Sylvain (the bus driver) was fun and an exceptionally skilled driver. Our guide, Jennifer Gouge, was the best. She taught us so much without being boring. She was fun and yet stayed in control at all times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ancient Rome was so much more then I expected. I did not know how spread out it was. Also our visit to Bachrach and the walk around tour with Herr Jung was a wow moment."

Sandy

Centerville, OH

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Europe Tour exceeded my expectations. Every day seemed better than the last. There was a great mix of large cities with small quaint towns and spectacular country vistas. Wonderful museum opportunities were balanced with beautiful hikes in the Alps and between the Chinque Terre. Even the bus rides were entertaining and fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick but if I had to it would be our full day in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We had the good fortune of perfect weather and were there the day the cows parade to the lowlands after a summer in the highlands. The walk from Muren to Lauterbrunnen was simply spectacular and the views from the top of the Schilthorn were unbelievable."

Bonnie Lynn

Soquel, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect way to see Europe for the first time. Our excellent guide Jennifer and driver Sylvan, as well as our small friendly group, made every day a happy adventure. While we were constantly on the go, there was always enough free time for balance. We learned something about the history, culture and language of every place we visited and there was the added bonus of learning new travel skills like riding the Paris Metro. Altogether it was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First sight of the Swiss Alps was really a wow moment. And riding the Tegelberg luge. But our tour of ancient Rome on the anniversary of 9/11 was a very moving experience. Francesca, the local guide brought the ruins to life and gave us much to reflect on as we walked through Caesar's forum."

Donald

Lithia, FL

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than we ever expected. Each day was better than last. Jennifer, our guide was exceptional. The bus driver, Sylvain, was a good driver, we felt safe at all times. The commentary of the guide was a huge addition to the overall travel experience and made time pass quickly during the long bus trips. Everyday there was something special, not part of the printed itinerary that added to our enjoyment, i.e. visit to the hill town in Italy or chocolate tasting on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one "wow" moment. The scenery throughout, from the bus and at the tour stops was sensational. The manner in which our tour group, our guide, and our driver came together for a very enjoyable experience was a "wow" moment of 21 days."

Laura

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour helped to optimize my time in Europe. Guide, Demetri, was great. Another day in Venice would have been good. Enjoyed 5 additional days in Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swiss valley we stayed in. More impressive than Yosemite."

Ishmael

Summerville, SC

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW, the whole trip was WOW, what a trip. It was more of a history lesson than I had expected I would liked to have stayed longer in each location, Seen a lot but left wanting to see more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Switch Alps, so beautiful."

David

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was truly a "flying tour", with scenery changing rapidly every other day. I even had a classic, "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" moment. I personally enjoyed the pace and level of physical activity, however since my wife was somewhat hobbled by injuries it diminished our "couple's experience" a bit. This tour stayed true to the "Thru the Back Door" approach, with very good quality lodging, tours, and dining included. Our tour group meshed pretty well, and fairly quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a "Wow" moment. On the other hand, the entire tour experience combined to enlighten and delight me."

Mark

University Place, WA

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a dream come true to visit Europe and the Rick Steves tour provided great value. I was pleased with our tour guide, the local guides, the comfortable bus, group meals and the hotels. The tour provided great exposure to some of Europe's greatest cities. The daily itineraries were full and I often felt rushed with no time for reflection. However, I accepted this trade-off because there is so much to see and experience. I hope to be able to re-visit Venice, Florence, Rome and Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Climbing to the top of the Rothenburg City Hall Tower and listening to the bells ring at 5 PM - the view was incredible 2) Venice 3) Listening to two Italian guitarists on the Florence Ponte Vecchio bridge 4) Viewing the Colosseum for the first time 5) Enjoying the beauty and atmosphere of the Tuileries Garden along with hundreds of other Parisians"

Susan

Summerville, SC

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the chance to be in the midst of cultures different from the one here in America.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One afternoon in Venice my husband, two friends, and I bought tickets at our hotel to a Vivaldi concert to be held that night at a local church. The woman on the hotel staff assured us that this particular group of musicians was the best. We got there early, sat on the third row. She was right--the program was wonderful. I sat there with tears in my eyes when suddenly it hit me: I'm here in Venice listening to Vivaldi, Vivaldi in Venice!"

Cathy

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were high for this trip, and they were met in every way possible. Boy, did we see and learn a tremendous amount in 21 days! It was a rapidly paced trip, and as the brochure states, it was strenuous at times, but oh so worth every step!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to limit it to one! The beauty and vitality of Amsterdam, the Night Watchman's Tour in Rothenburg, Herr Jung in Bacharach,the David in the Accademia,people watching on St. Mark's square with a glass of wine and a marvelous quartet playing in the background, the Pieta in St. Peter's, the breathtaking Alps,cruising the Seine at night with the Eiffel Tower and other monuments all lit up. I had to pinch myself over and over again!!!"

Katherine

Whiteville, NC

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the time we paid the deposit, to the time we landed in Amsterdam I obsessed over this trip. Therefore, I was prepared to be a little disappointed. Wrong. No matter how I hyped this trip in my mind the reality was greater than the build up. It wasn't just educational, or inspiring, or motivational, or life altering, it was fun. I wasn't expecting the fun. How could 29 people(including the guide) bond in such a short time. And Europe was nice too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have always wanted to go to an Opera. I listen on the radio, I play my cd's but I have never seen a live Opera. Now I have. La Traviata, at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, where this opera premiered in 1853. One of the most celebrated and historic opera houses in the world. Wow!!! Note to guides: They have discounted day of performance tickets. We were on the second row for 50 euro each which was a lot less than they were published on the web. Mark a big one off my bucket list."

Jim

Paw Paw, MI

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was happy to be able to enjoy our vacation without all the work involved with trying to get to all the wonderful places we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"my favorite "wow" moment had to be in Bacharach Germany with our local guide Herr Jung. This gentleman was an amazing storyteller. He had all of us on a roller coaster of emotions. I could listen to him forever."

Karen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour, overall, was awesome. The bus and the bus driver were extremely comfortable, and it was nice that the groups are kept small (there were 28 of us). Our guide, Dimitri, was excellent. The group meals were a little large and a little heavy, I feel as if a lot of food was thrown away. The hotels we stayed in were fairly comfortable, and mostly pretty clean. The hotels in Haarlem and in Florence were the nicest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we arrived at our hotel in the Lauterbrunnen valley, I thought it was so remote I would be bored. I'm not a heights person, so instead of taking the gondola excursions, my partner and I did the trail walk into town, then took the cog train to Wengen and back, and walked the trail back to the hotel. The scenery was incredible, and the peace and quiet of the walk was wonderful. I truly enjoyed Switzerland, when I honestly wasn't expecting to."

Tom

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Ben was professional and personable, a rather rare combination. I especially appreciated the extra room on the bus and the extra experiences that were organized the apple strudel, the schnapps and gummy bears, two rides on the luge (not one), the wine at dinner, the picnic lunch the gondola ride, and the Paris boat ride. A little more warning about the steepness of the walk up to that first ruined castle would have been helpful since the taxi ride was minimal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The Ann Frank House, David, the Eiffel tower, the fact that the tour was well organized and well run. Ben was certainly a real "wow" Give that guy a raise."

Pam

Frankfort, IN

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! What more can I say? I love Rick Steves' tours. Our guide Ben was great as well as the local guides. I love having local guides, who are familiar with their area, talk about it. The pace on this tour was pretty vigorous, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss anything. I also liked the sequence, i.e., starting in Amsterdam and ending in Paris.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say that I had a favorite wow moment, as they all were. I really like learning the history and culture of the places we visited. Also, when I travel, I want to see the villages and countryside, as well as the cities, so I really liked that. Bacharach and Orvieto were special."

Tom

Sun City, AZ

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our experience was indeed excellent...made especially so through the efforts of ben, our guide! all aspects of the tour; transportation; lodging; sites; stops...and additions that ben chose made it special!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"paris! from city entry, the first day/nights adventures, through to tour end...and our additional day we spent on our own!"

Margaret

Franklin, TN

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Provided a great overview of a number of European countries. Like the small group size - large bus (Mat was a great driver!) of course enjoyed all the "biggies" like the Louvre, the David, Rijksmuseum, St. Peters, Vatican, Colosseum, etc, but was so glad to see the variety in the countryside in each place we went - the beauty of the Swiss Alps as well as the pristine farmland in Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. Her Jung in Bacharach was great! Free time was good - music on bus - great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming off the train in Cinque Terre and seeing the beautiful Mediterranean - Evenings and mornings there were delightful (not so crowded). The magnificent beauty of the Swiss Alps - also amazing! Third might be the gondola ride in Venice."

Ashley

Fremont, CA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I had a positive experience on the Rick Steves tour. I was exposed to a lot of new cultural ideas but I felt that there was a little too much time spent in the Uffizi museum and the Vatican Museum. By the time that we actually got to the Sistine Chapel, I was already getting tired. I think the highlights should be the first things that are seen, and then people may go on an optional tour of the Vatican museum and look at those paintings if they wish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one but seeing the David was very impressive and also when we were driving through Switzerland to our hotel I was impressed by the raw beauty of the country. I also liked the drive through the German countryside when we went to the Wieskirche. I was also "wowed" by some of the castles that we went in and how ornate they were."

Phoebe

Frankfort, IN

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ben's enthusiasm was evident. I thought he was superb! Would like to have had the opportunity to hang glide in Switzerland. I probably just needed to ask if it was possible.

Heidi

Anoka, MN

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw so much,from museums, to great cathedrals,to multiple cultures and cuisines. From big cities to small hill towns. The hotels w ere small,but charming in their own way. Our tour guide,Ben, I can't say enough about. He is a walking history book. I learned so much about the history of the places we visited. Not only history,but his knowledge of the arts and cultures was impressive. He laid the groundwork quickly and firmly, which I liked. If you were late you may get left behind!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was Switzerland. It was far more beautiful than I could have imagined. The local of our Hotel was amazing!"

Ruth

Eagle River, AK

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I felt like we were provided with some great educational tours as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Highlights of the trip included a gondola ride in Venice, a swim in the Mediterranean Sea, and viewing many of the greatest artworks in the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfortunately our favorite wow moment was a moment we planned independently...the Eiffel Tower was a wow moment. I also had a wow moment when we saw Michelangelo's David."

Marganna

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was perfect - this is our 3rd RS Tour so we expected "perfection" but we do realize each trip is different with its mix of destinations, guides, fellow travelers, weather, ... but when it was all done - the trip couldn't have met our wishes/expectations any better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Michelangelo's David wins without a doubt! I will add the gondola trip under the full moon with serenader was a magical moment; the walk around Bacharach, Germany with Herr Young was emotional moving - complete with piano player's It's A Wonderful World. Let me say: the entire trip deserves a WOW or two!"

Richard

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was not physically prepared for the immensity of going on tour. I had a great experience, the limiting factor was my lack of stamina, and for that I cannot fault anyone but Genetics, being older, and not being in the best of physical condition. The Tour was exactly what I wanted, to be immersed in the history of Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Peters Basillica."

Karen

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was amazing. It was well organized, superbly guided, and provided a great sampling of the real highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First view of the Eiffel Tower, all in lights--spectacular!"

Marsha

Cibolo, TX

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The quality of this tour was amazing. Having our keys ready while checking in to having our tickets to enter museums to having tickets to the subways ready was wonderful. It was very organized, well run, all I had to do was show up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gondola ride under the super moon while in Venice. We had a couple boats for our group one boat had singers. The gondola drivers were pleasant, courteous and seemed to enjoy their time too."

John Paul

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall I thought it went very well and provided me with some amazing experiences. To be able to see world renowned Art & Architecture up close was very special. The tour guides worked very hard. We were able to do all the activities listed and I liked how free time was interspersed with scheduled time. The bus was very comfortable and the driver was excellent. The crowds and chaos in Italy, especially Venice & Florence, detracted from the bliss fairly significantly at times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really difficult to choose but, if I had to, I guess I would say: after having hiked from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald on a very scenic, steep trail, my hiking partner and I stopped for a beer and snack at an historic Mt hostel overlooking the stunning Lauterbrunen valley and were served by the most charming young Finnish woman. The pleasant weather, the very satisfying hike, the incredible Mt scenery, the tasty beer and vegetable soup and the charm of that woman combined for a peak experience!"

Jerome

Chardon, OH

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The majority of the rooms were of very poor quality. In sitting down with many of the other guests at night with a few drinks. We did the math and calculated that you made a 45% overhead and profit. You could have easily been able to have a higher quality room. Just today I spoke to a retired women who traveled much; many European bus tours. Her first words when I mentioned your tours was "I love his books but everyone says the rooms are terrible and that makes the tour overprice

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far the Roman Colosseum."

Georgia

Liberty Lake, WA

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think my husband said it best. Had a great time and I saw, for the first time Rome and Paris. Wondrous sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Coliseum."

Aaron

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I were somewhat intimidated by spending 3 weeks with complete strangers traveling Europe for the first time. I'm not sure we had any expectations of our guide, but we attended the open summit in Edmonds at the beginning of this year to learn more about the trips and we were surprised at the amount of elderly people that were there. Our initial fear was that we would go on a trip with nothing but retired people, making it hard to connect (as we are in our late 20's).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Connecting with two other travelers in Rome during dinner at the Spanish steppes. We had an amazing, intimate experience and were treated like locals by the owners of the restaurant (which we found in the RS guidebook!)"

Beverly

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed every day and moment of our long-awaited "The Best of Europe in 21 Days" tour. Our incredible guide, Jennifer was so well-prepared, knowledgeable and fun! Her passion for sharing the local cultural experiences and art and the food and wines of each area was contagious. We were really surprised that after three weeks together, our wonderful traveling companions became good friends... and even like family. Each day offered many joys and surprises!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Swiss Alps and strolling through the hills and the town of Grimmelwald. The quaint bells on the many cows in the green pastures, and the alpine houses were like a postcard from the past. I also treasure the time we spent with Herr Jung in Bacharach. His reflections on growing up in the area before and during WWI were very enlightening and touching. He is a dear man and I loved how he made each person feel special. I also enjoyed chatting with Annaliese Friese in Rothenberg."

Mica

Terrell, TX

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of the trip exceeded my expectations, including itinerary, value, accomodations, transportation, sites, and guides. A+ to Rick Steves travel and our wonderful guide Jennifer, bus driver Paul and all the local guides. We saw an extraordinarily wide sampling of Europe in 21 days. Thank you all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The look of awe on my teen daughter's face upon emerging from the Rome metro and coming face to face with the Colliseum. With the help of our wonderful local guide Francesca, the ancient world came alive for us all that day."

Michael

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I had an idea of what this tour experience would be like from doing research, I was still a bit nervous and skeptical. The tour far exceeded my expectations on every level: the cities, the educational aspect, the food, the group members, Colleen and Peter...I could go on and on about it. It truly was a trip of a lifetime and there are no regrets aboudoing it. I felt it was very well planned and had a good pace. The start of the tour felt daunting as we were looking at 21 days on a t

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Red Light District in Amsterdam...enough said. Herr Jung in Bacharach. He shared his life story and it was extremely moving. Watching World Cup soccer in Europe. Carnival in Rothenburg! Waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley. Pesto and seafood dinner in Cinque Terre. Bastille Day in Paris and the fireworks display around the Eiffel Tower."

Garry

North Saanich, BC

Tour: 05/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first bus trip and we were pleasantly surprised. The other trip members were great - no whiners and very friendly. Our guide was totally excellent and very knowledgeable. The bus was large and comfortable. I never would have known about some of the sights, so that was good as well. All in all a totally enjoyable "Best of Europe" trip. What really surprised us was that this tour was not a lot more than if we had done it ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belgian beer for dollar on the bus! Just kidding. The magnificent valley in Switzerland with the tall waterfalls along the valley was simply amazing."

Ronald

Horsham, PA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Maureen Kline - This is my evaluation, I deleted mine by mistake. The tour was fantastic - a once in a lifetime experience. The pace was perfect, the bus was luxurious, the driver a blast and our guide outstanding! For a tour that has been around for a long time, it never felt rehearsed or tired. All the Rick Steve team (Ben, James and Richard/Ricardo) made us feel like they were enjoying the tour as much as we were. We plan on going back on another tour with our kids.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Venice on my birthday, just a dream come true. Ben having a card for me signed by the group and everyone singing happy birthday to me was just awesome. I had no idea traveling with strangers could be such a blast!"

Bonnie

Tucker, GA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been excited to write of our experience of our 21 days in Europe since we have arrived home (June 7th). This trip was more wonderful than I imagined. Tour guides Ben and James were exceptional. Richard our driver was also outstanding. The freedom from trip planning, reservations, and headaches was the best part. We just showed up and everything was taken care of in the best way possible. Meeting fantastic travel companions was another important aspect. Really couldn't have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Bacharach Herr Jung had presented us with a slate roof tile in which he etched our names, 40th, and a heart with an arrow through it. I just happened to be video taping his explanation of the town and he started saying "someone is having a special anniversary..." Never forget how special we felt. Everyone in our group was so great and wished us a happy anniversary too. The WOW moment was our 40th wedding anniversary in Venice on a gondola at sunset with our new friends, was truly wonderful."

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.

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 recommended books and movies in the “Plan” section.

Transportation

Important arrival note: To make the most of our time in Haarlem, this tour begins at 2 p.m. If you are checking in the day the tour begins, your room will not be available before the tour starts (the hotel will store your luggage until your room is ready).

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.

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.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Amsterdam and out of Paris (“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 plan to continue traveling in Europe after the tour, we strongly recommend you book transportation and hotels before the tour begins.

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

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Haarlem or Amsterdam before your tour begins, use the 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. While you 'll have a bit of free time to visit the Van Gogh Museum during our day in Amsterdam, those who want to linger should visit on their own before the tour begins.

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.

This tour does not include a visit to the Eiffel Tower. However it is often a highlight for any traveler and one we highly recommend. Avoid the lines by booking tickets several weeks in advance. For more details, visit our Eiffel Tower information page.

Packing

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 offering good traction. If you like to swim, we'll have a couple of opportunities to get wet, so bring along a swimsuit and perhaps a lightweight microfiber towel.

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