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Rick Steves Tours: Festival of Europe

We're throwing a virtual European travel festival — January 9–30, 2023!

Imagine… 22 nights in a row we'll take a virtual trip across Europe. It's free and it's fun — a celebration of Europe designed to help turn your 2023 travel dreams into smooth and affordable reality, whether on a Rick Steves bus tour or on your own. Each evening will get you up to date on a different country as Rick and his favorite European guides take you on an information-packed, one-hour tour. From Ireland to Greece and from Portugal to Poland, we'll visit the sightseeing highlights and sample the delights of the unique cultures across Europe. While it's a festival for all as we celebrate our love of European travel, each evening's show also includes details about our various bus tour itineraries as we expect to take 30,000 travelers on their choice of 40 itineraries and a thousand departures in 2023. Plus, we'll be giving away a free Rick Steves tour each week!

(These events are free and will be presented on Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account to participate but you must register for each event separately using the links below.)

Event Schedule

Monday, January 9: Grand Opening of the Rick Steves Tours' Festival of Europe

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick Steves kicks off a 22-night travel-ganza with a can-can of European delights. We'll begin with a montage of greatest magic moments, explore Europe's top 10 experiences, and connect with our ace tour guides from Bulgaria and Basque Country to celebrate Europe's off-beat corners. We'll also enjoy a mobile feast featuring Europe's most addictive taste treats — captured in delicious video. Join us for the fun and get a preview of what's in store for the next three weeks.


Tuesday, January 10: Italy's Top Cities: Venice, Florence, and Rome

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick is joined by tour guide Anna Piperato for a virtual visit to the three great cities of Italy: Venice with its canals and gondolas; Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance; and Rome with its ancient wonders and dazzling Vatican; plus, fun-to-explore neighborhoods and hands-on food experiences. We'll learn why this Italian trio is the most popular itinerary of all our Rick Steves tours.


Wednesday, January 11: England

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Guest host and tour guide Lisa Friend is joined by London-based guide Jeanie Carmichael for a virtual visit to England. We'll travel from royal London to Georgian Bath, King Arthur's Glastonbury, flower-bedecked Cotswold villages, the poetic Lakes District in the north to the cozy villages of Cornwall, and castle-studded Wales. Plus, we'll review which Rick Steves tour itineraries weave together these wonderful destinations.


Thursday, January 12: Spain

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Madrid-based guide Federico García Barroso joins Rick for a virtual tour of Spain — with rich helpings of Catalunya's Gaudí, Toledo's El Greco, and the masterpieces of Madrid's Prado. From Madrid and Barcelona, we'll head south to Granada and Sevilla for dreamy, whitewashed hill towns, fine wine, jamón, and olive oil. We'll compare Rick Steves tours in the region to help you find the right fit.


Friday, January 13: Scandinavia

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick is joined by Oslo-based tour guide Pål Bjarne Johansen for a virtual trip to Scandinavia — Europe's most prosperous, pristine, and progressive corner. We'll sample Stockholm's royal grandeur, Copenhagen's fun-loving pedestrian center, Denmark's Ærø Island — with its ship-in-a-bottle charm, Oslo's proud maritime museums, the ruddy-cheeked harbor town of Bergen, the jaw-dropping beauty of fjord country, and other highlights of our Best of Scandinavia tour.


Saturday, January 14: Switzerland

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Join Rick and tour guide Robyn Stencil on a virtual tour of Switzerland, from lakeside towns to flowerbox-perfect villages to trails surrounded by cut-glass peaks. In this nature-lover's nirvana, with alpine wonder from the Berner Oberland to Zermatt, lick gelato in Italian-speaking Lugano, savor cosmopolitan Lausanne, get to know the Swiss capital, Bern, and learn about other highlights of the Rick Steves Best of Switzerland tour.


Sunday, January 15: Italy's Countryside: Tuscany, Umbria, the Cinque Terre, the Dolomites, and More

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Orvieto-based tour guide David Tordi joins Rick on a virtual journey into the Italian countryside — from hill towns and charming villages to big scenery, from the alps to the beaches. The joys of Tuscany and Umbria include sipping wine in the Chianti hills, strolling through Siena and Assisi, and marveling at the villages of the Cinque Terre — Italy's traffic-free riviera — all woven into various Rick Steves tour itineraries.


Monday, January 16: An Irreverent History of the Rick Steves' Europe Tours

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Join Rick for a nostalgic trip back to the Europe Through the Gutter roots of Rick Steves' Europe. Boarding the virtual bus with Rick, we'll follow the bumpy road from a minibus of intrepid backpackers to today's program with 150 guides, taking over 27,000 travelers on 40 itineraries across Europe in 2022. We'll finish with a Q&A and a drawing to win a free Rick Steves tour!.


Tuesday, January 17: Portugal

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick is joined by tour guide Cristina Duarte to celebrate the bustling cities, small towns, food, wine, and music of tradition-rich Portugal. From exciting Lisbon, we'll venture into the Portuguese countryside: sunbaked Évora, historic Óbidos, beachy Nazaré, the university town of Coimbra, gritty Porto, the port wine vineyards and dramatic scenery of the Douro Valley, cork groves, olive farms...all highlights of our Best of Portugal tour.


Wednesday, January 18: Scotland

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Guest host Julia Reams-Giersch joins fellow Scottish guide Colin Mairs on a virtual journey through Scotland — exploring mossy mountains, windswept isles, mysterious lochs, and heathered glens along with Scotland's two big cities, royal Edinburgh and underrated Glasgow. Along the way, we'll try a wee dram at a whisky distillery and sort out how two different Rick Steves tour itineraries let you choose just the right amount of Scotland.


Thursday, January 19: The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Guest host Cameron Hewitt and Prague-based guide Katka Svobodová team up for a virtual visit to three great countries of Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic with perfectly preserved Prague, Hungary with cosmopolitan Budapest, and Poland with lovable Kraków, the historic port city of Gdańsk, and thriving capital of Warsaw. We'll compare the various Rick Steves tours that tie together the highlights of these three underrated countries.


Friday, January 20: Croatia and Slovenia

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Slovenian tour guide Tina Hiti joins guest host Cameron Hewitt for a virtual journey to the Adriatic: weaving together Slovenia's charming Ljubljana, fairy-tale Lake Bled, and the cut-glass Julian Alps; Croatia's seaside Rovinj, waterfall-laced Plitvice, historic Split, Dalmatian isle of Korčula, and picture-perfect Dubrovnik; and an enlightening visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina's Mostar. We'll see how all of this, and more, comes together in our Best of the Adriatic tour.


Saturday, January 21: Turkey

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Lale Surmen Aran joins Rick to share the joys of Turkey from Istanbul with its Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar to Cappadocia's "fairy-chimney" landscape, and from ancient Greek sites like Ephesus and Aphrodisias to the azure Mediterranean. You'll meet the Turkish people — from artisans to imams — and find out how our Rick Steves tours make it easy to appreciate this often-overlooked destination.


Sunday, January 22: Sicily

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Sicilian tour guide Tomasso Pante joins Rick for a virtual tour of this fascinating island — famous for its distinctive culture, cuisine, and history. From the cities of Palermo and Catania to ancient Greek ruins at Agrigento to the posh resort of Taormina with Mount Etna steaming on the horizon, we'll outline why Sicily is one of our most exotic…and popular…and tasty Rick Steves tours.


Monday, January 23: Ethical Travels in a Warming World

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Travel is more than just a party. Join Rick and Craig Davidson, Rick Steves' Europe COO, to learn about the issues facing the ethical traveler today: How tourism can threaten a community due to the impact of short-term rentals, dual-narrative travel that acknowledges there are two sides to every wall, learning about your home by leaving it, voyeurism versus reality travel, and — most important — travel and climate change. Rick and Craig will answer questions and select the winner of a free Rick Steves tour!


Tuesday, January 24: France

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Guest host Steve Smith joins French tour guide Virginie Moré for a virtual visit to France. We'll start in Paris with the Louvre and Orsay museums and the extravagant Palace of Versailles. Then we'll head to the châteaux of the Loire, traditional markets of the Dordogne, beaches of the riviera, and half-timbered villages of Alsace — and that's just the beginning!. We'll review our France tour itineraries to help you find the perfect fit.


Wednesday, January 25: Ireland

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Irish tour guide Stephen McPhilemy joins Rick to celebrate Ireland's must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, and seaside getaways. On this virtual tour, we'll visit Kinsale, Dingle Peninsula, lively Galway, the compelling city of Belfast, and, of course, entertaining Dublin. We'll help you decide between our shorter and longer Rick Steves Ireland itineraries for exploring the Emerald Isle, whose people are sure to steal your heart.


Thursday, January 26: Germany and Austria

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick is joined by Berlin-based guide Holger Zimmer for a virtual visit to Germany and Austria. We'll travel to Germany's Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg, then on to Bavaria's cut-glass peaks, fairy-tale Neuschwanstein castle, and the medieval town of Rothenburg. In Austria, we'll tour the grand capital of Vienna and Mozart-crazy Salzburg, along with alpine and Danube charm. And, we'll review how Rick Steves tours crisscross the region.


Friday, January 27: The Netherlands and Belgium

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Rick and tour guide Nico Favoreel take you on a virtual visit to the Low Countries. From Amsterdam with its dreamy canals, Rembrandt, and van Gogh, we'll head into the oh-so-Dutch countryside for tulips, canals, and mighty dikes. In Belgium, medieval Ghent and Bruges come with canals, cobbles, waffles, and chocolates. Our Rick Steves tour goes beyond the sights to better understand this fascinating region.


Saturday, January 28: Greece

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Greek tour guide Apostolos Douras joins Rick to celebrate Greece. From Athens with its majestic Acropolis, our virtual tour takes you to the ancient sites of Delphi, Olympia, Epidavros, and Mycenae, splashing in the turquoise Aegean, sampling family-crafted olives and wines, and learning to play backgammon at a whitewashed taverna. Our Greece tour offers an enticing mix of ancient history, contemporary culture, and relaxing vacation.


Sunday, January 29: The Joy of Italy — Rick's Favorite Things About Italy

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

On this special show, tour guide David Tordi joins Rick from Orvieto to share some vino rosso and celebrate the delights of Italy. Why is Italy Rick's favorite country? Why are Rick Steves Italy tours and guidebooks our best sellers? How do you sort through and best appreciate the cultural wonders and challenges of Italy? Join us and you'll find out!


Monday, January 30: Festival of Europe Grand Finale

6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Join Rick for an hour of European travel fun and inspiration featuring our favorite guides: Pål's gourmet cooking in Norway, Colin's dad jokes from Scotland, Francesca in the Forum, and Alfio on murder and a plate of spaghetti. We'll also learn about Italian hand gestures and how to build a Gothic cathedral out of tourists, hear Rick's piano concert in slippers, and more. We'll finish with a Q&A and a drawing to win a free Rick Steves tour.