Rick Steves' Europe
A fresh perspective on the best travel advice, including where to stay, what to see and how to get around. Rick shares the latest on sightseeing in the grand cities of Europe, and offers a vivid local perspective on off-the-beaten path locations.
Italy's Great Hill Towns (#408H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Connoisseurs of Italy find that its quintessential charms survive in its classic hill towns. From San Gimignano's medieval towers, to Cortona's charming lanes, to Orvieto's papal intrigue, to Civita di Bagnoregio's cliff-hanging vistas...all sit on lofty stone perches that now seem to protect them only from the modern world.
- KQED Life: Wed, Mar 12, 2014 -- 9:00am
- KQED Plus: Sat, Apr 26, 2014 -- 6:00pm email reminder
North Wales: Feisty and Poetic (#402() Duration: 25:01 STEREO TVG
From towering Mount Snowdon, to evocative medieval castles, to sweeping Victorian promenades, North Wales is a poem written in landscape. We'll climb a mountain aboard a steam train, learn some Welsh, follow a miner deep into a slate mine, herd sheep with a very clever dog, and work in a pop pilgrimage to the Beatles' Liverpool.
Edinburgh (#403() Duration: 25:01 STEREO TVG
England's Bath & York (#401() Duration: 40:01 STEREO TVG
Medieval York and Georgian Bath - easy side-trips from London - pack an exciting pair of sightseeing punches. Rick explores Roman hot springs, cruises quiet canals, marvels at England's finest Gothic church and gets a surprising dose of Viking history as he enjoys England's easy urban delights.
London: Historic and Dynamic (#708() Duration: 40:00 STEREO TVG
In many-faceted London, we ponder royal tombs in Westminster Abbey, learn how to triple the calories of an English scone at teatime, discover treasures in the British Library, enjoy the vibrant evening scene in Soho, uncover Churchill's secret WWII headquarters, join the 9-to-5 crowd in the new London, shop where the queen shops, and straddle the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.
North England's Lake District and Durham (#709() Duration: 57:01 STEREO TVG
Hiking through the Cumbrian Lake District - England's green and pristine mountain playground - we admire idyllic lakes, discover misty waterfalls, tour a slate mine, and conquer stony summits. And we'll meet the locals - and their beloved dogs and sheep - everywhere. Then we play a little cricket, hike Hadrian's Wall, and are dazzled by Durham's Norman cathedral.
Vienna (#409H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
In Europe's classiest capital we'll tiptoe through the palace of Maria Theresa and be dazzled by the Hapsburg crown jewels. Then we'll picnic on the Danube, nibble strudel in an old world cafe, blush at slinky Art Nouveau, and waltz to the three-four beat of Johann Strauss.
- KQED Life: Thu, Mar 13, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Salzburg and Surroundings (#410H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The birthplace of Mozart - and everyone's Sound of Music fantasies - Salzburg is a baroque jewel of a town. It's also the springboard for dozens of Alpine adventures, from thrilling summer bobsledding, to hikes around Hitler's old Eagles Nest hideout, to an idyllic boat ride on serene Lake Hallstatt.
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 14, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Venice Sidetrips (#202) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Pulling on hip boots, we settle into the muck of Venice, then take a speedboat tour of the lagoon. On the mainland, we head for Padua to tour a once-illegal anatomy theater and track the restoration of Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel. In Vicenza, we admire elegant Palladian-style streets and villas. In Verona, we climb the Roman Coliseum, jostle with tourists to rub the brass breast of Juliet, and taste-test grappa before riding the train to Ravenna for its dazzling 1500-year-old mosaics.
- KQED Life: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Siena and Assisi: Italy's Grand Hill Towns (#204) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Italy's Grand Hill Towns In red-bricked Siena, we tour its innovative medieval hospital, lavish cathedral, and a bakery that makes panforte (like fruitcake, only better). Exploring the Chianti region, we taste Brunello di Montalcino - with its makers. Spending the night at a farmhouse, we meet the family and the sheep, learn of the Slow Food Movement, and enjoy a homegrown dinner. In Assisi, we follow the footsteps of St. Francis from his humble chapel to the grand basilica - frescoed by Giotto - that holds his tomb.
Cinque Terre: Italy's Hidden Riviera (#205) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Italy's Hidden Riviera In these five idyllic port towns, we sample village life: fishing for anchovies at midnight, savoring the best pesto, picking grapes, and cheering cliff divers as we hike the "walkway of love." Each pastel town is a delight, but my favorite is Vernazza - where Giovanni makes pasta and Granelli sells porcini mushrooms at the tiny street market. We sidetrip to Carrara's quarries where Michelangelo selected his marble, then return to Vernazza to stroll the only street with the entire village as the sun sets.
Croatia: Adriatic Delights (#602H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
A fascinating land with a hard-fought history in a complex corner of Europe, Croatia is emerging as one of Europe's top destinations. Sampling the very best of Croatia, we start by exploring the fabled Dalmatian Coast from dramatic Dubrovnik to crusty Adriatic island ports. Heading inland, we hike through Plitvice Lakes National Park and enjoy the thriving capital city Zagreb. Our Croatian finale: the Istrian Peninsula and its enchanting port town of Rovinj.
Amsterdam and Dutch Sidetrips (#206) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
With Rembrandts and stately architecture from its Golden Age, hidden churches and holocaust memorials from its troubled times, and Van Goghs and titillating street life from its modern age, Amsterdam stimulates all the senses. Then, side-tripping from Europe's capital of tolerance into the countryside (and below sea-level), we hike dikes, climb windmills, tour the world's biggest flower market, and see how in Holland, "Everything's just so Dutch!"
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 21, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Prague and the Czech Republic (#207) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Newly energized Prague, slinky with sumptuous Art Nouveau facades, is perpetually playing Mozart and Vivaldi. Eastern Europe's top destination has Europe's best beer, biggest castle, liveliest pedestrian bridge, and most evocative Jewish Quarter. From Prague, we sidetrip to Kutna Hora, once a silver-mining boomtown, to descend into its medieval mine and ponder its eerie chapel, decorated centuries ago with 40,000 bones.
Dublin and Mystical Sidetrips (#208H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Dublin's story is of feast and famine: from its 18th-century Golden Age to its 20th-century struggles for independence to its boomtime today. We explore the town's foreboding castle, patriotic jail, and Trinity College with its illuminated Book of Kells--a bright light from the Dark Ages. At night we party in Temple Bar, awash with Celtic music and frothy pints of Guinness. We sidetrip to the prehistoric necropolis of Newgrange and the medieval monastery at Glendalough, tucked in the scenic Wicklow Mountains.
South Ireland: Waterford to the Ring of Kerry (#209H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
We find the story of Ireland strewn along its fascinating south coast: Waterford's much-loved crystal factory; the Kennedy family homestead; the Dunbrody famine ship; and Kinsale's star-shaped fortresses. After learning why locals don't kiss the Blarney Stone, we savor the scenic charms of the Emerald Isle-driving the Ring of Kerry.
The Best of West Ireland: Dingle, Galway, and the Aran Islands (#210H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Ireland in the extreme is best experienced on its west coast in Gaeltachts, where the people speak Gaelic and the rugged villages have changed little over the generations. After exploring the rugged and remote Aran Islands, we settle into Galway, dance in a castle at a medieval folk banquet and delve into Ireland in the extreme: Dingle Peninsula. Ringing with traditional music from its rustic pubs, dotted with prehistoric "fairy forts," if you'll fall in love with Ireland, chances are it'll be right here.
Berlin: Resilient, Reunited, and Reborn (#211) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Berlin is back, resuming its place as a great European capital. We climb the Reichstag's new glass dome, sway at a modern-day cabaret, and pop a few chocolates in the now thriving eastern sector. Along with Germany's finest art, complicated Berlin also has hidden remnants of its fascist and communist past. In a city that's rebounding and rebuilding, we crane our necks at Europe's newest Times Square-Potsdamer Platz.
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 28, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Milan and Lake Como (#406H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
No trip to Italy is complete without Milan and Lake Como. In Milan we'll take a peek at Italy's highest fashion, fanciest delis, grandest cemetery and greatest opera house - not to mention Leonardo's Last Supper. Then we'll cruise along Lake Como, settling down in the lakeside village of Varenna, classic honeymoon country, where Italy meets the Alps.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Mar 29, 2014 -- 6:00pm email reminder
Iran:Tehran and Side Trips (#513H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
As he's done with previous programs on Israel, Egypt, and Eastern Turkey, Rick takes us beyond Europe to a place that's rich with history...and mystery. Visiting Tehran, Shariz, Persepolis, and a small village, we'll get a rare present-day look at of some of civilization's most important historical sites, and a sense of Iran's 21st century culture. From architecture and art to faith and everyday living, "Iran, Yesterday and Today" is all about the eye-opening gift of travel.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Mar 29, 2014 -- 6:30pm email reminder
Germany's Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg (#212H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Cruising the Rhine River, we dodge riverboat traffic and the legendary siren, Lorelei. After climbing castles and descending into dungeons, we relax with Rhine wine. We tour Burg Eltz-a lived-in castle where the noble lady still puts out fresh flowers. Then we enter the walled town of Rothenburg for Germany's best wood carving, a vivid dose of medieval punishment, and a tour with the night watchman of the town's lamp-lit ramparts.
Munich and the Foothills of the Alps (#213H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
In Munich, where locals specialize in good living, we visit boisterous markets and go for Baroque palaces...while office workers surf in the Isar River. Heading into the foothills of the Alps, we take a spin around a Maypole; drop by Oberammergau-the Shirley Temple of Bavarian villages; and tour the fairy-tale castles of "Mad" King Ludwig. After hiking up to a desolate ruined castle, we soar even higher in a glider over the Tyrol.
Switzerland's Jungfrau Region: Best of the Alps (#214H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
If Heidi is alive, she's in this sky-high corner of the Swiss Alps, with cows on breathtaking ridges. After settling into a traditional village where locals scythe hay by hand, we hike, bike, and parasail. We blast an alphorn, get sprayed by waterfalls raging deep inside a mountain, and munch muesli for breakfast at 10,000 feet. For a finale, we ride Europe's highest lift up the mighty Jungfrau for hot cocoa, glacier sledding, and oh-wow views.
The Majesty of Madrid (#301H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Madrid is studded with riches from its glory days. We tour the lavish Royal Palace, enjoy art-packed museums, and look deep into Picasso's greatest masterpiece. Experiencing Madrid at its fun-loving best, we' re mesmerized by flamenco dancers and munch on pigs' ears. Then, for a dose of Spain's dramatic history, we side-trip to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen.
Highlights of Castile: Toledo and Salamanca (#302H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Castile sparkles with Roman Segovia, walled Avila, student-filled Salamanca, and holy Toledo! We marvel at El Greco, pop some explosive pickles, and ramble Spain's most awe-inspiring medieval walls. Then, just for fun, we drop in on a bachelorette party with local troubadours, slice and savor tasty jamon, stroll with the crowd, and grab a front-row seat to enjoy Europe's most enchanting square.
Tuscany's Dolce Vita (#407H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The small towns and rural charms of Tuscany give us a healthy dose of the "sweet life" as we hunt for truffles in an oak forest, nibble through an artichoke festival, share a farmhouse feast, and ride a classic convertible through the cypress groves of Mona Lisa's back yard.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Apr 5, 2014 -- 6:00pm email reminder
Iran's Historic Capitals (#514H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Iran's rich history goes back millennia, to the days when Persepolis was home to "the king of kings." In this episode, Rick Steves explores three historic capitals of Iran: Persepolis, with its splendid monuments; Shiraz, with the tombs of Iran's most beloved poets; and Esfahan, with its extraordinary mosques and endearing people.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Apr 5, 2014 -- 6:30pm email reminder
Normandy: War-Torn Yet Full of Life (#303H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
After exploring the half-timbered charm of Rouen, we reflect on Monet's lily ponds, peek in on local artisans, and set up an easel at Honfleur's harbor. We venture into composer Eric Satie's eccentric world and feast on the finest of Normandy cuisine. After pondering sacrifice and celebrating freedom on the D-Day beaches, we hike with pilgrims to the enchanted island abbey of Mont St. Michel.
Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland (#304H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
No trip to Emerald Isle is complete without a visit to Northern Ireland. We tour bustling Belfast, sneaking a peek at its politically charged neighborhoods. Then we head for the Antrim Coast and go wild in Portrush, Ulster's Coney Island. We taste-test Irish whiskey, scramble over six-sided rock columns, putter through a world-class golf course, and stomp our feet to Irish music in rough-and- tumble Derry.
London: Mod and Trad (#305H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
London is quintessentially English, yet cosmopolitan. We check out the new - the Millennium Bridge and the British Museum's Great Court, and admire the old - well-wrapped mummies and a rare Leonardo. After bantering with Beefeaters at the Tower of London, we do some riverside beach-combing. Strolling the trendy South Bank of the Thames takes us from the Tate Modern to the dizzying London Eye.
Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Creme Brulee (#306H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Packing the best of Paris into one episode, we scale the Eiffel Tower, then savor classic treats - from steak tartare to creme brulee. We marvel at Monet, Manet and company in the stunning Orsay Gallery. Tracing the sad steps of Marie Antoinette, we relive French history from its bloody revolution to its extravagant belle epoch.
Belgium: Bruges and Brussels (#307H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Belgium is a land of contrasts. From the powerhouse headquarters of the European Union and Europe's grandest square in big-city Brussels, we go quaint with delicate lace and back lane bike rides in small- town Bruges. We check into a medieval hospital, savor the exquisite art of Memling, and climb a bell tower to get up close and fortissimo at a carillon concert. Then passionate chefs - creators of French fries and Europe's finest chocolate-give us a taste of their art.
Provence: Legendary Light, Wind and Wine (#308H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Provence, known for its soft light and fierce wind, is as loved by Americans as it is by the sun. We climb Roman ruins in Nimes, explore a papal palace in Avignon, and savor vivid views immortalized by van Gogh in Arles. Crossing acres of wispy vineyards, we explore the Cotes du Rhone and more wonders of the South of France.
French Riviera: Uniquely Chic (#309H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
A longtime favorite escape of Europe's elite, the Riviera coastline still sparkles with yachts. We follow in the footsteps of 19th century aristocrats along Monaco's harbor and Nice's promenade des Anglais. Then we visit the picturesque, artist hangouts of Chagall, Matisse and Picasso.
Poland Rediscovered: Krakow, Auschwitz and Warsaw (#310H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Poland is ready to be rediscovered as the old "east" transforms itself into the new heart of Europe. Krakow, with its bubbly Baroque and cobbled charm, is emerging as the exciting "next Prague." Nearby, a visit to Auschwitz teaches us a timeless, soul-searching lesson. Systematically destroyed during World War II, Warsaw is a lively, thriving capital once again.
Budapest: The Best of Hungary (#311H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Budapest, once Vienna's partner in ruling the Austro-Hungarian empire, feels like the capital of Eastern Europe. It's actually two cities- busy Pest and noble Buda-straddling the Danube and laced together by mighty bridges. Capitalism has taken hold with gusto as shopping boulevards thrive and stone Lenins and cast iron Stalins litter a theme park at the edge of town. Today Gypsy orchestras feature smoking violins, venerable mineral baths are the rage, and 19th century coffeehouses enjoy a renaissance.
Burgundy: Profound France (#501H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Burgundy is a calm and cultivated corner of France, where nature is as sophisticated as the people. Traditions are strong here. We'll slow down to enjoy the region's edible, drinkable, scenic, and floatable delights. We'll travel on a canal barge, visit a medieval hospice and a modern monastery, build a barrel, appreciate fine Burgundy wine, slurp escargot, and eat very, very well. If you're looking for the quintessential French culture, you'll find it in Burgundy.
- KQED Life: Fri, Apr 18, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Lisbon and the Algarve (#312H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Experiencing the best of Portugal, we start in Lisbon, a ramshackle mix of glorious old and fun-loving new. Salty sailors' quarters and wistful Fado singers mix with ornate architecture to recall the glory days when Vasco da Gama and Magellan made Portugal a world power. Then we head for the south coast of your travel dreams-the Algarve. We explore the Land's End of Europe-windy and historic Cape Sagres before savoring pristine beaches and arm-wrestling octopi in the sleepy fishing village of Salema.
Sevilla (#313H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
Sevilla is the flamboyant city of Carmen and Don Juan. It's where bullfighting is still politically correct and where little girls dream of growing up to become flamenco dancers. Sevilla has soul-and we feel it in its lacy Moorish palace, massive cathedral, lavish royal tombs, labyrinthine Jewish quarter, and its people-filled streets. After munching tasty tapas, we head south for Andalusia's ultimate whitewashed hilltown, Arcos de la Frontera.
France's Dordogne (#502H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The Dordogne River Valley with its dramatic castles, pre-historic cave paintings, and prized cuisine is an unforgettable blend of man-made and natural beauty. We'll take an idyllic canoe ride, visit a goose farm, then savor the foie gras. We'll also wander through a lamp-lit castle, enjoy a country market, and visit the Sistine Chapel of the prehistoric world. Then we head south to Albi, home of Toulouse Lautrec, and the imposing fortress city of Carcassonne.
- KQED Life: Fri, Apr 25, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Barcelona and Catalunya (#503H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The creative spirit of Spain's Catalunya the land of Picasso, Gaudi and Salvador Dali is on a roll. We'll get caught up in the festivity of Barcelona, enjoying the vibrant street scenes, tasty tapas and pedestrian-friendly Gothic Quarter. Then we'll take a scenic side trip to mountaintop Montserrat, and finish with an artist's pilgrimage along the Costa Brava to Salvador Dali country seaside Cadaques to visit his home and nearby Figures to experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum.
- KQED Life: Mon, Apr 28, 2014 -- 9:00am email reminder
Naples and Pompeii (#404H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Naples is Italy in the extreme. We'll prowl backstreet fish markets, dodge fast-moving Vespas, and dine on pizza where it was invented. We'll climb to the top of nearby Mount Vesuvius, then wander through the amazing ruins of Pompeii, the Roman town it destroyed.
Italy's Amalfi Coast (#405H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Just south of Naples we'll experience the breath-taking Amalfi Coastline, the trendy resort of Positano, the limoncello charms of Sorrento, the ancient Greek temples at Paestum, and the iridescent Blue Grotto hidden beneath the enchanting isle of Capri.