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.
Provence: Legendary Light, Wind and Wine (#308() Duration: 25:51 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.
Normandy: War-Torn Yet Full of Life (#303() Duration: 25:51 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.
Burgundy: Profound France (#501() Duration: 25:01 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.
Paris: Regal and Intimate (#706() Duration: 24:39 STEREO TVG
In Paris, amidst all of its grandeur, the little joys of life are still embraced. In this first of 2 episodes on Paris, we cruise the Seine River, visit Napoleon's tomb, and take in the Louvre. Then we feel the pulse of Paris - shopping in village-like neighborhoods, attending church in a grand pipe organ loft, and celebrating the mother of all revolutions with a big, patriotic Bastille Day bang.
Paris: Embracing Life and Art (#707() Duration: 40:39 STEREO TVG
In this second of 2 episodes on Europe's "City of Light," we ride a unicorn into the Middle Ages at the Cluny Museum, take a midnight Paris joyride in a classic car, get an extremely close-up look at heavenly stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle, go on a tombstone pilgrimage at Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and savor the Parisian cafe scene. Few cites are so confident in their expertise in good living - and as travelers, we get to share in that uniquely Parisian joie de vivre.
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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Dec 11, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
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.
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Dec 13, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
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.
England's Bath & York (#401H) Duration: 26:46 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.
North Wales: Feisty and Poetic (#402H) Duration: 26:46 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 (#403H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Edinburgh is the historical and cultural heart of Scotland. We'll explore the castle, peek at the new parliament, dabble in the local literature, sip a little Scotch, get wrapped up in a kilt, and then stow away on Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia.
- KQED Life: Thu, Dec 19, 2013 -- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rick Steves' Europe: The Making Of (#411H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
After 16 years and more than 100 travel shows, Rick and his crew take you behind the scenes to show you just how they produce this series. Joining the crew as they scamper through Milan and around Lake Como, you'll follow the creative process as the challenges and surprises that come with travel are shaped into a finished show.
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.
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.
Little Europe: San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, and Andorra (#504H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Don't blink as we blitz through Europe's tiniest countries: Vatican City, the world's smallest country, comes with the planet's biggest church. The fairytale princedom of Monaco lures visitors with its fancy casino and glamorous views. Italy's last independent hill town, San Marino still looks formidable, as does the castle-guarded principality of Liechtenstein. And tiny Andorra entertains shoppers and hikers alike, surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Pyrenees.
Great Swiss Cities: Luzern, Bern, Zurich and Lausanne (#505H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
In this episode we'll focus on an often overlooked side of Switzerland its urban charms. We'll get some exercise, from ringing a very big bell to floating down an urban river. We'll also enjoy a variety of eye-opening art, from Chagall and Klee to inmates of an asylum. Then we'll ponder a few Swiss innovations, from their open-minded drug policies to their hush-hush underground arsenals. And it'll all before a backdrop of Switzerland's stunning natural beauty.
Vienna and the Danube (#506H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
For centuries, Vienna was the crown jewel of the rich and powerful Habsburg Empire. A century after that empire's fall, the Viennese appreciates their imperial legacy as a cultural wellspring and an excuse to live in style. We'll take in the city's wealth of elegant gardens, great art and fine music. Then we'll explore the city's surroundings, with a trip along the romantic Danube River and a hike up to the breathtakingly Baroque Melk Abbey.
The Czech Republic Off The Beaten Path (#507H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Few travelers venture beyond Prague to experience the Czech Republic's many cultural riches and offbeat delights. We'll get you started with a whirlwind of Art Nouveau, local pub music, stinky cheese-tasting, river-rafting, and peat-bathing in places like Olomouc, Moravsky Krumlov, Telc, Trebon and Konopiste. We'll also tour a remarkable memorial to the holocaust in Terezin, and the charming castle town of Cesky Krumlov.
Athens and Side Trips (#508H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The thriving capital of Greece sprawls out from the foot of its magnificent Acropolis. We'll tour the must-sees of ancient Athens, including the Parthenon, Agora, and amazing National Archaeological Museum. We'll take the fast-paced pulse of the modern city, but waste no time getting to my favorite side trip destinations: the ruins of the mystical oracle at Delphi, and a fast boat to the romantic, traffic-free Isle of Hydra.
Greece's Peloponnese (#509H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Island getaways are fun, but the real heart of Greece is found in the Peloponnese Peninsula. After enjoying the charming old port town of Nafplion, we'll time-trip through the ruins of Olympia, take center stage at the remarkably preserved theater at Epidavros, and explore the ancient capital of Mycenae. Then we'll wander off the beaten path along the rustic, rough-and-tumble Mani Peninsula, relax in the idyllic beach town of Kardymli and marvel at Greece's Rock of Gibraltar: the fortress town of Monemvasia.
Copenhagen (#510H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Denmark's capital is the most fun-loving in Scandinavia. As we get to know Copenhagen, we'll discover reminders of its Viking history and symbols of its proudly independent ways today. We'll stroll through Europe's first great pedestrian zone, ogle crown jewels in the palace and take a bike ride through a famous hippie squatter community, finishing at Copenhagen's full-time carnival, Tivoli Gardens.
Denmark: Beyond Copenhagen (#511H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Using Copenhagen as a spring board, we'll visit the very best of Denmark. Aarhus welcomes us with its ruddy affluence, charming open air museum and eerily well-preserved ancient bog man. Roskilde impresses visitors with its royal burial church and the best Viking ship museum anywhere. And the delightfully quaint Isle of Aero beckons a bike ride among thatched cottages, "snooping mirrors", and cobbled alleyways that reminds us of the world of Hans Christian Andersen.
Istanbul (#512H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Where Europe comes face to face with Asia, we'll explore the fascinating, multilayered city of Istanbul. We'll lose our way in the Grand Bazaar and feast like kings with locals at a fisherman's wharf. We'll follow the fall of the Byzantium and the rise of Islam at the city's ancient wall, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. To escape the city bustle, we'll board a boat on the churning Bosphorus, make friends over backgammon, and try a traditional bath.
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 Life: Fri, Jan 17, 2014 -- 9:00am 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.
Rick Steves' Andalucia: The Best of Southern Spain (#601H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
This special weaves together the region's rich mix of culture, cuisine, history, and natural wonders. It includes the major cites of Sevilla, Cordoba, and Granada; flamenco, sherry, and horses; dramatic white-washed hill towns; and fun in the Costa del Sol sun - plus a dash of Britain in Gibraltar.
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.
Dubrovnik and Balkan Side-Trips (#603H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Nestled inside its mighty ramparts is Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic." From this remarkably preserved medieval fortress city, we venture into less-touristy corners of the former Yugoslavia. In Bosnia, we visit Mostar - war-torn in the 90s, but bursting with promise today. In Montenegro, we sail the fjord-like Bay of Kotor and explore its mysterious, mountainous interior.
The Best of Slovenia (#604H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Little Slovenia is the least visited and most underrated of Europe's alpine countries. From its prosperous capital of Ljubljana, we enjoy the mountain resort of Lake Bled, venture into the Julian Alps for natural thrills mixed with World War I history, go spelunking in a gigantic cave, and swim with Slavs in a charming Adriatic port.
Granada, Cordoba, and Spain's Costa Del Sol (#605H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Andaluc?a's Moorish heritage sparkles in the historic capitals of Granada and Cordoba. And the pride of the Reconquista and the power of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand enliven the region's great sights. Tasting the smooth sherry and marveling at prancing stallions, we find the passion in Andalucian culture. And we top it off with fun in the Spanish sun on the Costa del Sol.
Andalucia, Gibraltar and Tangier (#606H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Exploring Andalucia, we experience the quintessence of Spanish culture. Starting up high, in Spain's whitewashed hill towns, we roll down to the coast to enjoy the windsurfing mecca of Tarifa. Then we catch a bit of Britain on the Rock of Gibraltar, and sail to Africa for a Moroccan finale in Tangier.
Oslo (#607H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
The proud spirit of the Norwegian people shines in every dimension of their capital city - from its once-fearsome Viking ships to its sleek new Opera House, from tales of World War II heroism to the constant festival of its thriving harbor front. Connecting with the culture, we enjoy art-from Vigeland's statues to Monch's scream-and cap things off by joining local friends for a sail on their fjord.
Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains and Bergen (#608H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
For Scandinavia's most thrilling sightseeing, we sail under towering fjord cliffs, hike on powerful glaciers, and find surviving traditions in remote farm hamlets. Then we delve into the Hanseatic heritage and enjoy the salty hospitality of Norway's historic capitol, Bergen.
Stockholm (#609H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Sweden's capital, confident and self-assured, glitters with souvenirs from the day when it ruled as a superpower. From pondering gilded royal staterooms to sampling gourmet reindeer and sipping vodka in an ice bar, we experience the city's cultural highlights. Then we sail the archipelago for the prettiest island-hopping in northern Europe.