Rick Steves Europe

Rick Steves advocates smart independent travel. As host, writer and producer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 30+ European travel books, he encourages Americans to delve deep into Europe and become "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay. Over the past 15 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television (most still airing in rebroadcasts), and numerous pledge specials. Rick's relationship with public television began with his first series, Travels in Europe with Rick Steves. Since then, he has become one of public television's top pledge drive hosts, raising millions of dollars annually for stations across the U.S. His current Rick Steves' Europe TV series has grown to 70 half-hour shows carried by over 300 public television stations annually, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions. Rick recently launched a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. Focusing on world travel, each hour-long program has a guest travel expert for interviews, followed by call-ins with questions and comments. This show airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door, in 1980. He has also written 12 country guidebooks, nine city and regional guides, six phrase books, and co-authored Europe 101: History and Art for Travelers. His Italy guidebook is the bestselling international guidebook in the U.S. In 1999, he tackled a new genre of travel writing with his anecdotal Postcards from Europe, recounting his favorite moments from 25 years of travel. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel Publishing. In addition to his guidebooks, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services and is a regular on the op-ed page of USA Today. He appears frequently on television, radio, and the Internet as the leading authority on independent European travel. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started a business called Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), which has since grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (www.ricksteves.com), European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with over 300 departures — attracting over 10,000 travelers — annually. Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington. His office window overlooks his old junior high school. He lives with his wife Anne, and two children, Andy and Jackie.

From Rick Steves Europe

  • Destination Space Station; Open Phones: Trip of a Lifetime
    <p> Genuinely &quot;down to earth&quot; astronaut Cady Coleman joins us to describe what it&#39;s like living and working &mdash; for months at a time &mdash; on the International Space Station, where the zero-gravity environment affects everything you do...and how circling planet Earth every 90 minutes changes your outlook on life. Plus, listeners share tales of their own unforgettable treks and travels back on mother Earth.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Andalucía April Fair; Walking England; City Squares
    <p> A tour guide from Seville explains how its annual April Fair animates her city, and anchors a season of outdoor festivals in southern Spain. Then tour guides from Britain share their favorite places to go walking in the countryside &mdash; rain or shine. And we consider how public squares can give their cities a sense of identity.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Saints of Spain; Footsteps of St. Paul; Michelangelo in Florence
    <p> Tour guides from Spain explain the importance of local saints to this festive country's national identity. Then actor David Suchet shares what he discovered about his own religious faith while retracing the first-century travels of St. Paul. And Rick chats with art historian Miles J. Unger about the masterpieces by Michelangelo that travelers can enjoy on a visit to the artist's hometown of Florence.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu; Sarah Vowell: Lafayette in the USA; Scotch
    <p> Author Mark Adams shares what he learned about Incan history while trekking to Machu Picchu, just a century after it was revealed to the outside world. Then author and radio commentator Sarah Vowell explains how Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette helped unify Americans after the contentious presidential election of 1824. And Rick checks in with tour guides from Edinburgh to get tips on visiting Scotland&#39;s whisky distilleries.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Atlas Obscura America; The Not-Quite States; North Korea Holiday
    <p> Folks from online magazine Atlas Obscura share some of their favorite American roadside attractions. Then author Doug Mack explains the unique status of the United States&#39; far-flung territories, where American citizenship is &quot;complicated.&quot; And writer, photographer, and businesswoman Wendy Simmons describes her remarkable tour of North Korea.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Versailles; Being French; Understanding Israel in 60 Days or Less
    <p>Rick and two French guides offer tips for planning a visit to the royal palace of Versailles and discuss contemporary issues facing France. Graphic Novelist Sarah Glidden discusses her first trip to Israel on a Birthright tour.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Traditional Irish Music; Being Irish; Belfast
    <p> Give yourself an authentic Saint Patrick&#39;s Day as friends from Ireland demonstrate how traditional folk music continues to play an important role in their lives on a level that everyone can enjoy. Explore the sights of Ireland&#39;s second city, Belfast, and hear how Northern Ireland has outgrown its reputation for sectarian violence.&nbsp; We&#39;ll also have pointers on what it really means to be Irish.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Marty Essen’s Favorite Wild Animals; Ireland 2017
    <p>Photographer Marty Essen talks to Rick about his close encounters with animals in their native environments. And guides from Ireland recommend their favorite parts of Ireland to explore for people visiting this year.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • American Women's History Sites; Diana Nyad; Wilderness Healing
    <p> Celebrate 30 years of Women&#39;s History Month in the USA by visiting sites where women changed the nation&#39;s history, recommended by a former director of the National Museum of American History. Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad tells us how she set a world record swimming from Havana to Key West. And naturalist Gary Ferguson describes the fierce nature of the wilderness.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.
  • Food Regions of Spain; Carnival in Venice and Rhineland; Alt for Norge
    <p> We&#39;ll hear about the local delicacies found on the various tapa menus across Spain. Then we&#39;ll learn more about the centuries-long traditions behind Carnival celebrations in Venice and Cologne, the scene of some of Europe&#39;s biggest wintertime parties. Plus we&#39;ll listen in on the Norwegian TV show that&#39;s helped many Americans discover their old-country ancestry.</p> For more information on Travel with Rick Steves - including episode descriptions, program archives and related details - visit www.ricksteves.com.

FirstChoice eNewsletter