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.
Switzerland's Jungfrau Region: Best of the Alps (#214) Duration: 27:50 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.
- KQED Life: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 12:00am
Munich and the Foothills of the Alps (#213) Duration: 27:50 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.
- KQED Life: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 4:30pm
- KQED Life: Sun, May 19, 2013 -- 12:00am
- KQED Plus: Sat, Jun 29, 2013 -- 6:00pm email reminder
South Ireland: Waterford to the Ring of Kerry (#209H) Duration: 26:46 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.
- KQED Plus: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 6:00pm
Rome: Baroque Brilliance (#702() Duration: 25:00 STEREO TVG
This second of 3 episodes on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque. We ramble through the venerable heart of Rome, admire breathtaking Bernini statues, ponder sunbeams inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, and mix and mingle with the Romans during an early evening stroll. Following an exquisite Roman dinner, we join locals after dark, lacing together the Eternal City's most romantic nightspots.
Belfast and the Best of Northern Ireland (#304) Duration: 27:50 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 (#305) Duration: 27:50 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 (#306) Duration: 27:50 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 (#307) Duration: 27:50 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 (#308) Duration: 27:50 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.
The Best of West Ireland: Dingle, Galway, and the Aran Islands (#210H) Duration: 26:46 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.
- KQED Plus: Sat, May 25, 2013 -- 6:00pm email reminder
Rome: Back-Street Riches (#703() Duration: 25:00 STEREO TVG
In this third of 3 episodes on the Eternal City, we explore this grand metropolis - so rich in art and culture - on a more intimate scale, delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners. Venturing through the crusty Trastevere district, visiting the historic Jewish Ghetto, and enjoying art treasures in a string of rarely visited churches, we uncover charms of hidden Rome that compete with its marquee sights.
French Riviera: Uniquely Chic (#309) Duration: 27:50 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 (#310) Duration: 27:50 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 (#311) Duration: 26:46 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 (#312) Duration: 27:50 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 (#313) Duration: 27:50 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.
- KQED Life: Fri, May 31, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
Florence: Heart of the Renaissance (#704() Duration: 25:00 STEREO TVG
15th-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of our modern world. In this first of 2 episodes, we gaze into the self-assured eyes of Michelangelo's David, enjoy Botticelli's Birth of Venus, delve into the 3D wonders of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, appreciate Fra Angelico's serene beauty, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. Then we cross the Arno to where Florentine artisans live, work, and eat - very well.
Venice: City of Dreams (#710() Duration: 25:00 STEREO TVG
After sorting through the monuments of Venice's powerful past, we trace its decline from Europe's most powerful city to its most hedonistic one. We cruise the Grand Canal, luxuriate in a venerable cafe, and savor fresh fish canal-side with Venetian friends. Becoming as anonymous as possible in this city of masks, we'll be dazzled by masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance and get intimate with the city of Casanova - on a gondola under the moonlight.
Florentine Delights and Tuscan Side Trips (#705S) Duration: 32:18 STEREO TVG
In this second of 2 episodes on Florence, we enjoy more of the exquisite artistic treasures of the city that propelled Europe out of the Middle Ages. Then we side-trip to a couple of rival cities and cultural capitals in their own right, Pisa and Lucca, where we'll marvel at a tipsy tower, circle a city on its ramparts, and enjoy some Puccini in his hometown.
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.
- KQED Life: Mon, Jun 3, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
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.
- KQED Life: Tue, Jun 4, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
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: Wed, Jun 5, 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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jun 6, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 7, 2013 -- 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.
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.
- KQED Life: Thu, Jun 13, 2013 -- 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, Jun 14, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
Berlin: Resilient, Reunited, and Reborn (#211H) Duration: 27:50 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 Plus: Sat, Jun 15, 2013 -- 6:00pm email reminder
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.
Burgundy: Profound France (#501) 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.
France's Dordogne (#502) 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 (#503) 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: Thu, Jun 20, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
Little Europe: San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, and Andorra (#504) 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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 21, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
Germany's Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg (#212H) Duration: 26:46 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.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Jun 22, 2013 -- 6:00pm email reminder
Great Swiss Cities: Luzern, Bern, Zurich and Lausanne (#505) 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 (#506) 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 (#507) 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 (#508) 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 (#509) 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.
- KQED Life: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 -- 9:00am email reminder
Paris: Regal and Intimate (#706H) Duration: 26:46 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.
- KQED Plus: Sat, Jun 29, 2013 -- 6:30pm email reminder
Also on KQED.org this week ...
We Need You!
Volunteer during our current on-air radio fundraising drive. It's a great way to support KQED Radio with your time. You can really make a difference!
Enter the New "ImageMakers" Screening Room
Enjoy films from present and past seasons of KQED's short independent film series, divided into Animation, Comedy, Drama, and Suspense.