The Best Episodes of Rick Steves' Europe
Last Updated: May 8, 2019
Rick Steves has been the "travel guinea pig" for American Public Television since Travels in Europe with Rick Steves debuted in April of 1991. In his program, Rick shows some out-of-the-way places the average traveler misses, offers countless travel tips, and always enjoys being immersed in the adventure.
#1 - Little Europe: Five Microcountries
Season 5 - Episode 4
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 of 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.
#2 - England's Cornwall
Season 9 - Episode 10
The far southwest of England is a world unto itself, with a persistent Cornish culture. We'll explore a world of flowers springing from towering hedges, a tin-mining heritage going back to biblical times, salty pirates' towns and fishing villages, and the Land's End of England. Then, side-tripping deep into the vast and mysterious Dartmoor National Park, we'll hike to forgotten stone circles and chase wild ponies.
#3 - Amsterdam and Dutch Side Trips
Season 2 - Episode 6
Amsterdam stimulates all the senses, with Rembrandt's and stately architecture from its Golden Age, hidden churches and Holocaust memorials from its troubled times, and Van Gogh's and titillating street life from its modern age. Then, side-tripping 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!"
#4 - Berlin: Resilient, Reunited, and Reborn
Season 2 - Episode 11
Berlin is back, resuming its place as a great European capital. We climb the Reichstag's 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 Potsdamer Platz, Europe's newest Times Square.
#5 - Germany's Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg
Season 2 - Episode 12
Cruising the Rhine River, we dodge riverboat traffic and the legendary 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.
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#6 - Munich and the Foothills of the Alps
Season 2 - Episode 13
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 tour the fairy-tale castles of "Mad" King Ludwig, and climb to the highest point in Germany atop the Zugspitz. Then we cross into the Tirol to conquer a desolate ruined castle.
#7 - London: Mod and Trad
Season 3 - Episode 5
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.
#8 - Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Crème Brûlée
Season 3 - Episode 6
Packing the best of Paris into one episode, we scale the Eiffel Tower, then savor classic treats - from steak tartare to crème brulée. 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 epoche.
#9 - Barcelona and Catalunya
Season 5 - Episode 3
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. In seaside Cadaques, we'll visit Dali's home, and in nearby Figures, we'll experience his playfully surreal mausoleum/museum.
#10 - Burgundy: Profoundly French
Season 5 - Episode 1
Burgundy is a calm and cultivated corner of France, where fine living is intimately tied to nature and traditions run strong. 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 quintessential French culture, you'll find it in Burgundy.
#12 - Helsinki and Tallinn: Baltic Sisters
Season 6 - Episode 10
We roam through Helsinki, Finland's Neoclassical old town, with its flair for design and steamy saunas. Then it's just a two hour boat ride to the medieval charms, independent pride and post-Soviet prosperity of Tallinn, Estonia.
#13 - Dubrovnik and Balkan Side Trips
Season 6 - Episode 3
Starting in the medieval fortress city of Dubrovnik, we venture to less-touristed corners of the former Yugoslavia. in Bosnia, we visit once war-torn Mostar. In Montenegro, we sail the Bat of Kotor and explore the mountainous interior.
#14 - Germany's Black Forest and Cologne
Season 1 - Episode 6
Rick teams up with his wife and kids to enjoy the good life, dipping into a classy mineral spa, trying our luck at a fancy casino, devouring chocolate-cherry cake, and exploring Germany's most romantic forest.