The BEST episodes of Rick Steves' Europe

Every episode of Rick Steves' Europe ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Rick Steves' Europe!

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.

Last Updated: 6/29/2024Network: PBSStatus: Continuing
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Caesar's Rome
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10.00
1 votes

#1 - Caesar's Rome

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/1/2000

Rome welcomes the new millennium spiffed up as never before. We tour Rome's ancient sights from the Forum and Colosseum to the glorious Pantheon. Then, after exploring the catacombs and a cat hospice, we track down the best ice cream in Rome.

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Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains and Bergen
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10.00
1 votes

#2 - Norway's West: Fjords, Mountains and Bergen

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/21/2010

For Scandinavia's most thrilling sightseeing, we sail under towering fjord cliffs and hike on icy glaciers. We'll also find traditions surviving in the remote farm hamlets, and enjoy the salty hospitality of Norway's historic capital Bergen.

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Florence: Heart of the Renaissance
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10.00
1 votes

#3 - Florence: Heart of the Renaissance

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/27/2012

Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of our modern world. In this first of two episodes, we'll gaze into the self-assured eyes of Michelangelo's David, enjoy Botticelli's Birth of Venus, delve into the 3-D wonders of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, appreciate Fra Angelico's serene beauty, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. Then we'll cross the Arno to where Florentine artisans live, work, and eat...very well.

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Paris: Grand and Intimate
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1 votes

#4 - Paris: Grand and Intimate

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/10/2000

After marveling at masterpieces in the Louvre and strolling the Champs-Elysees, we explore a delightful Parisian neighborhood. We meet a pipe organist, drop by a butcher shop, design our own perfume, and cruise the Seine.

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North England's Lake District and Durham
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9.50
2 votes

#5 - North England's Lake District and Durham

Season 7 - Episode 9 - Aired 12/1/2012

Hiking through the Cumbrian Lake District — England's green and pristine mountain playground — we'll 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 get dazzled by Durham's Norman cathedral.

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Germany's Dresden and Leipzig
star
9.50
2 votes

#6 - Germany's Dresden and Leipzig

Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/15/2016

Saxony, part of the former East Germany, remains a secret to most travelers. We'll visit the two great cities of the region: the capital city of Dresden, with the opulent palaces and art treasures of the Wettin dynasty, and Leipzig, with its Bach heritage, a massive monument to the day Europe beat Napoleon, and museums remembering its communist heritage.

Writer: Rick Steves
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Venice: City of Dreams
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9.00
1 votes

#7 - Venice: City of Dreams

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/8/2012

After sorting through the monuments of Venice's powerful past, we'll trace its decline from Europe's most powerful city to its most hedonistic one. We'll cruise the Grand Canal, luxuriate in a venerable café, 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 in the moonlight.

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Egypt's Cairo
star
9.00
1 votes

#8 - Egypt's Cairo

Season 11 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/14/2020

Teeming Cairo, straddling the Nile, is the capital of Egypt and one of the leading cities of the Muslim world. With 20 million people, greater Cairo pulses with energy. We explore the back streets on a tuk-tuk, drop in on a mosque, haggle with a gauntlet of eager merchants, bake some pita bread, help chisel a tombstone, marvel at King Tut's gold, greet the ancient Sphinx, and climb into the center of the greatest pyramid.

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Austrian and Italian Alps
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9.00
1 votes

#9 - Austrian and Italian Alps

Season 11 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/8/2020

In the Alps of Austria and Italy, we celebrate both nature and culture. After conquering the Zugspitze, we tour Innsbruck, visit a remote farm in Austria, and join in a Tirolean village festival. Then we cross the Alps into Italy and tour a uniquely well-preserved medieval castle before joyriding deep into the rugged Dolomite Mountains. After an unforgettable hike, we catch our breath in Europe’s largest high-altitude meadow, then enjoy some more alpine folk music.

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Scotland's Islands
star
9.00
3 votes

#10 - Scotland's Islands

Season 10 - Episode 11 - Aired 12/15/2018

We'll begin on the tranquil Isle of Iona, where Christianity first reached the shores of Scotland. Then we'll visit another of the Inner Hebrides, road-tripping across the Isle of Skye, where we'll explore Iron Age forts, peat fields, a venerable distillery, thatched crofter huts, and the dramatic Trotternish Peninsula. Finally, we'll sail to Orkney — more Nordic than Celtic — with its stony remnants of a thriving Iron Age civilization and evocative reminders of the 20th-century wartime harbor at Scapa Flow.

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Assisi and Italian Country Charm
star
9.00
3 votes

#11 - Assisi and Italian Country Charm

Season 9 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/12/2016

In the Italian countryside, we'll connect with rustic, traditional culture: enjoying an agriturismo (farmhouse inn), seeing how prosciutto and pecorino cheese are made, and hiking to the bottom of deep and ancient wine cellars. We'll end in Assisi — the hometown of St. Francis — which retains its spiritual aura to this day. Like pilgrims, we'll explore its stony center before trekking to its awe-inspiring basilica, built on the tomb of the beloved saint.

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Germany’s Frankfurt and Nürnberg
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9.00
2 votes

#12 - Germany’s Frankfurt and Nürnberg

Season 9 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/22/2016

Skyscraper-studded Frankfurt — with so much commerce it's nicknamed "Bankfurt" — has a delightful-to-explore old center. We'll also visit Nürnberg, a capital for both the First Reich (the Holy Roman Empire) and the Third. From its towering castle and playful fountains to its Nazi Documentation Center and maze of underground bomb shelters, Nürnberg is a fascinating study in contrasts.

Writer: Rick Steves
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Central Turkey
star
9.00
2 votes

#13 - Central Turkey

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/11/2014

We marvel at the fascinating landscape of Cappadocia from high above in a balloon...and from deep below, prowling an underground city where Christians once hid out. We'll join a circumcision party, explore troglodyte ghost towns, shop for sheep at the market, and chat with an imam. Then we enjoy the modern capital, Ankara, and pay our respects to the father of modern Turkey, Atatürk.

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European Travel Skills Part II
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9.00
2 votes

#14 - European Travel Skills Part II

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired 12/29/2012

In this second of three shows focusing on travel skills, we'll visit Venice, Siena, and the Cinque Terre in Italy to learn about trip planning, packing, safety, and — perhaps the most rewarding skill of all — connecting with the locals. Going beyond the sights, Rick shares some practical tips to help make European travel fun and hassle-free.

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Venice and Its Lagoon
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9.00
1 votes

#15 - Venice and Its Lagoon

Season 7 - Episode 11 - Aired 12/15/2012

Venice, more than any other European city, has an endlessly seductive charm. For centuries, it was nicknamed La Serenissima, "The Most Serenely Beautiful One" — and for good reason. Along with sampling the sumptuous art treasures of Venice and exploring its back-street wonders, we'll cruise its lagoon, stopping in fiery Murano for glass, pastel Burano for lace, and murky Torcello for a sense of where Venice was born.

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London: Historic and Dynamic
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9.00
1 votes

#16 - London: Historic and Dynamic

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/24/2012

In many-faceted London, we'll ponder royal tombs in Westminster Abbey, 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 in Greenwich.

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Basque Country
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9.00
1 votes

#17 - Basque Country

Season 6 - Episode 12 - Aired 12/19/2010

The homeland of the proud and resilient Basque people is split between France and Spain. From our San Sebastián home base, we tour the ancient Basque capital of Guernica, the dazzling Guggenheim Bilbao, and then cross into France for more Basque Country charms. From yummy tapa bars to lightning-fast jai alai games, we'll experience Basque culture at its most vivid.

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Galicia and the Camino de Santiago
star
9.00
1 votes

#18 - Galicia and the Camino de Santiago

Season 6 - Episode 11 - Aired 12/12/2010

We follow the trail pilgrims have trod for centuries, from the French Pyrenees to Spain's Santiago de Campostela. Along the way we stop off in Pamplona to run with the bulls, and dive into the unique culture of Galicia.

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Dublin and Mystical Side-Trips
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9.00
1 votes

#19 - Dublin and Mystical Side-Trips

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 10/26/2002

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 Book of Kells-a bright light in the Dark Ages. At night we party in Temple Bar, awash with Celtic music and frothy pints of Guinness. We side-trip to the prehistoric necropolis of Newgrange and the medieval monastery at Glendalough, tucked in the scenic Wicklow Mountains.

Cinque Terre: Italy's Hidden Riviera
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9.00
1 votes

#20 - Cinque Terre: Italy's Hidden Riviera

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/5/2002

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 side-trip to Carrara's historic quarries where Michelangelo selected his marble, then return to Vernazza to stroll its only street (with the entire village) as the sun sets.

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Siena and Assisi: Italy's Grand Hill Towns
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9.00
1 votes

#21 - Siena and Assisi: Italy's Grand Hill Towns

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/28/2002

In red-bricked Siena, we tour the town's innovative medieval hospital, lavish cathedral, and a bakery that makes panforte (like fruitcake, only delicious). Exploring the Chianti region, we sip Brunello di Montalcino — with its makers. Spending the night at a farmhouse, we meet the family and its 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 Giotto-frescoed basilica that holds his tomb.

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Florence: City of Art
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9.00
1 votes

#22 - Florence: City of Art

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/21/2002

In the birthplace of the Renaissance, we look into the eyes of Michelangelo's David and Botticelli's Venus, learn tricks for touring the Uffizi art gallery, and climb the dome that kicked off the Renaissance. Then we delve into the Florentine good life: visiting a fragrant 400-year-old perfumery, sipping Campari on a rooftop, chasing the sunset on a Vespa, and sleeping serenely in a converted monastery.

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Surprising Bulgaria
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9.00
1 votes

#23 - Surprising Bulgaria

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 10/22/2000

Bulgaria is a time warp of old and new — from chic shops in the city to donkey cars in the country. We hike to a mountain monastery, meet two sculptors (dad does Stalin, son does nudes), and enjoy a traditional dinner feast at a local home.

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Scotland's Islands and Highlands
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9.00
1 votes

#24 - Scotland's Islands and Highlands

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/15/2000

In Scotland, legends of Bonnie Prince Charlie swirl with pipers and kilts around crumbling castles. After tossing a caber (log) at a Scottish clan gathering, we remember Highland massacres. We play hide-and-seek with the Loch Ness Monster, tour a whiskey distillery, and take a ferry to sacred Iona.

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England's Cornwall
star
8.97
33 votes

#25 - England's Cornwall

Season 9 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/10/2016

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.

Writer: Rick Steves
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