Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 2010: The Travel Skills Handbook
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Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 2010: The Travel Skills Handbook

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  2,458 ratings  ·  102 reviews
You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling through Europe, including how to:

Plan your itinerary and maximize your time
Pack light—and right
Find good-value hotels and restaurants
Travel smoothly by train, bus, car, and plane
Avoid crowds and tourist scams
Hurdle the language barrier
Understand cultural differences and connect with loca...more
Paperback, 788 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Avalon Travel Publishing (first published January 1982)
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Killer Rabbit
Take me to the bridge!
This book has me doing a James Brown dance. Much of Rick Steve's advice for Americans traveling in Europe would be just as useful for folks traveling across the USA. For instance:

1) Travel light.
No, we do not need to bring every electronic toy that we own. And no, we do not need to pack a change of clothes for every day of our trip. Every single thing we bring with us will interfere with our ability to perceive the people, place and events that we paid good money to go expe...more
Dioscita
It's a bit unfair of me to be rating this edition when it's not the one I read and counted on while traveling abroad, yet Steves was so helpful for me who is phobic about being an Ugly American that I had to add him to my list. Read him before you go.
Chris
Rick Steves, known for his outstanding television series, delivers a superb non-fiction travel book. Europe through the back door is essentially visiting Europe and not feeling (and/or looking) like a tourist. Rick says the best way to learn about a country is to feel like you belong there and I agree. Through many tips, you are prepared to visit any European country knowledgeable in both history and traveling smart. The book is separated into two main sections: Travel skills and information on...more
Leslie Rock
I chose this book for my informational text in my reading writing odyssey because this is one of my favorite travel books! Rick Steve uses an informal and friendly approach with his readers to invite them in and show them what will make their trip the best experience they can have. This book was recommended to me when I was planning my trip to Europe and I remember thinking how clever it was to write a travel book with a personality. People who read these books are adventure seekers and they nee...more
Daniela
I have to say this is by far the best book I have read when it comes to trip planning. With the decline of the American dollar, a trip to Europe can seem a little intimidating, especially to young travelers or people on a tight budget. Rick Steves provides great tips and insights on how to find affordable accomodations and transportation in this guide, as well as cheap ways to enjoy sightseeing in Europe. After reading this book, Europe seems a lot more accessible to me, even in these rough eco...more
Kate
I haven't been to Europe in over 10 years, and this was a really helpful guide to the practical things one needs to know: advice on money, accomodations, travel within Europe and trip planning, as well as some good ideas on where to go.

I wish I had read this before I had booked a flight and hotels; there is a lot of information here on how to save money on accomodations and flights. I'm glad I read the book before I packed - I've scaled down my luggage for a two week trip to a single carryon ba...more
Kristi Mangan
I grew up in Europe and didn't think I needed a guidebook for our visit this year but I was wrong. This is by far the best guidebook I've read with dozens of practical tips I had never heard before. What makes this book special is Steves' dedication to appreciating European culture - he encourages us to travel simply and engage with the people, not just check off visits to the touristy spots. As an ex-ex-pat who was mortified by clueless American tourists, I love how he sweetly but firmly offers...more
Anna
This is a great travel resource, especially if you're a European travel novice. Rick covers all the topics you have questions about and topics you didn't know you had questions about. After reading Europe Through the Back Door we felt prepared to travel smart. Rick's advice really did make our trip go smoother. Thanks to Rick Steves for providing such a thorough, practical, up-to-date guide.
Tracy
I read the 2010 version. For anyone going to Europe for the first time or looking to book a trip on their own but may have taken smaller trips with one home base city or guided tours in the past, this book provides a good overview and a lot of background information. I thought it was a helpful read before going more in depth with my planning.
Terri Lynn
This is a book mostly telling you in a rather pompous way at times how you should act while traveling in Europe. He goes into detail about why staying in a cheap dump where you may be sleeping on an air mattress on the floor after climbing 6 flights of stairs and having no air conditioning no matter how hot it is is so superior (to him) than sleeping in luxury and comfort. He even takes up for those loud German schoolkids who regularly make people miserable in hostels and other cheap dumps (sayi...more
Silas
I'm sure that this would be very helpful for a great deal of people. It does a pretty good job of letting you know details about whether or not it is worth buying a rail pass, gives an overview of several European countries, and some pretty sensible travel tips (use a money belt, watch for thieves). However, I think I just don't enjoy travel writing. Parts where the author is just describing a day he had irritate me, and I have a serious problem with how they are sometimes written in second pers...more
Fred Landis
Rick Steves is a French caricature of Americans.He has no style,no class,never had an idea in his life,after a career visting Europe he understands less about the subject that I did when I was ten,but he occupies space.
Oscar Wild's description of a cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of none.By this description Rick Steves is a cynic.He tells people how to save money on a pointless trip because he has not give a clue why they should go.
The default position during PB...more
Akshata
Love, love, love this book. Rick Steves covers a lot of travel aspects for a conscientious traveler in this entertaining textbook of travel tips. Covering packing tips, flights, hotels, money tips and solo travel, he is thorough, brutally honest and funny. It is a book for those who are patient enough to be educated before traveling, and it's not for you if you're looking for a quick fix "what to do in Europe" book. There is a section on major cities at the end (excerpts from his guide books) fr...more
Zain
I read the 2006 edition (got it from a used bookstore) but I'll fool myself into believing not much has changed in content. I read this all through my trip to Central Europe last summer and it was an awesome and very helpful read. It didn't have much about the towns and regions I went to, but it was because of this book that I learnt of the Munich Walking Tours and went on an amazing, informative and very thought-provoking Third Reich Tour on a rainy morning in München, walking through the beer...more
Kl
I love his books. This one will be a huge help in planning our trip. So much information to be gleaned. From itineraries, to traveling with children that aren't yours, to the best day trips. I am glad I got the e-book version. At over 800 pages, I think I will love having the book with me, but not having to lug it around. :o)
Sarah
Rick Steves writes my favorite European travel books. Europe Through The Back Door has a chapter for each of the main countries, so it makes for lighter packing if you are hitting a bunch of countries on one trip. He also writes country specific guide books if you want more in-depth information. I used this book a couple years ago when I backpacked through Europe and I thought the sight seeing and travel suggestions were great. The thing I love about Rick Steves is he writes for the budget consi...more
RJ
Pro - Steves demystifies Europe for the reader, dispensing TONS of practical advice for the first time European traveler. He tries to mix in the historical Europe with the continent as it is today, and does a good job with it. Although he has some well known favourite places (Rothenburg, Germany, Bruges, the Oslo-Bergen train ride etc.) he covers a good portion of Europe and offers his own opinions on various places.

Con - Sadly, Steves has recently felt the need to inject his liberal political o...more
Donna
Traveling the Rick Steves way is not for everyone. If you enjoy (and insist upon) room service, concierges, and other amenities of American-style hotels, you won't like traveling this way.

This is about traveling like a European... staying in small locally-owned and run inns, guesthouses, and even private homes. It is much less expensive and much more authentic than staying at the Best Western.

This book introduces Rick Steves style of traveling like a temporary European. He also has separate guid...more
Melissa
Rick Steve's books are great. Great tips on where to eat, sleep, sight see. We have planned both of our trips to Europe using his books!

He has trip plans for the number of days you plan to stay - for every attraction he tells you how long you should expect it to take. He tells you exactly where the highlights of a museum are located so you can skip the stuff you don't want to see. Around every attraction, he lists a perfect place to grab lunch or a cup of coffee. He suggests great places to stay...more
Bookfanatic
I'm sure it shows my immaturity, but the title of the book makes me laugh. It makes me think of a certain intimate act. That aside, I found this to be a good reference for planning travel to Europe. Rick Steves has an easy, informal style and great familiarity with many European countries. I finished the book in a few days. I wouldn't use just this book to plan travel though. Get other travel books, Fodors or Rough Guide, to get a better understanding of the locale.
Sara
Part 1 of this book is really great for people who are going to be travelling to Europe for the first time. I learned quite a bit and now feeling more confident about going to Europe solo. The only thing I didn't like about this book is Rick Steves' idea of "cheap" travelling is rather pricey. Wouldn't recommend this book to those looking to stay at hostel and do a budget trip.
Part 2 of the book has some really interesting cities that people should check out that aren't high on everyone's touri...more
Maureen
I don't know if I read this Rick Steves book or not. I am letting it stand in for the Rick Steve books that I have read. Every travel book series has something unique to offer, and Rick's travel guides offer you the basic sights and practical ways to get there and see them. He is irreverent in a way that Fodor and Frommer are more sedate, but not off-the-wall like some of the series directed toward younger, more adventurous travelers. I read a lot of guides, and Steves is middle-of-the-road, and...more
Richard
This guy just knows how to travel. My wife and I have enjoyed two Rick Steves' tours and in the process learned that to travel lite is to travel best. Steves guides you to all kinds of interesting places throughout Europe. The problem is that so many people use his books that his discoveries can become overwhelmed. The next time you travel in Europe, look around and you'll see loads of travelers with one of his books in hand. If you want your traveling to move beyond seeing the icons this book c...more
Shannon
Classic European travel advice. This is the best preparatory guide for North American travellers headed to Europe. It covers the basics of money, transportation, packing, itinerary planning, culture, and more. Don't go to Europe without reading this or something similar - there will be many "A Ha!" moments where you are experiencing something strange but then realize Rick taught you how to navigate the issue. You will still need to purchase country-specific guides, as this is a general travel pr...more
Shannon
Plucked this off the donation cart at my library and am enjoying every page. I'll have to get the 2008 version and compare. Steve's advice is practical and useful if not always realistic such as his view that makeup and pajamas are "optional"! Nice section on packing light even though he totally plugs the shopping section on his webpage. Still it made me take a look and he offers some nice travel accessories and bags for sale through the site. Also helpful is the section on overrated tourist sit...more
Will Todd
There are very few books that actually change the way you live.

This is one of them.

I first read "EUROPE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR" over two decades ago, when it was still in its infancy, and it taught/reaffirmed a way of traveling and appreciating travel that I still embrace to this day.

There has already been much praise for this book, so I won't repeat it here. I'll just add that I actually REREAD this book every few years or so, just for the pure enjoyment.

It's that good.
AuthorsOnTourLive!
Travel guru, bestselling author, and PBS personality Rick Steves offers travel tips and discusses his many books, including Europe Through the Back Door 2008 and Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler.

We met Rick Steves when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to him talk about Europe Through the Back Door 2008 and Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler here:
http://www.authorsontourlive.com/?p=128
Streator Johnson
I had one of the original volumes way back when and used it then. Now, strangely enough I just read last year's volume for my book group. It is a great compendium of knowledge for the average traveler like myself. Makes me want to head out again tomorrow.
Margaret
Great resource guide to traveling in Europe and not spending a fortune. I've read the older version of this book cover to cover. But Rick Steves updates it with newer information in this book. It was interesting to note that taking a plane between two major cities in Europe is often cheaper than the train. This was not the case when my husband and I traveled there before. Very helpful but his guide books have some of the same information.

Rachel
This book is very useful if you are planning your first trip to Europe, regardless of your budget. While it seems to be most associated with budget travel, the real value of this book is in leading you to places that have not yet been ruined by an influx of tour buses and people standing around looking lost. I did not end up taking it on my trip (use the specific locale's guidebook for that), but I am extremely glad I read it beforehand.
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Richard "Rick" Steves is an American author and television personality on European travel. He is the host of a public television series, and a public radio travel show, and the author of many travel guidebooks and autobiographies.
More about Rick Steves...
Travel as a Political Act Rick Steves' Italy 2007 Rick Steves' Paris 2007 (Rick Steves' City and Regional Guides) Rick Steves' Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler Rick Steves' Postcards from Europe: 25 Years of Travel Tales from America's Favorite Guidebook Writer

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