Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 2009

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"The more money you spend, the bigger the wall you build between yourself and the culture you traveled so far to visit. Stay in the small inns, eat in family-style restaurants, visit out-of-the-way places, rub elbows with the locals. You'll spend less money and have a great time in the process."

This is Rick Steves's "back door" travel philosophy. For more than 25 years, he has traveled and led tours around Europe, finding and sharing the joy of simplicity and openness.

Along with tried-and-true tips on packing, transport, sleeping and eating well on a budget, and meeting the locals, Steves reveals more than 30 "back doors" found throughout Europe, from a tiny lake town in Austria to the narrowest gorge in the world, which winds through Crete. If Europe is your destination, this book is more important than your luggage. --Kathryn True

Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door 2009 is the definitive guidebook for an affordable and unforgettable trip to Europe. Covering all the essentials and more—from packing to transportation to foreign currency—Rick’s tips allow travelers to become “temporary Europeans,” saving them time and money along the way. Rick also includes his personal favorites, or “back doors,” throughout Europe that will take you away from the tourist-beaten path and into a unique European adventure. Whether it’s surfing in Munich’s rivers or finding an Egyptian pyramid in Rome, Rick leads travelers to little-known and unforgettable experiences.

Customer Reviews:

  • Top notch ... the best overall Europe book available
    A must-buy for anyone vacationing in Europe, this book details all the important facts to get you closer to the culture, people and the country or countries you're visiting....more info
  • Best way to go
    Europe Through The Back Door is the best travel guide out there. When planning to travel solo around Europe for a month, Rick Steves was my guide, and I had a great time. Every little secret "Back Door" I went to were amoung my favorite places, with only carriers of this book and no other Americans to be found! This book is also the most enjoyable travel guide to just sit down and read! It is really entertaining. Only complaint is that his focus is more centered to older people and not the young student traveller like me, but its still great. But don't buy it, so all of us "In the know" travellers don't need to share the Cinque Terre!...more info
  • "a HOW to -- not a WHERE to"
    You ever get sick of reading travel books about WHAT to see, and not HOW to see it? Rick Steves has done it again with this one. If you're like me, you're going to love Rick's style and frankness about what to see and what to avoid. But I was most enamored by his colloquial way of dealing with being a tourist. Where else could you learn about how to walk into a back kitchen in a german cafe and mix with the locals. Learn about the off the beaten track ways to really learn about Europe -- through the people you meet, not the sites you visit. Buy this one -- then buy one of those dry directories...more info
  • Not a guide book... a HOW-TO book
    This is a great book for those first timers to Europe. Those that don't know what to expect. It tells you what to pack, how to create an itinerary, booking flights, how to get around Europe (train, car, and boat), how to find places to stay, how to make phone calls, how to interact with the locals, etc.

    This is NOT a guide book. It is a "how to enjoy yourself in Europe" book.

    The previous reviewer should have taken this into account before bad mouthing it.

    This book does give some pointers about the best trips one can take given certain timeframes, but does not go into detail about everything there is to see about Europe. He includes his favourite places. For more detail, pick up Rick Steve's Best of Europe 2004, or one of his country specific guide books.

    After spending several months a year for 25 years touring Europe, Rick knows what you need to know about enjoying yourself there. No need to make the same mistakes, he tells you how to avoid the pitfalls....more info

  • Good travel advice
    Enjoyed reading this, but didn't buy it soon enough. It has a lot of information on planning your trip, which I couldn't use as I had already made my plans....more info
  • One of the best books on taking an European trek I have read
    Steves delivers clear and knowledgeable advice about trekking in Europe from how to pack to which restaurants give the best native flavor for a lean budget. I personally enjoy his humor and lighthearted love of travel in Europe. I only wish he loved to travel to other places, but with his additions of Turkey and Greece we can only give him more time to explore the rest of the planet. In planning for a trip to Europe this December I plan on taking Steves with me and following him to the letter. His advice for women traveling alone is very helpful because he solicits the views of women who have done just that. You learn good first-hand accounts of travel ins and outs as well as how to relax and enjoy the European lifestyle without circuming to our American insecurities. Relax and enjoy Europe while knowing that Rick has given you the best advice for very little investment. One of the best books on Europe by far....more info
  • The Best book on Europe
    I have about 10 - 12 different travel books on Europe, both in general, as well as regional-specific books. This is the best book, if you only buy 1. Or , actually, no matter what quantity of travel books you buy. The reason is this: You will have a much better time and you will save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the process. What else could you possibly want? This is my 7th trip to Europe. You always won der things like: which maps are the best (it's the Michelin ones, by the way)?, should you take out the CDW or let your credit card cover it on auto rentals (it depends - call your credit card)?, and how to best utilize time (for example. take the night trains around Europe). Steves has it down pat for those who really want to immerse themselves in Europe, as opposed to going to the 4 Seasons and drinking Gin and Martinis in the American-styled lobby. Europe is on the streets. Like here in AMsterdam, where I am right now on my European trip. I'm at a funky little Cyber Cafe called CafeTops - no problem just getting on the American On line and having a beer for cheap $$ i.e. 12.5 guilders for an hour which is only about $6 - 7 American. This is the book to buy. If you're going to Europe, order the book now. Period. (P.S. No, I don't work for Steves, nor do I know him, nor do I work for Amazon or anyone. I just know his book totally rules. Chuck Houston Chuckhous@aol.com from AMsterdam, the Netherlands. I live in N.H> US...more info
  • Europe through the back door 2002
    I enjoyed this book, I thought it was very entertaining and infromative. When I go to Europe, you can be sure I will have a copy of this book with me. Mr Steves' video programs are very enjoyable as well....more info
  • The key to successful travel
    This book has definitly made an impact on my life. I first read it in 1998, and the updated one still has all of the best information on smart budget travel I have ever come across. Someone suggested it to me when I was thinking of going on my first trip abroad. I was a little apprehensive about being a young girl, traveling alone through Europe, for the very first time. After I read this book I had a lot of confidence and set out. I spent 3 months over there. And a year later set out for another trip; this time it was for 5 months, throughout Europe and the middle east. Now when many people ask me for advice on their trips, usually I sum up my response by advising them to get a copy of Rick Steve's - Europe Through the Back Door. All of his advise will definitly save you a lot of time, and hassle. The second half of the book talks about small town gems, and they are all great places....more info
  • Great Start - Could be Better!
    I have read Rick Steves' books for years, and like the others, this one contains helpful information. His conversational style and middle income budget make this book perfect for average American, especially the first time traveler. The down side to this book and other Rick Steves books is as follows: 1) the maps are very poor- hand drawn and definitely low tech. Frommer does a better job in this area 2) costs are listed only in the foreign currency instead of following with the approximate cost in dollars in parenthesis. You must constantly dig out the calculator. 3) a lot of the material (whole pages at a time) is a direct copy from the previous edition, making for a repetitive read. That said, I would not take a trip to Europe without this book. I have never met anyone who went to Europe and used his tips and was sorry. However, I have met a lot of people who have used Lonely Planet and Let's Go who were disillusioned. I'm taking this book and Frommer's when I go this summer....more info
  • good if you have the time and energy to find Back Doors
    this book mentions a lot of cool little towns but it takes a lot of time and effort to find them and depending on how long you are going to be in europe for they might not be worth it. also, although i only went to one or two of the suggested back doors they were both very crowded with american college age students who had heard about it from some other big european travel guide....more info
  • Excellent
    This book has helped me so much in the planning of my first trip to Europe: there are several things discussed that I otherwise wouldn't have thought of and would have been lost without knowing in advance. If you're going to Europe for the first time, or the second or third time, buy the book to help you out!...more info
  • Fantastic!
    If you have considered going to Europe pick up this book! This book is not only for the "College Backpacker" but for anyone looking for a enlightend trip to Europe. Rick's style is funny and informative. After reading this book I took two months off and went over seas. Simply the best book around to get you motivated to just do it....more info
  • A book for getting the most out of Europe
    Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door presents a philosophy that many tourists seem to lack: When in Europe, ACT like you're in Europe! This book is aimed towards those travelers that just can't quite seem to ever escape the U.S. no matter where they travel.

    Rick presents a whole host of tips for seeing a Europe beyond the standard guided bus tours and airline deals. His years of experience go into his writing, giving often insightful and funny tips from sleeping overnight in the train station (he recommends sleeping in the first-class lounge to be among a higher class of hobo) to the best way to wash your clothes in the hotel sink.

    This book is not all about travelers caught in a pinch, however. There's also great advice for finding accomodations in during busy season, picking the right hotel/room, and finally finding those gems--great spots in Europe that no other traveler seems to know about.

    This book is not so much a guide to specifics as it is a guide to travel philosophy. Steves encourages the reader to immerse themselves in the local culture, and offers advice for the reader not sure how to do so.

    Those looking for a country-specific guidebook should look somewhere else, but they should also keep this book handy to really get a feel for what Europe truly is and was....more info

  • great resource/easy read
    This book was the best thing to happen to me prior to heading off to Europe. The book has tons of valuable info to have while traveling the continent, and it is written in plain English! It is a very easy read, and by the time you are done with it you feel like you are an expert on where to go and what to see. Gather your highlighters and tabs and go to town! I can't imagine what my trip to Europe would have been like without this book. I wanted to go to Europe and delve into the culture- not the tourism. Europe Through The Back Door shows you exactly how to do just this. I also found Rick's website really helpful- [URL]...more info
  • great intro to budget travel in Europe
    The best introduction you could wish for to budget travel in Europe. The book is full of convenient hints and tips that you ordinarily can only learn the hard way. The conversational style is great and no place he recommended has disappointed me yet. You'll need another guidebook for the facts-and-figures advice, but this, broader, advice is infinitly more valuble...more info
  • A joke at best
    Where to begin? The fact that the information about the countries is scant, or that you SIMPLY SHOULDN'T BUY THIS BOOK! Hey Rick, ever heard of Nice? You know, the second largest city in France? How about ROME?!?!?! Hm, guess not. Now it would be one thing if your definition of a "back door" was smaller, less traveled cities. Yet somehow London and Paris are in here. If you really want to get a comprehensive travel guide, look no further than the Let's Go! guides. They are concise, informative, and umptine MILLION times more useful than ol' Rick...more info
  • Every American coming to Europe needs Rick Steves!
    As the brother in law, cousin, uncle and much else besides of numerous Americans who come to visit us in Europe, none have spoken more highly of a guide to what they really need to see than they do of Rick Steves. If Cousin Ernie had her trip to Europe transformed by reading his books, then one can get no higher recommendation than that! Buy this book before you come and enjoy your stay!...more info
  • Amazing Suggestion - Thanks Rick
    Traveling Europe last summer, my cousin and I were armed with every travel book that we could carry on a 2 1/2 month expedition throughout Europe. Europe Through the back door provided the most unique and awesome experiences that we had. Gazing onto the majestic scenery in Lake Como, Italy to the personal quarters in the scerene mountains of Switzerland. Rick Steves book was great and I suggest it to anyone who desires to experience Europe to it's fullest extent....more info
  • Rick is a good travel guide, just not a good WRITER
    Rick does an okay job of giving a quick overview of Europe, but sometimes forgets to "just inform" and tries to get all poetic and fancy. His description of Rothenburg does not inform me about the place, just about the wind and the leaves and his acid trip. This book will annoy you with its sporadic bursts of cheap thesaurus prose.. Rick is just not a good writer. Otherwise he does a good job of letting you know of not-so-touristy things to do in EU. The types of things he suggests are walking around and smelling things, sitting down and drinking a beer, buying a chunk of cheese and eating it on a park bench while people-watching. I don't see 18-30 year olds getting much from this book. Younger travellers might want to do more than just smell a place and get tipsy.
    His writing tone seems biased; he's opinionated and sometimes makes me feel as if he gets paid to advertise shops and attractions.
    Buy this book for a general overview of an Euro Trip, not as a travel guide. For more detailed info, grab a Lonely Planet guidebook.
    In an effort to cater to ALL audiences, Rick, as well as oher mass market writers, tries to create ONE book for ALL types of people. Any given traveller will be interested in only 15% of this book, and toss the rest aside. The backpacker will use 15%. The high class big baller will use 15%. The middle class two week vacationer might use 10%. I would prefer to pay more for a book JUST FOR ME. (Mr. Backpacker)...more info
  • I've been to Europe three times and I wish I had this book!
    My gosh this book has the whole nine yards. Rick Steves' himself will tell you take the best of the book and put it to use! Which I did in Western Europe, and this summer I will travel in Eastern Europe. Traveling lightly is soo important and people tend to forget that you can get any thing here, their as well! Great detail of Euro rail & train system. Even better info about crowds and avoiding "tourist traps", check it out. If you ever traveled before this is what you need to fill your travel guide. See ya through the back door!...more info
  • A Revolutionary And Liberating travel Philosopy
    This book makes you want to go to Europe.Now.Just get on the plane and GO!
    I wish I had read this eleven years ago on our first trip to Italy.Since that time I have travelled to Europe on business many times and I have to agree with Rick Steves that no one ever says " every time I go to Europe I pack more".
    His travel philosopy addresses peoples fears and insecurities when they are travel..."I won't have a certain piece of clothing,object when I might want it...better take it just in case" or "a less expensive hotel may be dirty ,unsafe...I know this luxury hotel will bust the bank, but its worth it for piece of mind." That kind of thing.Rick Steeves describes clean,charming hotels and pensiones which are centrally located and much less expensive than "luxury" properties. his restaurants are not dives, but great trattorias,atmospheric ristorantes popular with the locals.He is wonderfully opinionated about what to see,when to go...like having a best friend who lives there. No guidebook( and I have read them all) combines such practical advice with a travel philosophy which is positively liberating.This is especially true for older travellers who do not want to backpack,hostel, and who thought they had to stay in the "best" places, and wear a different outfit everyday. Our next trip to Italy will be with one carry-on bag each, staying in Rick Steves suggested family run pensiones and hopping on and off trains between destinations. We feel 20 years younger(and we will be 20 pounds lighter,too)...more info
  • Rick Steve's Europe
    Mr Steves has visited Europe many times and is a great source of information for the newcomer. We could have done without his political plug / slash at our President, but otherwise there was much information we were happy to find....more info
  • The Standard for Europe travel books
    Europe Through the Back Door is an invaluable book for travelers who want to experience the real Europe with real Europeans, instead of the sanitized versions offered by tour companies and big hotels.

    Rick shows you how to enjoy your trip more by spending less money, by getting closer to the locals. You won't be disappointed. In my trips to Europe, Rick's advice led to life-changing experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life.

    This book is also economically packed full of the kind of useful, practical advice honed through 20 editions. (Trust me, the guy knows his stuff).

    Thanks, Rick, and keep up the good work!...more info

  • travel informations
    Mr R. Steves' books are informative with enough practical information and to the point; well written ,organized, easy to follow.
    For the begginer travelers and the ones that are not profesionals, good reading before taking the trip!...more info
  • Tells you How to be an European Traveler, Not Where to Go
    I would read this before any trip I take in the future - the tips on European traveling are essential.
    The ideas cover what to REALLY pack, sleeping in trains and hostels to be comfy and safe, what to eat and see in general, and how to emotionally cope with problems--which you WILL have; but do not use it as your guide book.
    Places and names change in Europe, times to visit change, and everyone's taste is different.
    If you want a "guide book", you should buy Let's Go: Europe. If you want to prepare for a great experience with minimal stress and maximum proficiency, you should buy the cheapest edition of this book regardless of the year of publication and ignore the specific places to visit info....more info
  • Good writing, but little detail, not a replacement for LP
    What this book is: - 280 pages of "Travel Skills", guided torwards the first time American traveller - Magnifying glass coverage of specific European locations. 6 pages for Portugal, confined only to Lisbon and Algarve. 4 pages for Spain, covering only Andalucia. 5 pages for Norway. - Good writing, but zero detail. Impossible to plan a trip based on this book alone.

    I was expecting this to be an insider's Lonely Planet, what I got was dozens of pages on tips like How to Pack, How to Plan an Itinerary, How not to be an Ugly American. If you're planning on buying a single book to plan your European trip, this is probably not for you. If this is your first trip outside the US then maybe this is for you. I can't really see who this book is targeted to. Steve urges you to ignore the tour guides and find the backdoors, but gives only general information on how to actually do that (try to communicate with the locals, use public transport, etc.). Besides that, just his personal picks for nice off-the-beaten-track locations. This book was really not for me. I'm getting the Lonely Planet Europe instead, which doesn't assume I'm a lazy american tourist and actually gives the the information I need to explore a country and get closer to the people, on my own....more info

  • Le Cinque Terre
    Paradise on the Italian Riviera. I would have never even thought of going there had it not been for Rick. If any of you go, say hello to Sylvio at Mamma Rossa's hostel for me!...more info
  • excellent tips on budget travel
    If you want to experience Europe as a European does, then this is the book for you. It has tips on how to travel, where to go, and what to do. An essential for european travel....more info
  • A traveler's best friend
    I found this book to be very useful. First of all, this isn't a guidebook. This is basically a how to travel book. It shows you how to travel the back door way. In other words, travel as a guest rather than as a tourist. It's unfortunate how many tourists are happy to be herded into tourist ghettos to be stripped of their cash. This book shows how to avoid that, and how to enjoy Europe as the Europeans do. Also this book gives good advice on how to travel cheaply. I particularly admire Rick's philosophy of travel. He advocates socially responsible travel, getting to know the local people, and experiencing what's unique in each country. On the down side, Rick tries to be humorous, but a lot of the jokes are too corny. However this doesn't bother me too much.

    In the second half of the book, he gives some recommendations for back doors into Europe. He covers all of the Western European countries. The back doors are little touristed spots which really breathe the magic of Europe and reflect what tourists expect to see before they go. After reading these, you won't be able to stay away from Europe. I just felt that I wanted to visit all of the places he recommended. At least visit one of these places, and I'm sure you'll be impressed with his skills for finding those perfect places.

    If you're interested in a guidebook, you might want to buy one of Rick's country or city guidebooks. In those, he goes into detail about the sights and places to stay. If you're interested in some strategies for travel, and in recommendations for some very special places to visit, pick this book up....more info

  • Well Worth It!
    This book was a godsend for backpacking around Europe. Chock full of useful information. Rick Steves' will get you to really incredible, off-the-beaten-track places. You may even meet one of his writers in the hostel you stay in! I bequeathed my copy to an Australian traveler on the last days of my travels and I am sorry I didn't hang on to that dog-eared, road weary book just for the memories!...more info
  • Terrible description in section on Turkey
    "Tourists are learning that the image of the terrible Turk is false, created to a great degree by it unfriendly neighbors. Turks are quick to remind visitors that, surrounded by Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Greece, they're not living in Mr. Rogers' neighborhood."

    This is a direct quote.

    It sounds like they're trying to say that the surrounding countries are painting an incorrect negative image of Turkey. Which is amusing, since he listed both Greece and Armenia there, which were both targeted by Turkey. Either this writing staff has no idea what they're writing and is just happy to sell books, thinking no one will double check the info, or they're Racist and opinionated. Either way, I wouldn't trust the info in here even as a rough guide on where to go.
    ...more info
  • The best reference for post 9/11 Europe
    The Rick Steves guides are more update to date than other guides. It's clear in using the 2003 and 2004 editions that Rick has recently updated the books . Other guides seem like fact checked revisions. Rick's books give me info that only someone that has "been there" and "done that" RECENTLY could provide. Besides all of this, Rick is one heck of money manager. I was sometimes thrifty and sometimes not, but I always felt I got my money's worth thanks to Rick 's advice about what's worth it and what's not....more info
  • This guy does his own legwork
    My wife and I used Rick Steves' guidebooks in 1998 and 2000. The books were excellent and very up to date. He's interested in getting you into Europe on the ground level at its best. We had 10 days to see places, and he had the perfect pace. He's pretty blunt-if its contrived or otherwise not worth your precious time, he tells you not to bother. His suggestions for accomodation were excellent. We really felt like we experienced a slice of Europe and LOVED IT!...more info
  • Traveling in Europe
    This is the essential tour guide for traveling in Europe. Rick Steves' approach is to meld into the local cultures and really get to know the different cultures. He advocates avoiding the touristy sites that are geared to Americans because they cost more and offer less opportunity to really get into the local culture. He takes you to where the Europeans vacation and eat. He lists the hostels and inexpensive hotels that provide fewer creature comforts but bring you into contact with travelers from nay countries as well as the locals. He tells you right up front that his tours are for those seeking more of an adventure than a comfortable trip.
    This book is packed with many practical tips for traveling in Europe. He tells you what to take and what to leave home. He explains how to find bargains in accommodations and eateries. He explains how to avoid being robbed or swindled. He explains how to chose or avoid certain kinds of tours. He tells you where the best museums and historic sites are located. And he tells you which ones to avoid. He tells you how to stay healthy and what to do when you get sick. This book is a great resource for the inexperienced as well as the experienced traveler.
    ...more info
  • Absolutely the Best
    When I'm in the US, the highlight of my day is Rick Steves show. When I can't watch the show (and even when I can), I love perusing Rick's books. Rick is so personable and enjoyable I almost feel as though the books were written by a good friend.

    Rick Steves' travel books don't detail the usual. Why should they? We all know to visit the Coliseum when in Rome, the Parthenon when in Athens and Notre Dame when in Paris. Rick's books are gems precisely because they detail those out-of-the-way places that any ordinary tourist would no doubt miss if he didn't have Rick's books to guide him.

    In addition to fascinating places, Rick also gives us much useful information about hotels, restaurants and local customs. Unless you're traveling with an unlimited budget, this information is invaluable to both the novice and the more seasoned traveler. Even if money is "no object" Rick's tips will help you to see the "real" Paris, the "real" Venice, the "real" Spain. They'll lead you to places you never even dreamed existed but you'll be thankful you found.

    Rick writes in a very down-to-earth and friendly style that is simply a joy to read and a radical departure from the dry, conventional guidebooks most authors write.

    As a continental European, I've found Rick's books invaluable when visiting other parts of Europe. If you're planning a trip to Europe, one (or several) of Rick Steves' books can only make your trip all the more enjoyable....more info

  • Another Excellent Edition of the Back Door Series
    The 'Back Door' series is excellent and provides first-rate reading, even for the seasoned traveller. One of the reviews below ( by Patiwat Panurach) downgrades the book for providing exactly what the series and the synopsis promise. It seems inappropriate to be so critical (2 stars) of the book simply because the reviewer clearly ordered the wrong book for his/her needs.

    We have travelled a bit, but still find that the Rick Steves books are invaluable and we would recommend them to anyone....more info

  • Everything you need to know for a great European adventure.
    This is the book that did it for me. When I first picked up this book I had never been to Europe. I had little inclination. After reading this book, visiting Europe became a priority. There was no stopping me, I was going! Five short months later I was on a four week tour of Europe. This book not only showed be how easy and inexpensive European travel can be but it also provided extremely motivating insights into the European travel experience. Each day is an adventure. The culture of Europe is so diverse, especially in comparison with the USA. A two hour drive or train ride can bring you into another world - different language, people, food, architecture, scenery, climate, history and plumbing! There is no experience like this in the USA, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

    Rick gives you everything you need to know. This book is packed with sage advice. What to pack, and not to pack. What are the pitfalls and how to avoid them. When to go. Whether to travel by train or car. Whether to take a tour, or do it self guided. How to find inexpensive accommodations in the best locations.

    I recommend this book for anyone planning a trip to Europe. If you have ever considered traveling in Europe but thought the prospect overwhelming or too expensive - READ THIS BOOK. But be warned, you will be empowered....more info

  • for both the novice & the more seasoned traveller
    Rick Steves has an enlightened, practical, and ultimately entertaining view on travel. He's an insider, a traveller in-the-know, but he's not blase or jaded. Instead, he invites us with him, into his 'back doors of Europe.' You can't read this book & not want to explore the world!...more info
  • Skills for the European Travel Newbie
    This is possibly the best guide to budget travel ever written. Rick provides new travelers with the skills they need to thrive on the road, in Europe or anywhere.
    For specific recommendations of hotels and restaurants and sights, the Rick Steves guidebooks to individual cities and countries (Rome, London, Italy, Great Britan, Paris, France, etc. etc.) are better -- and they are almost the only gudebooks that are actually updated annually. If a particular sight is not worth your time or money, Rick says so.
    But for developing the skills you need to get the most from your time and money while traveling, this is THE BOOK!!
    Honest, down-to-earth advice with a humorous writing style, on meeting locals, staying safe, managing your time and getting the most for your buck!...more info
  • Pure and Simple the European Travel Bible
    After reading this book in 1991 I traveled to Europe for the first time. I found it invaluable with respect to planning and packing for a European vacation, but above all else Rick Steves describes a travel philosophy, a mind-set to contemplate and travel by. I credit many of my irreplacable European experiences not to "guidebook specifics" but rather to trying to travel in the spirit that Rick believes in. Since that time Rick's books have become more numerous, detailed and popular, and I have moved to Europe and am experiencing first-hand some of the European lifestyle he describes his books. If you are interested in finding and blending into the multi-cultural European fabric, then fellow traveler...do not hesitate! This is THE comprehensive European travel bible....more info
  • The only guidebook you'll need!
    I have used these guidebooks in the past ... last year, I used the guide to Scandinavia for a month-long tour. The advice was wonderful - we found great little hotels and places to eat. And the information on sites to visit was priceless ... very much "down and dirty." Don't leave home without it!...more info
  • It saved our Honeymoon!
    Rick Steves' "Europe Through the Back Door" can show you how not only to see more of the 'real Europe', but also how to save money doing it! My wife wanted a honeymoon in Europe, but it looked like all we would be able to afford would be a honeymoon in Cleveland! With Rick Steves' tips on travelling light and cheap, we managed to afford a great trip through parts of Germany, France, and Britain. His recommendations on affordable restaurants and hotels are right on the money; one can cut back on costs and not miss out on any of the comfort or atmosphere. Our hotel room for our first night in Europe was at the top of a 400-year-old stone tower with a view over the Rhine river!...more info
  • Several Good ideas
    This book has several good ideas, although some seem a little excessive. For instance, his ideas on packing light. Overall, I found it very useful....more info
  • Informative, entertaining and witty
    Rick Steves never disappoints. His TV series (Travels in Europe) as well as his books are always informative, helpful and entertaining. This book is no exception. It is perfect for first-time as well as seasoned travellers who want to make the most of their travel dollars and have a great time as well. A must read!!!...more info
  • Rick Steves knows
    Rick Steves is the master of travel guides and this book is no exception. Europe Through the Back Door provides you with the insight needed to experience Europe as the Europeans do instead of the typical tourist-y way. In it, Rick discusses traveling with a tour vs with a partner vs alone, how and what to pack, when and where to go, driving vs Eurail train passes vs budget airlines, food and hotel accomodations, money issues, and many more including "Special Concerns" like senior, single women, or gay travelers. Additionally, there's also Part Two, which is the actually "Back Doors" he has been talking about the entire first part. These are places all over Europe where you can get off the beaten path. Rick has been to all these places and they are his favorites which is why he is recommending them to you.
    If you buy no other guidebook before you go to Europe, get this one. It will keep you from accidentally being the obnoxious American tourist who hates the French. (If you're interested in specific places, get Rick's guide for that place too: he has many books about certain cities, regions in countries, countries, or areas of Europe and most of them are updated yearly!)...more info
  • Compulsory reading for first time travellers to Europe
    We really enjoyed Rick Steve's pratical ideas & comments so much so that we are jumping a plane next week to Europe. Living in a remote island in the Pacific where any sort of information on travelling to Europe is non existent, Steve's book was a god sent. The book is written in a very easy to read style, with brilliant, and very practical ideas and tips that will make anyones visit a success. Highly recommended....more info


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