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Rick Steves' Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels Paperback – March 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Seventh Edition edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598801031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598801033
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Today's tourists are as likely to be toting Rick Steves as Giorgio Armani, tasting the good life without burning through the Kids' college fund. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rick Steves is on a mission: to help make European travel accessible and meaningful for Americans. Rick has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. He's researched and written 24 travel guidebooks and hosts the public television series Rick Steves' Europe, now in its seventh season. He also organizes and leads tours of Europe and offers an information-packed website (www.ricksteves.com). Rick lives in Edmonds, WA, just north of Seattle, with his family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The information was accurate and very helpful.
Margaret
Great book with just enough information on the places we traveled.
S. DeGuide
When I travel I always look for a Rick Steves' guide.
Wanda1313

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My friends and I just returned from 6 days in Amsterdam with a day trip to Bruges. We took along several travel guides but this book was the one we ended up using again and again. It clearly lists the top attractions and how to get the most from them. We especially liked the museum tours and self-guided walking tours. The maps are great and easy to use. Tips on negotiating the train system were very helpful. The restaurant choices were also very good. We stayed at the Hotel Hestia in Amsterdam and loved it (great location, reasonable price, friendly staff). Be sure to also pick up a free copy of "Boom Chicago's Guide to Amsterdam" when you get into town for a humorous look at the Dutch Culture and a discount offer on a hilarious comedy show.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Dunlap on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rick Steves (and his "silent" partner Gene Openshaw) have established a successful travel-book franchise by writing primarily for on-a-budget travelers. The conversational, reassuring "Good Ol' Rick" tone of the books seems to be intended to allay the anxiety many people feel about traveling in other countries.

The Amsterdam book, like the others, does best with the sightseeing aspects of travel, highlighting the "must-see" attractions and going into detail about what it is you're seeing when you're there. I'm not as impressed with his choices for lodging and meals -- I didn't find it helpful to know, for example, that there's a good snack bar in the Amsterdam train station.

The detailed information about the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and even the Red Light District proved to be accurate. I find the writing by Rick and his colleagues to be entertaining and (with the one caveat mentioned above) helpful.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Martin on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steves' books have helped me out a number of times in Europe. The information is up to date and Rick really seems to get into the threads that make up the fabric of a travel destination. He tells you when not to go to places and what's the best way to get there, etc. better than any of the other books I have read about this region. I would give it 5 stars but the less-than-stellar photos and the not-to-scale, hand-drawn maps in the book could be better. The travel advice Rick gives however, is indispensable. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book for traveling to this area.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gina on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I always use Rick Steve's books when traveling abroad. This book was very helpful, but not my favorite.

Positives:
1. The walking tours are a great way to get acquainted with the city and pick and choose what you want to do as you go along. You can have a half to whole day of informative touring while spending very little cash or having to pay for a tour.
2. The tips about prices and what days to visit things are helpful.
3. His hand drawn maps are always great to follow.
4. Back ground info about history and different sites is interesting.
5. Take his advice about using cash instead of credit! I didn't believe him, but he was spot on.

Negatives:
1. He focuses too much on art and art museums which can get a bit tiresome.
2. He talks down about some of the more touristy sites which are actually quite fun (Madam Troussands, Heineken Experience, Zanse Schans).
3. The sections about food and restaurants are really focused on saving money rather than eating well. I don't want to eat in a mall food court just because it's cheap.
4. The TV version of this book is also one of his more boring episodes.

I would suggest using this for the walking tours and supplementing with Lonely Planet.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robin C. on November 13, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this guidebook very useful on my recent trip to Europe. Using it, I found some really nice, out of the way spots that weren't mentioned in standard guidebooks. I also found it a little friendlier and easier to use than some of the other guidebooks. The only downside is that the maps are kind of hand-drawn and not quite as precise and detailed as those in other books.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Courtney on August 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This guide beats all others, hands down. We relied on it almost exclusively.....just returning from Holland and Belgium. The guide through the Rijksmuseum & van gogh in Amsterdam were super. We followed Rick's tour through Brugge which was very enjoyable.
We stayed at Rick's suggested picks for hotels: Hotel Heritage in Bruge and the Diseptiem (sp wrong) in Brussels. They were top notch as well. The book provided great tips that added to the ease and enjoyment of our trip (for example....we knew to head right to the train station to park in Haarlem).
Only thing the book didn't adequately prepare us for was the difficulty of driving---in any city. Street signs are incredibly tough to see and getting lost is the norm. Detailed driving directions are a must - and locals don't know how to give them! And don't drive to Bruge!!!!!
Also, prices must be updated (euro is way up), and there is significant fluctuation in exchange rates by country. Holland is much better than Belgie or France.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick writes very helpful guides. He gets hands on, and tries everything himself. The guides aren't beuatiful, but the paper quality and lack of color glossy pictures keeps the weight down. We did however get a bit tired of his penny pinching. We aren't looking for luxury meals and lodging, but we are not college kids either. We don't want the drab hotels, and cafeteria style steak and fries kind of meals that he seems to favor. We want to discover a local place that has the kind of traditional multicourse meals Europe was known for. Unfortunately, too many all over Europe have become cheap food factories, that aren't very cheap after all. So the guides are still invaluable for their personal insights. But we now know that you have to calibrate your expectations of what Rick recommends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (www.ricksteves.com), European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

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