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Rick Steves' Croatia and Slovenia Paperback – March 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 2nd edition (March 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598800795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598800791
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By D. Solomon on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up with "Lonely Planet," taking an adventure trip almost every summer, but for my most recent vacation around ex-Yugoslavia, I decided to carefully compare what was on the market. I chose Rick Steves not only because it covered the most ground with the smallest amount of pages and weight, but also because it had the best balance of historical background, dining and lodging recommendations, and comparative evaluations of tourist sites that helped me to prioritize what to see in the few days I had available. Note that this book also has a good 70-80 pages on Bosnia and Montenegro, which are very easy to access from Southern Croatia (especially by rental car). I especially appreciated the book's comprehensive digression on how the present republics evolved out of the old Yugoslavia; Rick Steves is not only informative but remarkably balanced in his description of the Tito years and of the recent conflict between Serbia and Croatia. These issues are still on the mind of everyone you will meet out there.
Couple of quibbles: Rick Steves seems to appeal to middle-age travelers, and his nightlife suggestions should rarely be trusted! The language section is tiny and inadequate. And the maps are approximate, carelessly drawn, and missing from some major towns. On the other hand, the Tourist Information in each town will give you detailed maps for free. So, over all, I am happy I made this choice.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Brandt on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just returned from a 15 day trip in the former Yugoslavia. My friend and I had Lonely Planet, Eyewitness, Rick Steves and Bradt guides with us for the various countries we were visiting. Hands down the Rick Steves guide became our travel bible as it was helpful, informative, easy to understand and perfectly portable. Not a day went by when we did not utilize it multiple times and others on our tour began using it as well. It covered every single place we went in detail (the other guides did not) and by the end of the trip we had visitied almost every place covered in the book, including Bosnia and Montenegro. The restaurant suggestions were all spot on as well and really helped since in many places there are so many places that it was hard to determine which one to choose. The other guides were good, provided more detailed maps and glossier pictures, but none of them even came close to the quality of information provided by the Steves book. If you are going to visit this part of the world then this book is a must have to take with you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Michelsohn on September 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
In preparing for a trip to Eastern Europe I picked up this book out of curiosity, although I was not planning to visit either of these two countries. Now I am! Rick Steves' enthusiasm for historical and natural sights, as well as for the people here, has opened a whole new world of interest for me. I only hope the countries are as fascinating as the book.

As in all of his books, Steves states his approach to travel clearly: he doesn't cover everything in both countries, just the "best" places, the best according to him, of course. If your tastes and orientation align with his (interesting, moderately priced travel, including as much local immersion as is reasonable), then you can rely on his books to provide the wonderful backbone of a great trip. For visiting places other than his "best" you will want a more comprehensive guide book, like Lonely Planet, in addition to (rather than instead of) his.

-Lynn Michelsohn, author of Roswell, Your Travel Guide to the UFO Capital of the World!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on October 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I carried this book through out the western Balkans and it never steered me wrong. It was easy to navigate and effortless to use. In contrast to other guidebooks, the print was easy to read with no small print to squint at. The itinerary suggestions helped me utilize my limited time in the best possible way. The restaurant reviews were spot on. I highly recommend this guidebook.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Randall on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely wonderful, as expected. Another winner from Rick Steves!! This area is relatively new to tourism, but this guide is excellent and has information that is greatly useful!!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. P. Spretnak on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a comprehensive guide to all things Croatia and Slovenia. Instead, it's a very in-depth treatment of the parts of these two countries that the author enjoys visiting. As for the rest of the diverse countries, you'll need a more comprehensive guide.

If you are interested in a guide to the hot spots on the Croatian Adriatic, this is a great guide. It's in depth and covers topics (e.g., whether or not to rent a car) that many other guidebooks ignore. However, if you are interested in the Croatian interior, forget about it. The coverage of Zagreb is cursory, at best. Slavonia is ignored. Minus one star for that.

I also knock it down one more star for the unnecessary political asides. This is a travel guide. I don't need the author to lecture me on anthropogenic global warming. If you are conservative, or if you are a devout Catholic interested in a side trip to Medjugorje (not too far from Dubrovnik), you might be insulted by the author's condescending tone. If you're neither, then you probably won't be bothered by such asides.

This is my first of two Rick Steves purchases. I know the author has something of a cult following. While there is much about his travel philosophy that I find refreshing -- I whole-heartedly agree with his theory about traveling as a "temporary local" -- there are some problems that stop me from making an unequivocal endorsement of this book. (I'm enjoying the Moon guide much much more.)
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