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Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door 2013: The Travel Skills Handbook Paperback – August 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 856 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 2013 Edition edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612383696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612383699
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and an app and podcast (Rick Steves Audio Europe); writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually; and offers an information-packed website (RickSteves.com). With the help of his hardworking staff of 80 at Europe Through the Back Door—in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle—Rick's mission is to make European travel fun, affordable, and culturally broadening for Americans.

Customer Reviews

Great book, lots of good tips and info.
Ro Gesick
This book has been a great read and very informative for planning a trip to Europe.
Jake
Sorry for the "book" but you must know this stuff for a trip to Europe.
EASY TRAVELER

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By D. Wymer on December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a well-seasoned traveler with international experience but will be visiting Paris for the first time this spring...as always I extensively "review" the ins n' outs of visiting any new place and have been reading several travelguides and other literature on the City of Lights. I stumbled across Rick Steve's book and, always hating not to be 'in the know', ordered the book and have just completed it over the holiday. Excellent!! Spot on and filled with valuable information and insights - especially useful for the unseasoned traveler although even for a well-honed visiter to far afields I found some great nuggets of valuable info. One difference is that although I love a bargain I prefer a bit more 'up scale' accomodations and ease than the target audience for Rick but am, like the individuals he is writing for, someone who prefers to go off the travel group grid and plunge into other cultures and places and peoples. The book is especially useful to shed off the Ugly American Tourist practices that all too many traveling folks from the USA bring along on board with their checked baggage (I've seen the UATs myself and it ain't purdy). I would make this mandatory reading for those delving into travel abroad if I could!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By GlobalTraveler on January 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I own several Rick Steves' guidebooks, but I have to say this has to be the most complete in-depth book I've read of his. After reading this, I felt as though I can get through any issue or problem while over in Europe and not be so stressed out, knowing I could simply refer back to this book when I needed to. Its loaded with information on what you should do before your trip as well, which will make your journey less stressful once you arrive there.

I've been to Europe once before, but I only stayed in one country, but this time I plan to visit for several months and travel throughout Europe and that's where this book shines. It will help you with all your questions on all the modes of transportation and all the differences of the region.

If you're going to Europe, this is one thing you need to pack or download on your kindle.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MaggieC on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I blew through this book, dog-earring, underlining and marking pages. Rick Steves' book (which is actually written by more than just Rick Steves-he has a staff of travel aficionados working with him) is witty and really easy and fun to read. I just sat down and read it for hours at a time, because it was so incredibly fascinating. I think it is really beneficial for a first-time traveler wanting to go to Europe--it addresses many of the worries I had easily and simply. There is no fuss. Even though there is a ton of information, it is nearly all useful, relevant and easy to digest for future use. I also got quite a few laughs (and not only from the hilariously unfortunate title)-it is written with great voice.

There are tips on where to go, what to eat, how to avoid scams, exactly what to do if your credit card is stolen or lost (including phone numbers for Visa, Mastercard, etc.), how to check into the train, tips on insurance and healthcare, which Eurail pass to choose (it gives you all the options so that you can decide which is best for your needs), how to find a good public toilet, how to rent a car or a bike-the list goes on.

The book is over 700 pages, yet it is super lightweight, so it is easily packable. It is completely worth the money and so much more! I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone. The people at Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door really know what they are talking about, and are eager to share their knowledge. The great part is that it has all been discovered through trial and error and real-life experience.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Phillip G. Olson on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm so glad I purchased this handbook.....I've been reading several books on
travelling in Europe and they all have given me a greater understanding of
what to expect......but Rick's book really puts the icing on the travel cake...
Thanks for sharing your wisdom.....can't wait to go!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill in NYC on May 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It seems the information is good very seems practical but the format is almost unusable in this format during an actual trip. Great for reviewing before a trip and taking the info you need out of it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann Wagner on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be tremendous help in many areas. Great suggestions about places to see. Many things to be careful about. Packing lightly. Suggestions on visits to locations and side trip suggestions all were excellent.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J on September 7, 2013
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This book offers pretty basic TRAVEL info and and intro into the European countries. It's an excellent book and tips and tricks to help navigate overseas and provides information from ATMs/banking in Europe to safety while you travel. This isn't a book with all the nitty-gritty on a country and where to stay/eat/go/shop, etc, but a basic overview for travel. It's a great supplement when purchased alongside your other travel books!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Exelby on June 9, 2013
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I would recommend it to people who want a good general intro to Europe and also those who prefer reading books to just googling online. Something not as quickly accessible online is specific accommodation info and info on currency and customs.
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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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