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Rick Steves' Germany and Austria 2008 Paperback – December 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Upd Rev edition (December 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159880135X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598801354
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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

This book is great as are all of Rick Steves' travel books.
K. Vidmar
Highly recommend investing in one of his books a couple of months before you travel so you can read and highlight the things that you want to do.
Kathleen M. O. Keefe
Just keep in mind that you might want to budget for extra time.
Calin Somosan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Miami Bob on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Preparing for a trip includes a great deal about unknown tricks of the trade. Steves handles many of those issues at the beginning of the book, and sorts out others later in the book.

The introduction handles issues of culture which I had not previously been able to fully grasp. For example, the tipping system of Europe is well explained, use of guides at cities is better outlined, the issue of bed and breakfast as opposed to hotel, and finally how to use the certain shortcuts - hostels, necessary drivers' id's, necessary insurance on rental cars, car leasing, and more.

By the time I have reached page 30, I have some grasp of the culture. And, then off we go from port to town until he has told us "yep" or "nope" to the sights or sites which we have always heard about. Great clues and insight.

I enhanced my reading with two other staples: Michelin and Lonely Planet. Michelin provides greater historical perspective, Lonely Planet provides more cheap angles. If you merged the best of those two guides, you have Steves. And, in a nice size.

And, as he tells you - choose only a few guides. Read them all before departure, but lug only - at best - two. If that be the case, this is one I am taking for the road.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Podaci on April 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book! It is very thorough on the major destinations' history and sights. It thoroughly explains things such as how to take the subway, how to interact with the waiter, and how to see the Opera cheaply. It has small black & white photos throughout which help give a feel for a place before you actually get there. He gives very detailed instructions on how to get around, even within a place such as Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. I will be on an escorted tour but now I know that I could have planned my own trip with this book.

I recommend borrowing one of "Rick Steves' Europe 2000-2007" DVDs from your library to see if you like Rick's style. (Don't miss the "Travel Skills" DVD!) Rick's books and DVDs are clearly aimed at Americans, so others will most likely prefer other guidebooks. Rick has clear preferences on where to go, so if you already know which cities and towns you will be visiting, be sure to use the "Search Inside" feature to look at the Table of Contents to be sure all your places are covered in this book.

When Amazon briefly offered the 2007 version for $4.99, I jumped on it. I cut that one into cities for carrying around while sightseeing, because the sightseeing details are so good, and the history shouldn't change much!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nikki Varveris on October 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rick Steve's does an amazing job with these countries. We spent time in Munich, Salzburg and Vienna and used this book for each city and for stops in between (we had a car). His suggestions we spot on and had all the things that you should do with all the insider tips. I would now buy any of his books for any other place I travel to in Europe. He does a great job with giving some history, but not too wordy. You should buy this book! Happy travels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dana Lydon on March 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The tour book is very good. It provides enough detail and much needed opinions of tourist spots. However, I also purchased the map which accompanies the book and was disappointed in the lack of detail.
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Format: Paperback
The best description of the book is captured in the introduction of the book itself: "If you plan a month or less in this region and have a normal appetite for information, this book is all you need". That is absolutely true, and very likely even if you spend more time than a month. Yes, the Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, and other books out there tend to have more information, but the bottom line is that there is so much to see, and if you are touring and have limited time, and do not intent to spent 3 weeks in the same place, then this is all that you need and this book will give you the best and assures you will have an unforgettable experience by pointing you to the best and most representative things that should be seen.

I spent 2 weeks touring Austria and Germany (Tirol, Bavaria, the Rhine valley, Cologne and Nuremberg) by car during August 2008 and this book was a goldmine. Truly!

I typically get two books when planing a trip and travel, and almost always one of them is a Lonely Planet book (I must admit I just love their format and consistency). It was no different this time. I had with me Rick's book and the Lonely Planet books on Austria and Germany. Regardless, I ended up using almost exclusively Rick's book.

There are so many essential, invaluable general tips (on accommodations, sights, how to prepare for the visit, ticket info, how to beat the crowds, etc.) that save me so much time and money that in the end paid for the book many, many times its cost!

Another aspect, that many other travel books just get so wrong most of the time by being out of date, was the recommendations for eating and sleeping; they just worked great for me almost exclusively - they truly were as described in the book.
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Format: Paperback
Planning a brief trip to a country as varied and historic as Germany is demanding, but this book has been my best resource. As in all of his books, Steves states his approach to travel clearly: he doesn't cover everything, just the "best" places, the best according to him, of course. My tastes and orientation align with his (interesting, moderately priced travel, including as much local immersion as is reasonable), so I rely on his books to provide the wonderful backbones of great trips. For visiting places other than his "best" I use a more comprehensive guide book, like Lonely Planet, in addition to (rather than instead of) his.

For myself, a traveler with only a few days passing through Germany (on this trip), Steves' approach works well. His recommendations about transportation choices, especially the vast array of train tickets, are especially helpful. I imagine that I will want more detailed descriptions of major buildings and museums once I am on the spot, but his room-by-room descriptions are excellent for determining whether a particular site should be on my itinerary.

-Lynn Michelsohn, author of Roswell, Your Travel Guide to the UFO Capital of the World!
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