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Rick Steves' Scandinavia Paperback – April 15, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


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.

Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 11th edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566918677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566918671
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,095,309 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Rick Steves' guidebooks (and television travelogues), and used this guide extensively on a recent Scandinavian vacation. During the course of the trip I visited Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and loved them all for different reasons. Steves gives generally good overviews of all three countries (I didn't visit Finland, so I can't pass judgment on that), although I found the book not quite up to his normal standard.

The book has excellent ideas for walks and tours, and his proposed itineraries are fairly easy to adapt to individual interests. I didn't use his hotel recommendations, and his restaurant recommendations were a bit hit and miss as well, although in the larger cities and towns there are quite a variety of eateries available, and I never had any difficulty finding decent food.

I know that no guidebook can be utterly complete, but there were several omissions I found peculiar. For instance, Malmo is a wonderful city in southern Sweden, and is an easy and quick train trip from Copenhagen now that the Oresund bridge is complete. Despite discussion of several even more off-the-beaten path destinations, Malmo is not discussed in the book (except for a three sentence acknowledgement of its existence on p.107), despite it's convenience and charm. These things aren't a huge deal separately, but there are several examples of oversights in this guide.

My biggest annoyance with this book concerned the maps: there are several maps in the guide, and while they are adequate for general itinerary planning, they are definitely not adequate for navigating on the ground. This is especially true of the maps of Copenhagen: it's an old city, and you definitely need a better map than Steves', or you positively will get lost.
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By Molly on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
While I usually love Rick Steves' books, won't leave home without one, and take nothing else, this book was a disappointment. The directions were very poor so we got lost even on his orientation walks (not generally a time you need a real city map). The accomodations listings were wanting. Though it said you could assume breakfast was included and credit cards were accepted unless otherwise mentioned, this never worked. We found no breakfasts at places that he didn't specifically describe them, and the places in Denmark he listed as taking credit cards only accepted Danish cc's. We found better meals for better prices than he recommended with very minimal effort. Scandanavia is so expensive that saving money (the primary RS claim) is critical, but not easy following this book's suggestions. This guide was so far below the normal RS standard, we were left wondering if RS actually had anything to do with it or if he has bitten off more than he can chew during his success and passed it off to less consciencous minions. The book was helpful on narrowing down what to see, so I would recommend checking it out; just don't rely on it exclusively.
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Format: Paperback
I just returned from a two-week adventure in Scandinavia, where I hung out in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. I had a great time seeing the places where my predecessors came from, and I can attribute much of my trip's success to the "Rick Steves' Scandinavia 2005" guidebook. Mr. Steves has created an excellent and portable all-in-one travel resource for this region. It's well organized, and compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket for consultation on the fly. But most importantly, his hotel, transportation, and attraction recommendations fit my traveling desires and saved me time and money.

For example, finding a decent place to stay in a strange country can be daunting, but Mr. Steves' picks came through every time. His three-tiered rating system based on pricing helped me zero in on optimal accommodations: high (fancier hotels), moderate (nice, but no frills), and low priced (hostels and private homes). I stuck to the moderate level, and the book led me to a good night's sleep in each city. The City Hotel and Rainbow Hotel Astoria in Oslo, Hotel Jorgensen in Copenhagen, and Queen's Hotel in Stockholm were all great for a thirtysomething solo traveler on a budget. They had helpful staff, good breakfasts included with the room, and locations close to transportation centers and attractions.

Getting around Scandinavia was made easier by the hints in "Scandinavia 2005." Taking the night cruise from Oslo to Copenhagen got me on a cruise ship for the first time, and watching the shore slip by while enjoying a nice wine and cigar was sweet. I also took Mr. Steves' advice and reserved a couchette on a night train from Copenhagen to Stockholm (a bit crowded with five other people in the cabin, but efficient nontheless).
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Format: Paperback
Really good book! I took it on my 2 week trip through Denmark, Sweden and Norway this past summer. Although I didn't follow the trip that Steve lays out exactly- this book was nonetheless irrepaceable.
Mountain biking in Flam, Norway
The island of Aero- Denmark
Copenhagen tour, places to eat, etc.
I would definitely recommend this for the traveler who doesn't want to spend a lot of money on the trip, but when they do, they want to make sure it's worth it. This book does a great job with very good write ups about all aspects of a city.
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