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Rick Steves' Spain 2009 Paperback – October 1, 2008

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About the Author

Rick Steves is on a mission: to help make European travel accessible and meaningful . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598801244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598801248
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,030 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 (, 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

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By akbj on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steve's books are all wonderful in my opinion, but this one I especially appreciate, as my little sister has lived in Madrid for about 9 years, & I visit whenever I can. I think Steves hits the nail on head with his focus on how much of your time to spend where, although since I've been able to stay with my sister & her guy, I don't have to be concerned with hotels or hostels. I also have more time to spend, & so go slower than a tour or fast trip would. I do think his picks for where to focus a limited amount of time are on track, however, & his section on Madrid & surrounding day trips, which I am most familiar with, are straight up. I love reading his books, they go down like stories, very easy to read, & you're taking in information without even realizing it.
His description of Madrid's night life is real & surreal & the truth, it is completly strange to be out on the streets & sidewalks at 11:00 PM seeing the crowds of people, not all partier's, but whole families, just strolling. It feels safe, in fact the only real crime to concern yourself with is the one Steves stress's, which is pick-pocketing. I've been fortunate although dumb on occasion, hasn't happened to me, although it did to my sister her first year or two there. Her experiences helped me learn what not to do. You never feel weird like you do in large American cities as woman alone out late.
The public transportation is also excellent as Steves states, the bus's are a bit more complicated, but you really can easily get around as a newcomer on the subways, without speaking spanish, the signs & free maps are clear, & the 10 punch cards are a bargain, exactly as he says.
I've read other of Steves books about places I haven't been, & wouldn't hesitate to place myself in his hands.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By K. Novoa on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought Spain 2008 for my trip. My main language is Spanish, my second language is English so I was looking for a book in Spanish to guide me into my Spain trip. I look many books in Spanish and English I couldn't find a better explained book than this Spain 2008 by Rick Steves. I just came from my trip and I have to say the book is fantastic!!! it is literally a guide to what to see what not to see and how you can save money, the advices he gives you for each city what to do and see are great, very well explained, simple and easy. Also he explains a small summary of the history around the place you will see. He says where to go and how to go, buses #, timetables and prices. I have to say he was short by 10% on each of prices. I assume it is for the economic crisis Spain is going trough so the buses he said was 1 euro in the book when was 1.10, but that is something Rick couldn't knew off course.
We met some tourist in our first stop, Madrid and see them in the next cities by the end of the trip all of them were with us following what the book suggest. You will never find a better written book that guides you in a trip to Europe. The book cost me $25.00 I saved way more thatn than just with the suggestion of the splitter (Rick suggest to buy a splitter in US $2.00 cost that can be plug in the audio guide and share it by headphones for two people so you rent only one instead two if that cost an average of 4 euro each) and I visited more than 8 places that use audioguide between museums and churches. I save at last 16 euros, so the book was paid. All of the tourist friends we made came to me like I was a local that can guide them trough the tourist places in the city, and more likely I was thanks to the book. I highly recommend you to buy this book!!!! Make yourself a big favor!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By 2dogmom on November 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
We travel off the beaten path and discovered last month in Spain that many less-traveled areas are not even mentioned. The entire province of Extremadura and all of its cities, many of which are delightful and deeply steeped in history, are missing, as well as much of the western and northern coasts. Contrast that with the amount of detail given about "The Alhambra", a very touristy site. My comments pertain to the 2007 version, which was the most recent one available. However, upon checking the index for the 2009 version I find that it, too, lacks so much.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Cat on May 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I love Rick Steve's books (and products) and use his books and videos exclusively.

HOWEVER...there is a major problem with his books. He's got these great city maps...great stuff. But on the maps, where he points out places of interest, there is no indication of where the review is. Argh!

For instance, you look at a city map, and it shows 10 restaurants. You're in one section of the area, and see 4 restaurants close to where you are. The next thing you'd do, of course, would be to check out the 4 reviews...alas, though, the 4 reviews are on different pages, and you have no idea where they are.

I literally spent 2 hours writing on these little maps, putting page numbers next to each restaurant/place of interest, etc. What a pain! It would take the Rick Steve's editors a couple hours to do this, and wouldn't take up much room (for instance, where it says on the bottom, "2. - XXX Restaurant", you could say, "2. - XXX Restaurant, p. 53." How hard would that be? Yeesh!
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