One of the world’s leading authorities on European travel, Rick Steves offers a huge assortment of tours spanning the entire continent.
Whether you’re seeking a short Euro city break, a whistlestop tour of several destinations, or a more extended and leisurely adventure, there’ll be a Rick Steves tour to suit your tastes and budget. And if you’re in need of any inspiration, we’ve looked into all of the tours currently available for 2022/23 and picked out 10 of the best – covering varying locations, lengths and price points.
Best of Europe (14 Days)
One of the benefits of travelling around Europe is that, as the continent is so well connected, you can see an awful lot of it in a short space of time. Starting in Rome, this two-week fully guided tour takes in over 10 desirable destinations, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Munich, the Swiss Alps, Burgundy and Paris. Along the way, you’ll soak up the local culture, food scenes and natural scenery as you’re transported from one magical spot to the next, with plenty of time to explore at each one before moving on. The tour price includes 13 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels. From $4,495 per person.
Alternative: At just a day longer, this tour is similar to the above, with several of the same destinations included in the trip, but with a few differences. Spanning six countries and almost a dozen cities, highights include the chance to relax with a picnic in Paris, share a photo op at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, marvel at the grandeur of Venice, explore glaciers in Interlaken and even try out adventure sports such as hang-gliding and other high-octane activities. There’s also plenty of free time to take it all in and create your own memories. From $2,195 per person.
Heart of Portugal (12 days)
From salty harbours to sun-baked farms to lovingly tended vineyards, this 12-day tour is billed as an intimate adventure that connects you with the Portuguese people. In a group of no more than 28, you’ll receive the full-time services of an experienced guide as you traverse this delightful nation. Starting in lively Lisbon and ending in proud Porto, you’ll get to witness a dazzling mix of Roman, Moorish, and Baroque architecture, together with some of the country’s finest food, wine, and music. Venturing away from the tourist crowds, the tour has a real “old Europe in the old days” feel to it. The tour price is inclusive of 11 nights’ accommodation in centrally located hotels. From $3,495 per person.
Alternative: If you’d rather start and end in Lisbon, this tour may well suit. Over 11 days, travelling north and south through Lisbon and the Algarve, Évora and Porto, and plenty more, you’ll discover the nation’s proud history, warm-hearted locals and soul-warming cuisine. Highlights include visits to the Hieronymite Monastery in Lisbon, the Palace Gardens at Palacio de Mateus in Vila Real, and the Arabian Hall in Porto. There’ll also be a chance to delve into Portugal’s centuries-old Port heritage at a local wine cellar in the drink’s birthplace of Porto. From $1,634 per person.
Best of Rome (7 days)
An intoxicating mix of dazzling art and earth-shaking history bring Rome to life on this 7-day tour. Your expert guide will be with you all the way, resurrecting the grandeur of ancient Rome’s Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, and nearby Ostia Antica. From the Renaissance and Baroque eras, you’ll marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Borghese Gallery and plenty more. You’ll also get to enjoy modern-day Rome, with neighbourhood walking tours, memorable restaurants, a panoramic bus tour, and time to explore alone at your own pace. Six nights’ accommodation in a central hotel is included. From $1,995 per person.
Alternative: If you like the sound of the above tour, but don’t have the budget or time for a full week away, this slightly truncated 5-day tour may well fit the bill. Starting and ending in the Eternal City, this in-depth tour takes you through Rome, Italy and Vatican City, all in the company of an experienced guide. You’ll walk the city’s ancient streets, have a chance to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, climb (or simply stop for a photo at) the Spanish steps, step back in time at the Colosseum, and more. And as Rome can be an exhausting city, on day 3 you’ll be free to be as active or relaxed as you please, with a range of activities available. From $503 per person.
Best of Istanbul (7 days)
One of Europe’s most beguiling cities, Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, reflected in its diverse landmarks. Over a week, and accompanied the whole while by a friendly, knowledgeable guide, you’ll visit such notable attractions as the legendary Topkapı Palace, the colourful Grand Bazaar, and the exotic Egyptian Spice Market. You’ll also enjoy the outdoors on a scenic cruise up the Bosphorus river, as well as embark on guided walking tours of Istanbul’s Old Town, New District, and historic city walls. Accommodation for the entire trip is included. From $1,995 per person.
Alternative: For a shorter version of the above tour, this 4-day adventure could make for a great alternative. With a focus on the city’s culinary scene, you’ll grab street food for dinner after touring the Old City, as well as stopping for Turkish coffee, baklava, a profiterole tasting, and a mezze lunch. Food aside, there’ll be visits to the world-renowned Haiga Sofia, as well as subterranean Roman and Byzantine ruins, the 6th-century Basilica Cistern water system, the Hippodrome and the Little Hagia Sofia Mosque. Those keen to sample a traditional Turkish bath can also take the opportunity to visit an authentic hammam. From $309 per person.
Best of Venice, Florence & Rome (10 days)
Visit three of the jewel’s in Italy’s crown during this 10-day adventure. Starting at Venice’s timeless St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, you’ll continue on to Michelangelo’s stunning David sculpture and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, before ending with Rome’s ancient Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museums, and Sistine Chapel. You’ll also enjoy guided neighbourhood walks, memorable meals, and full-bodied Italian wines. Nine nights’ accommodation in a trio of centrally-located hotels are included in the tour price. From $2,795 per person.
Alternative: While the above takes place in groups of up to 28, this tour is restricted to a maximum of 15, providing a more intimate experience for all. Starting in Rome, over the course of 8 days you’ll travel through Florence, Siena, Chianti and three other enticing destinations, each oozing the richness of colours, flavours and history that help make this one of the most popular tourist countries on earth. The tour comes to a close in the floating city of Venice, one of the world’s most romantic cities, where you can traverse its charming narrow streets and enjoy a memorable gondola ride to end your adventure in style. $1,906 per person.
Best of Barcelona & Madrid (8 days)
Separated by 2.5 hours by train, Barcelona and Madrid are Spain’s most popular tourist cities. Over eight magical days, you’ll first experience the pride and energy of Barcelona — tapping into the Catalan city’s tapas scene, digging into delicious seafood, and marvelling at architecture and art by Gaudí and Picasso. Then you’ll hop onto a high-speed train to Madrid for its terrific tapas, masterpiece-packed Prado Museum, and a day in historic Toledo. Seven nights’ accommodation will cover your visits to both cities. From $2,395 per person.
Alternative: A shorter trip that takes in both Madrid and Barcelona, this 5-day tour could be just the ticket. After arriving at Barcelona airport, you’ll be transferred to your hotel before your adventure begins. In Barcelona, you’ll enjoy a city tour by double-decker bus which will take you past Plaza Catalunya, Paseo de Gracia, Sagrada Familia, and Camp Nou Stadium, before spending the rest of the day at your leisure. Then, on your way to Madrid, you’ll stop off in the city of Zaragoza for a look around. In Madrid, your final destination, you’ll get acquainted with this monumental city and see its most important buildings, avenues, and squares to bring your tour to an end. From $546 per person.
Best of Sicily (11 days)
The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, home to a distinctive culture, cuisine, and history, awaits you on this immersive 11-day tour. Over the course of the trip, you’ll visit the bustling capital of Palermo, as well as other notable places of interest including Taormina, Agrigento, Syracuse, Catania, and more. Your guide will also introduce you to the hearty welcome and home cooking of a Sicilian family farm, the steamy power of Mount Etna, Italy’s brightest pottery and boldest wines, Europe’s most amazing ancient Greek ruins, and slow sunsets from picture-perfect seaside villages. Ten nights’ accommodation is included. From $2,595 per person.
Alternative: Another option for discovering the charm of a land that has seen the rising and setting of the largest populations of the Mediterranean is this 11-day tour. During the cultural adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to visit – at your own pace – the most beautiful parts of the island, losing yourself between its streets, while recalling centuries of history and stories, surrounded by the aroma of its home-grown almonds and majestic architecture. The tour can start in either Catania or Palermo. PRICE ON REQUEST.
Heart of Belgium & Holland (11 days)
The cities of the so-called Low Countries are a delight to explore. Beginning in Belgium’s medieval masterpiece of Ghent where you’ll enjoy a canal cruise and walking tour, you’ll be guided on story-laden walks through the hearts of Bruges, Delft, and finally over the border to hedonistic Amsterdam in Holland. During your 11 days, you’ll visit a traditional Belgian brewery, thought-provoking Flanders Fields, a high-tech sea barrier project, the world’s largest flower auction, and the spectacular exhibits and displays of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Throughout the trip, you’ll stay in centrally located hotels, inclusive of the tour price. From $3,395 per person.
Alternative: Starting in Bruges and ending in Amsterdam, this shorter 8-day bike tour offers the chance to see these popular destinations all in one go – with the wind in your hair. Cycling between destinations, you’ll stop off at various points throughout the tour to see local landmarks and places of interest, all in the company of an expert guide. The cycling itself will cover a combination of terrains, including roads and countryside paths. Guests are required to bring or hire their own bikes for the trip. From $945 per person.
Best of Tuscany (12 days)
From the incredible Renaissance art treasures of the Bargello and Accademia in Florence to its mesmerising countryside, Tuscany is a sight to behold. On this 12-day tour, you’ll roll your way through the Chianti hills sipping wine, strolling through the cobbled streets of Siena, and breathing in the fresh air of the Val d’Orcia, where vineyards and cypress trees go on forever. You’ll also get to meet local family farmers and taste their fresh produce for yourself, and even learn how to make authentic homemade pasta. Eleven nights’ accommodation is included. From $3,795 per person.
Alternative: This 11-day tour is similar to the above – but offers more, with visits to the Italian capital of Rome and Tuscany’s neighbouring region of Umbria thrown into the mix too. Starting in Rome and ending in Chianti, you’ll travel along the less-travelled country roads of Umbria and Tuscany, stopping to take in your surroundings. You’ll stroll Assisi’s old city, and explore the Etruscan hill town of Orvieto, where one of history’s rarest frescoes is on display inside a Gothic cathedral. In Siena, you’ll visit one of Tuscany’s most ancient piazzas, admire the famous towers of San Gimignano,. When evening comes, you’ll delight in regional specialities and Italian wine, with a generous four dinners included in the tour price. From $2,663 per person.
Best of Eastern Europe (15 days)
Europe’s eastern nations may have tumultuous recent histories, but many of them have emerged to become major tourist hot spots, combining beautifully preserved architecture and buzzing entertainment scenes – not to mention more affordable prices than their continental counterparts. Starting in picture-postcard Prague, this 15-day tour lets you experience the region’s rich diversity, from the energetic cities of Kraków and Budapest to tradition-rich “back door” towns and villages across the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia — including the waterfall wonderland of Plitvice and the alpine majesty of Lake Bled. A total of fourteen nights’ accommodation is included in the tour price. From $4,295 per person.
Alternative: Taking in many of the same destinations as the above tour, this fortnight-long adventure encompasses visits to six countries, covering urban centres, village life, and outdoor pursuits. During your fortnight away, you’ll stop off at castles, churches, romantic town squares, and plenty more, all designed to introduce you to the unique culture, food, and history of Eastern Europe. Highlights include visits to Krakow, Poland’s cultural hub, stopping at the Pławniowice Palace grounds along the way, a walking tour of Vienna’s most beautiful sights, including the Hofburg and St Stephen’s Cathedral, and a boat trip down the Danube in Budapest. From $2,071 per person.