Rick Steves | Popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist

Rick Steves

Popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist

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Edmonds, WA

Rick Steves

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

Widely considered America's leading authority on European travel, Rick produces a best-selling series of guidebooks and is the author of Travels as a Political Act. He is dedicated to providing all Americans with access to travel information and has made extensive resources available for free on the Rick Steves' Europe website; via the Rick Steves Audio Europe app; and in Rick Steves Classroom Europe, a searchable database of short, teachable video clips.

A longtime supporter of public broadcasting, Rick produces and hosts public television and radio shows that air across the nation.

Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe (RSE), a travel business with more than 100 full-time employees. RSE operates a successful small-group tour program which brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. The company contributes annually to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax.

Rick supports and works closely with many advocacy groups and organizations whose missions fit his own, including Bread for the World. He is Chair of the Board of NORML and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in states across the country. He has also provided $9 million in funding to build two neighborhood centers in his community and donated a 24-unit apartment building for homeless women and their children to his local YWCA.

Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Rick Steves
Featured Videos

Current: Travel as a Political Act

Time 23:19

More Videos From Rick Steves

Travel as a Political Act
Time 23:19
European Travel Tips and Tricks
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Villanova University - Be a Citizen of the World - A Conversation with Rick Steves
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Travel as a Spiritual Act
Time 06:06

European Travel Skills 

Join guidebook author and public television host Rick Steves as he shares the latest in smart European travel. In this entertaining, information-packed lecture made vivid with photos from his travels, Rick teaches audiences how to make the most out of every mile, minute, and dollar to plan trips that are low on stress and high on fun. Attendees learn how to travel smoothly and affordably by creating an efficient itinerary, eating and sleeping well, avoiding crowds, packing smartly, and more. 


Travel as a Political Act 

Guidebook author and public television host Rick Steves believes there’s more to travel than good food and fun in the sun. By venturing out of their comfort zones, American travelers can gain an empathy for the other 96 percent of humanity and a better understanding of the interconnectedness of today’s world. In this provocative slideshow lecture, Rick draws from lessons learned while exploring Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East to illustrate how, when Americans “travel as a political act,” they come home with the greatest of all souvenirs: a broader perspective. 



Travel as a Spiritual Act™

In this insightful slideshow lecture, guidebook author and public television host Rick Steves shares how a lifetime of travels has mixed with his faith, shaped his politics, and broadened his perspective. Drawing from lessons learned while exploring Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East, he demonstrates how travel expands our worldview and challenges truths we have been raised to think are self-evident and God-given. Exploring the concept of “travel as a spiritual act,” Rick reflects on how the road can serve as church, how his social activism has grown from his travels, and how travel can be a transformative experience for all Americans.


A Symphonic Journey

Just as travel broadens one's perspective, so can music. In this unique concert, Rick teams up with your orchestra on a musical tour that touches down in seven different European countries, combining Europe's stirring Romantic-era anthems, beautiful high-definition cinematography, and Rick's insights into European history. Rick introduces each anthem and teaches its historical and cultural significance. Then, the orchestra plays while scenic video footage from the Rick Steves Europe TV series accompanies the music, and all involved enjoy a bon musical voyage. 

Rick Steves
Featured Books

Travel as a Political Actby Rick Steves

Travel as a Political Act

by Rick Steves

With the world facing divisive and often frightening events, from Trump, Brexit, and Erdogan, to climate change, nativism, and populism, there's never been a more important time to travel.

Rick believes the risks of travel are widely exaggerated, and that fear is for people who don't get out much. After years of living out of a suitcase, he still marvels at how different cultures find different truths to be self-evident. By sharing his experiences from Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East, Rick shows how we can learn more about own country by viewing it from afar.

With gripping stories from Rick's decades of exploration, this fully revised edition of Travel as a Political Act is an antidote to the current climate of xenophobia. When we travel thoughtfully, we bring back the most beautiful souvenir of all: a broader perspective on the world that we all call home.

All royalties from the sale of Travel as a Political Act are donated to support the work of Bread for the World, a non-partisan organization working to end hunger at home and abroad.

Europe Through the Back Doorby Rick Steves

Europe Through the Back Door

by Rick Steves

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling through Europe. With Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door, you'll learn how to:

  • Plan your itinerary and maximize your time
  • Pack light and right
  • Find good-value hotels and restaurants
  • Travel smoothly by train, bus, car, and plane
  • Avoid crowds and tourist scams
  • Hurdle the language barrier
  • Understand cultural differences and connect with locals
  • Save money while enjoying the trip of a lifetime
  • Travel safely and hygienically in the wake of Covid-19

After 40+ years of exploring Europe, Rick considers this travel skills handbook his life's work, and with his expert introductions to the top destinations in Europe, choosing your next trip will be easy and stress-free. Using the travel skills in this book, you'll experience the culture like a local, spend less money, and have more fun.

For the Love of Europeby Rick Steves

For the Love of Europe

by Rick Steves

Join Rick as he's swept away by a fado singer in Lisbon, learns the dangers of falling in love with a gondolier in Venice, and savors a cheese course in the Loire Valley. Contemplate the mysteries of centuries-old stone circles in England, dangle from a cliff in the Swiss Alps, and hear a French farmer's defense of foie gras.

With a brand-new, original introduction from Rick reflecting on his decades of travel, For the Love of Europe features 100 of the best stories published throughout his career. Covering his adventures through England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and more, these are stories only Rick Steves could tell.

Best of Europeby Rick Steves

Best of Europe

by Rick Steves

Hit Europe's can't-miss art, sights, and bites with Rick Steves Best of Europe!

  • Expert advice from Rick Steves on what's worth your time and money
  • Itineraries for one to four days in the top destinations in England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland
  • Rick's tips for beating the crowds, skipping lines, and avoiding tourist traps
  • The best of local culture, flavors, and haunts, including walks through the most interesting neighborhoods and museums
  • Trip planning strategies like how to link destinations and design your itinerary, what to pack, where to stay, and how to get around
  • Over 100 full-color maps and vibrant photos
  • Coverage of London, Paris, Provence, the French Riviera, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, the Swiss Alps/Berner Oberland, Munich, Rothenberg and the Romantic Road, the Rhine Valley, Berlin, and Amsterdam

Experience the best of Europe with Rick Steves!

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