Budapest’s House of Terror. Photo by Cameron Hewitt.

Back in the 1980s, on a train heading for Budapest, I stood in the aisle with my elbows on the edge of an open window, enjoying the moonlit countryside rushing by. I was soon joined by a Czech woman who was doing the same thing. She told me she was on her first trip out of her country. I asked her if she was excited about visiting Budapest. She said she was most excited about eating a McDonald’s hamburger. The buzz throughout Eastern Europe was that Hungary had just opened a branch of...

Capturing the colorful port of Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 552nd issue of your monthly worldwide travel magazine — marking 46 full years of publication! — where subscribers share discoveries and recommendations along with insights on travel outside of the US.

ITN was the first travel publication to boldly print travelers’ candid comments, including negative experiences about airlines, tour companies, hotels, etc., and we continue to do so, always allowing any company the opportunity...


In this issue, I’ll share the experience of another adventurer who chose to travel during these uncertain COVID times plus, for those contemplating getting back on the road, a strategy or approach to consider.

Egypt adventure

Another fall 2021 traveler I interviewed was Lynne Giuliano of St. Petersburg, Florida, who traveled to Egypt with Overseas Adventure Travel, or OAT (Boston, MA; 800/955-1925,, Sept. 9-28, her trip including a 5-day post-tour extension...

Market Square in Haarlem. Photo by Rick Steves

I’m hanging out in the living room of my B&B in the Amsterdam suburb of Haarlem with my hosts Hans and Marjet.

Staying in a B&B saves money. As a bonus, I find that B&B hosts are often great students of intercultural human nature and love to share their findings. They give me an intimate glimpse of a culture I couldn’t get from the front desk of a hotel.

This is certainly true of Hans and Marjet, who encourage guests to make themselves thoroughly at home...

Vernazza, the jewel of the Cinque Terre. Photo by Rick Steves.

You can search the entire Mediterranean coastline for the best rustic village, surrounded by vineyards and steeped in tradition, and not find a more rewarding escape than tiny Vernazza, my favorite of the five villages that make up Italy’s Cinque Terre.

The Cinque Terre is a stretch of Italy’s Riviera tucked into the mountainous shoreline between Genoa and Pisa. Long cut off from the modern world, this remote expanse only became easily accessible with the coming of the train.


Beachcombing on London’s riverbank. Photo by Rick Steves.

I’ve spent more time in London than in any other European city. Its people, its traditions, and its history keep drawing me back.

In England, history means museums, churches, and castles. But my favorite ways to learn history don’t always require entry through a turnstile.

Strolling with a good local guide is like beach-combing. I pick up obscure shards of a neighborhood’s distant past, unlocking unexpected stories. On a bright, brisk January morning, I join...

A perch for daydreams amid castle ruins. Photo by Rick Steves.

South of Munich in the foothills of the Alps, I toured Hohenschwangau Castle. It was “Mad” King Ludwig’s father’s castle — and Ludwig’s boyhood summer home. When his father died, Ludwig became king. He was just a boy, 19 years old. And rather than live with the frustrations of a modern constitution and a feisty parliament in Munich reining him in, King Ludwig II spent his next years lost in Romantic literature and operas ... hanging out here with composer...

Capri has attracted visitors since ancient times. Photo by Rick Steves.

Along the heights of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, every inch is terraced, connected by steep stony staircases that tempt visitors with twinkling — but treacherous — Mediterranean views. Climbing through terraced orchards of lemon trees, I’m hot and thirsty, fantasizing about fresh-squeezed lemonade.

And then, just like a fairy tale, I come upon the daughter of a farmer who seems to be waiting for a lost and parched American traveler. She welcomes me to her terrace to...