Rick Steves Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Rick Steves        

Leading Authority on European Travel

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 over 50 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.

Steves took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Steves 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 80 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, Web site, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters, and runs a successful European tour program with more than 450 departures attracting around 11,000 travelers annually.

Over the past 20 years, Steves 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 US markets. Steves has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the groundbreaking Rick Steves' Iran, both of which he writes and co-produces through his company Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts the weekly public radio program "Travel with Rick Steves," in which he interviews guest travel experts then takes listener call-ins. "Travel with Rick Steves" airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Steves has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, London, and Athens.

He lost his mother to Alzheimer’s and has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s caregivers ever since. He also advocates for adult day care services to give caregivers a break when needed.

Speech Topics

“Europe Through the Back Door” with Rick Steves

Join the travel expert–acclaimed for his bestselling guidebook series, public television series, and public radio shows–as he shares all the latest in smart European travel. Freshly back from lots of travels, Rick Steves explains the practical, money-saving ins and outs of independent travel. His 90-minute seminar is packed with tips on getting the most out of every mile, minute, and dollar on your next trip.

Travel as a Political Act

Rick Steves–author of over 50 European travel guidebooks and host of the public television series, Rick Steves’ Europe–believes that thoughtful travel expands our world view and shapes how we address the challenges confronting our nation politically. Having spent four months a year overseas for the last 30 years, Rick feels that travel helps us “challenge truths we were raised to think were self-evident and God-given.” His classes have helped millions of Americans not only enjoy maximum travel thrills per mile, minute and euro…but become better citizens of our planet. Rick shares how the other 96 percent of humanity sees our nation and explores how his social activism has grown naturally out of his travel experiences. He’s fresh back from lots of travels and will be on hand after his talk for questions and autographs.

Rick Steves’ Iran

Rick Steves calls Iran “the most poorly understood yet fascinating land” he’s ever visited. In his upcoming 90-minute slideshow, he takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America. And to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home. Steves’ presentation shows the splendid monuments of Iran’s rich past, as well as Iranian life today–in its giant metropolis, historic capital, and in a countryside village. Steves captures Persian culture vividly: from Friday prayer in a mosque to non-conformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran. Rather than a political talk dealing with the complex issues that confront our governments, Steves’ presentation is a travelogue, designed to increase our understanding of a mighty, ancient nation that has been a leader in its corner of the world for 2,500 years.


Rick Steves Is Really, Really Excited About His Tax Increase

Steves says he's excited about increase in taxes that is "more than the annual income of almost anyone I know."

Travel guru Rick Steves to hit road in Oregon promoting marijuana ...

Rick Steves, who built a travel empire out of his guidebooks and TV and radio shows, will promote the marijuana legalization initiative in nine Oregon cities next  ...

Rick Steves: Tips on tipping in Europe

If your bucks talk at home, muzzle them on your travels. Tipping 15% or 20% in Europe is unnecessary, if not culturally ignorant.

Rick Steves' Europe: Exploring Frankfurt, Germany's hub | Boston ...

Rick Steves. All over Europe, towering department stores offer great cafeteria lunches with rooftop views for no extra charge — like this one from Frankfurt's ...

Rick Steves: What's new in Italy in 2014

More than any other Western European country, travelers to Italy need up-to-date information to travel smart, saving both time and money.

Related Speakers View all

More like Rick