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Parents' Guide to

Rick Steves' Europe

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Popular travel guide offers up history and practical tips.

TV PBS Reality TV 1991
Rick Steves' Europe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+

An incredible program - delightful and necessary for all ages

This show is a marvel and is perfect for children. Rick Steves is a friendly, likable host who explains the history and culture of Europe in a way that children and adults can understand. Steves takes you through the greatest sites of Europe and beyond, from the can't-miss museums and cathedrals to the back streets, where you can find hidden gems that illuminate the beauty and richness of their setting. It is easy to be taken in by the glorious art, beautiful scenery and delicious food, but you will also be learning plenty. He explains the context of what tourists would see in these cities. Above all, Rick Steves seeks to promote a message of tolerance and understanding of other cultures, firm in his belief that travel can open one's mind to the diversity of the human experience. Steves' fascinating and optimistic worldview is just as engaging as the places he shows off on his show, and among the pasta of Italy and the paella of Spain, there's plenty of food for thought as well. If you watch with your children, they will learn and discover plenty about the world around them, but the younger they are, the more likely they will be to be bored by the invocations of Old Master paintings, religious zeal and monarchical intrigue from centuries ago. There is hardly anything here that is iffy for little kids, and while Steves makes a point of trying the local alcoholic beverage everywhere he goes, he always does so responsibly and with the curiosity of an intelligent tourist, rather than the belligerence of a hard-partying spring breaker. There is also some violent description of long-ago battles, plenty of nude art and discussion of sensitive topics such as the Holocaust, Communism and religious conflict. However, it is always done to educate viewers.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

The series offers an interesting look at some of Europe's top destinations through the eyes of its articulate host. Steves' descriptions often take on a poetic quality as he describes some of each area's works of art, parks, and churches. The show is a promotional vehicle for Steves' many guidebooks, and many of his recommendations are obvious endorsements of local businesses. But that's appropriate within the context of a travel guide show, and it's not jarring within the series' gentle, positive take on Europe, which is both informative and helpful.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: April 1, 1991
  • Cast: Rick Steves
  • Network: PBS
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-G
  • Last updated: October 7, 2022

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