Photos: A European tour

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  1. Venice, Italy

    Gondolas line the bank near Venice's grand canal with the San Giorgio Maggiore church in the background. (Peter Deilmann Cruises via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Rome, Italy

    The Colosseum is one of the best-known attractions in all of Italy, and is the largest elliptical amphitheater built in the Roman empire. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. London, England

    The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clock tower, located along the River Thames, are seen at dusk from Westminster Bridge. (George Rose / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Berlin, Germany

    Tourists take pictures of themselves at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. The memorial, designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and inaugurated in May 2005, is made up of more than 2,700 concrete steles that form a curved landscape in the heart of Germany's capital. (Barbara Sax / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Granada, Spain

    The Alhambra palace in Granada, although one of 21 finalists, missed out on being named one of the new seven wonders of the world. (Jose Luis Roca / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Paris, France

    This bird's-eye view of Paris at dusk, with the Eiffel Tower and L'Hotel des Invalides prominent, show why the capital's nickname is the "City of Light." (Mike Hewitt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Lindos, Greece

    The ancient town of Lindos is famous for its Acropolis, which stands on a 380-foot-high hill overlooking Lindos and the Aegean Sea and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Eyeswideopen / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Dublin, Ireland

    People walk past The Temple Bar, which should not be confused with its neighborhood, also called Temple Bar, in central Dublin. Ireland's capital has been voted one of the top 25 cities of the world to live in. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Lisbon, Portugal

    Belém Tower was built in the early 16th century as a ceremonial gateway to the city, and to serve as a defense at the mouth of the Tagus River. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Sebastiano Scattolin / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Barcelona, Spain

    Columns and arches of the Sagrada Familia rise high in this Roman Catholic church, which has been under construction since 1882 and remains incomplete. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Florence, Italy

    A woman looks over Florence from the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. Construction on the city's cathedral church began in 1296 and finished in 1462. (Guido Cozzi / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. County Mayo, Ireland

    Ashford Castle, which dates back to the 13th century and sits on 350 acres of manicured gardens and land, now ranks among the finest hotels in Ireland. About a two-hour drive from Dublin, the castle has played host to myriad high-profile events, including actor Pierce Brosnan's wedding. (Tourism Ireland via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Kaag, Netherlands

    A cyclist pedals along rows of tulips near the village of Kaag, outside of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch often use cycling to get around, and Amsterdam is considered one of the most bike-friendly large cities in the world. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Amsterdam, Netherlands

    A tourist smokes at a coffeeshop "de Dampkring," or "Atmosphere," where a part of the "Ocean's Twelve" movie was filmed, in the center of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city is famous for its nightlife, cultural activities and red-light district. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Stockholm, Sweden

    Boats line up on the shoreline in Stockholm, the capital and largest city in Sweden. The city is built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges. (Olivier Morin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Krakow, Poland

    The Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Krakow, Poland, is one of the most well-known tourist spots in the city and noted for its gothic, medieval architecture. However, most people come to Krakow because of its proximity to Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi's concentration camps, which is now a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. (Jon Hicks / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Nice, France

    Hundreds of people enjoy sunbathing on the beach in Nice on the French Riviera. (Valery Hache / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Brussels, Belgium

    The Grand Place in the heart of Old Town in Brussels, Belguim, is marked by many 17th-century buildings and flower markets. (Jean-Pierre Lescourret / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Greek islands

    Oia, on the island of Santorini, Greece, is on a clifftop village filled with white structures and gorgeous sunsets. Santorini offers seaside tavernas, cliffside paths, black volcanic rocks and of course, sunshine and the Aegean Sea. (Saundra Virtanen / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Pamplona, Spain

    Revelers hold up their red scarves during the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain. The annual festival is best known for its daily running of the bulls. (Susana Vera / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Prague, Czech Republic

    The buildings in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, are constructed in many architectural styles from Romanesque to gothic to art nouveau and modern. (Michal Cizek / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Reykjavik, Iceland

    Tourists stand in the Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik, Iceland. The Blue Lagoon's waters come from natural hot water springs flowing through rocks of lava. Many also believe the mineral-rich waters may have health benefits. (Olivier Morin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. St. Petersburg, Russia

    The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is seen on the bank of the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Dmitry Lovetsky / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 12/29/2008 2:02:58 PM ET 2008-12-29T19:02:58

The deal
With the economic crises now hitting Europe hard and the dollar gaining strength overseas, a trip across the pond isn’t such a stretch these days, especially when we’ve found ways to stretch your dollar.

To compensate for poor bookings (hotel occupancy across Europe has fallen by 6 percent since last year), European hotels are offering lower rates and incentives, like air credits and euro-to-dollar price matching. Plus, winter airfare rates are as attractive as ever — it is the low season after all.

Our editors dug up bargain deals running the gamut from $500 flight credits, $100 Amex card, free AirFrance stopovers, hotel rates from $90/night and multicity air-and-hotel combo packages from $635.

Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin, from $90/night
Centrally located in Berlin’s Mitte district next to the landmark 368-meter TV Tower, the recently renovated Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz offers deluxe accommodations at value rates. A former communist-era high-rise, the hotel now offers a full range of amenities and services, including a rooftop bar, sundeck, casino and several onsite bars and restaurants.

Rates for a business-class room for two, with private marble bathroom, start at just $90/night.

Luxury hotels in vienna, Prague and London from $337/night
The crème de la crème of luxury hotels, we’re talking Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental, are offering a great deal available through Classic Vacations. Now, travelers who book a five-night stay at participating European luxury hotels will receive a $500 air credit towards the cost of their flight and a $100 American Express Gift Card.

Our favorites include London’s posh Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park from $607/night and the classy Four Seasons Prague from $374/night. It’s hard to beat Vienna’s decadent Hotel Bristol for just $337/night.

Slideshow: Florence a la fresco

Rome, Florence and Venice 6-night vacation with flight from $635
Spend a week exploring Italy this winter or spring from just $635, thanks to The six-night jaunt to Rome, Florence, and Venice, includes 2 nights' hotel in each city, airfare from the US, breakfast daily, and train transfers between cities. If you want to see even more of Italy, try the nine-night Highlights of Italy package from just $829 per person, a cost that covers airfare, rental car, and hotels throughout Florence, Milan, Verona and more.

Royal Caribbean 4-night Mediterranean cruise from $349
For a classic Mediterranean cruise, try this four-night spring voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. Embarking from Barcelona, this round-trip cruise docks for a day in Marseille and spends a weekend in Ibiza, for just $349 per person (oceanview cabins start at $529).

Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to check out Barcelona’s renowned Las Ramblas promenade and Gaudi-designed churches, Marseille’s picturesque waterfront in the Vieux Port, and Ibiza’s trendy shops, historic Old Town, world-class cuisine and famous nightlife.

European river cruises with Globus
Discover Europe’s fascinating waterways and the cities that surround them with affordable river cruise tours on offer from Globus. Save $200 off the air-inclusive price on any 2009 Globus or Avalon Europe river cruise. Or, receive $100 off the cruise-only price. Just be sure to book by Feb. 28.

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We’d recommend the 12-day air-inclusive Black Sea Discovery cruise from $2,849, or the 12-day Legendary Danube cruise sailing from Prague to Budapest for the low price of $2,399, flight included.

Round-trip flights, with Paris, from $564
Fly to any Air France destination in Europe, the Middle East, India, or Africa, and enjoy a free stopover in Paris on your way there, your way back, or both. Use this offer to climb the Eiffel tower, explore the Louvre’s remarkable collections, simply grab a baguette and some wine for a picnic along the Seine. At the time of writing, we found round-trip flights to London, with a free stopover in the city of lights, for $564.

The Eurail Pass
Don’t neglect train travel when overseas. It’s a great way to get around on the cheap while enjoying the scenery. Plus, the new and improved Eurail Pass offers a series of options for convenient train travel between countries. A consecutive-day pass offers unlimited rail travel for a particular length of time, while other flexible options include a pass available for a specific number of travel days scattered over a longer time period. The Eurail Select Pass is a great bargain; it affords unlimited travel on the national rail networks of 3 to 5 bordering countries, and starts from about $419.

The dollars
Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
After your romantic European getaway, it's right back to your same old routine.

For the European river cruise offer, visit or call 1-866-755-8581.ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.


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