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Best guide book(or gift) for graduate going to Madrid?

Best guide book(or gift) for graduate going to Madrid?

Old Jun 9th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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Best guide book(or gift) for graduate going to Madrid?

My close family friend just graduated from high school and this October she has been invited to travel to Madrid and Alacante(spelling is totally wrong as I'm doing it phonetically...yes, I am that lazy) with a family she knows. It will be her first international trip, and I wanted to get her something special.

The two things I thought of so far are pretty boring and as I no next to nothing about Spain, I thought of asking for help on my selections:

1. Guide Books

Since she's young I thought of getting her a Let's Go guide book of Madrid...until I tried to look them up at Amazon and the Let's Go website and realized they only make Spain/Portugal guidebooks. It looks pretty huge, and I would much rather get her a city guide as I think it would be more comprehensive.

I like the rough guide books and I heard Time Out makes good ones, but I'm not sure they are the best ones to buy.

2. Travel Journal

It was one of the first things people told me to get on my first trip to Europe, and I really appreciate having my travel journal now, years later. I want to get her something cute, but also lightweight so it's not a hassle when she's traveling - any recommendations would be great.

I would appreciate any other tips/gifts options that you have to offer!
Anna1013 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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I'm not sure this is appropriate on a Fodor's website, but I would recommend the Frommer's-MTV guide to Spain that appeals to young travelers. My niece worked on it and I can attest to the firsthand insights that went into each section. I think it makes a great "insider's" guide to the country and specific regions of Spain.
abbydog is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Try Lonely Planet - only if Fodors isn't suitable of course
worldinabag is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Thanks abby for the recommendation - I'll try to look for it at Amazon.

Realized that I should have added that although 18, she is quite mature and she doesn't like going clubbing so books with alot of information about nightlife wouldn't really fit with her traveling style. She is very bubbly and would be up for fun/funky activities. As with most girls her age, she loves shopping(she already mentioned she's saving up for shopping), but she will be on a budget.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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Thanks worldinabag - we were posting at the same time. I was thinking about Lonely Planet also, but I was hoping someone would have some comments on their Madrid book.
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Old Jun 9th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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Time Out Madrid is very good for any city for which it ia published. It has both trendy and traditional places and is reliable.

I subscribe to the weekly Time Out NY and used Madrid and Barcelona last year and I am using Paris for this year. I am way past the targeted demographic.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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I know a little bit about Spain guides having a personal library of hundreds of them, and both Time Out Madrid ('07) and the Lonely Planet Madrid Encounter ('07) are very good bets, as is the Rough Guides Madrid Directions ('08) with an ebook (www.roughguides.com). All 3 are packed with very reliable info and all the practical info she would need, but the Rough Guides Madrid Directions is the most up-to-date.
Maribel is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for the replies Aduchamp and Maribel - I think I might head over to the local Borders and check out the selections all of you mentioned.

I'm trying to think of a practical gift - the family she is traveling with has already been to Spain, so I don't think she would actually take the guidebook with her on the trip. She would most likely just peruse it before she goes.

So, I'm almost wondering if a travel journal would be a better idea. Anyone have ideas about giving a gift that would be related to going to Spain?
Anna1013 is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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DK Eyewitness has a guide book devoted just to Madrid.

I have the Eyewitness Spain guidebook, and have used the Eyewitness Paris guidebook, and I think they are both very good. Lots of detailed info, and great photos and cutaway diagrams and 3-D maps.

The only drawback is that they are of such a high quality, they seem to weigh more than some other books.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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scdreamer - I too love the Eyewitness guidebooks, but as you said, they are soooo heavy that they aren't really practical...although she could use them as a weapon on the metro to ward off the pickpockets

Still trying to think of other gift options that are travel-related.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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What about a combination guidebook/travel journal?
Zerlina is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Compass Map Group makes really great little pop-out maps - we used one in Rome and thought it was wonderful. The maps are in a small laminated booklet, about five inches by four inches, and there are four separate maps, two that unfold in pop-out fashion when you open the inside pages.

It allows you to check the street locations without folding open a huge paper map, so you don't look so much like a clueless tourist (potential victim?). There's even a Metro map on the back.

I am going to be in Madrid later this summer, and I have already bought that version for my trip. Very easy to carry in a pocket or small bag, but lots of useful street locations.

They're called "POPOUT MAP" and they run about $7 USD. I found mine in a Borders, but I think most travel sections in bookstores would have them.

Here's the website that is on the back of the map itself:
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Thanks zerlina and scdreamer for the tips - the moleskin book looks like a unique idea.

Scdreamer - does the map actually pop up or do you need to unwrap the entire laminated map?
Anna1013 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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I'd do the Moleskine. My girls are 20 and 22, and they use Moleskine journals and notebooks like it's their job. The Madrid one will have a bit of city information and will also let her use it for notes and as a journal. It shows you are thinking of her and the trip.
noe847 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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Anna , it's kind of hard to explain, but the map does just pop up, and it's still small enough to use without drawing attention to ones self, but the streets are very clearly denineated. There are actually two pop-outs for the city, one on each side ... anyway, we used the heck out of the one we had in Rome ... I am looking forward to using the Madrid one this summer. Well worth the small price.
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