Best Travel Guide for Europe??

Old Dec 28th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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I really like the Let's Go guides. Written by students who have actually travelled in the areas they write about on a budget. Honest advice such as this sight is expensive but worth it, or don't waste your money. Sure, it's just somebody's opinion, but they haven't steered me wrong yet!
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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Though not a guidebook if looking for a lot of useful info i always advise requesting BETS' free European Planning & Rail Guide, which covers a lot of topics besides train travel - such as itinerary planner for each country, packing tips, etc. (Free at - i also like Rick Steves web site for free info. As for guidebooks i think your level of travel is the crucial factor - Let's Go is mainly for low budget travel and their inexpensive accommodations listings can't be beat. Lonely Planet, though containing a wealth of info sucks on budget accommodations, surprisingly. If on a middle budget than Fodor's books contain the most relevant restaurant and accommodations info. All the books do a good job on practicalities like museum hours, etc. so i'd chose one as to what level of travel you aiming at. Rick Steves guides have a lot of great info but are not comprehensive guides, but present a prescriptive itinerary of places he has 'discovered' and if you like a structured trip outlined, from where to stay and eat, check his out-but take a more comprehensive guide for practical info on every city you'll be going to. DK guides seem to excell on graphics and swell illustrations.
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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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I go to book stores and check all the books on a particular location and try or buy the book I like if it's on sale. If not, I check for a lower price or a nearly new at a low price. You can buy used or nearly new travel books on

I don't take any books with me. I photocopy the pages I need and type notes and copy/paste recomendations from this site for Prague, Paris, hotels, restaurants etc.

I also get travel books from the library and do the same: photocopy and make notes. Then I toss out the pages that I no longer need as I go.

The PDA suggestion sounds good.
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Old Dec 28th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Depends on where you'll be going. I like the Michelin Green Guides for France, as well as the Cadogan Guides for some regions. For Germany and Austria I've used the Fodor guides and liked them quite a lot.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Since most guidebooks are bulky things covering a zillion places i tend to check several guides out of my local well-stocked library or ones i have bought and then i'll Xerox the appropriate pages relevant to the relatively few places in the guidebook that i'm actually going to.

Thus i have several different takes on the few places i go to and which i don't already know much about and don't have a bulky guidebook to drag along...and i throw away the copies after i've used them.

Fodors, LonelyPlanet, Steves, Frommers, Let's Go ---and others, my local library has copies of their country guides - another benefit of Xeroxing - if going to several countries you could take an all-encompassing Europe guide but i prefer the more detail the individual country or regional guides provide.

Of course searching Fodors and tapping Fodorites incredible knowledge thru posts is also a good way to get a different angle and take than the often bland guidebooks which skirt over negative pickpocketing dens, scams, etc.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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And don't forget about the National Tourist Offices in the US - each country has one and usually offers a wealth of usually free brochures and info on anything you ask...and local tourist offices. If i'm going to a certain city i just Google that city's tourist office and there is usually a wealth of info on it to print off and take along. They also seem to have hotel booking info.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:03 PM
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I have a couple of strategies that I use when planning travel. First off, I've found Rick Steves' guides to be the most helpful in planning itineraries. He is honest about the sights and cuts to the chase when it comes to must-sees and don't-bothers. His hotel recs are a little hit or miss, leaning to budget so I turn to Karen Brown or Sawdays for lodging suggestions. I've never been disappointed with them. Since you're traveling for four months, you may want to give Rick Steves' books a second look for budget lodgings. Also look into apartments in major destinations.

One of the most helpful things I did when I first started traveling was obtain marketing materials for various organized tours, from budget (Cosmos) to luxury (Abercrombie & Kent). Go to your local AAA or American Express office and gather up a stack. It's also interesting to compare schedules and itineraries. They're great for figuring out the must-sees. Sometimes they don't allot enough time so keep that in mind when planning. Fodors and Frommers are good mainstream guides. Let's Go is very budget. DK has a lot of pretty color pictures. Don't rely on them too much. I view them as more of a souvenir book.
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:22 PM
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i use a whole stack of stuff to plan a trip..old National Geographics tour operators brochures, internet sights, Conde Nast, N.Y Times ect and all sorts of tour guides I have found in the library. The only thing I tend to bring with me are Michelin Green Guides.. the are small enough to fit in my hand bad and I find them a treasure trove of things I need to have at my finger tips..ex opening hours of museums ect. The one guide series that I came across recently which I used in Laos was the "foot prints" series..I was most impressed.. re Lets Go..I never liked this series..I always found them quite superficial and I wondered if the contributers really spent any time in the areas they were writing about..I much preferred the Lonely Plant when organizing a budget vacation.
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