City maps

Apr 30th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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City maps

I know this has been asked before, but: Who makes the best city maps? Looking for durability, accuracy, thoroughness, legibility. I ask because I've seen the Nat'l Geographic maps which are fairly recent, and they seem to be best overall -- but who has experience with those or others?
dedlaw is offline  
Apr 30th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Sorry I don't know the answer toyour question despite the fact that I have a dozen of Europe city maps.

No one company makes the best city map for all cities in Europe.
It depends on wbich city you want and also it depends on what you want out of the map. Do you want detail including a street index, subway routes, bus routes, and a list of attractions, or do you just want the main streets on a compact fold up map? Some maps are so large and detailed that they are awkward to use on the street to find your way. Others are so undetailed that they only show the main streets and there is often a street that does not show up. So it depends on what you are after.

For example, I have 3 maps of Paris. The most detailed one is the Michelin 10/12 combination map and street index. But it unfolds to become a huge map and hard to use on the sidewalk, particularly if the wind is blowing and/or if it is raining. So I never take it out of the hotel for use on the street. The Michelin #7 map is ok, but not much better than the free ones I can find. Solution: get a few free ones and use the huge Michelin map to mark up the freebies so I can find what I am looking for.

The Marco Polo map of Munich is the best I have, but again, it is very large and very detailed. For Vienna and London, Euro City makes a good one but the best detailed map of Vienna is made by Dal Nippon, but it is on flimsy paper that has now has holes in the creases after one trip. So, which do you want, details or holes?

Freytag and Berndt also make a very good map. I have one of theirs for Innsbruck and one of Salzburg.

Your question presupposes, however, that some of us have two and three maps of each city that we have field tested and judged one of them to be the best. Without a comparison, no one can say sure "this is the best". Usually the one they have is the best!!

I can say this, however, none of the maps I have seems to be a poor one. So to a large degree I think the answer is simply "Get the best available." You are not likely to have a wide choice of different city maps at one store anyhow.

Durability? I have yet to see the paper map that is durable unless it is coated with something. And a coating of a plastic film type makes the map bulky and limits the size and runs up the cost.

Where best to get them? Places like Barnes and Nobles often have them.
I get mine from in Dallas. I find that Ed usually has what I need in some form or the other.
If he has it, I figure it is ok.

bob_brown is offline  
Apr 30th, 2003, 03:37 PM
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Bob makes excellent points above. Many people here like the laminated "Streetwise" city maps. I myself prefer the similar laminated Lonely Planet maps (have Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris.)

For Paris, if you're staying more than a few days, the detailed book-style Paris par Arrondissement maps are worth buying locally (from a news agent), since they index every street and monument, etc. For London, there is the London A-Z map, which is also like a book and contains complete detail.
Lesli is offline  
Apr 30th, 2003, 07:45 PM
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We love the Michelin "City plans". We were in Rome in February and used one there - it was great. These are spiral bound and very durable. They are 12cm x 19cm (about 5in x 7.5in) and easily fit in a pocket or purse. Very portable and easy to use on the street. Fully indexed with many extras (Metro, etc.). Very detailed - the one for Roma included *every* piazza, ponte and vicolo.

On that trip we simply pinned a large map (from Hallwag) on the wall of our room for general reference and used the spiral Michelin for getting around. It really worked for us - and we've already bought the one for Madrid in anticipation of a future journey :-}

From the Michelin site, it seems that these maps are available for:

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruxelles/Brussel, Lisboa, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milano and Roma.
slknowles is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 05:48 AM
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I bought the laminated maps, hoping that since I'm prepared, it won't rain.

One thing I would look for is a good index. My map of Venice, for example, has the index divided into the various districts, so you have to know about where the site is in order to look in the right index, or go through all of them. That's bad design and I wouldn't buy a map like that again.
clevelandbrown is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 06:55 AM
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The "Eyewitness" maps are the best for MOST european cities. They are not large, laminated and fold out easy.


A map for the city is made by Penguin "Map Guide". I found this littel booklet maps easy to read, smallenough to carry and accurate. They also include info like hotels, stores, stations, public transportation and lstings of major tourist sights. I beleieve they are available for London, paris, New York and Amsterdam.

You can get the Map Guide really cheap off
richardab is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 07:40 AM
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I too love the Mapguides for Paris and London. I also take Streetwise with me because it gives me the general overview that the Mapguides don't.
I also like the Michelin Roma
Tascabile map/book listed above, it has every nook and cranny. But I still took Streetwise Rome for the general orientation and overview.
elaine is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 12:16 PM
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THE most clear & helpful Paris map we had was the free one from our hotel lobby... go figure.
suze is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 01:12 PM
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I use the Lonely Planet City Maps. The
have all the info I need plus a metro line map. They're laminated and not large. For me, they work the best, but that's just one persons opinion! You can always pick up specialized maps from your hotel or a store while you're there if you want but I've not had to do that with these.
csroe is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 05:05 PM
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I'm with Suze (2 posts prior) and the map from Samaritane entitles you to a 10% discount.
jsmith is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 05:43 PM
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I use the Streetwise maps and like their size and durability. However, there were minor errors in the maps for both Venice and Rome. Nothing major, just caused an extra few blocks of walking to get where we wanted to go.
Jean is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 06:00 PM
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My favorite map for both Paris and Barcelona is Michelin. For some reason, though, the Michelin map for Rome didn't grab me as much as the Fodor's Citypack map did, an earlier version of it anyway.

I don't bother with the maps themselves, too much of a bother. Instead, I make photocopies of the sections I want and then use colored markers to highlight buildings, streets, walking routes, etc. The photocopies usually get quite worn by the end of a trip but so what...I've still got the intact original for more copies for (hopefully) future trips.
capo is offline  
May 1st, 2003, 06:41 PM
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I used the Streetwise Paris map exclusively for my month's stay in Paris. It never failed me - showed all streets, metros and sites. I used the larger Michelin for outside the main city area but took notes as it was too large to carry around. I know Streetwise makes maps for other cities but haven't used them.
nancy is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 06:31 AM
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For Paris, it depends on how 'central' you will be staying... most of the laminated types did not cover below Arenes or much above Opera, except for the Montmartre insert... I have extensively used the Mapguide for several years, and just bought the Michelin 'Par Arrondisement' version. The type in it seems quite smaller and I've been using my little magnifier on it.
I have also used a couple of the Streetwise (ie. Amsterdam) and they are pretty good for most users.
Travelnut is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 06:39 AM
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If it's available for your location I have to vote for Streetwise Maps. I just returned from Paris were the Streetwise map was absolutely perfect. Convienent, durable, detailed, accurate.
Zeke is offline  
May 2nd, 2003, 09:51 AM
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We used the Streetwise while we were in Paris -- it was great -- it even covered the Montmartre area where we stayed.

Stay away from the Paris Streetwise subway map -- very small and hard to read. Get a copy of the subway map when you arrive or print one off the internet before you go.
Budman is offline  

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