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Hitashi Jun 25th, 2012 11:51 PM

Guide Books for London
I am travelling alone on Business to London for 7 days in August 1st week. I will have 2-3 days and 4 evenings at my disposal to explore the city.

Any recommendations on Travel Books? I have used Rick Steve for Italy and France and totally loved it.

I came across following books:
Rough Guide
Time Out London
Rick Steve London

Any experiences or suggestions?
Any other suggestions for solo first time traveler in London. I am in late 20's and enjoy the usual stuff - Food, History, People, Major Sightseeing and some great walks.

jamikins Jun 26th, 2012 12:23 AM

Rick Steves is not really good for the uk. We like the michelin green guide for London.

Check out for great and cheap walking tours. They do great pub walks at night. Also don't miss a half day at the tower of London. Lunch at borough market is fun on a thurs or fri.


Aduchamp1 Jun 26th, 2012 04:25 AM

Tine Out London is geared to the younger traveler even though we are old and use it.

alanRow Jun 26th, 2012 04:27 AM

The DK Top 10 books keep being recommended

janisj Jun 26th, 2012 05:09 AM

Time out is good.

Both the DK Eyewitness and Michelin green guides are good/high quality guides.

Avoid Rick Steves like the plague. (He is crap for the UK)

And for general info the Fodors guide is quite good (plus lots of the folks who post on here are quoted throughout it :) )

Other types of guides to look for are any sort of walking books - 'Walking London', 'Great walks in London'- those sorts of titles. A large book store should have several you can thumb through to see if they fit your style.

Aduchamp1 Jun 26th, 2012 05:50 AM

Rick Steves is to travel writing what Danielle Steel is to literature.

mamcalice Jun 26th, 2012 07:44 AM

We have used the Michelin Green Guides for years and find them the best. They are well laid out and provide the most detail on individual sights. However, to find the guide you prefer, check a library or bookstore to compare.

This forum is good for an overview - check the "Destinations" section for London.

MarthaT Jun 26th, 2012 08:39 AM

I think Frommers and Fodors put out a good guidebook. I have used them both.

Hitashi Jun 26th, 2012 08:47 AM

Okay great, I will stop at the book store and definitely check out these books!

@jamikins - seems like a great resource.

Thanks Everyone!

PatrickLondon Jun 26th, 2012 09:01 AM

Any major bookstore in London will have a good number of London-themed books, some more as souvenir picture-books or history books, but plenty suggesting different walking routes and the like. Foyles in Charing Cross Road or any big branch of Waterstones should have a fair selection.

Also, not exactly guide books, but I was impressed by the City Lit book on Berlin, and I see they do one on London which looks interesting:

Aduchamp1 Jun 26th, 2012 09:06 AM

Michelin Greens are the best for sights and concise histories but you always need a companion guide for hotels and restaurants. As Michelin intended.

flanneruk Jun 26th, 2012 09:20 AM

I honestly can't see the point of this question.

Go to a book shop, and it'll be immediately obvious that Green Michelin provides different information from the Rough Guide or Time Out, and organises it completely differently. It'll also be obvious that these three, plus the Blue Guide, resemble each other far more closely than the kiddie picture books or the serious architectural guides like Pevsner

Only the poster can decide which meets his needs - and I really can't see he needs to wait for someone else to tell him he'll get far more help looking at the guides at his neighbourhood Borders than by listening to opinions from people he's got no way of calibrating.

If he were off to Samarkand, or lived in Upper Volta, I can see why he might want a bit of objective help before committing to something he'll only find on Amazon. But he's not.

They do have bookshops in San Francisco, don't they?

BigRuss Jun 26th, 2012 09:42 AM

Obviously, the Fodors guide books are the best ones around (note to website monitors: send my free one at your earliest convenience).

But DK's Top 10 and general guidebooks are especially good if you want to see what you'll be seeing.

One of these days, Flanner will actually know something about the United States instead of displaying ignorance - the "neighbourhood Borders" is dead.

Aduchamp1 Jun 26th, 2012 10:23 AM


Do you long for the days of The Inquisition?

Hitashi Jun 26th, 2012 02:30 PM

@flanneruk - Thanks for your comment. Does not really help though.
I like to collect opinions and crunch the data to help me make a decision. I am not looking for someone to tell me which is the best guide?


Hitashi Jun 26th, 2012 02:33 PM

@PatrickLondon - Thanks !! I really like the oxygen books link.

@Aduchamp1 - From my search so far, i am keen towards michelin greens. Will checkout this evening at the store. Thanks!

Hitashi Oct 29th, 2012 10:36 AM

I ended up buying Rick Steve's, which was okay not as good as others. I have used Rick Steve's for Italy and Paris. Somehow, you can tell Rick Steve is not that excited about London as other places!

albionbythesea Oct 29th, 2012 04:42 PM

I know you've completed your trip Hitashi, but in case other people read this I think it is important to note that since Guidebooks are published maybe annually at best that the most current material is generally found online, and certainly if you are using a Guidebook and are counting on it to guide you to restaurants, hotels or attractions, check online to confirm its still open, hours and opinions. Most quality guidebooks, like Fodors, now have online forums (like this one) to help keep data current. There are also plenty of bloggers who write about London giving the latest insights into whats current, hot, new or undiscovered. Such places include , , and even checking Fodors online is often more current than the printed book.

janisj Oct 29th, 2012 07:58 PM

"<i>I ended up buying Rick Steve's, which was okay not as good as others. </i>"

After all the good suggestions you received . . . you <i>chose</i> RS??? Weird IMO. Why ask if you were going to opt for his crap book.

"<i>Somehow, you can tell Rick Steve is not that excited about London as other places!</i>"

That's what we told you . . .

bendigo Oct 29th, 2012 10:13 PM

Although it's late, I think I need to also put in an advert for Lonely Planet - I've always found their Guides much more useful than Frommers (but my Backpack still fits and feels comfortable when I hoist it on to my back, so perhaps I'm just clinging to the past!)

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