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-   -   opinions on "accurate guide books" (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/opinions-on-accurate-guide-books-19336/)

doug Dec 4th, 1997 04:52 PM

opinions on "accurate guide books"
 
with all the guide books being published, which one's have you found to be the most consistant for accuracy? i have purchased 3 guide books and there seems to be a great deal of opinions on the same subjects. thanks doug

Marcie Dec 4th, 1997 06:07 PM

This is a great question. I'm sure there's many of us in the same "pickle". I'm planning a trip to France and when I went to a local bookstore, there must have been 15 different books. I was so confused (they all looked quite good); I left empty handed. Are there some more reputable, up-to-date, etc.??

Christina Dec 5th, 1997 10:55 AM

I've bought a variety of guidebooks over the years,
and basically look through them to make sure they
cover the things I want and have the right focus.
For overall basics, I like both Fodors and Frommers.
I also like Cadogan guides very much, but they don't
exist for as many places-- I think they're good for
at least France and Italy. I want a guidebook that
gives decent hotel and restaurant recommendations
in a variety of prices and describes each to some
extent. I also want a basic map of the city and
some history background. I don't need a lot of
detail for sites, museums, etc., just the basics,
because I use the Michelin green guides for that.
I like Cadogan and Frommer's because they seem a
little more down-to-earth and have a little more
personality than Fodors. I think Cadogan gives
better ideas of places to go out at night, but its hotel
recommendations are skimpy (the ones they mention
aren't bad, though, but there is not a lot of
description or choices). I have no use for the
new fancy guides with tons of photos, etc., because
most of them are all glitz with little substance,
and I carry the book around with me and don't want
it to be so heavy and bulky--I'll buy or take photos
when I get there. There are a couple that only
appeal to very young people, so I'd avoid those
(i.e., Let's Go). Having said all that, I haven't
found any of the ones I've bought (Fodors, Frommers,
Cadogan, Birnbaum) to have any noticeable errors in
them. Prices may be a little old, but they can't
help that -- I haven't ever gone to a hotel/restaurant
recommended by any guide book that I thought was
seriously misrepresented.

sgorces Dec 5th, 1997 03:34 PM

I suggest Rick Steves' books on Europe (as a companion to your Fodors of course). They are extensively researched first hand by Rick. He also offers some great videos. If your local bookstore doesn't have his products, look for him on the internet at www.ricksteves.com or call directory assistance and ask for his shop in Edmonds, Washington.

Mike Miller Dec 5th, 1997 05:16 PM

I second the recommendation for Rick Steve's guidebooks. They have never steered me wrong and he has a very devoted group of followers because he is not only able to steer you to the right sights, the lodging and restaurants he recommends will not break your budget!

Lynn Dec 5th, 1997 05:41 PM

Motion carried for Rick Steve's. I took my first trip to Europe this summer on a European Capitals Cruise. We relied heavily on Rick Steve's "Best of Europe" for ratings of various attractions. The best thing about his book is that he tells you where to start, how to get where you're going with directions, street names and public transportation advice, he tells you which sites are worth spending time at and which ones not to, times attractions are open. etc., etc. The other guide that we have found sound advice in is Fielding's. We have their Guide to Worldwide Cruises and it is very handy for planning cruises and comparing ships of one line to another.

doug Dec 7th, 1997 05:34 AM

thanks for everyone's input. i am looking forward to my trip to england over christmas and even if the guide books are not totally accurate, i plan on having a great trip. if anyone is traveling to england at this time e-mail me.

ray fr melbourne Dec 14th, 1997 11:55 AM

Wht stick to US guidebooks. If you need the lowdown on the best places to see and stay then you must have Lonely Planet travel Survival Kits.
Lonely Planet is an Australian Company with detailed guides to all countries - not only Europe. They are certainly the best for Asia and Australasia.
See what they have to offer on http://www.lonelyplanet.com.au
Good luck on your travels

ray fr melbourne Dec 14th, 1997 11:55 AM

Wht stick to US guidebooks. If you need the lowdown on the best places to see and stay then you must have Lonely Planet travel Survival Kits.
Lonely Planet is an Australian Company with detailed guides to all countries - not only Europe. They are certainly the best for Asia and Australasia.
See what they have to offer on http://www.lonelyplanet.com.au
Good luck on your travels

Jan Martin Dec 14th, 1997 04:58 PM

I agree that Lonely Planet guidebooks are great. Their city maps are accurate and readable, and they have detailed practical information, but alos a lot of good background, history etc. The othe ones I have used are the Moon Guidebooks, the ones with the rounded edges. They don't cover everwhere in the world, but if they cover where you are going, they are great. I particularly appreciated their Alaska guidebook - would never have found the little town of Eagle on the Yukon river, without the Moon guide, and it wasn't even mentioned in three other guidebooks I looked at. It was my best experience in Alaska. I think they have a web page, but not sure of the address.

Lorraine Mesterhazi Dec 14th, 1997 05:45 PM

Lonely Planet does indeed have a site. It can be
found at www.lonelyplanet.com.

The site is very comprehensive--it includes much
information on so many destinations. My two
favorite sections are "Postcards," recent reports
from travelers from all over and "Health" giving
info on everything from insurance to air sickness.
There are also many destination-related links and
is very searchable.


David Dillon Dec 23rd, 1997 03:14 PM



David Dillon Dec 23rd, 1997 03:26 PM


My wife and I have traveled from Boston to Ireland a good many times, and we have used a wide-range of guidebooks. Here's a few observations: Frommer's reads too much like a chamber of commerce guide; it's not very critical, and I wouldn't recommend it. Fodor's is quite reliable and well-written. However, it is geared for an up-scale readership. Regarding Rick Steves, his books appear well-researched and highly readable, but his recommendations are limited (an example is his most recent England/Ireland guide. His Ireland recommendations are limited to a mere few sections of Ireland) Lonely Planet is well done, but even better is The Rough Guide. Unlike Fodor's, RG is geared to a younger set, and its lodging/dining recommendations emphasize living cheaply. Still, RG can't be beat for attractions and history. They are critical, no-nonsense guides, and I highly recommend them. In closing, I would recommend combining the most recent Fodor's guide (for food and lodging) with the Rough Guide (for attractions and historical background). Happy traveling!



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