Notices

Recommended Guide Books for My Trip

Reply

Jan 9th, 2011, 06:09 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 55
Recommended Guide Books for My Trip

Hi all,

I will be going alone to Nice for language course for 12 weeks early March to end of May. So I will most likely visit French Riviera or Southern France region during that period. And I will also be visiting Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, and other countries capital near to Nice (will be decided when already in Nice) before/after the course or even during that period only for 2-4 days each.

I'm wondering which guide books do I have to own and bring for my trip? The choices are between: continent (Europe, Western Europe, etc) vs. regional (Provence & Cote D'azur, Mediterranean, French Riviera, etc) vs. country (France, Italy, etc) vs. city (Paris, Rome, etc).

I will probably be able to bring 2 guide books. This is my first time traveling to Europe. Any suggestion or advise is most welcomed.

Thanks in advance!
stewart_life is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2011, 07:45 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87,144
Who are the publishers of those books you mention? Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guides, Rick Steves, Fodor's, or who?

I don't ever travel with guidebooks (too heavy), I reach in advance and take notes (make copies). More than guidebooks I use the internet.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2011, 06:14 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 55
I already have the Let's Go Europe 2008 (yeah, I know, it's probably kinda outdated).

I have read Rough Guides First Time Europe.

Other than that, I am still considering what books to buy and to bring (I wouldn't mind to bought a new & better Europe book).
stewart_life is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2011, 07:26 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87,144
I like Let's Go (I used the Amsterdam guide and it was great). I would not worry too much about things being out of date. Because maps, history, main sights, are all correct. Just don't count on it for say current prices, phone numbers, stuff like that. Rough Guides is good too.

For a new book to bring can you get to a bookstore, to look at them in person? I like to have a couple questions in mind and look them up in different guidebooks, see which one I find easiest and most helpful.

I think you seem well prepared, and LUCKY YOU by the way for the language course. That sounds like a wonderful experience!
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2011, 07:31 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,537
For those destinations Rick Steves will actually work well. Personally, I usually use Lonely Planet, although I think they have been falling off a bit lately. I cut my guidebooks up, and only take the pages I actually need. Also, you can pay for and download individual chapters of the Lonely Planet guides.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2011, 06:32 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.fodors.com Gold Guides

www.ricksteves.com Europe Through the Back Door

my top 2...

LP guides VERY dated

since BBC took over and started firing folks.

using old info more for shoestring avoid those.

Rough guides for budget.
qwovadis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2011, 07:17 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,391
I wouldn't worry about an outdated guide book. In Europe the sites you want to see are old anyway.
The library is where I start my intial search. I bring home the eyewitness guides with lots of photos, fodors, frommers or whatever I don't have on my home shelf. Then I hit the internet.

We bring along an old guide book that we can cannabilize and download information for new things and stop off at the local tourist office when we get into the town.

Because our interests are specific, websites like: artencyclopedia.com and greatbuildingsonline.com are the cornerstone to our trip building.

I bet you'll have a great trip
LSky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2011, 08:54 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 55
qwovadis, can you use the Europe Through the Back Door alone as your main travel guide to visit Europe? As far as I know, that book is more on the planning and preparation tips.


Thanks LSky for the recommendation on still using old guide book. I was thinking to bring my Let's Go Europe 2008. Why Europe book? Because as I said I'm going to visit Amsterdam (although only for transit of 7 hours), Rome (4 days), Paris (4-5 days) and probably other big cities in nearby countries for the weekend, like Geneva, Brussel, or probably Prague. So, taking the Europe book seems to be useful as they cover more major cities which I will only visit for a short time, therefore they should cover the major attractions in those big cities. So that's 1 book.

The second book that I was thinking to get was Provence & Cote D'Azur region, because I will spend most of my time there, so they will be useful for the weekday afternoon short trips or the weekend trips.

Yesterday, I saw Rick Steve's book on the Provence & Cote D'Azur briefly in a bookshop, and I tried to compare it with Frommer, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, and Fodor books of the same topic. It seems that Rick Steve's has a better information for that region, especially on the transportation of how to get to the small towns near to Nice.

I have no experience in using Rick Steve, Frommer, or Fodor, so I'm not sure what are the target audience for these books. I need to travel cheap, probably not as extreme as backpacker, but quite on a budget. So, the question is whether Rick Steve's book targetted to budget traveller like Lonely Planet/Rough Guide/Let's Go?
stewart_life is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2011, 03:38 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,537
RS's planning book has budget tips, but he has gone progressively upmarket, and these days his actual guide books are targeted more at mid-range American travelers, NOT budget travelers. He may have one or two cheaper recommendations for hotels, but in general I find his recs too pricey these days. That said, his transport and sightseeing tips tend to be good, for the places he covers.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2011, 04:27 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 57
One alternative for your planning is www.tratoz.com, this site give you by destination or travel topic links to the best travel reference on the web: Fodors, the local travel office etc.
Minogami is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 18th, 2011, 09:18 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 9,269
I'll chime in for Rick Steves - he is excellent if you are interested in "highlights" and he has good food suggestions. Also little maps of major cities and tips for public transportation. That said, if you are driving I wouldn't use Rick Steves.

I always buy the Rough Guide for wherever I'm traveling - I think they have the best writing, and more details (especially helpful if you're driving).
spcfa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 18th, 2011, 09:54 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,537
"he has good food suggestions" - you really think so? Even Rick himself wouldn't claim to be any kind of a foodie. His restaurant recommendations are one of his weak points.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 18th, 2011, 10:08 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 9,269
Ok, let me qualify that. I use Frommer's when I need fine dining recommendations - they never fail. But Rick's books are good for quick no-frills lunches and help you find a good simple local place for dinner. You're right, thursdaysd, he's NOT a foodie. But for just being on the road, trying to get through the capital cities with a minimum of guide books, I still think Rick Steves is the one I'd bring if I could only have one. He's more about the local experience.
spcfa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 20th, 2011, 06:42 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 55
Hi, I checked some Rick Steve's books in bookstores again, and see that they provide very few of budget options, unlike Let's Go or Lonely Planet. But in terms of explanation, practicality, and how to, I think they are really good.
stewart_life is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 3rd, 2011, 06:06 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 978
If you can afford an iPad, downloading iBooks saves a lot of weight! I did this last trip and it was very beneficial - we even changed our plans whilst on holiday to include a new destination and simply downloaded a new Lonely Planet the day we arrived.
ozgirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 3rd, 2011, 08:37 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,537
You don't have to have a iPad to do that, I download LP chapters to my netbook. But I still find paper books easier to use - and I'm not going to walk round town carrying a iPad!
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 6th, 2011, 06:37 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 55
Although I have the chapters on my netbook, that's only for planning before departure or in the hotel. I prefer having the real book when walking around town

Btw, I love Fodor's itinerary suggestions for 1 day, 2 day, 3 day in this website! Very helpful.
stewart_life is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:50 PM.