Skip Navigation

choice of guide book?

Travel Forums Europe choice of guide book?

1. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 7y

ok for our upcoming vacation in czech and croatia- i was planning on picking up an eastern europe guide book. is there a diference betweent eh rough guides, LP and frommers? or any other suggestions?

prefer a book which has a good collection of budget deal as well.

thanks!

2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

It would be difficult to word a Post as such, that it avoids being a Promo Post, ie - advertising an individual publication.
Your safest bet is to go to your finest bookshop and browse through all of them. Best for you, isn't necessarily the best one in print for everyone else.
I've been doing Eastern Europe for many years (am in Bulgaria right now) and a travel book hasn't been my kit for such a long time.
However, for newcomers, they can be quite handy for finding a room for the night if you're in new territory (although I find asking a taxi driver at a bus or railway station more informed), or a good place to eat. Again, if you're in a big town though -a restaurant won't be far away.
I do (as a personal opinion - just that) think that travel guides are OK for a first visit, if you're a wary or insecure traveller. Otherwise, for me, thay have no use at all.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 7y

I always go for Lonely Planet guidebooks as I think they provide the most accurate and useful information, especially practical information such as border crossings, getting around, transport to and from the airport etc which I think is crucial, especially if you are a lone traveller. Although guidebooks such as Frommers may be lovely to look at and have good background info on places, I think they lack practical information which, as an independent traveller, is what you need most. Lonely Planet also have interesting sections at the beginning of their country guidebooks on the history, culture, arts, religion etc of a destination.

Lonely Planet and Rough Guides tend to cater more to the independent, budget traveller than Frommers and some of the others. I don't like the format of Rough Guides, but that's just a personal choice.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jun-2009, at 03:29 by bex76 ]

4. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 7y

@ redpaddy...

i know what you mean when u say guide books aren't useful. But typically, my trips are on constrained time. My vacations are at a stretch 2-3 weeks and the only luxury is within the 2-3 weeks to do things a little ad hoc. And that is why i like having a guide book around. so u have a quick reference at a point of indecision without having to hunt around or spend time going to the info center. I guess, i feel a bit more secure having a book around me.

having said that, the guidebooks which covers an entire country (like India for e.g.), when i saw it , i was very disappointed-given the lack of depth of information and only the cliched locations covered. so i am a little worried about buying an entire guide of Eastern Europe... :D however, i guess as a first time traveller - it may not be so bad after all.

@bex76

thanks - probably the LP then. unfortunately, the local book store doesnt stock a rough guide version of EE, so i may not be able to compare.

and what is a better idea - to buy separate country guides or a combined EE one? Also, any specific recomendation on eastern europe on a shoe string by LP vs. Easter europe by LP.

thanks a lot guys...

5. Posted by zaksame (Respected Member 571 posts) 7y

I use the 'inyourpocket.com' guides when I can. They're free and pretty informative.

6. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 7y

Every guide book is different in its tone and audience. Sure, they have the major attractions in common but for me the most valuable items are the smaller tidbits about each country that most interest someone like me. Some book are more about the places where younger people have fun, some lean towards the more mature traveller that's into nicer restaurants and museums. I think you should find a few and look them over to see if their interests match yours. Last summer, I was hosteling in Italy and Greece for a month and it was all about the party. So, instead of a Fodor's I got the MTV guidebook (and a couple others). People who don't like to plan don't like guidebooks. I, on the other hand, like to preplan what I'm going to do to make the most of my time and need to know when a place is open, when there is a festival, what attractions are close together and doable in a day, etc. Then when I'm there I'll ask people for more info and find secret places like the great little bar in Rome hundreds of years old and the walk through the houses of Manarola that ends in a 180 degree view of the Mediterranean.

7. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 7y

thank u guys for this feedback! may pick up the LP after all...

8. Posted by Wonkerer (Respected Member 592 posts) 7y

If it was me I'd probably pick up the LP Europe on a Shoestring. I found this book very helpful for basic information and helpful pointers. After that, my second choice would be the LP Eastern Europe guidebook. This will be a little more in depth, so just depends on exactly what you want . Either one should be helpful