Best travel guide book

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1. Posted by mired101 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Hi,

I'm going to Rome later this year and was wondering what would be the best guide book to buy?

I'm female, in my mid-thirties and travelling alone.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 774 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

IMO the backpacker guide books are easily the best.
There are a few different ones to pick from but my main 1 is usually either Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.

3. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 142 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I have always been partial to Rough Guide, Moon and Lonely Planet - not necessarily in that order. Some of those brands have city-specific guide books, so you don't need to lug around a 1000-page book on Italy. Or perhaps you will be using an e-version?

The best for Rome, or anywhere? What is your travel style? Budget? Luxury? Quirky and off the beaten path?

I always find the hotel and restaurant parts of any guide book to be the least useful. There is so much more practical information (public transport, culture, history, habits and customs) to learn from guide books. All in all, they are a great resource.

Just make sure you find your own piece of Rome along the way! Those hidden gems you stumble upon yourself are the best!

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Mar-2019, at 13:18 by road to roam ]

4. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 645 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

A third vote for the Rough Guides.

I too find the hotel/restaurant/shopping part of any guidebook of little use but I've always found the RG street maps and historical info excellent and really appreciate its tissue-thin (but very strong) paper. Lonely Planet guides come second: I don't feel their historical info is quite as good as the RG, especially with less-visited/off the beaten path places.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Mar-2019, at 13:12 by leics2 ]

5. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1477 posts) 6w 1 Star this if you like it!

I've given up using printed guides, I now mainly do my planning from Wikivoyage and Google Maps, just printing out the info I need.

6. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 142 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I've given up using printed guides, I now mainly do my planning from Wikivoyage and Google Maps, just printing out the info I need.

Good take on this, no matter your reason.

I often wonder how much longer printed guides will remain relevant... I prefer a tangible book to something I'd download or print up, but how much longer will printed guide BOOKS be a thing?

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Mar-2019, at 14:20 by road to roam ]

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 774 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

I always find the hotel and restaurant parts of any guide book to be the least useful

When I first started using them pre-interweb they were really useful and generally pretty accurate, but the vast increase in numbers of people travelling with these guides had an odd affect. Basically the little local places suddenly became overrun by backpackers and in many cases (but not all) either the owners decided they could lower the standard (whilst often increasing the price) of the accommodation and/or food for these unknowing foreigners or in many cases they sold out at top dollar to others who were only interested in money.
Then the interweb took hold and relatively up to date info was available on demand...

8. Posted by mired101 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Thank you everyone one.

I'd like to have an actual book to take with me and I'll need a map so I'll go with Rough Guide.

I'll also do some internet research.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I like the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides because they have little maps with pictures of the streets (sort of like Google Maps satellite views). They give some, but not a lot of information; however, it's easy to find that online before you leave. We usually take a Michelin Green Guide for the places we'll be going for more historical information.

I do a lot of research before the trip on Google Maps and local city and regional web sites and find that very useful. Many of these places now have phone apps that are useful as you are travelling.

The kind of book you choose depends on the kind of trip you want to take. I'd suggest going to a book store or library and looking through several different books and seeing what fits your travel style.

Enjoy your trip.

10. Posted by Skandinavisk (Budding Member 33 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Usually, I do most of my research before I travel, so I have an idea of what I want to see. Thus I somteimes travel without physical guidebooks.

When I do I first try to find RG (So another vote for that). Living where I live RG is not that available in the brick and mortar shops. They usually only have Lonely planet, which is an OK alternative.

I've sometimes ripped out the parts I wanted from the books. Especially if the area I'm visiting is only a little part of what the book covers. Like otheres here I usually don't use the restaurant parts of the book, prefering to walk a little around before settling on a restaurant. I seldom shop, so shopping part is prettymuch useless to me. I've probably allready booked a hotel, so hotel part is useless to me.

Basically the only parts I look for are the sights, local customs, transportation and festivals/events.

I usually don't go for the books that have a lot of photografs or drawings, finding them having less information. Maps are an exemption to this. I really like having lots of maps. Physical maps are also an alternative, even if I also use offline maps on my phone.

Other alternatives might be Blue Guide if you're into art. Disclaimer: I haven't seen one in years, so I don't know if they are in business anymore, or changed it's name.

A tip is: Don't forget to ask the hotel personell. If the hotell has been in buisiness a while they would have built up some information about the city their in.