Non Rick Steves Guidebook Assessment: 2006
There are a lot of guidebooks other than Rick's. What are some of your experiences using different guidebooks, positive and negative?
Enjoyed your guidebook on Italy. You should add info on CAF bus tours from Florence to Siena and San Gimignano and Pisa. Should also include info about historic Jewish Synagogues in Rome, Florence and other cities. Sincerely, Wendy Williams PS We loved the Lancelot Hotel in Rome and the Pucci Residenza in Florence.
Bethesda, MD USA Sun 12/31/2006
DK Eyewitness guidebooks rock!
As a very visual person into architecture and art, I love the DK Eyewitness series of guidebooks with all their pictures and images--it really helps me decide what I want to see when I am someplace (much more than just a written description), plus having a photo/drawing or neighborhood map really helps me find what I am looking for. I often will use the DK Eyewitness guidebook in conjunction with a more 'wordy' book such as Rick Steves or Time Out or For Dummies that provides a bit of background for the sight.
Northfield, MN USA Fri 12/29/2006
The more the better!
My husband and I have traveled to Italy five times in the last eight years, and I own 11 general Italy guides plus some regional ones. Rick Steves' book is the trusted "bible," but he doesn't go everywhere we want to go (Sicily, for example). In the newest non-Steves book I purchased I've already noticed two or three great tips that I've never seen in any other guidebook. I figure, on a trip costing $5,000-6,000 for two, a couple of priceless tips from a $20 guidebook that will help make planning or travel easier is well worth it. I've enjoyed the Fodor's "Exploring" books for deciding which places to visit in a new country, and the color foldout map in their Venice Citypack, along with Rick's book, was all we needed for five days in Venice. Interestingly, I don't enjoy the big fat Fodor's guides much.
Montrose, CO USA Wed 12/27/2006
other guide books
I agree with the positive comments on Karen Brown books and Alistair Sawday guides. We have had two negative experiences with KB but as a rule the accomodations in either of these guides are charming and quaint. Access guide books for cities are excellent and very current.
USA Tue 12/26/2006
Sources for Accommodations
I would like to put in a plug for Karen Brown's guidebooks for finding accommodations. Though the Travel Tips section of this site has rather snotty comments about them, we have used her guides extensively. We've never paid $150/night, more in the 48 to 80 euro range; and we've never had a bad experience. I can't say the latter about some of Rick's recommendations. Our other good source for lodgings has been the Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay series.
USA Wed 12/20/2006
Time Out: Good Choice for Urbanites
I often use the Time Out guides when I'm in major cities like Paris, Rome, and Berlin. The cheeky British humor makes them a light read. And the restaurant, hotel, and nightlife sections are usually on the money.
Time Out is useless for trips in the countryside, however. So, I supplement with Rough Guide and Lonely Planet as needed.
San Francisco, CA USA Tue 11/21/2006
Other Guide Books
I have traveled extensively without a tour group. I utilize three / four guide books: Steve's; Frommer's; Lonely Planet; and D&K. each gives a different perspective on the same attractions. All have given me wonderful insights.
NJ USA Sat 11/11/2006
Rough Guide - Germany
I ended up doing some unexpected touristing in Germany and used the only tour book of Germany in English that I could find in Budapest - the Rough Guide. It was okay, I guess. But I really missed Rick's really practical advice on finding things like Internet cafes, laundry, etc. So I guess the moral is "Don't Leave Home Without It" (Rick's book....)
Seattle, WA USA Fri 11/10/2006
AA Great Britain road maps
you will need these when traveling in Great Britain. I am currently traveling thru Wales, N. England and greater cotswold area. they have been invaluable to me. here in UK some gasoline/petrol stations sell them for about 3 GBP otherwise they can be abot 7GBP.they have all the detail nedded to drive here.
USA Fri 11/03/2006
Guides other than RS
Lonely Planet guide to St Petersburg Russia...latest edition (I think it was supposed to have been updated in 2005). Many of the entries for both Restaurants and hotels were outdated. The rest of the info was good and the recommendation included therein for Peters Walking Tours(...peterswalk.com) made up for other deficiencies. If you take one or more of the walking tours, try to get Alina as a guide (its difficult as she is a full time student).
San Leandro , CA USA Thu 11/02/2006
Frommer's Venice Guide
Do not buy or use this guide. The information is wrong in many cases. I noted at least two cases where the restaurant was placed in the wrong section of the city. The enclosed map is totally worthless.
Bainbridge Island, WA USA Thu 11/02/2006
AAA Spiral Guides
I used to like them for their beautiful illustrations, light weight, easy to handle spiral format, durable covers, nice maps (easy on the eyes, not too brightly colored), and fun trivia. Was very satisfied with their Barcelona and Florence books for previous trips. HOWEVER, (and I don't know if it's only on the Venice one or for other cities as well), they are NOT well updated. Even though the latest AAA Venice guide claims to be a "2006 edition," it is merely a reprinting of their 2002 version-- they didn't bother to check and update anything. For example, the La Fenice opera house, which everybody knows reopened with great fanfare years ago, is still said to be closed, with no completion date in sight.
Beware-- especially when ordering a book online-- it's never clear how recently it was written.
NYC, Sun 10/29/2006
Lonely Planet guides are all you need. Especially good for Hostels..includes extra comments about hostes and hotels and it's sometimes funny.
San Diego, CA USA Sun 10/29/2006
We like Cadogan guides for France and Italy. There are separate titles for each of many regions, and they have a great deal of detail about places that might appeal to travelers who are beyond the must-do's of neophytes.
For lodging, we like Alastair Sawday's guides (www.specialplacestostay.com) and Karen Brown's (www.karenbrown.com). While the latter lists many places beyond our budget, she also has many that are very reasonable. Being part of the medicare crowd, we like a level of comfort that some of R.S.'s listings don't offer. Since both series list only lodgings, you get many more possibilities than a comprehensive guide offers.
CA USA Sat 10/28/2006
for 40 years Frommers $ a day have seamed to hit my mark.
Bellevue, Wa USA Fri 10/27/2006
I've been supplementing the RS guidebooks with Rough Guide books to Italy, or Paris, or London. These books have good, detailed maps and lots of area info. They are weaker on lodging info than the RS books. A Rough Guide is good for several years because I don't use them for lodging or eating info, just area details.
USA Fri 10/27/2006
Rick's books are the best in terms of down to earth information, but I also use the Eyewitness Books. They have excellent diagrams, color pictures, and lots of information.
Woodstock, NY USA Thu 10/26/2006
I use a combination of Rick Steves and Let's Go travel guides. The Let's Go guides have lots of budget/backpacking accomodation options, including campsites and more hostels. They're great for anyone planning on roughing it the whole trip.
Florence, KY USA Wed 10/25/2006