Europe Travel Books
Europe Travel Books
- Time Out Guides - these are great for big cities that you plan on spending a good amount of time in (e.g. Naples). They tell you all the stuff that only locals know--like what clubs are hot when, what bars serve the best coffee, and which restaurants. They also have lots of interesting details about the history and culture of each city, thus making them a great read as well as being a great resource.
- Let's Go! - written by Harvard students, these guides are great for finding cheap but nice places to stay or eat: you almost can't go wrong with their "thumbs up" recommended listings. (For example, one contributor stayed in very nice rooms in the heart of Assisi and Florence for €20 and €30 a night, respectively.) Also, since the books are somewhat cheaply bound, it's easy to tear out the applicable pages for a specific trip (e.g. tear out the Tuscany section of their Italy book, or the Croatia section of their Europe book) so you can pack light.
- Rick Steves - these opinionated guidebooks, written with a sense of humor by the PBS travel star Rick Steves, are good for figuring out the "must see" stuff in each city or country, and explain why they are interesting/important. For example, Steves realizes that if you're visiting Paris, you probably don't have more than a week, so he tells you what he recommends seeing if you only have one day, or two days, or three days. Then, when you go to the Louvre, he tells you which art works he thinks are most important, with amusing and informative stories about why. While his guidebooks don't have very many restaurants or hotels (and they tend to fill up because he is now fairly popular), they are great for short trips. Also check out Rick's website and podcast for free information.
- Chowhound.com - Written for foodies by foodies, this site can help you find good restaurants in some of the more touristy towns.
- TheAncientWorld.net - Brief overviews and ancient maps that will help familiarize yourself with some of the past civilizations that have laid claim to the Mediterranean Region.
- Sacred-Destinations.com - Very broad website that contains information, pictures, and aerial maps of many different sites around the world. Not very concise if browsing for ideas of trips, but if you know where you want to go then it's great for looking up some interesting sites nearby.
- Wikitravel.org - A wiki focusing on travel; some of its pages can be very informative
- Slow Travel - A travel philosophy influenced by Slow Food, Slow Travel encourages people to stay longer in one place to get a sense of what it is like to live as a local. Slow Travel readers have posted a number of trip reports and tips for various places.
- Frommer's - Has placed many of their restaurant reviews and other travel tips online.