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Tony Page's Book Recommendations

You'll notice that I've started off by suggesting several Eyewitness Guides as the most useful books to get.

That's because this website is aimed mainly at people who travel for two to four weeks on organised tours or who choose to organise their own itineraries at a similar level, rather than backpackers who can travel for months (and yes, I've done that too!).

The Eyewitness series is particularly strong visually, with great 3D drawings and useful maps. Although they do have details of restaurants and hotels, the main emphasis is on showing and describing the things you're seeing, with excellent coverage of tourist sights. I've used, for example, Lonely Planet books on many of my travels, but they're not designed to give in depth visual information on tourist sites - partly because of weight requirements!

Eyewitness guides often come with a matching "TopTen" guide. These pick out a top ten recommendations in each field, eg hotels, restaurants, shopping, sights and can be a useful companion or alternative to the bigger guide. On the whole, I've found them reasonably up-to-date (things don't change THAT fast in Europe) and definitely lighter to put in your pocket. Combined with a general country guide this is the way to go for a multi-destination trip.

Some AA (UK Automobile Association) books are almost as good as the Eyewitness ones, possibly better from a driver's point of view, but they are only puchasable in the UK, so to start with I've concentrated on more easily accessible options.

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