Tony Page's Book Recommendations
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
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
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
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.