Best Travel Guide Books I Recommend

I’m often asked to recommend books – as I love reading – so a good place to start is the best travel guide books I recommend.


Who publishes the best travel guide books?

** Travel guide books are a very competitive market sector, and often publishers don’t print new editions every year. Series go out of print, so make sure the book you’re checking out is the latest edition, as things change fast!

Best Travel Guide Books I Recommend

Best Travel Guide Books I Recommend – a few of my favourites!

Not For Tourists are amazing books, and would be my first choice for best travel guide books – especially in America. Their forte is to split the city into specific areas, each with its own clear, easy to read map highlighting ‘insider’ favourites. For 2017, they will cover Brooklyn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.

Lonely Planet are perhaps the best publisher overall, as they offer several series, each with a different focus. Country guides, Discover guides, Best of guides, on a Shoestring etc.

Fodor’s, Frommers, Brandt and Rick Steves are terrific books covering most popular countries and cities, and I like them because they are extremely detailed – often in full colour – with great neighbourhood listings.

Time Out and DK Eyewitness books tend to represent the data in a ‘listings’ style, as in their popular city-specific magazines.

The best travel guide books are generally split in 4 distinct types:-

Detailed Guides

Often covering a country or city – e.g. Not For Tourists, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Fodors Essential, Rick Steves

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Pocket Guides

A smaller, more concise book with less detail, usually a city or area – e.g. Rough Guides Pocket Guide, Lonely Planet Best of,  Frommers Easy City Guide, Lonely Planet Discover, Time Out Guides, DK Eyewitness, Rick Steves Pocket

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Budget Guides

Focussed at budget travel, backpackers etc. – e.g. Lonely Planet on a Shoestring

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List Guides

Very brief list-based guides e.g. best museums, best restaurants, best kids’ activities etc. – e.g. Time Out Shortlist, DK Top 10

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Note: links are either Kindle or paperback, although I prefer paperback books for travel books. Non-electronic books offer more space for writing notes, keeping papers tucked in and there’s no need to worry about keeping charged up etc.

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For other Books I Recommend, please also check

  • Inspirational Travel Books
  • Business Books
  • Self Help Books
  • Novels

**note: this article was originally published 6th November 2016, but has been rewritten to reflect latest travel guide books

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