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Guide books to Take for Europe Trip

Hi All,

My wife and me are traveling to Europe this April.

We will be going to below places.
- Rome.
- Florence.
- Pisa.
- Venice.
- Como.
- Bellagio.
- Lucerne.
- Interlaken.
- Zermatt.
- Zurich.
- Strasboug.
- Colmar.
- Paris.
- Brussels.
- Bruges.
- Mont Saint-Michel.

We already bought these books
- Rick Steves' Pocket Rome.
- Rick Steves' Pocket Venice.
- Rick Steves' Pocket Paris.

We are also planning to buy these books
- Rick Steves' Switzerland
- Rick Steves' Pocket Florence or Lonely planet Pocket Florence and Tuscany (appreciate advise on which would be a better choice)
Please advise us on which other books would be a good addition.

Posted by
5697 posts

Guidebooks weigh a LOT when you carry a whole book for each location -- consider e-books !

Or photocopy relevant pages of bigger books and only carry the needed pages. This requires that you determine what you want to see in each location, not a bad idea for planning your trip.

Posted by
2252 posts

Hi, CHAN. I can't tell from your post if you and your wife have been to Europe before. If not, I recommend getting a copy of the Rick Steves basic travel Europe book, Europe Through the Back Door. It is full of basic information that's particularly useful and pertinent for first time travelers. I still like it re-read sections referring to places I'm planning to visit as a refresher. Laura B has given you excellent advice re copying pages and downloading books of interest to lighten your load. Lots of books can = lots of weight to cart around. I know you'll have a wonderful trip whether this is first or twentieth time you've been. You'll be visiting some wonderful places! Have fun!

Posted by
3210 posts

Then there's Rick's suggestion of tearing out and stapling only the pages you need.

Posted by
16894 posts

I would go ahead with your plan to purchase Rick's Switzerland and Pocket Florence books. That leaves these destinations:

  • Como.
  • Bellagio.
  • Strasbourg.
  • Colmar.
  • Mont Saint-Michel.
  • Brussels.
  • Bruges.

Frankly, I would have started with the big France and Italy books and cut them up. But in case you don't want to do that now,
Rick has a few "Snapshot" books that you may not be aware of, including for Normandy and for Milan and the Lakes, available in both Kindle and paperback editions. These are actually just chapters drawn straight from the bigger France and Italy books. Note publication dates. They still cover more than just your listed destinations. For instance, the Mont St-Michel section could be photocopied on just 9 sheets of paper (or 4-5 double sided) if you find a copy at the library, and just a few more pages for the mid-Lake Como info. I don't see a snapshot for Strasbourg and Colmar and that chapter is longer to photocopy. Also no Snapshot for Brussels and Bruges, but we have a book for Belgium.

I do recommend Rick's Florence Pocket over the Lonely Planet, especially if you like the books you have already. For the other areas, rather than the Snapshot format that Rick's publisher uses, Lonely Planet has the option of buying PDF versions of single chapters from any of their guidebooks (print at home and/or store on a tablet); see and drill down to the chapter you need.

Posted by
8 posts


Thank you all for your advices. I will probably take out what I need from the books as suggested. I will look into the other books as well as the kindle or tablet version

Posted by
380 posts

If you have access to a copy machine at work, you could cut out the pages you need, scan them, and put the resulting PDF on a tablet. I suspect you could even do this at a copy shop.