Comprehensive Guidebook recommendations

I love Rick's books but they don't always cover as comprehensively most details of most locales as some other guides. I used to supplement Rick's guidebooks with Let's Go but they have declined significantly in recent years. Does anyone care to share what more comprehensive guides you may have found useful throughout Europe, particularly France, England, Germany, Austria geared toward budget travel?

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5278 posts

Use the Trip Advisor forums. You get good, up to date information from locals or destination experts that really know their area of expertise.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
2404 posts

hi, youre asking for the golden goose. noting is comprehensive especially if its written, in print, or on the web. things in this world change and sometimes fast. YOu can ask on here, but who knows if that information is the same as you want. i like RS books, but i will go to my Powells books (really large used/new bookstore in town) and go over what each has to offer and then buy it if necessary. I will also supplement my research with googling. like "things to do and see in ....". you can also try googling "ABC tourism" and see what happens. what i was told when i started traveling was that the "Lonely Planet" was suppose to be the "budget minded" traveler, then comes the RS series and then the Frommers. But that has been several years ago. you may want to be more specific on what "details" you want so others can help. like "budget travel"? what do you mean by that? in my opinion (imo) travel is not inexpensive! Yes, you can do it, but its not cheap. If you want to try and "share" your travel with someone, it could be, but who will do the "sharing"? If you mean "budget" by staying at Hostels, campgrounds, couches, rooms or whatever, you can google for that or use some lodging web sites. i believe you can even use Craigslist to look for room, but i personally wouldnt. traveling itself can be expensive. you can hitchhike, but you wont be on a schedule. There are busses,trains and such, but depending on how well you can work out your schedule, you may pay more if you wait till the last moment. again, if you could be more specific on what "details" you need, someoen maybe able to clear some things up. happy trails.

Posted by Rosalyn
1349 posts

I like the Cadogan guides for the precise reason that they do what you are asking for. We have enjoyed innumerable gems of places not covered by other guides, which I found described in my Cadogans. They have volumes for many different parts of France, Italy, and, I think, England. Unfortunately, little for Germany. Their lodging and restaurant recommendations run the price gamut. They don't seem to be in many bookstore; but if you look at Amazon's website, you can see what's available. Then you can order or have any bookstore order for you.

Posted by Kim
800 posts

I agree about Cadogan's. I'm a big fan of the (British) Rough Guides. I feel like they are better written to give a flavor of the country, and I like their listings too.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1616 posts

We exclusively use Rough Guides and Lonely Planet guides. I believe Lonely Planet has the best maps. When traveling in eastern Europe we also use Bradt guides. Also, we always have a folded sheet map of the area we are travelling in. Rail Map Euope is the best planning map for our purposes as it covers train routes in all of Europe or at least in that part in which we want to travel.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2355 posts

For a more encyclopedical overview of any European destination I love the Michelin (green) Travel Guides (it is NOT the same as the dining red guides). They are nowhere as nearly editorialized as RS books or even Lonely Planet. However, they provide a good list of what is in a place to see (museums, attractions, natural parks, architecture), a brief and fairly objective description of these places and they have impressive coverage. I don't use their star system (0-3) for cities and attractions as an endpoint at all. However, I like to browse the "Green Guide" as a source of ideas of places I might not know about, on a listing/pinned on map mode. Good thing: the "Michelin (green) Travel Guide" content, on its entirely, is available online for free and is integrated com Via Michelin maps... Awesome resource.