In the backpacking world, it feels like your choice of travel guide is your tribe. Are you a Lonely Planet lover or a Rough Guide kinda chick? Because it’s pretty rare that backpackers deviate from either of these camps. I mean sure I’ve flirted with DK for the odd city break but that’s about it.
So trying out a new guide series is always tricky. I mean, is this guide going to know what I like? Is it going to show me maps of the locations and give me good restaurant recommendations?
Well Marco Polo did a pretty good job.
For a start, it has those ‘summary’ type pages at the start of the guide that I always miss from the guides tailored more towards backpackers. I like to see in a snapshot what the place I’m visiting has to offer.
But don’t worry, backpackers are most definitely catered for by Marco Polo, with hostel recommendations as well as budget restaurant advice. The Berlin guide in particular will advise on the best place to get that €2.50 currywurst hit. Furthermore it even has a page departed to things you can do in the city for free! Always a winner.
Another plus is that much like the DK guide series, the book is in colour with pretty photos. Which I realise is not the most essential quality you’re looking for in a travel guide, but I just think it helps you get a vibe for the different areas and narrow down what you want to do.
Also, the Top Tips are also super handy as they seem more like tips you would read on a blog or hear from a fellow traveller rather than be published in a travel guide.
My favourite part of the Marco Polo guide however is the street atlas in the back of the book. I’ve realised from years of travelling that I am in fact a map geek. I just love them. I like getting my bearings in a new city and knowing my way around. And although my trusty Lonely Planet has mini maps of each destination, it pales in comparison to this in-depth colour street atlas. And the fact that this guide comes with a pull out map as well, just so I don’t have to log around a book, is the cherry on top really.
Although a drawback for backpackers travelling Europe is that obviously a guide for just one city isn’t very efficient. I think I would go for a travel guide covering more areas for a big trip. However, for a city break or a trip stopping at 2 or 3 locations, I think Marco Polo have given Lonely Planet and Rough Guide a run for their money…
You can get yours here for a thrifty £6.99, or on Amazon here – Berlin Marco Polo Guide (Marco Polo Travel Guides). Or if you want to hear more about my Berlin trip, check out How To Spend A Day In Berlin On A Budget. Safe Travels!