Some advice on which Spanish travel guide should you get and where to buy them
When my friends and clients want to travel to Spain, they ask me for advice on which Spain travel guide they should get for the trip and where to buy it.
The answer depends on what you hope to do in Spain and what your plan consists of while you’re here. Generally, I offer a few recommendations:
Lonely Planet Spain Travel Guide
I always travel with Lonely Planet guidebooks. The one devoted to Spain offers accurate information according to the different regions of the country: about getting there and around; about food and accommodations; about the main attractions; and about the nightlife and various aspects less known to the conventional traveller.
It also offers suggested tours, tips on the best season for travel, weather descriptions, maps and other kinds of practical information. You can find tips on seeking employment, studying Spanish and figuring the cost of your trip.
The most recent edition is dated March 2011, but the new edition will launch on March 5, 2013.
Moreover, the people at Lonely Planet know what it means to travel . . . to really hit the road. They know you won’t want to be lugged down with a heavy guidebook in your suitcase or backpack. That’s why they publish most of their guidebooks in PDF format. Plus, there’s the option of buying only the chapters that interest you.
Other Lonely Planet guidebooks for Spain are available:
National Geographic Spain travel guide
Sometimes one can sense that Lonely Planet guidebooks only have advice for backpackers and that some of the information is overly detailed. So, for a quick but effective overview, consider a guidebook from National Geographic, which offers a good picture of what to visit–and what to expect–in Spain.
National Geographic doesn’t focus on travel for the backpacker. You won’t get tips intended to make your trip as cheap as it can be, but instead you’ll get options that combine reasonable pricing and high quality.
Get ready to see sensational photos, maps and good historical context. However, due to the emphasis on quality in these publications, they are heavy.
Noational Geographic also offers guidebooks of Barcelona and Madrid
Michelin Green Guide
The Michelin Green Guide isn’t as complete as that of the Lonely Planet series, but it does offer high-quality tips and good recommendations for walking tours.
High-quality hotels and restaurants along with quick information on what to visit and what to expect.
What I like about Michelin guidebooks, is that they are big and have lots of information, but at the same time, they fit into your pocket.
I couldn’t find the book listed in their official website, but here’s the link if you’d like to buy it:
Rick Steve’s Spain travel guide
I like this guy’s books. I used to travel around Europe using the information they provided. I remember how useful it was when I first arrived in Prague on a train from Berlin, and I felt a bit lost due to my ignorance of Czech.
Rick Steves’ books are popular with those who like to travel but don’t want to break the bank doing it. However, even if you want to avoid youth hostels, the tips in Rick’s books are very useful, particularly if the destination country is generally unfamiliar to you.
The book includes a full-color fold-out planning map (14½” x 19½”), which includes all of Spain and Portugal and lists key driving distances on the front. At the back are city close-ups (with major sights) of Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Toledo and Lisbon.
Where to buy those Spain travel guide books?
Of course, you have different options for the purchase of travel guide for Spain. Here are some suggestions:
- I like to buy PDF or e-book versions instead of carrying the weight of a paper book. Try then at Amazon.com
- Buy them through their official websites
- All the guidebooks I’ve discussed are very popular, so they’ll be easy to find at your favourite bookstore.
Two of my favourite websites where to get very good price new books or second hand books are:
Both of them offer free delivery worldwide.