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Lonely Planet Western Europe 9th Ed.: 9th edition [Paperback]

Lonely Planet
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009 Lonely Planet Western Europe
Lonely Planet has been exploring every corner of Western Europe for almost 20 years. Our 9th edition will help you find the best on offer in this region of food, wine, culture and landscapes - whether exploring the steep streets and enticing boutiques of Lisbon, getting your adrenalin pumping in Interlaken or relaxing with a pint in Killarney. Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip. In This Guide: a full color chapter with expert tips on the best food, landscapes and culture, 5 Inspiring itineraries, including a tour of Europe's hidden gems, and travel arrangements made easy with transport planners in every chapter.

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Best for curious and independent-minded travelers' --Wall Street Journal
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

LONELY PLANET aims to cater for every independent traveller, whatever the destination, whatever the style of travel and whatever the phase of the journey.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I have chosen to rate 6 guides for Europe. I think there are a variety of guides. In general there are four "layers" of detail in the books on the market. There are the (1) Europe guides (reviewed here), (2) the single country guides, (3) the city guides and then (4) a variety of specialty guides such as Eurail rail guides, hiking, budget Europe, camping, restaurants, wine country, mountains, gay and lesbian guides, etc. At my bookstore there are 3 large racks of books on Europe. I have selected 6 of what seems to be the best selling guides or guides that I thought might be of general interest, and gave them my own personal ranking - just for category (1) - Europe overview. Five are very popular, one less so.
What I am looking for is a quick overview - not every tiny detail. Europe is too big and you should by a guide on France if you are going mainly to France. I think the books with photos are better since they allow you to get a better idea of the places that you might want to visit - while you plan the trip. A picture is worth 1000 words. So one might want to buy the guide before calling a travel agent.
First Choice - Good Pick
Eyewitness Europe by DK - $21.

It is 800 pages long and ranks about 11,400 on the Amazon.com sales ranking. It has all the basic stuff such as maps, food guides, accommodations, places to see, travel tips, culture, museums, history, etc. plus it has outstanding visuals. Many excellent color photos and maps. It is a good introduction and overview and makes for a beautiful souvenir. Just an outstanding and beautiful book.
Second Choice - Good Pick.
Michelin The Green Guide - Europe, 2e - $14.

This is not a popular book on Amazon.com. It rates a distant 344,544 on the sales rank and is just 540 pages long.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
129 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're going to LOVE EUROPE! Sept. 23 2004
By Richard R. Carlton - Published on Amazon.com
I've been to Europe >50 times, nearly all countries. Here are my reviews of the best guides to meet you r exact needs.....I hope these are helpful and that you have a great visit! I always gauge the quality of my visit by how much I remember a year later......this review is designed to help you get the guide that will be sure YOU remember your trip many years into the future. Travel Safe and enjoy yourself to the max!

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet has City and Out To Eat Guides. They are all about the experience so they focus on doing, being, getting there, and this means they have the best detailed information, including both inexpensive and really spectacular restaurants and hotels, out-of-the-way places, weird things to see and do, the list is endless.

Rick Steves' books are not recommended. They may be an interesting read but their helpfulness is very poor. They don't do well on updates, transportation details, or anything but the first-time-tourist routine and even that is somewhat superficial on anything but the mega-major sites.


These are time tested guides that pride themselves on being updated annually. Although I think the guides below provide information that is in more depth or more concise (depending on what the guide is known for), if your main concern is that the guide has very little old or outdated information, then this would be a good guide for you.

Blue Guides

Without doubt, the best of the walks guides.... the Blue Guide has been around since 1918 and has extremely well designed walks with lots of unique little side stops to hit on just about any interest you have. If you want to pick up the feel of the city, this is the best book to do that for you. This is one that you end up packing on your 10th trip, by which time it is well worn.


MapGuide is very easy to use and has the best location information for hotels, tourist attractions, museums, churches etc. that they manage to keep fairly up to date. It's great for teaching you how to use the public transportation system. The text sections are quick overviews, not reviews, but the strong suite here is brevity, not depth. I strongly recommend this for your first few times learning your way around the classic tourist sites and experiences. MapGuide is excellent as long as you are staying pretty much in the center of the city.

Time Out

The Time Out guides are very good. Easy reading, short reviews of restaurants, hotels, and other sites, with good public transport maps that go beyond the city centre. Many people who buy more than one guidebook end up liking this one best!

Let's Go

Let's Go is a great guide series that specializes in the niche interest details that turn a trip into a great and memorable experience. Started by and for college students, these guides are famous for the details provided by people who used the book the previous year. They continue to focus on providing a great experience inexpensively. If you want to know about the top restaurants, this is not for you (use Fodor's or Michelin). Let's Go does have a bewildering array of different guides though. Here's which is what:

Budget Guide is the main guide with incredibly detailed information and reviews on everything you can think of.

City Guide is just as intense but restricted to the single city.

PocketGuide is even smaller and features condensed information

MapGuide's are very good maps with public transportation and some other information (like museum hours, etc.)


Famous for their quality reviews, the Red Michelin Guides are for hotels & Restaurants, the Green Michelin Guides are for main tourist destinations. However, the English language Green guide is the one most people use and it has now been supplemented with hotel and restaurant information. These are the serious review guides as the famous Michelin ratings are issued via these books.


Fodor's is the best selling guide among Americans. They have a bewildering array of different guides. Here's which is what:

The Gold Guide is the main book with good reviews of everything and lots of tours, walks, and just about everything else you could think of. It's not called the Gold guide for nothing though....it assumes you have money and are willing to spend it.

SeeIt! is a concise guide that extracts the most popular items from the Gold Guide

PocketGuide is designed for a quick first visit

UpCLOSE for independent travel that is cheap and well thought out

CityPack is a plastic pocket map with some guide information

Exploring is for cultural interests, lots of photos and designed to supplement the Gold guide
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because you will want their advice Jan. 15 2008
By Rachael R. Kenney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just got back from visiting 8 countries in three weeks and this book came to my rescue many times. I'd recommend making photocopies or pulling out the pages for your trip so you do not have to lug the whole book around. This was a great way to get an idea of what to plan to see (the cities in two days boxes are really helpful to make a plan and the food recommendations are great (the prices are super helpful). I will definitely buy an updated version of this book if I ever do a similar trip!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this needs to be in your backpack May 22 2007
By P. Craig - Published on Amazon.com
Complete, detailed information about most places the typical eurail traveller will go. I'm in the middle of a four week trip through Europe and have found it to be valuable. You don't need a book to help you find a party.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Preparation You'll Do! Aug. 11 2007
By Kiwi Flyer - Published on Amazon.com
We have now completed three trips of Europe and Great Britain - all of which were fantastic, mainly because of the knowledge this book brings you. The ability to be able to be able to budget properly, know the good and bad parts of town and the true highlights of a location makes it worth every cent. Nothing really goes out of date either so even after a couple of years, it is still a very useful book to have and one that I would highly recommend taking with you (instead of those three shirts that you'll never wear!). Obviously you have to chose what suits your tastes and budgets but this book gives you the best arrangement of options available in any one location. We haven't been disappointed yet.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite complete Feb. 20 2005
By merrymousies - Published on Amazon.com
We're getting ready to go on a trip through Europe and picked up this book to help in our planning. Its 2" thick so it's a pretty big book but also covers all the main cities. One-page maps are provided which is nice to have before arriving in a new place. It has attractions, museums, walks, places to stay that range from the hostels to pensions and smaller hotels. Having traveled through Europe as a teen using the Let's Go series, I figured this is the next step - good adventures off the beat path but nt roughing it quite as much as I did 25 years ago. Excellent resource!
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