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Rick Steves' London 2012 [Paperback]

Rick Steves , Gene Openshaw
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.95
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Book Description

Sept. 6 2011 Rick Steves' London
You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you "really" need to know when traveling in London.
With the self-guided tours in this book, you'll explore historic Big Ben, bustling Trafalgar Square, and the Tower of London--home of the crown jewels. Learn how to save time and money on the Tube, and how to avoid the mobs at the Changing of the Guard. Investigate London's world-class museums, where you can trace Western civilization from the Magna Carta and Shakespeare to Van Gogh and Picasso. Venture into Soho's theater district for a glitzy musical or a delicious Indian dinner. End a great day at a neighborhood pub, sharing a pint and a chat with a friendly local.
Rick's candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants in delightful London neighborhoods. You'll learn how to get around by bus and on the Tube, and which sights are worth your time and money. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book! May 5 2012
By Mary
Format:Paperback
My husband and I did our first month long European solo tour 4 years ago, and after checking out lots of guidebooks to plan our trip, Rick's were the only books we took with us. All of his guide books are well organized and contain all the information you could ever need from accommodations information, to all the information you need about major and minor sights in each city, useful phrases in foreign languages, transportation information, cultural differences to be aware of, how to seek medical help if needed, self-guided tours of cities and major sights, and even a history section at the end of the books that help you better understand the place you will be visiting, in terms of world history. And so much more.

Regarding the London book specifically, we are currently planning our third trip to London, and we are using Rick's 2012 London book to do so. As it has been for each of our past trips, this book is invaluable. Looking for a good place to stay? Rick has numerous recommendations, organized by neighbourhood and price range. Want a bite to eat, but having a hard time choosing between the never ending options available to you in this amazing city? We've never been unhappy with a restaurant he's recommended (again, all organized by neighbourhood & price range). Not sure how best to attack this enormous city in your short stay? Rick has suggested itineraries for different lengths of stay, with all the information you could ever want about each sight. This books has all the information you need to have a fantastic time in London.

As for the opinion of the other reviewer who gave this book only 2 stars, I think his claims that Rick "bashes" British people and/or their culture is absolutely preposterous, but I think I might see where it comes from.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drop The Attitude March 4 2012
Format:Paperback
We travelled to London this winter and used Steves' book and the Insight brand of travel book. We chose Rick's because it was well laid out with well-chosen highlights and good self-guide sections for the major attractions. He does know his business well (and his researchers did their job).

But what irritated me was his petulant sniping at the British, either as it pertained to their character or their traditions. Americans have a love-hate relationship with the Britons; they feel superior and inferior to them at the same time. They don't understand the monarchy and its relationship with its people through history and Rick is no exception. He would make ingenuous generalizations about things he couldn't know one way or the other. For example, he was talking about the art in the great houses in the UK and said the only art the aristocrats knew about were portraits of themselves. That's just silly! I am sorry the little fellow is so insecure about the nobles of England that he must resort to taking such cheap shots. Did he interview a handful of them and found their knowledge of art wanting?

There are other such examples that reveal a very childish attitude toward the British and its institutions. He is probably writing this book for the American public and to perpetuate these negative stereotypes as he does reveals a petty and stunted approach to life. I never see him take this snide attitude to other people and places of Europe on his television programs. So I guess he just has it in for the British. His half-baked and sophomoric attitude toward them was extremely annoying. My advice to him is to drop the personal invective and lowbrow opinions, probably instilled in him by his Daddy, or don't continue to put out a London edition.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very thorough Dec 28 2011
By Jon E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just returned from a trip to London, and this book was extremely helpful. I started reading it more than a month before traveling. Of course it discusses parts of the city to visit, and specific restaurants and hotels - and it does that very well, and very thoroughly. But it also is an excellent resource in terms of educating about cultural issues - differences in habits (e.g., how the Brits drink their beer) and glossary of terms that Brits use that are different from how Americans use them. It also gave extremely helpful information about traveling, such as how to use cash, issues with credit cards, using the Tube, getting around and from the airport, etc. It was an extremely helpful resource.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Buying! Feb. 17 2012
By mkel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rick Steve's travel books are worth every penny! His books seem very well-researched and are very easy to navigate -- this London edition is no exception. Chock full of information without being overwhelming. I appreciate his reviews of places to eat and stay the most -- he even goes so far to say "speak with so and so at this location for great service" or "this person at this place is an English speaking owner" (in the guides for non-English speaking countries, that is.), even sometimes giving a few word history on why/how the establishment was opened. Very personable. Food suggestions at restaurants/eateries and very honest details/tips on the sleeping arrangements at lodging establishments. I really enjoy his detailed "walks". He has a starting point and directs you exactly which direction to walk/turn, giving a very detailed history of the sites as you go. Also really helpful hints on when the best time to visit high traffic locations.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for first-time travelers! May 22 2012
By bluemoose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I took this book with me for my first visit to the UK from North America. Honestly, I didn't do a lot of research into things to do and see before I left, and I feel like I got a great experience from the suggestions in the book! I went through London twice and liked how there were suggestions based on how long you were staying (ex: what kind of transport/bus passes you should get) and what days of the week you were there. Even after almost three weeks total in London I still felt like there were plenty of new things to try!

I'm not from a huge city but got around fine with the transportation suggestions since the maps generally do a good job of providing you with multiple ways of getting to your destination. However, I did feel like some of the walking maps (particularly British Museum) weren't well scaled and kind of stretched or squeezed distances in some places.

I tried four of the restaurants recommended in the book and found that the descriptions were spot on in terms of price and quality! It was awesome to know where to find places that were affordable, good quality, and had good service. I will definitely be using this part of the book again when I return with friends.

In terms of accommodation, honestly, if you're reading this, you probably have the internet. You could use the book, but a book will never be as current or as thorough as a website with 100+ reviews from different demographics.

In summary this book was really useful whether I was planning a short trip or a long stay, and for my first and second visits. It does a great job of providing an interesting visit that's tailored to your interests and trip duration.
However, I would suggest looking up accommodations online, and consulting a local map at the tube station or bus stop instead of the book, if you can.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide April 13 2012
By Calla Lilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have used the Rick Steve's guides before and this one has the same great updated information on visiting the many London sights. I really liked the information on understanding tipping and other local cultural knowledge. This information will streamline my stay in London and surrounding areas, help me save money, and have less stress. Thanks Rick.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful March 15 2012
By Clair Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is easy to follow. I like the way the author repeats information, where relevant, so the reader does not have to keep turning backwards and forwards to get all the information required for a certain tour, for example.
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