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4.7 out of 5 stars78
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 November 2012
This was another book I came across in Blackwell's and occupied me through my morning coffee. I find it quite hard to review - partly of course because I haven't actually taken it to an unknown city and used it - but also because it covers some places that I know quite well and where I would have written the guide differently.

The concept is excellent - a short schedule for a 36 hour stay in various cities in Europe - conveniently arranged by general area and then grouped by country.

The general descriptions are good and you can't quarrel with what they recommend you spend your time on - the Oxford one was not bad atall I thought - although I would dispute some of the food recommendations but other than that they hit the highlights. Bologna was OK; Venice I wasn't so keen on. And I think it is because the time is short they are concentrating on seeing all the key sites and missing some of the real pleasures in the cities which you find by accident as you wander around - the serendipitous discoveries.

This is particularly marked in the Amsterdam account - I know the city reasonably well and I guess I would have written it entirely differently. But that reflects my own preferences for sightseeing I guess - not ticking off the 7 must sees and moving on.

Not meant in any negative way but it is a very American guide and lacks - on the whole - quirkiness. But it certainly serves a purpose very competently. So if you really want to ensure you have spent your brief time seeing what you HAVE to see then it is probably excellent.

I would have liked more alternatives - but I suspect that would just have undermined its core purpose as a guide.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 June 2013
"36 Hours: Europe" is an amazing book which covers almost all European destinations that are worth-visiting for a short mini break. The whole point of it is that you are offered a popular tourist destinations with the top ten or so points of interest to visit and, so to say, tick off your list. Of course, this guide is no way comprehensive and if you are looking for quirky places and unknown and hidden from the general tour mass spots, this won't be your ideal guide. I think not even a separate standing guide-book with 200+ pages devoted to one city could cover everything worth seeing and visiting, and as the cities are living and breathing organisms, they constantly evolve, new places appear while old ones close down, and sometimes you find yourself in an amazing church/spot/location/bar/restaurant/attraction of the city by pure chance, lucky enough to get to one or another pop-up attraction that won't be there in a couple of months. I don't think it is fair to blame this book for lack of description of such IT places.

But this tome serves its purpose well. "36 Hours: Europe" covers long established points of interest together with the best and the most popular eateries and bars. This is, ultimately, the only guide book you will need for all your short breaks away in Europe. It is cleverly divided into sections and loads of cities are covered. Besides, it is beautifully made with cloth covered cover and thick pages and rainbow for bookmarks.

I used "36 Hours: Europe" for a weekend in Paris, a long weekend in Edinburgh and a weekend in Porto and was not disappointed. The short time limit makes it difficult to follow even limited points of interest mentioned in the book.

The only disadvantage of this book is its size. It is huge and heavy and simply too big to take with you on a trip, especially if you are travelling with a hand luggage only (I had to photocopy a few pages for each city I visited and take those with me instead of a book). But it makes a great coffee table book and a point of talk with your friends. "36 Hours: Europe" also served a great inspiration for trip-planning - it is an amazing tool for daydreaming, too!

I got it as a present, but would definitely buy it myself. Highly recommended! I will be also checking out The New York Times, 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada and The New York Times 36 Hours: USA & Canada, West Coast (36 Hours (Taschen)) to complete my collection.
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on 28 December 2013
A really lovely book full of inspiration and tip bits for lots of beautiful cities around europe- amazing photos to go with it so you can get a sense of each city
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on 26 August 2014
Nice book, but slightly dated looking, especially the pictures.
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on 13 April 2014
Very good, it has lot's of good suggestions and not always mainstream. Not your ordinary traveling book, but it's better than that
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on 29 July 2015
I bought this as a present and I am really impressed to say the least. The book is split into the five sections of Europe, within that are pages full of city break ideas. Every section begins with an illustrated map of that area- not only is this book informative, it's really quirky and different. Cannot recommend enough!
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on 3 February 2016
A great compilation of itineraries for your travels around Europe. They aren't always for the budget traveller however, they do usually cover all the essentials of the places they recommend.
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on 8 December 2014
This was a gift for a friend. On talking to his wife she said it was on his bedside cabinet which he loved reading every night, so it speaks for itself, an excellent buy!
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on 8 March 2015
A fantastic thought provoking and motivational guide. The format is excellent and takes all the guess work out of a trip. A great buy if you like travelling.
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on 4 April 2015
A really excellent book - not the sort you would take with you on your travels but perfect for choosing a short break from. I would highly recommend!
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