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I had never really used the Lonely Planet guide books before because I associated them with youth travel, hostels, 4th class trains, etc, and I'm used to traveling in a little more comfort... But something must have happened to Lonely Planet when I wasn't looking, because this guide to Germany is excellent. First rate. Aimed at all levels of travel and all types of travelers. Maybe they've taken most of the hotel recommendations out and made the book almost strictly why to go and what to see, it's better. I also like the size of the book - small enough to fit into a jacket pocket.
The maps are also first rate.
on 6 January 2012
This guide has loads of glossy pictures but little content. It is good for a general overview of the Country and not suitable for travellers who know little about Germany. Not recommended for independent travellers who will need more detailed information about the locations and services. Having been to Germany many times before, I mainly used it as a quick reference and loved the suggested itineraries. However, the geographical organisation can be confusing and many cities quoted have no corresponding map. I missed the details of the classic Lonely Planet guides where I can find more descriptions, anedoctes and curiosities (though less pictures). It is OK if one plans to be in an organised tour or uses separate literature on the locations he/she intends to visit, but for more in-depth experience, I suggest to stick to the classic guides.
on 22 August 2011
This guide was pretty useful. Since we were camping we didn't take advantage of any of the info regarding hotels and restaurants. However we were doing a road trip and had no itinerary or plans, this book was great for helping us find out what was there to see region to region. There were a few omissions such as the Stasi Museum in Leipzig being completely in German. Some of the prices given for museums or other attractions such as climbing the Tower at Cologne Cathedral were wrong, in the sense that the price given was for concessions or group prices. I was also disappointed to see that the Moselle Valley and Vineyards south of Cologne was not mentioned at all. We ended up there on a recommendation by a friend and it was beautiful and completely accessible by public transport and a wealth of places to stay. In all a nice book for an overview of Germany and places to go and visit.
on 24 July 2011
This book is like reading a magazine article, glossy pics and not much content. There is too little detail, and where there is detail it is about obscure areas. Ok if you are on a guided tour, but not for the independant traveller.
It was almost 40 years ago when two enterprising youngsters documented their overland trip across Asia, on their way from Australia to the UK. The route was dubbed, somewhat sardonically, "the hippie route," since at least a portion of those travelers were bound for "spiritual enlightenment" in India. "Across Asia on the Cheap" became an instant success, a reliable guide to many a backpacker. And if you didn't take that journey then, you probably never will, due to, what might be euphemistically phrased, the geo-political situation. The success of the book did spawn a different sort of travel guide, "Lonely Planet," which remains one of the most successful guides on the market, and an essential one, even for those who save their backpacks now for only 2-3 day hikes.
Forty years on, and the guides are considerably more upscale. There are color-coded, by area, and replete with photos and the all-essential maps. Discover Germany is divided into eight geographical areas, which include the two cities of Berlin and Munich. Roughly the last fourth of the book is devoted to a historical overview as well as the practical information on the country and its people which differentiate it in an increasingly homogenized world. There is a brief section on the outdoor life, reflective still of the series' origins.
The Germany guide is slimmed down considerably over some past offerings, and I suspect is an editorial concession to the Internet Age. In each area, the guide lists only two or three hotels or eateries, just enough to get you started. Of course, in the "real world," no guide can tell you the most vital piece of information: does the hotel have a vacancy for me tonight? Thus, since the ever changing aspects of food and bed availability are less likely to be utilized, they have been replaced, at least in part, with the invaluable personal experience of some noteworthy locals.
Germany rebuilt from the ashes of World War II; Germany now united for 20 years, with a vibrant Berlin, along with Leipzig and Dresden so easily available. And the country remains the financial anchor of Europe, as the periphery, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain seem to unravel, seeking bailouts. Lonely Planet's new edition is timely, and remains the one essential guide that will illuminate your travels. Another 5-star production.
(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on December 08, 2010)