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15 people found this helpful
Decent - But More Top Ten than Rough Guide
on 22 June 2011
I'm a big fan of the Rough Guides. I love the fact that many of them are still written by people with an obvious passion for the country you are visiting with a good eye for its quirks and amusing facets. I like the contexts section at the end so that references to the local culture or history don't faze you.
This book isn't like that. It is much more like Dorling Kindersley's Top Ten city guides. I've grown to like these too. They pack a lot of information in and have a certain cheeky charm to them (the history of an ancient town reduced to ten top incidents).
It starts - very strongly - with top fives of sights to see, places to eat, bars to visit and so on and some very good itineraries. These come illustrated with beautiful photographs. At the back there is a very handy pull out map which unfolds to give a clear lay out of the city.
There is some very helpful advice for getting around the city. I found its recommendations for restaurants, bars and places to go very good.
However, some of the prices were badly out. The cost of buying tickets on the Lisbon trams seems to have increased dramatically, for instance.
The guide seemed to lack something in terms of the detail that it gave to the various sights to see. I personally prefer the depth of the proper Rough Guides: they are informative and entertaining. And DK's Top Tens might be lightweight but they still manage greater space for their top places to visit.
Overall, however, I'd still recommend this: its size is a huge advantage when carrying it around, the map is very useful and the recommendations generally better and more helpful than the Top Ten's.