Guide books come and go but Lonely Planet is one of the most respected brand guides and this new Barcelona pocket guidebook demonstrates why.
Physically it is 10.5cm W x 15cm L so you will need a rucksack or coat pocket to carry it in rather than trousers and it is probably medium in weight for pocketbooks. It is easy on the ey with plenty of good quality pictures and icons you can see at a glance that help you get the information you need quickly. At the back of the book comes a handy pull out detailed street and map for central Barcelna
The book is split into 4 sections:
- Quick Start guide
This covers headline information like the Top sights to see in a quick and easy way that explains a little about the sight and then directs to the actual pages to read further.
Barcelona life follows in this section which is for those who really want to experience the core basics of what the locals do -where they go, what they eat/drink and where. A Day Planner is suggested if you really don't know where to start covering key places to visit, where to have lunch/dinner and after dark entertainment. It's a 4 day guide that will ensure you sample local life.
Factual practical information follows covering before you go, getting around etc
- Explore Barcelona
This section shows on a map the key neighbourhoods and then directs you to pages of places to see, eat and drink within those areas. This is a useful section as it breaks the key tourist trails down into key sights in a day, where to experience local life, getting there, shopping, where to stop to eat/drink, hints etc etc. Areas are covered in bite size chunks of information over about 15 pages each and include street maps etc. The areas focused are La Rambla & Barri Gotic, El Raval, Camp Nou, Pedralbes & Sarria, Barcelonaeta and the beaches, La Ribera &Parc de la Ciutadella, Montjuic & poble Sec and Passeig de Gracia &L'Eixample.
- The best of Barcelona
As suggested this section focuses on the main highlights of the city in handly lists that help you plan your trip and get the most out of a few days visit. This covers good information under topics such as Best Architecture, Best Places to eat and drink, best beaches, best shops, best for gay/lesbian etc. There is a lso a dedicated section the food lover's guide which gives focused information on where to go to ensure you find what you are looking for with minimum fuss including Best Tapa's which has got to be gold dust information.
- Survival Guide
Pages dedicated to practical information covering transport, phrases, banks, emergencies, airports etc
This is the only practical pocket guide you need if you want to shortcut where to go and get all the core information you need in one simple to read book.