So you are heading to Edinburgh and want to buy a guidebook before you arrive? I look at a few of the most popular below and tell you what I like, and don’t like, about each.
I review the 3 most popular Edinburgh guidebooks on Amazon below;
Edinburgh Encounter (Lonely Planet Encounter Guide) – This is the most popular Edinburgh guide on Amazon and you can soon see it’s been written by someone who’s really been to the city’s attractions. The author’s opinions are accurate and insightful. I’d have to disagree with some of their recommendations for cafes and restaurants – not that they are bad recommendations, I just think there are better paces to eat, and cheaper. There’s little information on hotels and booking hotels, which is obviously an interest of mine. This guide would also be useful for those staying in Edinburgh for a lot longer than a few days as there’s so much in it. Go for the smaller version if you can – unless you have big pockets. The guide also includes a detachable map which is very handy.
Essential Edinburgh (AA Essential Guide) – I haven’t come across this book around Edinburgh much but it’s the second most popular Edinburgh guide on Amazon. I have used AA guides in the past and I find the Edinburgh guide follows a similar pattern. The guide is jam-packed with information about Edinburgh, it’s history and places to visit. It doesn’t have the same personality as the other 2 guides but it has everything you need. There’s the usual information about when to visit, how to get here, what to do and how to get about. I like the fact that there’s plenty of website addresses, very important for the modern traveller. There’s a list of the best things to see, which are obvious but essential if you are only here for a short while. Again there’s little information on hotels and where to stay. The mapping of attractions is very good, making them easy to find. which is important. This guide is compact, full of the right type of information and won’t let you down, but it’s not as inspiring as the others.
Rough Guide DIRECTIONS Edinburgh – I’m a practical person so I like the fact that The Rough Guide is a good compact size and easy to carry about. It’s been many years since I read a Rough Guide and I was expecting to be faced with loads of tips for backpackers and ideas on where to get cheap nosh. However, the Directions series of guides are aimed at travellers who are a little better off and who want to spend some money on themselves in their down time. The guide has a good selection of maps clearly detailing several of Edinburgh’s neighbourhoods. Yet again, there’s little on hotels or serviced apartments in terms of recommendations or facilities available. I enjoyed the history sections, the many photos and the ideas section for visitors – in fact, I’m going to steal a couple of ideas for myself and pass them off as my own. All-in-all, a great guide for the better off traveller.