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Top 10 Spain travel guides 2019-2020
Are you planning a trip to the second most visited country in the world? Then maybe you should get a travel guide to make the planning and travel easier. Travel guides not only contain descriptions, maps and photos of the most popular destinations, they also include useful practical tips and even Spanish words and sentences. There are different types of travel guides: some are focused on a country, others just cover a popular destination, and travel guides can be in a pocket format to carry while traveling. Make sure that the kind of Spain travel guide you buy is adequate for your trip!
1. INSIGHT GUIDES POCKET SPAIN. Insight Guides
Pick this guide if you want a pocket travel guide that covers all the regions of Spain, with concise details on where to go, top 10 attractions, a planned itinerary for a week, and essential information of what to do, where to eat and sleep, and about the country, culture and history. Best choice for a guide to carry while travelling, and it includes a free ebook!
2. RICK STEVES BEST OF SPAIN. Rick Steves
Best-selling guidebook author Rick Steves publishes a travel guide with half the length of his Rick Steves Spain. This one is ideal if you plan a trip to Spain for a week or two. As all Rick Steve guides, he includes short itineraries in southern, northern and central Spain, advices on how to get the most of your time, best places to eat and sleep, and he includes maps and suggests side trips. It’s a great choice if you plan to visit Spain like a local and avoid tourist traps, in a week or two.
3. LONELY PLANET SPAIN. Lonely Planet
World’s number one travel guide publisher Lonely Planet offer an in-depth, +900 pages travel guide to Spain. It includes full color maps and photos, tips to avoid crowds and save money and time, hidden gems, best places to eat and sleep, and cultural insights. Like Fodor’s Essential Spain, Lonely Planet Spain includes all the major and lesser known regions to visit, except for Canary Islands. One of the most complete guides, ideal if you plan to visit Spain for several weeks or you plan to come to Spain more than once!
4. FODOR’S ESSENTIAL SPAIN 2019. Fodor’s Travel Guides
Local experts write an up-to-date and complete +700 pages guidebook for those planning the perfect trip to Spain. It includes full-color maps and photos and concise recommendations on what to see and experience, where to eat and sleep, nightlife, shopping, beaches, and more. Interestingly, unlike Rick Steves’ Spain and Best of Spain, Fodor’s include destinations such as La Rioja, Valencia, Balearic Islands or the Pyrenees, apart from popular destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid or Andalucía. You will only miss Canary Islands!
5. DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDE SPAIN. DK Travel
Comprehensive +600 pages travel guide that shows the best of Spain through full-color photos and maps and practical and concise information. Like other long guides, it’s not a pocket guide to carry while travelling, but rather to use to plan a multi-week trip or several trips to Spain. However, this one includes the Canary Islands! Good travel guide, interchangeable with those in-depth guides of Fodor’s or Lonely Planet.
6. LONELY PLANET POCKET BARCELONA. Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Pocket Barcelona is a handy pocket guide that offers useful practical tips on what to see, tourist traps to avoid, and what hidden gems are out there. There are pre-made itineraries, full-color maps, and recommendations on where to eat, sleep, go out and shop. Everything is covered, from the beaches of Barcelona to Sagrada Familia or the FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou.
7. LONELY PLANET POCKET MADRID. Lonely Planet
A concise travel guide of what to see and avoid in the capital of Spain, Madrid. As all Lonely Planet’s guides, you will find useful tips to save money and time, to eat and sleep, full-color maps and photos, and recommended itineraries. It covers the most iconic places of Madrid, including the park of El Retiro, the Royal Palace, Gran Vía, Plaza Mayor, or the gay neighborhood of Madrid, Chueca. What I like the most about this travel guide is that it includes the hidden gem of Spain, El Escorial, the royal palace-monastery from where King Philip II ruled over the vast Spanish Empire.
8. CAMINO DE SANTIAGO, CAMINO FRANCÉS: ST JEAN – SANTIAGO – FINISTERRE. Anna Dintaman and David Landis
If you want to make a pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), this is the best guidebook. It’s an up-to-date guide that covers the whole route, from the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela, while also covering the Camino Finisterre to extent the journey to Muxia and Finisterre. It includes essential information on transport, accommodations of each town, and cultural and historical information to understand the route that dates back to the 9th century Kingdom of Asturias. The authors even offer free GPS files!
9. BACK ROADS SPAIN. DK Travel
If you you are an adventurer that wants to visit remote hidden gems and discover the diversity of Spain, Back Roads Spain is the perfect choice. DK Eyewitness Travel proposes 25 themed drives, like “The Mudéjar Route”, “Cities of the Conquistadors”, “Don Quixote’s La Mancha”, or “Vineyards and Gothic Treasures”. Each drive last from one to seven days, and every drive includes detailed information to discover charming villages, local and regional traditions and food, and different activities. Practical information like the road conditions, length of each drive or parking information is included as well.
10. IBERIA. James A. Michener
Pulitzer Prize-winning James A. Michener proves that he is indeed an excellent storyteller. One can feel Michener’s passion when he talks about the history, culture, art, architecture and people of Spain. He includes conversations with people of all the places he talks about, although this book was originally published in 1968 so some things have certainly changed. Still, a great travel guide for those who want a truly immersive experience while visiting Spain.
Do you want more?
You can find more travel guides in the store of the website, including travel guides on other Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. You might also find useful to learn a bit of Spanish. If you are serious about it, check out the Learn Spanish language section of the store; for turistic purposes, you should get a copy of either Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary or the more complete Rick Steves version. To learn about the history of Spain, just listen to The History of Spain Podcast!