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I borrowed this book from a friend the other day and absolutely fell in love with it.  It is a rough travel guide type of thing; the first half is devoted to general information on things like eating, sleeping, and getting around in Europe; the second half is filled with amazing places to see in Europe that are much sweeter than the standard tourist traps.

The friend who I borrowed it from just used it in Italy and said that it saved his life over there.  It is absolutely packed with useful information.  It was so interesting that I ended up reading the entire thing straight through like a novel….what that says about me I don’t know, except that it is an amazing book and if you’re planning on going to Europe or are even interested in it, you should buy, beg, borrow, or steal (not really the last one) Europe Through the Back Door.

There was information on planning your itinerary, places to see and avoid, times to go, how to act, where to eat, how to get around when you don’t speak the native language, how to get good, cheap hostel/hotel rooms, and so much advice that you can only get from someone who has been there a thousand times.

The best part is that the author, Rick Steves, actually has a sense of humor and can write well.  This is always a refreshing change after thousands of guidebooks that sound as though they were written by someone who didn’t know how to laugh.

It’s updated every year or every few years, too, so you can always have an updated edition.  It’s definitely more than just a guidebook.  I would recommend this book as a suplpement to any more location-specific guidebooks that you are buying for your trip.  No matter where you go in Europe, you will find useful information in here.  I give it five thumbs-up burritos for simple amazingness and usefulness.

Now I can’t wait to go try it out in Europe myself.  Oh, for the day…



May 2008
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