So I have been amassing quite a collection of travel books (and reading even more). Some of my favourites had to be the Rick Steves series. I’ve read three of them, pretty much cover to cover.
Rick Steves Europe Through the Backdoor – I felt like this was a must-read for a first time Europe traveller (especially if you’re going on your own). It was mostly full of travel tips and hints, and less about specific places. This is a book to borrow from the library, rather than buy. And it’s not really the most appropriate book to take with you.
Rick Steves Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveller – Art aficionados or historians seem to dislike this book, as it simplifies a pretty complex history, but I thought it was fantastic! A lot of the history I was already aware of, but the part I loved was how the history related to the different periods of art and architecture. I also just borrowed this book from the library, but I ended up making a big list of where some of the most famous (or at least some of my favourite) art pieces are.
Rick Steves Best of Europe (2007) – This one is a very personal, opinionated look at several places. It is definitely not all-encompassing: it only focuses on certain cities or areas that they chose as the “best”. Within those cities though, it goes into great detail about what they really think is the best. My favourite part of this book had to be all the walking tours and simplified maps. It is also a nice read. I will definitely be taking this book (at least the chapters on the places I’m heading).