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Tourist guides: What are they for and how are they used?

Acquiring a tour guide is one of the best decisions when organizing your own trip. For this it is important to know how they are used and what their content is, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. We also show you the best guides in Spanish in the world.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

If you want specific information of a specific place, click on the destination of this list that interests you:

  • Barcelona
  • London
  • Madrid
  • malt
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • Seville

Advantages and disadvantages

Starting with the definition of a tourist guide, it is a printed or digital publication that gathers information of interest and usefulness for tourists about a destination, itinerary or geographical area. In short, they are books for the traveler.

These publications have numerous benefits. The main one is his utility, because it allows us to quickly know the destination we are going to visit, including maps and useful information. In short, with them we can know the world, plan our trip and even learn about history.

Another advantage is that today we can find them in different formats, adapting to our needs: in books, online, for mobile through app, audio guides, for e-books such as Kindle or iPad, etc.

There are even editions for children, encouraging them to know new places and introducing them to the world of travel. Some of the most prominent are made by Memolaviajar.com, Lonely Planet and Nordic Books.

However, we also found some inconveniences. One of them is its cost, since the quality ones usually have a high price. In addition, if it is an old edition, the information may be outdated and therefore will be useless or even harmful to our trip.

Tourists using a digital travel guide

A last damage is that if the guide is known, the advice and routes that it shows will be followed by enough people, and therefore it is possible that we only visit the most crowded places of the destination in which we are.

How are tourist guides used?

It is important to know how to use these books. You do not have to follow the default order of the publication, but you can read the sections that interest you most at all times.

Tour guides usually carry a index in which the sections of this one are indicated. Therefore, the best way to search is to use this section. In this way we find what interests us most directly.

If it is the first time you use it and you want to get a general idea of ​​the destination, it is best to first read the section on how to get there and how to move. After this, you can locate on the map the area in which you will be and the attractions that are close to it.

Once you have read information about the attractions that are in the area you are going to visit, you can spend some time in the tips section to guide you on where to sleep or in which restaurants to eat. This way you will have a complete and quick idea of ​​destiny.

What are they for?

The main function of a travel guide is to grant information about a place and thereby offer a kind of tourist assistance. In general, the data they contain is as follows:

  • Location
  • How to get
  • Migratory processes
  • What to see and what to do
  • Where to sleep and where to eat
  • Other information and recommendations

Thus, another of its functions is to advise or recommend, since the editor of these books has already been in that destination and knows what we can find in the places and establishments we visit.

There are different types of guides, which adapt to the taste of each traveler. Some of them explain how to travel with children or backpackers to a destination, others focus on the cultural aspects of the place, etc.

Backpacker guiding with a tablet

We can even find online guides of satanic and horror content, in which they show us places that appear in scary movies, as is the case of Thamesmead, the central London neighborhood of «The Orange Mechanic».

The best guides in the world

The most famous and recommended guides in Spanish by travelers are the following:

  • Globetrotter: are published by the Anaya Group and translated from the French collection Guide du Routard.
  • Lonely planet: began to be published in the 70s. You can buy them through Fnac, among other portals.
  • Carrefour: Your travel department makes some publications for free and to download from its website. They have a total of 28.
  • Michelin: under the name of The Green Guide They show the best itineraries and attractions. They also have thematic publications, such as caravan trips.
  • of God Editors: They have their origin in an Argentine family passionate about travel. They currently have more than 100 titles.
  • National Geographic: Diario Clarín collections, in Argentina, offers exclusive Spanish translations of this important entity
  • La Nación newspaper: Although this Argentine newspaper has not published guides, it does make very interesting tourism supplements for travelers
  • COPEC: The Petroleum Company of Chile has the Chiletur Guides. They are sold in some service stations in the country, although they also publish a lot of information on their website.

Some of these guides, such as Lonely Planet or National Geographic, are worldwide, that is, they have books of this type in English and other languages. Due to their fame, it is easy to get them second hand in numerous Internet portals.

Travel following a travel guide

Also, many tourist destinations such as Barcelona, ​​Seville or Madrid publish their own official editions in format of app (application) for mobile or tablet, so you can easily use them while touring the city.

If you prefer to use more original guides, Anaya Touring publisher has the collection Travel Inspiration, with which it aims to excite travelers in a different way. One of his books is titled The best destinations to observe the skies in Spain.

Recommendations for use

Although the information in the travel guides is usually very useful, we advise you not to follow it to the letter. That is, if during the trip you discover a place that does not appear in the book, it is advisable to experience it by oneself.

When using it, you should invest most of the time before traveling, so that you can organize everything correctly, and use the book during the trip just as a reference.

Travel guides from around the world

The most important thing when looking for a good book for the traveler is to observe the publication date. The more recent it is, the better, because it will be more updated and will not contain outdated or outdated information.

There are a lot of publishers who publish guides, so it is better to acquire one that has good opinions and is recommended by other travelers, since you can find some of poor quality.

We must also take into account the size, since if we are going to use it during our trip it is convenient that we obtain a pocket edition, which is more manageable and lightweight.

Another option is to purchase it online, so you can comfortably carry it on your mobile or tablet, or install one of the app that we mentioned above. This way you will see that traveling with a tour guide is a highly recommended option.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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