As I’m a working girl who blogs and travels on the side, I like to make the most of the time I have for travelling. I love making short trips to European destinations that are easy to reach from Bristol where we have a local airport with excellent connections to Europe with low cost airlines.
One of my preferred guide books for this kind of trip is the Top 10 series of travel guides from Dorling Kindersley and on our recent weekend trip to Lisbon it proved the perfect choice. It’s small enough to fit into a handbag, yet manages to pack plenty of information, photos and a fold-out map into the limited size.
The Top 10 format works particularly well if you’re making a short visit and want to make the most of the time available. It’s great if, like me, you tend to preplan and book your accommodation and need to know what there is to enjoy in the way of sightseeing, restaurants and cultural experiences. Although some places to stay are listed, this probably isn’t the guide if you’re on a longer term trip and want more detailed information on places to stay.
Although my heart normally sinks when I see a list of Top 10 anything, in this case it is something of a relief not to have to think too hard when time is limited and you want some recommendations to be handed to you on a plate. As well as covering the top 10 sightseeing highlights in Lisbon, there are other lists for Top 10 restaurants, bars, city views, activities for children and even places to connect with African Lisbon.
My only reservation is that I found the guide a little light on transport details. For instance in the section on getting from the airport, taxis are mentioned but not the cheap and efficient aerobus service, and the details of places to see make scant mention of how to get there. It wouldn’t go amiss to mention the tram number and where to catch it.
Later sections of the guide also cover different neighbourhoods of the city, with the best places to see and eat in each area and a suggested day’s walking tour. Like all the Dorling Kindersley Guides, the Top 10 Guide to Lisbon is beautifully illustrated with photos which bring it to life. Even if you’re staying more than a week, you’ll barely scratch the surface of all the things that are suggested to see and do in Lisbon.
We managed to try one or two things on most of the Top 10 Lists in the guide. From the Lisbon Highlights, we did visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge and the Monastery of St Jeronimus, with a glimpse in the distance of the nearby Torre de Belem. I wish we could have also made a day trip out to Sintra and seen the traditional painted tiles in the Museum Nacional do Azalujo that were also on the Top 10 list. From the Top 10 restaurant recommendations we anjoyed our salt code with sweet peppers at Casa do Alentejo, from the top 10 culinary highlights we tried those delicious Pasteis de Belem custard tarts, we stayed in one of the Top 10 Luxury Hotels at Hotel Heritage Av. Liberdade. We even inadvertantly did one of the top 10 things to avoid when we stumbled into a touristy Fado restaurant, where the music was great but the food and service was somewhat lacklustre – won’t be recommending that particular spot to you!
Overall the Eyewitness Top 10 guides from Dorling Kindersley are ideal if you’re on a short trip and want to make the most of your time available. They’re colourful, comprehensive and perfectly sized to carry around with you. The guides cost £7.99.
Disclosure: Just to let you know that DK were kind enough to send me a free copy of the Top 10 Lisbon guide to use and review on my trip to Lisbon.
P.S. If you’d like to win a $50 Amazon Voucher to treat yourself to one of these guides or another travel book, check out my post on the excellent travel discounts you can find on Vouchercodes.co.uk