On my visit to Munich just before Christmas I used the pocket sized Eyewitness Top 10 guide to Munich as my guidebook of choice.
I often take short breaks in Europe of just a weekend in one city and I’ve found the Eyewitness Top 10 travel guidebook series from Dorling Kindersley ideal in highlighting the best things to see on a short trip, while still giving some depth on a wide range of sites that might interest visitors.
You may have read my review of the Eyewitness Top 10 guide to Lisbon, and at the risk of repeating myself, I do enjoy the Dorling Kindersley coffee-table style of publishing, with loads of colourful photos and maps throughout the book.
Top 10 guide to everything
The guide is organised along the theme of Top 10 everything, and although this might normally make for shallow reading, there’s plenty of useful detail, and when you’re short of time it’s quite refreshing to be able to focus immediately on the key things to see. Personally I would still use any guidebook as a starting point and then seek out a few local recommendations or just wander around and see where the fancy takes you. But I hate to miss anything major just because I turned left rather than right on my wanderings.
There’s also a handy fold-out map in the back that also covers the transport system, although I find I’m increasingly that I have to squint to read the small print on guidebook maps. My Mother jokes that as every year goes by the books are publishing in smaller and smaller font – they must think that all travellers are twenty-something backbackers with eyes that aren’t yet worn out by too much blogging!
Top 10 things to see in Munich
On our visit to Munich we managed to see several of the Top 10 city sites that were recommended, such as the Residenz Palace, former home of the Kings of Bavaria and the area around Marienplatz, the town square at the heart of the old part of the city. Another recommendation was the Oktoberfest, one of the most famous folk and beer festivals in Germany, but we weren’t there in October so we visited another enjoyable festival, the Tollwood Winter festival that is held on the same showground for some ethnic food, Furzangenbowle mulled wine and crafty Christmas shopping. Other recommendations in the guide would come into their own in the summertime, such as the Starnberger See lake and the castles close to Munich.
More information on Munich
The later sections of the Eyewitness Top 10 guide to Munich cover different areas of interest such as the best Markets, Festivals, children’s attractions and even Gay and Lesbian hang-outs. Then there are sections that cover each neighbourhood with a map, cafe and restaurant recommendations and extra things to see in each neighbourhood. If I had more time, I’d love to follow the recommendations of how to spend a day wandering in each neighbourhood, with recommended coffee and lunch stops and things of architectural interest. At the back of the guide there are sections with on getting around, planning tips and all the boring but useful information you might need to refer to like shop opening and restaurant hours.
Who this guide’s good for
Although there are sections on hotels and other accommodation, I’d say that this is not the best guide for someone who needs to find the cheapest hostel in a hurry – it’s more for those who have planned the practicalities in advance and want to spend their time sightseeing and enjoying what the ciy has to offer. I was a little disappointed to find that there was very little information on the Christmas markets of Munich that we’d come to see, although we found more than enough to enjoy just by walking around the central area. I was also pleased to find that the information on which S-bahn or tram to use to get to key sites was a bit more comprehensive than I found in the Lisbon guide, although the one time we tried to use the tram information, a local at the tram stop told us that it was incorrect, and directed us to the S-bahn instead.
Guide Book Giveaway
I should tell you that Dorling Kindersley kindly gave me a free copy of the guidebook for the purposes of this review, but I’ve either paid my own money or borrowed others guides in the Top 10 Series before and found them excellent, which is why I’m happy to recommend them to you. In fact, when I was in Berlin, our group had a choice of three well known guidebooks between us and this was the one we inevitably took with us, because it is such a convenient size to carry. I have noticed that although in the UK the Eyewitness Top 10 guides are priced at a moderate £7.99, when you buy them on Amazon.com they seem to be a lot more expensive.
Even more reason then to take this opportunity to enter for my giveaway sponsored by Dorling Kindersley of a copy of the Top 10 travel guide of your choice for one of my readers. To be entered for this draw, just leave me a comment telling me which guide you would like and your reasons for visiting that city. I’ll draw one of the names at random in a couple of weeks and the Eyewitness Top 10 Guide of your choice will be on it’s way to one of my readers.
To check out which of the guides might take your fancy, go to the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Top 10 page and start dreaming of where you might go next, from London, Venice and Rome to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Toronto to Bankok, Singapore and Hong Kong I think I counted almost 50 destinations to choose from.
Many thanks to those who read the article and commented and to Dorling Kindersley to who donated a copy of their Eyewitness Top 10 guide.
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