When you go overseas on a trip, on holiday or even business, many of us turn to a travel guide to help navigate our way around new locations and cultures. I’ve personally bought copies of the ever popular Rough Guides and Lonely Planet for a number of my trips. However I’ve always found that these are geared more towards the backpacker market, and as I became a more seasoned traveller, the content wasn’t what I was looking for. Step forward the Wallpaper* City Guides. Wallpaper* is a monthly magazine with a focus on design, architecture and culture and also produce a range of excellent city guides. The books are quite small and compact, so very convenient to walk around with all day, but the main selling point in my mind is the fact they don’t focus on the main tourists spots. If you’re looking for a simple guide on how to get to the well trodden sightseeing spots, these might not be the books for you, but if instead you are looking for a flavour of a city more inline with how a local might view it, then go ahead a buy a copy for your next trip.
The books are broken into a number of sections:
- 24 Hours
- Urban Life
I’ve always found the ’24 Hours’ and ‘Urban Life’ sections the most interesting as it’s here I end up finding those hidden away coffee shops and bars, or perhaps a small unusual museum. I doubt I would ever have found the Santo António bistro in Lisbon, or the People’s Republik bar in Boston’s student area without them. The ‘Escapes’ section can also be of use if you are staying in a city for a number of days and are up for a day trip.
The books do also include some basic information such as useful telephone numbers, addresses and websites, and they also break the city down into it’s main areas and give a description of the different vibe in each neighbourhood.
They are typically priced around £7.00 and you can find the full range on amazon.co.uk.
If you’re done with the more standard city guide, I highly recommend you pick up a Wallpaper* City Guide for your next jaunt.