Top ten travel guides to travel like an expert

Although we are in the middle of the digital age and there are a lot of applications that provide you with everything from maps to information about almost any place in the world that you can think of wanting to visit, travel guides have a special charm and continue to be an important resource even for travelers.

Once you find a set of travel guides that you know and trust, it can really speed up the trip planning process.

Start dreaming about your next adventure, with the help of the experts, insiders, and locals who create the best guides in the world.

There is one for each destination, interest, and type of traveler… But which travel guides are the best?

DK Eyewitness

Best travel guides

This guide contains succinct but expert advice along with beautifully detailed illustrations that take you right into the city streets and historic buildings, detailed maps, and interesting facts… For this and much more there is no doubt why Eyewitness guides from DK are so impressive

If you’re a seasoned traveler, you probably know them all too well as DK topped the list of best guides in the 2020 Wanderlust Reader travel awards.

DK has been active since 1993, taking us to more than 200 destinations at this time. Its most prominent feature is the compelling use of inspiring brand images and illustrations.

Incredibly easy to use, the books give a clear picture of what to expect on your travels.

The latest updates to the DK collection offer new perspectives on popular cities around the world, such as Paris and New York.

These guides will let you see cities in a new light with hand-drawn illustrations showing the interiors of their most iconic landmarks, from Notre Dame to the Pantheon, and a calendar of the exciting events that take place throughout the year.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet’s travel guides narrowly missed out on a first place in the 2020 Reader Travel Awards, but they’re popular for a reason.

The origins of the brand are certainly romantic, as it was founded by married couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler following their epic overland expedition from London to Australia in the early 1970s.

Although Lonely Planet’s first offering was, of course, the 94-page stapled booklet Across Asia on the Cheap in 1973, the brand has come a long way since then.

With over 100 million guides in print, the books are thorough, informative, and packed with ideas for responsible getaways.

As a recommendation, you can get a copy of the bestseller The Travel Book (2006), a visual bible on all the countries of the world approved by the UN.

Of course, do not forget to consult their most updated guides.

Rough Guides

Living up to its name, Rough Guides brings you a short but informative overview of all things travels. You can even buy an Ebook to stay informed on the go.

The author, Mark Ellingham, is known for his honest and hilarious reviews along with reviews written by hundreds of independent critics, so you’ll be laughing as you learn.

You’ll also have access to color-coded maps, a comprehensive directory of each destination, and detailed pre-departure information. What more can you ask for in a travel guide?


Bradt Guides, another perennial favorite, are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to independent travel guides.

Founded by Hilary Bradt in 1974, this pioneering brand is a firm favorite, having taken first place in the Reader Travel Awards many times over the years.

Digging deep below the surface, Bradt’s guides are always packed with high-quality content while advocating slow, sustainable travel. Best known for covering off-the-beaten-track destinations, they are also highly regarded by their UK guides.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is not only a great travel guide, but it also comes with the Touring application, with which you can access free maps and routes. But don’t worry about poor WiFi quality while you’re on the go; the app also allows you to access everything offline.

Another great feature of Marco Polo is the focus on things you can do for free during your travels.

If you don’t have enough space for a large book, you can buy a pocket guide.

Special editions are also available, such as phrasebooks, which include cheat sheets for popular phrases in your destination’s native language, beautiful travelogues, and a version of Spiral Guides that includes a map-based itinerary.

So whatever your situation, you can’t go wrong.

Insight Guides

Insight has been in business for over 45 years, so you can tell these guides know what they’re talking about.

Detailed maps, accurate information, and beautiful photography combine to connect readers to places through their history and culture.

Time Out

Although these Time Out guides focus primarily on cities, they are still a great choice for planning your next travel adventure.

Whether you’re going to London or Lisbon, you’ll want this highly-regarded guide. If you opt for the complete guide, you will surely surprise all your fellow travelers with the extensive knowledge of the architecture and history of the city that you will acquire.

If you’re looking for a shorter, more streamlined guide, there are also pocket guides that focus on the highlights of each city. You’ll enjoy tips and reviews from locals and writers.


Are you thinking of traveling to Latin America? Footprint guides are your best option as they have specialized in everything there is to know in South America for almost 100 years.

That’s not to say they don’t specialize in other parts of the world: on their shelves are books about the Caribbean and South Asia, written only by expert authors who have lived in that region and can really capture its essence.

Perfect for travelers who want to get to know a country in an intimate way.

Footprint’s iconic South American Handbook will be your new best friend for any adventure on the continent, with advice on everything from swinging in the treetops in tropical jungles to meeting various Andean villages and exploring the plains of Patagonia.

Blue Guides

With a focus on detail and extensive research. These handy travel guides have been around for over a century, and for good reason.

If you’re not afraid of too much detail, immerse yourself in a Blue Guide and you’ll feel like an expert in the place that interests you.

Each destination has its own character, and the Blue Guides do a great job of expressing that in each of their guides.

You can choose a digital or printed edition, depending on your preferences.

With Blue Guides, you’ll have access to expertly detailed glossaries, architectural plans, and award-winning maps. From art to architecture to archaeology. These guides aim to inform travelers who aren’t sure where to go next. Or who want to know more about the museum they’re visiting. With a series of award-winning maps, diagrams, and photographs. at your disposal: a great source of knowledge for any trip you are planning.


Walking adventures around the world have been Cicerone’s specialty for more than half a century.

If you want to know where to walk, hike, climb, mountaineer, or cycle. These guides spanning the UK and Europe are really the ones to look out for, with maps. And clear directions paving the way for an epic hike.

Cicerone celebrated its 50th-anniversary last year and commemorated it with a book containing 50 inspiring stories and routes.

The book compiles the recollections of experienced Cicerone writers who have experienced many adventures in their travels around the world.

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