Best Travel Guidebooks for Europe

6 Best Travel Guidebooks for Europe [Plan Your Perfect Trip]

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

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Find the best travel guidebooks for Europe. Discover the top picks, including Rick Steves’ guides and Lonely Planet, and plan your perfect trip!


There’s no better companion on a European trip than a travel book for Europe.

They give you information, tips, tricks, and advice on navigating the area. And, as I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned traveler. A guidebook helps.

And Europe has plenty of travel books to help you sightsee — from Lonely Planet to Fodor’s.

So, let’s dive into the best books so you don’t miss a thing on your next trip to Europe.

How to choose the best travel guidebooks for Europe

Guidebooks are a great way to get to know a city in a deeper way.

When choosing the best travel guidebooks for Europe, it’s important to consider your personal preferences and the activities you enjoy.

1. Think about the guidebook style you prefer.

Some people prefer straightforward and to-the-point guides, while others enjoy more detailed and immersive ones. Also, think about the type that works best for you. Do you prefer a physical book or an eBook?

Also, how specific do you want to be?

For example, if you’re only visiting Italy, getting a more specific guidebook may be worthwhile.

The most popular guidebooks are for:

  • Continents
  • Regions
  • Countries

2. Jot down what you want to do on your trip.

Are you a hiker or more of a city-goer? If I had to look for you in a foreign city, would I find you wandering the local forests, or would I have to pull you from a nearby museum?

The best travel guidebooks for Europe will give you the best things to do from well know sites like the Colosseum (pictured) to lesser-known attractions

Find the guidebooks that share your interests, and keep on using them as long as you find value in them! That’s why I like to try a variety of different ones until I find what I like (right now that’s Lonely Planet).

3. Look for reputable authors (I’ve got you covered with the books below 😉).

Especially as people use AI more to generate content, it’s important to find experts and experienced travelers who have been to the destination.

So, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the best books for European travel.

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1. Lonely Planet Europe

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Lonely Planet is one of the most trusted names in travel.

And that’s reflected in the Lonely Planet books with top tips, to-dos, and travel experiences.

What makes Lonely Planet great is they provide different itineraries based on budget. So, if you’re looking for luxury, Lonely Planet will have you in the finest hotels and restaurants.

If you want to travel Europe on a budget, you’ll find hostels and hotels to keep money in your pocket for other activities.

From off-the-beaten-path to the must-see sights, Lonely Planet will show you how to do it and do it right.

Note: If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you get access to a few of the European travel guidebooks included in your subscription!

Details

  • Pages: 1248 pages
  • Countries included: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium & Luxembourg, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.3 stars
  • Extras: 190+ maps, tons of experiences, and more

2. Rick Steves Best of Europe

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Rick Steves’ travel books are gospels in the travel game.

Honestly, I don’t know if there is someone who has covered Europe more and in a better way than Rick.

So that’s why Rick’s Best of Europe is a must-have when traveling to Europe. From itineraries to maps, Rick and his team wrote down their travel tips for all the major cities across Europe.

So, if you’re looking for the best travel guide for Europe, it’s hard to go wrong with anything Rick Steves creates.

Details

  • Pages: 1024 pages
  • Countries included: England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars
  • Extras: 100+ full-color maps and photos, self-guided tours and walks, and more

3. DK Eyewitness Europe

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The DK Eyewitness travel guide for Europe is slightly lesser-known than Lonely Planet and Rick Steves’, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for Europe travel books.

The book is packed with guides and information on all the big attractions. And stunning photography dots the pages to give you a visual (and help with your daydreaming adventures). And the recommendations for cities, major attractions, and restaurants are spot-on for all ranges of interests. However, some buyers have noted that the Rick Steves travel book is a better choice if you’re looking for more in-depth info.

But, overall, you can’t go wrong with the DK Eyewitness Europe guide to start planning.

Details

  • Pages: 760 pages
  • Countries included: Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars
  • Extras: 3D cutaways of important sights, floor plans for major museums, hand-drawn illustrations, and more

4. The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget

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Budget travelers, rejoice!

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler looking for some tips, a tourist visiting Europe for the first time, or a gap year student looking to make the most of your time — Rough Guides Europe is for you.

This book has everything from practical tips to time (and money) saving itineraries to maps. Plus, it offers budget itineraries no matter your travel style. If you’re looking for restaurants and music, it’s got it. Hiking and outdoors? It’s got that, too.

So, if you want to save a buck and see Europe, here’s the book for your trip planning.

Details

  • Pages: 1272 pages
  • Countries included: Albania, Austria, Belgium & Luxembourg, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2 stars
  • Extras:

5. Fodor’s Essential Europe

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Fodor’s Travel has been helping people find the best ways to travel Europe longer than most of us have been alive.

Beginning in 1936, Eugene Fodor began publishing the top books to read when planning a trip to Europe. And it’s continued on to today.

And with Fodor’s Essential Europe, you have everything you need to start your planning:

  • Where to travel — Western Europe and Eastern Europe
  • What time to travel to avoid crowds
  • Where to go and what to see
  • The ins and outs of the major sights, along with some hidden gems

Plus, with its itineraries, you have everything you need to make the most of your European adventure. After all, it covers 25 countries in Europe!

Details

  • Pages: 1024 pages
  • Countries included: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.4 stars
  • Extras: Multiple itineraries for different travel types, 16-page color insert of top attractions, and more

6. Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door

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I told you he was reliable.

If you need to know something about forming the perfect European trip, Rick Steves is the man to ask. And if you only have one trip, this is the one book to have.

This book includes tons of tips and a unique look into how to travel Europe in this edition:

  • Cultural insights
  • Useful phrases
  • A bit of history and culture
  • What to do when you’re looking to plan your trip

Less about things to see and top destinations and more about how to experience Europe’s best. An excellent companion.

Details

  • Pages: 824 pages
  • Formats: Paperback and eBook
  • Amazon Rating: 4.7 stars
  • Extras: More tips and tricks to get you around Europe than Rick can give in a lifetime

What do you think are the best travel books for Europe?

No matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong with this list of the best European travel guides.

But I’m curious to hear from those of you who are headed to Europe for the first time and seasoned vets. What do YOU think is the best travel guidebook out there?

Let me know in the comments below!

And, if you’re looking for more adventure before your trip, check out the best books to read before traveling to Europe.

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Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.