Which is the better guide book for a backpacker in Europe on a budget who want to party hard and get the culture and historical mix too?
I like the maps in Lonely Planet, but I think Let’s Go is more up-to-date and more accurate.
Actually, we just updated the bookstore ( http://eurotrip.com/Bookstore/ )— one of many ‘renovations’ of the main site that will be taking place in the coming weeks/months. We posted reviews of both LP and LG there, which may help. Also, if you buy books at our bookstore via Amazon, it will help us keep doing what we do 
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Will fo mim, thanks.
Let’s Go has been my life saver….great real life tips
Lonely Planet is my favorite
I’ve always preferred L.P. too.
I really prefer Let’s Go. They seem targeted to a slightly younger audience than the LP, have better maps, cheaper hostels and very clear walking directions to both accomodation and tourist sights. I brought an LP to Europe but kept ducking into bookstores to check out the Let’s Go.
I also like “Let’s Go”. Above ^ Are you the same—-> “MeredithBlueEyes Takes The Silk Road”? If so I love reading your journal and all your photos! Absoultley fantastic!!!
I personally prefer the Let’s Go guides, because the independent, cheap traveller is there target, but what I do is buy ONE guide book. If I want to see others, go the the public library and take one out for a while, most libraries have a travel section. That way you can get the info from all of them but not shell out a ton of money.
I kinda like the homey feel of Rick Steves’ guides myself, but his audience is kinad the more sedate 40 something crowd  That, and he kinda tells YOU what YOU will enjoy and be interested in, because he’s “done it all so you don’t have to.”
As such, I like having a “Let’s Go” guide with me when I’m traveling, while only keeping the “guided walks” from applicable Rick Steves guide books. “Let’s Go” is also good in that it aims to help the younger crowd; there are all kinds of hints on travelling cheap, where you can get student discounts, etc etc etc. That and, if the country you’re in has its own “Let’s Go” book, there is almost an innumerable amount of places and things contained within.
For you, Let’s Go. Now that I’m over 30, I see myself using RS, LP and RG more than before, but I will still use LG.
I’m over 30, but still prefer “Let’s Go.” I like the way their books are organized, quick and easy to sift out the important info, compared to LP.
I prefer Let’s Go.
I noticed that Lonely Planet minimizes the section “Budget Accommodation” more and more in some of their travel guides. And as I am truly a backpacker I want to have a wide choice of hostels in my travel guides.
For backpacker purposes, definitely Let’s Go. The others are all good in their own rights (though I have to say, I really don’t see why Lonely Planet is so popular…I’m just not a fan), but overall I love the simplicity, organization, and budget-minded suggestions of Let’s Go. I hear people criticize the lack of pictures…but if you’re dying to get a visual, it’s called google haha. The thin paper and black/white print keeps the book itself cheap!
Good for toilet paper too [8D]
I like Lonely Planet, but Let’s Go is like my bible. I love it because of all the tips for young people, like student prices and things. Also, it gives alot of nightlife suggestions which is good, and ranks accomodations based on prices. I also like Rick Steves because, someone mentioned this earlier, he has really good walking tours. His Europe through the Back door is also really good for first-timers.
2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
I’m over 50, and have used all of them at one time or another.
I like to read about where I am going before I get there, but I also like to have something with me.
I really enjoy the background info that Rough Guide as well as Michelin provide.
Rick Steves’ engaging writing style is fun, but I tend to disagree with some of his opinions, and my kid has found several Steves’ mistakes. I agree that Steves can be good for first-timers.
I have experienced some problems with Lonely Planet’s lack of updating, but some of their smaller books have served me well—phrase books, too.
I tend to prefer Let’s Go’s breezy style as well as the layout; it’s very easy to use.
I think Lonely Planet does a better job than Let’s Go in getting to know a country and taking you away from the usual tired places where Americans/Canadians/Australians/Japanese/Chinese are likely to go, and provides a wider selection of guides: not just country giudes: they also have regional guides (like Sicily or Provence and the Côte d’Azur), city guides, gastronomy guides for various countries, and so on.
Of course, there’s also Frommer’s (best in my opinion as far as knowing a country), Fodor’s and Eyewitness both have great illustrated giudes (Fodor’s also has the traditional non-illustrated guides), and – although I don’t come across them often – AAA guides are also refreshingly superb particularly for people doing drivign itineraries.
Both are good…I find Lonely Planet more geared to younger travellers…what ever you do, don’t be a newb and carry around your travel books everywhere (thieves target tourists). Rip out the [pages you’ll be using that day and leave the rest of the guide in your luggage. Also remember that guides are just that…guides…they are there to guide you only. Use them as a starting point, but do some exploring on your own (i.e. some of the best parts of europe aren’t in guide books)
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”
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