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If you are anything like us, you will have developed a loyalty to a particular brand of travel guide over the years. In our case, Lonely Planet has been our default choice for several years now – not because the guides are perfect, but because they seem to be better than the others we looked at.
However, before our recent trip to Norway, we received a copy of The Rough Guide to Norway to review. We both had a browse through it before we left for the trip and immediately took a liking to it, finding it more readable than Lonely Planet Norway.
As you would expect, the two books cover a very similar range of topics, but it is presented quite differently. Having used both guides extensively throughout the trip, we came to really like The Rough Guide to Norway and favoured it over Lonely Planet Norway for several reasons:
The Rough Guide to Norway – Pros:
- Text is laid out in full-width pages, rather than columns – we found it easier to read and more logically ordered than Lonely Planet’s fragmented two column layout
- More accurate and realistic descriptions of most of the places we visited – a definite benefit compared to the sometimes over-hyped descriptions found in Lonely Planet
- Better suited to people travelling in their own vehicle – more consideration given to interesting routes and roads
- Rough Guide appeared to place more emphasis on scenery, wildlife and driving, with less on food, restaurants, hotels and cities. This matches our preferences.
The Rough Guide to Norway – Cons:
- Lonely Planet Norway’s town and city maps are definitely better for drivers and those who walk in from the outskirts (like many motorhomers). They are more detailed and cover a wider area than those in The Rough Guide, which were not very useful.
- Lonely Planet has just published a new edition (May 2011) of its Norway guide. The current Rough Guide to Norway was published in June 2009 (5th edition), so might be due for updating soon.
Title: The Rough Guide to Norway (RRP £13.99)
Publisher: Rough Guides
Author: Phil Lee