I was very disappointed in Let’s Go Europe 2010 and wrote a 2 star reivew for it last year. In short: 2010 was the first year for a new company producing these books and it was an almost exact rehash of 2009 with about two thirds of the content. In fact, I wound up using 2009 on my trip last year. I was looking forward to seeing if 2011 would recapture the glory of this once proud series. At first glance, the new company seems to have gotten its sea legs: the page total has jumped back up and a cursory look at some of the cities I visited last year showed that hostels are up to date and the writing is original. Some countries are still painfully bare (Ireland has only Dublin and, surprise, Let’s Go happens to offer another book for you to buy with more detail) but at least this new outfit doesn’t seem content to rehash again. I then started paging through some of my dream destinations for accommodations and was astonished to see that while hostel descriptions were intact, their locations have been removed from all maps. Want to stay at Instant Sleep in Hamburg? Take the U3 train to Sternschanze. Here’s the address. Good luck finding it from there. How about the famous Sir Toby’s in Prague? Sorry, that’s outside the city map provided and there’s no arrow to show as much. What’s most puzzling is that these accommodation markers were present before and were consciously deleted this year. Simply an awful decision. This is supposedly a book for backpackers, and looking for a place to sleep is #1 on my list for each city I arrive in. What did they save by removing these? If that’s acceptable to them, why bother having markers for museums as well? Why not just remove maps altogether, give us a list of addresses, and sell a Let’s Go map book to boost revenues while we’re at it? Another gripe is that they’ve completely removed Scandinavian Europe (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). I guess they don’t count, and I haven’t seen a region specific book for those countries either. Good thing I went last year I guess. I’ll give these guys credit for the content they have packed into this slimmer book with bible paper thin sheets. I could almost forgive the omission of great cities like Copenhagen and Stockholm if they had left the maps as they were. When in a foreign country, you need more than an address to find things with the maps provided. What travel book doesn’t provide at least that? But if you love the writing of Let’s Go, you’re once again stuck with having to carry two books if you think you’ll have to improvise at all on your trip.
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