I want to buy a travel guide for Rome, I found Lonely Planet.

There are two versions, the pocket version and the full version.

The pocket version is 13 euros, the big (full version) is 23 euros.

The pocket version is smaller, like portable book, while the full one is like a university book :)

Which one would you recommend?

My main purpose is to spend good time in Rome and see good places, though trip advices and booking.com really gives me almost all the places that I should see.

  • How long do you plan to stay in Rome? The introduction to most guides will suggest itineraries of a certain length.
    – choster
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 16:40
  • If you need some pointers on Rome come to the travel chat at some point during the week. :)
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


Lonely Planet actually has three separate guides for Rome:

  • Pocket Rome: small and compact, intended for short trips (long weekend or so), focuses only on top attractions and cuts out eg. all lodging information.
  • Rome City Guide: the full-length city guide, dense and packed full of information, mostly black & white, standalone guide for long stays
  • Discover Rome: full-color, abridged version of the city guide that strikes a balance between the two

My rule of thumb used be that I'd get the pocket guide to carry around for short trip, or the city guide if I'm going to stay for a long time and/or want to do exhaustive research beforehand. These days, though, I rarely bring along guidebooks and only use them for research and getting an idea of the place before I go.

Obligatory disclaimer: I used to work for Lonely Planet, but I no longer do and this represents my opinion only.

  • Are you sure the city guides are still mostly black and white? I have a recent version of another city guide here and it's in full color throughout. The preview PDF also looks colorful.
    – neo
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 13:23
  • @neo At last check, they have color photo inserts and a third color (blue) for highlights, but are not 100% full color like the Discover guides. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 20:54
  • Ah yes, thanks. On a second look most pages use 2-3 spot colors (red, blue, sometimes green). Full-color pages with photos are rare.
    – neo
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 22:07

In the past I would have said the big one, as it contains a lot of practical information and mostly that on hostels was hard to get any other way.

But as you do use booking.com hostel information is easy to get.

I would likely go for the smaller version and look up information on internet, or do without a book and make notes from internet.

The big LP books get very heavy in the longer run, it often was the most heavy single piece in my luggage.

  • Do you think I can go without even LP guide? I saw too many stuff on trip advicer, and I already book an hotel from booking.com and they send me a guide too.
    – sarah
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 12:21
  • I do like to have a pocket size guidebook, but I can not say whether the LP guide is the best, or whether a Marco Polo or even smaller version would be best. I do not know whether you will want a guide book, if you are not traveling often, I would go for a guide book, maybe the hotel one.
    – Willeke
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 12:56

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