I have written before about my affection for guidebooks, as sources of both information and inspiration. While I rarely leave home without my Lonely Planet guides, one of my favorite guidebook publishers for inspiration is DK Eyewitness Travel. My affinity for DK guides is in large part due to the visual effects throughout the books that make destinations come alive. From colorful pictures to detailed, three-dimensional diagrams of attractions, DK’s guides really help me picture what I might potentially want to do or see when I visit a place.
DK recently released a brand new guide that I wish I would have had as I was planning my career break trip a few years ago – a guide to Russia! I would still love to return to Russia someday, though, so I was thrilled when DK offered me a copy of their Russia guide to review. And after reading it, I want to go back even more than I did before!
In addition to its strong visuals, the Russia guidebook started, as most DK guides do, by providing some great background information about the country. From food to history to nature, it gave a great overview that I think most travelers would find valuable. I especially liked the historical timeline detailing major events in Russian (and Soviet) history. The book also provided some great suggested itineraries, from two days in Moscow or St. Petersburg to a week around Lake Baikal or two weeks along the Volga River. My only complaint here was that it implied that Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal can be visited as a day trip from Irkutsk when, from my experience, it really can’t (or shouldn’t be).
As I mentioned above, I love DK guides for their visuals, and the Russia book was no exception. It includes extremely detailed street maps of Moscow and St Petersburg (complete with street indexes), as well as diagrams of major attractions, such as the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the Kremlin and Pushkin Museum in Moscow. There were also super close-up maps of certain neighborhoods of interest, like Moscow’s Kitay Gorod neighborhood. At the end of the book, there is a great section of resources and tips, including accommodation recommendations, etiquette tips and practical information on shopping, dining out and getting around. The book also includes website addresses as much as possible, allowing readers to easily check out a hotel or tour company for themselves.
If you are even remotely thinking about a trip to Russia, I highly recommend picking up this new DK guide!
Better yet, get it for free!
That’s right, DK has provided me with a couple copies of the new DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Russia to give away to a couple lucky readers. The giveaway starts now and runs through 11:59 p.m. Central time, Sunday, January 12, 2014. Unfortunately, only readers who have a mailing address in the USA are eligible to win. To enter, do one or more of the following (each you do increases your chances of winning): share this post on Twitter, follow me on Twitter, like my page on Facebook and/or leave a comment below sharing what you most what to do or see in Russia.
I will contact the winners no later than Tuesday, January 14. Good luck!