Barcelona guide book reviews
This page has a review of the some of the best Barcelona guide books and other books that you would find useful for a trip to Barcelona. We highly recommend taking a quality guide book with you on your trip.
Homage to Barcelona - History of Barcelona written by a novelist
Restaurant Guide - Specialist book on dining in Barcelona.
Lonely Planet guide - Excellent Guide book to Barcelona.
Time Out Guide to Barcelona - Comprehensive guide.
Barcelona Map - Detail street map of Barcelona centre
Top 10 of everything in Barcelona - If your visit is for only a few days this is the guide book for you.
How to learn Spanish vocabulary in a few days - I bought this book and it really is amazing. It's written by a memory expert.
How to learn Spanish without remembering anything - Even more amazing book - learn basic rules that enable you to speak several thousand Spanish words in a few days.
Spanish Language interactive CD ROM - a fun and easy way to learn the Spanish Language.
A comprehensive historical guide to Barcelona - Phenomenal work and it has now become established as one of the authority historical guides to Barcelona.
Lonely Planet: Barcelona Guide
Lonely planet guide books always deliver value for money and this book is no exception. It covers just about every subject on Barcelona in some depth. You'll also find a little history on many of the sights and attractions that make interesting reading. The map section at the back of the book is only really useful for general reference and not for navigating your way around the city - for this we would recommend the map reviewed further down the page. An excellent guide to Barcelona and highly recommended.
The "Time Out" Barcelona Guide
This guide book is packed full of interesting, useful information and fully illustrated with colour photos. It also includes some select ads of local restaurants, hotels and business in Barcelona that are focused and relevant to a visitor to the city. The book is around A5 size and easy to carry around. The reference maps are reasonably comprehensive however not loose leaf so you'll have to take the whole book with you. Many articles also have accompanying web addresses which is useful if you wish to do further research. This book is highly recommended.
If you're only in Barcelona for a few days on holiday or business, this Barcelona guide book is an excellent choice. It focuses on the Top 10 best restaurants, bars, shops, attractions, etc. Packed with colour photos and maps, it's a really useful and concise guide to the city when time is short. This book is smaller and thinner than either the Lonely Planet or Time Out guides, making it the most comfortable to carry round. If you don't want an exhaustive guide, but just the essential "must sees", this is the book for you.
Barcelona city map our top recommendation
Lonely Planet City Map This is a good map for finding your way around the attractions of Barcelona. Unlike many other maps the key point that make this map essential is the amount of detail supplied. The map is printed on 2 sides instead of just one giving you access to additional essential information that makes it that much easier to use than a regular map. It's easy to read and detailed enough for you to navigate walks around the centre. Many of the main sights are highlighted and it includes a metro map. This map makes an excellent accompaniment to any of the above guide books.
Homage to Barcelona by Colm Toibin
This Barcelona book is different from your standard guide book. It does not give your tourist information but rather focuses on the history of Barcelona. It was written by professional novel writer who spent a number of years in Barcelona. He has thoroughly studied the history of the city and has written chapters in the book regarding how the city came to be, people who had a powerful influence on its development, the civil war, and important architects and artists who spent time in Barcelona. What makes this book distinct is the facts have been written into a story-type format that makes this book compelling reading.
Here are a few of the chapters:
The history of the Gothic quarter,
The Spanish civil war
Food and sex
The Olympic games
The development of Eixample
The book also gives detailed information and a description of the development of Catalan culture.
This book is a pleasure to read and highly recommended
For all our USA and Canadian site visitors this book is currently out of print in the USA Amazon so you'll need to order from the European Amazon link given above.
Specialist Barcelona guide Book to eating and drinking
"Time Out Barcelona Eating and Drinking"
We all really enjoy going out to experience a new city's culinary delights, unique bars and café culture. Whilst the general Barcelona guide books recommended on this page provide a good review of places to eat, they do not contain anywhere near the same level of detail as this book. In total there are over 300 restaurants, bars and cafe's reviewed by this guide- making it one of the most comprehensive books of its kind for Barcelona. If you really want to find that romantic place to wine and dine with someone special, or the perfect business dinner venue, or even just a non-touristy restaurant the locals frequent; this specialist Barcelona guide book will be invaluable to you.
How to speak Basic Spanish in just a few days.
There are 2 other books which I highly recommend you take a look at if you would like to quickly learn basic Spanish in just a few days. These two books are truly amazing and rewarding to read.
1) Spanish by Association by Dr Michael M Gruneberg
This book is absolutely amazing. It was written by a memory expert and claims that within a few days study you would have remembered the main keywords needed for a tourist visit - I bought this book myself and it really is impressive.
2) Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish" by Margarita Madrigal
This book is even more impressive because you don't even have to remember anything. This book shows you the words that are similar between English and Spanish and almost instantly gives you a working vocabulary of several thousand words in Spanish.
e.g. did you know that many words in English that end in "tion" end in "cion" in Spanish? e.g. operation = operacion , instruction - instruccion , correction, correccion etc - with this one rule alone you have already several hundred words under your belt.
Another rule is words ending in "ty" in English end in "dad" in Spanish e.g. activity - actividad, nationality - nacionalidad , university- Universidad etc. The book lists them all and it's fun to build your vocabulary like this in next to no time - no memorizing required.
So here is a little test for you. What would be the words in Spanish for the following words in English:
authority, celebrity, compatibility, cruelty, mortality, intensity, individuality, unity, variety, velocity, co-operation, obligation, conversation, nation, action. - see how easy it can be.
The book goes through about 30 rules like this and gives you a working vocabulary of 2,000 words in a short time. Of course you may not be able to use all these words but it does give you a quick and easy way to build a basic vocabulary in Spanish.
Even if you can speak just a few words and phrases in Spanish you will get much better service if you are seen to be making an effort to communicate in a person's mother tongue. You don't have to say a lot simple things like "Please" - "Por Favor" and "Thank you" - "Gracias" "The bill please" - "La Cuenta por favor" etc will go a long way to showing respect for the people here. One thing I really like about the Spanish people is their tolerant and easy going attitude towards tourist who are not able to speak Spanish.
I've used this Spanish language training CD myself and was impressed by the quality of this product. It's a fun way to learn the language and includes a pronunciation and phonetic checker to make sure that you are pronouncing the words correctly. Lots of pictures and videos with Spanish speakers, games, crosswords and pronunciation tests makes this product excellent for developing your Spanish. Read the Amazon Review