Copenhagen guidebooks – what to buy and where to start?

The big guidebook dilemma – do you go for the most recent option or something more in-depth (given that a lot of information is at least a year out-of-date when the book hits the shelves). Do you pick your favourite publisher, or the one which seems to fit your needs most. Paper or digital?

Lonely-planet-Copenhagen-Encounter-guideI don’t have an answer, I’m afraid. Instead I usually end up going for a mix of the lot. I’m a diehard Lonely Planet fan, so I usually start there to see what’s available, and for Copenhagen my luck was in.

Firstly, there’s a 2011 Encounter guide to the city. I love these as they genuinely do fit in a pocket, break down cities by area with plenty of maps, and there’s general information as well. I’ve used them for various other destinations in the past, and the Copenhagen Encounter guide didn’t disappoint with the details of all the sightseeing I wanted, plus tips from locals, shopping, eating along with basic vocab and a useful directory.

Of course, as it’s a compact format, you don’t get everything crammed in a small book, so for more background and the way the capital fits within the country, you’ll need a second guidebook. Handily, the new Scandinavia guide has literally just been published, out in October 2013, with the most up-to-date information.

Even more handily, as I didn’t want to carry a whole guide around for one city (though it’s going to come in useful for all those one-day-in-the-future trips I have planned to Sweden, Norway and Finland), you can download single chapters as PDFs so I could grab the 20 or so pages to the capital and dozen others on history and background, and promptly pop those onto my Kindle.

As a bonus, there’s currently a ‘scarily short’ Halloween sale on ebooks which includes the new Scandinavia guide for £6.30 rather than £17.99 if you’re quick!

Throw in a few added ideas from the Spotted by Locals app for quirky extras, plus some of the very useful family-friendly lists from the Wonderful Copenhagen website and I was ready to go.


Disclosure: Lonely Planet gave me a copy of the Scandinavia guide and digital PDF for the purposes of review. I bought the Encounter guide myself.


Image courtesy of Lonely Planet