Saturday, May 14, 2011

Free eBooK: Sydney - Eyewitness Travel Guide

Sydney - Eyewitness Travel Guide 2010

I must say I am pretty impressed by this travel guide to Sydney. And I can doubly assure you of that it is excellent because I live here in Sydney! The reason I got this book was because in my experience the best travel guides are generally the ones from DK and this one didn't dissappoint. A travel guide like this is great for people who come to Sydney and stay with me. I can lend them this book to get around town during the weekdays while I am at work - but that said, even I find it useful.

I do a fair bit of travelling around internationallly and tend to take Sydney for granted. Reading through this book there are great little accounts of it's history as well as interesting suggestions for good restaurants and bars. When you've lived in a place for a long time you tend to frequent the same favorite spots over and over so it's nice getting tips for 'best restaurants and bars' that differ from those from other sources. One of the best things here are the walks at the back. I know most of the areas on them modestly well but I must say they are brilliantly planned. Also, as always, the maps of every suburb listed here are excellent for the novice to navigate around this city.

As for shortcomings, these are few and far between but even then it seems you can't please everyone. You can easily list things that could have been covered in better detail - but then again most people who visit here just won't have enough time to cover them all. Chinatown for one gets covered rather superficially. Also there is excessive coverage of St Mary's Cathedral - you can find plenty of far older and architechturally grander churches in any town in Europe. Churches of this size are rare here in Australia so for Australians it is considered worthy of mention but otherwise don't even bother going there. Ditto for the Art Gallery of New South Wales - compared to Boston, New York or any major European city it is laughable, except of course for the wonderful Aboriginal section there. As for the rest of it, I find it an embarrassment that the authors insist on dwelling on it.

Lastly, as for budget restaurants, there are plenty of them listed in this book. There is a book here in Sydney called 'Cheap Eats' if you really wanted a book that listed the best budget restaurants in town. Also if you really think about it, an exceptionally expensive top notch restaurant here is regarded as costing around $70-100 Australian per person, which is around $50-75 US dollars. By European and especially by UK standards - this is pretty damned cheap. Reviews I have read of the finest Sydney restaurants in the international press have all been glowing as well. The ones listed here are pretty good picks although the Sydney Morning Herald guide provides a more up to date view of Sydney cuisine. It's all also a matter of taste and opinion too.

So if you are thinking of visiting this beautiful city buy this book with confidence. Even I learned more than a thing or two from it.

This review is from: Sydney (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

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