Book Review: Culture Trails by Lonely Planet

Culture Trails by Lonely Planet
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You can always rely upon Lonely Planet publications to show you something new. Something unexpected, challenging, or just plain quirky. And their recent title – Culture Trails – is no exception.

Lonely Planet Culture Trails
Culture Trails – a recent title from Lonely Planet

About Lonely Planet Culture Trails

Culture Trails features self-guided cultural itineraries in cities (or sometimes wider regions) around the world. Each is designed to fit into a weekend or short trip of a few days. Some of the tours are best taken on foot; others require a car or public transport.

But what is culture? This book interprets the term widely, ranging from literature, art or music to indigenous culture and local idiosyncrasies. So, beside more conventional offerings like Literary Dublin there are Steampunk in Omaru, NZ, and Sauna Culture in Finland. Or even Soviet Architecture in Bulgaria and Comic-Strips in Brussels. As the introduction says, “culture exists everywhere, and it means everything to the curious traveller”.

Lonely Planet Culture Trails - Dublin
Literary Dublin – one of 52 itineraries in Culture Trails

Some of the trails – like Oxford’s Storytellers – I might have discovered for myself (although I hadn’t realised the city’s Botanic Gardens had so many literary associations). But others – such as Myths and Legends of Old Hong Kong – are less obvious. And sometimes there is a different perspective on familiar places – Paris through the eyes of Ernest Hemingway, or Rock Star London.

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Using Culture Trails for Information and Inspiration

Each entry has an introduction and some practical information (how to get there, and how long to allow for the tour). There is a list and description of each place along the route, and suggestions for places to eat and sleep. As always with Lonely Planet books, it is all backed up with lots of full colour pictures.

Lonely Planet Culture Trails - Marrakesh
The itinerary for Artisan Marrakesh

There’s plenty to inspire you here. I’m certainly planning to follow the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Trail in Glasgow later this year, and I might have a go at Goya’s Madrid. And, while I’d never particularly thought of Ethiopia as a destination, the Ancient Religion trail looks fascinating.

Culture Trails is available from the Lonely Planet shop. It’s currently only in hardback: read it at home for inspiration, then copy the relevant pages to use when you’re travelling.

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About Karen

WorldWideWriter is owned and managed by Karen Warren. I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 60 countries at the last count). I’ve visited every continent except Antarctica (I still hope to get there one day…), and my current favourite destinations are Italy, Spain and North America. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way.

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Culture Trails by Lonely Planet”

  1. Carolina Colborn

    That really sounds like a great book to own. A peek at different cultures is a major reason we travel. I would add food to the definition of culture, however. But I guess Food Trails would be a whole new book by itself!

    1. The book has lots of suggestions for places to eat and drink but no actual food trails. As you say, food is an important part of culture but it could easily make its own book!

  2. It sounds like these Lonely Planet Culture Trails walks would be great to take if you happen to visit one of these places. The problem is that I’m unlikely to buy the book if I’m not sure which or how many I’ll visit. What I’d really like is to be able to just buy the ones I wanted to use individually, preferably published on board or laminated and folded so they’d be easy to stick in a pocket. Now that would be really useful!

    1. I know some of LP’s guidebooks can be bought as individual chapters in digital format (I’ve done that myself and find it useful). But I don’t think they do it with any of the inspirational-style titles.

  3. I love the concept of weekend travels. Lonely Planet always does such a great job…and I love their photos!

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