I’ve praised books by Dorling Kindersley before now and I’m here to praise them again. To put it quite simply their Top 10 Berlin is a fantastic publication.
Let me list its top 10 features:
1) Its size. 18.8 cm x 10.2 cm. Narrow, therefore. Perfect for slipping into pockets and handbags.
2) Complete with maps. Handy fold-out map of Berlin on the inner sleeve with additional zoom maps of the important inner city areas (Unter den Linden, Kurfürstendamm) at the back. Another fold out map on the back sleeve of the Berlin City Transport Network. There’s a separate insert containing all of the above for those moments when you don’t want to carry the book with you.
3) This insert also contains 60 great ideas on how to spend your day: 10 places wth a view, 10 cool hangouts, 10 historical and cultural sights, 10 children’s activities, 10 lunchtime spots, 10 activities on a budget.
4) The book is so well-structured – divided into 3 sections. Berlin’s Top 10, Around The City and StreetSmart.
5) Lists contained in Berlin’s Top 10 include: 10 city highlights (you know the really famous Berlin bits – the Reichstag, the Brandenburger Tor, etc). Each of these comes with a list of its top 10 features. Further lists cover every conceivable interest: cinema, art, shop and markets, pubs, children’s attractions, parks and gardens, historic buildings, modern buildings. This latter subjects, which was of no interest to me at all when I arrived, became fascinating as I walked round the city, I was amazed at the new buildings that have appeared – the scale, the imagination. I suddenly wanted to know who had designed them. It’s all contained in the book!
6) The Around Town Section divides the city section by section. So that if you find yourself visiting something in Unter Den Linden, you can quickly ascertain what else is of interest in the area. There are also suggested itineraries for spending a full day in each area.
7) Streetsmart contains invaluable tips on planning your trip, how to get around in Berlin, where to go for information, how to get around Berlin on a budget.
8) It wouldn’t be a Dorling Kindersley publication without the photographs. Obviously the size of the book and the wealth of the information packed into its pages means that the photograph sizes are small. Nevertheless there is still room for hundreds of photographs. So that you have a visual check that you have arrived where you wanted to be.
9) The quality of the book itself. It’s a sturdy little number. Solid card covers, quality paper.
10) The price. RRP in UK is £7.99. A bargain at full price. Obviously you can source it online with good discounts.
I haven’t supplied photographs of the book. Follow this link and you can look inside.
In the interests of balanced reporting I have to say that the only information that I needed and could not find were details of bus and tram routes. That is probably due to the size of the maps. They’d become illegible. They already presented a challenge to my middle-aged eyesight, if I’m honest. Besides, I bought one in Berlin. It cost 3 Euro. Not worth moaning about really.
Now the really, really good news is that Top 10 Berlin is part of a comprehensive and award-winning series, one that is currently on offer as 3 for 2 at the Dorling Kindersley site. So I’m about to treat myself to a set of the German destinations. Not only as travelling companions. They deserve a place on my reference shelf.