Marco Polo Guides in the Media

We get around round round we get around… 🙂

Since the launch of our two new series this year, we’ve had some great coverage in the print and online media. Here’s an article which just came out in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine September 2015 edition:

Paris guidebooks comparison (click on image to enlarge)

Marco Polo Spiral Guides in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Sept 2015 Edition

Credit: Marco Polo Spiral Guides in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Sept 2015 Edition

The Paris Marco Polo Spiral guide fared pretty well, with the only criticism being that the insider tips were sometimes quite well known.

They didn’t mention our extensive mapping / street atlas / pull-out map but alas you can’t win ’em every time!

If you’d like to get your hands on your own copy, you can buy the Paris Marco Polo Spiral Guidenow!

Paris Marco Polo Spiral Guide

We’re famous! Marco Polo stars in ITV’s new series: Travel Guides

WE’RE FAMOUS! Did you see the Marco Polo Tenerife Pocket Guide on ITV on Monday night? “Travel Guides” is a new travel series in which the members of five ordinary British households review holiday destinations and share their reactions. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s like BBC’s Holiday meets Gogglebox!)

Travel Guides ITV Tenerife

Image credit: Travel Guides, ITV

On this week’s episode the families headed out to an all-inclusive resort in Tenerife and the guide was featured and quoted from no less than 4 times during the 1 hour long episode.

Travel Guides ITV: Tenerife Marco Polo Pocket Guide

Image credit: Travel Guides, ITV

If you want to watch it for yourself, Travel Guides is on ITV, Monday nights at 9pm.

Destinations featured so far have been Thailand, Dubai and Tenerife… and who knows where they will end up next week…!

Buy the Tenerife Marco Polo Guide

Did you watch Travel Guides? What did you think?

What bloggers are saying about Marco Polo Pocket Guides

Not to be outdone by our new Spiral Guide series… Marco Polo Pocket Guides have also been tried and tested by bloggers all around the world. Here’s what they thought about our handy little series of Pocket Guides (RRP £6.99):

Gretta Schifano – Mums Do Travel

Mums Do Travel - Athens Guide

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Athens Pocket Guide: “The book is a good size, just right to fit into a handbag. The cover is plasticised so that it’s waterproof and hard-wearing. There’s a handy pull-out map of the city in a plastic wallet inside the back cover as well as a street atlas within the guide.

I found the book easy to navigate. I like the fact that the photos in the guide aren’t just of the tourist sites but also of different aspects of the city such as the flea markets and kids skateboarding. The book is divided into clear sections such as Sightseeing, Food & Drink and Where to Stay. The Travel with Kids section covers the attitude to kids in Athens (apparently they’re given a lot of freedom and are allowed to go out with their parents in the evening) and suggests some attractions which kids will particularly enjoy such as the planetarium and the zoo.

There’s a helpful section called Great Places for Free which gives tips such as which museum is free on Thursdays and where to catch the free buses which serve the harbour area. If you’re in a rush then head to The Perfect Day section which shows you how to see the city’s highlights in just 24 hours. I like the list of Do’s & Don’ts which is placed prominently inside the back cover next to the pull-out map. ” You can find Gretta’s blog at

Jamie Alex Carter – Trav Gear

Tenerife Marco Polo Pocket Guide

Tenerife Pocket Guide: “Insightful insider tips and a handy pull-out road atlas make this pocket-sized guidebook perfect for a short break. Maps a-plenty: you’ll find not only a fold-out map of Tenerife, with all major roads clearly marked, but maps of both major cities (Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz) and a separate pull-out road atlas in a plastic pouch. There are several maps in the back of the book, too, in case you lose the fold-out map.

While some guidebooks recommend only the finest places to stay, this guide includes plenty of budget options, free activities and low-cost places to visit, recognising, perhaps, that Tenerife is a common destination for families. The ‘useful phrases’ section is handy, too; it’s accompanied by a short pronunciation boxout.

Perhaps best of all this guide is peppered with really useful and unexpected Insider Tips. Secret picnic sites, adults-only hotels, restaurants that serve local cuisine (hard to find inTenerife), which rooms to ask for in specific hotels and other practically useful advice is given, and highlighted in yellow. The very best are collected in the front of the book, too, so you get some pre-warning. A handy section in the back lists some apps, websites, blogs and forums where you can pick the brains of locals and frequent visitors. It’s a nice recognition that a guidebook needn’t be an all-in-one resource, just a starting point for a journey.

A good value and compact guidebook packed with enough information and top tips to be of genuine use on any trip to Tenerife, Marco Polo’s decision to include plenty of good quality maps and a separate, foldout road atlas map is crucial to its success. Well researched, well designed and easy to use, Marco Polo guides are colourful alternative to books by Bradt and Lonely Planet.”

The Foody Traveller

Foody Traveller Marco Polo Guide Switzerland

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Switzerland Pocket Guide: “As ever with the wonderful Marco Polo Guide Books, the Marco Polo guide to Switzerland gives an excellent overview of this beautiful and fascinating country and comes complete with road atlas and pull out map; plus the oh-so-useful Insider Tips.

The Travel Tips for Switzerland are particularly helpful: reminding us that the Swiss currency is Swiss francs (not euros) – along with an approximate currency converter; explaining the workings of the very useful Swiss Card and Swiss Pass; and, bearing in mind that French, German and Italian are all spoken in Switzerland , useful phrases in each language.

We were somewhat concerned on seeing an orange footnote containing the word ‘cholera’ on one of the pages – until we realised that it refers to a predominately vegetable, pie. Evidently this dish was created during a cholera epidemic when people did not dare leave their homes so cooked whatever they had in their larders!” Read more at

Hannah Walter – Suitcase & Sandals

Suitcase and Sandals

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Zakynthos (Ithaca, Kefalonia, Lefkas) Pocket Guide: “Although my holiday to Kefalonia was mainly a relaxing one, I wanted to see a little more of the local area around Skala too. Luckily, we had our Marco Polo guide with us, which we found a lot better than the Berlitz one we had bought previously. There was more detail!

The first thing we did, that we found in the guide book, was to learn a little more about the history of the area. I liked that the guide gave us some background information.

I think the Marco Polo guide books are fantastic. I’ll definitely be using them again. They are so good because they go beyond just the history of the city and the details of the places. There is a map at the end of the guide which would have been so helpful if we had been in a city without any accessible wifi to use to help us to navigate!” You can read more on Hannah’s blog at

Heels in My Backpack

Heels in my backpack

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Berlin Pocket Guide: “….trying out a new guide series is always tricky. I mean, is this guide going to know what I like? Is it going to show me maps of the locations and give me good restaurant recommendations? Well, Marco Polo did a pretty good job. I used their Berlin guide on my recent trip to Germany and it definitely exceeded my expectations.

For a start, it has those ‘summary’ type pages at the start of the guide that I always miss from the guides tailored more towards backpackers. I like to see in a snapshot what the place I’m visiting has to offer. But don’t worry, backpackers are most definitely catered for by Marco Polo, with hostel recommendations as well as budget restaurant advice. The Berlin guide in particular will advise on the best place to get that €2.50 currywurst hit. Furthermore it even has a page dedicated to things you can do in the city for free! Always a winner.

Another plus is that much like the DK guide series, the book is in colour with pretty photos. Which I realise is not the most essential quality you’re looking for in a travel guide, but I just think it helps you get a vibe for the different areas and narrow down what you want to do. Also, the Top Tips are also super handy as they seem more like tips you would read on a blog or hear from a fellow traveller rather than be published in a travel guide.

My favourite part of the Marco Polo guide however is the street atlas in the back of the book. I’ve realised from years of travelling that I am in fact a map geek. I just love them. I like getting my bearings in a new city and knowing my way around. And although my trusty Lonely Planet has mini maps of each destination, it pales in comparison to this in-depth colour street atlas. And the fact that this guide comes with a pull out map as well, just so I don’t have to lug around a book, is the cherry on top really.

Heels in my backpack

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Although a drawback for backpackers travelling Europe is that obviously a guide for just one city isn’t very efficient. I think I would go for a travel guide covering more areas for a big trip. However, for a city break or a trip stopping at 2 or 3  locations, I think Marco Polo have given Lonely Planet and Rough Guide a run for their money…”

Munich Greeter

Munch Marco Polo Pocket Guide

Munich Pocket Guide: “A lightweight which fits into every handbag. The categories: Sightseeing, Eating  & Drinking, Shopping, Nightlife and Hotels cover everything a tourist has to know to get around town.

The writing is brief, entertaining and concise. The information on every location is complete – directions to the location, phone number, email address etc. are especially useful. It comes with a foldout plan of the entire city area so you won’t miss the proposed places. Also informative are the brief chapters of certain topics such as “Fine dining in Munich” or “Eating out on a low budget”. These overviews include short assessments of the listed locations. The assessments are to the point and describe shops and locations which actually are frequented by Munich inhabitants.

Last but not least, there are some funny texts on the town and its atmosphere, mentality, culture and clichés. Most of them hit the mark and tune you in on your visit! The photos illustrate the words very adequately and have good recognition value. Of course, most of them were taken when the weather was really nice, but looking at them will whet your appetite for a trip to Munich.

Conclusion: Lightweight and easy to carry around, this travel guide gives all necessary information and up-to-date tips for first time and experienced visitors alike.”

See our full range of Marco Polo Pocket Guides covering over 100 destinations!

Have you used our Pocket Guides? What did you think?

What bloggers are saying about Marco Polo Spiral Guides


We have launched not one, but TWO new series this year… bringing our total to three guidebook series! Marco Polo Pocket Guides (RRP £6.99) Marco Polo Spiral Guides (RRP £9.99) and Marco Polo Travel Handbooks (RRP £12.99).

Having three different guidebook series means we can provide the perfect companion to each and every trip! Whether you are a planner who enjoys researching in advance and likes in-depth, highly visual coverage of each destination; the type who likes to live like a native and experience local haunts, or a time-poor traveller who only has a few days and doesn’t want to miss a thing, Marco Polo has the guide for you.

We have been road-testing our Spiral Guides with travel bloggers from all over the world… and here’s what they think:

Jessica McDonnell – Forever Miss Vanity

Forever Miss Vanity - Paris Guide

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Paris and Amsterdam Spiral Guides: “Marco Polo Spiral Guides are a new selection of high quality, travel sized, colourful travel guides with insider tips on places all over the world. The books feature everything from where to eat, places to stay, things to visit, unusual experiences and even hidden gem recommendations from other travellers and locals. The books cost a mere £9.99 each and include a street atlas, a separate pull-out map for easy navigation and they also feature a section in the book of cultural traditions ensuring you stay out of trouble and in the know during your visit.”

Forever Miss Vanity - Amsterdam Guide

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“These guides have been very useful when writing our itineraries and thinking of places to visit. We will be booking a trip to Amsterdam for October and plan on potentially going to Paris in February so we will be making use of all the street maps and hints and tips when we go. I always believe in carrying around a map and guidebook because you never know when your phone battery will die and they can be so handy in an emergency. With their compact size and small price tag, these books are definitely an item that belongs in your carry on.” Visit Jessica’s blog at

Viktoria Urbanek – Chronic Wanderlust 

Chronic Wanderlust

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Budapest Spiral Guide: “The spiral travel guide is perfect for the independent traveller, who loves to explore but also wants to see the basics. The spiral the guide lays flat on the table when planning your trip and makes it foldable at whatever page you want it to be folded.

Street maps are found at the end of the guide book and an additional pull-out map makes navigating the city even easier!  There is also a small plastic pocket so you can store tickets and other useful papers.

I love independent guides, which are flexible, can be used several times and don’t show how much they were used.” You can visit Viki’s blog at

Alice Hassall – Life as Alice

Alice Hassall - Life As Alice

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London Spiral Guide: “Marco Polo pride themselves on their ‘Insider Knowledge’ and so it is the perfect guide for a London geek like me.

My personal favourite bits of the guides are the insider tips and the Do’s and Don’ts section. I am more the ‘oooo I didn’t know that?!?!’ and a ‘that’s soooo random, I love it’ type of travel book reader. The stranger the fact, the more excited I get.

All in all, I love these guides. The fact this is handbag sized makes it all the easier to travel with for me but the quick to read nature of the facts and tips makes it also easier to digest too. I find the conversational language in which it is written a much better on the go read, than those old school travel guides with pages of blurb about one particular attraction. I’m happier with nuggets of info to digest than an entire essay.” Visit Alice’s blog at

Mari’s World

Mari's World

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London, Rome and Venice Spiral Guides: “First thing to mention is I LOVE the fact it is spiral bound. This prevents cracking the spine and the possible loss of pages over lots of use, the cover also has large flaps on both sides which work as marvelous bookmarks. At the back of the guide is a plastic pocket, also spiral bound, which holds a perfect sized pocket map.

The guide is divided into five areas, it starts with The Magazine. This is a brilliant idea as it is a collection of articles written to inform and inspire you, perfect bedtime reading or for the train/plane.

I love the suggested ‘Perfect Day’ with times and indications of what to do and see. It’s a perfect guide to follow taking in the major monuments and places of interest of each area then giving a couple of other ideas too. I’m really pleased to see Harry’s Bar mentioned (in the Venice Guide) which was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bars and home of the Bellini, a delicious mix of peach juice and prosecco.” Read more of Mari’s blog at

The Globe Getter

The Globe Getter - New York Guide

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New York Spiral Guide: “How to Be a Tourist in Your Own City! You may be thinking, why do I need a guide to explore my own city? I already know what to do. Well, maybe you do, but I bet you don’t know everything. While perusing my New York Marco Polo Travel guide, I learned so many interesting tidbits about my home of 11 years. For example, did you know the first battery-driven taxis appeared in New York in the 1890s? Today, there are more than 13,000 taxis in the city. This was fascinating news to me! Another great thing about this particular travel guide is that it shows you what you can do if you’re on a budget and, if you don’t want to carry the entire guide around, you can use the pull-out map at the back of the book.

What I love about the Marco Polo Spiral Guide is that it highlights some lesser known attractions and venues in New York City for me to explore. Regardless of where you live, it’s possible to do the same. That’s what a good guidebook is for! There is likely information on a place that you did not know existed, so take the time to check out the not-so-popular spots because you may find a new place you hadn’t expected to love but do.” Visit

Gretta Schifano – Mums Do Travel

Mums Do Travel - Amsterdam Guide

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Amsterdam Spiral Guide:  “The books have plasticized covers to protect them and they’re just the right size to fit into a handbag. The important sights are organised geographically and there are detailed maps and suggested itineraries for a ‘Perfect Day’ in each area.

The magazine section of the guide has some fascinating articles. I particularly like the feature about Jewish Amsterdam which explains how the city was a place of refuge for Jewish people as far back as the sixteenth century. The ‘Finding your feet’ section is packed with useful tips some of which I already knew about – such as the excellent iamsterdam City Card which covers public transport and admission to the major museums – and some of which I was unaware – such as the free ferries from behind Central Station.

I particularly like the ‘Perfect Day’ itineraries and would definitely use them to help me to plan my time in the city. Another great feature is the ‘Insider Tip’ label which pops up throughout the book. It signals some quirky and unusual things to do such as the Kinderkookcafé where children can prepare and decorate their own food.

The guide is well-written (as you’d expect with authors such as Simon Calder on the writing team) and thorough. It’s practical, easy to navigate and interesting to read and I’ll definitely be taking it with me when I go to Amsterdam.” You can read more of Gretta’s blog at

The following Marco Polo Spiral Guides are available now:

AmsterdamAndalucia, Barcelona, Budapest, Florence, Florida, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Ireland, London, Malta, Marrakesh, New York, Paris, Rome, Sicily, Tenerife, Thailand, Tuscany, and Venice.

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