What bloggers are saying about the new Marco Polo Pocket Guides

We launched our new series of Marco Polo Pocket Guides in 2018 and it has been wonderful seeing the positive response to the new updated guides. Here is a sampling from our favourite (travel) bloggers and what they are saying about the new Pocket Guides:

Jam and Clotted Cream

Devon and Cornwall guide:  “What I like about the guide –
It’s very family focused, containing lots of useful hints and tips on things to do with children. The ‘Great Places for Free’ section of the guide gave me some new idea’s for free days out and free activities to try – always handy as 3 children can equal a lot of money!

The guide contains a large pull out map as well as several road maps in the back of the guide, making orientation easy.

As a food blogger I’m always drawn to food and drink elements of guidebooks. Marco Polo didn’t let me down, with a comprehensive section on ‘local delicacies’ including stargazy pie, pasties and of course the famous cream tea – jam first obviously! Throughout the guide there are also insider tips on lovely cafe’s and restaurants to try. I love the fact they picked up on Woods Cafe in Cardinham Woods. They sell the most amazing homemade cakes…and pulled pork rolls too. Another one of our favourite family days out.” Read the full post here: jamandclottedcream.co.uk


Photo credit: sarahfunky.com

New York guide: “While traveling the world, I always used Marco Polo guide books in all destinations. I’m pretty much obsessed with them! If you’ve never been to NYC, I recommend picking up a Marco Polo guidebook before you arrive. In addition to good suggestions on entertainment, food & drink, shopping, and sightseeing, they also come with a great interactive app, and a pull out map. Plus, the photography in the book is stunning!” Read the full post here: sarahfunky.com

The Wandering Quinn

Photo credit: thewanderingquinn.com

Rome guide: “…after 2 days of seeing the sights, both on my own and on a tour I felt like I needed to see a side of Rome that wasn’t so touristy. I wanted to get under the skin of Rome a bit more, so on my last day I visited Trastevere and with the help of the New Marco Polo Rome Guide I explored a greener and quieter side of Rome which included Trastevere, Gianicolo Hill and the River Tiber. Despite the rain (apologies in advance for the grey photos), I had such a good time and I’m so glad that I ventured over the river into this area of Rome. — I found the New Marco Polo Rome Guide really helpful and are a few other short walks in there too that I would definitely do if I go back to Rome, plus its filled with information!” Read the full post here: thewanderingquinn.com

Sophie Cliff

Photo credit: sophiecliff.com

Barcelona guide: “Sam and I both remarked that it was really good fun to “get lost with a purpose” and that’s exactly how following this discovery tour felt – there was no marching from one location to the next, instead we got to take each destination at our own pace and amble around some areas of the city that were totally new to us.

Each of the new Marco Polo pocket guides come with 4-5 perfectly tailored discovery tours that help you get off the beaten track, and I think they may be my new favourite way to discover a different side to a city. We’re already trying to decide which one we might follow when we visit New York later in the year!” Read the full post here: sophiecliff.com

Hand Luggage Only

Photo credit: handluggageonly.co.uk

Malta & Gozo guide: “A few weeks ago, the gang at Marco Polo Guides asked if we wanted to try scouting out some of their tips on our next trip (which piqued my interest straight away). Using their Malta and Gozo guide we decided to search for some of the ‘insider tips’ on the best things to do in Malta.

Suffice to say, I’m a real sucker for insider tips… Essentially, anything that means I get to make the most of my time on the islands (like those insider tips featuring some of the lesser-known spots in Malta and Gozo) is an opportunity I’ll always jump at while travelling.

After a little bedtime reading of the guide, I found a heap of recommendations that actually ended up saving my bacon on a few occasions. The tips on parking rules (i.e. how no parking or no stopping isn’t really shown with signs but instead with just the lines on the floor – which is totally different to back home in the UK) really helped and saved me a whole lot of unnecessary spend.” Read the full post here: handluggageonly.co.uk


Photo credit: cornishbirdblog.com

Devon and Cornwall guide: “There were no surprises for me, the guide includes everything that you would expect (speaking from a Cornish perspective), you’ll find all the most popular, picturesque and must see places but I was delighted to find some added extras too.

I particularly liked the Discovery Tours section towards the back of the book, this can be used as is or with the Free Touring App. These tailored routes help you to explore the region by guiding you from one awesome destination to the next. They also include details on cost and how long it should all take you. Some of the routes last a couple of weeks others are just a fun packed day trip.” Read the full post here: cornishbirdblog.com

Find our full range of guide books and maps here on Amazon.

What is your favourite Marco Polo travel guide?

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Marco Polo Pocket Guide relaunch

Calling all trailblazers! Marco Polo has never been one to follow the crowd: since we burst onto the scene in 2012 and turned the travel publishing world upside-down, we have been pursuing a quest to create the best travel guide possible ever since! And now we are launching 30 ground-breaking new look pocket guides for 2018!


Along with all the regular content updates you’d expect from a relaunch – the guides also contain a new Discovery Tours chapter:

• Each book has 4 to 5 exciting, specially tailored tours helping readers get behind the scenes and head off the beaten track.
• The perfect planning tool – each tour has an overview box detailing the start and end points, distance, plus timing and costs involved – all the information an explorer needs at a glance!
• Each tour is plotted on an overview map highlighting the start point and final destination for easy orientation.
• A detailed flow chart with pictograms clearly shows the way – including distance indicators, sights to explore, views to enjoy en route and plenty of Insider Tips for
relaxing stops along the way.


Free touring app! The Discovery Tours are also available as an app – simply download any of the tours from the web link / QR code featured in each guide. The ultimate navigational tool to enjoy stress-free sightseeing.


Ground-breaking new look covers bring the guides bang up-to-date, so you won’t need to be shy about looking like a tourist! Fresh, simple, cool – the split line typography is designed to make you look twice and the bright colours will get you in the holiday mood!


The guides with Insider Tips! Showing the main sights in detail simply isn’t enough for modern-day travellers. Marco Polo specialises in getting you off the beaten track! Why follow the crowd when you can make your own path?


Relaunch titles available Jan 2018: Amsterdam, Bali, Barcelona, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Corfu, Costa Brava, French Riviera, Hong Kong, India South, Italy, Lake Garda, Mallorca, Malta & Gozo, Mauritius, Montenegro, Munich, New York, New Zealand, Rome, Sardinia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tenerife, Venice, Vienna.

Plus 4 brand new titles: Japan, Peru & Bolivia, Salzburg & Surroundings, Santorini.
All priced at £7.99.


Let Marco Polo show you hidden gems, lesser-known locations and stunning viewpoints where you can make memories to last a lifetime. Brush shoulders with the locals, eat the food that Grandma makes and seek out unique experiences at every turn.

Be a traveller, not just a tourist!

Something to say? Leave a comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Top 5 Highlights: Malta

Malta moves with the times and follows current trends, yet still manages to retain it’s own unique identity. In essence, this is Malta’s charm. 

Naturally, the good weather, fascinating historic sites and beautiful coastline add to the appeal along with the wide range of hotel choices, packed programme of events, the party scene and fashionable wine bars and restaurants. 

On Malta there really is something to suit every taste and budget.

Discover Malta with Marco Polo! 

Photo credit: Tim Kelly

Photo credit: Tim Kelly

1. Grand Harbour, Valletta

A trip to Malta wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Grand Harbour, Valletta. It is the biggest and probably the most dramatic harbour in the Mediterranean. Unmissable!

Grand Harbour, Malta

Grand Harbour, Malta. Photo credit: Tim Kelly.

Grand Harbour, Malta. Photo credit: Tim Kelly

Grand Harbour, Malta. Photo credit: Tim Kelly

The best way to experience Grand Harbour’s splendour is by boat. There are several boat operators offering Grand Harbour tours from the waterside area marked Sliema Ferries.

Grand Harbour, Malta. Photo credit: Tim Kelly

Photo credit: Tim Kelly

Insider tip: Trattoria da Pippo, Valletta. Small family business with checked tablecloths and local paintings for sale on the walls. Simple, rustic and authentic Italian and Maltese specialties. Booking essential. (136 Melita St, Valletta. Tel: +356 2124 8029.)

Trattoria da Pippo, Valletta

Trattoria da Pippo, Valletta

2. Marsaxlokk Bay

The picturesque setting and pretty fishing-village atmosphere make Marsaxlokk (pronounced “marsa-shlokk”) a very popular destination for day trippers not least because of its attractive Sunday market.


Boats in Marsaxlokk


Fisherman statue in Marsaxlokk


The Horus eye painted on boats is to protect fisherman from evil.


A Horus eye on a boat at Marsaxlokk

Insider tip: attention seafood lovers! Be sure to check out Tartarun Fish Restaurant. We recommend you book in advance as it can be extremely busy – especially at weekends. (29 Xatt is-Sajjieda, Marsaxlokk, Tel: +356 21658089.)

Mixed seafood main course at Tartarun Fish Restaurant, Marsaxlokk

Mixed seafood main course at Tartarun Fish Restaurant, Marsaxlokk

Insider tip: St Peter’s Pool can be reached by car or taxi in about 10-15 mins from Marsaxlokk. It’s not that easy to find and involves a walk down a cliff to arrive there… but it certainly is worth the trip! Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds! (Location on Google Maps.)

St Peters Paul

St Peter’s Pool

3. Mdina

Mdina (pronounced “im-deenah”) enclosed within its high fortress walls is Malta’s “Silent City”. A must see! Mdina has preserved its baroque character and the small medieval town can be explored in just a few hours.

View from over the fortress walls, Mdina

View from over the fortress walls, Mdina

Mdina Cathedral

Mdina Cathedral

Many Maltese churches have two clocks, showing different times… it is said that one shows the correct time for the religious locals, while the one on the left shows the wrong time to confuse Satan.

Narrow car-free streets of Mdina in Malta

Narrow car-free streets of Mdina

Insider Tip: Fontanella Tea Gardens has one of the best views in Mdina and offers excellent cakes and pastizzi (a Maltese specialty – savoury pastries with ricotta or mushy pea filling.)

Fontanella Tea Gardens, Mdina

Fontanella Tea Gardens, Mdina

4. Sliema and St Julian’s 

Malta’s modern heart beats along the promenade of Sliema and its neighbouring town St Julian’s with its buzzing nightlife and colourful restaurant district.

St Julian’s Bay

View from Fresco’s Cafe & Restaurant , St Julian’s Bay

Insider tip:  Visit Fresco’s Cafe & Restaurant for fresh fish, friendly service and great cocktails. For the best view, ask for table 7 when booking. (Tower Road, Sliema. Tel: +356 2734 4763.)

Sliema, looking out onto St Julian’s Bay

Looking out onto St Julian’s Bay from Sliema – a great place to take a dip!

Sunset in St Julian’s

Sunset in St Julian’s

Insider tip: Paradise Exiles Bar in Sliema, is a great place for a cheap drink with fantastic views. Popular with divers. Listen to whatever music you like by selecting your favourite tunes from the jukebox. (Tower Road, Sliema. Tel: +356 2134 4771.)

Paradise Exiles, Sliema

Paradise Exiles, Sliema

5. Gozo & Comino

Malta’s sister islands Gozo and Comino are also well worth a visit if you have time! The cheapest way to get to Gozo or Comino is to take a bus to Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal and then catch a ferry. (For more information on ferries see the Visit Malta website.)

Gozo: Anyone who is looking for a relaxed atmosphere in a rural idyll and who ranks swimming, water sports and nature more highly than roaring nightlife may want to consider spending his or her holiday on Gozo. (And then explore the tourist highlights of Malta on a couple of excursion trips.) When on Gozo, be sure to visit the beautiful Azure Window:

Azure Window, Gozo

Azure Window, Gozo

Comino: Every day, tiny Comino lures fleets of boats full of tourists to its Blue Lagoon – and with good reason! The crystal-clear water has a beautiful turquoise shimmer. To avoid the crowds, visit on a week day and try to arrive as early as possible.

Blue Lagoon, Comino

Blue Lagoon, Comino

Content taken from the Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Buy the Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Have you been to Malta? What was the highlight of your trip? Comment below, tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Top 10 things to do in Malta

For perfect days in Malta, here is Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Malta’s most important sights. 

Grand Harbour, Malta

Grand Harbour, Malta. Photo credit: Tim Kelly

1. Grand Harbour

Weaving past cruise ships and freighters on a boat trip through the natural harbour overlooked by four fortified towns is the most stunning holiday experience you can get! Grand Harbour is the biggest and probably the most dramatic harbour in the Mediterranean. Unmissable!

2. Mdina

Enclosed within its high fortress walls, Malta’s “Silent City” Mdina has preserved its baroque character. The most romantic way to explore it is riding in a horse and carriage.

3. Marsaxlokk Bay

The little fishing village of Marsaxlokk (pronounced “marsa-shlokk”) has picture postcard appeal: colourful fishing boats, good fish restaurants and hardly a hotel to be seen. A very popular place for day trippers not least because of its attractive Sunday market.

4. Victoria (Rabat) on Gozo

Victoria is the largest town on the island as well as the economic and cultural centre of Gozo. The Citadel, perched majestically on top of a hill is visible for miles around. It offers an almost panoramic view of the island and its beautiful table mountains.

5. Sliema & St Julian’s

Malta’s modern heart beats along the promenade of Sliema and its neighbouring town St Julian’s with its buzzing nightlife and colourful restaurant district.

6. Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Neolithic period should visit this multi-level subterranean structure. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.

7. St. John’s Co-Cathedral 

The island’s historically most important church is in Valletta. Beneath its splendid inlaid marble floor are the mortal remains of Knights of St John from three centuries.

8. West Coast Beaches 

This is where you find the beautiful sandy beaches. Golden Bay is always popular, while adjoining Ghajn Tuffieha Bay offers tranquillity and pure nature.

9. Rabat 

This sprawling town actually has more sights to offer below ground than above. It is here that you will find early Christian tombs as well as World War II bunkers.

10. Vittoriosa (Birgu) 

Although not a match for Valletta’s magnificence, the first capital of the Knights of St John still exudes a medieval flair and is a good place to observe Malta’s lifestyle.


Content taken from the Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Buy the Malta Marco Polo Spiral Guide

Have any comments? Tweet us @MarcoPoloGuides or tell us on Facebook.

Malta & Gozo Insider Tips


Photo credit: Tim Kelly.


Our top insider tips for Malta & Gozo:

Meet the divers

If you want to know the best places to go diving, it’s a good idea to meet other divers. The ideal place to do this on Gozo is Nemo, a bar in Xlendi. In this little ‘bistrorant’ on the harbour square, a Belgian couple serve fresh fish and reasonably priced international dishes as well as great wine. Open Daily (evening only) | St Andrew Street | Xlendi | Tel. 21 56 26 18 | Budget

Malta Film Tours

A lot of famous films were shot on Malta. The Malta Film Tour takes you to the original locations and shows you the video clips to match from films like Troy, Gladiator and The Count of Monte Cristo. Cost: €59 for adults and €29.50 for children aged 5 – 12 years | www.maltafilmtours.com

Swim in peace

In the Ghasri Valley on Gozo you can swim in a secluded fjord where it’s easy to get into the water over low rocks. Very quiet, secluded even, and a divers’ haunt. 3.5 km west of Marsalforn.

Romantic boat tour

For a special occasion, why not hire a traditional dghajsa? The skippers will take you round every nook of the Grand Harbour or along the coast. Tel. 21 80 69 21 | www.maltesewatertaxis.com

Meal with a sea view

The beach of Ghar Lapsi is small and stony, but to make up for that it has one of the finest and best-located restaurants on the island. Blue Creek dishes up superb Maltese and international cuisine, and has one of the loveliest terraces that you will find, built directly above the water. 6 miles from Rabat. Closed Tuesdays | Tel. 21 46 28 00 | Moderate | www.bluecreekmalta.com

How the other half lived

Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century palace in Valletta, conveys a lively impression of how the Maltese nobility lived. This fine little 16th-century townhouse is still occupied by a Maltese noble family, but can be visited as part of a guided tour, which also leads to the underground bunkers where the family took shelter from German bombing raids. Mon–Sat, 10am–4pm hourly | Admission €9 | Republic Street 74, Valletta | www.casaroccapiccola.com

» Read more about Malta & Gozo

» Buy the Malta & Gozo Marco Polo Pocket Guide

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