What is the best London guidebook?

There are so many guidebooks about London that it’s difficult to choose which one to buy, so here is our guide to the best London travel guide books which will help tourists have an enjoyable holiday

Rick Steves London

Rick Steves London is one of most useful London guide books, with good advice written in a friendly, conversational style. It covers all of the major landmarks and attractions, with some suggestions about the best places to eat, drink and sleep. There is a section on using the transport, and a fold-out map in the back.

Time Out London

Time Out London is one of the most popular tourist guides, and has detailed information about every landmark and attraction. It has some good information about hundreds of hotels, pubs and restaurants, and has great maps. Time Out also issues a free listings magazine (usually found at train stations) with the week’s upcoming events.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide

DK Eyewitness London is one of the most interesting guides, because it has plenty of colourful photographs and diagrams inside. It also has chapters on the best shops, restaurants and hotels, using London transport, and contains some very good street maps. It also covers the city’s most famous events, with an historical timeline.

Everyman London

The Everyman Guide to London is probably the oldest guidebook listed here, and reads more like a history book than a tourist guide book, but if you want to learn about the city’s history and see some great photos and paintings then this book can’t be beat. It also has some street maps and a very good chapter on London’s architecture.

Blue Guide London

The London Blue Guide is a heavy guide book that focuses on words rather than pictures. It gives you lots of historical information about the landmarks and attractions that you can visit, and some general information about the hotels, restaurants, and how to use the buses, trains and transport system. It also has some street maps.

NFT (Not For Tourists)

NFT (Not For Tourists) Guide to London is more for London locals than tourists, and covers a wider area that is not covered by the other guides. It is almost like a telephone directory, with thousands of names, addresses and street maps for attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops. It also has a decent transport section covering buses, boats, trains and planes.

Lonely Planet London

Lonely Planet’s guidebooks are some of the most popular tourist London guides around, and cover absolutely everything you need to know about attractions, hotels, restaurants, transport, day trips, plus a little bit of history too. The street maps are thorough, and they sell a broad range of titles covering the whole of England if you want to travel further.

Rough Guide to London

The Rough Guide to London provides longer write-ups for the landmarks and attractions than most guides, alongside the history behind London events. It also has sections about choosing a restaurant, pub and hotel, and contains a street map in the back. They also have guidebooks about England if you are planning to go further afield.

Fodor’s London

Fodor’s London guidebook usually provide a bit more information about the attractions, with longer write-ups. They also include a paragraph about each of their hotels and restaurants, rather than just a list of names and addresses. It has a section on self-guided walks, day-trips outside London, a bit about the city’s history, and a fold-out map in the back.

Frommer’s London

Frommer’s London provides write-ups rather than pictures, and covers all the major tourist attractions and landmarks that you will want to visit. It also includes some self-guided walks with street maps and write-ups, and has a fold-out street map in the back. It includes some popular hotels and restaurants in each area, with a write-up of each.

London: A Visitor’s Guide

Okay, so we admit it, London: A Visitor’s Guide is our very own guidebook, and is only available in eBook form, but it’s also the most in-depth guide here, with 1,000 pages of reviews, views and opinions. It covers every major attraction in the capital, two weeks’ worth of example itineraries, day trips, Top 10 lists, and a week’s worth of self-guided walks.

Marco Polo London

Marco Polo’s London guide is a colourful travel guide with lots of photographs, and is available as both a paperback and a spiral version, which helps to open it flat. It has information about all the major landmarks and tourist attractions, and has chapters on the best hotels, restaurants, and annual events. It also has a bit about the city’s history, art and architecture.

Don’t get lost! – Check out our guide to the most useful London street maps


Buy a London Pass  – and save money at London attractions

Save money – Get free or discounted entry into over 50 top attractions

Jump the queues – Get ‘Fast Track’ entry at lots of popular attractions

1-3 day Travelcard – Easy way to pay for London’s buses and trains

Copyright © 2017 London Drum. All rights reserved · Contact London Drum · Privacy policy / Terms of use / Cookies
London City Guide

Events guide

London blog

Read our review:
British Library

The British Library is a construction of such monumental ugliness that it's worth seeing simply for that. Come and see t… more

Read our review:
Trafalgar Square

Noise. Traffic noise. People noise. The sound of water falling on the fountains. Flags flapping against their metal pole… more

Read our review:
Dismounting Ceremony (or Four O'Clock Parade)

You've done Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace... posed for a photo outside Horse Guards... seen the Ceremony of th… more

London Pass

Save some money with London Pass Cheap entry into London attractions

London Pass

Learn more about London Pass

> Save moneyFree or discounted entry into top attractions

> Save timeJump the longest queues with Fast Track entry

Oyster card

Get an Oyster for the cheapest fares The easiest way to travel in London

Oyster card

Learn more about Oyster CardsBuy an Oyster card

> Save moneyGet the cheapest fares on London transport

> Easy to usePay as you go credit on the buses, boats and underground trains

Cheap tickets

Buy theatre tickets

Guide book

Have you seen our London book?

London guidebook

Find out more and read a free sample

Get the ebook

Amazon.com $3.99

Amazon.co.uk £2.99

Get the paperback

Amazon.com $15.99

Amazon.co.uk £11.99

Honest reviews of London’s landmarks and attractions

Money saving tips things to do for free and cheap days out

Useful information with opening times, prices, photos, maps

London Pass