The 10 Most Beautifully Illustrated City Guides (See Ya, Google Maps!)
Okay, okay, we’re not here to deny what an incredibly useful tool Google Maps is when you’re navigating through a new city (or even your own city for that matter), but when it come to good looks, it leaves something to be desired. If you’re wondering just what can happen when wanderlust meets art, the result is this: 10 not-your-average European maps created by the most talented illustrators, revealing the city’s best-kept insider tips. Fair warning, after looking at this, you’ll be running to Kayak to book those airline tickets stat.
1. Hand-Drawn Map of Berlin ($126): Featuring everything from bahnhofs to Berghain, this detailed design map features both the local and the more well-known landmarks of this vibrant German city.
2. It’s Nice to Be Alone in Paris ($7): They say Paris is for lovers. This guide begs to differ with 32 things to do in the city for the solo traveler.
3. Póster Malasaña, Madrid ($16): This hand-drawn map highlights Madrid’s Malasaña district complete with quirky in-the-know facts that make this neighborhood one of the city’s best.
4. Rome, City Guide for Kids ($24): Meet Zig and Zag, two characters that will guide your children through Rome and have them loving every second of their adventure.
5. Barcelona by a Young Artist ($12): It’s basically an insider’s guide to getting to know the heart of Catalonia written by your local friend in town.
6. The London Thames ($34): London is not just pubs and plays. This full-color poster illustrates the architecture, bridges and monuments that line the banks of the Thames as it flows through the capital city from Putney to Tower Bridge.
7. Illustrated Map of Brussels ($25): Is there anything better than a hot waffle on a cold day in Brussels? Here the architecture is amazing and the nearest chocolate shop is surely around the corner.
8. Lisbon, Field Trips ($10): Pastel de nata and arroz doce are only two of the endless reasons to visit the most pleasant city in Portugal, if not Europe.
9. Amsterdam Railway City Map ($10): A gorgeous example of what happens when design embraces travel guides, this railway map catching the essence of the beloved city by reimagining its metro system.
10. Palermo, Made by Locals (Free): You know you’re in a special place when the locals love their city so much that they ban together to create a free guide for all would-be tourists. In this Sicilian city, you’ll find a church every two and a half steps and the best street food in all the world (we’re not even exaggerating).
Where will be your next destination? Let us know in the comments below!