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Rick Steves' Snapshot Madrid & Toledo Paperback – November 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves Snapshot
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598804901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598804904
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,480,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and a podcast (Rick Steves' Audio Europe); writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually; and offers an information-packed website ( With the help of his hardworking staff of 70 at Europe Through the Back Door—in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle—Rick's mission is to make European travel fun, affordable, and culturally broadening for Americans.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The book was great, all the information is very accurate and up to date.
I have found the Rick Steves guides to always be exceedingly reliable, interesting, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
G. Forth
It was also good for helping figure out bus, train and airport information.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Albrecht on April 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am writing this review in Madrid. I just finished Ricks' self-guided walk; it was absolutely the best tour of Madrid we have had. It was way better the the guided walk tours and the bus tours we took earlier. Although I am not what you would call a "budget traveler" the book also saved be a bunch of money. What I like is there is just the right amount of information. Enough so you can find the right places to sleep, eat and see, but not so much that you get bored with excess facts. If you are going to bring one guidebook to Madrid, this is the one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Del Toro Schaffner on February 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
GET THIS E-BOOK!!! I debated whether it would be worth the money before I took a big month-long trip to Spain this past October/November 2009. Rick Steves just does not disappoint! The most useful feature (there are tons) in the Snapshot city guide e-books are the self-guided tours. There are crowd-beating tips, updated cost, hours, locations, phone numbers, maps, self-guided walking tours in the city...For so little money, you can save yourself a world full of headaches. He also points out cool things to see in the Madrid that aren't in other tour books (like rowing a boat in the lake in Parque de Retiro), and he gives invaluable tips of the good places to go for everything (food, entertainment, museums, neighborhoods, etc). Also, the local free tourist maps they give you are usually anemic by way of detailed, accurate information. Having this little tool as a backup is critical when you may not have time to hunt down bigger books and maps. It also gives you info about surrounding cities you may like to visit, as well as tips on language, money, phoning...Plus, it fits in your pocket (I used it on my iPhone with the Kindle reader). You don't look like a tourist dork reading your iPhone, like you do lugging around maps and books. You look way cooler...
I loved this e-book bc it also included Toledo. There is a tourist info office in the main square area in Toledo (Zocodover Square), but it won't boil down the city for a day trip like Rick Steves does. No one makes a city come alive like Rick Steves!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Oramel Skinner on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just as you would want - good recommendations and strong opinions on what to see and what not to see.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Louie Escober on July 14, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a good, light guidebook for Madrid and Toledo. It's a bit light on background, and I found the recommendations for dining a bit thin; but otherwise is a very good guidebook for quick visits where you're just hitting the highlights. I used this guidebook on an iPad and an iPhone 4. Even in the small format of the iPhone 4, I found the guide very readable.

Some criticisms I would have is that for some reason this version of the eBook doesn't have full maps. In another eGuidebook I purchased, the Seville Snapshot guide by Rick Steves, you would get a full map and then on subsequent pages, you would get sections of the map (in quarters). I suppose this was to allow you to view the full map, and then to be able to zoom in to quarter sections for more detail. However, in this version of the ebook, I only got the quarter sections, which was very inconvenient and made it very difficult to read the maps.

Also, the book could use a better table of contents or index. It would make it much easier to flip to specific sites, museums, monuments, etc. The table of content headings are too broad.

Lastly, for those who would use this guidebook on their phones, I discovered a disadvantage of this format when I was trying to follow Rick's self-guided walk through the Palacio Real. You're not allowed to use cell phones in the Palacio! They don't care that you're using it to read a guidebook - they won't let you use cell phones for any reason. I suppose they're trying to keep people from using their phone cameras, but I was very rudely told to put my cell phone away.

I didn't have any troubles in any of the art museums or cathedrals I went to, but it can be an issue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jim on November 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just came back from 10 days in Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona. Considering the cost and effort of a vacation, it is worth doing your research and I bought the relevant books from Lonely Planet, Frommers and Rick Steves'. While each had points to offer, Rick Steves' guide is what I took with me every day and I used it most to plan my daily activities. I actually prefer its B&W format over the color format of the Lonely Planet books; while the color is visually nice, I found some of the white text on a colored background very hard to read. After all, these books are meant to be read and are not coffee-table art books. I also preferred the form-factor and slightly larger type face of the Steves' books over the Lonely Planet. I did use the Lonely Planet books for planning and to cross-check facts. Just as with movie or food reviews, you need to match your travel style to the reviewer and for me Steves' was best, with Lonely Planet a second. While every book comes with a map, I recommend buying a laminated and very detailed (but larger) Streetwise series map.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sandman on July 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This covers Madrid and nearby Toledo quite well. The authors' opinions are obvious, but they hold up pretty well, based on our experience. There could be a bit more information on using the superb but slightly complex Madrid Metro system. There is excellent information on the Prado and on many of Madrid's other museums. The section on Toledo (which is worth a day's trip via a 40-minute train ride) is superb. The only complaint I have is that the book is not printed on glossy paper, and the maps are therefore less legible than they should be.

You can walk across the heart of Madrid from the Royal Palace to the Prado easily, and if you take your time, this book will help you get a feeling for the structure and beauty of the city.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

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