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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Some Good Points, But Check Web Updates
on July 17, 2010
I purchased this book before going to Munich and other places in Bavaria. I liked parts of the book, but I am somewhat troubled by all the references to "show this book and get a discount" at places recommended by Rick Steves. This is a potential conflict of interest. For example, he highly recommends EurAide to the exclusion of the traveler information office at the Munich train terminal (Hauptbahnhof). However, we checked the place several times, and it was either closed (it is only open on weekdays) or there was a sign to go into the travel agency next door, which had a lengthy line. As for the "Inside Track" newspaper that is supposed to be readily available, we only found copies in Japanese, so we could not even try to translate from a European language. In general, he is partial to the train system over buses, which is often understandable. However, had we taken his advice, we would have missed the airport shuttle bus that left us 100 yards from our hotel for 17 Euros roundtrip, as opposed to traveling to the train terminal and then taking 2 trains for 7 stops to go up the stairs to get to the street and our hotel. In other words, go to other sites to evaluate whether the trains are always the right choice. Another questionable point is his endorsement of a tour for the Dachau Memorial Site. This is one of the easier trips you can take yourself using the U and S trains, and entrance to the site is free and does not require belonging to a group, so I have to wonder why he endorses a tour here.
He does make good points about public transportation passes and ways to maximize your time in various museums (Residenz and Alte and Neue Pinakothek, for example). However, I wonder why he covers Fussen but Nurenberg, among other odd choices (maybe because Fussen is on the train route to Neuschwanstein?).
Finally, you need to check his Web site for updates. We went to Salzburg, and found the station completely in shambles due to construction, so we almost did not find the traveler information site. The book still has the old location, but the Web site does indicate that there is construction, and can save you a hassle. I would not receommend asking questions on the site, however, as there are people who regard any question as grounds for attack. Finally, you could just check the Web site and skip the book.