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Lonely Planet Sweden Paperback – May 1, 2009
Top Customer Reviews
Lonely Planet looses in the amount of content (380 pages vs. 500+ in roughly the same size/weight as Rough Guides). The layout is less reader friendly and harder to search through. But in the end what really matters is that on every city Rough Guides has more information, better details and better maps. Plus Rough Guides was for 2006 published more recently and had presumably more update to date information. There is nothing wrong with this version of Lonely Planet, but given that's is the same price why not get the Rough Guides.
If you are going to Sweden I would also point out Rick Steve's Scandinavia book if only for the highlights on the extremely reasonably priced cruise between Stockholm and Helsinki. It's an excellent way to spend 2 nights!
There are some minor errors in Lonely Planet Sweden that irritated me. For example, the word "älg" is translated as "Elk" through out the book (dozens of places). This is wrong, "älg" is "Moose" not "Elk". Sweden has moose but no elk (Kanada hjort). Another example is that the river "boat race" in Uppsala on the Walpurgis festival is actually a "float race", real boats are not used. Instead anything home made that floats, including Styrofoam skis, large airbags, and decorated floats are used. It is more of a comic arts and craft event rather than a "boat race".
However, what annoyed me the most was that out of the books 313 pages only 36 pages were devoted to the Northern part of Sweden called "Norrland". This part is 2/3 of Sweden and has probably the most interesting attractions in all of Sweden. That includes wild life (thousands of Brown Bear, 300,000 Moose, reindeer, wolf packs, Lynx, etc.), the famous Ice Hotel (hotel made entirely of Ice), nature, mountains, moose hunting trips, fishing, ski slopes, national parks, Sámi culture, and much more. Central Europeans flock to Norrland to see these things that does not exist in other parts of Europe. This is described very briefly, if at all, in this book. However, the Ice Hotel lobby is depicted on the front cover, which is a consolation.
I am from Norrland, so I may be biased too, but I still think that mentioning nothing about many of the popular tourist attractions in Norrland, while mentioning almost every Pizza joint in the country is imbalanced.
The format of the guide includes maps, diagrams, some photographs, and summaries of the attractions in each major region of Sweden. The coverage includes the entire country, although the southern portion, especially Stockholm, takes the majority of the content. This guide may be of most use to those looking for a quick survey on Sweden coupled with opinions on what may or may not be worth seeing. Those interested in more detail, or in forming their own opinions, will find plenty of other guides to meet those needs.
However, the book is very hard to use on Kindle, or even Kindle on iPad, since diagrams are lousy, and searching around is very clumsy.
Lonely Planet ahs to find better technology for electronic publishing.
None of the photographs seem to be included, although they are referred to in the text.
The maps are useless due to the fact that they are too small. The only concession to the ebook version has been to cut the map into four and put each quarter on a separate page. They're not even re-edited, i.e. the legends are cut in half!
On the positive side, the weblinks are provided for entries, which makes it very easy to follow up the entries.
If this is typical of Lonely Planet ebooks, I won't be buying any more.