Rick Stevesís philosophy for his guidebooks is to make them accurate and up-to-date. He succeeds by including first hand information gleaned while on his travels, updating his guides yearly.
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He doesnít try to cover everything in his books. He says, ďItís my job to sift through mountains of time-sapping alternatives and present you with only the best.Ē This makes for a leaner, lighter weight guidebook, a real plus in your backpack or purse. If you are an in-depth traveller, Stevesís guidebooks can be used as a springboard to start your travel in a particular area.
An extensive introduction provides first time travellers with all the basic essentials for the country and includes information on transportation, passes, exchange rates and cultural facts. Ireland Past and Present gives a brief overview of Irish history, art, politics and language.
Steves organises his guide into cities, small towns and rural destinations. It is important to note that each edition does not cover the entire country, so you will want to check out the contents before purchasing. The 2003 edition includes Dublin, Belfast and Derry. Tours of Galway, the Dingle peninsula and southern Ireland are included for the republic of Ireland while the Antrim coast and Portrush are reviewed in Northern Ireland.
For each city section, the book helps you to plan your time, know your transportation alternatives, lists tours to take, and provides walks around the city with detailed information for taking in and visiting the sites. Black and white maps and diagrams help you along. Shopping, entertainment and theatre are not forgotten. Day trips out from the cities are a useful addition. Hotels are listed by price, and paragraphs of information on each help with deciding which choose.
Rick Steves gives you the latest on the hotels, restaurants and sights in his book through his website www.ricksteves.com
Rick Steves Ireland
ISBN: 1 56691 458 2
Published by Avalon Travel Publishing