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To have and to hold

While websites like this one and digital apps can provide much of what you want when it comes to planning a trip abroad, some people, I know, like to have a physical guide book to hold in their hands and browse through on cold winter evenings or in their hotel room before a day of exploring.

So, I've put together here a list of some such guide books. Personally, I've always found Lonely Planet books very good and have several of their guides on my bookshelves. DK Eye Witness guides are another series that I've found good. Rick Steves also gets very good reviews.

In addition to travel guides, I've also listed below some general reading books to give you some background into German football, history and culture.

Text in italics below is from the Amazon description of each book or from reader reviews.

Travel guides 

Loney Planet Germany
Perfect for exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled - New 2024 edition out now.

DK Eye Witness Germany
Whether you want to wander the cobblestone streets of a medieval village, seek out the coolest districts in Berlin, or check off a bucket list of iconic landmarks, your DK Eyewitness travel guide makes sure you experience all that Germany has to offer.

Rick Steves Germany
Now more than ever, you can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling through Germany. 

Lonely Planet Berlin
Lonely Planet's most comprehensive guide to the city.

DK Eye Witness Berlin
This guide is absolutely spot on, possibly the best guidebook for Berlin I’ve seen (and I’ve got a few). It packs a lot in, but is still pretty compact.

DK Eye Witness Top 10 Berlin
Planning is a breeze with our simple lists of ten, covering the very best that Berlin has to offer and ensuring that you don't miss a thing.

Lonely Planet Munich, Bavaria & the Black Forest
Lonely Planet's Munich, Bavaria and the Black Forest is our most comprehensive guide that extensively covers all the country has to offer, with recommendations for both popular and lesser-known experiences. 

DK Eyewitness Top 10 Munich
Our newly updated Top 10 travel guide breaks down the best of Munich into helpful lists of ten.

Lonely Planet Pocket Hamburg
Lonely Planet’s Pocket Hamburg is your guide to the city’s best experiences and local life - neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

Other city guide books:

Walk Frankfurt
For short breaks, airport layovers or even business trips, this book is the perfect companion for getting to know Frankfurt. 

Cologne & Bonn
This Starting-Point Travel guide provides overviews of Cologne, Bonn, and Bonn’s neighbour Königswater with its attractive castle. Details are provided on top attractions, where to stay, beer halls and how to use local transportation.

Visit the City - Stuttgart (3 Days In)
Make the most of your time! The perfect guide for your short trip. Handy, compact, informative.

Stuttgart, Germany and the Baden-Württemberg Area
This Starting-Point Guide covers Stuttgart and much of the Baden-Württemberg, the region for which Stuttgart is the capital. Separate chapters are provided on day trips to the popular hilltop castles and to several beautiful towns which provide a variety of experiences to area visitors.

The Football Tourist's Guide to the Ruhrgebiet
Covers Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen. This book introduces the towns, cities and people of the Ruhrgebiet from the perspective of the football fan. 

Visit the City - Leipzig (3 Days In)
The BKB travel guide presents everything you need for your short stay in Leipzig.

General books

The first three listed here are football books by writer and BVB fan Uli Hesse. The first of these can probably be regarded as the definitive history of football in Germany:

Tor! The Story of German Football
Tor! (Goal!) traces the extraordinary story of Germany’s club and international football, from the days when it was regarded as a dangerously foreign pastime, through the horrors of the Nazi years to postwar triumphs and the crisis of the new century.

Bayern: Creating a Global Superclub
Writing a history of Bayern Munich that avoids both vitriol and glorification is no mean feat. Uli Hesse has done both with a fascinating book that stands apart from the host of forgettable Bayern-related publications. -- John Van Laer ― When Saturday Comes.

Building the Yellow Wall: The Incredible Rise and Cult Appeal of Borussia Dortmund
The reasons for BVB's unique popularity are expertly teased out . . . This is Hesse at his most informative and fascinating - read it ― FourFourTwo

Over the Line: A History of the England v Germany Football Rivalry
Really enjoyed this book - it leaves no stone unturned when examining how football has shaped culture and how culture has shaped this unique rivalry. A must for any lover of the beautiful game.

Scheisse! We're Going Up! The Unexpected Rise of Berlin's Rebel Football Club
A club on the rise. A city in flux. This is Union Berlin... Scheisse! tells the human stories behind the unexpected rise of this unique football club. But it’s about more than just football. It’s about the city Union call home.

In Search of Berlin: The Story of A Reinvented City
'In Search of Berlin' is an 800-year story, a dialogue between past and present; it is a new way of looking at this turbulent and beguiling city on its never-ending journey of reinvention.

Beyond the Wall: East Germany, 1949-1990
In 'Beyond the Wall', acclaimed historian Katja Hoyer offers a kaleidoscopic new vision of this vanished country.

Keeping Up With the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters
In 1996, in the middle of watching an ill-tempered football match between England and Germany, Philip Oltermann's parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move to London...

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