Central Europe: travel books to read before you go

This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Central Europe guide provides a selection of literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

Alpine Points of ViewAlpine Points of View: A Collection of Images of the Alps (2004), by Kev Reynolds, entices armchair travellers with engaging short text and stunning photos.

RoutledgeRoutledge Companion to Central and Eastern Europe since 1919 (2008), by Adrian Webb, should help clear the cobwebs of confusion surrounding recent history.

Between Past and FutureBetween Past and Future: The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe (2002), by Will Guy, comprises essays examining the fate, and speculating on the future of, one of Europe’s most maligned and fascinating ethnic groups.

KaffeehausKaffeehaus (2002), by Rick Rodgers, is a delightful look at Prague, Vienna and Budapest – from inside their splendid coffee shops. Recipes galore included.

New EuropeNew Europe (2007), by Michael Palin, details the BBC author’s journey through former communist countries for his TV travel series.

AtlasHistorical Atlas of Central Europe (2002), by Robert Magocsi, visually illustrates how boundaries in the region have shifted, from tribal origins to modern times.

CourtCourt, Cloister & City: The Art and Culture of Central Europe, 1450– 1800 (1997), by Thomas Kaufmann, provides a multilayered context for all those museums, castles and monasteries.

Jewish Heritage TravelNational Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe (2007), by Ruth Ellen Gruber, is the perfect companion piece for anyone travelling in the area in search of lost and remaining Jewish culture.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.