We love early fall, as we tend to think it’s the best time of year for weekend trips and we get to start planning our big holiday escapes. To aid in all of this, we’ve put together a list of our favorite city-specific guides, whether print, digital or app-based. Dig into your dream vacation with these dreamy, TZR-approved travel curators.
Our Favorite City Guides
We love the simple format of these mostly European guides, which are meant to encapsulate just 12 hours' worth of the best a city has to offer in design, fashion, art, food and nightlife, as curated by the site's Danish founders or, at times, a local.
The Zoe Report
The biannual Cereal magazine's features are organized by city or region—thus its city guides are a natural extension and offer unique takes on the team's favorite spots. New York, London and Paris are in print, while the rest are available in online editions.
The Monocle Travel Guides
These illustrated guides offer the ultimate insider's approach to the cities they cover, as Monocle has an endless trove of correspondents to tap for insight. If you're looking for a city's greatest hits, these books may not be for you. If you want an unforgettable, immersive experience, however, we highly recommend you give them a shot.
Bon Weekender is the travel-focused brainchild of Lust for Life blogger Olivia Lopez. As such, its photography is unsurprisingly beautiful and its curation inarguably impeccable. We're excited to watch her collection of must-read guides grow.
Are you a hipster? If so, you may want to take a glance at Cool Hunting's quick-hit city guides, which focus mostly on US destinations. You'll find a city's best coffee shops, record stores, under-the-radar eats and more.
We're always trying to pinpoint where to shop wherever we go, and though we often end up discovering places by wandering around, we're always bummed to learn about a great find we missed. New site hipshops hopes to eliminate this tragedy by highlighting the best shops in every city. So far, the selection is small, but as the site is just beginning to blossom, we suggest you check back before each trip.
These city guides are so good, which is perhaps the most obvious statement we've ever made. The site's neighborhood-specific itineraries make us think, to quote Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there."
Luxe City Guides
These stylish guides aren't likely to lead you astray, especially if you're headed to Southeast Asia. If you're not a print person, opt for the app.
If you love design, you'll love Petite Passport. Journalist and photographer Pauline Egge says, "Shame on me, but I don't go to a restaurant because the food is superb (well, that's a nice extra) but because of the interior. I like to sit on a Hay J77 chair or eat under a .PSLAB light bulb." You can buy print or digital versions of her guides.
We still like taking these little books with us to peruse on the plane, but if you're more of a digital gal, you can simply download the design-, art- and architecture-focused guides onto your phone.
It can't hurt to check in with Vogue before setting off on an escape of any kind, but particularly if you're headed to a major metropolitan area. The magazine has created a handy online tool that allows you to sort content by city, preferred activity (shopping, dining, etc.) and influencer.
Before you go anywhere, we suggest you peruse the New York Times to see if it's updated the 36 Hours franchise with your destination. These guides are always comprehensive, and they give you a feel for what you should be doing on your trip in addition to pinpointing specific activities.