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Culturious Imperial Europe: Budapest, Vienna & Prague

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Budapest 1900

Budapest 1900

by John Lukacs

  • HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 255 PAGES

Written by a distinguished historian and native son, this richly detailed portrait of the city at its zenith includes hundreds of illustrations. (HGR01, $17.00)

A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889

A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889

by Frederic Morton

  • HISTORY
  • 1980
  • PAPER
  • 340 PAGES

A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court. (AST16, $17.00)

Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by Paul Wilson

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life. (CZH08, $14.95)

Eyewitness Guide Vienna

Eyewitness Guide Vienna

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Take along this handy, compact guide featuring history, culture, color photography and excellent neighborhood maps. (AST01, $23.00)

Moon Handbook Prague and Budapest

Moon Handbook Prague and Budapest

by Tom Dirlis

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 385 PAGES

A practical guide packed with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights) and a good overview of culture, history, art and architecture. (CZH86, $17.99)

Central Europe Map

Central Europe Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2010
  • MAP

This colorful regional European map, like the sister map Europe Grand Tour (EUR185), covers from Paris and Amsterdam to Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Rome and Dubrovnik. (EUR12, $14.95)

 
Budapest Map

Budapest Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2006
  • MAP

A convenient map of the city center at a scale of 1:11,000. (HGR34, $7.95)

Prague Map

Prague Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2014
  • MAP

A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000. (CZH13, $8.95)

Eyewitness Top Ten Vienna

Eyewitness Top Ten Vienna


by Michael Leidig

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map. (AST119, $14.00)

Lonely Planet Central Europe

Lonely Planet Central Europe


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 622 PAGES

With dozens of maps, color photographs and sections on history and culture, this practical guide introduces Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and their neighbors. (EUR94, $29.99)

Bury Me Standing

Bury Me Standing


by Isabel Fonseca

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 322 PAGES

This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe. (EUR09, $16.00)

Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe


by Simon Winder

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 560 PAGES

Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers the legacy of the Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue. (CEU46, $30.00)

Eastern Europe!, Everything You Need to Know About the History (And More) of a Region That Shaped Our World and Still Does

Eastern Europe!, Everything You Need to Know About the History (And More) of a Region That Shaped Our World and Still Does


by Tomek E. Jankowski

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 595 PAGES

An entertaining history of the region from its stint as an outpost of Rome through the formation of states, Medieval splendor, Ottoman incursions, wars, the Soviet period and fall of Yugoslavia. Jankowski divulges, in an epilogue, the recipe for Mrs. Jankowska's Homemade Pierogis. (EUR441, $24.95)

Gottland, Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia

Gottland, Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia


by Mariusz Szczygiel

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 304 PAGES

A cultural history told through a collection of stories about human survival during Czechoslovakia's 80-year existence. Szcygiel focuses on artists, writers and performers who responded with craftiness when confronted with the absurdity and pressures of their eras. (CZH104, $25.95)

Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City

Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City


by Peter Demetz

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city. (CZH09, $28.00)

The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian, 50 Facts and Facets of Nationhood

The Essential Guide to Being Hungarian, 50 Facts and Facets of Nationhood


by Ist Bori

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES

Twelve authors well-versed in the manners and mindset of the Hungarians offer this illuminating guide to national character. (HGR74, $17.95)

The Habsburgs, Dynasty, Culture and Politics

The Habsburgs, Dynasty, Culture and Politics


by Paula Sutter Fichtner

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 288 PAGES

A concise chronicle of the 600-year Habsburg Empire, essential for those interested in European history. Fichtner reveals how the dynasty used propaganda, political maneuvering and public performance to maintain enduring control over an array of cultures and ethnicities. (CEU51, $39.00)

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire


by Andrew Wheatcroft

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs. (AST11, $18.00)

The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague

The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague


by Timothy Garton Ash

  • HISTORY
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 167 PAGES

With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change. (GER36, $15.00)

The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe

The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe


by Dennis Hupchick | Harold Cox

  • HISTORY
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 130 PAGES

The changing borders and complex history of Eastern Europe as told through 52 maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically. An excellent reference, the book shows the rise of Poland, changing borders of the Ottoman Empire, Hapsburgs and fate of Yugoslavia in admirable clarity. (EUR138, $21.95)

The Romani Gypsies

The Romani Gypsies


by Yaron Matras

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES
  • COMING IN JANUARY

Matras delves into the history of the Romani, an ancient and misunderstood European culture that has survived through modern times. (EUR470, $29.95)

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES

This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology. (MED07, $15.95)

A Time of Gifts

A Time of Gifts


by Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy. (CEU30, $16.95)

Havel, A Life

Havel, A Life


by Michael Zantovsky

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 544 PAGES

Zantovsky, a longtime friend of Havel, describes the many sides of the Czech leader. His intimate biography focuses on Havel's achievements as a dissident playwright, his ability to negotiate with Czechoslovakia's Communist oppressors and his time as the country's first popularly elected president. (CZH116, $30.00)

Mozart, A Life

Mozart, A Life


by Paul Johnson

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES
  • COMING IN NOVEMBER

Challenging myths surrounding Mozart's health, religion and relationships, biographer Paul Johnson shows the great composer's lasting impact on the musical world with insight. (AST120, $16.00)

The Memory Book, One Woman's Self-Discovery in the Mist of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy

The Memory Book, One Woman's Self-Discovery in the Mist of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy


by Linda Fischer

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 326 PAGES

When Linda Fischer discovers a memory book in an antique shop in Budapest, she is inspired to explore the world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the life of the album's author, a young Hungarian woman who lived at the turn of the 20th century. (HGR81, $17.99)

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting


by Milan Kundera

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 312 PAGES

Kundera strings together loosely related short stories to form an original and entertaining look at Czech culture. (CZH17, $14.99)

The Third Man and the Fallen Idol

The Third Man and the Fallen Idol


by Graham Greene

  • LITERATURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 157 PAGES

A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain. (AST30, $15.00)

Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Donald Daviau

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city. (AST94, $14.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.