Most guidebooks have one fatal flaw: They aim to be an all-encompassing manual to the pleasures of a particular destination ? which means they often miss the best insider advice.

Not so with LUXE City Guides. These clutch-size, info-rich pamphlets ($10) have been our constant companion since they debuted in 2002. And now they've become even more portable with a series of LUXE mobile apps ($6) for 20 cities across the globe.

Each is filled with irreverent, opinionated advice on food, shopping and entertainment. Where most guides lead to tourist traps, LUXE has sent us to chic design hotels, indie boutiques and off-the-radar restaurants we would otherwise have overlooked.

The apps also let you create choose-your-own-adventure itineraries and save favorites, so you'll never lose track of that shoemaker in Rome or one-of-a-kind lingerie shop in Paris.

No smartphone? No worries: Opt for one of the themed box sets of mini guides (like the European Grand Tour) or create your own bespoke collection, choosing from 31 cities worldwide.

 

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