A city guide, also known as a destination guide, is a publication that lists various destinations, venues, and services within a particular city. City guides are often structured in categorized lists that offer pertinent information and pithy commentary on each entry. Some city guides are available online, while others are published as books, magazines, or newspapers. A city guide may also be compiled by professional writers or may largely be produced by soliciting comments from the general public. Some city guides are targeted toward members of specific communities, such as the disabled, seniors, or the gay and lesbian community.
Unlike travel guides, a city guide is often targeted to locals as well as tourists. Particularly in large cities, many worthwhile destinations and providers of goods and services may be unknown outside their immediate neighborhood. A city guide can help even longtime residents of an area find and patronize these businesses. For newcomers to an area, a city guide can help them find needed services such as health care, dry cleaning, and natural food stores. Tourists who want to get off the beaten path can also take advantage of the information that a city guide has to offer.
Many city guides are available online and often include a combination of professionally written content as well as comments from readers. Quality online city guides develop editorial policies that allow for honest evaluations while preventing biased entries from distorting a profile of a business. The advantage of the online model is that it makes it easy for the general public to comment and to update information about a particular company.
Print city guides, on the other hand, may have a bit more durability and are often written by professional journalists. These city guides are a bit more curated than online guides and may offer more useful information about significant city landmarks and reliable businesses. Their writers may be professional critics with more experience and knowledge of what they are writing about than the general public. On the other hand, they may be more likely to miss tiny businesses that do not have access to public relations services.
Several large cities are home to magazine and newspaper-style city guides. These publications often come out weekly and combine feature stories and reviews with a city guide. For those who lack smartphones, carrying around one of these publications can be extremely helpful when meanderings about a city and making decisions about what to do.