Marco Polo Review- The Map King

Nick WhitleyReviewsLeave a Comment

I love maps. The whole concept of how you can visualise a whole city from just looking at a single sheet of paper is just mesmerizing. My favourite Maps out there are Marco polo, not just because they have an awesome name, but because of the quality and detail they put into the products they create.

Phones are great and all for a quick fix if you can’t find a restaurant and you’re five minutes late, but you don’t get the same experience when you squint your eyes at a 4 inch screen, compared to sprawling a map out over the carpet and spending hours just exploring with your eyes. Have you every had your phone un out of battery on you? Do you ever come home to find a huge phone bill from all the roaming you’ve been doing? Or is there just no god damn signal everywhere you go? All these ingredients lead to a recipe for disaster. It’s so simple to just chuck a map in your pocket, so why the hell wouldn’t you?


Marco polo have two different sizes of maps: Big and small. The Big ones are what you use for planning, and the small ones are for on the go.

My favourite big map is the one of California. I used this when planning my amazing road trip through Nevada and down the Big Sur, and it was invaluable. The 1cm:8km is perfect for such a use, and meant we were able to navigate on the confusing roads through the sierras, and the small city pop outs of San Fran and LA were a life saver. The Maps come with seven “Mark it” stickers, which you use for placing at all the way points and cool places you want to visit, and really help you to visualise your journey without damaging the map. All the distances between cities re given in a nice table, and places of interest are marked all over the map. There is a chunky index in the front which I could see being useful, but I ended up cutting it out because it was so bulky and I wasn’t really using it. When I opened this map up with my friend, it was like a russian doll as it just got bigger and bigger; it so much easier and more fun to plan when you can both see the whole map, instead of frantically panning across a pixellated google map and fighting over the mouse. This map is only £6.99 ($11.95), and so really is worth the money.


The smaller more portable map is what I used when I was on the ground in the hustle of the city. This has a scale of 1:15000, and so gives a more detailed view of the area. I was using the London version in my recent trip there, and the whole city is encased within it, as well as a handy little tube map. The material is completely laminated, so it’s completely waterproof, which is super useful when living in the UK! I’ve used many different maps of London, and their detail does not come close to what Marco Polo have to offer; all places of interest, stations and street names are marked, and it’s so quick to look somewhere up on the back and then go. I used this on my bike while cycling, and the rugged nature meant that it didn’t matter when I jammed it in my pocket or into my rucksack. Just £4.99 ($7.95), absolute bargain.

These maps are awesome, and are also an amazing way of looking back and reliving all the places you’ve been to.

London Buy Here

California Buy Here