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tom Jan 13th, 2002 04:18 PM

Best Paris guidebooks
I know this is a Fodor's board, but here goes anyway. This is my first trip to Paris and I will be spending 5 nights there this winter. I have already got a hotel arranged so I don't need a guidebook that covers those. What guidebook have you used the most to see both the top sights and the lesser known attractions, for suggestions on walking tours, and suggestions on places to eat. By the way, I am a budget traveller not a high end traveller.

c Jan 13th, 2002 04:30 PM

Wherever I go- I like to use Access guides, the Access Paris makes things less complicated, it is color coded as to restaurants,hotels,parks,museums,making it easy to find things on a page at a glance..

Jen Jan 13th, 2002 05:34 PM

Ditto on the Access guides - bought a newer version of one for our 4th trip to Paris. I use them for most cities to which we travel.<BR><BR>Also - Gault Millau book on Paris for restaurants and as a shopping directory is great.

renu Jan 13th, 2002 06:44 PM

Try Avant Guide book's on Paris. Unusual suggestions and an interetsing book. They alsohave a wesite of the same name.

Wendy Jan 13th, 2002 07:03 PM

I hate to tell you this (and to admit it) but after 3 trips to Paris I still take a collection of books. I really like Fodors for sightseeing info, walks, nicer restaurants, etc.<BR><BR>I like Frommers for good valued restaurants, cafes and inexpensive things to do. I also like the way they rate things and tell you if it is overrated.<BR><BR>I like Eyewitness only for the pictures to get a better idea of what your looking for/at. The maps in this book don't corespond to the actual arrondisments that Paris is divided into.<BR><BR>And last but not least on our most recent trip we bought the Zagat guide in Paris. We thought this had good info on the restaurants also!<BR><BR>So I think my point is that everyone has different tastes, needs, and uses for guidebooks. No matter which one(s) you pick you will love Paris!! Have fun!!

GGinSF Jan 13th, 2002 10:01 PM

I'm another fan of the Access guides. I used it in Paris more than any other, including Rough Guides & Rick Steves. Fodors is also good.

alex Jan 14th, 2002 12:18 AM

I'm partial to the "Blue Guide to Paris/Versailles" for its more thorough (sometimes exhausting)reviews of museums, architecture, art and historic sites. It also gets dated quickly (sort of like the most precocious girl in grammar school) because it delves into topics such as locations of collections in particular rooms of museums. It does this by skating over restaurants, cafes (paltry list, maybe a dozen by name) and hotels (well chosen and organized by arrondissement and class, but absolutely no descriptions). I know my hotel by the time I've arrived in Paris and usually have a good idea of the beacon restaurants (if any) at which we'll dine; we're also fond of discovering generic neighborhood restaurants. Also like the "Dorling Kindersley Travel Guide," Paris (great overhead drawings and detailed street maps), though it weighs a lot. Generally leave these at the hotel and tote Michelin's "Paris in Your Pocket" for its basic street maps and a metro map, usually from a local department store (Galleries, I believe). We normally lay out our course of travel before we leave our hotel, so we don't need to lug along too many reference materials. Naturally, Fodor's and Frommers are good, especially for their reviews of hotels and restaurants. We'll photocopy pages from these when on excursion, disgarding the pages as we pass through towns and sites.

ali Jan 14th, 2002 07:43 AM

I always go with the Michelin green guide. The Paris one has fantastic walking tours that cover both the popular and the more obscure. They have a wealth of historical and cultural info that rounds the whole thing out. I pair it with the red guide for hotels and restaurants and I've never been let down. Once on a tour through the Loire, I realized the tour guide was reading straight out of the book. (I've been trying to post this for a while, the system keeps ignoring it.)

Brian in Atlanta Jan 14th, 2002 07:56 AM

I too like Access for their neighborhood maps and ease of use. <BR><BR>BUT, the best city guides I've used are TimeOut Guides. They seem to have the best balance of history, culture, sites, restaurants, nightlife, neighborhoods and lodging in an opinionated tone with lots of good pictures.

Christina Jan 14th, 2002 08:05 AM

I mainly use the Michelin Green Guide for the purposes you suggest, supplemented by notes I take on restaurants from: Cheap Eats in Paris, Patricia Wells' Food Lovers Guide to Paris, online info from Zagats and Michelin and Gault-Millau and Wells' reviews in the International Herald Tribune and Timeout. I like to travel light as much as possible and don't like carrying around a lot of guidebooks so that's why I take notes on places I might want to try in the area I am staying, mainly. I also like the Access guidebooks. There are walking tours in the Michelin Greenguide, as well as Frommers (which I do think is a pretty good basic guidebook if you want something more comprehensive than the Michelin, or organized differently than Access). I'd go with the Michelin and/or Access.

Ted Jan 14th, 2002 08:12 AM

I agree with all of the above.

InAGood Jan 14th, 2002 09:13 AM

Ted, I love you~you are so agreeable :)

Ted Jan 14th, 2002 10:11 AM

Thanks, mom. I read Chritina's post, and all her guides, folders and notes, and I get this vision of a someone working the library stacks with her book cart. No disrespect, but is that travelling light? Perhaps she follows the Rick Steves clothes approach.

Lexma90 Jan 14th, 2002 12:49 PM

I've taken a variety of books to Paris in the several visits I've made. The Michelin green guide has a lot of detail, but it's organized in a chaotic fashion.<BR><BR>I actually like the walking tours listed in Fodor's guide to Paris.<BR><BR>Check out a bunch of Paris guidebooks from your local library, and decide which has the most of the kind of information you are interested in. You might even end up, for example, photocopying some pages from one guidebook, but taking another to Paris with you.

Christina Jan 14th, 2002 01:20 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by all my guides, folders and notes. I never mentioned any folders, and I take one guidebook -- Michelin Green. The others I use at home for planning and reference. My notes take up two pieces of notebook paper, like a kid uses in school, and I just fold them up and put them in my purse. Thank you for your comments, however.

Capo Jan 14th, 2002 02:26 PM

On a trip to Paris a few years ago, I used Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris (among other guidebooks), and really liked it. My favorite walking tours books is Pariswalks, by Alison & Sonia Landes.

Beth Jan 14th, 2002 02:30 PM

I got as many as possible from the library (check them out again just before your trip and carry with you), read others at the bookstore, bought a few, but actually my own internet research was the most helpful because it focused on exactly what I wanted to be doing. I ran the pritned pages thru the copier for front and back coverage, tabbed them with post-it notes, and used it constantly to loosely plan our days. I also copied parts of books. My notes and make-up were my carry-ons-couldn't have lived without either!

Vic Jan 14th, 2002 02:35 PM

Gault-Millau notes restaurants with fixed price lunches and dinners that Gault considers values. We have sampled many Michelin stared restaurants at relatively reasonable prices.

mimi taylor Jan 14th, 2002 02:38 PM

I tend to use mainly magazines especially French because they usually are more up to date and show whats new. I also keep two copies of Patricia Wells Food lover's Guide to france. One copy in my home collection, the other a tear out copy, bringing only the sections that cover the areas we will be visiting.

june Jan 14th, 2002 07:24 PM

The best guide book we have used for Paris is the one by AAA. I have lent it to friends who were on their second Paris trip and they took it over other ones they'd already used.

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