Best Paris guidebooks

Jan 14th, 2002, 06:32 PM
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Capo-ditto for the Irreverant Guides! I have never seen one for any other city other than Paris~I liked the part where they had the 'Why is that guy staring at me?' section-and the over-rated hotels and restaurants..refreshing~
Irreverantly~ Candice
Jan 14th, 2002, 06:39 PM
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Candice, yep, as you said, refreshingly irreverent...that's why I liked it. (*LOL*, I remember the part you mentioned.)

I don't know about other European cities, but I know there's an Irreverent Guide for Boston (which I have) and Chicago.
Jan 12th, 2003, 06:09 PM
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Just bought the "Irreverent Guide to Paris" and just wanted to thank Capo & Candice! I used to LOVVVVE Fodor's (still do) but think the Irreverent Guide is the one I've always searched for. : ) Thanks, guys!!
Jan 13th, 2003, 03:40 AM
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I second Brian's opinion about Time Out being impeccably researched (and updated), be it on classic sightseeing or hip restaurants and clubs. The Routard is now translated into English, and is, by definition, the one with the most Parisian feel to it, apart from being very good. A tad too comprehensive for five nights, though. For such a short stay, I think the Michelin green guide clearly spells out the priorities, with a no-nonsense approach and famously clear maps
Jan 13th, 2003, 05:35 AM
M. Polo
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If you want to read good summary history as you tour Michelin Green is the best.
Oct 29th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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There were so many guides recommended here I'm not sure which would be ideal for my purposes: I will only be in Paris for 5 full days. This means I have to pack a lot in, and strategize my walking routes and daily itinerary to maximize sightseeing. I'm not crazy, I know I won't see everything and I'm not going to stress myself out about it, but I would like to see as much as possible (within reason). My main focus is architecture, so walking around is a great pleasure for me; my companion also loves walking around, and one of his favorite things is going into old churches, even those not so well known (in fact, especially those). I'm a serious food person, and consider meals as much of an activity as sightseeing. I guess we want a guide that will help us with good walking itineraries, but (if possible) one that leaves some room for interpretation. We also love to see lesser known or smaller things, such as a small square or garden that may not be considered a tourist destination but that is charming, or a particularly nice old lamppost. I've rambled enough. Your always-thoughtful suggestions much appreciated!
mp413 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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I have been to Paris several times and am a big fan of the "Time Out" guide books for that city and many others (Madrid, Tokyo, New York). They also have a good website, which includes current music and cultural listings ( Also, for some cities they have a separate walking tours book. The Paris one has over 20 chapters, each by a different author, with more or less a theme, maybe Hemingway or modern architechture or a particular neighborhood, with at the end of the walk description detailed information for the mentioned sights, restaraunts, cafes and shopping. (They have one for New York City too and even though I have been to NYC more than 75 times for business and pleasure, the book is a great insight into things in the city you might not otherwise notice.) I can't wait to use my Time Out Paris Walks for my trip there in 2004!
laurie_ann is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 03:41 PM
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Are you Tom? Anyway, I would stongly recommend dinner at a classic French bistrot: "Le Cameleon" 6 Rue de Chevreuse, Paris 6, tel: 43-20-63-43(one block from Vavin metro in the Montparnasse neighborhood) Food is outstanding yet quite inexpensive - sure to be a highlight of your trip.
bardo is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 03:47 PM
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For one city, the Timeout Guides are hands-down the best. I wish they made them for whole countries. We try to use them when we can--unfortunately we usually end up driving through countries so they are not useful then. For 5 days in Paris, though, I couldn't imagine a better resource.
allovereurope is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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Wow, so many new travel books to check out!

It's really hard to recommend a travel guide because everyone's tastes are different, but I like the Eyewitness guides, which are beautifully done.

wlzmatilida is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 07:42 PM
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mp413 -- for your needs, I would probably recommend the Cadogan Paris guidebook as the best. Perhaps the Timeout as others mentioned it has walks, but I am not familiar with that book so can't say. Of all the others I've seen, I think Cadogan is best for your needs. It does have detailed walking tours, andthe authors are very knowledgeable about history, architecture, etc. The guidebook also covers other basic things you need in a guidebook, also.

I might have mentioned the Michelin Greeen Guide, whch I used to like a lot, but I've kind of gotten disenchanted with that book since they've revised it. They do show a map of suggested walks in it, but they do not then have text annotating the walks, like Cadogan, to use as you go along. So, it's not as useful. The information on places is very good, of course, but I still think Cadogan is better.

I don't like Eyewitness guides that well, but I don't believe they have walking tours suggested, anyway. I don't know if Fodors or Frommers do.

As for the special square or lamppost, I'm afraid these are the things you will have to discover for yourself, most likely.

I did buy a nice set of specialized architectural walking tours in the bookstore of the Musee d'Orsay, although your trip may be too short to get those or use them. They are somewhat esoteric, except for the Guimard one (which focuses on the 16th arr where you probably won't get to). This set is called "Architectural Walks in Paris" and includes one each on: Guimard and art nouveau, Montparnasse studios, Menilmontant social housing, glass and iron around the Bourse, Art Deco in Passy/Auteuil. This cost 11 euro.

so, I'd vote for Cadogan or Timeout.
Christina is online now  
Nov 5th, 2003, 04:04 AM
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Is anyone familiar with the Eyewitness Top 10 guide to Paris? I used their Top Ten London guide and loved it. Now I'm planning a trip to Paris...
rosalicious is offline  
Nov 5th, 2003, 06:48 AM
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In 2 weeks I'm only packing the Eyewitness Guide to Paris and a Belitz language pocket-book (my French remains rusty) - otherwise, I've got what I thought was the "best of" notes from this board...LOVE the cut and paste

I'm not makiing too many set-in-granite plans...I'll judge things when I get there..i.e. the weather..rain and gloom? Museums. Sunny - walking around and poking in shops. Reading the menus posted outside. On the cheap I'll go out for lunch and for a few nights, I'll cook in the studio I rented. GEESH I'm getting so excited.
SuzieC is offline  
Nov 5th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for the advice Christina. The university I went to has a great arch. library, so I've been going there to read up, and I think they have the books you're referring to, or at least something similar. They're called 'Guide du Promeneur' and they have one for each arrond. It seems a bit ridiculous maybe to be reading so much for a 5-day trip, but I really enjoy it anyway!

I actually bought the Michelin green guide after reading another of your posts, so I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed with it! I'm sure it will be fine--after all, we don't have that much time there. If I can find the Cadogan for cheap maybe I'll get that too. Thanks, as always.

PS--I'm not Tom! bardo, would you recommend 'Le Chameleon' for New Yera's Eve dinner?
mp413 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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The Michelin Green Guide is still excellent as a reference work -- just not as useful as a guidebook organized by area, unfortunately. Right now everything in it is listed alphabetically. The detail, information, and even layouts for some museums and monuments is the best of any guidebook. However, if you want to know about the Pantheon, for example -- I think you have to look up under "P" for Pantheon, there isn't a chapter on that general area of Paris, anymore. It's still very good as a reference work, though.
Christina is online now  
Nov 5th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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Favorite: "Eyewitness Top 10 guide to Paris." Couldn't bond with Timeout. I bought it because of raves here. You really don't need hotel advice by the time you get there. Go prepared with ideas for restaurants from here & other leave-at-home books. Rick Steves good for walks.

janeg is offline  
Nov 5th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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Le Chaméleon is a nice place, but I personally would want something a bit more out of the ordinary for New Year's Eve. The Chaméleon is really just a neighborhood bistro that has very good dishes and friendly service. But it's relatively small, with diners packed in, and can be quite noisy.

For New Year's Eve, if I didn't want to spend a fortune, I'd pick someplace a little more elegant, like the Guirlande de Julie or Macéo.
StCirq is online now  
Nov 5th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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Thanks StCirq. We don't want to spend a forture!
mp413 is offline  

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