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Going to Paris again - do I need a new guidebook?

Going to Paris again - do I need a new guidebook?

Jan 8th, 2006, 02:57 AM
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Going to Paris again - do I need a new guidebook?


My wife and I went to Paris in 1999 and in connection with that trip we bought an Eyewitness Guidebook for Paris. This Easter we hope to return to Paris and I'm wondering if it is necessary to buy a new and updated guidebook. What do you guys do if you return to a place after say 10 years?

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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It depends on how you use the book. Personally, I would find a 1999 Eyewitness guide for Paris to be plenty adequate. By their very nature, guidebooks are going to be at least a year or two out of date by the time the first one rolls of the press. All of the historic info, maps and pictures are likely to be pretty much the same. I would stick with the one you have, if it was me.
Flyboy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:24 AM
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I would buy a new book, if anything, for updated restaurant and hotel recs. Plus, prices have changed in the past 7 years. In 1999, everything was still in French Franks, right? Now they're on the Euro.
Don't think you have to run out and buy the 2006 edition. Our Half-Priced book store has tons of 2005 travel books for much cheaper. I would go there
I really like Rick Steves myself....
TXgalinGA is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Personally, I would go to the library and try to obtain an updated guidebook. Perhaps a different publisher and or style of book.

I tend to find lots of different info in lots of different books, but I'm kind of a guidebook junkie.

Also, Amazon generally has some used guidebooks for under $10, so you might look there - but beware because they might be as old as yours.

Have fun!
phieaglefan is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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you're talking to someone who buys at least 2 or 3 guidebooks for a trip!

obviously many things aren't going to change in Paris - museums, monuments, and so forth. but restaurants and hotels may, among other things. 7 years is a long time. you're going to spend several thousand on this trip - why not spring an extra 20 for a new updated guidebook?
flygirl is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Check out your local bookstore and see just how different the new Eyewitness is - as stated above, museums, monuments, even walking tours etc. don't change. You will want to double check opening times/days but you can do that on the web. Also I usually don't use the guide books for restaurants or hotel recos - I use this forum for first hand info instead! Have a great trip!
grantop is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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gard - my Eyewitness Paris book is 1993 and I used it last year in 2005!
I just keep adding info to it by scibbling, pasting, marking, you name it. It's tatty and practically falling apart but oh! do I know it so well!
tod is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 06:17 AM
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While I would buy a new guidebook (actually, I'd buy more than one), if you're disinclined to go that route, don't forget that many web sites can give you up to date visitor guides for free...for example, The Times (London) has numerous Paris articles grouped together for your perusal:

Or USA Today's free Paris guide:

Or go to www.cnn.com and type in "paris city guide" and it will give you a very comprehensive list of free sites for up to date Paris info. (I find starting from cnn.com works a little better than going straight from Google, because it weeds out most of the advertising/hotel discount sites.)

From these (and other) web sites, you can save (and print) your own personal, customized up to date Paris guide, and spiral bind it or put it in a ring binder and take it with you.
BTilke is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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One of my favorite guides to Paris is my mother's copy of "Paris and its Environs" by Muirhead, published in 1922.

While some streets have changed names, and there are new and differently named metro stops, you would be amazed at the persistence of certain hotels and restaurants across the last 80 years, and of course most of the major sights are still the major sights. It is a great pleasure comparing today's Paris to the Paris of my grandparents. A friend likes to travel with pre WWII Baedeker guidebooks for similar reasons.

Of course, you need more recent guidebooks for other purposes, though I question the use of guidebooks for restaurants. You tend to find these restaurants full of other guidebook readers, an especially acute problem, as is often noted, with Rick Steves but not something that Fodor's is immune to.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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The Paris Tourist office puts out a great light-weight handbook with all the 'factual' information for museums, parks, etc (open/close hours, address, etc). It fits in a purse or daybag and is really fine for reference. You can use your Eyewitness to 'illustrate' places that you might want to visit on your next trip (things haven't changed that much!), and use the Tourist Office handbook for the demographic info. Any other/new guidebooks are just for fun.
- you can order the Paris Tourist Office guide for a small mail fee if you want it in advance at www.franceguide.com, called "Paris for You 2006"

In my very humble, non-gourmet opinion, a book that specializes in Paris dining would be a better supplement that just buying another Fodors/Rough Guide/whatever for restaurant reviews.
I'm waiting for these 2 books to arrive:
1) Paris by Bistro: A Guide to Eating Well [Paperback] by Graf, Christine
2) The Authentic Bistros of Paris by Thomazeau,François

And there's no better resource than the web/Fodors forums/Tripadvisor for choosing a hotel.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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And there is a free pdf download at www.parisvoice.com - changes about every other month.
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Thanks a lot for all the feedback and recommendations. It is so amazing to get so much response and so many views in such a short time. Finding a decent place to eat is always a challenge when you go to larger cities and it is kinds strange to eat at the same restaurants as other guidebook readers But thanks again from all your views, links and advice

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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What you need, is to buy a Pariscope upon your arrival, you will have the hours for the museum, the current exhibits, the movies, the restaurants etc.. all more current than any guide can do. All of it for 40 centimes ! Bon voyage.
LuckyLuc is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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I think the Eyewitness Guides have a lot of inaccurate information in them anyway, so I never use them when actually IN Paris - rather, I use them for planning routes and such - th3ey're beautiful for that. I also don't use them much for restaurant recommendations.

I'd probably buy a new guidebook after 6 years, but it wouldn't be the Eyewitness if all you really want is restaurant recommendations. I'd ask here on Fodor's for better, more updated information.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Wait until you get to Paris and head to the W. H. Smith English bookstore on the Rue de Rivoli. You can browse through the guides there, of which the ones on restaurants are usually up to date and very helpful. There are some small guides that are great to carry around.
Underhill is offline  
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