With the internet so readily available, it's easy enough to gather all the information you might need about your trip to Paris and beyond without ever touching a piece of paper. It's all very useful and I certainly take advantage of it. But I wanted to share some of my favorite "Travel to Paris Resources" with you.
I'm very fond of the DK Eyewitness Travel guide book series.
The Paris book breaks down the city by areas, as most books do. Included are maps for key sites, highlights of key attractions in each region (all with beautiful color photos), full city maps and lots of general travel information.
The downside to this series is that it is HEAVY! There is a cost to the traveler in carrying a beautiful book with lovely photos printed on great paper! If you can (I couldn't), rip out the pages of the spots you most want to see!
"Markets of Paris" is a small book and great fun.
Each page highlights a different market -- and by that, I don't mean just antiques, but you'll also find fabrics, ribbon, books and, of course, food.
It's small enough to fit in your purse or in your suitcase without weighing you down too much.
"In Love In France" isn't really a guide book you'd want to take with you -- it's too big.
But if you're headed to the City of Light with your great love, you'll find some wonderfully romantic spots listed and some delightful ideas on how to enjoy them (if you can't figure that out yourself!).
There are plenty of little tidbits in this book I didn't know, and it also covers side trips out of Paris as well.
Rick Steves Pocket Paris -- Rick Steves is one of my favorite TV and print tour guides (his website is very good too, and friends who have taken his European tours speak very highly of his organization).
The size is perfect and included are lots of excellent tips for traveling in France, along with the usual sights and recommendations.
Rick also includes a fold-out map, which is quite extensive.
Again, "Pocket Paris" lives up to its name. Easy to manage!
For a thoroughly delightful and very small book (that has great shopping suggestions and addresses) take along Jill Butler's "Wandering Paris."
I have two favorite maps that I recommend about all others. Both are very portable and when I was in Paris, both were with me at all times.
The first is the Knopf map guide to Paris.
This booklet breaks the city down into areas. The size is about 5x7 inches square and the maps fold out so they are easy to follow but not huge!
They also include info on sights and restaurants in the designated areas.
The Streetwise series is also excellent.
These maps break down by categories. I liked the Paris Museums map.
The are laminated and fold up into a vertical brochure size. Boy, these things hold up! Mine has been on two trips, in bags, purses, pockets, and spilled upon! It still looks great!
Hi Jeanie! I've been to Paris a few times and some of these little books would have been helpful. Once we went on a convention with my husband's company he worked for and everything was set up for us, bus rides to all of the wonderful sites and all was taken care of for us. Then we've been on our own a couple of times and just winged it! ;)
Thanks for popping in to see me and hope you're doing well.
Be a sweetie,
These all look wonderful! Good to keep in mind if I ever fulfill my dream of traveling to Paris :)
My husband would have to take care of reading the maps. I would get us lost in five minutes. I'm so bad at reading maps, it's embarrassing. I would go to Paris for the food alone, and Italy, too.
Oh fun, I haven't looked at some of these books so will have to check them out before my next trip to Paris (whenever that ends up being!). My favorite map of Paris was this pop-out one that I got at B&N years ago. It folds up so small so is easy to carry around.
Now we organize a lot of the information on an iPhone ... but there's no substitute for a real map, sometimes. I agree with your frustration that beautiful, heavily illustrated guidebooks are great until you realize that they are heavy in more than one way.
Happy Paris week!
The market book looks really interesting, do love a french market, be it food or flea!
LOVE the DK guides. We have several on our bookshelf--old not, but we don't mind! This is a great collection for anyone considering Paris... I wish we were right now! LOL... But it's nice to dream... and armchair travel costs little. ;o) Happy Days, Jeanie ((HUGS))
Hi Jeanie, A guide book is most important when traveling, I l ike one fhat fits in my backpack or purse, not so heavy. These books add so much when planning a trip, I love having them at my fingertips and enjoy seeing pictures as I make an itenary. You have a great selection. I need to look at the current ones Jeannie, I'm planning for a trip to France soon! Send any tips my way on what to see and do.
Have a great week..............
Wow, you have provided a wealth of resources to make traveling about in Paris much easier! I'll be there for the second time next summer with high school students, and I should pick up one of these books. HI JEANIE!
I always enjoy planning for a trip as much as the trip itself. You've certainly gathered some great resources here for anyone thinking of Paris!
Jeanie, I love this post. You have mentioned a few of my own favorite guides and maps - as well as Rick Steves and his resources. You have also made me much more interested in traveling to Paris than I have been. I am almost ready to begin posting my Irish adventures...for some reason I have selfishly guarded my memories. Places that touch your soul are more difficult to process, don't you think?
Thanks for sharing all your travel information. I might put a couple of these guides to work for me. You see, I travel through Google Earth and it helps to have a particular destination in mind. The biggest problem is I don't get to sample the food!
These are some great tips....my favorite would definitely be The Markets of Paris !
DK Eyewitness has always been our fave when it comes to reference resources when my son was growing up. Lots of detailed images and write-ups. As for me at this stage, I would prefer Rick Steve's . Yes, the next time I travel, that will be my guidebook. However, I've enjoyed all the others you included here, esp those with beautiful illustrations. :)
It is always so interesting to see the different map selections. For me it is Paris Pratique par Arrondissement which I bought about 12 years ago and for my second choice it is the free one you can get when you buy RER/Métro tickets. You will have to ask for "Plan 2 avec rues" - It has wonderful bus routes on one side and the Métro on the other... superimposed with the streets!
Love your post, ma chère!
I think your selection of books about Paris is very good. My collection is a bit different. As you know I was raised in Paris and started going back there in 1963 after moving to San Francisco in 1961. My last trip in Paris in May 2014 was my even 60th, but then most of my trips were family oriented until my mother passed away so they were just plain family trips. However, even when I went back twice a year to do my mother’s errands I would make sure I’d stop at a nice family restaurant or go to a new museum collection on the way. I have been using the Plan de Paris, 6000 rues, 20 arrondissements by Editions Leconte for years. I also get the various plans given by the Metro/Bus like Paris Tourisme, Ile de France, Paris rue, etc. I also always use l’Indispensable, Plan de Paris, the book if I stay a couple of weeks, or the little one if I only stay a week. I also like the book L’Indispensable Paris Bus because it shows you exactly where each bus line goes and I like using the bus more than the metro.
I forgot to say that another thing I have been doing for years is that I have a Paris document on my computer where I enter, all year long, anything of interest. I have it by arrondissements and will enter a restaurant, or café, or shop or whatever. Then when I plan to go back home I’ll look at the area I’ll go to and print that (I do that on New York and New Orleans too.) I’ll also go on Google get the address of, for example the restaurant, to the bus stop, via “pieton” or walking and print it. In addition while in Paris I’ll buy that year edition of either Le Routard Paris (the classic guide) or Paris, Secrets de Parisiens, or Paris, c’est chic! Or Shopping Insolite a Paris or books like that, because they won’t have all the tourist places that the foreign books have and that I have seen but will give me some new unknown place or the latest find. I also read the section Que faire a Paris? Listed on the official site of the Mairie de Paris and other sites like it. It’s also important to read l’Officiel des Spectacles before going to Paris to see what opera, play, show, museum special will happen when you are there to get advance tickets. That is what I do.
Oh my, it would be hard to choose which book would be my favorite. When we travel anywhere that Rick Steves has a book on, we take it with us. Love Rick Steves alot. Love travel books too. They remind me of all the travel books I used when I would package tours for a tour company many years ago. The tours were in places I had never been and yet the books provided enough information to make planning a tour quite easy.
I like those Eyewitness Travel guides too... beautiful and interesting. (By the way, I love your tribute to Gypsy. Reminds me of my own "cat of my life.")
Wow, you will know everything there is to know about Paris, Jeanie! I like the insight guides too. Funnily enough one of the books I really liked last time I was buying Paris guidebooks, is not in English so I have to struggle with my rotten French to understand it./ It's about the small and unusual museums of Paris.
I love Paris in the springtime, summer, fall, winter...heck I love Paris any old time!
What a fabulous travel resource you are dear Jeanie...you share so many great things...
You could write a book!
Thank you for stirring my wanderlust...I have been reading your Paris posts over the last few days and am pert near speechless with delight!
Wow, Jeanie! You have a great Paris guide library! If I ever get a chance to go back, I'll check in with you! I've only been to Paris once -- and it was for work, so I didn't get to do a lot of sightseeing. That was in 1969. Would love to go back, just for fun. It's so beautiful and your posts about it make it even more intriguing!
Wow, what a collection! I love doing the pre trip research, but I dont have this many books. Most of my research has been internet based. I dont know if I missed it in your post - but have you seen those city maps printed on fabric, so you can just scrunch it up in you pocket or bag. That's my next purchase I think. Great post! You have really joined Paris in July with full gusto.
Paris research is fantastic- and wonderful fun. I have a well thumbed DK guide too, but I don't always take it- too heavy in the luggage. Last trip I took a Paris Mapguide- it was wonderful. So much detail including bus routes, I'll be using it again later in the year.
This is an excellent overview of travel books. Thank you so much!
I've started a TBV Paris list on my phone this month. (I'm planning to visit again in 2016 for my 50th).
I also prefer the DK guides for their quick easy reference pages to the things I like to do.
An Aussie author, John Baxter also has several walking Paris books that I was hoping to review this month...something to look forward to next July :-)
Thanks for all the recommendations! I've put a bunch of these on reserve at the library. :-)
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