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Rick Steves' Pocket Paris Paperback – Apr 19 2011

3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (April 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598803794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598803792
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 11.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #173,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Rick produces a public television series (Rick Steves' Europe), a public radio show (Travel with Rick Steves), and a podcast (Rick Steves' Audio Europe) ; writes a bestselling series of guidebooks and a nationally syndicated newspaper column; organizes guided tours that take thousands of travelers to Europe annually; and offers an information-packed website ( With the help of his hardworking staff of 70 at Europe Through the Back Door-in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle-Rick's mission is to make European travel fun, affordable, and culturally broadening for Americans.

Steve Smith manages tour planning for Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door and has been researching guidebooks with Rick for two decades. Fluent in French, he's lived in France on several occasions, starting when he was seven, and has traveled there annually since 1986. Steve's wife, Karen Lewis Smith, who's an expert on French cuisine and wine, provides invaluable contributions to his books, as do his two children.

Gene Openshaw is a writer, composer, tour guide, and lecturer on art and history. Specializing in writing walking tours of Europe's cultural sights, Gene has co-authored eight of Rick's books and contributes to Rick's public television series. As a composer, Gene has written a full-length opera (Matter), a violin sonata, and dozens of songs. He lives near Seattle with his daughter, and roots for the Mariners in good times and bad.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Street on Feb. 4 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was new and perfect pocket size. Great one page summaries of walks, hotels etc. all you need on paper! iPads are great but there is a big advantage to having all you need to know in a small paper book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By caseygirl TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 12 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great little pocket guide with some good tips and lots of information. Good size for carrying around and a good fold out map in the back. Can't go wrong with Rick Steves!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very useful book to carry around. Lots of good information - well set out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 265 reviews
80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Well worth it! Nov. 4 2012
By lisad - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently went to Paris for the first time and we only had 3 days. Read the Pocket Paris guide prior to the trip and with a bit of planning was able to see: Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles (all of it!), Louvre, d'Orsey, Tuileries Gardens, Eiffel Tower... plus many cafe's and shops. I downloaded the Audio for Paris - the Paris Cafe podcast was great. The pocket guide was the perfect size, I referenced it (and the maps) often. I highly recommend this guide for any first timer, his tips are helpful - metro info, museum passes, how to avoid lines and even how to be respectful to the french people - saying Bonjour really worked! The walking tours are great and his commentary is informative and even had us laughing a few times. For any future European trips I take, there WILL be a Rick Steve's guide in my bag!
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Practical information Aug. 31 2013
By Summerroll - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rick Steves is one of the most popular series of guides to travel. We were in Paris for 4 days this summer, and used the book as a quick reference guide. The organization of the book is much like the other guides. It is about 4.5 by 6 inches, 235 pages or so. The first pages of introduction gives a synopsis of Paris's neighborhoods: Monmartre, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, Major, Historic Core, Left Bank, and Marais. The Daily Reminder gives a succinct overview of special hours for attractions on different days of the week. On first Sundays, for instance, major museums are free (good to know, as we assiduously avoided the crowds) and the fountains run at Versailles in the summer (April to October). The guide gives a list of sites that are closed on certain days of the week. Puppet shows at the Luxembourg Gardens take place on Fridays and Saturdays. Some sights are open late on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (Notre Dame towers, Bateaux Mouche). The guide gives information on hours for the Metro.

The back of the book includes a detailed map of Paris, and a map of the Metro. These were invaluable to us, and much more informative the the tourist maps you get at the hotels, which are festooned with ads. They were sturdy too. Despite our flipping back and forth, taking the book in and out of backpacks, the map only ripped in one corner (the one attached to the book).

The remainder of the book contains several walking tours of major sites: Historic Paris (Notre Dame area), Louvre, Orsay Museum, Eiffel Tower, Rue CLer, Versailles. It gives detailed information on how to take the train to these areas and which stops to get off. Telephone numbers are given. We had kids ranging in age from 8 to 15 with us, and in general they did not want to see every sight on the tours, which still gave us plenty to see and do. In the back is a map of France. The Metro stops are marked on the main city map.

Note: this is a brief and populist guide. It is good for an overview, but not for any kind of detailed historical or academic treatise of the major sights. For this kind of information, I recommend doing research before your trip on the internet, as each major sight has a website. As well, the Blue Guides will bring more life to the tours. We learn interesting little tidbits of information: for example, that St. Denis holding his head is a signature statue above the left door of Notre Dame Cathedral (he was executed by decapitation but in true saintly fashion did not immediately die, but picked up his head and walked for some distance). If you want a more detailed book, you're going to have to buy (and carry) a heavier book.

We did not use this book for restaurant recommendations or hotels. We used a Tripadvisor city app: take the recommendations with a grain of salt, as they are not always unbiased.

So, why a guide book and not a smartphone app? Smart phone apps (maps, Tripadvisor, etc.) have an advantage in that your GPS location is available, and the distance to various sights can be accurately estimated. However, smartphones are difficult to see in the sun, and the information you want is not always easily searchable. It would be cool, for example, to wear Google Glass and have it link to Wikipedia. Great, but it's way cheaper to buy a $10 book.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Was sooo helpful on vacation June 19 2013
By Amanda - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide was perfect for our Parisian vacation, except for three things:

1. Eat at Paul, a wonderful cafe on almost every corner in Paris - they are affordable, delicious, and almost all people who worked there spoke English.

2. Go to the comptior des catacombes (if you can stomach it) but get there early! We waited on line for 2.5 hours, but it was sooooo worth it!

3. In the Musee d'Louvre - the section Rick highlights in the book is good, but if you have the time, go to some of the other wings, especially the sculpture garden, the Egyptian and Middle Eastern art section, and Napoleon's apartment.

Overall, the guide was phenomenal. Am using it still to figure out where to go on my next visit to Paris!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Perfect pocket reference guide to Paris Feb. 18 2015
By Big El - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect pocket reference guide to Paris......I took this book, a Michelin Green Guide for Paris, and a Streetwise Paris Map on a recent trip. After the first day of fumbling with the Green Guide, it stayed in the suitcase for the remainder of the trip. This Rick Steve's pocket guide was in hand the entire week of vacation in Paris. It is easy to use, organized in such a way that things were easy to find in the book, compact to fit in any pocket, filled with interesting tips. This pocket guide and the Streetwise Paris Map went with us everywhere, and were perfect.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Great, succint resource July 4 2011
By Traveler with kids - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this guidebook to help plan an upcoming trip to Paris with my family. It's been a valuable resource in helping us select what sights to visit, and the handy pull-out map (which includes sights, metro & train stations, etc.) will definitely be useful while traveling. The book's small size makes it packable, and the numerous color photos and descriptions have helped us plan our itinerary. The author includes lots of inside tips, such as how to buy a museum pass that allows you to bypass long ticket lines and what days certain museums are closed. The resource section on hotels and restaurants isn't quite as useful, mainly because there are too many options to list--I've found the Internet to be a better resource for finding accomodations. All in all, though, this book is a fantastic resource. I now know why many seasoned travelers urged me to buy the Rick Steves' guidebook!

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