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on June 6, 2003
I was surprised how little new content there was. I returned the book and took mine from last year (2002) and still discovered all new things in its suggestions. Don't waste the money on the latest when it's not the greatest. 2003 and 2002 are created equal. Whoever decided to put out a new book each year so we'd get rid of the old and get the new one is CRAZY! I understand updates every few years, but there was not enough difference to spend $... on.
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on January 9, 2013
Although I found the Rick Steve's Pocket Paris guide very helpful, I found the full France guide missing considerable information. The book did not provide much information for two of the cities I plan to to visit, Marseille and Montpellier, which I consider strange, since Marseille is the 2013 European capital of culture, and Montpellier is an UNESCO site. For travellers who want to visit the usual haunts, particularly Paris and the French Riviera, this book might be for you. For those who are Rick Steve converts, he does not disappoint; he provides lots of information on city walks, and hotels with Rick Steve discounts. But for those that want to travel off the beaten path, and to have a guide that supports such travel, they might not find the information they seek.
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on July 9, 2015
I was extremely disappointed with the Kindle version of this book. It was virtually useless. Not because the information was inadequate, but rather due to a simply-corrected technical shortcoming. If you go to the index and look up a topic the page numbers are links, supposedly sending you to the correct page. The problem is that the links do not adjust according to the device that is currently being used and therefore, you are taken to incorrect pages. Pages are smaller on a smartphone than they are on a tablet, for example, and this means that a topic on page 100 on a tablet might be on 350 (or whatever) on a smaller device. The problem is compounded when users have choices regarding text size. I am quite certain that this is something that could be overcome by having the links adjust dynamically according to the device and settings currently being used.
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on January 18, 2003
I haven't seen the 2003 edition (my latest is 2001) but I would be shocked if Steves has cut Dijon out of the book, as it was in previous editions. This is a great starting point for a trip to France, but it's predecessor was a book about the best 2-22 days in France and I think it shows.
A marked problem with the Steves guides is that his guided tours businesses tend to fill up his top-rated hotels in many cities so that guidebook customers cannot get in. I encountered this myself in Bacharach in the Rhineland and in Venice. Frustrating.
That said, he is an excellent writer and the Rick Steves guides, unlike the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide series, do tend to discriminate between the top-flight and the ordinary. Unfortunately the Steves guides also miss things that way. I've never been able to understand why Rothenburg is in the German guide instead of any number of other German cities such as Bamberg or Schwabisch Hall for example, which possess similar ambiance without the touristic hordes. Nor do I necessarily agree with his choices in the Dordogne.
I use the Steves Guides as a starting point, then branch out and do my own research.
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on January 5, 2003
The descriptions in this books are very good and he makes many good recommendations for sites, hotels, and restaurants. However, I think this book left out a lot of wonderful destinations (such as Fontainebleau, Aix-en-Provence, Dijon, etc.) and lacks the detailed maps that can be found in other French guidebooks. What he does put in this book is very good, but he could have added a lot more to it. I was less pleased with this guidebook than I have been with some of Rick Steves' other books.
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on February 15, 2012
Rick includes history of France and the places he lists in his book. There is a lot good advice to prepare the visitor, how one should act, when one should be careful and how to enjoy the trip to the fullest. He lists a good choice of hotels, restaurants and details how to get to the different venues, to use the transportation. I enjoyed reading the book and having been in France several times, agreed with his work and learned new things to do.
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on May 13, 2004
I brought this book with me on a recent trip to Paris, the Loire valley and Brittany. Whenever we could, we used the recommendations for places to go and stay and eat from the book and never came away dissapointed. The book does a great job of getting you to the best sights and avoiding the crowds.
The only bad thing I can say about it is the coverage is not very good. There are many cities that there is no information on making this not a good resource for answering the question "Gee, I wonder what is in this little out of the way town we are driving thru". If you stick to the big sights however, this is not a problem. You can also use this book to determine what the big sights are.
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on May 4, 2013
It's a heavy tomb of a book but, packed with information and split into logical sections for easy use. I especially like the practical information such as using the telephone system, reading road signs (they are quite different), warnings about speed limits, toll roads, train & bus routes, hotel details, etc. And, of course, lots of information on attractions including admittance costs, opening hours, etc. A very complete guide to just about every corner of France.
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on October 24, 2013
I have purchased Rick Steve's guides before and will continue to do so as it is very comprehensive, loaded with detailed and practical information guide year after year. I stayed in places that Rick himself or his stuff visited and all quite accurate as described in the guide. That and yearly updates is the main reason I keep getting his guides. Best guide for accurate and practical information you can get!!!
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on July 27, 2015
Good guide to France with a MAJOR EXCEPTION. Rick Steves does not like the city of Bordeaux. Information on this city is lacking in this guide as it was in past Rick Steves France guides.
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