|Rick Steves' France 2009
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Explore the Louvre, cruise above the Loire Valley in a hot-air balloon, or sample the world-famous cuisine of Provence—Rick Steves’ France 2009 allows any traveler to experience all that the country has to offer—economically and hassle-free. From the must-see sights of Paris to the rustic villages of Basque country, Rick guides travelers through France with expert advice, historical knowledge, and a healthy dose of humor. Complete with tips on transportation, accommodations, and dining, Rick Steves’ France 2009 is the definitive guide to the world’s top tourist destination.
- Great descriptions but limited coverage
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....more info
- Rick Steves France 2007
This is an excellent book if you are traveling in France. It highlights all of the areas you want to see plus gives you valuable insights into the places to eat, shop, sleep, etc. We have used this book for all our travels and it works wonderfully. ...more info
- Wouldn't go anywhere in Europe with Rick!
Rick's latest book on travelling in France has already proven quite valuable as we plan our 2009 trip to France. He is knowledgable and his books provide a variety of easy to understand and implement options for touring and for overnight stays. I appreciate his honesty and suggestions. Thanks Rick!!...more info
- rick steves france 2009
this book is very thorough and rick steves knows how to travel well without spending an excessive amount of money.........great tips and discounts available in the book....... ...more info
- Travel guide review
Pretty comprehensive. But the prices listed are not quite accurate, however it is a good starting point for bargaining. This a good guide to start with at home, combined with a couple of others one can really safely plan a trip to through France. ...more info
- Rick Steve's Keeps It Real
Rick Steve's France 2009 is the industry standard for excellence in a travel manual. Rick's approach to travel was unheard of back in the days when I backpacked across Europe on break as a French student at the University of Grenoble.
France 2009 will save you hours of time, tons of money and mountains of embarrassment by giving you the fruit of Rick's expertise in travel in France.
Some highlights of the book include preparation for travel, intelligent packing (meaning 'leave most of it at home'), maps, train systems, car rental, best hotels, restaurants, etc ... Crime is also mentioned and the traveler is given great tips on how to avoid pickpockets (wear your money belt).
The appendix includes a nice 'French Survival Phrases' section. Naturally, since the focus of this book is travel in France and not the study of the French language, one can appreciate the usefulness of this French language guide while recognizing its limitations.
For a very fast, easy and inexpensive preparation for speaking with French natives, try Behind the Wheel French published by Macmillan Audio.
Behind the Wheel - French 1...more info
- Rick Steves is always a help
We've used other books of Rick Steves to travel by and not been disappointed, so we're looking forward to all of the helpful advice that he has to give us. We're not traveling until the fall, so I won't know if the advice is good or bad....more info
- Not for Us
My francophile boyfriend and I took Rick Steve's 2007 to France because it gave us a hefty discount at a Paris Hotel which looked interesting. We started out in the Riviera, and found the maps inaccurate and not to scale. The book-recommended restaurants that we went to were sub-par, and clearly geared toward a mainstream American palate. If you're the type that goes to McDonald's in foreign countries, Rick Steve's is for you. The book skipped Aix En Provence, our next stop, entirely - too french, perhaps? Then we got to Hotel Castex, the aforementioned discounted hotel in Paris. It was a PIT. The room we were given was a dark hole with two sagging twin beds when we had asked for a double. There was about a foot of space between the beds and the door. We got out of there immediately. So my general impression of this book is that it caters to scared Americans who, in the author's opinion, are second-rate, and gives them second-rate tourist traps to visit. Go with Fodor's, Lonely Planet, or your gut. ...more info
- Travel book
This book is very user friendly and will be helpful to me for my trip....more info
- You're going to LOVE FRANCE!
I've made >20 visits to France all together. Here are my reviews of the best guides....to meet you r exact needs.....I hope these are helpful and that you have a great visit! I always gauge the quality of my visit by how much I remember a year later......this review is designed to help you get the guide that will be sure YOU remember your trip many years into the future. Travel Safe and enjoy yourself to the max!
Rick Steves' books are not recommended. They may be an interesting read but their helpfulness is very poor. They don't do well on updates, transportation details, or anything but the first-time-tourist routine and even that is somewhat superficial on anything but the mega-major sites.
Famous for their quality reviews, the Red Michelin Guides are for hotels & Restaurants, the Green Michelin Guides are for main tourist destinations. However, the English language Green guide is the one most people use and it has now been supplemented with hotel and restaurant information. These are the serious review guides as the famous Michelin ratings are issued via these books.
Fodor's is the best selling guide among Americans. They have a bewildering array of different guides. Here's which is what:
The Gold Guide is the main book with good reviews of everything and lots of tours, walks, and just about everything else you could think of. It's not called the Gold guide for nothing though....it assumes you have money and are willing to spend it.
SeeIt! is a concise guide that extracts the most popular items from the Gold Guide
PocketGuide is designed for a quick first visit
UpCLOSE for independent travel that is cheap and well thought out
CityPack is a plastic pocket map with some guide information
Exploring is for cultural interests, lots of photos and designed to supplement the Gold guide
MapGuide is very easy to use and has the best location information for hotels, tourist attractions, museums, churches etc. that they manage to keep fairly up to date. It's great for teaching you how to use the Metro. The text sections are quick overviews, not reviews, but the strong suite here is brevity, not depth. I strongly recommend this for your first few times learning your way around the classic tourist sites and experiences. MapGuide is excellent as long as you are staying pretty much in the center of the city.
The Time Out guides are very good. Easy reading, short reviews of restaurants, hotels, and other sites, with good public transport maps that go beyond the city centre. Many people who buy more than one guidebook end up liking this one best!
Without doubt, the best of the walks guides.... the Blue Guide has been around since 1918 and has extremely well designed walks with lots of unique little side stops to hit on just about any interest you have. If you want to pick up the feel of the city, this is the best book to do that for you. This is one that you end up packing on your 10th trip, by which time it is well worn.
Let's Go is a great guide series that specializes in the niche interest details that turn a trip into a great and memorable experience. Started by and for college students, these guides are famous for the details provided by people who used the book the previous year. They continue to focus on providing a great experience inexpensively. If you want to know about the top restaurants, this is not for you (use Fodor's or Michelin). Let's Go does have a bewildering array of different guides though. Here's which is what:
Budget Guide is the main guide with incredibly detailed information and reviews on everything you can think of.
City Guide is just as intense but restricted to the single city.
PocketGuide is even smaller and features condensed information
MapGuide's are very good maps with public transportation and some other information (like museum hours, etc.)
Lonely Planet has City and Out To Eat Guides. They are all about the experience so they focus on doing, being, getting there, and this means they have the best detailed information, including both inexpensive and really spectacular restaurants and hotels, out-of-the-way places, weird things to see and do, the list is endless.
These are time tested guides that pride themselves on being updated annually. Although I think the guides below provide information that is in more depth or more concise (depending on what the guide is known for), if your main concern is that the guide has very little old or outdated information, then this would be a good guide for you.
- Not for a person going by rail!
I absolutely hate to give a Rick Steve's book a bad review but in this case I am going to have to. I will preface this however that if you have access to a car this book is proably great for you!
AND therein lies the main difficulty with this book. Most independent (and in my case young) travelers that visit Europe do so via rail. Why not? The service is good in most places and absolutely top notch in others (i.e.: Switzerland). It's also affordable and allows you to get to many places at a relatively inexpensive price.
This books, however, seems to ignore the rail traveler and focus instead on the person with a car or the person who wants to go and take a lot of local tours. For example, he'll list places in the Dordogne and then inform you that most of them are only accessible by car. Ditto for Provence. He'll also list cute little hotels and again tell you they are only accessible by car. He even lists a whole bunch of recommended auto routes. In addition, because he leaves out certain places that are easily accessible by train (i.e: Aix) the rail traveler feels left out!
That would be all good and fine if that's what one had come to expect from Rick Steves -- but at least in my case it is not! I have used the Rick Steves books before and I LOVED them! In fact I can HIGHLY recommend "Best of Europe" and "Mona Winks" (believe the title has changed). Those books were great. Serioulsy, Mona Winks made Florence come alive for me. We would read it in every museum we visited. And Best of Europe led me to some of the most fabulous places -- including Gimmelwald. But what I really liked is that those books really felt as though they were meant for a rail traveler.
I've bought Rick Steve's France 2005 but I've also come to the conclusion that it's not for me. If at all possible I will be returning it!
That is not to say however that I won't be taking my Best of Europe or Mona Winks books with me -- I wouldn't leave home without them!...more info
- A Travel Must
Anyone who travels to Europe benefits greatly from Rick Steve's information and approach to travel. You find great, affordable places to stay and get a real sense of the country and its people. We loved our tiny French hotel in Paris...and imagine my excitement to have breakfast in the tiny breakfast room with Rick. He stays in the places he recommends! He advocates a back door approach of getting to know the people and how to behave courteously in the different countries...and people respond so much better to you if you take his advice. His books are totally accurate, full of good ideas, and a wonderful guide for affordable yet exciting travel....more info
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