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Rick Steves' France 2012 Paperback – December 13, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 (ricksteves.com). 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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 1145 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 2012 Edition edition (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598809865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598809862
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used Rick Steves' books in Italy and in France, and cannot recommend them highly enough. He breaks down what you should see based on the amount of time you have to spend, the best ways to avoid huge crowds, how to get things like museum passes and train tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines and higher fees, and provides his own do-it-yourself tours so that you don't have to pay through the nose for tour guides abroad.

The level of valuable information and detail found in this book about anywhere you would ever want to go in France (including an outstanding section on Paris, no need to buy the Paris book separately) is priceless and makes you a much more prepared traveler. The cost of the book is nothing compared to the money saved by the tricks of the trade he provides and the time saved waiting in lines.

If you're going to France, you NEED this book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I bought this book, I borrowed Frommer's & Fodor's books on France along with Rick Steves'from the library.I found the print in the other two books to be so small that they were difficult to read and much too wordy. Rick Steves' is well-laid out and it's easy to find the do-not-miss sights. Also, his maps are large and easy to follow. We've used Rick Steves' books for other Europen trips and always found them to be excellent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many many books out there for travel, but Steves is practical, clear, detailed and he gives all the smart info you need for your trip. We used this for our France trip and it was a valuable tool, not only for the suggestions and time savings, but all the discounts he told us about more than paid for the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too many travel books are confined to the average tourist who is compelled to see the "must see" sites. Steves, who numerous travels to France make him a walking encyclopedia of this terrain, is compelled to dedicate too much of his book to Paris and other touristic classics.

Not until you delve into the pages of lesser known places does Steves deliver to his readers what many others cannot. But, even then the reduction of pages and substantial dedication of the others make this less through than you may wish.

To the publisher, I would recommend that a new book called "Unknown France" be written by this author about lesser known places like beautiful Annecy, high hilling Auch, bay enchanting La Rochelle or Epernay.

Some of my friends told me, after I returned, that they never had a good meal in Paris. I never had a bad meal outside of Paris -- get the hint? The villages and lesser cities are not only more charming that the New-York-like impersonal multicultural unembracing Paris, but they depict the France which the country would be more proud to allow portray the national norm of this country glazed with adorable centuries-old stone structures atop rolling hills.

In spite of all this, I followed one Stevesism: do not take too many pounds of travel books with. In yesteryear, he would recommend to tear out the important pages in order to lighten your load. This is the 21st century -- so I brought my Kindle version with a few other competitors' copies (free as they came from the library) and carried those few extra pieces of sage information about the many cathedrals encountered (people Notre Dame has many competitors -- maybe better and certainly less crowded -- in the lesser towns like Chartres, Auch, Strasbourg, or Besancon).

If Steves could write more about the lesser known, I would hop onto that publication. And, I would hop quickly because the lesser known would become more known because of his strong following.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This Amazon Kindle version was so much better than a bulky travel book. With the detailed Table of Contents, I could get right to the part that described the next day's tour.
It was also good plane reading on the trip over. The Kindle is so compact that it fit in my purse so I could check out restaurants and museum hours as we went. Rick Steves answers all our questions before we even know to ask them.

We liked the "out of the way" hints as well as info for travellers in all economic brackets - he gives ideas for splurging as well as ways to save money. We have used many travel guides and his are now the only ones we use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book to help book rooms for our next trip to Haarlem (near Amsterdam), Paris and the Alsace region, and I feel confident they'll be great beacuse I've used hi recommendations last summer. His writing is very personable at all levels from lodging to recommending when best to visit popular sites. Also, his hand drawn maps are very useful because he removes lots of clutter. If you have to watch your budget, he's always gives invaluable advice to save money. This particular guide covers all of France (plus Paris), so it's a bit heavy. It's probably the best book to own if your actually going to France. The only drawback is its lack of color photos. Here I really like the Eyewitness Travel and Insight Guides, but their writing is rather sterile. Now I consider Rick Steves number one for practical information and an enjoyable travel read. A+
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased Rick Steves' France 2012 eBook during my July 2012 trip to Europe. I'm not sure there's a better travel guide out there... his tips on saving time and money are second to none. You can't go wrong with any of Rick Steves' guides
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