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Rick Steves' Paris 2008 Paperback – September 28, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Fodor's Paris 2016 (Full-color Travel Guide) by Fodor's
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rick Steves, author of 21 guidebooks and host of the television series Travels in Europe with Rick Steves, has spent 100 days a year traveling Europe, every year, since 1973. If any American knows Paris, he does, and his self-imposed mission is to make the city just as accessible to those of us who don't have the good fortune to spend months there at a time.

In his amiable, informed, and ruthlessly candid way, Steves focuses on the best--including nice places to stay and eat that give lots in the way of character and take relatively little in the way of francs. He suggests walking tours, museums, and itineraries that include both famous landmarks and little-known finds. He knows it all: art galleries and crêpe stands, street cafés and romantic neighborhoods, activities for kids, and great places to shop. Most importantly, he knows how Parisians live, and his guide provides the best information to let you experience not just the sights of Paris, but Parisian life as well. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Today's tourists are as likely to be toting Rick Steves as Giorgio Armani, tasting the good life without burning through the Kids' college fund. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; Revised edition (September 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566918634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566918633
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (www.ricksteves.com), European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have used both the 1999 and 2000 editions of this excellent guide, and can only say that it is the best of the lot, closely followed by the Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness guides.
What makes Steves' guides so useful is that he addresses himself to Americans who are not used to foreign travel with the principal goal of eliminating their fear by helping to get their feet wet. To this end, his guides are more PRESCRIPTIVE than DESCRIPTIVE.
For a good DESCRIPTIVE guide, I would turn to another guide such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, supplemented, perhaps, by Rachel Kaplan's excellent "Little-Known Museums In and Around Paris."
A PRESCRIPTIVE guide like this will urge that you avoid the Madeleine, Opera Garnier, and Pantheon because they aren't worth it -- and don't bother with the Bastille, because it was torn down over 200 years ago. Steves concentrates on accommodations and restaurants in only three parts of Paris: Rue Cler (near the Eiffel Tower), the Marais, and the Rue Mouffetard area. That saves perhaps a hundred pages and makes the book more compact and easy to carry during a trip.
One of the strong points of the book is the merging of material from Steves' useful "Mona Winks" art guide into his Paris book. "Mona Winks" shows how you can visit the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, the Cluny Museum (highly recommended), and Versailles without killing yourself. For the Louvre, as an example, he concentrates how you can devote your attention to parts of the Sully and Denon wings and see the key works in about 2-3 hours. (Okay, if you're a purist, don't flame me: You and I would, of course, devote more time -- but that's not the issue here.
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Format: Paperback
I say just about perfect because a few additions would make this the only guidebook you will ever need for Paris. As a recently relocated American expat in London, my wife and I just took our first weekend trip to Paris (by train) with this book and the Fodor's Gold guide. If you like to walk, the walking tours are superb, Rick Steve's commentary, history, directions, anecdotes, and humor are all excellent. His guided tours of museums, churches, and other sites are all very interesting. The book also includes short trips outside the city, such as Versailles. I anticipate using this book many more times (you can only see so much in a weekend), and to make it perfect I would implore the editors to add a Paris Metro/RER map and a proper map of the city (the only maps in this edition are localized hand-drawn maps for each walk, making it difficult to guage the overall scale of the city and where things are located in relation to each other). These were the only two things that were invaluable in the Fodor's guide. Certainly it's easy enough to pick those up in the city, but I have always found it more convenient to study maps ahead of time, and have them all in one place. Overall, however, this is the one guidebook to Paris that no visitor to the city should be without.
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Format: Paperback

Well I just came back from Paris where the only book I took along was Rick Steves' Paris 2001, supplemented with a "Paris Pratique" map bought in a Paris bookstore (get the book, not the fold out map) and of course a subway map.
For the first time visitor (and I was), this book covers the basics you need for budget trip. For a few days I was guarding the book more than my wallet, I was so dependent upon it-- it allowed me to see the highlights of the museums and sights without spending overly large amounts of time or precious physical energy. Of special help were the hints on how to avoid lines in the hot sun at the museums.
The great joy of this book is it cuts monstrous sites like the Louvre down to manageable size. This convenience comes at a cost: the book reflects Rick Steves' tastes in art and food, which may not be your own. But for a first timer like me it was great. After a few days, I started to explore on my own.
If the book has any faults, I would say that its recommended itineraries and guided tours focus too much on cathedrals and museums. Also, Rick fails to do with restaurants what he does so well with the sights, i.e., guide you toward a limited number of recommended/rated selections. He does recommend some places, but the "walk" maps generally don't include any of these recommended eating/drinking places, they are listed separately in the "eating" section of the book, making cross-referencing difficult. For gastronomic adventure beyond Rick's diet of croissants and cheese sandwiches, you need another book. You might try "Cheap Eats in Paris." Note, there is an excellent vegetarian restaurant at 72 Rue Lemoine.
If you follow this book you will see more Americans than Parisians.
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Format: Paperback
My wife and I used Rick's book extensively while in Paris. It had many great tricks and tips about getting around Paris. Escpecially the Museums and such. But this should not be the only book that you bring. I would highly recommend Eyewitness Paris guide or Fodor's to complement Rick's book. Both have more detailed information and maps about the Metro\RER. One word of caution. Most of the Hotels and Restaraunts that are recommended in Rick's book are swamped with Rick Steve's groupies clutching his book under their arms, especially the Rue Cler area. I didn't care for all the Americans, but some people didn't mind...
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