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on April 20, 2002
Perfect for someone who would only be in Paris a day or three, this book specializes in giving you the highlights in a lightweight, compact book that is ideal to carry around with you when on the streets. The classic DK/Eyewitness travel guide for Paris covers so much material it is almost too heavy to carry around all day. I left the heavier guide in the hotel room, reading in the morning or evening about places we had been or were going, took this Top Ten guide out with us, along with the excellent Insight Fleximap, having put post-it-notes in the Top Ten guide if there was some additional data for the day (for example, the Top Ten guide mentions nothing about the Catacombs).
This is not the book to get in depth historical or architectural information, but handy for use in the street.
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on February 10, 2004
Any "best of" list is bound to raise the hackles of fans and experts. The Doris Kindersley "Top 10" series books are no exception.
I love books about France, especially about Paris and Provence. I've visited the two areas frequently over the last few years, so I feel a bit qualified to comment on the "Top 10 Paris" and "Top 10 Provence". Of the two the former is the more useful book.
First the similarities: fun to read, nice price point, nice photos, fits well in the hand.
If you're an infrequent visitor to Paris, the Top 10 book is helpful. The city maps and metro map are handy and useful. (Although I strongly recommend you also get the Michelin Paris Plan #14.) It's useful in recommending museums, parks, arrondisement highlights, etc.
However, don't use this book for hotels or restaurants. Its weakness in hotels is excusable. How can one possibly pick Top 10 hotels in Paris, or in any part of Paris?
Its failing in picking Top 10 restaurants is less excusable, and the reason I dropped the book down from 4 stars to 3. I go to Paris to eat. I have some credibility in this area (eating, if not reviews restaurants) and I found their choices disturbing and puzzling. The Top 10 restaurant list would be laughable, were it not so sad and infuriating.
Even so, I`d recommend the book. It's fun, you'll find it helpful.
I don't recommend "Top 10 Provence". It seems to be a collection of clichés gathered from other guide books. I wonder if the authors have any real experience in Provence. Almost all of the recommendations are predictable - and boring. I found little that matched my experience in Provence (except for the inclusion of Vaison-la-Romaine).
The restaurant recommendations for every place I was familiar with were bad to horrible. The lists of places to visit were equally puzzling.
Promise me one thing: if you do buy this book, immediately go to the wine section, rip out the pages, and burn them without reading them.
I give this one star for photos and price point.
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VINE VOICEon March 25, 2004
I spent four great summer days in Paris last year, and this little book was indispensable. Going through it before I hit Paris got me in the traveling mood, and I used it constantly while I was there. If you only have room for a single Paris guidebook, this is the one.
The fold-out Metro map expedited my travels around the City of Lights (once I got the hang of how the trains ran). Each Top 10 section helped me prioritize my wanderings, locate various sites, and gave good concise historical background. For example, the Top 10 exhibits in the Louvre are pictured and described, which provided a necessary focus in such a huge, overwhelming museum. However, the guide's Louvre map was not quite up to speed, although I didn't consider that to be a big issue.
The compact format was easy to use, and the color pictures were a great visual aid. It also fit perfectly in my Eagle Creek shoulder bag or my pantleg cargo pocket, so it wasn't a burden. When I was getting ready to depart Paris for London at the Gard du Nord, I left the book on a table and watched from the upstairs to see who would take it. I hoped the guide would serve them as well as it did me.
Looking for other information on Paris or France to prep for your trip? I found Rick Steves' books and the "Let's Go" guides helpful as well, and "60 Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow is great for insight into France and the French. Happy travels!
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on March 26, 2008
I'm not a seasoned or jaded traveler ... yet! Neophyte European travellers will find that experience and time are the limiting resources when it comes to pre-planning a first trip to a destination as large and complex as the City of Lights. The Eyewitness Travel Top 10 format provides more than enough details to allow for an informed choice between competing destinations but unlike many of the competing alternative guides, it makes no attempt to be encyclopedic drowning an unsuspecting reader in so much knowledge that choices become next to impossible.

Eyewitness Travel Guides seem to have the market beat by a long margin! That's not to say that Lonely Planet, Frommer, Michelin or the Blue and Green Guides miss the mark entirely but the Eyewitness series, in general, seems to be more informative. The photographs and illustrations instill a higher degree of keen anticipation and provide a better means of choosing in advance between a world of competing destinations and alternative tourist attractions. And I can't say enough about the Top 10 format ... dozens of lists - events, restaurants, hotels, museums, walks, churches, bars, great spots for children, insider tips and so much more. Whether your taste in vacations runs to exploring the hot night life spots or scoping out the most exciting history that museums and art galleries have to offer, Top 10 Paris will make your trip easier to plan and more enjoyable in the doing.

Portability, durability, sensible layout and organization not to mention the included maps of the city and the metro system make Top 10 Paris the correct choice to tote along with you while you're actually out and about in Paris as well.

Finally, Top 10 Paris is a great way of post-filling information and details into some of the holes or places that you might miss or have to rush through when you're actually on the trip. Along with photographs and trip journals, it's also a wonderful way to resurrect detailed memories of a trip long after you've returned home.

Paul Weiss
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VINE VOICEon December 17, 2006
If you are planning a short trip to Paris this is a must have book. It covers excellent restaurants and wonderful places to stop and shop. The essential sights are all listed by region and are explained in enough detail for one to decide if they want to visit. If you are going for a longer period of time I would recommend a bigger guide but I would still get this one to walk around with.
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on May 14, 2002
If you are going to be in a city for 3-4 days, the Top 10 Travel Guides are perfect. It gives you the top 10 sites to see and the top 10 things to see at each site. In addition, it goes into more depth in each area of the you additional top 10 lists. For a first time visit to a particular city, you can feel overwhelmed with the amount of site seeing involved. These books are perfect in helping you decide what are the most important sites to see. I have personally used the London and Paris versions of the guide books. I can't wait until more books in the series are published.
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on June 7, 2003
This book was very useful in my 4-day trip to Paris. It helps you locate all the hot spots in each neighboorhood and of course the top 10 places to visit.
What I did is, I chose a few of those top 10 places, then once I was there, I could check the book to find my way to the best restaurants, museums, streets and sights in that area.
The map of the Metro is very helpful.
The book fits in your pocket which is nice if you like to travel light.
Bonne journee!
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on December 18, 2005
This is a scaled down version of the regular Eyewitness Paris book.

I have to confess up front. I love these books. I must have a dozen. I really like the Paris book, and the one for Prague, and Stockholm, and South Africa, and .... You get all the detailed material similar to other great travel books plus you get great visuals.

The photos and descriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent and more than make up for any lack of small detail. But there is lots of detail here. The book includes the history of Paris and many details on the art, art galleries, parks, cutaway views of historical buildings, and many other things of interest. That is the good part.

The bad part is why buy this book when there is a much better Eyewitness Travel book on Paris for a few extra dollars. The big book is 5 stars. This is an edited and scaled down sibling.

Recommendation: skip this thin 2 star or 3 star book and just buy the regular book which is easily a 5 star book.
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on August 2, 2005
I decided to check out the Top 10 guide for Paris given the excellent experience I had in London with a similar guide on a past trip to the UK. I noticed the same compelling points with this guide as I'd noticed with the London guide -- a concise list of things to do in city, a list of various neighborhoods (arroindissments in Paris), list of best cafes/bars and sample itineraries for spending an entire day in each neighborhood, the top 10 things to look for at each attraction, and the best feature: the compact size of the guide.

But I was looking for more than just the above -- I was traveling to a city where people don't talk in English after all. What I really liked about the Top 10 guide was the section on Streetsmarts -- when you're in a country where English is not the first language, you sometimes need a helping hand with even the simplest of things -- like what is the best deal on the Paris Metro? Should I buy single tickets or a "Carte Mobilis" for every day? How do I make a local phone call? What should I avoid? The Top 10 guide's Streetsmart section covers many of these "small" things on your mind and also include a few pages with popular French phrases with translation in English, eliminating the need to carry a phrase book, if any.

With this guide, I was able to see Paris according to my schedule and tastes. I took in all the touristy attractions on the first day by just walking along the Seine river, and spent the next few days exploring specific neighborhoods like Saint Germain des Pres and interesting detours. I planned my entire stay in Paris with this book, and not a day went by when I wasn't glad for having this guide by my side -- and at under 10 bucks a pop for these guides, I'm quickly acquiring a collection.
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on October 10, 2003
If your European trip will be focused on one or two cities as oppossed to an entire country, the Eyewitness Top 10 guides are the best value for your money. The books contain fold out maps (including a metro map), photos (and often maps) of the top ten attractions, and great bar, restaurant and shopping recommendations. Also, since the book is slim, it can easily fit in your pocket or bag and you won't be as obviously touristy as you would be walking around with a behemouth "Let's Go Europe" in your hands. A must for your first or next trip to Paris!
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