Here at EuroCheapo we work hard to keep track of how cities, hotels and neighborhoods change. One way we do this is by regularly revisiting cities to make sure that our listings are up to date. Another way is by combing through guidebooks to see what other experts have to say about our cities. Here are a few of our favorite guidebooks.
Our Favorite Guidebooks
For Paris, we turn to the annual "Rough Guide to Paris," a 500+ page tome. We like Rough Guide's coverage of niche travelers' needs, and we love the "Contexts" chapter that appears at the end of the guidebook. These chapters provide an historical sketch, and are especially good at giving a sense of the dynamics contextualizing contemporary life. The "Rough Guide to Paris" also has great hotel listings, with reviews of tons of inexpensive places. We're big fans, obviously.
We dig the folksy tone of Rick Steves' guides, and "Rick Steves' Paris" is no exception. The best thing about Rick Steves is his unbridled love of travel in Europe, something that's palpable throughout. Rick and his team are especially good with itinerary suggestions, plotting out self-guided walks and tours for visitors to Paris. There's also an extremely helpful appendix, with tips and various forms of advice.
The more visual people in the EuroCheapo office swear by DK's "Eyewitness Travel" guidebooks. Glossy pages and lots and lots of photographs and graphics are the rule here. We especially like the detailed maps, which show streets, alleyways and individual buildings. The "Eyewitness" level of detail is really amazing, and even provides museum floorplans.
"Time Out Paris" is a fantastic guide to the City of Light. We're especially taken by the series of chapters at the start of the guidebook. These chapters provide quick primers to Parisian history, contemporary life, the creative scene and film, among other subjects. In addition to these chapters, "Time Out Paris" sports some of the best city maps we've come across, strong listings, and lots of little page-long feature articles on one or another detail of Parisian life.
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