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Lonely Planet: France 2013 Paperback – 1 Mar 2013
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Top customer reviews
It includes a worthwhile fold out map of Paris with a full key on the back.
If you like to eat (who doesn't?) then there are helpful comments on lots of eateries, and recommendations on regional dishes. This guide is thoroughly recommendable on its eating out recommendations and is far better than other guides in this area.
How to find or avoid naturist beaches, how to find gourmet shops, how to choose wine and even a section on French History is all included within!
If you are interested in Le Mans or car ferries you will find everything you need here. Don't bother comparing this with others - I've done that - just buy this helpful guide!
The information that is provided is written in a fairly pleasant and engaging manner, but the choices of what to include are odd - there are masses of pages worth of information on hotels, for example, yet I know very few people who don't find and read reviews for their accomodation online. There are also 100 pages of information on Paris, yet I would have imagined anyone visiting the city would want a smaller, dedicated city guide to take around with them instead.
There are good points to this book - there are quite a few maps, and the suggestions for sights and activities are useful, but it's just not my favourite type of guidebook. I can't help but compare it to the Frommer's France Day by Day (Frommer's Day by Day - Full Size) which manages to cover the whole of France in a much more engaging style, packed full of inspiring photos. I would definitely recommend the Frommers guide over this one.
However, it's split into sections and within each section is a wealth of information regarding where to eat, sleep, have fun, find culture... Whatever you're looking for in France it's likely to be in here. Lonely planet guides are renowned for being high end travel guides and this edition follows the tried and tested formula but personally I feel it's probably more of 'an aide to making an itinerary before you leave' kind of book, rather than a 'have in your pocket travel guide' kind of book.
Very interesting and packed with everything you'd want to know about your visit to France but I think the smaller, focused books on a specific regions/places are more useful.
So what we have here is a very accessible and useable guide to France in a handy sized book that is also pretty durable and which will fit easily in the glove compartment. Very broad-brush in many ways but understandably so considering the rich variety of the nation in question- just starting an overall guide to a country as varied as France is quite a challenge. It is definitely good for pointers though with excellent, easy to follow maps, solid, basic travel information and useful cultural insights. There's a really good fold-out map of Paris included in the back of the print version as well. Essentially another dependable, reasonably priced guide from Lonely Planet.
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