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on 6 March 2017
Reliable & practical & recommended.
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on 28 July 1999
True to the tradition of providing up-to-date information for the independent traveller, Lonely Planet's 'France' combines coverage of the main regions of interest with excellent detail in its 1150 pages. There are perceptive descriptions of localities with witty gems gleaned from travellers' experiences of hotels and restaurants suited to all budgets. The section on Paris is particularly thorough and is better than many guide books on the capital. Written for an international readership, the book gives invaluable information for the novice and experienced traveller who wants to access the country from different parts of the world. It's one of the best in the series and it will repay its purchase price many times over. Highly recommended.
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on 11 April 2001
This is a perfect accompaniment for anyone travelling or even living in France. I used it on many occasions and would have been stuck without it. Handy maps and accommodation details set it apart from other guides, and its authors are honest and give you their true opinions. Put it in your bag with your baguette and you've got all you need!
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on 7 March 2010
I'm a big advocate of Lonely Planet guidebooks and have used them around the world, but I was disappointed with FRANCE. The book is just too big with too much information, most of which is not that interesting or useful and furthermore the information is repeated endlessly. They could have made their 1000+ page book 500 which some careful editing.

The problem with this particular guidebook is that it does not clearly give interesting overviews of the areas one might visit with interesting things to do. (To be fair, they do have interesting and sometimes quirky things to do, but one has to read a lot of superfluous information to get it.)

I believe the problem is that the typical Lonely Planet format, which I usually love, is not appropriate for a country like France in the age of the internet. You don't need to know, for example, in every small city section which trains and buses and go there. It is plenty to know that France has an impressive train system that goes most places, and one can check on the internet to get up to date information on exactly what time and at what cost a train runs from Marseille to Nice. Additionally, Lonely Planet's own website or a hostel booking site or tripadvisor.com will tell more useful and up-to-date information on accommodation at any price level. Therefore, a guidebook for a highly developed country like France should tell more about why one wants to visit Marseille or Nice or Lyon. Of course there will be a way to get there and a place to stay once you are there.

I'd recommend one of the "colorful" guides like Eyewitness and then use information gleaned from the internet for the practicalities of travelling. France is not diffiult to navigate and people are very friendly and helpful to non-French speakers.
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on 13 May 2011
I bought this guide because I already own the Rough Guide equivalent, and wanted more listings and recommendations. I wish I had not bothered. This is a very populist guide. One of the cities we will be visiting in France, during the summer, is Bourges. It's cathedral of St Etienne is one of the 'first order' gothic giants of France. Yet nowhere in this 'expert' guide does the city of Bourges appear. When queried with the publishers, they responded that they have to omit some places because of the limitations of space.

The omission of Bourges in a guide to France is akin to publishing a guide to the United Kingdom and omitting Durham or Ely!

Save your money. Stick with The Rough Guide.
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My work involves visiting the world's major shipwrecks. Whilst I may not be looking for those major tourist attractions which are always found in the places I visit, I do have need of local information which tells me where I can stay and eat and so forth. Consequently, I am often found seeking the same information in some out-of-the-way port as any other visitor.

Over many years I have consulted a great many books which claim to be visitor guides. Because I have neither the time nor the patience for false, misleading, out-of-date or simply inaccurate information, most of those so-called guides have ended up in the bin. This is not so with the Lonely Planet country guides and this one is as good as they get.

In short; Thoroughly recommended. Just make certain you purchase the latest edition.

NM
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on 25 March 2003
While most of the information in this book was factually correct, I found that it didn’t add all that much to my holiday experience. The overviews of the towns and areas were too brief and didn’t concentrate enough on the practicalities of getting around, buying food and getting a feel for the places.
If you want to spend time in museums, art galleries and opera houses, then this guide is for you! If you want to see the real France without spending a fortune, I’d look elsewhere.
It’s all a matter of taste (and budget!) I suppose!
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on 2 March 2013
We have a motor home, we do not always have access to the internet when travelling and we find that a Lonely Planet book gives us background information on places nearby. It gives all the details, addresses, telephone numbers you might ever need. It gives advice on local events, custums etc. It also is a source of help if you ever find yourself in trouble.
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on 9 May 2007
Always been a very big fan of Lonely Planet guides... they have helped me round India, Nepal, Pakistan, France, Italy and Ireland. As my old copy is pre-Euro I thought I'd get a new up to date copy. Wish I hadn't. I've been looking at the Paris section... we are taking our children and I was interested in Parc d'Asterix... no mention. Several pages on Disney. Lots of other destinations on our 'tick list' are missing.

Nice photography as ever, and the usual clear concise style. I realise they cna't put everything in the guide but these are major omissions. Not recommended. Sorry Lonely Planet!
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on 25 March 2013
A useful concise travel guide with some great restaurant recommendations. The only problem is the lack of usablility on a kindle - while very useful to have in your handbag, unfortunately some of the maps are just too small to use. Worth a read if you're travelling to the more popular areas of France - some of the less touristy areas are skipped over.
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