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Best Paris pocket map suggestion - 1st timer

Hello: Does anyone have a suggested pocket map for Paris? Ideally, the pocket map would include public transit information, sites of interest, enough street detail to get around and not be a 100 page book. I am considering “The Paris Map Guide” by Michael Middleditch which shows detail by district. Seems to meet my criteria except that without also a larger view of the city, one can lose perspective by viewing 1 district at a time; could also purchase a fold out map to see the larger view or use app for that. Don’t want to look like a target by unfolding a large map in public. Interested in any recommendations from fellow travelers. Thank you.

Posted by
248 posts

Paris Pratique is a small booklet that the locals use and the best one I've seen. I think it has what you're looking for and is available from any newsstand in Paris - great detail. You can also order it from Amazon. It's about 4x6ish and 1/4 inch thick. Michelin also makes a decent one.

Posted by
8421 posts

My first choice has always been the Streetwise maps, which are available here through the RSE website at the Shop Online link. They're plastic coated so they hold up well.

The CityMapper app is a great tool for navigating. It shows you multiple options (walking, bus, bike, metro, etc) to your destination, with projected arrival times, and keeps up to date with real-time traffic and construction information. You can get the app for specific cities.

Posted by
23232 posts

This probably is not what you are looking for but the maps we prefer are the free ones that the TI, hotel desks, etc. pass out. The one page, cheap paper --- BUT -- you can mark them up, fold them, etc. and each day get a new one. For us, that works the best. Always use separate transit maps and from the same source -- TIs.

Posted by
647 posts

I can highly recommend the map you are considering, The Paris Map Guide” by Michael Middleditch. In 2016 we bought two copies of the map when we were there with our daughter and grandchildren. With the map, she was soon moving confidently throughout the city. Yes, it is in book form, but it is thin, and it shows clearly ALL the streets in each area, along with a tiny photo that shows the popular sites in each area. It also shows the metro stops and lines.
"You would not look like a target" because you don't have to unfold a large map. One thing we do when we need to pull out a map, or look on our phone for directions is to stop walking and move aside to an adjacent building. We try not to walk and read at the same time. It's too easy to get distracted.
I wish there would be that map for other large cities.

Posted by
6868 posts

A free complement would be the RATP map with buses & metro laid out on the actual street map of Paris, which should be available at manned counters in the metro. It does not have every street but it is reasonably detailed.

This is the digital version: https://www.ratp.fr/plans-secteur/bus%20paris%20avec%20rues

I do not think it can be used as a main map, as it does get a bit confusing, but it is the most complete source of public transit info.

Posted by
15782 posts

Take a look at the Paris Fleximap from Insight? I think they still make them, and I loved ours as it was virtually indestructible! I bought it in advance and starred (with little star stickers) the things we wanted to see so I could pick them out quickly. You might want to supplement it with a transit map? We didn't use the buses at all, just the metro system (stations marked on the map) and that wasn't difficult to use with a little pre-reading. I can't image any pocket map could include the bus system + everything else but I could be wrong!

Posted by
11126 posts

We have always used Streetwise maps for cities in Europe, plastic coated, foldable, easy to use.

Posted by
2542 posts

After finding and using Citimapper on my phone, I deleted the RATP app. Citimapper is comprehensive and has everything you need, but it is an app, not a paper map.

Posted by
1625 posts

Different perspective here- I do all my research on each arrondissement before I go and then plug into my itinerary and figure out how to get there the night before using the RATP app (I may have a few notes on my excel itinerary). Jay Swanson on YouTube has a wonderful series on each arrondissement and highlights of each that I will be using on my next trip as my guide, if I forget anything I can just re-watch the video while in Paris. Each video is very short and entertaining to watch. Like you I don't think it is very smart to be fussing with a map on the streets and IF we do use a map we find an out of the way bench, side street, do our research and put it away and move on.

Posted by
1368 posts

My Apps for Paris are the following:

Paris Metro
Next Stop Paris
City Maps 2 Go: I download at home or prior to leaving the hotel or apartment each city I am going to be in during my trip. I can utilize the App/Maps offline this way.
The Fork: Good for restaurant reservations
Toilets In Paris: Currently down for iOS users
Google Translate: Using the camera option for translating menus and such is a nice feature
Uber/Bolt/G7: For taxis, Bolt & G7 usually first choices

Posted by
1625 posts

brushtim-I did not know you could use the google picture app to translate menus! Is that the little camera that comes up in your google search bar? I use it all the time to locate like items.

Posted by
9540 posts

I just downloaded Google Translate for my trip to Norway, and it has that camera function within it.

Posted by
120 posts

I think most "central" Paris maps are pretty good and adequate for general touring. For many of my trips where I may not have a data plan and use WiFi mostly, I make sure I use the Google Maps app to download (ahead of time) the maps for off-line usage later. With some limitations when not using data (like not giving walking direction/times), it is a great primary (or secondary) tool. IOW, even with a paper map, sometimes "finding" where you actually are quickly is a challenge & the GPS part of Google Maps makes it super easy. An example would be somewhere like Pere Lachaise cemetery or any other large park where you can get turned around.
But, for me, the little map in RS Paris guidebook and also a freebie map sponsored by Printemps (at many hotels, etc.) was perfectly fine for getting around Paris.

Posted by
8421 posts

What I like about using an old-fashioned paper map, is that you can look around an area, and see how relatively far you are from things and places you might want to see, but also discover things that you might not have known about.