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Value of a Rick Steves Book

We just returned from our first trip to Paris and although it is crowded, it felt magical to us. Perfect spring weather after an interminable New England winter was a big part of it. I think, though, that a big part of what made it great was following the advice in the RS Paris guide about timing. If he said, "don't go on Tuesday," we went on Wednesday. If he said, "the crowds thin out in the afternoon," they did. We followed the suggestion to see the Trianon palaces first, enjoy the grounds of Versailles and see the palace in the late afternoon and we never stood in a line.

I think it would be possible to have Paris feel like one big cattle call. But it is also possible to have it feel like one discovery after another. We did a short walking tour with City Insiders Paris which I liked very much and thought was an excellent value.

Posted by
3551 posts

Wonderfkul that u had a great time in sensational Paris.
Yes the bk is a great guide to a wonderful city. Great that it worked for u.
rick is a great writer , guide and traveler. So gd that all was wonderful on your trip To Paris.

Posted by
15450 posts

I loved reading your post and remembering some of the joys of my favorite city. BTW Paris is always crowded - I'm glad you found ways to avoid the worst of it.

Posted by
166 posts

I can remember years ago having a similar experience the first time I visited Paris using the Rick Steves book, still one of the best trips in my life!!

Posted by
10955 posts

So nice to see this. The value of a guidebook is overlooked by many on various forums. You will not learn these methods, in general, online or in magazine articles. Having a good guidebook to read before a trip and consult during a trip contributes greatly to efficient use of time and money, not to mention enjoyment!

Posted by
3961 posts

It brings a warm smile to hear about your magical time in Paris. The RS guide is the best investment you can make. It makes all the difference. Wherever we travel we run into traveler's who are carrying a RS guide. They always remark that they are grateful for the practical information. Paris is a special place. Thanks for sharing your positive experience!

Posted by
2424 posts

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Paris and Amsterdam. I have used Rick's guidebooks wherever I travel in Europe and this trip was no exception. Definitely enhanced my experience and ability to avoid the crowds and days of closing, etc.

One thing I have difficulty with is finding good restaurants. I found a couple this time but on the whole, if a restaurant is written up in his book, I am usually too tired at the end of a long day of sightseeing, to navigate to the particular address. This time we stayed at a delightful hotel on the Isle Saint-Louis en Ille in the 4th arr. There were tons of restaurants on the island so we were able to enjoy good dinners.
Before we headed to Amsterdam, I was already planning how and when I could plan another trip to Paris! It's magical and I must and will return.

Posted by
2788 posts

I am about to take my 15th & 16th RS tours and have taken a RS guide book on each of them. Even though much of the planning is provided by the tours and the guides, there is always enough free time to make good use of the guide book.

Posted by
681 posts

I agree. I won't leave home without it. I have used Ireland, England, France, Italy, Croatia and Czech Republic. Each one has been worth it.

Posted by
271 posts

I am always amazed at home much money and time with save with Rick's books. We frequently stay in his hotels, so the discount for the hotel covers the cost of the book plus more! We visited Paris last May and had a wonderful time. I'm so glad you got to see it with manageable crowds and pleasant weather.

Posted by
6205 posts

Paris is wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!

I agree that the RS books are an excellent value for the information and time savings. We like them for the city walking routes when we first arrived, and they’re very helpful for deciding which activities to purchase tickets ahead of time. I have a whole shelf on our bookcase with his yellow & blue and the previous navy book colors.