Want to plan a trip to the French capital with ease? These Paris guide books will give you all the details and tips you need to enjoy a trip to Paris.
Paris has so much to offer that it is physically impossible to see everything in just one trip unless that trip spans a couple of months.
But with a bit of planning, and with the right information, you can see a great deal of Paris and that’s where these best Paris guide books will come in handy; to help you plan your trip and maximize your sightseeing efforts.
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These guide books have insights on where to stay, what to do, what to see, and how to get the most out of your trip. Interspersed with maps, itineraries, and photographs, there is something for everybody.
Though you can easily find some of this information on blogs, in most cases, guide books go an extra mile to provide every little detail as they have more resources and time dedicated to research.
So, to help you choose the best Paris travel guide depending on the type of traveler you are, here are my favorite 22 Paris guide books which will help you plan and execute your perfect Paris adventure with ease.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Pro tip*: If you’re an avid reader, you probably have your kindle E-reader already, but if not, then you can buy it from here so that you don’t have to buy all the hard copies of these books especially if you plan to travel with them.
With this Kindle Paperwhite, you can download all these Paris books for a few bucks! But if you’re all about the freebies, you can actually download all these books for free by signing up for a Kindle Unlimited subscription here!
The best part is that even if you haven’t made up your mind about the subscription, you can sign-up for a free 30-day trial here to see how it works! If it works for you, you can continue the subscription but if not, you can cancel it anytime!
Best Paris Guide Books To read Before You Go to Paris
In no particular order, here are some of the best Paris guidebooks which will give you all the information you need to navigate through the Parisian lanes and its top attractions.
They have all the useful tips and tricks that will help you on your trip to make it the most memorable one in the City of Light.
1. Rick Steves Paris by Rick Steves
Perfect for: People looking for all Paris travel tips in one place and first-time visitors!
Through his comprehensive guidebook, Rick Steves gives you all the tips, tricks, and hacks a first-time visitor to Paris would need.
In fact, it is one of the best Paris guide books BECAUSE it is so exhaustive! He even suggests things to do with kids, and the book includes a fold-out map which will help if you’re planning on going for a walking tour.
Apart from the top attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the lesser-known haunts around the corners in Paris, this guidebook also includes other regions of France so it will be there for you whether you want to see it all in a day, a week, a month or even a year (Friends fans will get the sentence reference )!
2. Fodor’s Paris 2022 by Fodor’s Travel Guides
Perfect for: People looking for itineraries and an experiences guide!
Fodor’s Travel Guide on Paris is an illustrated experiences guide showing you the things you must see, do and experience in the City of Light.
It also includes recommendations by locals and cultural insights into Parisian life.
The multiple itineraries and a list of useful French words and phrases will help you plan out your days, and like the earlier guide book, this one too has a pull-out map to help you navigate the streets of Paris.
3. DK Eyewitness Paris by DK Eyewitness
Perfect for: People looking for pictorial references and detailed Paris maps for walking tours!
The DK Eyewitness Paris guide book includes useful tips, must-sees, and hidden gems. It also gives detailed timelines to help you logistically. The various chapters are even color-coded.
But the part that’s most interesting in this guide to Paris book is the amazing photos and the elaborate maps which will help you visualize your trip even before you set foot in the city.
4. A Table in Paris: The Cafés, Bistros, and Brasseries of the World’s Most Romantic City by John Donohue
Perfect for: People looking for recommendations on where and what to eat!
This Paris travel book includes helpful tips that come very handy for first-timers or others when indulging in scrumptious meals at eateries in Paris, be it restaurants, cafés, or bistros. It will also tell you the difference between those 3.
John goes a step further to give a little history about the places he’s talking about, which are great anecdotes for when you actually visit them.
Apart from eateries, he also tells you what to eat, dishes Paris is famous for, and what locals have in terms of food and drinks.
5. Lonely Planet Paris Travel Guide by Catherine Le Nevez, Christopher Pitts
Perfect for: First-time visitors who want a comprehensive guide on popular tourist attractions!
I’m sure most of you have heard about Lonely Planet. If you haven’t, don’t worry; it’s a travel guide publication that is known for dishing out interesting travel information along with offbeat experiences. Their guidebook series is just as comprehensive and good.
This guidebook, in particular, covers Paris’ famous landmarks that any first-time visitor would love to read about and explore.
It also lists itineraries for various budgets, cultural tips to help you navigate the City of Love like a local, and other pointers to save money. All of this with colorful maps and photos to keep you engaged.
Psst… Don’t miss the “Don’t Miss” pages!
6. Insight Guides City Guide Paris by Insight Guides
Perfect for: Walking tours!
The Insight City Guide of Paris is another comprehensive guide that includes detailed information on places to see, colorful maps, and many photographs.
I’m sure you’ll like the quirky topics and sections like “Paris After Dark” and “Disney Paris” that it has to offer. The pocket edition comes pretty handily too!
One of the salient features of this city guide to Paris book is that if you want to prioritize top attractions and famous places to see, it has “Best of Paris” and “Editor’s Choice” sections, which list out recommendations on what to do, see and where to eat.
7. Kids’ Travel Guide – Paris: The fun way to discover Paris by Shira Halperin & FlyingKids
Perfect for: Parents traveling with kids!
This is one of the best travel books on Paris if you’re traveling with kids! This Kids’ Travel Guide is not only educative, but it also makes it fun for children to learn about Paris, its history, its culture, and the language.
It also includes illustrations and photographs for them to recognize monuments while learning about them.
As a bonus, it is also engaging when you want your kids to be occupied with something while you explore, eat or just relax as it includes fun quizzes and coloring pages.
8. National Geographic Walking Guide: Paris by Pas Paschali & Brian Robinson
Perfect for: Walking tours!
This National Geographic Walking Guide is a great book to plan a walking tour around the neighborhoods of Paris or join the numerous readily available walking tours.
The maps and itineraries in this walking guide book on Paris will help you plan your schedule well.
It includes iconic Paris landmarks and locally known hotspots while giving you insights and useful tips about the various attractions.
It also has sections on travel essentials which include common French phrases to learn, items to pack for Paris, and hotel recommendations.
9. Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide by Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Perfect for: People who want to walk around Paris to discover new things!
If Nancy Sinatra’s song, “These boots are made for walkin,” is your jam, then this is the best Paris travel guide to match it.
This guidebook lists out walking routes across various Parisian streets. You will not only get to see popular tourist attractions and lesser-known areas, but the author also helps you with useful how-tos to enjoy on the stroll.
The guidebook makes your journey worthwhile by listing out pitstops; places you can stop and see or eat at along the way.
10. Stuff Parisians Like by Olivier Magny
Perfect for: People who want to learn and understand Parisian life and culture!
A book by a Parisian about Parisian idiosyncrasies must be the best guidebook for Paris, right? At least to help you understand the local culture, behavior, and why they do what they do.
Stuff Parisians Like was even liked by the Parisians SO much so that it became a national bestseller.
This book even lists out popular phrases and tricks so you can blend in a conversation at a restaurant or bar.
Psst… Young Parisians don’t hang out much at a bar but prefer spending time at their friends’ house –this is something you’ll learn when you read this book.
11. Michelin Green Guide Paris by Michelin
Perfect for: People who want a detailed and extensive guide on Paris and its sights!
The Green Guide by Michelin is a thorough guidebook that extensively covers Paris and its attractions.
It has maps with walking routes that will help you visit historic places, museums, and other unmissable sights.
It assigns stars to these places, just like they do with their restaurants, so if you like their rating system, you can follow it and cover the top ones first.
Speaking of restaurants, there’s also a section with recommendations on where to eat. Although they do have another detailed guidebook for that too.
12. Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart By Janelle McCulloch
Perfect for: People who want to read about the creative spots of Paris!
This guidebook is all about Paris’ artistic, creative, and cultural side. You will find curated lists of gorgeous ateliers, trendy boutiques, restaurants, popular nightspots, local bakeries, bistros, tea rooms, gourmet food markets, and much more.
It is a great read if you want to browse antique and vintage shops where you can pick up souvenirs or take a workshop at.
The pretty photos will leave you dreaming about life in Paris dressed in haute couture with trendy jewelry eating a croissant at a bistro.
13. Mission Paris: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure By Catherine Aragon
Perfect for: People traveling with kids!
It’s tough to keep children occupied, and that’s where this guidebook comes in super handy!
The book, like the title suggests, is designed like a scavenger hunt with hidden clues in popular tourist attractions like the Notre Dame and Louvre.
When they find the mysteries, they earn points that will keep them entertained, allowing you to enjoy the places.
Mission Paris is not only fun and games, but it also provides informative content about museums, French art, culture, and history so your kids can learn while having fun which is a great combo!
14. Paris Travel Guide for Women by Erica Stewart
Perfect for: Female travelers!
Among the travel books about Paris dedicated to women, the Paris Travel Guide for Women is the ultimate guidebook that female travelers will enjoy.
Erica lists out all the sights and attractions that you need to see while also highlighting useful tips and things to keep in mind while doing so. She even tells you the overrated sights you should skip.
There are dedicated chapters and sections on the best spots for shopping, dining, beauty, and spas so you can plan an all-girls trip with your girlfriends with this handy travel guide.
15. Blue Guide Paris by Delia Gray-Durant
Perfect for: People looking for detailed information on attractions in Paris!
Blue Guide Paris is an extensive Paris guide book with detailed and in-depth information on popular and lesser-known attractions of Paris.
Each attraction has multiple pages dedicated to it; for example, almost 60 pages focus on the important pieces of art in the Louvre. So, you will know what to look for when you are in front of these attractions.
This guidebook also has maps for each neighborhood in Paris with suggested walking tours. It also provides a list of hotels in different price ranges across the various neighborhoods of Paris.
16. Let’s Eat France! by François-Régis Gaudry
Perfect for: People who want to read and know about French cuisine!
Heads up… This book is HUUGE! And I mean the humongous kind, like an encyclopedia because frankly it can be renamed the French Food Encyclopedia. The word exhaustive also seems small compared to the detailing in this book.
François-Régis Gaudry and his friends who contributed left no stone unturned to educate people about the history and art of French food and where to eat the best kind.
If all this isn’t enough, there are recipes included in the book too, in case you want to be adventurous and try making French dishes in the comfort of your home.
17. Paris: A Curious Traveler’s Guide by Eleanor Aldridge
Perfect for: Young travelers!
A Curious Traveler’s Guide to Paris is dedicated to young travelers who want to know the hip joints and happening places.
This informative guide lists cool spots to check out, the best neo-bistros to eat at, and happening nightlife places to experience.
This is one of the best travel books on Paris for millennials with tips and tricks on how to beat the queues and where to find secret spots.
18. Easy French Phrase Book by Lingo Master
Perfect for: People who want to learn the French language and common phrases!
Learning a language is difficult for a lot of people, and if you are someone who struggles with French or you just want to learn a few French phrases before your trip, then this Easy French Phrase Book will be very helpful.
This is a great book to read, especially if you want to converse with the locals or need to know French for daily use.
It lists over 1500 common phrases and everyday lingo that you can master just before you head to the French capital.
19. Markets of Paris by Dixon Long & Marjorie R. Williams
Perfect for: People who want to explore the markets of Paris!
As the title suggests, this guidebook is all about the Markets of Paris. It is ideal for someone who wants to know the ins and outs and general workings of Parisian markets.
When I say markets, I do not mean only food, there are flea markets, antique markets, art and craft markets, and book markets too.
The photos might leave you drooling with a desire to explore them right away!
20. Nomadic Matt’s Guide to Paris by Matthew Kepnes
Perfect for: Budget travelers!
Nomadic Matt’s Guide to Paris is the best Paris travel guide for budget travelers. Matt made a complete guide to take care of all your budget travel needs.
There are itineraries, money-saving tips, budget accommodations, and the best local places to see, eat or drink at.
He also included maps and transportation tips to help you out. You will love the non-touristy and unique sights included in this book.
Being a budget travel expert himself, you can be assured of great budget tips so be sure to check out his personal favorites section!
21. The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems by Emma Jacobs
Perfect for: People who want to explore the museums of Paris!
If you are someone who loves museums or is an art aficionado, then this is the best travel guide for Paris for you!
The Little(r) Museums of Paris is an illustrative guidebook that will take you through the offbeat and lesser-known museums. It details their history, their treasures, and describes their collections too.
The mini-map and watercolor illustrations have my heart, and I’m sure you will love them too.
22. Curiosities of Paris by Dominique Lesbros and Simon Beaver
Perfect for: People who love history and timeless tales!
This is a unique guide that offers photos of locations and transports you back in time with historic tales related to those places.
Imagine walking down a lane in Paris and looking at it through a medieval window or learning about the old signages you see above the century-old establishments.
That’s not all, this book also includes ancient ruins, unique tombs, relics, and vestiges of wars. The history buff in you will be fascinated and in awe after reading this Paris travel guide.
Final Thoughts on the Best Paris Guide Books
It may seem like a daunting task to plan a trip to Paris but with the help of these best travel books for Paris, you can be assured of an amazing trip!
And regardless of the kind of traveler you are, you can be assured of finding the perfect Paris book that suits your need!
Have you read any of the Paris guide books listed above? Did they make your trip planning process easier? Let me know in the comments below.
And if there is a guide to Paris book that blew your mind but you can’t see it on the list, still let me know and I’ll give it a read too!
NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!
You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!
Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for
more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.
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