Are you enthusiastic about planning a trip to France? While France travel planning can be done online, and there’s always great advice in my France Travel Planning Facebook group, I must admit I do like a hard copy guidebook, both to plan and to travel with. So I’ve gathered together the best guidebooks about France and the best books on Paris and beyond, regardless of your interests and budget. A note: for obvious reasons not all guidebooks have been updated as often as they normally would, so you should check the availability and opening hours of sites and services online for the most up to date information.
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Best guidebooks about France – general
Rick Steves France 2022
My favorite guidebook author Rick Steves is always revisiting France and its most well-known landmarks and places. This hot off the press France guidebook is perfect for the independent traveller and features self-guided walking trips, advice on when to visit ‘tourist traps’ to get the best experience, and a packing list and itinerary guide.
Rick provides comprehensive information on many popular French cities and provinces such as Normandy, Provence, The French Alps and Paris, making it the perfect book regardless of where in France you are travelling.
Lonely Planet France
Lonely Planet France has many resources essential for planning a trip to France. These include phone numbers and opening hours of businesses, colour images, travel experiences for all budgets and important cultural information.
This guidebook about France would be very useful for someone who has travelled to France before but who wants to see the secret attractions that France has to offer.
France Travel Guide Book: A Comprehensive Top Ten Travel Guide to France & Unforgettable French Travel
This book hasn’t been updated for a while, but I love that it has information on important etiquette and social expectations, a map of France, French phrases, boat, walking or bike tours and things you can do to immerse yourself in the culture. All these added extras make it one of the best guidebooks about France for first time travellers.
DK Eyewitness France
DK guides are great for those who love lots of photos, plans and being placed inside iconic buildings and neighbourhoods. Featuring detailed maps and itineraries you’ll discover must sees as well as hidden gems.
Best France guidebooks for female travellers
Paris Travel Guide for Women
If you are travelling alone or in a group of women this guidebook about France is for you. Whether you want to see the tourist attractions, or eat and live like the locals, this book has something for you. The Paris Travel Guide for Women has the best places to shop, eat and stay and outlines the good and bad about tourist attractions to help in your decisions on what to do and what to skip.
100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go
If you want to see the best France has to offer for women, this book is perfect for you. France is full of all things feminine, and 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go has found 100 of the best. The book is comprehensive and has places all around France, so if you are planning a nation-wide trip you will be very well prepared and guided. The book encourages you to find beauty in the simple things, and takes you to see these beautiful places for yourself.
Best Paris guidebooks
My Own ebook – the Ultimate Paris Address Book
The Ultimate Paris Address Book 2023 is your insider address book to Paris with 100pages and almost 500 listings of places to sleep, eat, shop and see. Listed by arrondissement, and with a section at the back for your own special finds, The Ultimate Paris Address Book 2023 is the perfect accompaniment to a traditional guide book to plan your trip to Paris. From where to find a charming country lane in the middle of Paris to the latest hip eatery in a fashionable arrondissement. Each entry includes a website address or phone number as well as brief description of what to expect if you visit. Buy your copy now >>
Paris: Through a Fashion Eye
If you are looking for a trip to Paris full of shopping, glamour and high fashion, this book is for you. Paris: Through a Fashion Eye is fully illustrated and has information on where to shop, eat and stay while in Paris. This will definitely keep your wardrobe and filled with Paris’ best.
Rick Steves Pocket Paris
Similar to Rick Steves’ France guide book, his Paris book provides detailed maps, information on what to see and do, photos and self-guided walks to keep you busy and entertained while in Paris. This is definitely better to purchase if you are only visiting Paris, and do not need the extra information on the other cities detailed in his France guide book. It is also more suited to light packing, as it has thin pages and is pocket sized.
Fodor’s Paris provides useful information on Paris, such as where to eat, sleep and go during your trip, but also important historical information to guide your decisions on your itinerary. The book also has multiple itinerary options to allow you to customise your trip, but still remain organised and filling as much time as you can. The book has multiple detailed maps and coloured images which can guide you while on self-guided trips or excursions.
Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide
If you want to skip the traffic and crowds on public transport while in Paris, this book is for you. The book provides day long walking trips and where to stop to eat and see while you are on them. it includes restaurants and areas often missed by other guide books, and will encourage you to walk outside what you know and discover more of Paris. This book is a real favorite in the France Travel Planning Facebook group.
Delicious Days in Paris: Walking tours to explore the city’s food and culture
Paris is full of beautiful buildings, culture and amazing food, so why not walk from one place to another following the walking tours in Delicious Days in Paris: Walking tours to explore the city’s food and culture? This book is full of hidden gems like cafes, museums and shops or markets to help you become engrossed and included in the culture and walking off the croissants and eclairs you had for breakfast. There are 14 walks, each with their own theme which can take you on an adventure through the Paris only the locals know.
Best France guidebooks for kids
France: Travel for kids: The fun way to discover France
France: Travel for kids, is the perfect book for family travel, particularly for those with younger children who love to explore new places. This book provides education for children and their families on France’s culture, language, history and geography, while also providing the best places for parents and their children to visit while in France. It can be used as a guide book, but also to encourage children to learn more about the world they live in.
Mission Paris: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure
When traveling with kids it can be hard to find activities everyone will enjoy. This is where Mission Paris: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure comes into play. The book is structured as a scavenger hunt, and has great clues hidden in some of the most popular tourist attractions such as the Louvre. This allows you to enjoy the beautiful sites while keeping your children entertained and learning about French culture and history. It will definitely help you build a trip to remember and educate your children in a fun and engaging way.
Best Backroads France guidebooks
The River Rhone Cycle Route: From the Alps to the Mediterranean
For someone looking for a more active and scenic trip, the River Rhone Cycle Route may be for you. The route runs from the Swiss Alps through to the Mediterranean and is full of beautiful scenery and villages to see and explore. Featuring detailed planning advice as well as Swiss and French vocabulary this book may also be useful for those looking to drive this route.
The Most Beautiful Villages of France: The Official Guide
If you are looking for something more than a croissant in Paris, this book is for you. There are over 150 beautiful villages, each with their own personality and things to do and see, for you to discover. The book provides information on the history of every included village, and what to do, eat and see while you are there. There is also a calendar of events each village holds, and a map to help you find things. I have this book and just love looking at it. Essential reading for anyone wanting to discover the beautiful backroads of France.
DK Eyewitness Back Roads France (Travel Guide)
Written by tour guides, this France travel guide provides all the important information you would need to travel through France independently and to get the most out of your time. This book is more suitable for people travelling with a car as there is information on 1-5 day driving tours, where to park your car as well as French road rules and conditions. The book provides information on where to eat and shop while on the driving tours.
Walking the Somme
France is full of history, and Walking the Somme helps you explore some of its World War 1 history for yourself. The book has coloured maps which allow you to take a self-guided tour through the battle fields of the Somme, as well as the events which occurs on each field and the strategies and tactics used by each side during each battle. It has comprehensive information on famous sites and fields such as Gommecourt, High Wood and Beaumont-Hamel. The book also encourages you to visit the cemeteries and pay respect to the soldiers who lost their lives.
Best Paris guide books for budget travellers
Super Cheap Paris Travel Guide
This Paris guide book promises a $1000 trip for just $200 (for US readers). It helps you find the cheapest flights and accommodation options. They also seem to offer a special trip planning service for those who buy and review the book, although they don’t include any details on how exactly this works and you can easily plan your own Paris itinerary.
Nomadic Matt’s Guide to Paris
Nomadic Matt’s guide to Paris is perfect for the traveller who wants to spend their time travelling, not planning and paying an arm and a leg for the experience. Matt provides information on budgeting, affordable transportation and important things such as phone numbers, what to do in an emergency and visa requirements. This book is perfect for any traveller, not just those on a budget, as there is lots of information that can help you have the safest and most fun trip to Paris.
Best restaurant guides for France
Green Guides by Michelin
Written by the renowned Michelin company, the Green Guides have up to date information on where to eat in many regions in France. The books are region specific, which is useful if you are not planning a nation-wide trip, and want to focus on the best food and wine where you are staying.