Shortly before we went on our trip to Paris earlier this month I picked up a copy of Eyewitness Travel's recently published Family Guide: Paris. I already had a couple of travel guides for Paris but I couldn't resist this book filled with beautiful coloured photos and advice written specifically for families. As it turned out this was the only guide that I needed for Paris as it is packed with practical information for exploring the city with kids.
This guide provided everything that I needed, or could possibly have wanted, in a guidebook for Paris. The introductory section of the book has all the practical planning information including how to get there, how to get around, money, health, insurance etc. The highlights of Paris are outlined with itinerary suggestions for visiting over a weekend, a week and by season and there is a brief summary of the history of Paris as well. The back of the book also contains detailed maps of Paris as well as a French Phrase Book that would come in handy for anyone whose French is limited.
The main body of the guide is organized by neighbourhood and, in my opinion, this is where it excels. Each area chapter opens with an introduction to the area that includes a locator map and a selection of highlights followed by a "Best of" section which provides parents with practical plans for exploring the area. A number of "Hub Sites" in the area are covered in the detail that Eyewitness Guides are known for with illustrated artwork highlighting interesting features. What is unique about the Family Guide: Paris is that details include nearby places to let off steam, places for families to eat and drink whether they are looking for a picnic, snack, real meal or family treat, and nearby shopping for kids. "The Lowdown" on each attraction includes opening hours, information on how to get there by metro, price, guided tours, age recommendations, location of toilets, information on how to skip the queue and how much time to allow for the attraction. This information is invaluable for parents trying to plan their day in Paris. There is also an area chapter on day trips from Paris which we relied on when planning our trips to Versailles and Disneyland Paris.
The Eyewitness Travel Family Guide: Paris is an excellent guidebook that provides families with all the information that they need for a successful trip to Paris plus loads of beautiful coloured photos to preview. I look forward to seeing the series extended so that I can use these guidebooks for other destinations.
Family Guide Paris is part of a new series by Eyewitness Travel. Guides were recently published for Paris, London, New York City and Washington, D.C. Family Guides for France and Italy are scheduled to be published later this month.
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