Rick Steves Best of France

Rick Steves Books
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In Rick Steves Best of France you'll find essential Rick-tested information on the following top destinations, plus brief coverage of several "Best of the Rest" cities and regions:

  • Paris
    • Nearby: Versailles, Chartres, Reims, Giverny
  • Normandy
    • Honfleur
    • Bayeux
    • D-Day beaches
    • Mont St-Michel
  • Loire
    • Amboise
    • Chenonceaux
    • Château de Chambord
    • Cheverny
    • Chaumont-sur-Loire
    • Villandry
  • Dordogne
    • Sarlat-la-Canéda
    • Dordogne River Valley
    • Cro-Magnon Caves
    • Nearby: Oradour-sur-Glane
  • Provence
    • Arles
    • Avignon
    • Pont du Gard
    • Les Baux
    • Vaison-la-Romaine
    • Côtes du Rhône Wine Road
  • French Riviera
    • Nice
    • Villefranche-sur-Mer
    • Cap Ferrat
    • Monaco
    • Antibes
  • Burgundy
    • Beaune and nearby wine villages
  • Best of the Rest
    • ​Carcassonne
    • Chamonix
    • Colmar
  • Practicalities
    • Self-guided walks and museum tours
    • Easy-to-follow color maps
    • Gorgeously illustrated destination overview
    • ​Trip planning: Pre-trip checklist, festivals and holidays, recommended two-week itinerary
    • City/region-specific advice on planning your time and avoiding lines
    • Transportation: Trains, buses, city transit, and driving
    • French history, culture, language, and cuisine
    • Handy French survival phrases
    • Advice on managing money, communicating, reserving rooms, handling emergencies, and other helpful hints

What's the difference between this Best of France guidebook and Rick's complete France guidebook?

Rick Steves France, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually.

The shorter Best of France guidebook focuses on France's top destinations and sights, is in full color, and is updated every other year.

Both books are packed with hand-picked recommendations and Rick's travel advice and tips for saving time, money, and hassle.

Should I get the Paris guidebook (or Paris Pocket guide) in addition to the Best of France guidebook?

If you're spending only a few days in Paris, Rick Steves Best of France is all you're likely to need.

If, however, you're spending four days or more in Paris, the extra information in Rick Steves Paris can be worthwhile. It offers much more in-depth sightseeing information and logistical advice, several additional self-guided city walks and museum/sight tours, and more specifics on shopping and entertainment, plus suggestions for kids and wintertime visitors. The complete city guide also includes significantly more hotels and restaurants than the Paris chapter of Rick Steves Best of France. (Whereas the smaller Pocket Paris guide offers essentially the same info that's already in the Best Of guidebook.)

Should I get any of the Snapshot guides in addition to the Best of France guidebook?

If you're headed to the Basque Country, Rick Steves Snapshot: Basque Country is an essential supplement, as no part of that area is covered in the Best of France guidebook. But Best of Francedoes cover both Normandy and the Loire in a fair amount of detail — the extra information in Rick Steves Snapshot: Normandy and Rick Steves Snapshot: Loire Valley is only worthwhile for those who really want to dive into those regions.