I already owned the Rough Guide to Paris but felt that it was too heavy to take with me on a short trip where I would be walking around the city a great deal. I went in search of a guide book that was lighter in weight and was delighted when I found the Everyman Mapguide for Paris 2010. Paris 2010 is a guidebook with fold-out maps – ten of districts of Paris, as well as one for the city of Paris as a whole and one for the Paris Metro. Fold-out pages at the start of the book give very brief information on history, architecture, ethnic Paris and excursions that can be made. These pages also provide details of emergency phone numbers, internet cafes, opening times and a diary of events among other topics.
As there are just ten double pages each with a fold-out map, each covers more than one arrondissement of Paris. To give a few examples, there is one for Les Halles and Le Marais, another for Montmartre and the Grands Boulevards, and yet another for the Invalides, Tour Eiffel and Trocadero. In each case the double-page feature gives an overview of the area concerned along with a selection of restaurants, tearooms, cafes, bars and clubs. A few notable shops are also listed. A short paragraph of information is given for each listing, and there is a row of colour photographs along the top of the two pages.
You can then open up the map which is mainly in grey and green with the River Seine indicated in blue. At the bottom of each map the principal museums and monuments are listed, again with a short paragraph of information for each one. Most of them are shown in the row of colour photographs that runs either above and below or down the sides of each map. Not all the maps have the same scale: some are 1 cm to 150 metres while others are 1 cm to 200 metres. The names of the main streets and monuments are printed in black and I found them easy to read. It has to be said that the grey print used for the smaller streets is not so easy to decipher. The paper used is of a good, thick quality that withstands plenty of folding and unfolding.
The fold-out pages at the end of the book give a list of hotels in ascending order of price. In addition there is some concise information on public transport, Paris airports and seeing Paris by boat. A couple of small maps and a few colour photographs are included here. The book ends with a two-page index of streets, monuments and places to visit; a map reference is given for each.
The beauty of this guidebook for me is that it is very light in weight with just seventy-two pages, and the maps are large enough to be clear and detailed. The book is described as having a hard cover, but it is slightly flexible and certainly not heavy. The information is concise, the print is small and the photographs (all in colour) are tiny, yet everything is well presented and organised. Paris 2010 is an ideal guidebook for anyone on foot in the city who doesn't want to be carrying a weighty tome. I would have liked a larger map of the whole of Paris, but it is possible to get a free one from a tourist information office. Visitors on an extended stay may look for a guide that gives more detailed information. Those, like myself, on a short break requiring a compact, concise book are likely to find this Everyman Mapguide ideal.
by Clemence Jacquinet and Shelley Wanger
Everyman Guides, 2010
Hardcover, 72 pages
Price £5.99 (Amazon £4.19)