France Guidebook

France Guidebook by Rick Steves
  • Rick's picks for sights, eating, sleeping
  • In-depth coverage of our favorite French destinations
  • Great self-guided neighborhood walks and museum tours
  • Includes handy full-color foldout map

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What's Included

In Rick Steves France you'll find in-depth Rick-tested information on:

  • Paris and nearby
    • Versailles
    • Chartres
    • Giverny
  • Normandy
    • Rouen
    • Honfleur
    • Bayeux
    • D-Day beaches
    • Mont St-Michel
  • Brittany
    • Dinan
    • St-Malo
  • Loire
    • Amboise and nearby (including Chenonceau, Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, and Chaumont-sur-Loire)
    • Chinon and nearby (including Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais, Villandry, and Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud)
  • Dordogne
    • Sarlat-la-Canéda and the Dordogne River Valley
    • Cro-Magnon Caves
    • Oradour-sur-Glane
    • St-Emilion
    • Rocamadour
    • Lot River Valley
  • Languedoc-Roussillon
    • Albi
    • Carcassonne
    • Collioure
  • Provence
    • Arles
    • Avignon
    • Pont du Gard
    • Les Baux
    • St-Rémy-de-Provence
    • Orange
    • Villages of the Côtes du Rhône (including Vaison-la-Romaine)
    • Hill Towns of the Luberon (including Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Roussillon)
  • French Riviera
    • Nice
    • Villefranche-sur-Mer and the Three Corniches (including Cap Ferrat, and Eze-le-Village
    • Monaco
    • Antibes
    • Inland Riviera, including Vence
  • French Alps
    • Annecy
    • Chamonix
  • Burgundy and nearby
    • Beaune and nearby wine villages
    • Vineyard loops near Beaune (by car or bike)
    • Back-Door Burgundy (including Abbey of Fontenay)
    • Vézelay and Château de Guédelon
    • Bourges
    • Stops between Burgundy and Lyon (including Cluny and Taizé)
  • Lyon
  • Alsace
    • Colmar
    • Route du Vin (including Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Bergheim)
    • Strasbourg
  • Reims and Verdun
  • Practicalities
    • Self-guided walks and museum tours
    • Easy-to-follow maps (including color maps of France and Paris)
    • ​Trip planning: When to go, pre-trip checklist, festivals and holidays, recommended books and movies
    • Recommended three-week itinerary and city/region-specific advice on planning your time and avoiding lines
    • Transportation: Trains, buses, city transit, and driving (including route tips)
    • French history, culture, language, and cuisine
    • Handy French survival phrases plus place-name pronunciation guide
    • Detailed advice on managing money, communicating, reserving rooms, handling emergencies, and other helpful hints

Also included: a 14½" x 19½" full-color foldout Planning Map that shows all of France plus key driving distances/times and regional close-ups of the D-Day beaches, Loire Valley, Dordogne, Provence, and the French Riviera, and, on the back, a handy close-up of Paris (with major sights), Montmartre, and Paris' Métro/RER network. (Note: This is a slightly smaller version of Rick's stand-alone France Planning Map.)

Product Details

Author(s): Rick Steves & Steve Smith
Dimensions: 8" x 4 ½" x 1 ¼"
Weight: 1.40 lbs
Pages: 1,183
Publication date: June 2024 (21st edition)
Next edition arrives: Summer 2026

Is This the Right Book for Me?

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

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

The shorter Rick Steves Best of France guidebook focuses on France's top destinations and sights, is in full color, and is updated a little less frequently than the complete guide.

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 Pocket guide) in addition to the France guidebook?

If you're not spending more than a few days in Paris, Rick Steves 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, several additional self-guided city walks and museum/sight tours, more detail on day-trip options, and more specifics on shopping and nightlife, plus activities for kids. Other information is generally the same — the Paris chapter of Rick Steves France has nearly all the hotels, restaurants, and nitty-gritty practical advice for Paris that you'll find in the Rick Steves Paris guidebook.

It would make less sense to supplement Rick Steves France with the smaller Pocket Paris guide. While the pocket guide has one walk that's not included in the Paris chapter of Rick Steves France, it otherwise offers far more limited coverage of the city's sights, hotels, and restaurants.

Should I get the Provence and French Riviera guidebook in addition to the France guidebook?

If you're spending no more than a week in Provence and/or the Riviera, Rick Steves France is all you're likely to need. The France guidebook includes coverage of the most popular destinations in this region, and with nearly all of Rick's practical advice and hotel and restaurant listings for those cities and towns.

If you plan to spend a week or more in Provence and/or the French Riviera, Rick Steves Provence & French Riviera is worthwhile (or get Rick Steves Snapshot: Nice & the French Riviera if you're just sticking to the Riviera). Both titles really delve into the region, covering significantly more destinations there, and with more in-depth sightseeing information for Nice, as well as extra background on the region's culture and history.

Should I get the Snapshot: Basque Country guide in addition to the France guidebook?

Yes! If your trip to France includes a visit to the Basque Country, this Snapshot guide is the perfect companion to Rick Steves France, which does not cover the French (or Spanish) Basque towns covered in Snapshot: Basque Country.

Should I get the Snapshot: Nice & the French Riviera guide in addition to the France guidebook?

Probably not — Rick Steves France has nearly as much information on the Riviera as the Snapshot guide. But, as mentioned above, the Snapshot guide is worthwhile if you'd like more comprehensive coverage of the region, or any information on Menton, Cannes, or St-Tropez (none of which are included in Rick Steves France).

Should I get either of the other two Snapshot guides for France in addition to the France guidebook?

No, because both Snapshot: Normandy and Snapshot: Loire Valley are simply excerpted chapters taken directly from the complete Rick Steves France guidebook.

Updates and Feedback

Latest updates: When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on France, we post them. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Submit feedback: Once you've used this book in Europe, we'd love to hear your feedback — good or bad — about our advice on sights, hotels, restaurants, and travel tips. We're also interested in any tips or discoveries you made while in Europe. Your comments help us improve our guidebooks for future travelers.