art/shop/eat Paris – A Useful Mini Guidebook From Blue Guides

As soon as we picked up a copy of art/shop/eat Paris we knew we were going to like this portable guidebook from the folks who publish the Blue Guides. Right off, the title includes four of our favorite things, and the light weight and small size makes it easy to tote around the city as you visits museums, restaurants, and stores.


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Part I – Ten Things To Do In Paris

art/shop/eat Paris

Even though the book is focused on art, food, and shopping, we like that art/shop/eat Paris starts out with suggestions for ten unexpected things to do in Paris that don't necessarily involve art or eating or shopping. It's a nice way to get the reader started thinking about Paris. Here are a few of the book's up-front suggestions —

1. The Glass Elevator

Ride the glass elevator at the Institute du Monde Arab for unique views of Paris along the river, including Notre Dame.

2. Le Grand Véfour

Go ahead, splurge while you're here. art/shop/eat Paris encourages you to have one special meal — at that jewel of the Palais Royal, restaurant Le Grand Véfour.

3. L'Orangerie

For a great dose of Monet, visit Musée de l'Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuileries to marvel at the oversized waterlilies by this Impressionist master.

4. Keep on Rolling

Strap on inline skates and join in with thousands of Parisian skaters who congregate in Paris on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.

5. Bridging The Museums

Take a stroll across the Seine on the pedestrian-only bridge Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor that connects Musee d'Orsay with the Tuileries, where you can walk to the Louvre, Musée de l'Orangerie, and the photography museum Jeu de Paume.


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Four Art-Centric Districts of Paris

art/shop/eat Paris

art/shop/eat Paris focuses on the art-filled quartiers you really want to visit. In each of the areas the top museums and monuments are presented in surprising depth for such a compact book. Some of the museums covered include floor plans; each one includes a synopsis of the most important things to see, with useful explanations.

After you've had your fill of art turn the pages to read about other interesting sights in the area. The guide also takes you to the best shopping in the neighborhood before presenting the best restaurants. The guide's included restaurants are perhaps predictable and safe, but nonetheless useful for the first-time or infrequent visitor. Here are the four areas, as covered by art/shop/eat Paris

1. The Louvre & Champs-Elysées

This chapter covers the area around the Louvre, in the 1st and 2nd Arrondissements, and stretching out along the Champs-Elysées in the 8th. The museums included in depth are the Louvre, the Musée des Art Decoratifs, and the Petit Palais. You'll also find info about the Arc de Triomphe, the Orangerie, Place de la Concorde, and other area highlights.

2. Centre Pompidou & the Marais

The massive museum of modern art, Centre Pompidou, is covered as is Musée Carnavalet (the history of the city of Paris museum, closed for reno until next year), and Musèe Picasso. A nice overview of the sights, shopping, and restaurants of the Marais is included.

3. Notre-Dame and the Latin Quarter

This section gives you guides to Notre Dame Cathedral (which wont be useful for at least another 5 years!), La Sainte-Chapelle, Museée National du Moyen Age (AKA Cluny), and other sights including the Pantheon.

4. Eiffel Tower & Musée d'Orsay

The last section of the guide covers the greatest hits of the 7th Arrondissement. There's the Eiffel Tower and there's Musée d'Orsay, both givens, but you also get an introduction to Musée de Quai Branly and the non-museum attractions of this appealing quarter.


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art/shop/eat Paris Maps

art/shop/eat Paris

As with the museum and neighborhood guides, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and usefulness of the maps, particularly in such a portable guidebook. There are good maps of each of the four areas. A fold-out map in the front covers all of Paris. There's also a unique fold-out Metro map at the end of the guide that presents the central part of the city's transportation system in a series of concentric ovals. Unusual, perhaps, but surprisingly useful.

There's that word "useful" again! And, in fact, that one-word description sums up the art/shop/eat Paris guide. A lot of useful information jammed into one easy-to-carry guide. All in all, a good, affordable guide for the first-time visitor. Recommended.

  • 144 pages
  • 5 area maps plus 2 foldout maps
  • Color illustrations & photos
  • 6.4 ounces

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