Monday, December 12, 2011
Forgot those annoying folding maps (even the laminated ones that flaunt rain and the occasional spilled drink). There is only one map of Paris worth owning, and that is the 64-page Paris Map-Guide by Michael Middleditch (Penguin Reference Books ISBN 97801414 69041; Third Edition publ. 2006). The scale is so large that restaurants, museums, hotels, etc. are shown as points accurately placed and keyed, so that you can tell which side of the street you should head for before venturing out; in the front is a large scale subway (Metro) map, and a complete street index occupies the last pages.
There is a history of Paris, map of the 20 arrondissements, 29 pages of large-scale street maps, descriptions and maps of the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral, listings (incl. opening times) of museums and art galleries, major points of interest, churches, shopping , markets, nightlife (incl. jazz venues), restaurants, bars, tours, parks, gardens, sports venues, Versailles, concert halls, theatres and cinemas. I'm not kidding.
And in tiny type on pg. 55 is the best tip I've ever read on finding an address in central Paris: on the right bank street numbers increase from the Seine northwards (even numbers on the right heading north); on the left bank from the Seine southwards (even numbers on the right, heading south); on streets running E-W the numbers increase as one goes westward (even numbers on the right heading west).
The legend is in 6 languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish; all other text in English. At US $10 full retail, there is not a better stocking stuffer. Booklet measures just under 5.5" x 8.25"