Hop On Buses, Paris
Another popular way of moving about Paris is to take a hop on hop off tourist bus. Firms about and the most popular is l'Open Tour,then you have the le Cars Rouges(big bus now), and others.
However, the one I see full everytime I look up is the l'Open Tours.
They have 50 stops in Paris, with four circuits, on only one ticket.
The Paris Grand tour includes all, then Montparnasse/St Germain, then Montmartre and the Grands Boulevards,and Bastille/Bercy
Prices are from 31€ per day adult.
and the foxity tour bus as well
and there is again another new one, Panoramic tours with sliding glass roofs buses, coming soon see it at www.paris-bus-service.com
People often ask about tours of Paris. I've never taken a tour in Paris but have seen the hop-on hop-off buses zipping around. They look like fun and a good way to get oriented. We have used HOHO buses in other cities and if it's your first trip to a city, they are a great way to get the layout of the city. You can get on and off at will or you can simply stay on the bus for the entire tour to see what you want to revisit on your own. Paris is small enough that you can walk to most tourist sights so using the HOHO bus to help you decide what to visit and then walking is a good way to see most of Paris and not spend too much money.
There are two different tours, the Paris L'Open Tours or yellow bus tours and the Les Cars Rouges or red double decker buses. UPDATE: The last time in Paris we saw an additional HOHO bus, the Big Bus tour. Looking on the web, I discovered the Les Cars Rouges has been renamed the Big Bus Tour. I have no idea why but it appears to be the same tour and a month ago, both Big Bus and Les Cars Rouges were running. I suppose it takes time to repaint all the buses.
Here are the web sites and you can see if they interest you. Les Cars Rouges offers the HOHO tour and also several packages including a night-time river cruise. Les Cars Rouges Web Site
The updated web site is: Big Bus Tours of Paris
The web site for Paris L'Open Tour is listed below. Prices and stops are listed for both on their respective web sites.
Like many other cities Paris has a Hop on Hop off line of buses that cover the main touristic points. Like anywhere else, that is an expensive way to see the city, so:
If you are short in time and want to have a quick view, with an occasional stop, or...
... you had no time to prepare your trip and don't know where to go, or...
... you absolutely need some immediate information about the seen places...
... then do it.
Otherwise, remember that everywhere they go you will have a cheaper alternative not difficult to find, and the open deck is great from outside, but as soon as you enter, sun, wind or rain may give you a different idea.
Being a former backpacker who's always avoided organised tours like the plague, I am a little surprised at myself for including this suggestion. However, I will concede that although Paris is probably more compact that a city like London, it can still be dauntingly big for a first time tourist. Many people will find it useful to begin their time in Paris by gaining a basic understanding of how the main attractions are oriented relative to one another: something that's harder to appreciate from the Metro, where you only 'surface' at the stations.
There are a couple of companies offering passes for a day or longer on this type of 'hop on, hop off' double decker bus, so shop around for the deal and/or routes that suit you best (L'Open Tour and Paris City Hop-on Hop-off Tours being two examples). You can get on and off at your leisure, and the companies usually offer a number of routes that take in the majority of 'first division' tourist attractions in central Paris.
The advantages of this approach are that you see a lot en route between attractions and get a chance to visually 'sample' them before committing to a visit (something that could be useful if you're on a tight timeline). You also get a commentary - how good that is, I can't tell, as I have never done one of these tours myself. If you have restricted mobility, it is also a much better option than taking the Metro, which usually means negotiating some stairs. It would probably be popular with Little People too as there is continual visual input (whereas longer metro rides can be a little dull for them once the initial novelty of whizzing through dark tunnels in a tin can has worn off).
The downside is obviously that you're stuck with lots of other people (who are not of your choosing) on the bus - particularly at busy times - and that getting a large group of people onto the same bus could be a problem in peak holiday periods. Also, the open top arrangement is great in good weather (just remember a hat and sunscreen!), but the bus will effectively only have half the available space in bad weather, as few people will want to sit on the top deck in pouring rain.
Costwise, this is considerably more expensive than buying a pass for the Metro if you are considering a single day, although the difference in costs seems to reduce for two and three day passes.
Les Cars Rouges -Red Buses- are a fancy mix between a transportation way and "a thing to do", I mean, it is a good way to know the highlights of the city comfortably seated on a panoramic bus, meanwhile you are moving between different arrondissements with another purpose.
There are other lines as well, like the Paris L'Opentour company, with a similar Hop On-Hop Off mode. You can hop on the bus at any of the indicated stops, or hop off as well as many times as you want. The Cars frequency is from 5 to 15 minutes between them.
The validity of the pass depends of your choice -27 euros for one day or 31 euros for two days- working in the same Hop On-Hop Off system.
Nice, highly recommended way to discover the city.
I never do these but they're sometimes a good way to get your bearings on the first day. These hop-on, hop-off buses travel 4 different routes in Paris, have ticket options from 1-3 days, and some tickets include a BatoBus cruise on the Seine. They also provide narration in multiple languages about sites along the way.
With the price of one day of this bus service being over twice the price of a carnet of 10 metro tickets - which you can share - I don't find it either cost-effective or as fun as traveling Paris by subway or on foot. That said, if you have certain mobility issues or are just wanting that first-day overview, then it might be the ticket for you.
Paris is really full of touristic attractions, the only thing is that since the city is pretty big, you will have to walk pretty much from one place to the other.
This services "Les cars rouges" offers you the chance to see the main touristic places of Paris by going from one place to the other using a bus without roof.
Of course this cost a price, 24 EUR per person and you can jump on and off the bus whenever you want at any touristic stop.
The ticket is valid for 2 days.
We took hop-a-bus wherein there are 4 different lines to go around Paris. If i remember correctly, the greenline is where all the major places to go are; arc de triumphe, eiffel, notre dame, louvre, etc. It costed us 32 euro for two days in the weekend, and i think it costs 29 euro for one day. If you are not in the mood to prepare for any itinerary, this is an alternative you can take, and it has stops and times wherein buses will pass by every 5 minutes/15 minutes depending on the line that you took.
Sightseeing buses are a great way to explore Paris, especially for short time visitors. It takes you right to the most famous spots, f.ex Eiffel tower, Musee du Louvre and Notre Dame. Buses depart every 10 minutes in summer and every 20 minutes in winter. Recorded commentary is available onboard in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.
We brought a ticket on the hop-on hop-off bus and it was excellent and easy.
You can hop-on and hop-off at any of the nine stops as often as you like over a two day period. The open-top double-decker bus provides fantastic views from the top floor. Buses depart every 10 minutes in summer and every 20 minutes in winter, every day of the year. Recorded commentary is available onboard in French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.
The stops are at:
- Tour Eiffel - Quai Branly, in front of Bridge of Iena
- Champs de Mars - Avenue Joseph Bouvard
- Musee du Louvre - Near the Pont des Arts
- Notre Dame - in front of the 25 rue d'Arcole
- Musee d'Orsay - in front of the Musee d'Orsay entrance
- Opera - in front of the 15 rue Sribe
- Champs Elysees-Etoile - in front of the 156 avenue des Champs-Elysees
- Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill
- Trocadero - in the angle of the Avenue Paul Doumer
You can buy at ticket at any of the stops.
Double-decker buses of L'OpenTour and Les Cars Rouges follow set routes with stops at leading museums and tourist attractions. For a fixed price, you can step off a bus, explore an attraction or neighborhood at your leisure, and catch another bus when you're ready to move on. As a bonus, you can put on headphones and listen to a running commentary between stops.
The green-and-yellow buses of L'OpenTour cover four sightseeing routes: "Paris Grand Tour," "Bastille-Bercy," "Montmartre-Grands Boulevards," and "Montparnasse-Saint Germain." A single pass gives you access to all four routes. In 2005, a one-day adult pass will cost you €24, and a two-day pass is only three euros more at €27. Children from 4 to 11 pay €12 for one or two days of travel. (You can book ahead through Viator if you wish, but it's just as easy to buy a pass on the bus or at one of L'OpenTour's sales outlets in Paris.)
The red-and-white buses of Les Cars Rouges cover only one route, which stops at nine locations in the city center. 2005 prices are €22 for a two-day adult pass and €11 for children between 4 and 12. You can buy your pass on the bus.
Language note: L'OpenTour's commentaries are in French and English; Les Cars Rouges has narrations in eight languages: French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese Russian and Chinese.
Like in all tourist destinations, the tourist buses were quite popular in Paris, and so I can say from the huge number of people I saw availing the services, although I did not. In my opinion a day pass for transport and a guide book to tell you about the monuments and places of attraction is much better option. It seemed a pity that people on such buses sometimes even did not bother getting down at places like the Eiffel Tower and have a feel of the place and preferred to admire the beauty from the roof of the bus.
Jump on one of the double decker buses!!! you can see & get to every attraction on these buses.!!! You can get a 3 day pass & this covers off your transport for 3 days!!! its great!!!
I think it costs around $25 - $30euro for the 3 days.. but its worth it cause they give you maps of the routes and you can jump on and jump off at any location as much as you want...
you can purchase these bus tickets near Notre Dame... there are people selling the tickets here!!!
Take the double-decker hop on - hop off bus. It goes around the city and passes by most of the signficant landmarks. Its great for giving you a quick overview of the city. Yur ticket isgood for 2 days so its a good bargain.
As seen in so many popular Capitals (London,Bxl,Berlin,Barcelona...) those "Topless" busses might be the best way to get a first impression of a city, to mark the highlights you absolutely want to see, and to experience those places afterwards, by metro or taxi.
Choose the stepp on/off formula
Tip : Depending on yr travel profile, visit Paris by food or daily passes of the Metro for a couple of days -10.90 euro for a 10 ticket free ride - or Paris Visite.
Taking a taxi, depending on the qty of passengers, is rather expensive. Start fee : Euro 2
depending on the hour, day or night fees