Visiting Paris on one of those big buses has one main advantage: you are free to hop on and off the bus whenever you want. Very different then a tour on a boat, that last three hours, with children screaming everywhere and no plans whatsoever to escape yourself out of this (I am talking from experience, can you tell?) They stop at 11 different stops around the city, each being ideally located close to an attraction or a famous monument. And, as you are free to hop off the bus whenever you want, you decide the places you want to visit. You are free to continue your exploration of Paris on foot but you can also stay on board and discover the city from the first floor of the bus. Whatever you decide there is a bus every 20 minutes…
A cosmopolitan city you will discover…
Be sure to have your camera ready! The bus goes by the most beautiful places in Paris as well as all of the parks. You can use your bus ticket in many different ways: to admire the city from the top of the Eiffel tower, visit the Louvre museum or explore the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre. Discover the many different shops, the galleries and secrets gardens.
How much time have you got?
With a “classic ticket” you get to spend an entire day on the bus (still, don’t forget to eat…) for 36 euros when you are an adult and 18 euros for children. It will allow you to discover the most famous museums and attractions of Paris like the Arc de Triomphe, the opera, the Concorde, the Grand Palais. If you wish to spend more time visiting Paris, you can get a “Premium Ticket” that is valid for two days, it costs 41 euros per adult and 20 euros per children. And, for those of you that are looking for perfect Parisien adventure, I advise you to take a “Deluxe Ticket”. It is the same as a Premium ticket except you get a free ticket for a cruise on the Seine.
Paris by day vs Paris by night
Admire how the city lights up during the night. BigBus offers tours during night time. I have to admit that I consider Paris to be the most beautiful by night. Plus, it is so much more agreeable to visit it with fewer people and less noise. You will get to see the Eiffel Tower all lighted up as well as the Champs Elysées and the Moulin-Rouge. As well as pre-recorded commentaries in eleven different languages, all of the night-time visits are made by a guide that will take you through the history and the culture of the city as it reveals itself in front of your very eyes…
Two different routes
There are two different routes available. First one is the Red Route that lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes. It goes to the Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, Opera Garnier, Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee D’Orsay, Champs Elysees, Grand Palais, and Trocadero. The second one is the Blue Route (1 hour and 15 minutes) that will get you to see the Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee D’Orsay, Champs Elysees, Grand Palais, Trocadero, and Gare Du Nord.
I suggest that you combine a bus tour with one of Discover Walks’ free walking tours. I suggest, for example, that you hop-off the bus at Notre Dame. Notre Dame Cathedral, home of the Hunchback, is Paris’ most visited attraction. With our post-fire tour, you still see and experience the magic of the cathedral of Notre Dame. You take the residents’ route and you walk right up to the church. The towers, flying buttresses, gargoyles, and rose windows are all on display. To find out about the fire and about the re-build of Notre Dame. And to experience what is so magical about the world’s most celebrated Gothic church. If you are interested, find out more here.
A few things to know
*When you hoo-on the bus, you will get free headphones so you can listen to the pre-recorded commentaries available in eleven different languages. The best thing is that you are allowed to keep them when getting out of the bus! Also, if the weather is not that great, you will receive a free transparent poncho that will protect you from the rain so you can still admire Paris from the first floor of the bus. You can ask for this poncho either to your driver or your guide.
*Buses are programmed to arrive at each stops every five to fifteen minutes. This gives you the possibility to hop-off the bus and to explore the city for as long as you like without preoccupying yourself and having to plan your touristic visits according to bus times.
*In order to purchase the tickets, you can either buy them online (you save 10%), directly on the bus or in most of the Parisian hotels. They are valid for between 24 and 72 hours depending on the type of ticket you are buying, and there is no limit on how many times you can get back onto the bus.
*You will need approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to do the Red Circuit and 1 hour and 15 minutes for the Blue circuit.
One last little thing, there is free wifi available onboard…
What about a cruise on the Seine?
One thing to know as well is that Big Bus Tours has a partnership with Les Bateaux Parisiens, a company that organizes cruises on the Seine. This partnership includes a one-hour cruise that allows you to admire Paris’s beauty from the Seine. This way you get to see the historical monuments and emblematic bridges from a different point of view. There will be a guide on board that will explain to you the historical and cultural signification of those monuments.
Cruises are departing from the Port de la Bourdonnais, in the seventh district of Paris. You need to present yourself to the third ponton. From October to March there is one departing every hour from 10.30 am to 9.20 pm. From April to September the departure takes place every 30 minutes from 10 am to 10.30 pm.