“ Sightseeing Type: Tours „
Having taking a sightseeing bus tour round London, I was on the lookout for something similar on our recent trip to Paris. I was delighted to have spotted a few different companies within the first few minutes of being near Notre Dame.
I don't think we made a conscious decision on which bus to join, but along came a big red tour bus as we happened to be wanting to get on one!
Les Cars Rouge offer a circular route with nine stops around the tourist centre of Paris. The Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, Musee Du Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsay, Opera, Champs Elysees-Etoile, Grand Palais and Trocadero. For each adult, it costs 24euro, but this gives you great value as you can hop on and off as many times as you like for TWO consecutive days. And you get given your headphones, so you can plug yourself into the auto audio commentary, in eight different languages - don't panic, you choose the language you need, you don't have to listen to eight different translations
The bus drivers we found to be friendly and very well spoken in English.
One word of warning though, wrap up warm if you want to sit upstairs! A lap blanket wouldn't have gone amiss when we were snapping away from the top deck.
They estimate the whole circuit would take approximately 2hours 15minutes, which may sound a fairly long time, but you're so busy looking at everything that the time flys by. And of course, you can get off when and where you please safe in the knowledge that another bus will be along in under 10minutes.
Beside the driver you'll find a leaflet for the bus, detailing where it stops, shows you the route, maps of the exact bus stop locations and a timetable, again all in the eight languages (French, English, Japanese, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish and Chinese)
The route of the bus will show you almost everything that you will want to see. It will circle round the Arc de Triomphe, circle round the Place de l'Opera with it's magestic golden statues, down Winston Churchill Avenue between the Grand and Petit Palaces, through the Place de la Concorde, passed the Ritz Hotel, right by the Louvre Museum, beside the cathedral of Notre Dame, and of course by the northern foot of the Eiffel Tower.
We were both agreed, the bus tour was the ideal way to see Paris. We got to see almost everything on our list without having to attempt the Metro, and received a good commentary thrown in.
(for the record, we had wanted to see the entrance to the Louvre which you can't see from the road, so we hopped off - thus the almost everything)
Bus Tour around Paris