During a trip to Paris, if you don’t want to miss any of the biggest sites and monuments, you will need several days ahead of you, and long hours of walking await you. If you have neither the time nor the courage to do everything on foot, a very pleasant alternative is available to you: the visit to Paris by barge or bus. We’ll take you.
Visit Paris by double-decker bus
The double decker bus is almost part of the Parisian cliché. We see tourists, comfortably seated, discovering all the most beautiful monuments of the capital without moving from their seats. This unusual visit appeals to you? Here are the details.
Why choose the bus to visit Paris?
The double-decker bus is the ideal means of transport to discover Paris without too much effort and in just a few hours. The double-decker, open-top bus allows you to circulate in the streets of the capital and get as close as possible to the emblematic monuments of Paris. The tourist is then free to explore the places at their own pace at each stop, without worrying about public transport, traffic, or long hours of walking, and to enjoy enriching audio commentary.
The different tourist bus companies in Paris
It’s decided, you’re going to climb into a double-decker bus to visit the capital? All you have to do is choose the company that will guide you in the footsteps of the great Parisian monuments.
The yellow and blue double-decker bus Paris OpenTour runs between 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. from April to October, and until 6:30 p.m. the rest of the year. The bus tour is structured around 3 different circuits:
- The blue line runs alongside all unmissable monuments(Louvre museum, Eiffel Tower, Champs Élysées, Invalides, Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral…);
- The long white line left bank of the Seine (boulevard du Montparnasse, Catacombes, Pont-Neuf, Saint-Germain-des-Prés…);
- The red line walks the streets of the right bank of the Seine(the Moulin Rouge, République, Montmartre…).
Big Bus Paris
These red buses are part of the oldest company in Paris tourist buses. The complete tour lasts 2 hours 15 minutes, and makes 11 stops at the biggest tourist sites: Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mars, Opéra Garnier, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Trocadéro…
Running from 9:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m., the Big Bus Paris also offers a night tour, to see the illuminated monuments.
Foxity Sightseeing Tour
The bus Foxity stood out with a different concept, where the classic circuit was done without any stops. Today, to face competition, the company now offers stops at nerve centers in the capital.
The bus tour starts at the Eiffel Tower, and the route is very similar to that of the Big Bus. Like them, they also offer a it goes around at night.
Visit Paris by barge
Does the idea of the bus not seem original enough to you? To fully experience the Parisian cliché, go to a barge for a sightseeing cruise on the Seine.
What do you see from a barge in Paris?
The advantage of Paris is that the city is crossed by the Seine, and all the emblematic monuments are visible from the river. By boarding a boat, you are sure not to miss anything, and to have a unique point of view. The walks on the Seine are organized day and night, and circulate around the essential sites: Eiffel Tower, Orsay Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe…
Practical advice for a discovery cruise in Paris
The river cruise on the Seine is one of the most popular tourist attractions. You only need to see the number of boats circulating on the Parisian canals to understand the enthusiasm of tourists. It must be said that the offer is varied, ranging from a beautiful, simple stroll to a gourmet cruise with a gourmet meal, including a cruise with stops.
Whatever your desires, take the time to compare offers and cruise companies, to choose your tour and your boat: barges, riverboats, wheel boats, panoramic boats… So remember to book your tickets in advance and, if necessary, check accessibility for people with reduced mobility.
What is the route of a cruise ship in Paris?
Depending on the cruise lines, the boarding location may vary (Île de la Cité, Pont de l’Alma, Pont Neuf, port de la Bourdonnais, etc.). On the other hand, the circuit is the same for everyone, and lasts on average 1 hour. You will therefore see the same Parisian monuments. Only the Canauxrama company differs, with a passage in front of the replica of the Statue of Liberty.
The different Parisian cruise companies
If the boat circuit on the Seine is the same for everyone, the cruise lines know how to differentiate themselves with innovative offers. For a boat trip in Paris, here are the 6 main companies:
- The Bateaux Parisiens company: the 13 panoramic boats have been offering a classic tour or a dinner cruise since 1956. You can climb onto the upper deck to offer yourself a breathtaking view while the audio guide in 14 languages accompanies you throughout the walk;
- The company of Vedettes du Pont Neuf: created since 1959, this company stands out for its audio commentary, which is given by a guide on the boat, and whose words are translated into English in real time, for better interaction;
- The company of the Vedettes de Paris : this company stands out for its traditional and smaller boats, with a “glass of champagne” option. More intimate, this boat offers audio commentary in 3 languages (French, Spanish and English);
- The Bateaux Mouches company : this legendary company from 1949 is a true institution. Welcoming up to 1,000 people, the riverboats offer very regular departures;
- The Paris Canal company: this company stands out by offering a longer circuit, passing through the Saint-Martin canal, to the Parc de la Villette;
- The Canauxrama company : offering walks on the Parisian canals, this company has an on-board guide (English and French), a snack bar and a bar. Please note, the boats do not run every day.
Do you dream of seeing Paris differently? There boat trip and the hop-on hop-off bus tour are perfect for discovering all the most beautiful monuments of Paris in just a few hours.