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Guided Tours Around Paris

If you’re seeing Paris for the first time, a generic guided tour is a great convenience.  Some tourists will turn their noses up to the cliché guided tour buses, but they really are the best way to get a good beat on the city. It also gives you some bearings on where everything is in relation to your Paris apartment rental or hotel.  If you’d like to go halfway between a bus and being your own tour guide, the hop-on-hop off method is a tourist favorite.  It’s as easy as it sounds! Buy a day pass, and hop off at your desired location, tour and take photos, and hop on the next tour bus that comes by! 

There are 2 main tours and both are affordable and easily accessible from most Paris vacation rentals and hotels. They have set routes & stops at all popular landmarks.  Most provide headphones to give informative commentary during the tour.  All the buses are clean, and travel on regular intervals.  The drivers are all very helpful, and will help get you to anywhere you want to go, even if you just need help getting back to your Paris vacation apartment or hotel.  

L’Open Tour: The big YELLOW bus has 4 routes that hit 50 stops around Paris.  It’s arguably the most popular guided tour bus, featuring a large open deck.  Audio commentary is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin, Czech & Portuguese. If you have enough time for a 2-day preliminary exploration, you can buy a 2-day pass (about 32 Euros) to get a good preview of the entire city.  

Les Car Rouges: The big RED bus is a round-trip guided tour that hits 9 locations including the Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay, Opera, Champs Elysees/Arc D Triumphe, Grand Palais & Trocadero.  The trip takes about 2 ¼ hours, and during that time you can be guided by the audio commentary in 8 languages (same as above, except Czech & Portuguese).  The cost is 24 Euros, and works as a 2-day pass.  

BatoBus: Perhaps you want to float down the river Seine to see Paris?  The Batobus offers 5 site-seeing boats with 8 stops along the Seine River.  Along the right bank, the batobus stops at Champs-Elysses, Louvre & the Hotel De Ville. Along the left bank it will stop at Jardin Des Plantes, Notre Dame, St Germain De Pres, Musee D’Orsay & The Eiffel Tower.  It works on a rotating basis, and comes in 15-30 minute intervals.  A 1-day pass is about 13 Euros, or you can get a 5 day pass for 20 Euros.  

Regardless of how you choose to view the city, your travel agent or concierge at your Paris vacation apartment rental or hotel will be able to guide you through how to book and purchase your tickets.