Bateaux Mouche or Open -tour bus?

May 30th, 2003, 04:36 AM
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Bateaux Mouche or Open -tour bus?

What is the best introduction to Paris for those who visit there for the first time?
RBO is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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These are not mutually exclusive. The bus tour goes many more places and areas of course and I think is best for an overview. The boat is a nice late afternoon ride to see a different side of Paris.
Gretchen is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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Between the 2, I would take the tour bus over the boat ride. The boat ride offers a different view, but the views from the Eiffel Tower, Arc de triomphe, Notre Dame are priceless memories. Because of the noise from the boat, it is often hard to hear the tour. Save the boat for another trip.
gailscout is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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I'd do both - the bus tour in the morning or afternoon (or all day since it is hop-on-hop-off) and take a Seine cruise in the evening when all the sites are beautifully illuminated. Seeing NotreDame, the Eiffel tower, Louvre, etc lit up at night makes an evening cruise almost magical. I prefer the Vedettes from the Pont Neuf over the Batteaux Mouche
janis is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 09:47 AM
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I agree with Janis.
ira is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 10:10 AM
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I'd do as Janis recommends. The Bateaux Mouches/Vedettes du Pont Neuf will only let you see what is along the Seine...My theory these days for visiting a new city is to take a 1/2 day guided bus tour on the first day (assuming not nodding off!), followed by my own walking adventures. The boat tour is best after dark, when the buildings and bridges are lit up. Plan this around the fact that dinner in Paris will be around 8PM onwards and will be at a relaxed pace. For that reason, on one trip I ate on the Left Bank near Notre Dame so I could catch the last run of the day of the Vedettes du Pont Neuf boat. Opinions on this forum seem to be against taking one of the dinner cruises on the Seine. I tend to agree, you can get better food "on land" and still do the boat ride ( unless romance is on the cards).

Also, look at Paris Walks. The web page is:

I took a couple of their tours last January and enjoyed them. Peter gave the St Germain tour and it was very good and entertaining. It's a nice break from following a route in a tour book to having someone take you to places off the beaten track, backed up by interesting stories.

Michel_Paris is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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definitely the Open-tour or something like that. I consider the Bateaux Mouches etc. just a diversion for an hour to relax, it isn't an introduction to Paris that much. You can't really see very much from those boats way down on the river. It's just a fun ride.
Christina is online now  
May 30th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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We took the Bateaux Mouche tour at night on our last evening. It was a little loud, slight "cheesy" but incredible views of the incredible buildings and monuments lit up. It was a nice finish to our trip.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Actually I'd do the Bateaux Mouche during the day and then book an Illuminations evening bus tour for another day. These were my mom's favorite things when I took her to Paris (that and the lunch at JV!)

>- Wendy
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