Lights of Paris at night

Jun 15th, 2006, 08:05 AM
  #1  
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Lights of Paris at night

My sister and I just returned from a week in Paris and one of the highlights was a Cityrama bus tour at night. Thankfully we opted for the open bus tour. It was a double decker bus with the top completely open (no roof or windows). The tour began at 10pm. It lasted two hours (it was advertised as 1.5 hrs) and started and ended at Cityrama's office at the corner of Pyramides and Rivoli. We had an online coupon I had printed so the cost was discounted to 22 euros each (from 24).

It really was marvelous (and a great value). The sky was clear and the weather was very pleasant (neither too warm or too cold/breezy). The commentary came over headsets so you could choose to wear them or not. We basically saw all the major sights of Paris beautifully illuminated.

The fact that we were in an open vehicle above the traffic made all the difference. A standard bus tour would not have been anywhere near as magical. I would strongly recommend the tour if you enjoy city lights.
sbsjsf is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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MaureenB
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Did you take a boat cruise on the Seine after dark? Equally magical.
 
Jun 15th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for the review and tip on the discount. I've always wanted to do one of those for fun, but somehow never got around to it.
Christina is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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sbsif, I just looked at the website and didn't see any online discount coupon. Where did you get that? Was it on some other website?
Christina is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Are there any after dark boat cruises along the Seine that you recommend?
urbanp is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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I can't recommend a specific boat company (we took one that left from the left bank side, just down from the eiffle tour)but just make sure you get on one where you can sit outside. We went at dusk when we were in Paris last year and there was a full moon and it was truly magical. We brought wine and bread and cheese for dinner and had a great time. Nothing beats Notre Dame at night, viewed from the water.
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Jun 15th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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MaureenB
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The simplest boat ride is to get the Batobus hop-on-hop-off day pass. It stops at the eight major tourist sights along the Seine, and runs till about 10:00 p.m. It is very reasonably priced.
 
Jun 15th, 2006, 10:03 PM
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Also trying to plan a night cruise on the Siene.
I think right now it doesn't get dark until 10pm or later. When do the city lights actually come on? At dusk?
We're leaving Monday!
thanks,
dina
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Jun 15th, 2006, 10:09 PM
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I would watch out when the open air boats pass under bridges.

There seem to be some boats with a clear roof too.
scrb is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 12:52 AM
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Four years ago we took a boat cruise at 10:00 p.m., and we liked the Paris seen rom the river.

Look at this site, they say that the last cruise is at 10:30 http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/english/departs.htm
valtor is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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Thanks for this info on the bus tour. We've been to Paris many times and each time we view our videos after the trip, I say we should get out more after dinner and take shots of the city at night. this sounds like the perfect way to do it in one fell swoop.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Thanks for the "heads up" on the open-top tour. I booked this about a month ago for my trip in August (unfortunately, without a discount voucher), but you never really know how good or not a bus tour will be.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Will you be able to take good night shots from a moving boat?

You probably want to use a tripod on terra firma for some long exposures.

Is Notre Dame facade lit? Last few times I was in Paris, it was in endless restoration with scaffolding covering it all up.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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MaureenB
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Check the Batobus schedule, if you're interested. I could be wrong about their closing time. We were there in May, and the last boat departed at 10 p.m. from point A, so it made the rounds later than that and ended up at 11 p.m. or so at it's final point.
The top of the boat is clear, as I recall. It's handy during the day, especially if it rains, too.
There's standing room on the back, and I got some good shots using a simple 35MM Canon film camera.
 
Jun 16th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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I've done the boats at night and the view is great, but the bus tour sounds interesting too because there are some sights you simply can't see from the boats.
Thanks for the info. We may try that next time we meet up with friends/family in Paris who haven't been there before.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 12:58 PM
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Restoration of the Notre-Dame facade was completed a few years ago, so the scaffolding is gone (there is some work on the north tower underway, but the scaffolding doesn't extend to the western facade). Notre-Dame, like other Paris monuments, is illuminated at night until 1 AM or so.

Keep in mind that in June the sun doesn't even set until 10 PM.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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The bus tour sounds great. We're going to be in Paris in September, so I've taken note of it.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Bateaux Parisianne leaves for the left bank..righ across from the Eiffle Tower. I think it's Bateauz Mouche (?) that leaves from the right bank.
crefloors is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Batobus seems to give you a two day pass for like 13 euros? You can ride it as many times as you want during those 2 days?

They also have some deal for two days on the Batobus and some bus tour. But the website dosn't show where those bus stops are.

Some of those boats have flood lights and as they go by some buildings, they spotlight them for passengers. Got to be annoying if you live near the river.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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MaureenB
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scrb, you are correct that the two-day pass gives you unlimited hop-on-hop-off the Batobus during the two days. We didn't see any spotlights-- that would kind of ruin the mood, non?
 

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