Paris Bus Tour?


Jan 27th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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Paris Bus Tour?

My husband and I are going to be in Paris for a weekend in February for the 1st time ever. We have been contemplating a bus tour early the 1st day as a way to get a general overview of the city. Then we want to go see (at the minimum) The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumphe and Notre Dame. Would you recommend a bus tour? If so, which tour would you recommend? I understand there is a Foxxity tour (no stops) as well as 2 big "hop on"/"hop off" tour companies L'Open Bus and Les Cars Rouges . Can you provide any help on this decision? Thanks!
Okie is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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I'd rather take a walking tour than sit on a bus. There's a free 3 hour walking tour (you tip the guide) that gives an overview of the city. You start near Notre Dame and end near the Arch of Triumph.

I told an acquaintance of mine to do this tour her first time in Paris and she and her husband loved the tour. My brother did this tour in Munich and thought it was great. These are 2 very picky people and they were satisfied.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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In February, the Foxity tour is probably best. No stops, but upper level is covered and heated.

The hop on/hop off buses are much better when the weather is comfortable enough for enjoying seats on the open air upper deck. If you ride below, you may as well just use the city buses for far less, even taxis.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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If you'll be in Paris only for a weekend, you can cover a LOT more territory on a bus than a walking tour. You can see a lot more riding than walking as well.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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You can easily hit all these sights by using Paris regular buses and the métro. I've never been on the HOHO bus in Paris so can't speak to that, but I see no reason to pay for a special bus or tour when you can easily walk or use public transportation to get to the sights you want to see. Bus #69, part of the regular Paris bus system, will run you by many of the major sites for a euro or so.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 09:41 PM
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I definitely do NOT recommend the L'Open tour. Terrible, tinny audio information interrupted by awful music, and LONG stops at sites of no particular interest to pick up more passengers. The Les Cars Rouges look much the same, but couldn't possibly be as bad! We escaped as quickly as we could.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Parisvision and Cityrama offer a variety of bus tours. Vedettes du Pont Neuf for a Seine cruise. Paris Walks for walking tours.

Only issue on first day bus tour is with jet lag, tendancy to zzzzzz...
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Jan 27th, 2012, 10:29 PM
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You just cannot compare riding around on city buses to the panoramic views from the Foxity, l'Opentour, or Les Cars Rouge seats on the upper level.

But 69, in particular, is usually packed (with those believing it to be a cheap "tour"), especially on Saturdays. You just cannot see as much (or very much at all) from windows of city buses, especially if you have to stand the entire ride.

The Foxity route goes past nearly all the major sights and monuments and back and forth over the Seine across many bridge.
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Jan 27th, 2012, 10:47 PM
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Here is a tour to get you started,
spaarne is offline  
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Jan 28th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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I think those city overview bus tours can be fun, and if you want one, check the rates on Parisvision or Cityrama. The hop-on, hop-off buses are totally different IMO, they aren't a city overview, they are more for getting around the city to see things on your own, and stop at some major sites. Even if there are headphones with some description (there usually are on those kind of things), it's not the same as a concentrated bus overview tour of a couple hours. It sounds like you don't want a hopon, off thing so don't consider it.
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