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Travelling Around Paris France

Travelling around Paris can be a daunting prospect, but rather than thinking about the hustle and bustle of the metro, there are some more fun ways in which to get around and see the sights at the same time.

In Paris, like in lots of different cities throughout Europe there are site seeing excursions that you can go on and these are a brilliant way to have a tour of the sights and get your bearings.

Each tour lasts on an average an hour or longer and is a pleasant trip for all members of the family and you can also listen to documentaries, which are supplied in different languages and will provide you with some very interesting and sometimes comical facts whilst on route.

However, there are two bus firms that not only provide the tours, but also a hop on and hop off service, so for the one payment you can utilise the buses as many times as you like during the day.  This is absolutely great if you want to visit certain monuments, then jump back on the bus and cut across the city to reach the next place you wish to visit.

The first and original tour bus firm in Paris is called Les Car Rouges which are red buses and provide one specific route which has pick up and drop off points around Paris, and arrives at these stops on an average of every 15 to 30 minutes depending upon the time of year.  The ticket you purchase is for a two day pass, so you definitely get your monies worth. 

Travelling Around Paris France
Boats Around Paris France

The second tour operator has four different routes around Paris and is called l'Open Tour Buses, which will get you to a great deal more different tourist attractions.  Although it is slightly more expensive for a pass, you can hop on different buses to go on different routes, which will get you covering far more of the incredible monuments and landmarks of this famous city and you can very easily spot these buses as they are yellow and green!

Both of these tour operators have an open deck at the top of the bus, which although is the best place to view the sights, you do have to pick on a nice day, otherwise you will be stuck down below or get very wet!   You can purchase the tickets for these bus tours from selected outlets, in advance or even in some cases from the bus drivers themselves.

Another great way of getting around Paris is via the Batobus service that runs along the River Seine and has selected drop off and pick up points.  Again, this is a system that operates as a hop on and hop off service for the purchase of a day pass, which is another great way of seeing the sights from a totally different perspective.  This will get you to places such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre and other places situated along the Seine, but you are limited to the vicinity, rather than going further afield, although the experience is something quite different.

One thing that we found though, is that you would have to be rather mobile to use this service, as you will end up going up and down the stairs at different points to get onto the Quay, so if you have young children or push chairs, then fitness will help with negotiating stairs and steep inclines!

However, if you are an energetic and also an environmentally friendly type of person, then you may wish to consider using a bicycle.  Well, Paris has a great system in place where you can cycle around, knowing that you are going to be safe doing so, with the amount of cycle lanes in place that amount to well over 350 kilometres. 

But if you do not already have your own cycle with you, then you can hire a bike with the Vélib' Self-Service Bike Scheme, with pick up and drop off points all over the city and at only around 300 metres apart.  For an initial set up charge and only a small fee when you use your cycle you can use the cycle for short trips and maybe from one arrondissement to the next by choosing a one day ticket, or you can opt for a five day ticket.  However, if you are staying in Paris for a longer period of time then a yearly pass could be the best option, which is what many people do and it certainly saves you a lot of money and hassle with parking, plus gets you fitter!

Unfortunately, someone does have to be over fourteen years of age to take advantage of this service, but it is definitely a great alternative from the metro of getting around this famous City of Lights.  Although these passes can be obtained online, you can also obtain them from the Vélib' Service Points if you decide upon the option when you are already there, and we would like to point out that the first 30 minutes of every journey you take using the Vélib bike is completely free of charge!

We have found that travelling around Paris can be fun, even with children.  And although at rush hour times it is always goings to be hectic, taking the more, shall we say, tourist type avenues can actually be a lot more fun for everyone and you get to see a lot more of Paris from above ground!

Travelling Around Paris

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