Most cities in Europe have tours to see the main monuments, landmarks and points of interest and Paris is no exception, with different excursions and tour operators that are a great way of getting to see the main sights.
With most tours only lasting an average of one hour this can be a pleasant trip for all members of the family, no matter what their age, and with documentaries supplied in different languages, you can even find out some very interesting facts along the way.
Within Paris there are two bus firms that provide these tours and 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.
Les Car Rouges was the original tour bus firm in Paris, which are the red buses that provide one specific route with pick up and drop off points around the city, and although varying according to the time of year, arrive at these stops on an average of every 15 to 30 minutes.
The second tour operator has four different routes around Paris, which will get you to see a lot more of the different tourist attractions. Called l’Open Tour Buses they are very easy to spot in their yellow and green colour, yet are slightly more expensive for a pass. But because they have more varied destinations from one side of the city to another, you can hop on and off different buses to go on different routes, which will get you covering far more of the incredible monuments and landmarks that Paris has to offer.
You can purchase tickets in advance, via selected outlets or in some cases from the bus drivers themselves and both of these tour operators have an open deck at the top of the bus, which is a great place to view the sights on a pleasant day and audio guides in different languages for additional information on the famous sights.
The Batobus service is another great way of getting around Paris and runs along the River Seine, although you would have to be mobile in aspects of negotiating stairs and steep inclines at the banks of the River Seine. It has specific drop off and pick up points and by purchasing a ticket you can go right round the route or do as with the buses on a hop on and hop off aspect using the ticket throughout the day. Some places the Batobus takes you are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre and other famous places situated along the Seine.
However, if you are an energetic and an environmentally friendly type of person, then you may wish to consider using a bicycle to get around Paris, and if you do not have your own cycle with you, then the city has a great system in place called the Velib plus cycle lanes amounting to around 350 kilometres.
You can hire a bike with the Vélib' Self-Service Bike Scheme, with pick up and drop off points all over the city of Paris only around 300 metres apart. There is an initial set up charge and only a small fee when you use your cycle, but the first 30 minutes of every ride are completely free and you can choose the duration of your ticket from one day, five day, even a yearly pass.
Unfortunately, you do have to be over fourteen years of age to take advantage of this service, but it is definitely a great way of keeping fit and a pleasant alternative from the metro, so you actually get to see the sights on route and you can obtain these passes online or at any of the Velib Service Points.
Even when you have children with you, travelling around Paris can be fun, and although the rush hour times are always going to be hectic, taking the more touristy type options can be a lot more fun for everyone and you get to see a lot more of Paris from above ground!
Martyn Davis European Traveller, Author, Photographer and Business Development Manager, For all your French holiday needs and travel guide to France, with tourist information, landmarks and attractions - Transport and Tours In Paris France
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