The Pick Of The Paris Tours

There is a wide range of tours available for Paris sightseers. You can go by bus, by boat or by foot.... you can even go on a rollerblading tour.

Below are some of the most common types of tour... plus a recommendation for an unusual approach to touring...

Bus Tours

I'm not a big fan of the Sightseeing bus tours. However, they cover most of the most famous monuments and attractions in a short time. And, for that reason, they're useful if you're really pressed for time.

Alternatively, if you're not able to do a lot of walking, you can use them to get you from attraction to attraction and they'll give you better views than the metro!

However, as you'll see in the "making your own tours" section, there are better ways of getting around Paris by bus.

Bateaux-Mouches

Paris river cruises are known colloquially as "Bateaux-Mouches" and they're an excellent way to see the most famous landmarks.

This is because Paris grew out from the river Seine - Paris was originally just the little island Ile-de-la-Cite - and, as a result, the oldest and most famous buildings tend to be on or near the river banks.

So, on these river tours, you'll see Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Musee D'Orsay as well as the famous bridges such as Pont Neuf, Pont Des Arts and Pont Alexandre III.

There are a number of companies that offer these tours, In my experience, they're much of a muchness, so it doesn't matter a great deal which one you choose.

Guided Walking Tours

Unsurprisingly, walking tours tend to focus on just one area of the city.

While many different areas have guided tours, I'd suggest you choose one of these two:

Ile De La Cite

This is the small island in the heart of the Seine. Originally, Paris was just this island. So, unsurpisingly, it has Paris' oldest buildings as well as famous attractions like Notre Dame cathedral.

Montmartre

Because of its Bohemian past, Montmartre has many tales to tell. You will be shown where artists like Renoir, Lautrec, Van Gogh and Picasso had their studios.

Making Your Own Tours

If you're the type of tourist who likes to be independent and set his/her own agenda, you can create your own bus tours by using normal Paris bus routes to get around town and see the sites.

There are quite a few routes that will take you past many places of interest.

The one I'd most recommend is the number 63. This will let you see:

- Trocadero (the Chaillot palace that faces the Eiffel Tower)

- Pont L'Alma (where Princess Diana had her crash)

- Hotel des Invalides (which has a golden dome and houses Napoleon's tomb)

- The Assemblee Nationale (one of France's parliaments)

- Latin Quarter (and the Sorbonne)

- The Institut du Monde Arabe (Institure of the Arab World)

- Jardin des Plantes (botanic gardens and zoo)

Related Articles:

Musee D'Orsay

Monuments and Attractions

Latin Quarter

Paris Rollerblading Tour

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