There are a number of tourist bus companies in Paris who will take you around on the top deck of a double decker bus and show you the monuments, complete with commentary broadcast in many languages (ours had French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Russian). Usually they let you get on and off to take a closer look at the sights you’re interested in. We were lucky enough to be given a pair of tickets for the Big Bus company by friends, so decided to spend a day riding the bus.

Bus interior, Big Bus, Paris

I have talked with people about bus tours before and they tend to have polarised opinions – either people love them because they get to see everything in a day, or they hate them because it’s too superficial a way to see a city; they’re probably both right to some extent. I have probably fallen into the latter category in the past, as I enjoy walking around a city and don’t like spending cash to sit in traffic. On the other hand, I have done a few of these tours in the past and generally enjoyed them. 

Bus top, Big Bus, Paris

In Paris, Big Bus charges 34 euros for an all day ticket. There are two routes covered by this: the classic (red) route which takes in most of the sights over about two hours, and the blue route which takes you up to Montmartre and back over roughly 90 minutes. We did both, because…why not? I’ve noted on the pics which route they were viewed on.

Fair, Jardin des Tuileries, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

I don’t intend to go through what I thought of all the things I saw, so I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Here then, are lots of photos of the sights of Paris featuring either bits of a bus or people’s hands holding phones. If you think a slightly elevated view of the grand monuments of Paris is for you, then the Big Bus, or another company, might suit.

Palais Garnier, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Place Vendome, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Eglise de la Saint Trinite, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Place Clichy, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Moulin Rouge, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Sacre-Coeur, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Gare de l’Est, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Police station (I think), Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Porte Saint Gilles, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Porte Saint Martin, Blue route, Big Bus, Paris

Louvre, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Louvre Pyramid, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Gate near Louvre, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

St. Michael’s fountain, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

D’Orsay Museum, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Avenue des Champs Elysees, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Grand Palais, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Petit Palais, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Horse balls, Grand Palais, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Arc de Triomphe, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

The Arch again, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Trocadero, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Eiffel Tower through Trocadero, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

The Eiffel Tower, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

People snapping the Tower, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Hotel des Invalides, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

Military Museum, Red route, Big Bus, Paris

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