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.
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.
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.
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.