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Hop on Hop Off busses in Paris

Hi All,
We are headed to France and will be spending 4 days in Paris. Somebody here (Toronto) suggested the Hop on Hop off busses as a good way of getting around.
Anyone used them?

Posted by
8293 posts

No, no, the HOHO buses are not a "good way of getting around". They are fine for a little sight seeing tour, but the metro and buses are for "getting around" and not more complicated than public transportation in Toronto. Look at parisbytrain.com and tomsguidetoparis.com

Posted by
8230 posts

HOHOs are awful public transport -- you wait endlessly; they are slow; they are really annoying. If you want a bus top overview, get the two hour Foxity bus tour. Then use the metro and buses to get around. IMHO the metro is the most efficient.

Posted by
267 posts

We found the river cruise boat a great way to get from the Eiffel Tower area
where we stayed all the way to Notre Dame-one price to ride all day, on and
off at various stops and you can incorporate a cruise near sunset.

Posted by
4132 posts

The Metro & buses & RER (or whatever they are calling it these days) are good ways of getting around.

Posted by
3336 posts

We used the HOHO in Paris on our first trip there and it was okay. We only had one full day in Paris and it at least gave us a look at the major sights. The only problem was at one point we got on a route that went through the newer part of the city and it was a long boring ride back to the more touristy area. We should have actually looked at the map instead of jumping on the next bus that came along.

With 4 days in Paris, I would consider using the HOHO on the first day to get my bearings.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. Sounds like the overall consensus is that they are at the best just ok. We will probably use Uber or the public system.

Posted by
183 posts

Lots of participants on this forum dislike HOHO busses for valid reasons including cost. In reality, they are a good option but definitely a "your mileage may vary" option. IMHO, I like the HOHO busses in limited circumstances. I very much enjoy them on my first day after an overnight international flight when I want to sightsee and get my "lay of the land" but am simply too beat to do lots of walking around or climbing stairs in the London Tube or Paris Metro, or when the weather is too dreary or rainy to walk around. Otherwise I stick with walking for shorter distances and public transit for longer distances.

Posted by
1829 posts

I am kind of surprised at the general consensus opinion ; though it may be slanted by the wording in your question:
They have pluses and minuses.

Since some of the negatives already touched on I will start with the positives.
+: Paris is huge, you cannot walk all of it. On a nice day (not too hot or cold) sitting up at the top of the open air bus can be very relaxing and scenic. Most of the main attractions are on the route or one of the routes offered. For getting a lay of the land they are very convenient as well as useful on that first day for those of US arriving from the US and jetlagged. If you have plenty of time to spare you can get mostly anywhere you want. Sometimes you just want to see a city and the sites before visiting any of them it is perfect for that. If you plan your stops in advance based on the route/map you can use it successfully to see what you want and limit your walking. There is a combined boat and bus ticket option which if you plan on taking a boat on the seine anyway, will cost less than separate tickets. There is an audio tour included if you want to listen, free ear plugs as well.

_: It is never the fastest way to get anywhere. From point a to point b type travel they are not convenient. Follows a one way circle route, if you want to go the other direction just one stop you would have to drive the entire circle. You could eat up hours of time if you don't plan your stops in advance. Often have to wait for one to come at the stops. They are subject to the same traffic jams as other vehicles, while moving they are nice and relaxing I think but when stuck in traffic or stopped at red lights, not so much. Cost will always be higher than most anything else, given the amount of times you will end up using it for getting to different sites you likely could take taxis or ubers and it would cost less, it goes without saying other means of public transport will always cost less. The busses stop very early ; do not run at night.

Really depends what you are trying to get out of the HOHO bus.

Posted by
26 posts

Blockquote I like the HOHO busses in limited circumstances. I very much enjoy them on my first day after an overnight international flight when I want to sightsee and get my "lay of the land" but am simply too beat to do lots of walking around
Blockquote

That is exactly what I did on a recent trip to Paris. We had an overnight flight, landed and were at our hotel before 1 and briefly napped. Had a late lunch and a walk to Eiffel Tower area, then popped on the HOHO bus for the last loop. We got a great sense of the city as first time visitors and we never got off so did the full lap of the big sights. We also did the cruise boat at dusk, then saw the twinkling Tower. Great first day with little walking but lots of seeing.

I would never think to use it as transportation unless you left early and had 2+ things on the bus to see. It is slow, and not the most efficient way to get from place to place.

I also would not do it again when visiting Paris now that I have some understanding of the city.