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Paris Illumination Bus Tours

Are these tours worth the going rate of 25 Euros? Rick Steves has suggested taking a regular city bus to see the sights in his guidebook which of course would be substantially cheaper. Is there an advantage to taking the Tour Busses as opposed to just hopping on a city bus? Do the Tour Busses stop at the sights for a few moments?

Thanks for your input!

Posted by
277 posts

I recently returned from Paris. On our first night, we made the mistake of taking a mini bus tour at night. Tour picked us up at 9 PM from our hotel. It was to be a two hour tour. After picking us up, the bus picked up another family at a hotel which was 20 minutes away. These 20 minutes was part of my 2 hours! The driver, also the guide, did not or could not make her descriptions of sights clear.We drove quickly passed sights. The only stop was in front of the Eiffel Tower while the lights blinked for ten miuntes to take photo's.

Posted by
11 posts

I love this tour and have done it twice, as an introduction to my stay. Paris is beautiful at night. We used Cityrama, approx. same rate, had headphones for English interpretation. I thought it was fabulous. Only drawback was that we had to be at Cityrama at 9pm and get ourselves back to our hotel. There were no hotel pickups and dropoffs.
Tour was on a regular 50pax bus, with big viewing windows.

Posted by
7996 posts

We had the same bad experience as Jeff in the previous post. It was awful. A complete waste of time and money. On ours though, the driver picked up others at 3 different hotels after picking us up, and returned to the same 3 hotels before taking us back to our hotel, so that really ate up our time. He drove at normal driving speed past everything, never even attempted to slow down, We were stuck in traffic, he was in a very bad mood and didn't speak much. It was bad. I think it was a ParisVision tour. I've lived in Paris twice and we return every summer, so we just did the tour for what we thought would be fun. It wasn't. Paris does have a wonderful "Hop on, Hop off" bus which is much more worthwhile. I think they stop around 9 pm. Another alternative to the more formal tour would be a boat down the Seine after dark, the one I like best picks you up right by Notre Dame, sorry, can't remember the name.