Does anyone know if Paris has Hop on Hop off buses?
Yes. Actually, I think they have at least two companies to choose from. They also have a hop on hop off boat called the batobus.
Yes, they have two main hoho companies. The Cars Rouges( and of courses the buses are red) and L'Open Tour ( buses are bright lime green and yellow).
I prefer and have used L'Open tour twice, they have 4 routes and more stops,, and the two day pass is only a few euros more then the one day pass. I prefer the two day pass as there are so many places you may wish to get off that you can't really cover all the 4 routes in one day unless you just sit on the bus the whole time.. They stop at all major sites and have a basic taped commentary ( and you are provided with earphones so you can listen in your langauge) . My personal thoughts on hohos is that they are not the fastest or cheapest way to get around Paris, but they do provide a good basic overview and lay of the land, and you can always plan on returning to an area or spot for more time after your pass expires( this assumes you have more then two days in Paris). .. but mainly I like the way you can enjoy seeing the neighborhoods as you go through them, using the metro is fast and cheap but you sort of pop up in neighborhoods , and the bus is cheap but not as fast and personally its a bit harder for me to figure out then the metro( which is very easy even if you have never used an underground system before) But finally for me, its weather dependent, I wouldn't use the hohos on a cold or rainy day since number one advantage ( to me) is sitting up top , and the tops are open!
PS neither company requires you to prepurchase or book, so you just find a stop ( near all major sites, and marked with company sign) and board and pay .
Hi Judy, I went to Paris for the first time this last May and I can share with you that I really loved using the HOHO buses. Even in the rain (just put your umbrella up!)sitting on the those busses gives you an amazing view of the city, and Paris is a beautiful city! We would leave our hotel at 9:00 in the morning with our sightseeing agenda in hand and not return until the evening. Sometimes when we were just tired of walking and needed a little down time, we would grab a sandwich or snack and ride the HOHO around for an hour or so. There is faster and probably less expensive ways of getting around the city (we used the metro several times during the day as well) but the HOHOs are kind of charming and take you all over the city in a simple, easy to understand way. Enjoy your trip...Paris is wonderful!
(side note...I have family in Grass Valley...beautiful little town!)
Thank you all for the information. I think that might be an alternative to just the metro. I am not sure what to expect in late December. When I was there in 2004 it was September and really nice.
Nancy nice to hear about your relatives, I have lived here for 32 years, it is a really great place to live.
I'd actually been to Paris many times before taking a HO/HO bus for the first time. Even as a Paris "veteran" I really enjoyed it. You get a different perspective on things from the top of the bus and I enjoyed the commentary (learned the exact spot where Princess Di died). As mentioned, they are an inefficient means of transportation if you just use them to get from Point A to Point B. But if you use it in the Hop-on/Hop-Off fashion and visit the sights along the route, I think you'll be pleased.
Judy: As an alternative to the hop-on, hop-off buses, you might consider getting a Metro/Bus pass. You can just catch any city bus that takes you by the sights you want to see, get off, do the sights, then catch another bus. True, you do not get to sit on top, but it gets you where you are going; it is relatively inexpensive; and you get to rub shoulders with actual Parisians. but if you choose this way, be sure to study the bus routes before you go to Paris, as they can be a bit tricky. The bus routes are available from the Paris RATP website. Peter