Big Bus Paris: How do the hop-on hop-off buses in Paris work?

February 26, 2019 Tom Clark | Comments Off

Just approach the main attractions of Paris as you will soon see one of them: traditional hop-on hop-off style buses. They are 2-storey buses that repeat the same route throughout the day, with several stops (usually at strategic points, close to tourist attractions), where each passenger pays a fixed price and can go up and down at will along all day (or if you prefer, just stay around and enjoy the scenery). We through this article give you this Paris bus tours guide!

Ideal for first time travelers to a city and have little time to visit the main attractions. Or even for those who like comfort and practicality in relation to conventional public transportation, the truth is that these buses are a great success.

Is it worth to use hop-on hop-off buses in Paris? To help answer this and other questions you may have about hop-on hop-off buses in Paris, we’ve prepared this very detailed post telling you how these buses work. There are several companies that offer this type of service, and we will give personal account of the experience we had with one of them, Big Bus Tours Paris

Big Bus Tours Paris is the largest tour operator in this type of open tour around the world (in addition to Paris, it is present in 20 other cities). In Paris, they offer in the most traditional version the hop-on hop-off bus service, a model that allows the passenger to board and disembark at will during the period of validity of their ticket. In this way, the city can be explored at the very pace of each person, dedicating more or less time to each attraction, or even letting down one to stay longer in another. There are also options that include boat trips along the Seine, but we will talk only about the most conventional mode.

The Big Bus Paris buses run along two different routes, the red and the blue (all modes of tickets will entitle both routes). In addition to the two routes, there are 11 points for boarding and disembarkation throughout the city, as well as 3 points exclusively for disembarkation (always close to important attractions of the city).

Big Bus Paris: Red Route

The red route of the Big Bus Paris is the most classic, passing through the main attractions of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre Museum. This route has a total of 10 points for boarding and disembarking passengers, according to the map below. The numbered points are precisely the places where it is possible to board as well as get off the bus (hop-on and hop-off).

1) Eiffel Tower;
2) Champ de Mars (ideal also to visit the Invalides);
3) Opera Garnier (Also close to a shopping paradise for Brazilians, Galeries Lafayette);
4) Louvre-Pyramide / Big Bus Information Center (here is the physical shop of Big Bus);
5) Louvre-Pont des Arts (ideal to visit the Louvre);
6) Notre Dame (Best stop to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, Pantheon and Jardin du Luxembourg);
7) Musée d’Orsay (besides the museum that gives name to the stop, ideal to visit the Musée de L’Orangerie, Jardin des Tuileries and Musée Rodin);
8) Champs-Elysées (For those who want to get to know the Arc de Triomphe or “flanar” the main avenue of Paris);
9) Grand Palais;
10) Trocadéro (view of the Eiffel Tower).

Total duration of the red route: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Frequency of bus movement: 5 to 15 minutes intervals
Bus timetable: Between 9:15 and 18:30 (exact times must be consulted on the official website).

Big Bus Paris: Blue Route

This is a new route, which also starts at point 4 of the map (Big Bus Paris shop), but heads north of the city, specifically towards the Montmartre area and the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral. The numbered points are again the places where it is possible to board as well as get off the bus (hop-on and hop-off).

Total duration of the blue route: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Frequency of bus movement: Every 30 minutes
Bus timetable: Between 9:30 and 7:00 p.m. (exact times must be consulted on the official website).

Other services

All hop-on hop-off buses from Big Bus Paris also offer free Wi-Fi on board at the passenger’s disposal. You can share photos and videos in real time, or search for some detail of the schedule between one stop and another. In addition, following the idea of ​​a “guided tour”, the buses provide headphones where you can get information about the main attractions of Paris.