The Montmartrobus is the local bus (#18) that does a complete tour around Montmartre. Although it can be used for a quick sightseeing overview of la Butte it is actually put into use by the locals as they head on out to work & go to & fro different places on this mountain. It comes in rather handy to get one's bearings in Montmartre or even to get from one destination to another.
What's wonderful is that you can see many famous landmarks of this hill including Place du Tertre (from where you may also pick up a ride), La Maison Rose, the Moulin Rouge, Abbesses, Moulin de la Galette, Sacré-Cœur (on the place du parvis and by the rue Maurice-Utrillo), Amélie's café, Van Gogh's house, Chapelle du Martyre, Vigne du Clos Montmartre and Au Lapin Agile.
Last year, I rode the complete circuit of the Montmartrobus route twice to get the layout of Montmartre. Two simple ways to access it:
1) take the #12 ligne (line) to the Jules Joffrin exit - you'll see the bus waiting on the edge of the square
2) take the #2 or #12 lignes to Métro Pigalle
The first choice brings you to the calm village-like area of Montmartre, an area filled with locals; the latter, well, it's Pigalle.
Cost: 1 billet or use the Carte Orange
Photo: November 2007
Double-decker buses of L'OpenTour and Les Cars Rouges follow set routes with stops at leading museums and tourist attractions. For a fixed price, you can step off a bus, explore an attraction or neighborhood at your leisure, and catch another bus when you're ready to move on. As a bonus, you can put on headphones and listen to a running commentary between stops.
The green-and-yellow buses of L'OpenTour cover four sightseeing routes: "Paris Grand Tour," "Bastille-Bercy," "Montmartre-Grands Boulevards," and "Montparnasse-Saint Germain." A single pass gives you access to all four routes. In 2005, a one-day adult pass will cost you €24, and a two-day pass is only three euros more at €27. Children from 4 to 11 pay €12 for one or two days of travel. (You can book ahead through Viator if you wish, but it's just as easy to buy a pass on the bus or at one of L'OpenTour's sales outlets in Paris.)
The red-and-white buses of Les Cars Rouges cover only one route, which stops at nine locations in the city center. 2005 prices are €22 for a two-day adult pass and €11 for children between 4 and 12. You can buy your pass on the bus.
Language note: L'OpenTour's commentaries are in French and English; Les Cars Rouges has narrations in eight languages: French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese Russian and Chinese.
We did the hop On/hop Off green/yellow L'Open Tour bus in Paris April 2002. A few of the stops I recall are:
1) Place de la Concorde (looking North towards Madeleine the stop would be north of the Place just to the left),
2) Champs Elysées in front of the Lido (coming up out of the Metro, turn around behind and you'll see it),
3) Notre Dame (past the Parvis, past the Crypt Archeologique, at the bus stop in front of the Conciergerie).
4) 2 stops near Madeleine
We liked it a lot! With the price of the ticket you get a set of earphones with which to listen to the tour in English/French. About 40 stops total and you can take 3 different tours (Bercy/Bastille, Montmartre, Central Paris). Very cool, very informative! The 2-day pass (1-day pass was about $23USD or 24 euro, 2-day pass is 26 euro)is definitely worth the excursion as it takes you past most of the sights and you can hop on and hop off at your leisure. For a short trip to Paris it's a good way to maneuver around the city.
We had trouble finding some of the stops. Tried flagging down a bus near the Eiffel Tower & the driver just shook his head at us. Very disappointing. We finally had to go to the tourist bureau on the Champs to find out.
We were waiting for the bus to pull up at the stop near Nôtre Dame and one of the British passengers remarked "Look, dear, they drive on the wrong side". My friend & I, being from the U.S., just cracked up. Different perspectives and so unexpected!
You'll see the full itinerary on the website listed below.
Photos: Feb 2006 & March 2001
Paris L'Open tour is a great option for those who want to see the most of Paris with the least wear and tear on their feet. The buses have a recorded commentary that is heard through the headsets you get when you purchase your ticket. The tickets can be purchased for one or two days and riders can get off and on at the various stops, as they choose. There are 4 different routes that allow you to see most of the City.
If the weather allows, ride on top for the amazing open air views and the best photo opps.
Details can be found at: L'open Tour
My husband loves to take photos and the open bus tour offers terrific photo opps. The Open Bus Tour consists of 4 routes/buses that will take you around the sites in a distinct area for example, the “green” line takes you by the Eiffel Tower and the Arc Triomphe, etc. There is the Green: Paris grand Tour, Orange: Montparnasse-St. Germain, Yellow: Montmarte-Grand Boulevards, and Blue: Basille-Bercy. We were able to not only get on the bus with a sleeping toddler in the stroller, but up the stairs to the top of the bus. It sounds crazy but well worth it as seeing the sights from this perspective is truly “cool”. When our son woke up he enjoyed the view too and when we were inside, he loved pushing the buttons for the volume and trying to plug in the earphones. It’s fun for the entire family and there were lots of families with kids. During the high season we would not have been able to have so much fun and space! Just keep that in mind. Just a warning that when you transfer lines you may have to wait 15 to 30 minutes. The buses try to time it and wait to make it easier, but we found ourselves waiting a while. This was actually a good thing because it allowed our toddler to run around and wear himself out before getting on the bus again. What was cool was that there was a stop at the Catacombs/R. Daguerre - just 7 minutes from where our apartment was! 25E for one day, 28 for two days – unlimited rides. Kids age 4 to 11 12E. Under 4 FREE! You can get on and buy tickets from any stop. Credit cards accepted on the bus although the Montmarte circuit bus driver said his maching wasn't working
We have been very satisfied with L'Open Tour of Paris. We literally have seen the whole city on a double-decker Hop-On Hop-Off bus by going with its 4 routes. Choose the top-deck as the view is more fantastic. Each seat has its own earphone with English and French description of all the places you are seeing at the very moment. You will have enough time to explore Paris' historical, romantic, and fashionable side by purchasing a two-day Pass. It is more convenient as you can see Paris in your own time and at your own pace. Moreover, it is cheaper. See my list below:
For 1 day Pass - Everyday (From April to October)
Departs every 10-15 minutes from 9:30AM to 8:00PM
Adult - 26.00 Euro
Kids - 13.00 Euro
For 2 day Pass - Everyday (From November to March)
Departs every 25-30 minutes from 9:45AM to 6:00PM
Adult - 29.00 Euro
Kids - 13.00 Euro
In the picture I posted, it will give you an idea how the buses looks like, so that it will be easier for you to recognize as there are many different tour buses going around the city. L'Open Tour stations or booths sell Pass. Your Pass will be accepted directly by all bus drivers of L'Open Tours.
If you come to Paris on Mon or Tues get a Orange Carte . Its for a whole week but starts on Mon - Sun. Its just Euro 15 plus only .Otherwise get a Carnet ( pronounced as Carnay ) of 10 for Euro 10.50 , which is 10 one way ticket. Trust me its the best cos end you tend to walk alot .
Paris Visite card is very expensive and not worth it.
This is the bus which was on duty during my youth (my children say I am kiding because the bus was not still invented when I was young...).
The engin was noisy and the smoke produced stank.
There was a plateform on the back of the bus to go into in the vehicle and we liked to stay on it to watch people.
A RATP employee was there and rang a bell when everybody was climbed in the bus.
Now this bus can be seen in the Musee des Transports and it is a rare event to see one by the streets.
The bus still have it,s power when you want move around . And from the best ways to see Paris also is ride bus and watch paris for some time , so if you find something you can ride off and see it and then ride on the next bus , so if you buy one day ticket you can ride metro and buses also all day without stop !!
Unlike my home town of Cambridge, Paris seems to have a really good bus service. There were maps at all the stops I saw, and some even have electronic indicators to tell you when the next bus is due. Outside of rush hour, buses are a good alternative to the Metro - and many routes are good for sightseeing.
The only catch is that the buses only cover all of their routes between 7am and 8.30pm Monday to Saturday. Outside of these times you need to check your route carefully - see the link for a bus map which has information on off-peak buses.
You can use a metro ticket on a bus, a travel pass, or pay the driver (exact change preferred) - but note that it's one ticket per journey. If you don't have a pass, you'll need another ticket if you want to transfer to another bus. A single ticket in August 2004 was 1.40 Euros.
Many parisians love to travel under Paris in the Subway... Well, "love" is not the right word : they are often forced to do so, as they have no car. But you can easily guess that the atmosphere inside the "Metro" is not the most welcoming and happy you may find in Paris... No landscape to watch, people look scarily sad and angry... So, I would advise to prefer the bus : at least, you may benefit from the smile... of the sun !!
Beaucoup de parisiens adorent voyager sous Paris par le metro... Bon, "adorent" n'est pas vraiment le bon mot : ils y sont souvent obliges a defaut de posseder une voiture. Mais vous devinerez facilement que l'atmosphere du metro n'est pas la plus accueillante et heureuse que l'on puisse trouver a Paris... Pas de paysage a regarder, les gens paraissant desesperement tristes ou agressifs... Je vous conseille aussi de prendre le bus : au moins, vous beneficierez du sourire... du soleil !!
I took a train to Versailles (most tourists does). But I took a bus back. The bus is service number 72 (red) that wonderfully stop right in front of the Chateau de Versailles. Save a bit of walking. The bus depart from Porte de Saint Cloude and a ticket for 5 zones will be valid. Porte De Saint Cloude is on metro line 9. The bus station is right above the metro.
We went to Paris with a bus tour just for a weekend. It was at least a cheap connection. I would recommend to do this but later on doing the sightseeing on your own...just for a first impression it?s ok, but not more.
Paris has got a Metro, quite old but with good connections. To drive by car in Paris must be a little adventure if you are not acostumbrated in the french way of drive...;-) still not that extreme as in Italy but you should always expect that others don?t drive like you learned in your driving lessons ,-)
You cant miss them,they're everywhere on the main tourist routes between Arch de Triomphe and The Opera House.
It costs 22 euros per adult,and 11 euros for chlidren,the tickets are valid for 2 days and you can get on/off as many times as you like.
We found them helpful as the weather had its sunny spells and you can see more from being slightly higher.
If for some reason you can’t go by bicycle, for instance if you have a suitcase that is too big or heavy to be transported by bike, a good alternative is to take the bus. Within Paris you can use a Métro ticket “t+” (which allows transfers between bus lines or between the bus and the tramway), or you can buy a one-time ticket from the bus driver for EUR 2.00 which does not permit transfers.
The advantage of the bus over the Métro is that to reach your bus you don’t have to walk up and down stairs and through long tunnels. And with any luck you can look out the window of the bus and see the city as you ride.
The bus line that I have found most useful over the years is line 38, which runs every four to six minutes from Gare du Nord (North Station) by way of Gare de l’Est (East Station) and then south through the Latin Quarter to Porte d’Orléans.
In the previous century the buses tended to get stuck in traffic, but since August 2001 (after the election of Bertrand Delanoë as mayor) the city has been installing bus lanes which have sped up bus traffic considerably.
Today nearly the entire route of line 38 is equipped with bus lanes, most of which are wide enough that they can also be used by bicycles. At first there was a problem with cars and trucks using the bus lanes for illegal stops, but now the number 38 buses are being equipped with automatic digital cameras mounted on the front and rear of the bus. If any vehicle blocks the bus lane, the camera automatically takes a picture and automatically transmits it to police headquarters, which immediately sends out a traffic ticket to the owner of the vehicle. This system is now (2011) being tested on line 38, and it if is successful will be extended to other bus lines as well.
In December 2000 the bus drivers of line 38 established their own (unofficial but very professional-looking) website, with numerous details about the history and current operation of their line.
Second photo: Inside bus 38.
Next review from September 2011: A rainy day at Place de Roubaix