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a VirtualTourist member from Edmonton asked on Apr 10, 2011


Batobus route

Can I confirm that the Batobus in Paris only goes in one anti-clockwise direction? We wanted to start at the Eiffel Tower in the morning and make a stop near the Pont Alexandre III in order to cross it and then go on to the chocolate shop Chaudun Michel on rue Universite before heading over to the Musee Rodin (and then to the Musee D'Orsay, then Place St Michel by Notre Dame ending with an evening concert at Ste Chapelle. You can see my dilemma if the Batobus only goes in one direction, I'll have to go over some same stops just to keep it all in order). Also, next week, does the last batobus end around 7pm or are we into later hours now? We are buying a Paris 'open tour bus pass' which combines with the Batobus at 41euros (2 day pass).

14 Answers

answered on 4/10/11 by
a VT member from Paris


I'm not sure I understand your question about Batobus direction.
But,I can confirm that next week, the last Batobus is around 7 p.m.

answered on 4/10/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

March 25 it starts the new season so yes, it runs until 7 pm next week (and this week).

On our last trip we started at the Eiffel Tower. It runs from there to the Jardin des Plantes but the stops are on different sides of the river. Check the map on the web sight to get an idea of where it goes.

Leaving from the Eiffel Tower your next stop is Invalides/Musee d'Orsay which is past Pont Alexandre. You would have to go nearly the entire way to catch the Champs Elysees stop for the Pont Alexandre because that is one of the last stops. You can see what you want to see, but you need to check the web site and plan your sightseeing in conjunction with the stops. In this case you'd want to stop at Notre Dame, Pl. St. Michel, Ste. Chapelle before the Pont Alexandre. The third stop after the Eiffel Tower is Notre Dame and you can visit Pl. St. Michel, Notre Dame and Ste. Chapelle from there.

I'm not sure where your chocolate shop is on a very long rue so can't advise you on that one.

You might want to check the web site and compare the stops with a map of Paris to see what is practical for you. If you don't have a map, check Google Maps for central Paris.

We enjoy the Batobus but we plan our sightseeing around the river when we use it.

answered on 4/10/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

Yes, you know I literally just through up my hands a few minutes ago and stopped my planning process as I was simply going cross-eyed trying to link up the routes on google maps to see everything in the order I wanted to see it. Even though I'll have the 2 day pass for both the open tour bus and the batobus, I may still need to hop a metro or simply walk to get it together at the times I need to. Whew! I'm exhausted! But, this is what I go through to get the photos I need...(and the chocolate and cheese I want to buy!).

answered on 4/10/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Sandi, You might buy a map booklet called "Paris Pratique par Arrondissement" at a tabac, news stand or bookstore when you arrive in Paris. Not only is it a very good map with full index, the city arranged by a district per double page and full maps of Metro, RER and bus, it makes it so easy to plan your day and your sightseeing. It tucks easily into purse or pocket. It is also a great souvenir of your trip when you get home.

If you are combining the Batobus with the L'Open Tour bus, you should be able to get to nearly anything you want to see. You just have to figure out which one to use when. For instance if you start at the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Alexandre would be your last stop, not your first one.

If you plan anything outside major tourist sights, you will want to buy a carnet of 10 Metro tickets. You can share them with your travel partner(s) and one carnet will probably be all you need. My husband and I can make a carnet of 10 tickets last a week. That map is a great help planning this!

When we stayed near the Eiffel Tower, we walked to the Rodin museum. It's a few blocks from the Pont Alexandre and right beside Invalides. The things you've mentioned above are in much the same area so you may find yourselves walking more than riding. Walk the Eiffel Tower / Musee d'Orsay / Rodin area one day. Walk the Pl. St. Michel / Notre Dame / Ste. Chapelle area another day.

One day we simply took the Batobus to the far end by the Jardin des Plantes and visited the garden and then walked through the Latin Quarter and Luxembourg Gardens playing tourist. We had a great time. Once around on the Batobus is sightseeing; after that it's transportation.

Central Paris is very compact. I think you'll discover it's easy to get around when you are there on the ground.

answered on 4/10/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

Ah, but the problem is time! I've made 2 lists of places to see: the MUST see and the SHOULD see. I've got a handy mini book called Eyewitness Travel Top 10 of Paris (I got it for the maps, really, not the content). Very useful stuff, however I wish there were a map that overlays the metro, the RER, the batobus, AND the open tour bus routes on it so I can see what's what without going bonkers. We only have 2 full days in Paris, and part of another so we're limited to what we can see given the time. I won't bore you with the itinerary, but it's really 'ambitious' for 2.5 days. My mother's going to have a heart attack if she knew what I was plotting, the poor dear.

answered on 4/11/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Sandi, Why not pop your MUST SEE list up here and see if you can get some help planning a route. I did a 3-day tour for someone once and I'm sure much can be done in two days.

I will take the liberty to suggest that you (and your mother) might enjoy it more if you cut the list and enjoy what you have time to see. Better to enjoy a few things than race through a huge list just to say you did it. We managed to exhaust our eldest daughter the first time we took her to Paris and have calmed down since then. It's a thought.

Here's my ten favorite Paris sights arranged for 3 days.
Day 1
(1) Tuileries Gardens (summer fun fair with Ferris wheel, carousel, etc.)
(2) Louvre Museum (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus, etc.)
(3) Musee d’Orsay (the Impressionists)

Day 2
(5) Cluny Museum (Musée de Moyen Age) (Lady & the Unicorn tapestries)
(6) Luxembourg Gardens (people and fun)
(9) Latin Quarter walk

Day 3
(4) Ste. Chapelle (gorgeous stained glass)
(8) Notre Dame Cathedral
(10) Eiffel Tower and area (can get the Batoboat here for tour)
(7) Rodin Museum (The Thinker, The Kiss, etc.. nice garden & tea room)

Keep in mind that lunch takes longer in Paris than many places. Two hours is not unreasonable and that can stretch if you go to a really nice restaurant. You might want to check evening hours for any museums you want to see as that would free up time during the day. You can also eat street food or sandwiches or quiche from a patisserie for lunch to save time. We enjoy the long pleasant lunches as a respite from sightseeing. Your mother may also.

Have fun.

answered on 4/11/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

I could just weep. I spent 1/2 hr typing my itinerary out and then by some twitch on my laptop, it all i feel like typing it all over again? Heck no! Here's the Coles notes version, (poop i'm so mad...must have been my fat hand that did it!)
Using primarily Open Tour Bus, then batobus, and one metro, here's how it goes:
Day 1 Eiffel (just the bottom, not go up yet), Garnier Opera House (buy some honey, see previous posts), Louvre (1 walking tour only, the Masterpieces), Champs Elysees (1 shop: POint WC), Arc de Triomphe, metro to Moulin Rouge & Sacre Coeur and the metro stop Abbessess. Metro back to hotel.
Day 2 Trocadero in early a.m., bridge over to Eiffel to explore the tower. Bus to Musee Rodin and walk to Musee d'Orsay. Batobus to Notre Dame stop and head south to St Severin & Place St Michel. Back to Notre Dame to visit. Ste Chapelle for 7pn concert (tix at the door?), then slow walk back to hotel via the Seine or grab the RER C to our hotel (Sevres Lecourbe stop).
Day 3 Versailles and later in the afternoon stop at Andre Citroen park to go up in the balloon (skies are willing), visit Pont Alexandre III at night and back to hotel. Pack for the next leg of the journey, Mont St Michel by train.
That's it. Mom seems ok with it but we'll play it by ear once we get there, no biggie if we can't do it all but it's good to be ambitious or we're wasting our time. Besides, we'll be back in Paris on the 23rd after we get back from Chartres so we'll do some shopping around Rue Cler (Cantin Fromagerie, Chaudun Michel chocolates, Pylones, etc) and hit the places we've missed before.
Well, crap, I did just type it all out again, didn't I? This type of itinerary/speed is normal for me. I'm bringing a couple walkie talkies with us so that in case mom needs to rest I can go ahead and snap photos without losing her in a crowd (she's ok with that). And this is only going to be my FIRST trip to France, so I just need a taste to get a feel for what I can do next time around. Sure wish there was an above-ground way to get from the Arc de triomphe to Moulin rouge without having to go underground and miss the sights along the way, wonder what taxi would cost? Hmm.....

answered on 4/11/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

It looks doable . . . frantic but possible. First, take the bus #30 from the Arc de Triomphe to the Moulin Rouge. That's above ground and a lot cheaper than a taxi.

Second, if you attend a 7 pm concert at Ste. Chapelle, you'll get out rather late after a very busy day. Sevres-Lecourbe is a loooong walk. RER-C won't get you there either. Walk over to the Cluny Metro Station and take Metro #10 in the direction of Boulougne-Pont-de-St.-Cloud and get off at either Duroc or Segur, each a block from your Sevres-Lecourb station. That is an easy walk.

Oh yes, you do realize Abbesses Metro Station has 265 steps up a winding spiral staircase, don't you? There is a mural (fairly recently redone) along the spiral staircase that's fun to follow but don't know how your mom will relate to the stairs. I'm near 70 and managed with only one stop on the way. There is an elevator but it isn't always working . . . and you can't see the murals from the elevator. If you just want to see the outside of Abbesses, take another Metro and walk to Abbesses. It is beautiful and the little square is charming.

Have a great trip . . . and take a couple days off when you get home. LOL

answered on 4/12/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

ha ha, couple days off, too funny! You know me so well! Yes, I'll probably navigate the stairs and let ma take the elevator, if it's working. Luckily, we only need to go down, not up the stairs (even I would balk at that!). Bus #30? That's awesome! Yes, we prefer to go aboveground rather than under. After Ste Chapelle we were going to take the RER C to the Eiffel, then the metro 6 to Sevres Lecourbe. It's a roundabout way, but we wanted to see the Eiffel at night, close up, before heading to the hotel.

answered on 4/12/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Eiffel Tower at night . . . sounds like a plan. We've only seen it at night once. We're early morning people so don't see much in the way of lights. ;^)

answered on 4/12/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

Yes, I'm very excited about photographing it! Hey, would you say that the Metro Abbesses is probably the most picturesque square in Paris to photograph at 6 in the morning? I just had a thought I might like to take a photograph of a square that resembles a Monet early in the a.m. without 'alot' of crowds...(not that I am that good, just want to try it). What do you think? Is the metro station still there with its canopy or is it under repair?

answered on 4/12/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

It is still there with its canopy. ;^)

Picturesque square in Paris . . . most of them. Place des Vosges is my personal favorite but I don't think that's what you want. Place de la Concorde or the Tuileries would be great early morning shots. You can't go wrong in Paris.

answered on 4/12/11 by
a VT member from Edmonton

I agree. Needs more than 1 or 2 visits to capture it all, n'est ce pas? I'll do my best!

answered on 4/13/11 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Have a great time!

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