A PARIS CITY TOUR
A PARIS CITY TOUR
Hop on Hop off Bus Paris
The pandemic may have put on the brakes for a while, but hop-on, hop-off buses have been back on the streets of Paris since June 2021. And obviously, we tested them out for you right away!
This is a perfect option for your first day or two in Paris because it gives you the chance to discover all the main sights on one bus journey.
The audio tour is only available in English and French, which is a shame if you don’t speak either language.
Remember to look at the weather forecast and be prepared! It might be a good idea to pack extra layers, a raincoat and an umbrella or sun cream, sunglasses, a hat and water.
Last Modified: 03.02.2023 | Céline & Anne
Paris bus tour
Toot Hop-BusEUR 34.85
hop bus for 24 hours; 2 hour express pass: EUR 29buy ticket
Hop Bus + Boat tripEUR 43.22
Hop Bus (24 hours) + Boat Tour (1 hour)buy ticket
Toot Bus at nightEUR 25.50
Duration 2 hours: Admire Paris by night by bus (from 8 p.m.) - no hop on hop offbuy ticket
at a glance
24 hour pass
EUR 36.90 for adults
EUR 18.90 for children from 4 to 15 years
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children): 89.10 euros
2 hour express pass
EUR 29 for adults
EUR 19 for children from 4 to 15 years
Children up to and including 3 years: free travelshow less
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
Tootbuses are all fully electric. So we just couldn’t wait to give them a go and report back to you!
You can hop on at any station, but I just so happened to start my bus adventure at Station 1. The bus stayed put in the station for a while before setting off on its route. You never quite know when they’re going to pull away…
I scanned my ticket once I got on the bus and that’s when my 24 hours started ticking away. I was planning to ride the route again the next day, so I could take some nice photos to share with you (and just savour the journey and take in the sights along the way).
And this is where my first surprise was waiting for me. The machine spat out a voucher for a Bateaux Parisiens sightseeing cruise. Nice! Of course, we’d already tested that out for you ages ago 😉
Now, these buses may be all modern and electric, but they seem to have missed a trick with the audio technology. No Bluetooth?! And the audio tour is only available in English and French. At least there’s a special guide for the kids to listen to on the journey. But all you can hear to start with is accordion music and voilà – the sights of Paris start to fly by and you can feel the wind in your hair.
And then the audio commentary on one of the two opera houses in Paris kicks in. I was pleasantly surprised! I really hadn’t expected to be treated to so much information presented in such an interesting way. And it’s so much more than just a history lesson on each of the sights in turn. You also get to hear the latest on culture and events in Paris, while learning about the French savoir-vivre.
The little testimonies thrown in along the way are really funny. It’s nice to hear the stories of people who have moved to Paris from abroad or elsewhere in France. I could certainly relate to them all in one way or another. 😀 In the English version of the tour, the French take a fair hammering. So what about the French version? Hey, it turns out the French don’t always take themselves too seriously. Mind you – tourists don’t get let off the hook either.
Some bits of the journey went faster or slower than others depending on what the traffic was like. I also quite liked sitting up on the top deck, soaking up Paris from a whole new perspective. I have to admit that I couldn’t cope with worrying about photos and videos while taking in the sights. But I did manage to capture the moments on my second journey. I’m really proud of my video of the journey down the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe – coming soon 😉 You can’t actually see all that much through the wraparound windshield and there was a fair bit of reflection. But it did keep the wind at bay, so I can’t complain.
The stops are announced nice and clearly to give you time to stand up and head down the stairs before the bus comes to a stop. The bus stopped for a bit longer at the Eiffel Tower, so I took the opportunity to admire the Iron Lady up close.
I got off the bus when it arrived at its final destination (all the way back at the first station).
A friendly smile was all it took to persuade the bus driver to take a photo of me in front of the bus. And that was it for the day.
I was already looking forward to my adventure the next day!
- The Discovery Tour buses (tickets valid for 24 or 48 hours after being scanned for the first time) run every 20 to 30 minutes between 9.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. (last journey starts at 5.00 p.m.). You’re free to hop on and off as you like, and you can always take a break or walk for a bit.
- The bus driver on the Saturday didn’t speak any English (or maybe he just didn’t want to – you never quite know with the Parisians). Luckily, there was a brochure and plenty of information on the Tootbus app. I didn’t need any of that on the Sunday, though, because that driver spoke excellent English.
- At the stop at the Louvre, there was a bus being used by the operators as an office. I found a bilingual employee there who could answer my questions with no problems.
- You may get confused when you see free tours in French and English advertised by the ticket provider Tiqets, but they just mean the audio guide.
Text and image rights: © Céline Mülich, 2021 – 2023
With the support of Anne Okolowitz