Paris Travel Planner   Batobus, Paris, France
Batobus provides a fun way to see and get around Paris.

 Batobus ticket booth, Paris
Batobus ticket booth on the Seine.


 

 

The Batobus, as its name implies, is a boat (bateau in French, pronounced "ba-tow") that operates like a bus. With nine stops in the center of Paris, it allows you to travel from one part of the city to another, while enjoying the scenery along the way. You might get on at the Louvre and go a couple of stops and get off at the Eiffel Tower; or you may decide to go visit the lovely Jardin des Plantes, which you hadn't yet gone to because it was a little bit out of the way.

Unlike the Seine river cruises, the Batobus does not offer commentary, other than a brief announcement about the upcoming stop. You can move about the boat and take pictures, or just sit and relax and watch the sights of Paris go by.

Like the open sightseeing buses, the Batobus is hop on-hop off. That is, you buy a ticket that is good for a day (calendar day, not 24 hours) and you can get on and off as often as you want.

Batobus, Paris
Batobus arrives at the Jardin des Plantes stop. From here it turns around and heads downstream to the Hôtel de Ville.

For example, I recently got on at the Jardin des Plantes, then got off at the Champs-Elysées stop to visit a museum; then got back on and went over to the Tour Eiffel, where I again got off to check out the tower. I wanted to do the full circuit, so I got back on at the Eiffel Tower and continued past the Musée d'Orsay, St-Germain-des-Prés, and Notre-Dame, returning to the Jardin des Plantes. It was a beautiful day to be on the river, and I took far too many pictures..but I was not alone in this!

If you're into shopping, you might want to get off at Beaugrenelle, the stop before the Eiffel Tower and the farthest downstream point of the cruise. Described as "a temple of Parisian shopping," it includes such names as Guerlain, Baccarat, and Michael Kors, as well as Uniqlo, H&M, and the largest Marks & Spencer in Paris!

If you decide to take the Batobus, it's best not to be on a fixed schedule. Although the boats theoretically run every 20 to 25 minutes, they do not run on a fixed schedule and it can be difficult to anticipate the timing; I ended up waiting about 20 minutes each time I got back on the boat, even when I thought I had timed it right. Distance on the boat between stops is generally 10 to 15 minutes, though more from the Eiffel Tower to the Musée d'Orsay, and less between Orsay and St-Germain-des-Prés.

The Batobus costs considerably more than riding the métro or taking a bus, but when you consider that you are getting transport as well as a sightseeing tour, it seems quite reasonable. If you have a Navigo pass, or if you are a student, you will benefit from a discount of close to 35%, referred to as tarif privilège, or special fare.

You can buy tickets on line or at any stop. When I rode, the Jardin des Plantes stop was not equipped to sell tickets. They gave me a slip of paper, which I then had to present at the Louvre stop to pay for and get my actual ticket. I assume this was temporary, but if you run into irregularities like that, just go with the flow.

Tickets are available for one day or two days. You can also do a combination ticket with L'Open Tour (sightseeing buses) if you want to combine modes of transport and ways to see Paris during your visit.

Note also that the map of Batobus stops on their website and on their brochure is a schematic. While most stops are relatively accurately positioned, the Jardin des Plantes stop is accessed via the Musée de Sculpture en Plein Air/Jardin Tino Rossi, off of the Quai Saint-Bernard. (Both the map and a nearby road sign seemed to indicate it was on the other side of the Gare d'Austerlitz; it is in fact in between the Pont (Bridge) de Sully and the Pont d'Austerlitz.

Choose a sunny day and enjoy seeing Paris from the water! You might want to get off at the Louvre for a look around; or at Champs-Elysées stop to visit the Petit Palais and admire the Grand Palais; or at the Eiffel Tower to look down on the river from above. There are lots of options for a great day of sightseeing!

Batobus web site


What to See & Do in Paris

Paris Hotels and Apartments

Paris Transportation

Paris Restaurant Areas

Seine River Cruises

Canal Saint-Martin

Paris Museums

Parks and Gardens

 

 

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  Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower, Paris

Above, An interesting chance to see the Paris version of the Statue of Liberty, backed by the Eiffel Tower.

Below, An unusual view of Notre-Dame de Paris, as seen from the deck of the Batobus.

Notre Dame, Paris

Bridges of Paris
Above, There are at least four bridges across the Seine visible in this picture, taken from the Batobus.


 

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