Best Hop on Hop off Bus in Paris

Which One Is Best?

BOOK MY TOUR!
Updated: 21 febrero 2024

This post reviews and compares the various Paris hop-on hop-off bus tours, and includes all the information you need to decide which one may be best for you.

Our Paris tour guides get asked all the time by our tour guests about bus tours and which are the best. It’s part of our guides’ jobs to be well-informed to answer these questions thoughtfully.

This post was written with our first-hand experience with hop-on hop-off tours, as well as looking at the opinions of members of some of the many Paris travel Facebook groups, which you can see at the bottom of this post.


IS A HOP ON HOP OFF PARIS BUS TOUR WORTH IT?

Before we can answer this question, let’s go over how these sightseeing tours operate.

Guests ride on a large double-decker, open-top bus that drives around Paris on a set route with stops near historic monuments and popular attractions.

Guests can get off the bus at the stops they desire, explore at their own pace, and then get back on the next bus that comes along at the nearest stop.

There is no obligation to get off the bus, and you can do the complete route, usually between 1 ½  to 2 hours.

In most cases, tickets are sold for 1 day, 2 days or 3 days and there is no limit on how many times you can get on and off back onto the bus. 

Now that you have the basics, let’s look at the pros and cons of these tours.


Pros

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are a perfect combination of getting an overview of Paris, traveling between popular landmarks with ease and learning about the city.

Here’s how to use them to maximize your money and time.


Hop on and off at your own pace

Get off at any or all stops to see the landmarks and neighborhoods that most interest you. When you are ready to move on, hop back on at whatever stop you are nearest.

These tours have apps that show you live bus arrival times and convenient detailed maps.

This makes sightseeing super easy!


Get an overview of the city

These tours offer an excellent introduction to Paris. If you choose to do the full route first, you’ll be able to decide which attractions you want to go back and see.

With audio commentary in multiple languages, you’ll learn about the sights you see. 

Some tours have a kids’ version of audio commentary so this is a perfect family activity.


Save money on transportation

A bus tour gives you between 9 to 12 hours per day of transport to major attractions in Paris.

Since you can use the bus as many times as you want, you can ride the bus between destinations and neighborhoods on the route.

Depending on where you want to go in Paris, you may be able to skip the metro, taxis, and other forms of transportation completely!

This is especially helpful if you end up getting either a 2 or 3-day ticket!


Reasonably priced service

You get a lot for your money, considering that you'll get a sightseeing tour and transportation between attractions and neighborhoods for as long as your pass lasts.

Since you have to get around the city anyway, this can save you money.

Better still, some bus tickets come with additional tours like a river cruise or night tour giving you much more for one low price.


Cons

As you can see above, there are plenty of reasons to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

However, there are some aspects of this service that you may want to consider before making your purchase.


Basic commentary

For many people who take these tours, the details in the audio commentary are satisfactory.

If you want in-depth insight and additional historical information, you may want to combine this service with a guided walking tour of Paris.


Not the fastest transportation

Because the bus stops multiple times to let passengers embark and disembark, it isn’t the fastest way to get around Paris. 

If you want to get around the city at a faster pace, another form of transportation and/or another type of guided tour might be better for you.


No assigned seating

Most hop-on-hop-off bus tours offer first-come, first-served seating. This may not be a concern during off-peak tourist season when buses might not be full. 

But in peak season, it might be difficult to find a good seat on the bus.


Big Bus Tours

Formerly called Les Cars Rouges (Red Buses), Big Bus Tours has been in business since 1991.

They are probably the most notable hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour bus in Paris.

This is an international company that provides services all over the world, and they are generally well-liked.

In total, there are 10 significant stops on their classic route. No matter what attractions you want to visit, chances are that Big Bus will take you there.

Note that one-day tours have two options, one with a river cruise (Essential) and one without (Discover). The tour with the cruise is only a few euros more, so this combination ticket is a good deal if you are considering taking a cruise.

Big Bus Paris averages 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide.

TIP: The Big Bus tours are included for free with the purchase of the Paris Pass, a tourist attraction attraction card.


Admission Prices Online (Save 20%)

Online tickets are a better deal than paper tickets, and the 2-day ticket option for two consecutive days is a much better deal than the 1-day choice.

Note that this deal doesn’t apply to same-day online purchases.

Discover 1-day tour

  • €40.50 for Adults
  • €22.50 for Children (aged 4-12)

Essential 1-day tour

  • €47.20 for Adults
  • €28 for Children (aged 4-12)
  • includes a bonus cruise on the River Seine

Premium 2-day tour

  • €60 for Adults
  • €33.60 for Children (aged 4-12)
  • includes a bonus cruise on the River Seine

Purchase tickets and find more information.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


Bus Schedule

Buses run every day from 9:45 am - 17:30 (5:30 pm).

To experience a complete route back to your start point, you should hop on before 17:00 (5 pm); tours after 17:00 end at the Trocadero.


Where to Purchase Tickets

We recommend you make your purchase online because the prices are lower.

You can also buy tour tickets with the bus driver and at your hotel reception desk.


Pre-Recorded Commentary Audio Languages

English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean or Mandarin.


Route

Eiffel Tower, Champs du Mars, Opera Garnier, Louvre Museum Pyramid - Louvre Museum Pont des Artes, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée D’Orsay Museum, Champs Élysées, Grand Palais, and Trocadero. 

Big Bus Tours Paris Map
Click the map to be taken to a larger, interactive version.

How long do Big Bus tours last?

If you stay on for the entire route and do not hop off, the tour takes 2 hours and 15 minutes

How frequently do Big Bus tours run in Paris?

Every every 7–15 minutes.


Toot Bus (formerly Open Tour Paris)

This company is quickly making a name for itself in certain cities across Europe and the UK.

Their hop-on hop-off tours currently offer just one route and a total of 10 stops providing access to dozens of notable sites in Paris.

Admission is available for 1, 2, or 3 days at a time, and they also have combo tickets which include a cruise on the river Seine.

Even though they offer more than some of their competitors, Toot Bus receives 4.2 out of 5 stars on Get Your Guide. 

Many guests feel that their service is excellent, but some reviewers suggest that they don't offer frequent enough stops and that their hours aren't long enough.


Admission Prices (up to 20% off when purchased online)

1-day bus tour

  • €37.40 for Adults
  • €20.40 for Children (aged 4-15) | under age 4 free
  • €112.00 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

2-day bus tour

  • €42.20 for Adults
  • €25.50 for Children (aged 4-15) | under age 4 free
  • €134.00 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

3-day bus tour

  • €48.45 for Adults
  • €28.05 for Children (aged 4-15) | under age 4 free
  • €147.00 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

Purchase tickets or learn more.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


Bus Schedule

Buses run daily, though schedules change seasonally. Check the website for up-to-date schedules.

  • April - October: Daily 9:30 am - 18:30 (6:30 pm)
  • November - March: 9:30 am - 17:00 (5 pm)

Pre-Recorded Commentary Audio Languages

English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Brazilian, Arabic and Russian.


Routes

Blue lineParis Grand Tour – Palais Royal, Louvre, Notre Dame, Saint Michel, Musee Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee, Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Concorde Royal and much more.


How long do Toot Bus tours last?

If you stay on for the entire route and do not hop off, the tour takes 2 hours.

How frequently do Toot Bus tours run in Paris?

Every 10 minutes.


Foxity

These orange and white buses are the least expensive option for hop-on hop-off bus tours in Paris.

This bus tour is so inexpensive, that it might even be one of the most affordable forms of transportation in the city.

Like the companies above, there are 10 stops on the route.

Unfortunately, Foxity does not have glowing reviews on TripAdvisor and has received an overall 3 out of 5-star rating.

Image courtesy of TripAdvisor

Complaints typically focus on the fact that this service provides fewer buses on each route, meaning you might have to wait for a while before jumping back on.

Those who enjoyed their trip reported that the experience was both affordable and effective for seeing most of the significant sights.


Admission Prices Online

1-Day Bus Tour (Hop-on, Hop-off)

  • €42/Adults | €23/Children (4-12) | Children 3 and under free (1 child per each paying adult)
  • €112.00 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

2-Day Bus Tour (Hop-on, Hop-off)

  • €49/Adults | €28/Children (4-12) | Children 3 and under free (1 child per each paying adult)
  • €134.00 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

You can add on a 1-hour cruise for €11 for Adults or €6.50 for children

Purchase tickets and learn more.

TIP: It’s recommended to buy the tickets online as they are typically less expensive than when you buy them from the ticket office at 3 Chaussée d’Antin, 75009 Paris.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


Bus Schedule

Buses run every day from 9:30 am - 17:00 (5 pm).


Pre-Recorded Commentary Audio Languages

French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Brazilian, Arabic and Russian. They offer a special audio guide for children.


Route

Printemps/Galeries Lafayette - Opéra - Musée Du Louvre - Paris Notre-Dame - Musée D'orsay - Concorde - Champs-Élysées - Trocadéro - Eiffel Tower - Pont Alexandre III.


How long do Foxity tours last?

If you stay on for the entire route and do not hop off, the tour takes 2 hours.

How frequently do Foxity tours run in Paris?

Every 15 minutes.


FULL-SERVICE BUS TOURS

In addition to the hop-on hop-off tour services available in Paris, there are also several full-service bus tours.

Although you might not have the opportunity to leave the vehicle, guides on these tours typically receive high praise for providing a lot of valuable information.


Audio-Guided City Tour by Paris City Vision

This service is very similar to hop-on hop-off bus tours with one big exception: there is no hopping on or off at your leisure.

Instead, you will experience all of the major landmarks and historic sites in Paris during a 1 ½ - 2 hour trip around the city.

The expert audio commentary about the locations on your journey is offered in 11 different languages.

  • Ticket Prices: €29/Adults | €19/Children |Infants 3 and under free
  • Availability: Daily at 2 pm (14:00) and 4:30 pm (16:30)
  • Duration: 1 ½ - 2 hours

Purchase admission or learn more.

If you're looking for something quick, inexpensive, and informative, this might be one of your best options.

This service has a 4 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and 3.6 on Get Your Guide.

Many guests have indicated that their experience was excellent, suggesting that the service provided is both comfortable and informative.

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


How long does the Paris City Vision tour last?

Between 1 ½ - 2 hours.

How frequently do Paris City Vision tours run in Paris?

Twice a day at 2 pm (14:00) and 4:30 pm (16:30).


Foxity

In addition to its hop-on-hop-off service, this company also provides a more traditional bus tour.

Although it only lasts for two hours, it’s very affordable and a lot more accessible than some of the other full-service tours on this list.


Admission Prices Online

  • €35 per Adult | €20 per Child (4-12)
  • Child 3 and under FREE (1 child with each Adult purchase)
  • Duration: 1 ½ - 2 hours
  • Add a 1-hour cruise for just €11/Adult and €6.50/Child

Purchase or learn more.

We recommend purchasing admission online. Tickets are also available at their office near the Opéra at 3 Chaussée d’Antin, 75009 Paris.

Pre-Recorded Commentary Audio Languages

French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Brazilian, Arabic and Russian. They offer a special audio guide for children.


How long does the Foxity tour last?

Two hours.

How frequently do the Foxity tours run in Paris?

Every 15 minutes.


NIGHT BUS TOURS OF PARIS

There’s a reason that they call Paris the City of Light. When the sun goes down, this metropolis lights up!

All of the companies that provide hop-on, hop-off services also offer bus tours at night.

For more information on their respective ratings, make sure to check out our review profiles for each service.


Big Bus Tours

Unlike their hop-on-hop-off service, this night tour doesn’t allow you to get off whenever you wish.

Clocking in at a total of 2 hours, you’ll travel around the city in an open-top bus and see all of the major landmarks after the sun sets.

Discover famous sites such as the Moulin Rouge, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower from an entirely different perspective once the lights turn on at night.


Admission Prices Online

  • €28.80 for Adults
  • €19.80 for Children (aged 4-12)

Purchase or learn more.

Tickets are available online or can be purchased either directly from bus drivers or your hotel reception desk.


Additional Information

Big Bus Tours offers commentary in 11 different languages to accommodate guests from around the world. 

The 2-hour night tour begins at 20:15 (8:15 pm) every night, with a later start time in the warmer months as the sun sets later.


Tootbus

Like their competitors, this night tour will not allow you to jump off and explore different attractions at night.

The tour lasts two hours and you'll pass by such sights as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, Opéra, Place Vendôme, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, Invalides, Louvre Museum and Moulin Rouge.

Note that it's an audio-led tour, so there is no tour guide.

This tour scores 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide.


Admission Prices Online (10% off)

  • €28.05 for Adults
  • €19.55 for Children (4-12) |Infants 0-3 free
  • €89 for Family (2 adults + 2 children)

Purchase tickets and learn more.

When you purchase online you'll receive a reduction on the price.

You can also purchase tickets with the bus driver or at the ticket office at 13 Auber Street 75009 Paris, but you will pay the full retail price.

Reservations are required, so it’s best to purchase your tickets ahead of time.


Additional Information

Tootbus provides commentary in 5 different languages. You’ll receive personal earphones for listening to audio while on the tour. There is a kid's version of the tour as well.

The tour runs nightly:

  • Apr to Aug - 9 pm (21:00)
  • Sep to Oct - 8 pm (20:00)
  • Nov - 6 pm (18:00)
  • Dec to Feb - 6 pm (18:00)
  • March - 8 pm (20:00)

COMBO PACKAGES WITH BUS TOURS

Whether you’re looking for more than just a bus tour or you want to take more than one trip through Paris, you can save a lot of money by purchasing a combo package.

All of the major hop-on-hop-off services offer packages that include more than one activity at a reduced rate.

Although some of these deals include entrance into popular attractions, most of them are focused on tours that will take you around Paris.

If you want to visit some of the museums or visit famous landmarks in the city, you may want to consider a Paris Pass instead.


Big Bus Tours

If you’re already interested in getting a hop-on hop-off tour ticket, you might want to consider the combo package offered by this company.

This package includes their standard service and a cruise on the River Seine.

For those who have been considering a cruise, this could be a great way to save money.


Admission Prices Online

Discover Ticket (24 hours) + Night Tour

  • €69 Adults
  • €47 Children (4-12)

Essential Ticket (24 hours) + River Cruise + Night Tour

  • €83 Adults
  • €57 Children (4-12)

Explorer Ticket (48 hours) + River Cruise + Night Tour

  • €99 Adults
  • €64 for Children (aged 4-12)

Purchase or learn more.


Where to Purchase Admission

If you purchase admission online, you will save the most money.

Also, these combo deals may not be available if you purchase tickets directly from a driver or at your hotel.

Additional Information

Tickets purchased online can either be printed out or accessed via smartphone.

To find out more about the quality of their service, please read our review at the top of this post.


Tootbus

This company provides some of the most original combo packages in Paris.

In addition to the standard cruise and night tour options, they also offer entrance into the Louvre, the Picasso Museum, and even a Tasting Passport for those who want to experience French cuisine.

If you’re looking for a somewhat different experience in this city of light, you might want to consider one of the following combo deals.


Admission Prices Online

Bus Tour + Seine River Cruise

  • 1-Day Ticket: €52.20/Adults | €28.80/Children
  • 2-Day Ticket: €59.40/Adults | €34.20/Children
  • 3-Day Ticket: €63.90/Adults | €36.90/Children
  • More information and to book online.

Bus Tour + Night Tour

  • 1-Day Ticket: €62.10/Adults | €37.80/Children
  • 2-Day Ticket: €69.30/Adults | €43.20/Children
  • 3-Day Ticket: €73.80/Adults | €45.90/Children
  • More information and to book online.

Where to Purchase Admission

The easiest way to buy your tickets is online. These combo deals may not be available to purchase directly from bus drivers or at their ticket offices. 

Additional Information

If you want to know more about the services this company provides, you will find more information in the Hop-On, Hop-Off section at the start of this post.

Vouchers from this company are valid for an entire year, so you can purchase them ahead of time and use them whenever you wish.


PARIS TOURIST PASSES WITH BUS TOURS

Some of the tourist passes available in Paris include bus tours.

If you’re looking to experience more than just a bus ride around the city, you might want to consider picking up one of these passes.

Make sure to read our review of these services before deciding on which one to purchase.


The Paris Pass

This service includes more featured attractions and activities than any other tourist pass available in Paris.

Unfortunately, it also comes with a much higher price tag than the passes offered by competitors.

If you plan to spend a lot of time in the city and experience as much as possible, this is an excellent deal.

However, if you’ve only got a few days, you might want to consider another option.

The Paris Pass includes a Big Bus Tour hop-on hop-off tour ticket in addition to a museum pass guaranteeing access to more than 50 attractions such as The Louvre and Arc De Triomphe.


Pass Prices Online 

  • 2-Day Pass – €179 Adults / €94 Children
  • 3-Day Pass – €214 Adults / €109 Children
  • 4-Day Pass – €254 Adults / €129 Children
  • 6-Day Pass – €299 Adults / €139 Children

Where to Purchase Passes

The Paris Pass can easily be purchased online and shipped globally. No matter where you live, chances are that you’ll be able to buy this tourist pass.

Additional Information

The hop-on, hop-off bus tour provided with the Paris Pass is a 1-day ticket. Even if you purchase the 6-Day Pass, you’ll only have access to the bus tour for one day.

That being said, this tourist pass also includes access to the metro, RER and buses in Paris.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to get around the city with the Paris Pass.


Paris Passlib

The Paris Passlib’ City includes the Tootbus Paris Bus Tour in addition to multiple other activities such as the following:

  • Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise
  • Half-day Bike Rental
  • Aquarium de Paris
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Centre Pompidou
  • Rodin Museum
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Dali Paris
  • And more!

There are a total of 47 attractions you can pick from on this pass, and it provides admission to approximately 5 activities.


Pass Prices Online

Paris Passlib’ City

  • €99 per person

Where to Purchase Pass

This tourist pass can be purchased online and shipped internationally. Alternatively, you can also pick up your passes at their main office.

Additional Information

If you use this pass for a Tootbus Paris Night Tour and admission to the Eiffel Tower, you'll have covered almost the entire cost of the pass, which means the remaining 3 activities will essentially be free.

This is just one way to look at the savings possible with this pass, but you can always choose other attractions and still save plenty of money.

As you can no doubt tell, there are several options for Paris bus tours.

No matter which type of service you want, chances are that you will find something to fit your needs.

Discover the city of light on your terms and enjoy your experiences as you travel past some of the most beautiful landmarks in the entire world.


What Do Travelers Think?

We’ve given you a lot of information above, but here is more to help you decide if these bus tours are of interest to you.

Below are some thoughts from members of Paris travel groups such as Paris Travel Tips And Plan.

These travelers discuss the benefits of taking a Hop On Hop Off bus tour.

Many people comment on how easy it is to use these buses.

These folks got their money’s worth by using the bus for two purposes.

And this commenter took advantage of a bus tour that came with a bonus river cruise.

If you would like to see more tips on bus Paris, and ask your own questions, take a look at our Paris Travel Tips Facebook group!

Just click on the image below.

Paris Travel Tips

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: febrero 21st, 2024
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