We had a great trip to Paris and learned a few things – so this post will help you know how to get around Paris. It’s a walkable city but you will be walking many miles if you want to see many of the major attractions. But I have a tip that will get you around to all the top attractions, it’s affordable, and you get a beautiful view of the city.
As I was planning our trip, I called my friend that lived in Paris for several years. She talked me through the different Arrondissements in Paris – which are like mini-cities within Paris. There are 20 Arrondissements within Paris and they go around the Seine River. The Eiffel Tower is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.
She also suggested we get passes to use the Batobus. The Batobus pass allows you to enjoy unlimited travel during a set length of time. It’s actually a boat that travels around the Seine River. I didn’t want to take the Paris metro so this was a great option!
With this pass, you can get on and off where you want, when you want, as often as you want, as long as it is valid! 1 day, 2 days (consecutive), or 1 year. The cost is very affordable and you should do 2-days because it’s so cheap to upgrade.
- 1 Day pass for children (up to 15 years old is $8 Euros and for 2 days it’s $10 Euros.
- 1 Day pass for an adult is $17 Euros and for 2 days it’s $19 Euros.
*Please check the website for updated prices.
So you can see it’s just $2 Euros more and you get an extra day with easy transportation!
The Batobus stops at 9 locations close to Paris’ main districts and monuments: Eiffel Tower, Invalides / Pont Alexandre III, Musée d’Orsay, St-Germain-des-Prés, Notre-Dame, Jardin des Plantes/Cité de la Mode et du Design, Hôtel-de-ville, Louvre and Place de la Concorde.
I thought that staying near the Eiffel Tower would be the best location because it was a landmark we wanted to see during the day and night and it would be a very easy landmark to find when we wanted to get back to our hotel. It’s also a great spot because it is a pickup and drop off point for many attractions.
It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes if you just take the boat all the way around. We used this pass to do a day of sightseeing around Paris. It gave us a break between attractions and it really has a gorgeous view.
We started at the Eiffel Tower and got off at the Pont Alexandre III bridge. This is a beautiful bridge that was built for the World’s Fair in the 1900s. It was designed to have a low profile so that you would get a great view of the city and the Eiffel Tower.
Tip – At the Eiffel Tower stop, go to the back of the boat. There is a place to stand and you can get a great picture of the tower as it pulls away from the dock.
The boat loops around and stops on the other side of the Ponte Alexander Bridge on the way back but either side of the bridge is a great stop to see the famous street, Champs-Élysées, and walk to the Arc De Triomphe.
It’s about a 30-minute walk but there are places to buy crepes, see beautiful buildings, shop, and eat a meal. We really needed some food and stopped at a McDonalds on Champs-Élysées.
Tip – As you are leaving the Ponte Alexander Bridge stop, go to the back of the boat for a photo of the bridge with the skyline and the Eiffel Tower in the background.
We also got off at the Musée d’Orsay but didn’t go into the museum. We just wanted to see the building. You can cross the bridge to get to the Louvre or you can hop back on and it will loop around and stop at the other side of the bridge so you can get off at the Louvre stop.
Tip – We had an early reservation at the Louvre and wouldn’t make it if we took the Batobus all the way around to the Louvrre stop. So we got off at the Musée d’Orsay stop and walked across the bridge to the Louvre. Make sure you get tickets to the Louvre before you go! It will be very difficult and take a lot of time if you wait to buy them at the door. We bought our passes from Expedia. Kids 18 and under are free.
We skipped a stop and went to Notre Dame. We couldn’t actually go inside but we walked around the building and the neighborhood.
We hopped back on the bus and headed back to our hotel. Overall this was the most affordable and easiest way for us to get around the city. I prefer the Batobus over the metro – it’s so much more relaxed and you can see the city!
They are open late so you can also ride around the city as the sun is setting. It’s a great way to get around France without speaking French.
Look at the Batobus map and plan all the things you want to see so you can get off at the right stops to explore. When we took the Batobus to the Louvre we walked a little bit towards the Hotel De Ville and hopped on that Batobus stop to take us back to the hotel. It was so easy!
Make sure you keep track of your paper tickets. You have to show them every time you get on the Batobus. I think it’s the best way to get around Paris!
When we arrived we took a taxi from the airport to our hotel and the cost was $67 Euros from Charles de Galle (Price paid in 2019). The cost of an Uber was well over $100 Euros. After you get your luggage, look for the taxi signs and you will find a place to take authorized taxis. When we left the hotel – they called a taxi for us.
We did have to get Paris metro tickets and train tickets to get to Disneyland Paris. It was kind of a pain because a lot of metro stops were being refurbished and we actually had to get off one metro on the way home and walk about 10 minutes to another metro stop to get back to the hotel.
On the way to Disneyland, we had to use Uber to get to the train station because the metro stop we were told to go to was closed. Having the Uber app on our phone was helpful but it was definitely more expensive than a taxi. Tickets to Disneyland are much cheaper than in the US but it’s about a 40-minute train ride – but plan for more time because you have to get to that train station.
Read more about our Paris Vacation:
- Paris Itinerary – 5 Days – Family Vacation In Paris
- Vacation Planner For An International Trip + Tips
- 3 Surprising Things To Pack For A Trip