The world of travelers is often divided between those who love the adventure of discovering public transportation in new cities and those who are a little unsure. The Paris bus and métro systems are one of the best ways to get around the city, and they're easy to navigate once you get the hang of it.
Bus 42–Best Sightseeing in Paris
While the métro is a classic Parisian experience, the bonus of Paris buses is that you can enjoy great sightseeing views along the way! The number 42 bus is one of our favorites, and here's why:
- Picks up right next door to the Eiffel Tower
- It's convenient to nearly all of our apartments in the 7th arrondissement
- You can catch the bus to/from the Eurostar train at the Gare du Nord station
- It takes you along the Champs-Élysées and to Galeries Lafayette and Printemps for fabulous shopping
- Follows a very scenic route through Paris and is much cheaper than a tourist bus
The 42 bus route begins at the Gare du Nord train station and cuts diagonally across Paris going through Place de la Opéra, past the grand Garnier Opéra, around Place de la Madeleine and Église Madeleine, through Place de la Concorde, up the lower Champs-Élysées, across the Seine on the Pont de l'Alma bridge, along the Left Bank quais of the Seine, through the Champs de Mars and around the Eiffel Tower. Come along as we share some of our favorite stops on the Paris number 42 bus!
Bus stops: Champ de Mars-Suffren, Rapp-La Bourdonnais, Montessuy, Tour Eiffel
What's not to love about a bus stop with a view of the Eiffel Tower! If you're staying near Rue Saint-Dominique in the 7th arrondissement, you'll find Bus stop “Rapp-La Bourdonnais” just near the intersection of Avenue Rapp and Avenue de la Bourdonnais. There are also several bus stops right around the Eiffel Tower. From here, jump on a bus 42 heading towards Gare du Nord for a scenic journey past some of Paris' best sights and attractions.
Pont de l'Alma & Flame of Liberty
Bus stop: Alma-Marceau
From the Eiffel Tower, the bus travels along the tree-lined Avenue de la Bourdonnais before crossing the Pont de l'Alma to the 8th arrondissement with its famous hotels, La Madeleine Church, the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, and world class shopping along Avenue Montaigne and Champs-Élysées. Crossing over the Pont de l'Alma, try to catch a glimpse of the statue referred to as the Zouave, a soldier in the French Army. This statue has become a measuring point for Parisians to gauge the water level of the Seine. When the water level reaches the feet of the Zouave access to the Seine's embankment pathways is often closed, and if it gets all the way up to his thighs the river is no longer navigable. During the Paris flood of 1910 the water of the Seine reached the shoulders of the Zouave statue!
You might also spot the Flame of Liberty near the north end of the bridge, which is a replica of the flame on the torch carried by the Statue of Liberty in New York. Since the Pont de'Alma is near the tunnel with the same name where Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997, the Flame of Liberty has since become an unofficial memorial to her memory.
Bus stops: Alma-Marceau & Montaigne-Francois 1er
Hop off the bus at either of these two stops to enjoy strolling along the Avenue Montaigne, one of the most chic shopping areas in Paris. This is one of the streets in the famous Triangle d'Or, or Golden Triangle, of Paris shopping defined by the Avenue Montaigne, Ave George V, and Rue Francois 1er. This is the home of Parisian Haute Couture shops where you can enjoy exquisite window shopping at some of the world's biggest names in fashion.
Champs-Elysees, Grand Palais & Petit Palais
Bus stops: Rond-Point Champs Elysees, Champs Elysees-Clemenceau & Concorde-Cours la Reine
From Avenue Montaigne, the bus turns down the elegant Champs-Élysées. This is a dream spot for many shoppers, and you'll find some of the most famous shops in Paris nearby. Get off at bus stop Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées or Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau to visit the Petit Palais and Grand Palais nearby.
Place de la Concorde & Tuileries Gardens
Bus Stops: Concorde-Cours la Reine & Concorde
The bus makes a tour around the huge Place de la Concorde. Get off at the bus stop for Concorde and you'll be very near the Tuileries Garden, the Louvre and shopping along the Rue de Rivoli in the 1st arrondissement .
Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful Tuileries, stop for a picnic or people watching or walk through the gardens to reach the Louvre Museum nearby.
Church of Madeleine
Bus stops: Madeleine
The number 42 bus continues from Place de la Concorde to the Place de la Madeleine where it travels past the beautiful L'église de la Madeleine. Hop off here to discover one of our favorite shopping areas in Paris from the square surrounding the church to Rue Tronchet and all the cute shopping streets nearby.
Bus stops: Opéra, Opéra-Scribe & Chaussée d'Antin
The beautiful Opéra Garnier is easy to spot from the bus with its golden statues atop the opulent facade. Stop in to tour the beautiful interior of the Opéra Garnier or enjoy the excellent shopping in the area.
There's a wonderful selection of shops around the Opéra, and you'll even find an Apple store nearby at 12 Rue Halévy, 75009 Paris, France.
Grand Magasins – Galeries Lafayette & Printemps
Bus Stops: Opéra, Opéra-Scribe & Chaussée d'Antin
Important! Get off at Opéra, Opéra-Scribe or Chaussée d'Antin to reach the department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. We've had a few guests end up near Gare du Nord as the second-to-last stop on the bus route is somewhat confusingly called “La Fayette – Magenta.” This is NOT the stop for the department stores!
Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are heavenly spots for shoppers! You'll find a little bit of everything at these huge department stores. Even if you're not a shopper, do stop in Galeries Lafayette to see the beautiful Art Nouveau glass dome in the center of the store. If you are in the mood for some shopping, be sure to pick up your 10% tourist discount card at the information desk upon arrival!
Printemps also has a tourist discount card but you need to register for it online and print out the voucher before visiting the store. Head up to the fantastic rooftop café with incredible views of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
If you've hopped off the bus somewhere along the way, simply look for a number 42 bus in the opposite direction (towards Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou) to head back in the direction of the Eiffel Tower and 7th arrondissement.
Using the Bus in Paris
As you're out and about walking in Paris, stop by one of the bus stops and you'll find maps and schedules posted for the bus routes that pass by. You can view an interactive map of the Paris bus system on the RATP website. Simply zoom in and click on the bus line you're interested in for more details and to print out the map in advance to carry with you. To have all the bus lines in one handy little book, pick up the Paris Bus book printed by L'Indispensable. This pocket-sized book has 109 bus routes super imposed over a street map of Paris making it very easy to figure out what bus lines to look for wherever you're at in Paris, find all the stops and see the directions so you don't end up going the wrong way. You can pick up the book at many newsstands or a tabac.
To catch a bus, simply insert your ticket (use the same T+ ticket as the métro – so convenient!) in the slot machine upon entering. If you don't have a ticket, no worries, the drivers will take coins and the cost of a single ticket is about €1.90. If you're planning to use the bus and métro often during your stay in Paris, consider purchasing a carnet, or book, of 10 tickets to save some money. See all of your transport ticketing options in this blog post: Public Transportation in Paris – Everything You Need to Know!
Enjoy your ride through Paris on the number 42 bus!
30 Responses to “The 42 Bus – The Best Sightseeing in Paris!”
WONDERFUL INFORMATION—I LOVE THIS COMPANY AND THEIR STAFF- WE STAYED ON THE ILE DE ST LOUIS IN A CHARMING APT ABOVE A CHOCOLATE STORE—-HOT CHOCOLATE TO DIE FOR
We will be in Paris on apr2013 arriving by Eurostar from London and would like to know if we can take nbr 42 bus from Gare du Nord to Opera Place where we have our hotel.- Can we Hop on with lugagge? only one medium suitcase? tks for your reply rgds Martin
Yes, it’s not a problem to hop on with luggage and hopefully the bus won’t be too crowded. Best, Maddy
Hi I will be arriving Nord station by Thalys on 31st August.Please give me the direction to catch the bus so that I can go to eiffel tower.What is the ticket cost for the bus?
Hello, when you arrive at the Gare du Nord station you will need to look for the 42 bus in the direction “Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou.” Stay on the bus until the “Tour Eiffel” stop … voila! It looks like the standard ticket price is 1.70 Euro. Hope that helps!
[…] nearby, which is a wonderful feature! Walk just a few blocks to catch the 42 bus—one of the best sightseeing buses in Paris—to reach the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde and more top sights. Or catch […]
Was wondering if every time you get off the bus you need to use a new ticket to get back on or will one ticket suffice to get on and off all of these stops?
Hi Allison, it can be a bit tricky to figure out. But the simple answer is that generally no you need to use another ticket, but it also depends on the type of ticket you have. For more details, this website has a great explanation: http://parisbytrain.com/paris-metro-ticket-t-in-detail/
Could you advise what will be best option to catch bus 42 as I will be coming from disneyland paris resort. Thanks.
I will be arriving Gare du Nord train station on Thursday 14th November 2013 from London. How can I get to Eiffel Tower and return back to Gare du Nord station
Hi we will be arriving paris gare du nord around 11am in april. Will it be ok to jump on 42 to Champerret elysees…? Also where can I purchase a 1 day bus travel card for that day only and how much will it cost.
This info was so helpful, thank you. I used my navigo decouverte pass and took this bus 42 from tour eiffel to opera. Then shopped til i dropped at galleries lafayette (it was the SOLDES)!!!!!
From that day on, i took buses everywhere, preferring their slower pace above ground – seeing the sights – than the metro.
Only one day at Saint Michel i could not find a bus going the right direction for me – it was a oneway street.
I highly recommend travellers try the buses, much cheaper than the hop on tourist bus.
thank you so much. The next time we are in Paris, will definitely give bus 42 a try.
Can someone tell me how often Bus #42 leave Gare Du Nord?
Hi Martin, It might change, but right now the RATP website is saying anywhere between every 6-12 minutes Monday to Friday depending on the time of day, every 11-13 minutes on Saturday and every 14-20 minutes on Sunday. Hope that helps!
What if I got onto Bus 42 and stayed on for the entire loop? How long would it take to return to Gare du Nord? Would it cost just one ticket i.e. about 1.8Euros? If I were to do this, would I actually see the Louvre, or would I have to get off and walk to it?
I will take RER(B) from CDG Airport to Gare du nord and then change BUS#48 to my hotel near Grands Boulevards, is wondering is it easy to find the bus station in Gare du nord station?
Can I use the same RER ticket to take the bus or have to buy a new ticket for bus?
and when I travelling on bus, is there any signal to show the ”next stop name”?
Many Thanks for your help….
can I buy the ticket on the spot ?
Hello. Can I know the ticket bus price from Paris EST to Eiffel Tower?
I will be arriving at Gare Du Nord and doing a day trip in Paris. Just wondering if the traffic condition in Paris is like. Would i be wasting time stucked in the traffic jam? How long roughly does it take to travel from Gare Du Nord to Eiffel Tower?
Could you please tell me ticket price for this ride. I mean for 42 number bus.
Thanks for sharing this helpful information.
Do I need to buy a new ticket every time I hop on and off the bus ?
I read your other posting regarding bus 69 and someone mentioned as long as it is within 90 minutes, we don’t need to buy another ticket.
Thank you for answering
Can someone tell me the daily operating hours for Bus 42?
Thank you. Very informative blog. Will try bus this time we go Paris.
We will be arriving at 10:30 at the Gare Du Nord. How long would the 42 bus take to get to the Eiffel Tower? Thank you!
We tried to catch the number 42 bus today (1st June) at Gare du nord station, we were told that it no longer leaves from there and that no other bus takes you any where near the Eiffel Tower. We found this out after we had purchased our 10 ticket’s, so wasted our money. We took the open top bus tour and it was value for money. By the way, only once were we asked to show our tickets and I’m sure some people didn’t pay !
You’re right. The 42 bus no longer leaves from Gare du Nord. We have deleted that sentence. The rest of the information is accurate as of today.The 42 bus does go by the Eiffel Tower. There is a link to the RATP site to check current routes, and you can download their app for the easiest navigation throughout the city.
So when I arrive in August at Gare du Nord, is there a good way to pick up the 42 bus?
You should check the RATP website for up-to-date information:
Hello. It is possible to get to the Eiffel Tower from the Gare du Nord by bus but with one change. Get the number 26 outside the station to Gare Saint-Lazare. This is where the number 42 now leaves from. You can catch the number 42 at the north end of Rue de Havre. It will be a slightly different combined route and you don’t pass the opera house but nevertheless it is a good compromise.