Catching the Bus in Paris
Riding the métro may be the quickest and easiest way to get around town, but buses are a far more pleasant means of transportation in Paris. The tourist office on the Champs Elysées has selected more than a dozen get-acquainted bus routes for tourists, and it provides maps and trilingual (English, German, and Italian) commentary on the sights along the way. The No. 24 bus, for example, makes a marvelous circuit of Paris. It crosses the Seine four times; passes Place de la Concorde, the Assemblée Nationale, the Louvre, Pont-Neuf, Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis, and Place St-Michel; goes down Boulevard St. Germain; and finally turns back past the Jardin des Plantes and the Musée d'Orsay — all for less than two Euros. The Nos. 30, 48, 69, 82, and 95 routes are equally enjoyable. Maps of the bus system and schedules are posted on the walls of bus stops.
Bus service is limited in the evenings and on Sundays. The standard fare is one métro ticket and is good for 90 minutes with transfers between bus lines. Buy a bus ticket at any métro station, some newsstands, or a tabac (tobacco store). You can also buy them on the bus, but those cannot be used for transfers. Be sure to punch your ticket in the machine beside the driver when you board and keep your punched ticket throughout the trip. Travelers with multi-ride public transport passes, such as Le Paris Visite or the Passe Navigo Découverte must swipe them on the box as you step onto the bus. (For discount ticket and pass information, see the Métro section above.)