Les Car Rouges bus tours is now called Big Bus Tours.
The following article is left as-is for historical and archiving purposes.
Les Car Rouges bus tours in Paris
The Car Rouges or red buses are open topped double decker tour buses in Paris that have a set route as a hop on and hop off service that will take you to some of the most popular tourist attraction in Paris.
This was the very first tour bus firm to start this service, which was back in 1991, and over time it has become so popular that they run a continuous service every day of the week and every day of the year, even on national French holidays.
The Car Rouges are an ideal way of getting around this fabulous city, especially if you do not like the idea of the Metro, and when you purchase a ticket it is valid for two consecutive days, so you can make the most of your holiday in Paris by getting to see sights that you may not have been able to prior.
During the summer months the buses leave from different stops every ten minutes and in winter they leave every twenty minutes, so you will never have very long to wait and a complete tour will take over two hours.
However, as we mentioned, it is also a hop on and hop off service, so that you can actually visit some of the monuments in Paris like the Arc de Triomphe, before catching another bus.
There are also other major pluses to obtaining a ticket for this particular bus tour, as around a third of their buses are accessible for the disabled and have wheelchair access to the lower level, plus folding pushchairs are also allowed.
Another benefit, is the fact that when you purchase your ticket, you will be provided with a headset as an audio guide, which is a must to keep with you at all times. These not only provide information on the main tourist attractions and landmarks in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, but it also provides history and information on other more unusual places like The Keep or the Rue Marie-Stewart. And the audio guides are available in various different languages, which include French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
Les Car Rouges tour stops
There are nine stops in total and the first is the Eiffel Tower, with Les Car Rouges tour bus stop at the Quai Branly in front of the Pont d’Lena. The first bus from here is at 9.50am and the last bus is at 6.25, but if you want to do the full tour, then you must catch the 4.20pm bus at the very latest.
The second stop is the Champs de Mars on Avenue Joseph Bouvard and the next stop on the tour is the fabulous Louvre museum, which is the most famous museum in Paris and the tour bus stops near the Pnt des Arts. Then it is on to the fourth stop, which is on the Ile de la Cite in front of the Rue d’Arcole, so that you can visit the Notre Dame Cathedral with its impressive architecture and all of these have the same departure times as the Eiffel Tower.
The next stop for Les Car Rouges bus tour in Paris the Musee d’Orsay that has its stop at 9 Place Henri de Montherlant, however the first tour bus does not leave until 10.20am and the last bus is at 7.15pm.
From there it is on to the Opera Garnier, that is the older of the two operas in Paris, which is as an incredibly ornate building that was built back in the 1800s, and the bus stops in front of the Rue Scribe, but you can also get to the Place Vendome very easily from here, along with department stores and the Galeries Lafayette. The first bus leaves at 9.35am and the last tour bus leaves at 7.30pm.
The most famous avenue in the world, the tree lined Champs Elysees is the next tourist attraction you will get to see and the bus stops in front of the Avenue des Champs Elysees at the Champs Elysees-Etoile, so that you can also visit the Arc de Triomphe at the Place Charles de Gaulle. The first bus leaves at 9.40am and the last departure is 7.50pm, however, if wish to do the full tour from this starting point, then you will need to catch a bus no later than 5.05pm.
The Car Rouges then travels on to the Grand Palais and stops at Avenue Winston Churchill, but you can also visit the Petit Palais as well if you wish, and both places have French museums. The first tour bus starts from this point at 9.55am and the last bus is at 8.05pm.
And last but not least, Les Car Rouges bus tour stops at the Trocadero at the corner of Avenue Paul Doumer, which is close to the starting point of the Eiffel tower if you go across the River Seine. Yet here you can not only get to see the beautiful fountains, but it is also home to Cine Aqua, which is the fabulous aquarium in Paris that is one of the largest in Europe and even has cinemas as well. Now, the first tour bus leaves from here at 9.30am and the last one departs at 8.15pm.
Accessing Les Car Rouges bus tours in Paris
You can purchase tickets directly from the driver on any of the buses or at many different hotels in Paris, however, you can also book tickets in advance from the Car Rouges website and if you do book online there is a 10 percent discount.
As of 2012, the cost of a ticket is €26 and €13 for a child between the ages of four and twelve, however, if there is a group of twelve people or more, then there is a discounted rate available.
Cash is accepted on the buses or at the hotels, whereas if you book your ticket online, then you can pay by credit or debit card.
The audio guides with the earphones are provided when you first obtain your ticket, or just show your ticket the first time you embark on one of the tour buses. And as we mentioned before, you do need to keep hold of these all the time, as they provide such a lot of interesting facts and history of Paris, that you would not find out about any other way.
You can also obtain a brochure, which can be sent to you via email or via post and there are even special promotions that you can utilise like at the Galeries Lafayette, where by spending over €30 you can get a shopping holdall.
The ticket for Les Car Rouges starts the very first time you embark and will then run for two consecutive days, but bear in mind that to get the most value you should start out early, by planning your holiday in Paris for those two days around these sites and areas.