The Balabus in Paris
NOT RUNNING AT PRESENT
Paris has a fantastic transport system with many different options to get you around this capital city and make the most of your holiday in Paris, getting to see as many different tourist attractions as possible in the time you have available.
Now, when it comes to national holidays and Sundays, many towns and cities have very limited transport services running, which can make life very awkward, especially when there are often long waits between stops.
However, the Balabus is a great option, as it is a tourist bus in Paris that only runs on Sunday afternoons and on National French holidays and goes between the Gare de Lyon train station and La Defense area, which is where the Grande Arche is located. But we would like to point out that the Balabus only runs from the start of April through to the end of September.
Taking the Balabus from the start at the Gare de Lyon and going right through to the Grande Arche provides you with the opportunity of crossing the River Seine at different points, travelling up the famous Champs Elysees Avenue and much more without having to negotiate the traffic yourself.
Of course, you can also get off at different points along the way if you are thinking about visiting one of the famous museums in Paris like The Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay. Or perhaps you would like to see some of the incredible monuments in Paris like Les Invalides with the Tomb of Napoleon and the Muse de l’Armee, the impressive Arc de Triomphe with its Eteral Flame, or how about the Sainte Chapelle and La Conciergerie that are both located on the Ile de la Cite.
But we cannot forget about the Eiffel Tower, which has got be the most famous landmark in Paris, yet you could also go to the Notre Dame Cathedral on the Balabus, the Place de la Bastile and the Opera, plus many more places to experience the rich history of Paris.
In fact, there are around sixty different stops along the route, but unfortunately, at the moment there are around ten of these that are not accessible to wheelchair users, although the others are.
But, the Balabus provides a great way of getting to all of these tourist attractions easily and it departs from the Gare de Lyon on Rue de Bercy every 25 minutes starting at 1.30pm. However the last departure time from here is 8.30pm.
And going from the other way, the first departure time of the Balabus from the Grande Arche in La Defense is at 12.30pm and the last departure time is 8pm on a Sunday or on one of the National French holidays.
Obviously a ticket for the Balabus is required, just as it is for the Metro, the RER and any other transport options in and around Paris, but there are different Zones and the main part of Paris is the cheapest zone at a cost of only €1.70 per ticket, however, to get to the Palais des Congres comes under Zone 2 and the Defense area and the Grande Arch are in Zone 3.
However you can purchase a book of ten tickets for a discounted price, yet if you are thinking about doing a lot of travelling around Paris, then there is a cheaper option that you can also utilise on the Metro and other services such as the Funicular at the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.
This is called the Paris Visite, which will give you access to the Balabus, and many other forms of transport, however it does not include the tours of Paris, like on the l’Open Tour buses with their different tourist routes.
You can purchase tickets, whether it be a single ticket, a book of tickets or the Paris Visite at many different bus stations, metro stations, etc and the service is run by the RATP group.
There is a 24 hour information line available by calling 32 46 at a cost of €0.34 per minute and you can also find out more about the Balabus route and other options for transport in Paris by going to the RATP website.