As sunny days gain hold in Paris, an excellent, and somewhat secret, transportation alternative shines through. Linda Donahue, HiP Paris friend and founder of Parisien Salon, details a sun-and-scenery-filled metro substitute: Paris by boat!

View of the Seine - Erica BermanPhotos Erica Berman

A few years ago, during one of Paris’ notorious strikes, the metro and the buses were shut down for nearly a week. After a few days of going à pied, I realized I needed to figure out some alternative transportation to get across the city to the Marais. That’s when, after years of getting around Paris, I discovered the Batobus. It was a revelation.

Batobus Paris is a hop on, hop off shuttle service on the river, offering eight stops along both the left and right banks: Tour Eiffel, Musee d’Orsay, St-Germain-des-Pres, Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Louvre and Champs-Elysees. You can buy a one-, two- or five-day pass that lets you get on and off the bus as many times during operating hours as you’d like. There are no guided commentaries offered, but it’s as good a way to sightsee as any other.

Seine River Paris EBB

There are other ways to experience Paris along the Seine. Skip the Bateaux-Mouches unless you want to do the strictly tourist thing and listen to pre-recorded commentary and eat merely mediocre food. If you want the dinner cruise experience, try the Yachts de Paris, where you’ll enjoy a real five-course French dinner that can actually be classified as cuisine. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll most certainly get an authentic Paris experience that’s worth the money.

Batofar offers more stationery entertainment. This French restaurant by day turns into a chic club at night. You won’t actually go down the Seine (it’s moored at Quai Francois-Mauriac in the 13th), but you’ll certainly be moving.

You can even sleep on the Seine, in a houseboat like Viking Paris or Paris Yacht, making your home-away-from home nestled between other river barges.

So if you’re looking to discover a whole new perspective on Paris, there’s no better way to do that than from the Seine.

Links of interest:

Written by Linda Donahue for Parisien Salon. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.



Parisien Salon offers insider information that takes you beyond the landmarks, giving you exclusive entrée to a Paris usually limited only to those who live there.

One Comment

  1. My family used the Batobus to get around Paris last year when we visited for a long weekend – It’s a GREAT way to see the city! Can’t wait to go back now that I have all your tips!

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