One thing I love to do in new cities is take a bus tour! Although they may seem like a tourist trap (and some probably are) they’re a great way to get your bearings straight of a big city. Most of these tours I’ve done are open top busses with headphones for you to get some sort of a history lesson whilst driving around.
On a layover in August I took the Paris L’Open Bus Tour. It was a great tour and well worth the money (32 Euros for adults). When I went back to Paris in November with my dad I knew it would once again be the best way to see the city.
We picked up the tour right in front of the Eiffel Tower, which was conveniently a few short blocks away from our hotel. This tour has 4 lines and 50 stops! We stuck to 2 main lines and switched around at different locations.
I highly recommend doing one of these tours on your first full day in a new city for a few reasons… As I said before, it’s a good way to get a feel for the city and figure out where everything that’s on your must-see list is located. Secondly, you’re going to be tired from jet-lag… Why not spend a few hours of your first day sitting down and being chauffeured around town? I always think these tours are a great way to ease into a busy trip. My last reason for starting a trip off with a bus tour is so you can take notes on everything and make your way back to those spots after the tour. We always have our must-see lists but what about sights we didn’t even realize we would want to check out? These tours bring so much light to little-known locations & details!
Another good thing about these busses is that they are ideal transportation to get around town. These busses will get you all around the city and you don’t even have to purchase a metro card. Granted these busses don’t run too late at night, but during the day you can take the bus from point A to point B and still get a beautiful view of the city!
So next time you’re in a new city go against your better judgement and stop to talk to the people with fliers because these bus tours actually are awesome (usually!)