Paris – Along the River Seine   15 comments


All truly great cities are built on water. I read that somewhere and whilst it’s not exclusively true (Rome doesn’t have a truly memorable river) it certainly helps. The Seine is an integral part of the Paris city-scape so what better to see it from a different perspective than by boat.


We used the well named but interestingly spelt Batobus service. As the name suggests a bus boat that for a fixed fee you can use as often as you like during a day. As it’s a slow and leisurely way to get about we thought a single trip in daytime and a return one at night would be the best use and was significantly cheaper than two separate conventional boat tours (although without a commentary).

We started off at their downstream location and were surprised to find the Statue of Liberty there. So the story goes it was built in the US but they decided to give it to France as a gesture of thanks for their support during the war and built a much bigger one. Very strange to see it in the middle of the Seine


The boat trip was a lovely relaxed way to pass through the city and I spent the whole journey up on deck


It gives splendid views of the Eiffel Tower


And a variety of other interesting buildings from below ground level as it were




This is the Pont Alexandre III with its ornate golden statues and street lamps



A distant view of the Grand Palais


The Musee D’Orsay, once a major railway terminus now a museum and art gallery


The Palais de Louvre


The pedestrian Pont des Arts we walked over earlier in the trip


The beautiful Pont Neuf



And then Notre Dame which looks especially grand from the river



We returned later in the evening to see Paris at night from the river. Clearly a popular activity as the boat was packed. It takes a slightly different route around the other side of the Ile de la Cite. Not entirely sure which bridge this is, there are several on that stretch.


Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame


Pont Louis Phillipe


The Conciergerie


The Pont Neuf


And lastly the Pont Alexandre III and the Eiffel Tower


It’s a grandstand spot to view the Eiffel Tower and we got our timing right this time to see it do its hourly sparkle. I’ve added in the video again



The service hops from side to side of the river and it does a nice 360 turn just past the tower to maximise the views



It was our last evening in Paris and a wonderful way to finish. 2.5 days was not even close to long enough and so much was left unseen. We were astonishingly lucky to have two days of glorious sunshine to see the city and our trip around Europe was off to a fabulous start. Time to cover some distance!



15 responses to “Paris – Along the River Seine

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  1. A cultural trip that hits the ‘Wow’ factor big time. Very impressive.


    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  2. Love all your photos from the river at night! That last pic of the Eiffel tower is great!


  3. Never, ever done the boat trip! Should have done, looks fab….. 🙂


  4. You and your compact have done a fabulous job. Great video of the ‘sparkle’. Perfect way to say goodbye for now, to Paris.


  5. We did a couple of open top bus tours, which I enjoyed far more than I anticipated, but a boat tour, on this evidence, looks even better. Great views.


    • I think in the bigger cities like Paris a bus tour would be a good idea to get a feel for all the sites (rather hop from one to the other underground on the Metro). We didn’t use a tour in Berlin but we did take a bus that went past all the major sites which I enjoyed. Rome was small enough to walk most of the time and the public transport system in Budapest was so good you can see everything form the tram system. If a city has water then I think its pretty essential to see it from boat tours or just regular boats (luckily in Venice its the only way to get around other than on foot as you’ll see!). All the boat trips we did were real highlights


      • We did a bus tour in Florence and it was a good way to get from place to place (it was too hot and too far to walk). It wasn’t cheap, but, as you say, we got a good feel for the place whilst on the bus.


        • Wish we’d done one in Berlin. Its a big city and the sites are quite spread out. A bus tour would have given us a better feel for the place and there were several parts I wanted to see as we ran out of time even though we were there for days (although we wasted half a day on Spandau which was very disappointing, it reminded me of Hereford!). Florence is still on my list although from what I’ve read it makes Rome look like a quiet backwater!


  6. Smashing boat tour. First noticed the wee S of L in the film Frantic with Harrison Ford as it was a key location in the plot. Not a bad film and poignant at the end.


    Blue Sky Scotland
    • I love boat trips, one of the reasons I enjoyed Venice so much. Another film I need to watch to pick up the cultural references. I remember watching Frantic, an unusual and rather good film that proved Harrison Ford can be a decent actor when he wants to be


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