Want to explore Paris by boat at your own pace? Climb aboard a Batobus river-boat shuttle and get off whenever you like at one of the nine Batobus stops located along the Seine in the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Paris, very near to the capital’s iconic monuments.
This is an unusual way to visit or get around the City of Lights with the family, a group of friends or as a couple, and an eco-friendly means of transport. In 2019 Batobus began converting its fleet to clean energy with a focus on electric power, and in 2021 obtained Green Globe certification, which rewards sustainable tourism practices and biodiversity conservation among other criteria.
You can purchase a 24-hour, 48-hour or one-year pass. The full circuit lasts for 2 hours, with about 15 minutes on the boat between stops. You’re free to get on and off whenever you please, and as many times as you like, to explore Paris at your own pace.
Discover the secret places and most beautiful monuments of Paris as you get off at one stop after another on this 9-stop route.
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Jardin des Plantes stop
Starting on the Quai Saint Bernard, walk along the Seine until you reach the Jardin des Plantes. The buildings of the Garden – the Great Gallery of Evolution, the Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy Gallery and the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology – contain treasures that will fascinate people of all ages, such as genuine skeletons of a dinosaur, a giant squid and a giraffe. The Grandes Serres (greenhouses) and the Ménagerie, the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes, are home to plant and animal species from around the world.
A short distance from here, you can admire the striking architecture of the Cité de la Mode et du Design and the Institut du Monde Arabe, both of which host excellent exhibitions and offer stunning views of Paris to enjoy along with a drink or a meal or simply while visiting. The Grande Mosquée is the place to sip a cup of delicious mint tea and sample Moroccan pastries with friends in a pleasant setting with an exotic feel. You will find an entirely different atmosphere on Rue Mouffetard, which is lined with food shops and traditional restaurants, such as La Crète, the oldest Greek restaurant in Paris. And for history lovers, the Arènes de Lutèce, a Roman arena, and the Panthéon are only a few minutes’ walk – two classic not-to-miss sights.
Hôtel de Ville stop
Start from the Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, one street away from the Mémorial de la Shoah (the Holocaust memorial). Walk along the quays until you reach the Hôtel de Ville, the seat of the Paris city council – a magnificent neo-Renaissance building. This is also where you will find a real shopping mecca, the BHV MARAIS department store. Make your way into the narrow streets of the Marais, the capital’s oldest district, where you can seek out small designer boutiques, art galleries, Italian delicacies at Eataly, the brick and stone architecture of the Place des Vosges and former private mansions. Cultural hotspots such as the iconic Pompidou Centre, the Musée National Picasso-Paris, the Musée Cognacq-Jay and Victor Hugo’s house are within easy walking distance.
Foodies can tuck into delicious falafel sandwiches on Rue des Rosiers in the heart of the Jewish neighbourhood in the Marais or walk on a little further to the Marché des Enfants Rouges with its stalls selling French and international food. Filled with trendy bars and restaurants, the Marais is a lively district at any time of day.
A stop with a focus on culture – you will see the Louvre in front of you as soon as you step onto the quay. Take a look at the Cour Carrée (square court), the Louvre Pyramid and the Pink Arc de Triomphe from the Jardin des Tuileries. The world’s most visited museum has plenty for you to discover: the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, an amazing collection of Egyptian mummies and Greek and Roman statues as well as famous French paintings from the Renaissance to Napoleon’s time. Outside the Louvre is the Jardin des Tuileries, where you can relax in the sunshine and admire the decorative statues on every side.
Extending out behind the Louvre, the bustling Châtelet–Les Halles district and the Rue de Rivoli are good places to shop for high-street fashion. The newly renovated La Samaritaine department store is an architectural marvel and a must-see.
Place de la Concorde station
This stop begins with a view of the famous Pont Alexandre III bridge. Walk up the quays and you will come to the Jardin des Tuileries to your right, with the Musée de l’Orangerie housing Monet’s famous paintings, as well as Place de la Concorde, with an ancient Egyptian obelisk at its centre and the Hôtel de la Marine. Carry on walking, then stop to gaze at the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais, two museums facing each other, built for the 1900 World’s Fair at one end of the Champs-Elysées. The ‘world’s most beautiful avenue’ is lined with both luxury boutiques and major chain stores.
Treat yourself to a high-end dining experience at Le Fouquet’s or the George V. From here, it is only a short walk to the Arc de Triomphe. And if you would like to do some more shopping, Avenue Montaigne and Rue Royale are in the vicinity.
Eiffel Tower stop
The not-to-miss stop, and indeed you cannot miss it – the sight of the symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, right in front of you. The 300-metre-high structure looms over the capital and offers a stunning view from each of its three floors. The Trocadéro is a good place from which to stand back and admire the Eiffel Tower, and is also home to three cultural venues – the Palais de Chaillot, the Aquarium de Paris and the Musée de l’Homme. Further along, the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac is another fascinating place.
The Champ de Mars on the other side of the bridge is a vast park and the perfect place for a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. If you’d like to do some food shopping, Rue de Passy and the Grande Epicerie de Paris, a gourmet food emporium, have a fine selection of products. And the Jules Verne restaurant is a longstanding institution where you can tuck into a delicious meal while admiring a sweeping view of Paris.
Les Invalides stop
This stopover begins on the Esplanade des Invalides, an expanse of lawn where people come to have a picnic, play football or simply sit and relax in the heart of the capital. The lawn is the setting for the Hôtel des Invalides, built during the reign of Louis XIV and home to the Musée de l’Armée. The museum retraces French military history and has an amazing collection of weapons. Not far away, the Musée Rodin, set in a huge garden dotted avec sculptures, is a haven of peace, only a short distance from the imposing Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of the French parliament.
Walk on to the Seine quayside, where you will find a lively atmosphere and all kinds of things to do. You can cycle, play sport, have a drink with friends on the famous Rosa Bonheur barge, enjoy drinking and dining at Faust or visit Fluctuart, the city’s only floating street art gallery located on a barge.
Musée d’Orsay stop
This stopover takes you to one of the best-known museums in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay. Its architecture is striking – it is located in a former train station – and it boasts a collection of some of the world’s most beautiful Impressionist art by painters such as Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne... Walking along the Seine, you can browse vintage vases, silverware and paintings in the antique shops on Quai Voltaire.
Then wander around the little streets on the Left Bank with their traditional shops and restaurants serving delicious food. The Musée Maillol is also located in this area and, at one end of the Rue du Bac, you will find the high-end department store Le Bon Marché. Food lovers will want to sample the sophisticated take on French classics at the Atelier de Joël Robuchon, a chic canteen-style restaurant.
Saint Germain des Près stop
Step off the boat and admire the beauty of the Seine and the view of some of the most beautiful monuments in Paris from the Pont des Arts. Walk along until you come to the vibrant Saint Germain des Près district, with its church – the oldest in Paris – and café terraces. Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean-Luc Godard and other 20th century artists and intellectuals all lived in this lively and eclectic part of Paris. Sip a drink at the Café de Flore or the Deux Magots, both Paris institutions, or savour delicious French macarons at Ladurée.
Nearby Rue de Rennes is a good place to go shopping, with plenty of chain stores – or you can browse the independent boutiques in the small streets in the area. Then take some time to relax and unwind in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, home to the French Senate building, which is only a short walk away.
Notre-Dame de Paris stop
This is the historic heart of Paris – Île de la Cité, where the first stone of the capital was laid. It is here that you will find Notre Dame Cathedral: an architectural gem and one of France’s greatest treasures, a must-see to admire at length. It is within a stone’s throw of two other historical sites, the Sainte Chapelle which has huge, spectacular stained-glass windows and the Conciergerie, the residence of the kings of France in the Middle Ages. Go for a stroll around the Marché aux Fleurs (flower market) and browse secondhand and antique books and posters at the stalls of the booksellers along the Seine. Another unusual must-see is the old-fashioned façade of the long-established English-language bookshop Shakespeare & Co. If you feel like a sweet treat, make your way to the Île Saint-Louis, famed for its picturesque little streets and delicious Berthillon ice creams. At Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris and a place steeped in history, you can enjoy traditional French dishes just as Voltaire, Napoleon I, Thomas Jefferson and other illustrious customers once did.
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