There is no need to pay $40 to $50 for a bus tour around Paris when you can jump on the #69 bus and ride the loop around the city for under $2.50 each way. And you can get off whenever you see something you want to explore and can hop back on to the next magnificent place along the route.
My daughter (my traveling companion to Paris in April) is here this weekend for a quick trip from her home in the midwest and we had the chance to look through my photo albums and do a little reminiscing. We both agreed that bus #69 is the best way to get an overview of the City of Lights and some of it’s most famous sites. We were there for two weeks so could go back to the places we wanted to explore in more detail, but if you have only a few days this is the perfect was to get a glimpse of Paris.
The route begins at the Eiffel Tower, and at the half-way point, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, you have to get off and buy another Metro ticket for the second half of the trip. You have the opportunity to see some of the most interesting neighborhoods in Paris. The complete loop is approximately 8 miles long with stops every 3 or 4 blocks along the way. If you take the trip in the evening you will see the lighted Eiffel Tower and the dazzling city in all its splendor.
At the end of the first half of the ride you can walk through Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Named for Father (Pere) La Chaise, whose job was listening to Louis XIV’s sins, the cemetery was opened in 1804 and now contains thousands of graves, crammed every which way, with only a few walking paths to help find the way. Some of Paris’s most well known citizens are buried here: Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Colette, and Sarah Bernhardt to name just a few. Above is Chopin’s gravesite, well tended and covered with flowers.