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Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

Hyderabad, India
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Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

I'm travelling to Paris with my parents and want to take a cruise on the River Seine at night.

Where does the cruise begin?

Should I buy the tickets online in advance?

What time would you recommend we take the cruise?

Any recommendations on the tour company?

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

The river cruise is not the best way to see the city lit up - athough it's nice and of course you should do that too, as your parents will love it. But in the cruise boats you are seated so low down that you can only see the banks of river (more or less).

IMO the best way is this night bustour, with no yapping guide on board. You have headsets for commentaries, but you can also switch them off and just enjoy the scenery.

I once took two elderly ladies, my mom and her friend, on this tour (of course being too blasée to expect much enjoyment for myself........) - and we thoroughly enjoyed it - all three of us.

pariscityvision.com/en/…paris-illuminations

I would do both, if this is your parents' first visit to Paris.

Edited: 8:38 am, August 05, 2012
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2. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

For river cruises I prefer Vedettes du Pont Neuf, smaller boats, more romantic - and super central landing/docking spot.

http://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/

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3. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

I prefer either of the two largest boat companies, Bateaux-Mouches and Bateaux Parisiens.

Bateaux-Mouches has very large boats with huge, open upper decks that provide an excellent view of the city. They are my choice in good weather (not raining). They have enclosed lower decks for rainy days, but the lower decks have very poor visibility. The Bateaux-Mouches have their headquarters next to the Alma bridge.

In rainy weather, I prefer the Bateaux Parisiens, because they have covered decks that still have reasonable visibility. If it's not raining, though, the glass coverings (which are rarely clean) just get in the way. This company has its headquarters right next to the Iéna bridge, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

The ticket prices are within 50 cent of each other (I think Bateaux Parisiens is currently around €12, its competitor being around €11.50) and are a good value. Both companies provide commentary on the boat rides, but it's practically useless and often hard to hear or understand. The recorded patter of the Bateaux Mouches is so-so; the mixture of recorded and live patter on the Bateaux Parisiens is a joke.

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4. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

We went with Vedettes du Pont Neuf, and I thought it was a great view from the upper deck. The guide was informative too. (It was cute because her parents and grandparents were on board for that ride and cheered her on.) I checked online to see what time sunset was that night, and we took the boat that left just a bit before sunset. It was nice to see some landmarks at dusk, and we got to see the Eiffel Tower light up and then sparkle on the hour. Also Notre Dame at night is gorgeous, and since Pont Neuf is close, we walked to the cathedral after the boat cruise.

I also thought the views of Paris at night were beautiful from the Arc de Triomphe.

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5. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

if you are going to take a Seine Cruise then night is best but it doesn't matter where you start -- just take one that is convenient -- they do pretty much the same route and you see the same stuff

my favorite way to see Paris at night is to walk -- walking around Notre Dame at night is breathtaking -- and you can get a drink on one of the barge/bars moored by the Cathedral with their great views

another wonderful walk is from Concord up the Champs to Clemenceau metro and turn left and walk across the Pont Alexandre, timing it for the top of the hour so you can see the Eiffel Tower sparkle

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6. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

What do people think of taking one the guided bicycle night tours of Paris. There are a number of companies and they all seem to offer an evening/night tour experience.

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7. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

One of friends always takes a Paris by night taxi trip when she comes over. Notre Dame, Louvre, les Champs, the Eiffel Tower. Seems to cost her around 40/50 euro for a good hour but she loves it. Taxi driver happy too!

Disagree a little with Gitte though... Anight Seine cruise is magic and you get a wondeful view of many monuments. Not to be missed

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8. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

Of course, seanbee, a Seine cruise is de rigeur !! But you will miss a lot of monuments and buildings that you get to see from a bus.

Doing both is certainly feasible - and will not feel llike "been there, done it" at all.

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9. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

Bateaux Mouches has a senior citizen rate for your parents (assuming they are senior citizens), but you have to ask for it. I would guess the other major companies also have this rate.

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10. Re: Best way to see Paris at night (all lit up)?

Hi. My husband and I loved the night bike tour with Fat Tire -- it was such a fun way to see the beautiful city at night. It ends with a boat ride including wine :)

Also, it is a very easy ride -- we are 50 and active, but there were all ages in the group.

Highly recommend,

Diane

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