One of my favourite things to do in Paris, and something I have recommended in every Paris itinerary I have written so far is ride on Batobus Paris, the Seine river bus service. So, it’s fitting that I share with you some details about where Batobus Paris stops, and, because this is a travel blog, what to do at each one.
Read on for an overview of how the Batobus works, some tips for using it, and inspiration about what to do at the stops. I’ve also included a map of the stops and the things to do near them.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. These are links to products or experiences I recommend and if you were to buy something after clicking on them, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any earnings go towards the upkeep of this blog, which I appreciate.
Table of Contents
What Is The Batobus In Paris?
Batobus Paris is the name of a river bus service that runs on the Seine in Paris, France
The French word for a boat is ‘Bateau’ and a bus is ‘bus’, so put them together and it sounds like Batobus. And it works like a bus service: it has a set route with stops along the way and a series of boats run along the route continuously throughout the day.
It’s a hop-on hop-off Paris boat service that you can use from any stop to any stop, which is different to Seine River cruises, which typically depart from and return to the same place without stopping.
If you’ve ever been to London, Batobus Paris is somewhat similar to the Thames Clipper river bus service we have (and which I also love!).
Why Use Batobus Paris?
Batobus Paris is a flexible way to explore the Seine and a scenic way to get around the riverside areas of Paris.
It’s also better value than many Seine river cruises. With Batobus tickets, for not much more than a basic 1-hour Seine River cruise, you can ride the Batobus as many times and for as long as you like all day.
Batobus Paris Pros
I think the best things about Batobus Paris are the following:
- Panoramic views of the Seine River and all the gorgeous architecture along it
- Great stop locations: Batobus Paris stops include many of the major landmarks along the Seine, so you can see a lot of Paris using the Batobus
- Hop-on-hop-off tickets mean you can use the Batobus as often as you like during the time your ticket is valid. And you can get close to the attractions you pass, rather than simply viewing them from the river.
- No rigid timetables: bus-style service means you don’t have to book a specific boat – you can jump on any Batobus that comes.
- Good value for money, especially for the 2-day pass
- All-season boats: rooftop windows can open in good weather, or close. Heating is available, when it’s cold.
Batobus Paris Cons
I try to keep it real. There are some down-sides to using Batobus Paris, including:
- No commentary from a guide. You’ll see the sights, and there are announcements of Batobus Paris stops, but there’s no tour guide telling you all about all the Seine landmarks, like on an actual tour.
- Few refreshments are available on board. There are vending machines that have some food & drink, but they’re fairly limited
- No toilets on board. This one could be tough if you want to ride the entire route of the Batobus in one go because the full route takes around 2 hours.
- Open-air standing only. There’s plenty of seating inside and the ceiling windows open to allow air in, but the side windows don’t open, so if you sit, you’ll be looking through glass. The fully open-air part, which is at the back of the boats, is standing only.
I personally think the pros outweigh the cons, but hopefully, this lets you make up your own mind.
Batobus Paris Stops: Route Overview
The route is an anti-clockwise loop that runs continually between nine Batobus Paris stops, in this order:
- Eiffel Tower
- Museé d’Orsay
- Jardin des Plantes
- Hôtel de Ville
- Place de la Concorde
Boats run along the left bank heading eastwards (upriver) from the Eiffel Tower to Jardin des Plantes, and along the right bank heading westwards (downriver) the other way.
I’ve marked these Batobus Paris stops on the map a little lower down in this article.
How To Recognise Batobus Paris Stops
The first time I took a Batobus, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to tell where the stops were. In London, our Thames river buses (Thames Clipper) operate from piers, so they’re impossible to mistake. But in Paris, the Batobus simply pull up to the banks of the Seine.
However, if you know the area of the river bank to look at, the Batobus Paris stops are actually hard to miss. They are well-signposted with tall signs clearly saying ‘Batobus’ and consistent blue branding.
Batobus Paris Stops With Details
OK, I’ll go through each stop, telling you exactly where the Batobus Paris stops are, what to do at each one, and where the nearest Metro stations are, in case you want to continue from there.
1. Eiffel Tower Batobus Stop
Although you can join the Batobus at any stop, this might technically be the start of the route because the last boat of the day departs from here for the final loop.
In any case, for many, their Batobus journey begins at this stop. Taking a boat on the Seine follows quite nicely after climbing the Eiffel Tower (in fact, I suggest this in my Paris 4-day itinerary). For this reason, it can be a busy Batobus stop, so bear that in mind.
Where Is The Eiffel Tower Batobus Stop?
It is at Port de la Bourdonnais, which is on the same side of the river as the Eiffel Tower, next to Pont d’Iena on the northeast side.
What Is There To Do Near The Eiffel Tower Batobus Stop?
Well, the main things to do looms over the Batobus Paris stop as you approach in the boat!
The Eiffel Tower is of course the major attraction here. It’s arguably the emblem of Paris and its most famous landmark.
You could walk up the tower, take the lift to the second or top floor, or even combine it with lunch on the tower (I haven’t tried this last one yet myself, but another blogger recommended it and the reviews are good).
Or, you could simply wander the Champs de Mars enjoying the free view from the gardens. Spring is a nice time to do that when you might catch the cherry blossoms in Paris.
You’re also near the Trocadéro, which is on the other side of the river and offers more views of the tower from its terrace and gardens.
If you want to get away from the crowds, there are some attractive Paris streets nearby, including Rue de l’Université (which, admittedly will likely have some crowds because it’s a photo hotspot); Avenue Rapp, which has a wonderful example of Art Nouveau architecture at 29 Avenue Rapp and Square Rapp; Rue Cler, a lovely market street with lots of terrace cafes, making it a good place to eat.
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Eiffel Tower Batobus Stop?
Champ de Mars Eiffel Tower (RER route C, with a connection to Metro line 6) and Pont de l’Alma (also RER Route C) are nearly equidistant from the Batobus stop, in opposite directions.
2. Invalides Batobus Stop
It’s very fancy in this part of Paris! Get off here if you like decorative architecture and gold leaf.
Where Is The Invalides Batobus Stop?
It’s on the left bank, right next to the Pont Alexandre III bridge, on the east side.
What Is There To Do Near The Invalides Batobus Stop?
You could wander through the long Esplanade des Invalides gardens to Les Invalides itself, which is a complex of military museums and a church which contains the tombs of Napoleon Bonaparte. The church here has the most elaborate gold dome!
You could also cross the equally fabulous-looking Pont Alexandre III bridge, which has several Beaux-Arts-style statues and figures along the way – with a mix of black and gold treatment. It’s very extra.
On the other side of the river, you’ll find two Art Nouveau architectural gems: Grand Palais, which is currently closed for renovation, and the Petit Palais, which is a free art gallery in a gorgeous building. The central garden is really lovely!
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Invalides Batobus Stop?
Invalides station (lines 8, 13 and RER route C) is very close to the Batobus stop.
3. Museé D’Orsay Batobus Stop
Museé D’Orsay is possibly my favourite museum in Paris – I love it! But it’s popular and you’ll need to book tickets in advance. So if you want to take the Batobus and get off here to go into the museum, make sure you allow plenty of time before your timed entry.
Where Is The Museé D’Orsay Batobus Stop?
It is directly in front of Musee D’Orsay, in between the footbridge Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor and Pont Royal.
What Is There To Do Near Museé D’Orsay Batobus Stop?
The main thing is the Museé D’Orsay itself, which is a really great art gallery in what was originally intended to be a grand train station.
There’s a wide variety of art to be seen here, including temporary exhibitions, and an extensive permanent collection of sculptures and paintings, including many impressionist masterpieces on the top floor (my personal favourite part of the museum).
The large clock windows are a novel treat, too.
Other than the museum, you could cross the Seine here to explore the Jardin des Tuileries, which are lovely in Spring. They’re surrounded by Paris landmarks and overlooked by the grand mansions of Rue de Rivoli. Well-to-do Angelina Café is a bit of a tourist favourite here, but it gets busy (and I haven’t been tempted to go back since my first visit to Paris many years ago).
At the west end of Tuileries, there’s another of my favourite art galleries in Paris: Museé de l’Orangerie. Here the space is mainly dedicated to exhibiting eight waterlily paintings by Monet. It’s quite different to the experience of other galleries, where you walk by hundreds and hundreds of works. Here, you have the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the small number of huge paintings, to feel the atmosphere Monet wanted to create (he helped design the light, open space they’re exhibited in).
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Museé D’Orsay Batobus Stop?
Museé D’Orsay has its own station right next to the museum. It is on RER route C.
4. Saint-Germain-des-Prés Batobus Stop
A heads-up: the name for this Batobus Paris stop is technically correct: it is near the vibrant area of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. But you have to walk for ten minutes to get to the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Where Is The Saint-Germain-des-Prés Batobus Stop?
It is on the left bank, just a little to the west of Pont des Arts.
What Is There To Do Near The Saint-Germain-des-Prés Batobus Stop?
If you want to explore Saint-Germain-des-Prés, head past the sweet Square Gabriel-Pierné (another of the great places to see cherry blossoms in Paris) and down Rue de Seine for the lively café bars around Rue de Buci.
Alternatively, walk down Rue Bonaparte to get to the grand literary cafes of Saint-Germain-des-Prés: Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore. These cafes were the epicentre of the philosophical & artistic community that formed around Saint-Germain in the 1960s. Here’s where Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone DeBeauvoir used to meet, drink and discuss.
The oldest church in Paris is also here: Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
One thing I did when I got off the Batobus at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés stop is cross the very scenic pedestrian bridge Pont Des Arts. This is the bridge that was once where people attached ‘love locks’. But there were so many of them, they were all taken away and the railings have been replaced with un-padlock-able glass.
It’s a great bridge to cross the Seine because it has views towards Pont Neuf and the pointy Square du Vert-Galant on the tip of Île de la Cité. And on either side of the bridge, you have the magnificent Louvre buildings and the domed Institute de France.
There are also some Bouquinistes along this part of the Seine: those charming green riverside stalls selling books, prints and vintage posters.
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Saint-Germain-des-Prés Batobus Stop?
There are none very close – it’s a bit of a Metro black spot. But there are Metro stations 11 minutes walk away at Saint-Germain-des-Prés (line 4) and 8 minutes away (across the bridge) at Louvre-Rivoli (line 1).
5. Notre-Dame Batobus Stop
Another popular stop on the Paris Batobus is Notre-Dame, as it’s close to another iconic Parisian landmark and there’s lots to do here.
Where Is The Notre-Dame Batobus Stop?
It’s on the left bank of the Seine, just east of the pedestrian bridge Pont au Double.
What Is There To Do Near The Notre-Dame Batobus Stop?
The most obvious is, of course, the Cathedral of Notre Dame – and it’s right there, visible when you get off the boat. Enjoy the imposing Gothic architecture of this 13th-century cathedral and find ‘Paris Point Zero’, the exact point from which all distances from Paris are measured.
Oh, and there’s a decent toilet here if you need it! It costs €2, but it’s been clean whenever I’ve used it.
If you’re happy to explore Île de la Cité further, you might check out Sainte-Chapelle, which has possibly the most beautiful church interior I’ve ever seen, and La Conciergerie, a former medieval prison, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before her beheading. It’s possible to get combined Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie tickets.
On the left bank of the river, you have the famous Latin Quarter of Paris, named for the language spoken by scholars here in the middle ages.
Close to the river, there are some very pretty streets and squares, including Rue Galande, where the impossibly quaint Odette café is located, Square René Viviani and Rue de la Bucherie, where you’ll find the famous English language bookshop, Shakespeare & Company. If you’re into books, not far away, there’s another cute old bookshop, Abbey Bookshop. And this one is less likely to have a queue, as it’s somewhat more off the beaten path in Paris (relatively speaking, anyway).
If you wanted to go deeper into the Latin Quarter, you could check out the Gothic architecture at College des Bernardins and the immense church where novelist Victor Hugo is buried, Pantheon.
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Notre-Dame Batobus Stop?
This Batobus stop is not too far from both Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (line 4 and RER routes B & C) and Cité (line 4).
6. Jardin Des Plantes Batobus Stop
The Batobus turnaround stop is Jardin Des Plantes. This is where the boats change direction and head westwards along the right back of the Seine.
Where Is The Jardin Des Plantes Batobus Stop?
It is on the riverside park area called Jardin Tino Rossi, west of Pont d’Austerlitz.
What Is There To Do Near The Jardin Des Plantes Batobus Stop?
Well, you could have a little wander along the Jardin Tino Rossi, which has some nice plants and a weeping willow tree.
But the main thing is to explore Jardin des Plantes, which is an extensive park and botanical garden. There are all sorts of plants and flowers here, as well as a menagerie and a small zoo area.
In the park is Paris’s Natural History Museum, with the main building being the Grande Galerie de l’évolution.
And if you wanted to go further into the Latin quarter from here, you could visit the Grand Mosque of Paris. Even further is Rue Mouffetard, a narrow old Roman road now lined with eateries and market stalls.
An alternative, if you don’t mind a bit of a walk, is to cross the Pont Austerlitz to the right bank and explore a bit of the cool Bastille area north of the river. Some pleasant spots include Rue Cremieux, a pretty, colourful street, Promenade Plantee, a raised garden walkway that may have inspired the High Line in New York (it came first, at least) and the many cute passageways in this area. A favourite of mine is Passage l’Homme.
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Jardin Des Plantes Batobus Stop?
There’s a Metro station at Austerlitz (lines 5 & 10 and RER route C).
7. Hôtel de Ville Batobus Stop
Paris’s City Hall is quite the show-off and this chateau-like municipal building has its own Batobus stop.
Where Is The Hôtel de Ville Batobus Stop?
The Batobus stop at Hôtel de Ville is located on the right bank in between Pont Louis-Philippe and Pont D’Arcole, not far from some public toilets.
What Is There To Do Near The Hôtel de Ville Batobus Stop?
From here, you could easily explore the islands in the Seine: Île de la Cité, which I’ve already mentioned in relation to the Notre-Dame Batobus stop, and also Île Saint-Louis, the smaller, quieter island. If you want a pretty Parisian café, Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole is really sumptuous.
And of course, the place the stop is named for: Hôtel de Ville is on the right bank. It’s still the city hall of Paris, so I’ve only ever admired it from the outside – but it is worth a look: its chateau-style architecture is quite fancy!
It’s next to one of the grands magasins of Paris, BHV Marais. This isn’t the best Parisian department store in Paris, in my opinion. Samaritaine is grander and more impressive, but it’s a bit more of a walk from here.
Otherwise, you could walk a little further away from the river to see the Pompidou Centre, the famous inside-out building, which wears its tubes and ducts on the exterior. It’s an art gallery, with an amazing rooftop restaurant.
Alternatively, you could veer slightly more northeast into the chic and artsy Marais district, or west to check out another striking Gothic landmark: Tour Saint-Jacques, which has a nice park around it (great for taking a break from exploring).
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Hôtel de Ville Batobus Stop?
There’s a Metro station at Hôtel de Ville on lines 1 and 10.
8. Louvre Batobus Stop
Of course, the most famous museum in Paris has a Batobus stop!
Where Is The Louvre Batobus Stop?
It is located on the right bank in between Pont Royal and Pont du Carrousel.
What Is There To Do Near The Louvre Batobus Stop?
Obviously, you could go to Musée du Louvre! Famous for Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa, but packed with thousands of works of art and artefacts, you could spend days exploring the Louvre!
And the buildings themselves are also lovely to wander around, even if you don’t go inside. The contrast of the old Renaissance palace with the modern glass pyramid doesn’t get old for me. And I love the view from Passage de Richelieu.
As with Museé D’Orsay, if you want tickets for the Louvre, you should book them in advance.
And of course, as mentioned when I discussed the Museé D’Orsay Batobus stop, Tuileries Gardens are especially lovely in Spring.
Beyond the Louvre, I like the stretch of Paris just north of here. Cross Rue de Rivoli, past Place Colette and go to the Palais Royal, once a royal palace, now a government building. The grounds are open to the public, including the courtyard full of stripey columns and long gardens. Along the sides, under the porticoes are some cafes, if you need a sit-down.
And beyond that, you’ll find three interesting covered passages: one very small (Passage des Deux Pavilions), one grand but somewhat lacking atmosphere (Galerie Colbert) and another that is just beautiful (Galerie Vivienne).
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Louvre Batobus Stop?
There are two, both on line 1: Tuileries and Palais Royal-Museé du Louvre.
9. Place De La Concorde Batobus Stop
Place de la Concorde might not seem like the most exciting Batobus stop, because Place de la Concorde itself is both beautiful and ugly at the same time. But this is a convenient spot for some top attractions in Paris.
Where Is The Place De La Concorde Batobus Stop?
It’s almost directly opposite the Invalides Batobus stop on the right bank, close to Pont Alexandre III.
What Is There To Do Near The Place De La Concorde Batobus Stop?
I already mentioned the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, which are right here near the Batobus stop. I personally don’t recommend Place de la Concorde given how busy it is with traffic. I find it hard to enjoy, but it’s there if you want to check it out.
You could then walk beyond it to Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the famous boulevard that connects Place de la Concorde with the Arc de Triomphe.
I’m personally not a fan of the Champs-Élysées, but the huge, celebratory Arc de Triomphe is pretty cool. And if you don’t want to walk all the way along the boulevard to the arch, you could jump on the Metro instead.
It is possible to get tickets to the open-air terrace on top of the Arc de Triomphe. And I do recommend it. It’s especially special around sunset, so you can see the sky change colour and witness the lights of Paris some on. I did this on a solo trip to Paris, but it could definitely also be a romantic thing to do in Paris.
In fact, I recommend this sunset Arc De Triomphe experience even if you’re only in Paris for one day!
What Is The Closest Metro Station To The Place De La Concorde Batobus Stop?
Either Invalides, across the river, or Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau (lines 1 & 13).
Map: Batobus Paris Stops
Here’s an annotated, interactive map showing exactly where the Batobus Paris stops are. I’ve also annotated some of the things I’ve recommended near each stop.
How To Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each one. If you click the star next to the map’s title, it will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu, go to ‘Your Places’ or ‘Saved’, then click Maps and you will see this map in your list.
Batobus Paris FAQs
Where Can I Buy Batobus Paris Tickets?
You have a couple of options. There are ticket booths at some (but not all) of the Batobus Paris stops:
- Tour Eiffel
- Museé d’Orsay
- Jardins des Plantes
- Hôtel de Ville
- Place de la Concorde
If the ticket office is closed, there should be a QR code to scan, to take you to their website to buy from there.
However, you can easily book the tickets online in advance, without having to worry about the ticket office. You can do this on the Batobus Paris website directly, or via a trusted ticket site like Get Your Guide.
Nothing did go wrong, though: once I selected the date and duration of my pass and paid for it, I was emailed the ticket with a QR code, which I then showed to the Batobus staff when I got on. They scanned it and that was that: easy!
Oh, and the price is the same regardless of whether you buy it direct or from Get Your Guide.
2023 prices (correct at the time of publishing):
- Adults €19 for a one-day pass / €23 for a two-day pass
- Children’s passes are: €9 for a one-day pass / €13 for a two-day pass
- Toddlers go free!
Get Batobus Paris tickets now on Get Your Guide – I’m using affiliate links, which means I receive a bit of commission on tickets, at no extra cost to you.
Batobus Paris Schedule: How Frequent Is The Batobus In Paris?
There is no Batobus Paris timetable as such. Ie, the boats aren’t scheduled to depart at 15:33, for example. They just depart every 15-20 minutes.
They say the full loop takes an hour and 42 minutes, but it can be close to 2 hours in my experience.
What Time Is The Last Batobus In Paris?
The hours of operation do vary by season. Times refer to the first and last departing boats:
- The longest hours are in Spring, Summer and Autumn (Fall) (10 am to 7 pm)
- Shorter hours in Winter (10 am to 5 pm or 7 pm on the weekends). And I have seen closures in January before.
- There can be shorter hours in August also (eg 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm 16-20 August 2023)
The best place to get the latest times and details on the Batobus is the official Batobus Paris website.
Are There Toilets On Batobus Paris?
Nope! Bear this in mind when using the Batobus for a long period of time.
However, there are paid-for toilets near some stops, such as Tour Eiffel (there are paid-for toilets on the other side of the Pont d’Iena bridge to the Batobus stop – but still on the same side of the river) and Notre-dame (next to the Cathedral). It’s best to have cash for these (I don’t think either of these accept cards).
Some stops also have free public toilets near them – like Invalides and Hôtel de Ville. However, be warned, the condition of these can be less than desirable.
Tips For Using The Batobus Paris
- Keep an eye on river traffic: if you’re walking to your stop, have a look at the boats coming and going on the river. You can recognise the Batobus by their domed glass shape. If you see a Batobus has just departed, you know you have some time before the next one; if you see one coming, you might want to make a dash to catch it.
- Bring water & snacks with you: what’s on offer on board is limited.
- Stand at the back for the best views (if the weather is good enough).
- Don’t assume all attractions at Batobus Paris stops are open every day: some will be, but it’s not unusual for Paris attractions to close on Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays.
Alternatives To The Paris Batobus
Of course, Batobus Paris is not the only boat from which you can see the Seine. I’ve done other Seine cruises, and there’s nothing wrong with them.
If it’s your first time in Paris especially, a guided tour with commentary could be good, to help you understand everything you’re seeing from the river.
The Last Word
I hope this has been helpful to show you why and how to take a Seine River bus – and to inspire you about what there is to see at each of the Batobus Paris stops.
For more information and the latest updates on the Batobus, check the official Batobus website.
And maybe give my post on Paris Syndrome a read: it might help you avoid disappointment in Paris.