Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Don’t miss the excursions to the architectural heart of the City of Light provided by the Archi-Bus. Anyone looking for an unusual trip to Paris that offers the opportunity to see the city in a new light should certainly take advantage of this fabulous idea, combining as it does heritage, culture, history, beautiful buildings and public transport! We at the Hotel Herse d’Or heartily recommend this new perspective on our city and the wealth of interest it has to offer.
Explore the wonders of Paris by public transport
Paris boasts a superb public transport system in the Metro (subway). Less well known, perhaps, is her excellent bus network that is run, like the Metro, by the RATP. This state-owned public transport operator is responsible for most of the capital’s transit facilities and links and carries an impressive three billion passengers per year. The company’s various bus routes pass through some fascinating parts of Paris and so it was decided to turn this feature into its own tourist attraction, called the Archi-Bus.
Following the success of the first eight routes, four more were added for the European Heritage Days in 2010. For tourists, lovers of Paris, architecture fans and history buffs, as well as for those who are simply curious, this is a great service.
Twelve routes have been chosen, and so that you can learn all about the interesting places lining the roads on these journeys, map guides for every route are available, each one packed with information and fun facts about what you can see along the way. Each guide presents around fifteen buildings, either famous or undeservedly obscure. You can hop off the bus at any stop and explore in greater depth, of course; that way you can enjoy a combined walking and bus tour of the city.
Let’s give you the briefest sample of what you can expect from this wonderful mobile urban archaeology experience. Bus line 30 will take you by the fabulous Hôtel Mercédès, the stunning façade of the Renaissance Hotel and an amazing Egyptian style movie theatre, the Louxor. Line 63 offers terrific views of the Museum of Modern Art, the Palais de Chaillot, Palais de Tokyo and the Palais d'Iéna as well as the banks of the Seine. The incredible diversity of contemporary architecture in Paris is revealed to those who ride the number 87 bus, passing as it does exquisite facades of metal and translucent glass, including the geometric motifs of the Institut du Monde Arabe.
The Archi-Bus illustrated guides are distributed on the relevant RATP bus lines and also available from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, all free of charge. So that you can study them before arriving in Paris, they can be downloaded at www.pavillon-arsenal.com and www.ratp.fr. Come to Paris and set out on a tour of discovery.
Picture copyright holder : Tourist Office Paris - Photographer Jacques Lebar
Hôtel de la Herse d’Or Paris, a two star hotel in the Marais district.