Totally enjoyed this tour and how it was arranged.
We met the bus at a location two blocks from the Louvre so it was very easy to find. The office staff was very organized and handed us our ticket packets and times to meet back at the bus. Tour left on time.
We have always done group tours in the past, but decided to do this "se it yourself version" with an audio guide because we love spending time in the gardens - which you dont usually get on arranged tours.
The audio guides at both chateauxs were VERY GOOD and very easy to use with excellent narration.
1. At Vaux le Vicomte, when you get there they offer (for an additional price) the opportunity to climb to the top of the dome. We highly recommend this. You get amazing panoramic views. Fee was nominal.
2. Eat at Vaux le Vicomte or bring a picnic lunch. They have a beautiful eating area and the better of the two gift shops. Food at Fontainebleau was basic and more expensive.
3. At Fontainebleau they rush you into the rooms. TAKE YOUR TIME. If you move right along you wind up with over an hour at the end and while the garden are vast, they are not as nice to stroll through. The Chateaux is HUGE but only a small part is open to visitors.
Wish we would have had more time at Vaux and less time at Chateaux.
All in all, a great time. Well worth it!
One of the best things we did was to buy the 3 day pass. While the metro is super easy to use, it is below ground. We loved sitting on top of the bus and getting to know the city.
The buses ran frequently, were crowded (but we were always able to get a seat), and the stops were very well marked.
We did all four of the routes....the main green line takes you to all of the major "have to see" attractions, while the yellow, orange and blue take you into the neighborhoods, which we probably would not have gone to otherwise. Three days allowed us to cover more ground, learn a lot about the city and not have to worry about driving. That in itself was an experience.
Batobus water taxis also included. We did this at sunset. AMAZING! Timed it so that we were on the return from the Effiel Tower toward Notre Dame just after suset ..... everything glowed! It was a moment!
If you are spending time in Paris, this was the way to go!
We did this tour on our very first evening in Paris! We also did the 3 day L'Open Air tour bus, which the Green line stops right at the Tower. We took the Batobus water taxi (included with your bus ticket) back to the Louvre area afterwards. A mini Seine river cruise at dusk! Beautiful.
WOW!!! This tour was a great start to our two week trip. Our guide was Nathaniel. What a sweetheart. He met us by Mr. Effiel's bust right on time and in costume and in the character of a 1940 pilot. It was a unique way to get all of the fun and interesting facts. He also had an amazing singing voice! Loved it! We especially loved the underground bunker and our tour through the workings of the elevator system.
The tower is mobbed, so skipping the lines with priority access was a huge bonus. Also, while there is visible police presence, pickpockets and gyspies asking you to sign their clipboard are EVERY WHERE and are aggressive. Beware!
At the end of the organized tour we were able so spend time just enjoying Paris from atop the Tower. We opted to not go the the 3rd level because the line was hours long. We also decided to take the stairs down. An easy walk .... down.
All in all, a fantastic tour. Highly recommend. On a side note ..... I was frustrated that more than a few people in our group did not tip Nathaniel at the end. The kid works for tips. Thought that was in poor form.
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