I truly love researching bus routes. My First Visit to Paris! visitors are in Paris right now. I provided them with two detailed travel plans but I wanted to add a third possibility here. Their hotel is located west of the Arc de Triomphe which is also referred to as <<L’Étoile>> and translates in English to “The Star”. Here’s a google satellite photo that helps explain why it’s called L’Étoile. The famous Avenue des Champs Élysées starts in front of the Arc and heads up to the left in this image.
The RATP recommended route from L’Étoile to Le Louvre involves changing bus lines. Now that I realize you don’t need an additional ticket (see Copper cookware quest) I hope I can convince these visitors it’s worth transferring to the second bus. In addition to staying above ground and enjoying the view, this route also puts them at my favorite Louvre access point, the Porte des Lions. In addition to avoiding the typical crowds queued up in front of the Pyramid Entrance, this Louvre access point is much closer to the Mona Lisa gallery.
This shorthand graphic route isn’t “to scale”. Both of the walking portions are estimated at one minute each. Bus 92 takes about 8 minutes to get to Bus 69, which is about a 12 minute ride to the Louvre’s side entrance. Bus 92 crosses the Seine (Right Bank to Left Bank) and bus 69 crosses it back again. When these visitors reach their destination bus stop, they can use either the Porte des Lions or the Pyramid entrance (a 2 minute walk around the corner, taking a peek at the queue first).
While I prefer the Porte des Lions entrance for practical reasons, I actually like the Pryamid entrance and the fabulous “lobby” that greets you <<sous-sol>>. I just don’t like the sometimes horrendously long lines preceding that entrance. I’ve never experienced any queue in front of the Porte des Lions. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t advertise it so much.
p.s. I thought it was very smart of my first RATP query to place the Louvre destination at the Porte des Lions entrance. I ran an additional RATP query with the Pyramid entrance as the final destination. It also requires a bus transfer, but it doesn’t cross the Seine – which I consider truly a bonus when traveling above ground in Paris.