Paris to ban tourist buses from city centre

Tourists visiting the French capital will have to tour the city on foot, by bike or using public transport instead

A tourist bus in Paris. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Lionel Allorge
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Hop-on and hop-off bus tours are one of the most efficient ways to check off the major landmarks in a city, especially for travellers visiting on a time-poor itinerary.

Nevertheless, in the world’s most-visited country, these types of tours look set to become a thing of the past as Paris seeks to ban tour buses from the city centre.

Almost 50 million people visited the French capital and the Ile-de-France region last year. The capital boasts some of Europe’s most renowned landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Pantheon.

Every day, dozens of tourist buses hurtle across the city carrying picture-taking travellers around town.

But as visitor numbers continue to increase, Paris is feeling the weight of over-tourism. In French newspaper Le Parisien, Paris's Deputy Mayor, Emmanuel Gregoire, said plans were being drawn up to deal with the vast numbers of visitors.

Gregoire said that tourist buses will be banned from the city centre. This is among regulations being considered to help reduce congestion in the capital.

A new law on mobility will give local authorities across the country more powers to regulate local traffic as well as offering new transport options such as rented bicycles or electric scooters.

Visitors are being encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transport instead. "Tourists can do like everyone else does and switch to environmentally friendly mobility options or take public transport," said Gregoire.

Tour companies and travel operators are being prompted to offer tourists alternative sightseeing methods, such as walking tours or guided cycling trips instead of bus tours.