In Paris you can rent a Velib bike for the day and venture all over the city for the big spender price of €1,70! This is an amazing bargain for travellers and is the best way to discover Paris like a Parisian. A Velib bike follows a bicycle sharing concept that is popular in a few countries around the world. But I have never seen it so cheap or user friendly for visitors. Paris has 1800 Velib bike stations where you can hire a bike, use it and eventually return it to any other Velib station when you have finished with it. They can also be locked up while you are out and about (swanning around the Louvre or lunching it up St Germain) using the built in lock and key.
Riding a bike in Paris is a lot busier than what I’m used to but there are cycle lanes almost everywhere in the city centre. They are reasonably civilised and manageable for tourists even if you are used to traffic driving on the left-hand side. We really enjoyed riding along the wide pathways that border the Seine all the way from south of Gare de Lyon, criss-crossing across the iconic river to visit specific places as well as just nosy through iconic neighbourhoods such as Bastille and Ihla de Cite. We leisurely rode through Paris passing the Notre Dame, the Musee de Orsee the Royal Palace all the way north of the Eiffel Tower. Here we returned our bikes to one of the stands (slightly exhausted, not going to lie!) after about 10 hours. A ridiculously awesome adventure for less than the cost of a single metro ride! (which is €1,80)
Riding a bike is such a freeing experience where you get the benefits of seeing Parisian life up close. Experiencing things that you would normally miss while underground on the metro such as that hidden corner bar, the fairytale patisseries, ornately detailed doors or school children singing and walking hand in hand.
So sling a freshly baked baguette and some flowers in the front basket and pretend you’re a Parisian for the day. There’s absolutely no need to pay for a walking tour or bike tour. Grab a map, google some interesting facts about the places you want to go and explore Paris by bicycle.
How to Purchase
The easiest way for me to rent a bike was to go to the Velib website and buy a 1 day ticket online via credit card. They immediately sent through an access code and I used this along with a 4 digit pin to unlock the bike from the stands.
- There is an app you can download to show you where the bike stations are located in the city. But this of course is dependent on having wifi. We were always able to find a station pretty easy without using the app.
- If you are in Paris for a week it’s an even better price at 8 euros for 7 days. So cheap!
- This is not a sponsored post. I was just really impressed with this awesome way to see Paris.