paris is touted for being a great walking city (which it is), but it’s
also a huge city and after a few days of walking and sore feet,
biking can be a welcome mode of transport in the city of light.
we have two suggestions for anyone interested in biking in paris –
one for visitors who are newer to the city, and another for those
more familiar with it and comfortable venturing on their own.the first option is vélib, a drop off bike system throughout paris.
many cities have systems like these now, but paris was the first major
city to roll this idea out years ago … so they have it down. there are stations
EVERYWHERE, a helpful app to track them down, and they offer a lot of
flexibility. two helpful tips with these: purchase your 7-day pass ahead of time,
it’s super cheap! (only about 8 euro for a week, or just just €1.70 for one day)
the card is an additional 5 euro, but it allows you to simply swipe it at
the bike station and go. otherwise, you’re stuck typing in all the numbers
at the kiosk each time you want to check out a bike (we didn’t get
the card in time, so we just punched #s in each time :) the real key with
these bikes is to use them wisely. once you’ve paid the 7-day rental fee,
you can check them out for 30 minutes at a time for free. after 30 minutes,
it starts to charge a euro or two an hour. it’s inexpensive either way, but
you can bike most places in paris in 30 minutes – so it’s smart to check
them in and keep it completely free! you can register for these bikes HERE.
we used them to get everywhere all week, and it allowed us to get
to know new parts of the city even better (like the st. martin canals!) ^^
biking all over also allows lots of stops for treats :)
(we LOVED this vert tulipe café, and even found froyo one day!)
biking allowed us to enjoy the (hot) summer days in paris and stay
out of the metro. we did have to stay on alert though! there are biking
lanes all over the city making biking very doable, but there are some
roundabouts // bus lanes // traffic hours that can feel a little stressful FYI.
an option for newer visitors to paris or those less comfortable on
the bike is fat tire bike tours. this group operates all different tours
to suit different levels and interests. we were invited on the paris
nighttime bike tour to get a sense of what is offered!
you do have to wear these reflective vests on the night tour, so you may
not feel trés chic during this tour – but you will be safe! :)
the nice part about these tours is that you don’t have to think about directions,
worry about bike lanes on your own, or try to find certain sights. their group
of fun, young guides will lead your group all through the city and share
info about the main sights. it would be a great way to see paris your first
or second night in town, as it’s slower paced and gives you the lay of the land.
the day tours offer more info & history at each stop, but the bonus of
the night tour is that it includes an evening boat ride on the seine!
it also includes a stop for ice cream at the most famous place in paris ^^
views from the bike ride ^^ we met near the eiffel tower,
biked through st. germain des pres over to notre dame, back
through the louvre, along the seine, and ended by the eiffel.
after 14 kilometers of biking, it felt so nice to kick back on
the boat and enjoy views of the sparkling eiffel tower!
after the boat ride it was nearly midnight, so we looped back for one more
photo opp by the tower before dropping off the bikes and making our way home!
^^ here is chase modeling the neon vest that kept us safe ;)
all in all, we’d recommend choosing a tour to get used to the roads here and
learn about some main sights, then use velib to bike like locals during the rest
of your stay! fat tire also offers tours throughout france like a loire valley
biking tour, so we plan to go on that one next time. private tours are
available for booking as well, so check out everything here.
thanks for welcoming us on the tour!
see chase’s latest paris vlog here:
(and more fun footage from the actual tour coming in the next vlog ;)
enjoy biking paris!