Paris on a Bicycle

Move around the capital freely by using the Vélib service


Paris by BicycleIf it's a lovely day and the sun is not too strong, getting around the French capital on a bicycle could well be a really nice option. Routes through the parks, numerous bike lanes and the delights of moving from one historic monument to the next without having to wait for public transport and, above all, being out and about in the fresh air. Experience Paris like a true Parisian and opt for getting around on one of the public bicycles that are available at one of the 1800 stations across the capital and its suburbs. In this article, we will explore together how toenrich your Parisian experience thanks to the new service, Vélib' Métropole 2018.

Vélib' Métropole 2018

This system of city bikes which goes by the name of Vélib', started in Paris in 2007. The word comes from joining the word "Vélo" (a bicycle in French) and Liberté (the French word for freedom). Thanks to the great success it has enjoyed during its first 11 years in service, partially thanks to the local residents but also, thanks to the many tourists who have used it, in January 2018 a new system called "Vélib' Métropole" came into being. This new system, in addition to guaranteeing an even greater number of stations and routes, also makes it possible to choose between the classic "green" bike and the new "blue" bike which is the electric version.

How to buy a Vélib' Métropole card

How to use bike sharing, in other words, the Parisian municipal bicycles, is really simple.  All you have to do is to show the electronic card to the screen on your bicycle of choice, insert the bike's code and set off to explore the capital in the fresh air.  The cards can be bought at the electronic ticket machines that are located in every station and also on-line (the recommended option) on the official web site: Vélib' Métropole. The beauty of this municipal service is that with great ease and simplicity, it is now possible to move around the city astride a new and comfortable bicycle, have complete autonomy as to when to take a break and then just leave the bike at one of the many stations dotted around the city. If you want to take a look at a map of all the stations quickly and easily, we recommend that you down-load the Vélib App which is available for Android as well as iPhones.

Vélib' Métropole Charges - V-Libre Tickets

  • Green Bicycle: 0-30 mins = €1.00. 30 minutes supplement = + €1.00
  • Blue Bicycle: 0-30 mins = €2.00. 30 minutes supplement = + €2.00;

Vélib' Métropole Charges - 1 Day Ticket

A valid ticket covering the use of one bicycle costs €5.00 and lasts for 24 hours from the time of activation. The rates are:

  • Green Bicycle: 0-30 mins = free; 30 minutes supplement = + €1.00
  • Blue Bicycle: 0-30 mins = €1.00. 30 minutes supplement = + €2.00

A valid ticket covering the use of two bicycles costs €10.00 and lasts for 24 hours from the time of activation. The rates are:

  • Green Bicycle: 0-30 mins = free; 30 minutes supplement = + €1.00
  • Blue Bicycle: 0-30 mins = €1.00; 30 minutes supplement = +€2.00

A valid ticket covering the use of 3, 4 or 5 bicycles costs €15.00 and lasts for 24 hours from the time of activation. The rates are:

  • Green Bicycle: 0-30 mins = free; 30 minutes supplement = + €1.00
  • Blue Bicycle: 0-30 mins = €1.00; 30 minutes supplement = + €2.00

Vélib' Métropole Charges - 7 Day Pass

The Vélib' 7 day pass is definitely the most convenient option because, for just €15.00 you can travel around the City of Light in complete freedom.  Also, were you to select this option, as with the other tickets, there is no charge for the first 30 mintues for the mechanical bikes and just €1.00 is payable for the electric bikes. For the 30 minutes after the supplement has been paid, €1.00 is payable for the green bicycles and €2.00 is charged for the electric bicycles.

Useful advice

The wonderful thing about riding a bike is the fact that you are completely free to move around the city at your own pace and will be out and about in the fresh air. This is also possible because the French capital is mainly on the flat and is therefore, very easy to travel around. Inevitably, there are certain areas that are more tiring than others, such as the area of Montmartre for example, with its wonderful while basilica of the Sacre Coeur which is located on one of the highest points in the City of Light. Our advice is to choose the metro instead of a bike when visitng this area of the city, particularly if you are starting to tire or it is getting too hot. In addition to this, you should bear in mind that a lot of steps await you before you actually reach the Sacre Coeur! However, it is really worth the effort as the spectacular views of of the church and of the city from on high are truly breath-taking.

Bike Tours

Our advice is to travel around the whole of the 1° Arrondissement by bike, i.e., the two small islands that are embraced by the River Seine: the Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis. In this way, you will be able to travel along the romantic course of the Seine taking in the marvellous cathedral of Notre Dame, the Conciergerie and the numerous squares in this quarter of the city.  Another of the most beautiful routes to enjoy in Paris by bicycle is to set off from the Arc de Triomphe along the Champs Elysées until you reach the Museum of the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel where you can leave your bikes and, after visiting the museum, relax and recharge your batteries in the famous Tuileries Garden.

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