Transportation Strikes in France 2023
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2020: Biking in Paris, the World’s Cycling Capital
Environmentally friendly, cheap, healthy, and surprisingly convenient for navigating perilously congested city streets, biking in Paris is becoming the preferred mode of transport for more and more locals.
Paris wants to become the World Cycling Capital in 2020! Thanks to the policy of the City Council, bikes in Paris are gaining ground also on the streets with more than 200 km of bike routes and an additional 70 km of bus lanes also accessible to cyclists. The City’s ambitious goal by the year 2020 is to double these digits and reach 15% of trips in Paris by bike (vs 5% in 2016).
Paris by Bike Map
Where to go cycling in Paris? The Paris by Bike map here below shows the existing lanes for bikes in Paris and also the planned lanes (dotted red lines).
Click here to view this map online
Paris Bike Tours, a Great Way to Explore Paris
Bike tours in Paris are a great way to discover the city’s highlights or its hidden gems whilst biking in Paris. Stop at important or curious sites and enjoy your guide’s commentary on Parisian history and city life.
We’ve rounded up some of the best Paris bike tours to experience Paris culture or just have some organized fun for a few hours. Tour operators are proposing great Paris bike tours with standard bikes and also some e-bike tours in Paris so there’s no excuse to enjoy cycling in Paris!
Check out the best Paris Bike Tours
Self-Guided Paris Bike Tours: Itinerary + Map
If you prefer biking Paris at your own pace, we can help too. Below, our favorite self-guided bike tours in Paris to explore the French capital alone or with your tribe.
Paris by Bike Itinerary #1 – Left Bank From East to West
- Start: Museum of Natural History
- End: Eiffel Tower
- Distance: 9km
This self-guided bike tour covers Paris’ Left Bank from East to West. On your way, see some interesting Paris sights like the Museum of Natural History, the Jardin des Plantes, the Arabic World Institute, the Panthéon, Saint-Sulpice Church, Orsay Museum, the Invalides, Quai Branly Museum, and the Eiffel Tower.
At the end of this Paris bike tour, you can climb up the Eiffel Tower to see what you have been biking in Paris from above! Click here to buy your Eiffel Tower skip-the-line tickets so you don’t waste time waiting in line.
Paris by Bike Itinerary #2 – Right Bank Five Stars
- Start: Opera Garnier
- Finish: Arc de Triomphe
- Distance: 6km
Start cycling in Paris from Opéra de Garnier, home of luxury evenings of ballet, and bike around some of the most beautiful historic hotels in Paris and other chic addresses. On your way, Hotel Park Hyatt, Hôtel Ritz Paris, Hôtel Costes, Le Meurice, Hotel Plaza Athénée, Shangri-La Hotel, Hotel Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, and Arc de Triomphe.
At the end of this Paris bike tour, you can climb up to Arc de Triomphe for one of the best views of Paris.
Paris by Bike Itinerary #3 Paris Along the Canals
- Start: Marina Arsenal
- End: Paris Philarmonic
- Distance: 7km
This relaxing bike itinerary (head here for the full description) follows the meanders of Canal Saint-Martin, from Port de l’Arsenal where it flows into the Seine River to Bassin de la Villette, where it becomes the Canal de l’Ourcq.
On your way, see interesting sights like Port de l’Arsenal, Place de la Bastille, Place de la République, Square Frédérick-Lemaître, the picturesque banks of Canal Saint-Martin, Bassin de la Villette, Parc de la Villette, and the Paris Philharmonic.
Bike Rental in Paris
Looking for an alternative to the crowded Parisian metro to explore Paris? Rent a bike in Paris and discover Paris by bike.
There are many ways to get a bike in Paris for a few hours, you just need to choose the one that fits you best.
Vélib Paris is the public bike-share system in the city, available 24h/7d and with more than 1,800 Velib Stations spaced every 300 meters across the capital.
After a period of crisis and decadence, Vélib is back with two new kinds of bikes in Paris: e-bikes (blue), and standard bikes (green).
Biking in Paris with Vélib is very easy. There are different Vélib bike hiring options – for occasional users and for regular users – and Vélib passes.
The V-Découverte Pass, for example, is valid 24 hours and allows users to take up to 5 Vélibs at one time. Return the Vélib bike to any Vélib Station (click here for the Paris Velib Map) before 30 minutes are up, wait a few minutes, and then check out a new Vélib bike to avoid expensive excess time charges.
For example, a leisurely tour by bike in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower (in Paris 7) to the Louvre Museum (in Paris 1), takes 15 minutes which is faster than taking the bus or subway.
You can find all the Vélib passes and prices here. To plan your bike tours in Paris, use the Vélib Map with all the Vélib docking points. This Vélib Map also tells you live how many Vélib bikes are left on a specific Vélib docking point.
Other Options to Rent a Bike in Paris
If you prefer a bicycle that is more adapted to your needs, or you are planning longer rides, there are other options to rent a bicycle in Paris.
The cost of renting Paris city bikes for a whole day is around 20€/day. This option is also convenient if you decide to do a bike tour outside Paris, where there are not Vélib Stations.
Rent your standard bike or e-bike online with BikesBooking.com. Bikesbooking is a key player in the online booking market for moto and bicycle transport. Just like its big brother Booking.com, Bikesbooking compares prices of 950 rental companies from more than 40 countries to give you the best price guaranteed.
Book your Bike in Paris with Bikesbooking.com
Light & Handy: Use your Folding Bike in Paris
A folding bike makes a great travel companion for people on extended stays in Paris. This kind of bicycle rides and shifts as smoothly as a fancy full-size touring bike. Only 15 kgs, it packs into a wheeled suitcase and does not take up much space in the hotel room.
Brompton and Dahon brands make the best folding bikes on the market. Dahon folding bikes are available in Amazon shops.
Recommended Bike Accessories for Biking in Paris
Here’s the list of recommended bike accessories for biking Paris. Some of these accessories are a must for your safety while others make your Paris bike tours more comfortable and easier.
- Good and Robust Padlock
- Bike Repair Tool Kit
- Yellow Vest
- Bike Light Set
- Bike Bag (for foldable bikes)
- Luggage Rear Bike Rack
Tips to Fully Enjoy Cycling in Paris
The Paris City Council is doing a big effort to promote the use of bikes in Paris but there is still a long way to overtake other bike-friendly cities like Berlin or Amsterdam. In our opinion, more “bicycle pedagogy” is necessary for Paris, especially amongst the car drivers who tend to open their car doors without checking if there is a biker coming behind!
Even if you have been biking all your life, please take a couple of minutes to read our tips & advice for biking in Paris:
CHECK regularly the condition and pressure of your tires to avoid any incident. Also, check your brakes regularly and your bike light set, especially if you want to ride at night.
RESPECT the highway code, like any other vehicle. Advertise your maneuvers and changes of direction in advance and do not take unnecessary risks.
Unlike American cities, where cyclists obey the same rules as vehicles, Parisian cyclists observe separate rules of the road. The general rule is to stick to marked bike paths, which variously and confusingly go with or against traffic, move from sidewalks to streets and back. These bike paths are dedicated to bicycles only or may be shared with taxis and buses so stay vigilant.
LEARN the Paris signaling. For clarity and security, the City of Paris has created specific signaling. Thus, cyclists can easily identify bus lanes where they cannot move. These corridors are explicitly signaled by signs located under the signs.
These new signs below are located under the traffic lights. The yellow arrow shows the biker the direction to take after the crossing (to the right or straight ahead).
Example: the traffic light is red for cars but the panel authorizes bikes in Paris to turn on the right.
This authorization does not give any rights to bikes in Paris: they are not the priority. To cross the red light, cyclists should exercise caution and respect in all circumstances the priority given to other road users, particularly pedestrians that they must always give way. If the panel does not exist, bikers must stop at the red traffic light
Parisians are famous for breaking the rules so watch out for scooters (they like to use bicycle lanes from time to time) and pedestrians (sometimes they just don’t respect red traffic lights). You are warned.
REMEMBER that in Paris city buses have priority. Be very careful when approaching a bus stop riding after a bus, the bus can brake suddenly. A bus parked at a stop can also get back on track at any time. To avoid danger, keep a good safety distance and never overtake a bus on the right.
FINES FOR BIKES IN PARIS:
- riding on the sidewalk (except cycle paths): 135€ fine
- use of the mobile phone or headphones while cycling in Paris: 135€ fine
- excessive speed: 35€ fine
- ride in the wrong direction: 135€ fine
- lack of lighting and breaks fault: 11€ fine
- parking causing an obstruction: 35€ fine
- drive more than 2, side by side: 35€ fine
- turning without signaling it with your arm: 35€ fine
- have a passenger on your bike: 35€ fine
- towing: 35€ fine
- riding under the effects of the alcohol: 135€ fine
- overtaking on the right: 135€ fine
- non-respect of red traffic lights or stop signs (except if specific sign for bikes): 135€ fine
And last but not least, avoid drinking alcohol before biking in Paris, you will need all your neurons “on”!
Cycle Route Planner and Other Apps for Biking in Paris
GeoVelo, is a cool tool to plan your bike tours in Paris or France. Use this tool to calculate the time to go from A to B (recommended itinerary or safest itinerary).
For our everyday bike rides, we like to use the (free) mobile application, maps.me. This app works offline, but you need to download the maps (e.g. Paris and Ile de France) previously. The application shows the best itinerary and calculates the time to reach your target, even if the times are a little bit sporty!
When Things Go Wrong
Even if rental bicycles are checked periodically or you are biking in Paris with your brand new bike, s*!XX!it happens and you can get stuck in the middle of the city with a flat tire or a broken bike. What to do?
Cyclofix comes to repair your bike
If your bike has problems and you are far from your favorite shop you can call Cyclofix, a new business model born in Paris a couple of years ago but very successful already.
The concept is very simple: the Cyclofix guys ride to your location (at home or wherever you got stuck) to repair your bike on site. With Cyclofix there’s no need to carry your bike to the next bike shop and leave it there for 24-48 hours to be repaired. How cool is that?
Cafe + Bike Fixing @ La Chouette
Another cool service that just opened some time ago is the café-vélo La Chouette Cafe Velo (20 rue du Château d’Eau, Paris 75010).
La Chouette is a café – bike store & workshop where you can have your bike repaired while enjoying your cafe & croissant in a very nice atmosphere. Very Parisian!
Bike Festivals in Paris
January – Traversée de Paris en Anciennes. Originally this is a vintage cars’ festival but there are also vintage bikes and motorbikes with its vintage riders of course!
January – Festival du Voyage à Vélo. This festival is all about your two-wheel friend: talks, short travel movies, photo exhibitions, meeting points, equipment, and more.
March – Salon Vélo. Don’t miss this bike fair for professionals and amateurs at Parc Floral de Paris.
May – Paris Bike Festival. This bike fair for professionals and amateurs at Hippodrome Longchamps is the perfect occasion to see the novelties for all kinds of bicycles and its equipment.
Paris by Bike Guide – Final Note
If you need more information about biking in Paris (courses, guided rides, reparation workshops . .), you can visit LA MAISON DU VÉLO, located just in front of Opéra de la Bastille (37 Bd Bourdon, Paris 4). La Maison du Vélo opens from Tuesday to Friday from 1:30 pm to 5 pm.
In the beginning, Paris on bike may look a little bit scary but after a couple of days cycling in Paris you will get used to it and you will have a great time. We truly believe that biking in Paris is a great way to discover Paris and we hope this post will encourage you to take a bike in Paris.
Click here to read more about Paris like a local
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Cara11/24/2017 at 9:53 pm
Amazing article, thanks for all this detail <3
WorldInParis11/26/2017 at 5:45 pm
Thanks Cara for visiting the blog and your nice comment 🙂
Edith & Juan06/01/2017 at 3:58 am
What a fun way to explore the city! I can’t wait to visit so that we can see all those beautiful streets.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:34 pm
Yes, fun way to explore the city. Sometimes also adventurous too 😉
Clare05/31/2017 at 9:02 am
I would love to explore Paris on bike as I have only done it on foot in the past. I have done a lot of bike tours and think they are great way of seeing a city. Not sure if I would trust myself not to get lost if I was cycling on my own in Paris!! It would be nice though to see some places a bit further out though and cycle more in the countryside.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:35 pm
There are free bike tours every week, starting at Hotel de Ville. That could help to trust yourself cycling in Paris 🙂
Kayla Manoe05/31/2017 at 6:32 am
What a fantastic guide! I have been to Paris sooooo many times but now I want to go back just so I can do it by bike! Plus wouldn’t mind eating some delicious pastries again haha
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:37 pm
It is another way to explore the city, Kayla. So perfect for a Paris connaisseur like you, I would say 😉
Barb05/30/2017 at 9:44 am
This sounds like a great idea to explore Paris by bike. My friend has a scooter and we were getting around with a scooter last time I was there. A bike is even a better option because it allows me to get some exercise as well. I will try it out on my next visit.
WorldInParis08/10/2017 at 9:19 am
Bikes are cool, funny and healthy. Sounds great, right? 😉
Iza Abao05/30/2017 at 9:28 am
I am impressed that Paris has all of these biking options. It’s all about eco living. I love it! It’s more enjoyable to explore a city when you bike. I like that the little ones can also join in the fun. I would keep in this mind when I visit Paris someday.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:43 pm
I also enjoy exploring new cities by bike, especially if they are well equipped for them. Thanks for your comment 🙂
Punita Malhotra05/30/2017 at 4:40 am
How I would love to go around this lovely city by bike, park outside one of those dreamy street cafes or spend an afternoon at an old bookstore. It would have to be vintage bike for me, certainly.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:44 pm
I also love vintage bikes, especially the Peugeot bikes. A pity that they are not produced any more, you can only find second hand Peugeot bikes on internet. Thanks for your comment 🙂
Veronika Tomanova05/29/2017 at 10:36 pm
Wow, I never though of visiting Paris by bike! There are quite some hills around Montmartre if I remember right, but at least one can be sightseeing and doing something for the health at the same time! I love that wintage bike in the picture!
WorldInParis06/19/2017 at 12:22 pm
Well, YES, Montmartre is probably not the best neighborhood to explore by bike but the rest of Paris is quite flat 🙂
Sandy N Vyjay05/29/2017 at 8:56 am
Paris is so charming and there is so much to see and experience in this romantic city. Biking through the city would indeed be ab absolute pleasure. We were not able to do this when we were there last, hope to make amends next time. This article is going to be very useful resource for us, will bookmark for sure.
WorldInParis06/10/2017 at 4:20 pm
Thanks Sandy. I am sure you will enjoy Paris by bike if there is another time for you in the city of light 🙂
Mike Cotton05/28/2017 at 8:34 pm
What a lovely guide to cycling in Paris. I love your photographs in this article, very cool and chic. A perfect accompaniment for Paris, it just has that vibe.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:42 pm
We also thing a nice bike is the perfect accompaniment for Paris. Glad that you liked the guide 🙂
Nina05/28/2017 at 8:27 pm
I loved biking around Europe! this a great guide to Paris, hope to use it one day!
WorldInParis06/20/2017 at 9:54 am
Biking in Paris is very cool, hope you will make it! 🙂
Alyssa05/28/2017 at 5:00 pm
Great post! I love biking through cities when traveling because it allows me to see what I want and stop wherever to get great photos! Paris is definitely on my travel bucket list!
WorldInParis06/20/2017 at 9:55 am
Glad to read this, I agree with you biking Is a great way to explore a new city 🙂
Norbert05/28/2017 at 10:21 am
I like your post! In the heat this weekend I propose Bois de Vincennes for a slow ride to the east of Paris.
WorldInParis06/03/2017 at 9:45 pm
Too bad that I read your comment too late, Norbert! Rainy WE now so Vincennes will have to wait 😉
Fiona Maclean05/28/2017 at 8:56 am
What a comprehensive guide. We are putting together something similar for London too. I’m a coward and too scared to try but this does look great
Ben05/28/2017 at 8:55 am
I love cycling around European cities. It’s cheap, eco friendly and a great way to see the city. I would totally pick up one of those vintage bikes in Paris. 😀
WorldInParis06/19/2017 at 12:24 pm
My favorite vintage bikes are the Peugeot bikes! A pity they don’t build “retro” bikes so second hand markets are my only option :-/
Nic05/27/2017 at 4:36 pm
Getting a bike is usually one the first things we do when we arrive in a new city, it’s definitely the best way to explore and discover hidden gems!
WorldInParis06/20/2017 at 9:56 am
Totally agree with you, Nic 🙂
Megan Jerrard05/27/2017 at 1:37 pm
Thanks for the cycling map and notes on where to pick up bike rentals – interesting to hear that Paris wants to become the World Cycling Capital in 2020 … I think they may have some stiff competition in Amsterdam, but nothing is impossible! Will be interesting to see if Paris can knock the Holland cycling capitol from their throne! 😀
WorldInParis05/31/2017 at 8:30 pm
Megan I don’t thing so but Paris City Council is trying very hard! 😀
Travellingdany05/27/2017 at 11:12 am
We’ve explored a bit the Netherlands on a bike but never Paris. What a fun, eco-friendly and uncommon idea! Bucketlisted for my next trip, this will be so useful!
WorldInParis06/22/2017 at 9:58 am
Cool that you liked it. Thanks for your nice comment, Dany 🙂
Danik05/27/2017 at 11:06 am
I have to admit as I used to live there (many many moons ago), I wouldn’t consider cycling in Paris. But has it improved in recent times. Its worst than London. and I hate cycling in London despite efforts of improving safety etc. I much prefer to take the strolls through the suburbs. 🙂
WorldInParis05/31/2017 at 8:30 pm
Danik, biking life is changing in Paris. Maybe you will change your mind when you visit the city again 🙂
Natasha05/27/2017 at 9:59 am
This is a really great guide. I have not been to Paris for sooo long. I would love to go back and follow your recommendations for a bicycle tour. I did not even realize they have bike festivals
WorldInParis06/22/2017 at 10:00 am
The bike festival is not very known, I think, but it is a great event to meet other bike friendly people and exchange travel ideas and tips
Gokul Raj05/27/2017 at 9:13 am
This is such a great post. I love exploring cities on a cycle and Paris would be one of them.
WorldInParis06/20/2017 at 9:56 am
Great to read this, Gokul. I am sure you would enjoy Paris by bike 🙂
Fábio02/14/2017 at 5:00 am
I am so happy to found this post. In my opinion travel by bicycle it is the best way to really see all the city/country and not just the tourist parts. I did it in Amsterdam (easy) and now I am going to Paris in the end of March for the second time and with your help with this post I will be able to know how to cycle around 🙂
WorldInParis02/14/2017 at 11:19 pm
So cool to help! Hope you will enjoy it 🙂
Loredana02/03/2017 at 2:02 pm
I love Paris – and I miss it! Exploring it by bike looks like a great idea! There are so many wonderful places in Paris worthy to be discovered by anyone!
WorldInParis02/20/2017 at 10:46 pm
Yes but next time you come with good weather, eh? 😉
Sandy N Vyjay12/11/2016 at 7:46 am
This is indeed a wealth of information on bicycling in Paris. I would love to cover Paris by bicycle in a leisurely manner and soak in its atmosphere. The last time we were there we had to rush through and hence could not do this. Hope to do this next time around 🙂
WorldInParis01/03/2017 at 4:18 pm
I am sure you would enjoy a couple of rides in Paris, Sandy
Danica12/08/2016 at 6:01 pm
Omg glad to have found this post! Paris is my dream place. And I think biking around the city is a cool idea! Thanks for this! Bookmarked =)
Indrani11/01/2016 at 1:12 pm
I explored Paris by foot. Wish I had thought about bike then , I could have covered more. The foldable bike does seem like a good option.
WorldInParis11/02/2016 at 12:28 pm
The foldable bike would allow you to use your own bike everywhere in the world, it fits in a normal suitcase so why not? 😉
Sally10/29/2016 at 6:26 am
I love hiring a bike when I am overseas, it is such a great way to get around. I had no idea Paris was the world cycling capital but I can see why. It is such a beautiful city and what better way to see it!
WorldInParis10/29/2016 at 4:59 pm
Paris wants to become the world cycling capital but there is still much to do to reach its goal
Alex Datsev10/24/2016 at 10:42 pm
Great post! Biking would be an amazing way to see the city and it is fantastic that the authorities are doing so much to promote this much healthier and cleaner mode of travel.
WorldInParis10/26/2016 at 11:45 am
YES, they are doing big steps but there is still a long way to go 😉
Prasad Np10/23/2016 at 7:03 am
It is so good to see cycles making a comeback in one of the biggest cities in the world. Indeed there is a special charm in discovering a place at slow pace on a cycle
WorldInParis10/29/2016 at 5:02 pm
Totally agree with you, Prasad
lau10/12/2016 at 2:20 pm
great post! next time i visit Paris i sure will rent a bike
WorldInParis10/13/2016 at 12:00 pm
that’s very cool, lau 🙂
Carolina Colborn10/05/2016 at 6:41 pm
Thought Amsterdam was the World Cycling Capital but you convinced me. Now, if only I could bike!
WorldInParis10/07/2016 at 9:50 am
Amsterdam STILL is the World Cycling Capital but Paris will do big efforts to beat it 😉
melody pittman10/04/2016 at 7:09 am
I haven’t been to Paris but I definitely like all the suggestions and routes you offer to do the city by bike. That sounds like fun. I better get in shape. 😉
Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren10/04/2016 at 5:39 am
Such a great way to explore one of my favorite cities! I’ll be there next month and I can’t wait. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:33 pm
Hope you will enjoy Paris. You will be welcome to share your Paris blog posts with us 😉
Veena10/04/2016 at 4:19 am
Now that I know how to navigate Paris on a bike, the only other thing is booking tickets, I’ve been dreaming of going there! haha Thanks for the write up!
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:33 pm
You are welcome! 🙂
Gryselle Mae10/03/2016 at 4:23 pm
Paris by bike seems like an awesome idea. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to ride a bike so I might as well just walk. Hahaha 🙂
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:35 pm
Ooohh! The Parisian metro can be the solution for you then, many beautiful metro stations for you to explore 😉
Castaway with Crystal10/03/2016 at 11:50 am
Great information in there. Love the retro fold up bikes – so cool! Can’t wait to explore Paris, soooon!
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:35 pm
Juliette @ Snorkels to Snow10/03/2016 at 6:31 am
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – cycling is such a fantastic way to see Paris! Great guide. I love the Velib system, I was so impressed by it on my last visit to Paris. They should do that more around the world!
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:35 pm
And now there is the Velib kids version as well 😉
Nancy10/02/2016 at 1:12 am
This is one of the reasons we love visiting Paris, the Velib. It’s so easy to use and we like it so much more than taking the Metro. You get to see Paris from above, not below.
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:36 pm
Allison10/02/2016 at 12:37 am
Great guide! Biking is definitely one of my favorite ways of discovering a city. You can get such a great overview for it and get a bit off the beaten path!
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:36 pm
Thanks Allison 🙂
Kaylene10/01/2016 at 7:25 pm
Cycling would be such a fun way to see Paris! I’ll have to rent a bike next time I visit. Also, great info because sometimes biking in European cities can be confusing and knowing what are the rules of the roads is tricky
WorldInParis10/05/2016 at 3:37 pm
Thanks Kaylene 🙂
Rebecca10/01/2016 at 3:07 pm
I wouldn’t have thought about biking in Paris. What a great way to see the city! Sure beats driving or the Metro where you don’t see much between stops. These are great tips to get the most out of biking in Paris!