7 good reasons to explore Paris by bike

Paris has nearly 1,000 km of cycle paths and counting! This is one of the good reasons to get on a bike and see the city differently. Visiting Paris by bike also means feeling free, enjoying the fresh air, saving money, getting around without polluting, doing sport... On your bikes!

1. Visit Paris at your own pace

Cycliste dans le 9e arrondissement - Place Saint-Georges, Paris

Cycling offers complete freedom of movement: you choose your own times and routes, without any constraints. You don't need a transport pass and getting around the compact capital of Paris by bike is easy. It is also easy to park your bike and stop off for a delicious snack or to visit a museum or tourist attraction. So, depending on what you want to do or how you feel, take a bike ride through the little streets of the capital, or follow the main roads equipped with cycle lanes. Enjoy being in the driving seat of a mode of transport that is environmentally friendly. The bike in Paris is synonymous with autonomy and freedom, whatever the time of year.

More info on bike paths and bike lanes in Paris

2. Get around cheaply in Paris

Vélib Métropole - Pause au parc, Paris © Alain LONGEAUD

Cycling in Paris has one major advantage: it is an economical mode of transport. Whether you buy your own gear or rent it for the short, medium, or long term, it pays for itself very quickly. There are many rental services available, either through a professional or between private individuals.

For example, renting a Velib’ bike only costs 1 euro for the first 30 minutes - enough time to get to many different places in Paris – then 2 additional euros for every extra 30 minutes. Annual and low-cost subscriptions for a classic bike or an electric bike are also available to suit every occasion. An incentive to choosing a bike as a means of getting around in Paris. Cycling is a speedy mode of transport that can also replace car travel in the city and therefore reducing the expense associated with it (petrol, parking costs, etc.)

More info on Where to rent a bike in Paris

More info on Visiting Paris for free

3. Adopt a slow travel attitude in Paris

Cycliste - Vélo - Devant la tour Eiffel, Paris

Sustainable tourism, ecological awareness and environmental issues are changing the way we travel, and cycling offers a green alternative to other transport for getting around in Paris: non-polluting, reduction in greenhouse gases, a non-motorized and pleasant form of transport, absence of noise pollution … Many initiatives and events in Paris that are part of a sustainable approach are highly successful. For example, the ‘Car Free Day’ that takes place every year at the end of September/ beginning of October. Or the initiative ‘Paris Respire’, which closes areas to car traffic and motorized two-wheelers to give priority to non-motorized traffic - pedestrians, bikes … - on Sundays and public holidays (all year or for part of the year depending on the area) in Parisian districts like the Sentier, the MaraisMouffetard, Canal Saint-Martin, Les Abbesses, Rue de la Roquette, Quai de la LoireButte-aux-CaillesAvenue des Champs-Elysées … A delight for those who enjoy getting around in an environmentally friendly way!

More info on Getting around in Paris in an environmentally friendly way

4. The best way to discover the districts of Paris … and beyond!

Le long de la Seine à Courday Montceaux - Street art - Vélo - La Scandibérique, Paris

With 1,000 km of bike paths and bike lanes across the city, Paris offers a great choice of cycling routes. You can ride along the main roads to experience all the excitement of the capital, opt for the quays or canals for a holiday atmosphere, or wind your way through picturesque and unusual little streets, like the Rue des Thermopyles, flower filled passageways like the Square des Peupliers or village-like areas such as the Campagne à Paris. And if you enjoy pedalling uphill, don’t hesitate to ride up the Butte-aux-Cailles, the Butte Bergeyre or the Butte Montmartre. You’ll be rewarded with wonderful views of the city and a relaxed pace of life on these hilltops. Less-sporty types can opt for an electric bike!

On the outskirts of the capital and in the surrounding area, there are many gems to discover by bike. Bike paths have been expanded to encourage cycling enthusiasts to travel further and explore the Paris region, which has almost 6,000 kilometres of bike paths. On a day out by bike, you can get to the Greater Paris area: Chatou and its Île des Impressionnistes, the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, or ride north of the capital along the Canal de l’Ourcq or south-east to join the Marne riverbanks.

And keen cyclists are certain to have their sights set on more distant horizons. Long distance cycling routes made up of diferent sections – and iconic cycling routes - to Mont Saint-Michel (with the Véloscénie route), Le Havre (with the ‘La Seine à vélo’ route), Scandinavia or Spain (with the Scandibérique route, which links Trondheim to Santiago de Compostella) or even to London (with the Avenue Verte Paris – London route) from Paris or passing through Paris!  

More info on bike routes in Paris

More info on long distance cycling routes via Paris

More info on 10 unusual districts to explore in Paris

5. Take advantage of cycling gear and services in Paris

Café-vélo - Le Peloton café - Personnes prenant un café en terrasse, Paris

Paris has all the necessary gear and services for cycling enthusiasts and for their journeys by bike. Depending on what you are used to, your habits or your preferences, you will always find the right bike for your needs, whether you are renting or buying! Paris, a cycling capital, has many specialist shops and workshops offering the sale of bikes, sale of appropriate equipment (wheels, chains, accessories, anti-theft devices, etc.), repairs, checks, advice … to take care of your bike! And if you prefer to rent a bike, many rental agencies have a complete range of classic city bikes, Dutch bikes, mountain bikes, tandems, electric bikes, cargo banks or bikes with a trailer - practical for shopping or transporting children -, bikes adapted to people with reduced mobility … You can even have a cycling lesson or go on a guided bike tour to ensure you don't miss any of the sights in the city.

And so that you do not get lost, maps and apps list bike paths, and possible routes according to your chosen criteria (the quickest, the flattest, the shortest, etc.) and guide you all along your journey! Also worth remembering, it is easy and safe to park your bike in Paris. And for safe cycling, it is important to respect essential guidelines: observe the highway code, equip your bike with the mandatory accessories …

See all the practical information for cycling in Paris

More info on renting a bike in Paris

More info on guided bike tours in Paris

6. Sightseeing in Paris by bike

Vélo et couple dans le jardin Catherine Labouré, Paris

Visiting Paris by bike has many advantages. As well as being a quick and cheap way of getting around in the capital, it is also a great way of exploring Paris outdoors and making the most of good weather, throughout the year. Outdoors, the city offers many surprises … along the Seine, through streets, past landmark sites, and less well-known places, in the Bois de Vincennes or in the Bois de Boulogne. On your bike, you'll feel good enjoying fine weather whatever the season, filling up on fresh air, sunshine, vitamin D, freedom, and well-being. There's nothing like a bike ride to boost your energy levels!

More info on Visiting Paris outdoors

Discover our 4 itineraries for exploring Paris by bike

More info on Open-air art and heritage in Paris

7. Get some exercise by biking in Paris

Cycliste - Vélo - Devant la flamme du pont de l'Alma, Paris

A practical mode of transport, the bike is also an activity in itself - one that is physical and fun offering enjoyable moments for kids and adults. Whether you are with family, friends, in a couple or solo, explore the streets, attractions and landmarks in Paris while improving your well-being. Take a guided bike tour with Paris à VéloParis Bike TourFat Tire ToursBlue Fox Travel o Holland Bikes Tours. Everyone will find a tour to suit them: itineraries including the major sights or the banks of the Seine, themed itineraries including unusual Paris, secret Paris, the Paris of the Parisians … And you can always decide to take a bike ride at your own pace by following one of our suggested bike routes in Paris. Visiting Paris while doing some exercise is a winning combination!

More info on sport in Paris

More info on visiting Paris with the family

More info on guided bike tours in Paris