A few years ago I discovered that cycling in Paris is the best way to explore the city. In this blog post I will tell you about my cycling experience, where to rent a bike and why it is so great to explore the city by bike instead of by tourist buses or walking.
My cycling experience
During my trip in France, I visited Paris for a couple of days. I decided to rent a bike and explore the city in a different way. I started cycling and came across the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Pyramide du Louvre and Palais Royal. It was a great experience! You can go wherever you want, whenever you want and take your time to visit every sight. Sometimes, cycling was a bit stressing and dangerous, because not everywhere are bicycle tracks and therefore, you sometimes have to cycle on the busy roads between all the cars. Therefore, I would only recommend cycling in Paris to people who already have some cycling experience (to the Dutch for example haha). I would like to tell you more about the sights I visited during my cycling daytrip in Paris:
1. Notre Dame
The Notre Dame was the first sight I came across. We all know this famous cathedral, that is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The outside architecture is beautiful, but also the inside of the church looks amazing. You should definitely go inside and take a look at the two beautiful rose windows in the North and South transepts. This is a must visit of Paris.
2. Eiffel Tower
My second interesting stop was the Eiffel Tower. Of course, when you go to France, you should have visited Paris and the Eiffel Tower. It is a wrought iron lattice tower with a height of 324 meters (including two restaurants) and is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It is one of the famous landmarks of France and the most-visited paid monument in the world. When you would like to go up in the tower, you have to buy a ticket (also possible online) and wait for a couple of minutes or hours.
3. Arc de Triomphe
A short drive from the Eiffel Tower brings you to another of France’s landmarks, namely the Arc de Triomphe. This impressive memorial stands to those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. You can buy a ticket and take a staircase to walk up this building and enjoy the nice view from the top.
4. Grand Palais
My fourth stop was the imposing Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées (also known as the Grand Palais). It is a gigantic building, almost 240 meters long with grandiose exterior and magnificent glass roofs. The palace is used as a large historic site including an exhibition hall, museum complex and various art exhibitions.
5. Pyramid du Louvre
We all have heard once about the Louvre. The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid and is surrounded by three smaller pyramids. The biggest pyramid, serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. This is definitely a must visit in Paris. Within the Louvre Museum you can find the famous Mona Lisa painting. You need to be prepared for a long day. Before entering the museum there always is a queue because of the security checks. There are two floors where you can see the most famous and iconic masterpieces. It will take at least half a day to see most of it.
6. Le Palais Royal
My final stop was the less known sight: Palais Royal. It is a magnificent building with a beautiful garden. It was the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu and was designed in 1629. Despite the fact that the palace is located in one of the busiest districts of Paris, it is not over-run by tourists or locals. In fact it was surprisingly quiet which was very nice. It is a nice place to relax and escape from the crowd.
Where to rent a bike?
I did rent a bike at ‘Paris à vélo, c’est sympa’. This shop provides bike rentals, guided tours and other sales. The quality of the bikes is good.
Paris à vélo, c’est sympa (click)
22 rue Alphonse Baudin, 75011 Paris
T: 01 48 87 60 01
Next to this shop, I have experience with another good bike rental shop namely: Paris Bike Tour. This shop provides bike rentals, guided tours and other sales.
Paris Bike Tour (click)
13 rue Brantôme, 75003 Paris
T: +33-(0)1 42 74 22 14
All in all, I can really recommend to go cycling in Paris. It is very easy to cycle across the main sights that I mentioned above. Take into account that there are not everywhere bicycles tracks and therefore, it is nice to have some cycling experience before you will go cycling in Paris.
In case you have any questions or would like to share your Paris cycling experience, leave a comment in the comment section below.
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