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Paris makes it easy to cycle on your own mini Tour de France: the Vélib bike share system is the world’s largest and has more than 20,000 bikes located around the city that you can borrow. If you’re less comfortable on two wheels, you’ll still find standard bike shops to rent bikes and answer questions and many companies offer guided tours to share commentary and discover the city’s best sights. However you do it, here are the best places to ride a bike in Paris.
Along the Seine
For a romantic evening, you can’t plan better than a bike ride along the Seine River. This route shows off all of Paris’ most famous icons, like Notre Dame, the Louvre, and of course the Eiffel Tower. However, riding along the river also lets you see the city’s gorgeous bridges, like the stone Pont Neuf and Pont des Arts, which is known for its “love locks”. Believe it or not, the riverbanks are actually a UNESCO World Heritage site and the evening illuminations make them even more special.
Versailles is outside of the city itself, but that adds to why it’s one of the best places to ride a bike in Paris. Explore this huge château and its grounds, riding through the old royal forest and along the grand canal. You can rest your legs by touring the home itself and especially its famous hall of mirrors. The best place to eat after your visit is by perusing the Versailles farmers’ market and buying picnic portions of baguettes, cheese, wine, and other delicious treats.
You can definitely do this on your own, but Versailles is so huge that you might want a guide to show you around, teach you how to get your bike on the train, and skip the entrance line! Sign up for a full-day tour.
The Latin Quarter
Officially known as the 5th Arrondissement, the Latin Quarter is a wonderful place to wander and photograph daily life in the city of light. The back streets here are full of history and are less trafficked, making it the perfect place to being your bike ride. Stop off at sites like the Pantheon or the Paris Botanical Gardens. When you get hungry, search for a treat at one of the neighborhood’s local bakeries; after all, you’ve earned it.
There’s nothing better than toasting to personal achievements, so plan a ride in Epernay that ends with a glass of bubbly. Just an hour away by train, the Champagne region is an easy day trip from Paris and a gorgeous countryside destination. With vineyards, small hills, and villages, it’s an enjoyable excursion made better by the chance to taste some of France’s best sparkling wine.
MORE INFO TO PLAN YOUR TRIP
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Need a hotel recommendation in Paris? I was pleasantly surprised by the Best Western Premier Louvre Saint Honore and it’s low rates!