Paris by bike: practical information

All the practical information you need to visit Paris by bike: parking, safety advice, a map of cycle paths and cycle lanes, good addresses for cycling in Paris...

Parking and safety advice for discovering Paris by bike

Where to park your bike in Paris

© Skitterphoto

Paris has almost 60,000 parking (metal hoop stands) places above ground. They are primarily situated in front of buildings open to the public, such as museums and monuments. The free bike stands are easy to find and located throughout Paris.

  • See the interactive map of parking places for bikes in Paris:

Secure facilities are also available for bikes throughout the capital:

  • Bike shelters: situated in streets, these secure lock-up boxes hold 6 bikes in numbered places. An air pump is accessible from outside (on annual subscription).
  • Vélostations: monitored, closed and under cover bicycle parking for classic bikes, but also electric bikes and cargo bikes. It is possible to recharge the removable batteries at these bike stations (with a monthly or annual subscription).
  • Saemes - which manages many car parks in Paris - also offers a wide range of services specifically for cyclists: bicycle parking in most Saemes car parks, a Vélostation (capacity of almost 200 bikes) and a DoctoCyclo repair shop near the Gare de Lyon, the possibility of recharging an electric bike (in some car parks), secure lockers and the purchase of small equipment (in the Saint-Augustin Bergson car park), and the parking of cargo bicycles in some car parks.
  • Underground parking: the website lists and offers more than 3,000 bicycle parking spaces in Parisian parking facilities with secure access. These secure installations for bikes (classic, electric, mountain bikes, cargo bikes …) are spread across 400 parking facilities (available with a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription).
  • Île-de-France Mobilités parking for bikes: situated close to stations (in Paris and ‘Île-de-France’ (the Paris region)), there are two types of parking: covered and open-access bicycle parking with a secure attachment or bicycle parking facilities in the form of lock-ups that are closed and available either with the Navigo transport pass or with a subscription.
  • Wheelskeep: thanks to the dedicated application, users can park their bikes in complete security, which is monitored by on-site guards during the opening hours. Wheelskeep also creates temporary bike parks for major events. The extra services are numerous: self-service bicycle pump, chain cleaning, brake and gear adjustments, lights and safety accessories, etc.

Obligatory equipment, and tips for visiting Paris by bike

© Jean Baptiste Gurliat Mairie de Paris

To cycle in Paris, some equipment is obligatory, and some is strongly recommended. A quick overview.

The following equipment is obligatory:

  • A helmet for children aged under 12
  • Child seat for children aged under 5
  • A red light and reflector mounted on the rear of the bike
  • A yellow or white light and a white reflector on the front of the bike
  • A bicycle bell
  • Front and rear brakes
  • An orange reflector on the front and rear wheel
  • An orange reflector on the front and back of each pedal

The following equipment is strongly recommended:

  • Helmet for over 12-year-olds
  • High-visibility cycling vest (mandatory outside urban areas)
  • Correctly inflated tyres
  • Kickstand

Remember to equip yourself with an anti-theft device to be attached to the frame (rather than the wheels) and to a fixed point, as there are many bike parking places in Paris.

  • Vasimimile offers visibility accessories for cyclists. Made in France, its waistcoats for children and adults are both original and ergonomic.

The Highway Code

© Paris Tourist Office Photographe Amélie Dupont

Cyclists in Paris must observe the highway code, the same as for vehicle users.

  • Priority to pedestrians
  • Riding on pavements is prohibited, unless there is an integrated cycle path
  • Stopping at a red light unless otherwise indicated by a triangular sign (a cyclist and an arrow indicating the direction the cyclist can take despite the red light). Pedestrians still have priority.

Use bike paths and bike lanes, respect essential traffic signs (compulsory lane, non-compulsory lane, authorized shared bus lane, ‘entrée de zone de rencontre’ [‘a set of lanes where pedestrians have absolute priority’], pedestrian area, the give-way at traffic lights for cyclists, etc.) and be aware of blind spots, do not ride up past a line of vehicles on the right and do not overtake a bus even if it has stopped at a station.

Finally, it is forbidden to make phone calls when on a bike and to cycle while wearing headphones. You risk being fined.

Bike paths and bike lanes in Paris and the Paris region

© Vlad B Unsplash

With over 1,000 kilometres of bike paths and bike lanes in Paris and almost 6,000 kilometres in the Paris region, it is easy to see why one might want to cycle in and around the capital and discover our cycle routes in Paris and the major cycling routes starting from or passing through Paris. ‘Paris à vélo, le bon plan’ is a map guide with cycling routes and practical information, available in Paris’s town halls, as well as at the Maison du Vélo (37 boulevard Bourdon, Paris 4th) and at some bike shops/bike repair shops.

  • Also check out the Paris à vélo map from Paris je t'aime:


Map of bike paths/lanes in Paris

Paris Respire

The Paris Respire initiative makes cycling in Paris particularly attractive. On these occasions, some districts of the capital are only accessible to non-motorized forms of transport.

  • Find out which areas the initiative Paris Respire applies to:

Self-service bikes in Paris and the Paris region

Vélib’ Métropole

© Smowengo

Vélib’ Métropole consists of 18,200 self-service bikes (including 40% electric), and 1,452 stations spread across Paris and the Paris region. Available in the form of a pass or as a subscription.

  • More info on Vélib’ Métropole

  • See the map of Vélib' stations and bikes available in real time:

Véligo Location (‘Veligo Rentals’) and other options

© Christophe Prevotat

Véligo Location offers the opportunity to rent an electric bike for 6 months (4 models available) before buying your own bike. The subscription includes additional services. The Véligo itineraries offer 24 thematic routes to choose from depending on your geographical location in Île-de-France.

Other companies provide self-service bike rentals for Parisians and visitors in Paris. These include Dott, Lime, Zoov (available in the Hauts-de-Seine and Essone), and Pony, whose stations are situated at the exits to metro lines 1 and 13), Cristolib in Créteil and Vélo2 in Cergy-Pontoise.

Bike rental and guided tours in Paris

© Parisjetaime

Would you rather rent a bike of your own for as long as you want? There are many possibilities for renting a bike (classic, electric ...) to visit Paris at your own pace and in the open air. Or maybe, you would prefer to take a guided bike tour with an enthusiastic guide? Many guides offer guided bike tours. Also worth noting is the Paris Passlib’, the official Paris city pass, which also includes many options for visiting Paris by bike.

Good bike addresses in Paris

Bike cafes in Paris

© Jour de Vélo à Paris

A whole wave of bike cafes – also called cyclist cafes – has opened in the capital. The concept, inspired by English and German examples, is to bring together in the same place a cafe, a shop (bicycles, clothing, and accessories), a repair workshop, an advice area, plus the possibility of renting a bike. They are ideal places for urban cyclists. Below is a selection of bike cafes in Paris:

Other bike addresses in Paris

© C Thinkstock

  • The Maison du Vélo is a reference place in Paris for cycling enthusiasts: general information, events, Bycicode ® (bike) marking … It is situated at 37 boulevard Bourdon, Paris 4th.

  • The association AICV (animation, insertion, culture, bikes) has a wealth of information on bikes in the Paris region: repairs, bike riding courses, sale, and rental of bicycles, cycling for people with disabilities, etc.

  • Paris has some great shops where you can buy a brand new or second-hand bike, find essential accessories, have your bike repaired or simply get advice from professionals. Go to Bicloune on the Viaduc des Arts or Mobicity at the BHV Marais.

  • As part of a sustainable and environmental approach, some hotels offer their guests free bike hire. These include the Hôtel du Nord - le pari vélo, and the Solar Hôtel.

Useful apps and websites for visiting Paris by bike

©Linkedin Sales Solutions Unsplash

Looking for ideas for bike rides in and around Paris? Discover RunnrZ, the free application that creates customised routes in 3 seconds from your current position.

The Geovelo app is an essential companion for cyclists in Paris. Available in web and mobile versions (Android and iOS), the app advises you on the most suitable and safest routes to take and also suggests themed bike outings. Available in English.

The website France Vélo Tourisme and the page about bikes and cycling on the website of Paris City Hall also have lots of useful tips and practical information for visiting Paris by bike. The ‘Vélo in Paris’ trade show is also an opportunity to find out more about the latest trends and take part in many events, aimed at both seasoned cyclists and beginners.

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