Paris Velib – A League of 20,000 Bikes

In 2007 the Paris Town Hall instituted Vélib, the biggest bike-sharing system in the world: 1,800 bike stations across the city (every 300 meters) for a total of 20,000 bikes. The bikes may be rented for 1,70 € per day ($1.87 US dollars). If you live here, you can pay 29 € ($31.87 US dollars) for an entire year!

At a station, you might find this:

Velib full bike station

Or this. (Most often, something in between. 🙂 )

Empty Velib station

We see people all over the city on these bikes. We had to try them!

After a hearty breakfast of Baked Eggs we set off.  Not ready to brave the narrow, bustling city streets, we took the metro out to a large park full of bike trails near the Château de Vincennes. We quickly found a bike station with just a few bikes remaining, not surprising considering the cloudless sky. And we were on our way.

Velib 4

These bikes are nothing like the characters we rode out to Monet’s garden. They are very sturdy (read: heavy), have big, cushy seats, have a covered chain so you don’t get grease all over your pants, and shift smoothly – all in all, very comfortable to ride. If you’re visiting Paris, don’t miss giving them a try!

Velib 2
Velib 1
Velib 3
Chateau Vincennes






8 responses to “Paris Velib – A League of 20,000 Bikes”

  1. Dorothy Dunton Avatar
    Dorothy Dunton

    Mi Marissa! Again, beautiful photos! What a great way to see the sights at your own pace and get some exercise! I haven’t been on a bike in years so I’m sure my legs would remind me of that the next day! 🙂

    1. Marissa Avatar

      Thank you, Dorothy! haha, I know what you mean, when you haven’t been on a bike for awhile – your body definitely tells you about it the next day. 🙂

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Avatar
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    My husband is a keen cyclist and he would absolutely love this! I think he’s hoping that they’ll adopt it here in Sydney (probably little chance of that happening).

    1. Marissa Avatar

      Since I posted this, I’ve learned that they have the same kind of program in New York and San Francisco – so perhaps Sydney is next. 🙂

  3. Toni L Godman Avatar
    Toni L Godman

    Happy Monday from California…….great wisdom for the folks who put this bike rental system together…..You Two are surely have so much fun in such a gorgeous city!! I trust your Monday evening is creating additional, inspiring memories!

  4. Mon Petit Four (@byMonPetitFour) Avatar
    Mon Petit Four (@byMonPetitFour)

    Ohh the Velib <3 Makes me so happy! What a scenic route you took too 😀 I love that you can return the bikes at another station. Gorgeous photos, Marissa!

  5. KevinIsCooking Avatar

    On our last visit we didn’t have a chip in our credit card to use, but now we do!

    1. Marissa Avatar

      It’s really fun to pedal around on these bikes! Add it to your list of ‘to dos.’ 🙂

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