Paris Bike Rental – Vélib’ Rental Scheme – Vélos in Paris
Paris Bike rental scheme is called Vélib’ (velos libre or free bikes)and you’ll find these bikes stations everywhere now. Where would you rather be…. enjoying the beauty of Paris above ground, or down in the depths of the metro. The first 30 minutes of your bike rental is free. These bikes are available round the clock and there are more than 23,600 bikes!
The Vélib’ rental scheme was originally for adults but as of summer of 2014 the scheme now extends to children. You’ll find the children’s bike at the stations listed here. Taking a bike tour around Paris can be cheap as these rental stations are conveniently placed every 300 meters (less than 0.2 mile!).
The first 30 minutes of rental is FREE. If you return the bike to a Vélib’ station (not necessarily the one from which you rented the bike) within the first 30 minutes you pay nothing. After that first free 30 minutes you pay 1 Euro for the second 1/2 hour, 2 Euros for the third 1/2 hour and 4 Euros for each additional 1/2 hour. These prices have not changed since I first wrote this post in 2014.
Rental stands function in the language of your choice. There is no need for a bike map as the stations have a convenient map to show you your immediate area and the location of other stations. (Photo courtesy of Martin Tod)
Since the stations are only 300 meters apart, you can cover a lot of territory for free. All you have to do is get off within 30 minutes, maybe do a little shopping and then back to the bike!
Vélib’ bikes are available 24/7 to anyone 14 years of age and older. You can choose a 1 day ticket or a 1 week ticket. This means you do not have to register each time during the day that you want to use a bike. You can also register online here before you go. And remember, the first 30 minutes is free every time you access a bike. You also have the option for a Vélib’ pass if you are staying for longer than a month.
The Vélib’ machine takes VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, MasterCard Maestro and Visa Electron. YES, that means the Paris bike rental scheme takes an American credit card which has no chip/pin!
How to get around? Rent a bike and enjoy the 371km of cycle lanes. I put the Vélib’ app on my phone so that I always know just where the Paris bike rental stations are. This app is available for android , windows , and ios phones.