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I'm going to be in Paris this month for about a week for some conference. My accommodation is about ~15 min away by bicycle from where the conference in held, and for most of the days (say 4 or 5) I'll just be traveling there in the morning and going back in the evening.

Now, I don't have a bike that I'm bringing with me, but I would like to use a bike in Paris. I can...

  • Rent one
  • Borrow one
  • Use the municipal bike share which I've just noticed - Velib

Intuitively I would think the public bike share would be my go-to option. But I'd like to ask the more experienced: Is that really the best options? Would it be cheaper than the other two options? Are the velib stands ubiquitous enough to not add too much walking to my route? Is it customary to use something else?

either rent or borrow I suppose. My question is: In broad strokes, what are the options for renting or borrowing a bike for a week-long stay? Is that common at all in Paris? Should I try to do this through certain websites? Local bike shop? Some other way? Or - perhaps

Also or use some public bike system if one exists

  • With velib all you need is a credit card. Renting or borrowing always leaves you with the risk of having the bike stolen or damaged/vandalized, which isn't sadly uncommon in Paris. – Carel Apr 3 '18 at 13:50
  • @Carel: 1. Does it have to be a French credit card? 2. Don't you mean stolen rather than vandalized? Why would anyone vandalize a bike? – einpoklum Apr 3 '18 at 13:59
  • Any credit card. Vandalized: stolen seatpost, saddle, wheels, or just wheels kicked in for the fun of doing it – Carel Apr 3 '18 at 14:44
  • @Carel: Oh, I see... you have a wider definition of vandalism. Bike theft is common in Amsterdam too, but bike part theft not so much, nor is kicking wheels. – einpoklum Apr 3 '18 at 14:46
  • It might be worth asking this on travel stack. Its more about a location than bikes. – Criggie Apr 3 '18 at 22:47
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Velib makes the most sense for you. The use case you outlined is exactly what bike shares were designed for: short point to point trips where you don't necessarily expect or need to take the exact same bike back with you.

Check out the prices:

enter image description here

So, you'd take a < 30 minute one way ride in the morning for 1 Euro, ditch the bike for the day, then take a (probably different) bike home for 1 Euro. 2 Euros round trip. That's probably cheaper than taking transit, and I challenge you to find a bike rental for < 15 Euros daily. Even if you can, as noted in the comments above, you then have the additional worry of theft/ vandalism, and hassle of having to return it to a bike rental place when you're done.

If you want to do a longer bike ride or full day of bike exploration before or after your conference, you could do a one-day proper bike rental for that.

| improve this answer | |
  • There is also the V-DÉCOUVERTE option, which gives the first 30 minutes free for a pass costing 5 euros for 1 day (up to 5 bikes can be rented on this); that is if someone wants to make a lot of short journeys or is part of a group. The new V-lib is certainly more expensive for short occasional journeys than the old scheme and that in Lyon. I'd probably walk in Paris now, rather than take a bike. – DavidG Apr 6 '18 at 13:19

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