The best way to discover Paris on a bike is to let the streets, sounds and smells guide you. We’ve put together our favorite places to get you started.
1. Rue Saint Honoré and the Louvre at night, 1st arrondissement
Rue Saint Honoré starts super fancy down by Place de la Concorde, which is great for cruising by loads of top-class shops and watching a fun mix of fashionistas, bourgeoisie and filthy rich foreigners. The best treat towards the end is eating some bread at the bakery that won the competition for the best baguette in Paris, La Parisienne. As the winner, they have the honor of baking for the presidential Elysée palace every day for a year.
In the evening, head to the Louvre for some night riding. There are very few people around so you can ride around the grounds and the pyramid, and it’s illuminated. Get there when the sun sets behind the pyramid at around 9:20 p.m. in the summer — pure magic!
2. Boulevard des Invalides and Avenue de Breteuil, 7th arrondissement
Just getting to the Boulevard des Invalides makes for a great ride. You’ll pass by the Grand and Petit Palais and across the gilded Alexandre III bridge. As you turn left at Invalides and pass the Rodin Museum, stand up on your pedals and look through the hedges to catch a glimpse of Rodin’s Thinker.
Not far away is the Avenue de Breteuil. When you cycle down it, you can turn back and all of a sudden see the Invalides in all its glory with Napoleon’s tomb. And it’s a great place for a picnic that’s less touristy than the nearby Champ de Mars.
3. Rue Vieille du Temple, 4th arrondissement (The Marais)
The neighborhood, known as the Marais, is part of the old city districts just north of the Seine and is a delight for cycling. It’s a maze of narrow streets lined with some of the oldest architecture in Paris.
Rue Vieille du Temple is a great road. You should start on the top of the street by the Cirque d’Hiver, then work your way down past all the trendy designer shops, over-priced gelato, and cool cafés. In fact, when you get to the bottom, you can stop off at Le Peloton Café for amazing waffles and the neighborhood’s best coffee.
4. Quai Saint Bernard, 5th arrondissement
Cross the Pont d’Austerlitz, then ride directly down onto the Left Bank. The place to go is called the Open Air Museum of Modern Sculptures. It’s just off the Quai Saint Bernard (pictured below). If you’re lucky, you can see people dancing in the enclaves in the summer, doing everything from tango and salsa to rock and roll. It’s another great place to have a picnic.
5. Canal St. Martin, 10th arrondissement
For a more gritty yet peaceful side of Paris, bike up the Canal St. Martin just north of Republique. Along the banks, you’ll pass people relaxing and reading, artists painting, and more people having picnics. You’ll see the locks that help boats through the channel, which is a cool sight if you have the patience to watch the whole process.
When you hit the 18th, you’ll see a large building right on the canal. Stop there! It is the Paname Brewery. They make some of the best craft beer in France. Sit back and take a load off with a French IPA or delicious Saison.
For more information about biking in Paris, feel free to contact us with any questions. We give bike tours, rent bikes and fuel riders with some of Paris’ best coffee.
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