A bike tour of Paris provides a new view of the city

Written by on October 17, 2017 in Paris

guided bike tour of paris

Finding myself with a few hours to spare in Paris in the middle of August on a sunny day I decided to join a bike tour.

I had considered the implications of confronting mad Parisian motorists from the saddle of a bicycle. My faith was never tested though, their manners were perfect and I was completely safe. French drivers have a particular consideration for people on bicycles. Cycling really is part of the French national culture.

I was given a bike, a basket for all my stuff and a cycling helmet if I wanted it. There were about 10 of us joining the excursion and for me it was a totally new way of viewing the city. I and my fellow riders rode our bikes cautiously around a quiet square. They were very sturdy but quite light weight. The gears were very low and enabled us all to nip up and down with no difficulty. Like me, a few of us were no spring chickens but we were raring to give it a go.

Before we set off we met the tour guide who was articulate in a few languages including English. She was evidently very passionate about her home town of Paris and plainly enjoyed her summer job. We were quite a cosmopolitan bunch of people from all over the world but she made us feel as though she was a friend.

Discovering Paris on two wheels

bike tour of paris

The cycle tour embraced a number of the real jewels of Paris City life. There were frequent stops from where, Helene our guide, told us about the places we looked at. None of us got fatigued and the sunshine was wonderful. We all felt fitter and more confident as the time went by and in all we covered about 12 kilometres at a leisurely pace.

As we nipped around the stopping off points, we just had to follow Helene with her red flag flowing at the back of her bicycle. She knew all of the road junctions and the safe routes to take and understood the traffic system. When Helene put her arm out to signal a turn, we all did just the same. We were like children again, having fun on our bikes.

Paris from a bike saddle

There were 16 break points along the tour route where we could catch our breath if we wanted and listen to Helene’s informed information about the local landmarks. Among other places, we visited the Fontaine Stravinsky, the Marais District and the Jewish Quarter. We stopped off at the Place des Vosges and the Picasso Museum. We dropped by the Royal Palaces and the enigmatic Pyramids at the Louvre Museum. Towards the end came the Pont Neuf and the Ile de la Cité with Notre-Dame Cathedral.

It was a really special Parisian afternoon on a midsummer day. I with my fellow trippers, developed friendships at a rapid pace as we enjoyed our joint experience of Paris City life. We learnt a little of each other as well and swapped email addresses as we parted at the end. We had become a part, almost, of a sort of club.

I recommend you book in advance if you want to join a bike tour of Paris – they’re very popular, and I shall definitely be doing it again.

Bob Lyons is an ex pilot turned travel writer with a passion for France and all things French…

More on Paris

Top Ten things to do in Paris
Promenade Plantee Paris, the world’s first aerial park is magical
Sainte-Chapelle, the ancient Paris church that’s like a jewel box inside
The Paris flower market

Related Articles

Top tips for visits to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe. Clearly everyone loves a little magic in their lives! Being this popular could mean that getting in to enjoy all that Disneyland Paris offers, isn’t as much fun as you’d like. But that’s not the case if you sort your tickets out in advance. Klook.com […]

Continue Reading

Join a fabulous week-long Paris tour

Whether you’re travelling solo or with friends or family, a week-long escorted tour of Paris with A French Collection is the sort of trip where you’ll make memories and get to experience authentic Paris like a local. You’ll see the most legendary sights. Visit iconic museums and monuments. And, you’ll also go beyond the typical […]

Continue Reading

Best things to do in Paris in Winter

Best things to do in Paris in Winter

Written by on November 11, 2019 in Paris

Winter is a great time to visit Paris, the crowds are thin (except at Christmas), the cobbled streets on the hill of Montmartre glisten with frost and the city of light is as vibrant and bustling as ever. Any time of the year, this is a city you should wander. But in winter in Paris, […]

Continue Reading

Great hotels in Paris

Great hotels in Paris

Written by on October 1, 2019 in Paris

With more than 2000 hotels to choose from in Paris, it’s not easy so we’ve done the hard work for you. Tried and tested, enjoy our pick of the best hotels in the city of light… Fabulous and chic in the Marais The 5 Star MGallery Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet (above) is close to the […]

Continue Reading

Opera Garnier | Paris Opera House, mini-Versailles

Opera Garnier, Opera National de Paris or Palais Garnier, or more known commonly as the Paris Opera, whatever you call it, it’s generally considered to be one of the most important buildings in Paris. Opera Garnier | the Versailles of Opera Houses It’s actually not as old as you might think. In 1860, the city […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.