In the summer of 2007, Paris made the Parisian bike with a loaf of bread in its basket easily accessible to all. Well, maybe not the basket and the loaf of bread but the bikes anyway. Over 10,000 of them were introduced to both locals and visitors with the launch of the city's Vélib' bike-share program.
Vélib' allows bikers to borrow a bike from one of 1,800 pick-up spots around town (and in surrounding cities!) and drop it off at any other center.
Vélib stations can be found all over Paris.
The first 30 minutes are free, and you’re charged for additional usage thereafter.
Joining the program is super cheap: €1.70 a day, €8 a week or €29 a year. Though the program is a hit with the locals, tourists have found it difficult to use their credit cards to join.
Things got a bit easier in 2011, when Vélib' opened up their service to American cards—at least online. You can now register for a one or seven-day subscription on their Web site with any MasterCard, Visa or American Express card. You will then be given a code to tap into the kiosks at Vélib' bike stations.
Read more about our Cheapo assessment (and tips!) on our blog.
More Paris transportation information