Here are three eco-friendly ways to travel in our lovely capital city, so you can travel about Paris without polluting it!
Whether you’re a born-and-bred Parisian or have just moved here, you hopefully care about the environment… The big question is: what are the environmentally friendly ways to travel round Paris?
Without further ado, here three environmentally-friendly ways to move about in Paris!
I- Paris BY FOOT
The best way to visit Paris with zero carbon footprint is, of course, to travel by foot!
But before venturing into the city, you need to know that Paris is very big! Watch out and plan any major journey ahead of time! Paris is cut in the shape of a snail and is divided into 20 districts, called arrondissements.
Prepare your route by choosing a starting place/monument and an arrival one. Check the distance between the two monuments and make sure you have a backup plan (see our articles on the metro, buses and trains).
There are maps of Paris everywhere: from department stores to street vendors and metro exits…don’t worry about getting lost!
Find pre-planned routes! For example, we would recommend walking from Saint Lazare and to walk till Champs Elysées:
- Start on rue Auber (perpendicular to Boulevard Haussmann) and walk to Opera Garnier
- From Opera Garnier, take the Boulevard des Italiens as far as Place de la Madeleine
- At Place de la Madeleine, walk into the rue Royale street to go until Place Concorde
- At Place de la Concorde, after a walk in the Jardin des Tuileries, take the Avenue des Champs Elysées
This route will take 2 to 4 hours to walk, depending on how long you want to spend admiring each site and monument.
II- Paris BY BIKE
One of the most ecological ways to travel in Paris is obviously by bike! Paris by bike is simple: just follow our advice!
The Vélib’ : How does it work ?
Vélib’ are bikes available to hire 24/7 everywhere in Paris. The idea is simple:
- Find a Vélib’ station. They look like this :
- Identify yourself on the machine and choose a bike from the ones displayed. You can buy your ticket at the machine: for 1 day (1.70 euros) or 7 days (8 euros). But it’s a good idea to buy your ticket in advance online at www.velib.paris.fr to avoid overdrawing your bank account, since the machines take a 150 euro guarantee from your account, whereas online the deposit is only reserved by their electronic money partner. All payments must be made by credit card.
- To return a bike, drop it at a station and re-connect it to an empty slot.
- To confirm that your bike has been correctly returned, re-connect to the machine and identify yourself. It will notify you to say that your bike has been successfully returned. If you have a problem or are unsure about anything, call the Allo Vélib service on this number: 01 30 79 79 30.
To find the closest Vélib station you can check this map : http://www.parisavelo.net/
Where to rent bikes in Paris?
If you don’t want to rent a Vélib but still want ride a bike , here’s a selection of addresses for renting bikes in Paris:
- Roue Libre: You can rent a bike starting from 4€ a day, with a €150 deposit. Visit www.rouelibre.fr for more info, online booking and your nearest branches.
- Velo Electro: After some hours walking or while getting up to Montmartre, you will be relieved to rent an electronic bike with an inbuilt motor! www.velo-electro.com
- Paris vélo sympa: In addition to renting a bike, this company offers tourist routes. www.parisvelosympa.com
III- Paris BY AUTOLIB
Paris by car without the issue of finding a place to park and without causing pollution? It’s all possible thanks to Autolib.
What is Autolib ?
Taking inspiration from the Vélib’ system, the Paris City Hall created Autolib. The principle is the same but with an electric car that you can drive all over Paris…it’s less tiring than pedaling but just as environmentally friendly! These little electric cars are available to rent 24/7 from hundreds of stations across Paris.
Autolib : How does it work?
- Sign up : in a Autolib user space or at the Autolib’ reception center in the 9th arrondissement, Edouard VII street. You just need to bring your driving licence, ID and a credit/debit card. You will find all the prices, from 0 to 100 euros, on this website. Once you’ve signed up, you will get a badge.
- Scan the badge on the machine to unlock your car. A little light will go from red to green if everything is okay.
- Unplug the cable and roll it up. Close the charging machine’s cover securely.
- Get in the car and turn the key in the ignition. Make sure you check the state of the car before you begin driving. If there is a problem, report it to customer services at the rental machine.
- Find another Autolib station and park your car.
- Unroll the cable and plug it in. The fee will be calculated once the car is plugged in again.
- Lock the car. (You can re-open to remove any personal belongings you might have forgotten.)
Good to know : the Autolib mobile application (iOS and Android) allows you to book an Autolib at a chosen location 30 minutes in advance and, more importantly, to book a parking place up to 1 hour and a half in advance.