Here are three «green» ways to travel in our lovely capital city. Move about without polluting!
Whether you’re Paris born-and-bred or just visiting the capital, you hopefully care about the environment… The big question is: how can you move in Paris, and MOSTLY, how can you move in Paris without polluting ?
Without further ado, we offer you and explain three ecological ways to move about in Paris. Alternative ways exist and are discussed in our other articles (scooter, Segway, roller-skates, skateboard, etc…).
I- Paris BY FEET
The first way to visit Paris without polluting it is , of course, to travel by foot!
But before venturing into Paris, you need to know that Paris is very big! Watch out and plan well your journey ahead before committing to a long journey. 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 walking, 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 24h/24 every day, everywhere in Paris. The idea is simple:
- Find a Vélib’ station. They look like this :
- Identify yourself on the machine and choose a bike between those displayed. You can buy your ticket at the machine: for 1 day (1,70 euros) or 7 days (8 euros). It is, on the other hand, recommended that you buy your ticket in advance online at www.velib.paris.fr to avoid exceeding your bank account balance, since the machines take 150 euros 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 while re-connect it to an empty slot.
- To confirm that your bike 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 are still keen to ride a bike anyway, here’s a selection of addresses for renting bikes in Paris:
- Roue Libre: You can rent a bike starting from 4 € / day . (€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 eased to rent a bike…with electric assistance. 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 ?
You might have guessed that, in the same spirit as Vélib’, the Paris City Hall created Autolibs. The principle is the same but with an electric car that you can drive all around Paris…it’s less tiring than pedaling Ladies and Gentleman! But just as ecological…A little electric car available to rent 24/7 in 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 district (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, at 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 the 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 rent 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 before and, more importantly, to book a parking place up to 1 hour 30 minutes in advance.
Did you enjoy this article ? Let us know and share your experiences of moving about in Paris without polluting !