One crispy cold afternoon we decided to hire bikes* and ride along the Seine until we reached the Eiffel Tower. Trying to navigate while not being a confident cyclist was tricky, but luckily the city has many bike paths for cyclists which seems to be one of the preferred methods of travel among Parisians of all ages. These quaint little snapshots of Parisian daily life only add to the city’s everlasting charm.
* Make sure you do this online after reading the terms in detail and not via the machines at the bike stands, as you might in London, as you may end up getting charged €150 per bike as we learnt that evening! They can hold your money for up to 27 days after hiring for some reason, and as you can imagine, this is not ideal… we’re still waiting for our €300 refund!
If you’re coming from Saint-Germain/Saint Michel/Notre Dame area, I wouldn’t suggest cycling down the Porte des Saints-Pères unless you fancy a very bumpy ride… or a dead end drop into the river… or want to carry your bikes up a very narrow staircase while an older couple take pity on you and offer to at least watch your bikes at the top…
Instead, try to hire a cycle from the Velib station behind the Musee d’Orsay on Rue de Lille and go down the ramp to the riverbank from where Quai Voltaire turns into Quai Anatole France just by the Pont Royal bridge.
You can begin your cycle route on some smoother, flat land down here on the riverbank. Follow the path straight and you’ll end up right by the Eiffel Tower. Perfect!
Tip: Make sure to walk up to Rue de l’Université to the Golden Photo Spot (see map) where you’ll be sure to get a great view of the Eiffel Tower in between beautiful Parisian buildings. Try to make it on time to see the lights turned on just before sunset as we did (see photo).
The Champs de Mars on this side of the river or the Jardins du Trocadéro across the Pont D’Iena bridge are great public green spaces for those snapshots of the Tower or just to gaze in awe at this amazing structure with some wine in hand and a blanket (or picnic if you want to make a day of it).
Follow our Bike Ride Along the Seine Route on the Google Map below with food, drink and other lovely little delights along the way for a great mid-afternoon / evening in Paris.
Be sure to star / save it to your Saved Maps on Google Maps so you can access it easily when you finally make it to Paris.