Budget Paris; Velib Bikes

August 1st, 2017 / Paris Velib Bike / No Comments »

Budget Paris; Velib Bikes

Get around Paris on the cheap with a Velib Bike.  The Velib Bike works in a very similar way to London’s Boris Bikes & offers you a budget method of transport around Paris.

Velib Bikes; The Pro’s

  • It’s cost effective; the first 30 minutes are FREE!
  • Think green; saving money & the planet.
  • It’s efficient; quicker than alternative modes of transport.
  • Do as the locals do & see Paris in its element.
  • It’s fun; try keeping to under 30 minutes journeys!


Velib Paris Bikes


Velib Bikes…Some Top Tips

1. Download the free Velib app.  This is a great tool to locate the closest available docking station in real time & location.  A fantastic resource & very easy to use.

2. If the seat on the Velib Bike is facing towards the back wheel this indicates that there is a problem with the bike.

3. Before making a selection, do a few checks on the bike & save yourself some time.  Check for flat tyres, adjustable saddle & that the wheels move.  Basic stuff I know but the number of bikes we had to return immediately…too many!

4. It can be pretty time consuming returning a bike especially at the most popular parts of the city….try finding a free docking station in the Latin Quarter on a Friday night!

Remember you can secure an extra 15 minutes for free if the docking station is full, (see below).

5. Whilst the game is to return your bike within 30 minutes to keep the costs down, it does become time consuming.  Balance your own time against the cost you will incur for a longer trip.

6. Tickets do get stuck in the docking terminal and a good blow can sometimes dislodge the ticket!

Paris Velib Bikes; The Costs

There are two potential costs with a Velib Bike;

1. Ticket Cost; this is in effect at hiring cost of the Velib Bikes regardless of the mileage you intend to do.  Short term tickets are available for 1 or 7 days, (annual tickets are also available for long term hiring options).  The 7 consecutive day ticket is more cost effective if you are planning to use the Velib Bikes on a number of days within a given 7 day period.

2. Usuage Charge; this relates to the time spent on a Velib Bike at any one time.  The great advantage of the Velib Bike is that the first 30 minutes of EACH ride is FREE!  The clock starts ticking from the time you release your bike and runs until the bike is returned to a Velib terminal…but remember the first 30 minutes of every ride is free.  As with Boris Bikes, the charges accelerate the longer you have hold of the bike.

The trick is to break your journey times down into 30 minutes or less to keep the costs down. For longer journeys, simply return your bikes to the nearest docking station as you approach 30 minutes duration & then take it out again for a further free 30 minutes!

3. Deposit; you will need to use a debit or credit card to secure your Velib Bike.

How To Hire a Velib Bike?

You can either hire a bike online or at the Velib terminals at the time you wish to hire a bike.  The mechanics of the system are very easy to follow with clear instruction in English at every terminal.

Initially there is a two stage process to securing a Velib bike;

  • Firstly you must purchase a ticket for 1 or 7 days using your debit/credit card to secure your hire charge.
  • This will provide you with a Velib card ticket, subscriber number & selected pin number.
  • Use your Velib ticket, subscriber number & pin number to select a bike.
  • Release your bike.
  • Enjoy Paris on a Velib!

Returning your Velib Bike

You can return your Velib Bike to any one of 1800 Velib Stations.  There is a knack to clicking the bike into place & we found it easiest to watch others do it first!

The most important thing to understand is when the bike is locked correctly; you will receive a green light followed by two beeps. You can print a receipt at the docking station to verify return of the bike, (also useful to see how long you’ve had the bike out).

If there are no spaces left at your chosen Velib station, you can gain an additional 15 minutes free time if you use your Velib ticket at the terminal to log that the docking station is full.  You can also use the terminal to check all available docking stations within your vicinity.

More details available at Paris Velib Bikes.

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