My uncle and his Belgian girlfriend suggested an environmentally and economical way of seeing Paris. The idea was to visit the tourist sites using the Vélib’ public bicycle sharing system. We cycled all over the city but had to give up Sacré-Cœur Basilica as the climb uphill was just too steep!
Vélib’ stations are equipped with an automatic rental terminal and bicycle stands with a locking system. A credit card or debit card with PIN is required to rent the bikes parked in the different stations. To unlock the bikes the PIN number from the subscription is entered.
Unlimited number of half hour free trips can be made per day. When the rental is not returned to a terminal, you are automatically charged €1 for the first exceeding half hour. If a trip lasts longer than 30 minutes, it incurs a charge of €1 to €4 for each subsequent 30-minute period. Here’s the link to the charges: http://en.velib.paris.fr/Subscriptions-and-fees/Usage-charges
So the trick was to return the bikes back before the 30 minute period mark. Then we would go site seeing and wait for the half hour lapse before pulling out a new one from another station. Since all our rides did not lasts longer than 30 minutes we were only charged €1 for the whole day.
The Vélib’ system is an exciting way to see Paris!