Cycling at night in Paris

One of the things I really love is cycling home at night after the opera.

This is even more magical in Paris because you not only have the opera going through your head, you also have Paris all around you.

Bicycles and a taxi on Boulevard Sebastopol

You do have to look out for the taxis, though, because they come out at night like moths. And they are allowed to use the bus lanes just as we are.

Rear light on my bike in Paris

You have to have front and rear lights on your bike, that’s important. If you use the Vélib’ bikes, this is seldom a problem, because they have front and rear lights that go on automatically, day or night, as soon as you start to ride.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, public transport schedules get thinned out in the late evening anyway, so by taking a bike you can avoid having long waits for the next train or bus to come.

Reportedly about 25 % of all Vélib’ rides are taken between 8pm and 3am.

Checking out Vélib’ bikes at night, Place de la Madeleine

A nighttime Vélib’ ride at Trinité

My photos in this post are from 2006, 2008 and 2011. I revised the text in 2020.

See more cycling posts.

1 thought on “Cycling at night in Paris”

  1. Kind of scary to see a few bikes without lights. We’re very careful about lights here because people drive so fast and really don’t watch very carefully for bicycles. Most of us wear reflective vests and flashing lights on a headband too. That probably wouldn’t be fashionable in Paris. 😉

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