Get off the usual tourist paths on a half-day bike tour of Paris, and discover some of the picturesque and gritty neighborhoods south of the Seine.
The afternoon tour escapes the traffic-jammed streets of the city center, crossing the River Seine by the Pont Sully. Once you’ve been equipped with your bikes, helmet (if requested) and luggage pannier, pause for an introduction to the sites you will see.
Enter the famous Latin Quarter, riding alongside the Jardin des Plantes. Then, stop at the Grand Mosque, one of the largest in France. Continue to the Cité Fleurie, a former shelter for painters and sculptors that has been turned into social housing. A few hundred meters more and you will reach the suspended circular Metro line, built on the site of one of the city walls.
Pedal underneath it to symbolically “leave” Paris, and step into the former village of Gentilly. From here, the sites you will see will only be familiar to locals. Go to the Villa and Parc Montsouris, a green oasis on the southern edge of the city.
See the Cité des Fleurs, and Butte aux Cailles, with its toy town houses and cobbled streets. Marvel at the high-rise Tour Croulebarbe, considered the first residential skyscraper in Paris, and now on the register of historic monuments. En route back to the start point, enjoy one last optional stop at the foot of Jean Nouvel's Institut du Monde Arabe.