And it's easy enough to stop staring longingly at the chrome-trimmed fleets of bikers zooming around Paris with élan, and join their ranks. Anyone with a driving licence can rent a 50cc scooter in Paris (and if you're over 25, you don't even need one of those) – for 125cc and over you will need a current motorcycle and be over 20 years old. A reputable company like 2 Wheel's Vespa Tours will deliver and collect your scooter to your hotel and provide all the necessary gear (including helmets, gloves and optional sat nav), guidance, itineraries and insurance. 24 hours' rental starts at €69, so it's well worth making a bit of extra space in your holiday budget for.
2 Wheel's also provide guided tours of Paris and surrounds – out to Versailles on a day trip through beautiful landscapes to the Sun King's dazzling palace, or inner city itineraries that take in everything from the Champs-Elysées to the Sacré-Coeur. Fun, friendly and far more memorable that sweating it out on foot or by public transport, hopping aboard a classic Vespa is the smart way to see Paris.