From Nancy to Zurich: Buying bikes instead of renting

On Thursday, June, 30th, we had time to go again to Place Stanislas. It was even prettier than the day before as this time we had a  bright sun!





We tried to repeat the same sandwich store  from the previous day (called “Made in France” )  but they only open at 11am.  So,  we went to a nearby boulangerie and bought  two beautiful “baguettes avec  jambom”!  Good!!! 🙂

Buying a bike x Renting a bike: Before leaving home I did some research about renting bikes in Europe. Not all cities have rental stores. When there is a rental store , there are time constraints, as we must wait the opening hour to get a bike and must return before a certain hour (usually at 5pm) to return the bikes.  Renting a bike doesn’t give flexibility and it’s pricey too!   We would pay at least 25€ / day.

Our trip would last almost two months, so I did the math and concluded  that buying a bike would cost less than renting!

One more advantage of buying x renting is that we can use the same bicycle everyday,  and get used to it.  Renting means keep changing models and sizes and this can be quite uncomfortable,  not mentioning the freedom we have  when the bikes are hanged  in our car and we can simply  park  the car in a nice place  and go got a bike ride!

On a previous trip to the U.K., we left home carrying our folding bikes with us. It was “ok” but traveling with four pieces of luggage (two for carrying  clothes and two to carrying the bikes) is not easy.  Besides,  flight companies charge for the extra checked bag and also for the oversize luggage (the folding bike can’t fit in a standard size piece of luggage). That’s why we didn’t bring the folding bikes with us and opted for buying new ones and discharging them after use.

After leaving our hotel in Nancy, we drove to Intersport  in order to get our bikes.


Our leased car, arriving at Intersport Nancy

We made reservations  over the internet before leaving home, but unfortunately,  the bikes were not there!  The guy working there told us that the store only  keeps reserved bikes for six days (???).   This was not written on their website, so it was impossible for us to know about this “rule”.  In fact, I guess they simply don’t reserve, they say they reserve only to let people  go to their store and when they get  there they  have to buy what is available.

Anyway, as we were already at Intersport  and needed the bikes to continue our journey to Switzerland, all we had to do at that time was to make a decision between the available models. The selection  was really small, specially if compared to US’ stores.

The prices were high, with  everything costing at least 300 Euros.  All the “cheap models”  (bikes under 500 Euros! )   were ugly,  with almost all components made of plastic, in a very “chinese style” fashion.

As our intention was to use the bikes during our trip and get rid of them by the end of it, we opted for the less expensive models! 🙂

We  asked for discounts & discounts &  discounts…  and  we had some lucky because the seller, a very nice guy,  was Portuguese!   I told him about my Portuguese family origin, and  after bargaining a lot  we got both bikes for 380 Euros.   Not a bad deal, he?

Bikes bought, time to drive to Zurich!  🙂


The distance between Nancy (France) and Zurich (Switzerland) is approximately  350km  and the roads are awesome!

The highways  in France and in Switzerland are gorgeous!  They are very large,  post-signals are  everywhere and there’s a  beautiful  landscape!   It is  really a pleasure to drive  on such  nice roads!  Maximum  speed  is 130km/ h   but we never  went over 110km/h  otherwise the bikes started to shake. We didn’t want  to cause an accident!

We arrived in Zurich at 5.30pm,   dropped our luggage  in the hotel room and  went biking  to Zurich‘s Banhoff  in order to buy  a sim card  for my mobile phone. We have been to Zurich  many times  before, so we can get everywhere in the city center without a map! 🙂

All our previous trips to Zurich were done in winter, and it was really great to visit the city in summer!  Zurich is much-much-much  prettier  in summer than in winter!  It looks like another place!  Everything is  colorful,  Zurichsee has amazing colors  and there are lots of people on the streets!  Definitely the best time to visit Zurich is during summer! 🙂

We bought the sim card  for my mobile phone at Swissom.   It is MUCH MORE expensive than the prepaid cards in America!   In Switzerland a pre-paid card cost 4 CHF  a DAY !  That makes  120 CHF  by month!  In the USA  the same service with t-Mobile  cost USD 70! OMG!

Biking in Zurich

As soon as we arrived we went cycling. This is Zurichsee.


Biking in Zurich


Cycling in Zurich

Cycling in Zurich

Cycling in Zurich with the beautiful Grossmúnster in the background.

At the time we returned to the hotel  we got a little bit  lost.  Not totally “lost …  it’s only because our hostel is not in the “city center”….  it is near the lake and when we returned  we passed  the street  where we should have entered.  After a while we noticed we were too far  from downtown and asked for directions (my cell phone  was  set  to FRENCH and I could not understand  what I should do!).

 Zurich  is  a very safe city, and after  we got directions from someone passing by, we arrived safe & sound  at the hotel at 10pm.  The sun was setting down and the skies  were  getting  dark.

About CeciliArchitect

World Traveler ~ Photographer ~ Social Media Specialist ~ Tourism Vancouver Certified Specialist ~ Independent Tour Manager and Events Coordinator ~ Blogger ~ Architect & Interior Designer (in my previous life)
This entry was posted in France, Nancy, Switzerland, Travel, Zurich and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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