The Complete Guide to the Paris Metro Lines
Paris has 16 different metro lines crisscrossing the city, and while they obviously overlap and join at numerous points, each has its own distinct route and points of interests. Choosing the right metro line can make your sightseeing a lot more efficient and help you explore new parts of the city. Read on to see which Paris metro line goes where.
Is this your first time taking the metro in Paris? Read our Dos and Don’ts of the Paris Metro.
Paris Metro Line 1 – Tourist Hotspots
La une is the oldest metro line in Paris. Created back in 1900, it literally bisects Paris, running east-west from the Château de Vincennes to La Défense, connecting a medieval castle to the city’s modern business hub. In between, it skirts most of the must-see tourist spots of Paris. This is the line to take for the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, and the Palais Royal as well as the neighborhoods of Le Marais and Bastille.
Staying along this metro line or wanting to hit all the tourist hotspots? Read our Complete Guide to Paris Metro Line 1 for more details on where to hop off.
Paris Metro Line 2 – Charming to Cheeky
Also inaugurated in 1900, La Deux runs from the pretty Porte Dauphine to Place de la Nation and takes you to the various stop-offs for Parc Monceau and Montmartre. From Anvers, where you can catch the funicular up to Sacré Coeur to Pigalle for some oh-là-là nightlife. It takes a picturesque above-ground route for a few stops and is also the line for Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Want to learn more about Line 2? Discover all of our favorite stations and sightseeing stops here.
Paris Metro Line 3 – Hip & Alternative Areas
Dating back to 1904, this line takes you to gems such as the clothing and fabric manufacturing neighborhood Sentier with its vibrant Rue Montorgueil market street, and the splendid station of Arts et Métiers with its equally cool museum, and onto Gambetta, a great area for cafés and restaurants.
Looking for less touristy spots which still promise to wow? Our Guide to Metro Line 3 tells you where to stop!
Paris Metro Line 3bis – Locals-Only Line
A four-stop sidearm connecting Gambetta with Porte des Lilas, this line is the least-used in Paris, meaning you won’t have to worry about crowds! It also has two pretty station buildings, Pelleport and Saint-Fargeau.
Paris Metro Line 4 – Market-Goers’ Must
Opened in 1908, this line connects several different markets across the city. It stops at the former central market of Paris, Les Halles, now a modern shopping mall, the flower market on the Ile de la Cité (just a block from the Notre Dame Cathedral), the covered Saint-Germain market, and the market street by Denfert-Rochereau.
Take a deeper dive into this metro line for all of the must-see stops with our Guide to Metro Line 4.
Paris Metro Line 5 – Street Art Stops
Dating back to 1906, today this line takes you to some of the best street art areas in Paris. Place d’Italie is the stop for the lovely Butte-aux-Cailles, a neighborhood filled with charm and street art, and further north stop off at Ourcq for urban art along the canal and the Rue de l’Ourcq.
See our guide to all of the Can’t-Miss Stops on Paris’s Metro Line 5.
If you’re a fan of street art, why not take a guided street art tour of the area?
Paris Metro Line 6 – Metro with a View
This Parisian metro line has a checkered history, having changed names, numbers, and at one point even being integrated into another line. But now, it’s the metro line with the best views of Paris, as it runs mostly above ground. After stopping at the Trocadéro, between Passy and Bir Hakeim, it crosses the Seine and offers amazing views of the Eiffel Tower. You’ll also get an up-close look at street art murals between Place d’Italie and Chevaleret.
See our Guide to Paris Metro Line 6 to find out which side of the train to sit on for the best views!
Paris Metro Line 7 – Family Favorites
Running vertically through the city, this line’s stops are great for kids, with the Cité des Sciences at La Villette in the north and the Jardin des Plantes with its zoo and the National Natural History Museum in Paris’s Latin Quarter further south. In between, at Pont Neuf you have the Musée en Herbe, a perfect introduction to art museums for little ones, and at Poissonnière, you have probably the best selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Paris.
Paris Metro Line 7bis – Loop Around the 19th Arrondissement
Another short one, this miniature metro line one goes around in a circle in the northeastern neighborhoods of Paris. Taking you around the 19th Arrondissement, it’s perfect for going to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont or exploring the cute lanes of La Mouzaïa area.
Paris Metro Line 8 – Open Spaces & Covered Passages
Doing a semi-circle around town, Paris’s Metro Line 8 takes you from Balard in southwest where you can walk along a stretch of the old Petite Ceinture railway, up through the Grand Boulevards for their covered passages, and then all the way back down on the southeast to Porte Dorée with its zoo and fabulous Art Deco palace.
Paris Metro Line 9 – Full of Surprises
This particular Paris metro line could be quite nondescript if it weren’t full of hidden gems visitors often miss, such as the Sèvres porcelain factory and museum, the stunning Art Deco hotel and swimming pool at Molitor, and the lovely Passy area. Then, of course there’s Chaussée d’Antin with its famous grand department stores.
Paris Metro Line 10 – Left Bank Line
La dix spends most of its length on Rive Gauche with places of note being the pretty station of Vaneau, Odéon with all its lovely cafés for people-watching, and the interesting station of Cluny-La Sorbonne with its signatures and access to the Museum of the Middle Ages, the Musée de Cluny. This is also the line to take if you’re in town for the French Open or Roland Garros tennis tournament; stop at Michel Ange Molitor.
Paris Metro Line 11 – Eastern Paris Explorer
This line runs from the center of Paris to the eastern outskirts of the city. It stops at the beautiful Hôtel de Ville and then Rambuteau for the Centre Pompidou before passing through one of the city’s busiest hubs, République. The 11 then continues on eastward, stopping at Pyrénées for the Parc de Belleville and heading on out into the suburbs.
Want to adapt to life in the City of Light as quickly as possible? Reserve one of these bespoke Paris welcome services to meet a local who will introduce you to your neighborhood and prepare you to go off and explore the rest of the city.
More Paris Travel Tips
European Heritage Days in Paris
The Best Vintage Shopping in Paris
Join our free Urbansider Club to access personalized recommendations, downloadable guides, and a monthly newsletter with the latest from Paris as well as our new top addresses and experiences. You’ll also be invited to our exclusive Urbansider events in Paris.