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.
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.
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 Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
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.
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.
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 island of Cité (just a block from the Notre Dame Cathedral), the covered Saint-Germain market, and the market street by Denfert-Rochereau.
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 – get an itinerary for a Street Art Stroll in the 13th Arrondissement here – and further north stop off at Ourcq for urban art along the canal and the Rue de l’Ourcq.
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.
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 the Quartier Latin 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.
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.
Doing a semi-circle around town, Line 8 takes you from Balard in southwest where you can walk along a stretch of the old Petite Ceinture, 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.
This one could be quite nondescript if it weren’t full of hidden gems visitors often miss, such as the Manufacture-Museum of the delicate Sèvres porcelain, 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, including the Galeries Lafayette.
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.
This line runs
Perfect for church enthusiasts, this Paris metro line covers a couple of Notre Dames (including Notre-Dame-des-Champs and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette and), the Église de la Madeleine, and the Trinité d’Estienne d’Orves, as well as Sacré Coeur.
Although this line is relatively unknown by tourists, it stops at some great spots. La treize takes you from the flea market Puces de Vanves at Porte de Vanves down south to the Musée Rodin at Vaneau, then across the Champs Elysées to the lovely Marché couvert Batignolles at La Fourche and then all the way out to the superb Basilique de Saint-Denis at the station of the same name.
A quick warning: this line can get VERY crowded during rush hours (9-10am and 6-7pm), so try to go in the middle of the day.
The newest and the fastest of the lot, this metro line zooms you straight from Gare Saint Lazare, past Châtelet and Gare de Lyon, onto the charming shopping area of Bercy Village at Cour Saint-Emilion, and finally to the modern 13th Arrondissement with its great architecture, gigantic street art murals and the lovely La Felicita restaurant.
This weekend is a particularly good time to be in Paris. Saturday and Sunday, September 21 - 22, 2019, mark the 36th edition of the Journées du patrimoine, also called the European Heritage Days.
If you’ll be in Paris this Friday, September 13th, large strikes will be affecting most public transportation. Transport unions have called for a grève in protest against pension reforms and the RATP (the Parisian transport operator) foresees 'heavily disrupted' traffic conditions.