Skip to main content

Paris Metro Line 1 Must-Sees

The Metro Line Taking You to All the Tourists Hotspots
Man waiting on metro platform in Paris
Last updated January 25, 2023
Getting familiar with the Paris metro lines will not only make you look and feel like a local, but it’ll also help you see the sights more efficiently. Especially when it comes to Line 1, which takes you to most of Paris’s main monuments.

This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.

Paris is traversed by 16 different metro lines, connecting all the city’s hotspots and then some. Knowing which ligne takes you where the fastest is one of the skills to learn before you can call yourself a true Parisian — read our full guide to the Paris subway system. Here’s all you need to know about the first line, or as we call it, la une.

As the name already indicates, this was the first metro line to open in Paris. July 19, 1900, the stretch between Porte Maillot and Porte de Vincennes opened, with initially only eight stops, all highlights of the 1900 World Fair, but gradually more opened and the line expanded to the suburbs.

The yellow line on the subway map now connects the modern business centre of La Défense with its Grande Arche standing in line with the Arc de Triomphe and the smallest, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, in front of the Louvre, and the medieval Château de Vincennes.

Paris metro line 1 map

Line 1 gets you to many of the main Paris attractions and runs pretty much along the Champs Élysées, Rue de Rivoli, under Bastille and past Nation, in a straight line along the West-East axis.

One of the most popular stops is Charles de Gaulle – Étoile, a transportation hub which is also home to the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the famous Avenue des Champs Élysées. Hop off at Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau for the Petit and the Grand Palais with their ever-changing exhibitions or to pop into the lesser-known Palais de la Découverte if you’re with little ones who love science. From there, you can enjoy a walk across the splendid Pont Alexandre III, crossing the Seine to Les Invalides.

Petit Palais in Paris
Le Petit Palais

Back on the metro, the next major stop is at Concorde, the large square boasting some incredible luxury hotels as well as the main entrance to the Tuileries Gardens. Then, onto Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre for two stunning sights at one stop: you can enter straight into the Louvre from the subway station, or exit above ground to visit the oh-so photogenic Palais Royal where you can also enjoy a quick coffee from Kitsuné or sip an espresso and stay awhile on the terrace of the stylish Le Nemours café.

Black and white checkered columns at Palais Royal
Palais Royal

Continuing onward on Metro Line 1, you arrive at the busy, super-central area around Paris’s city hall, at Hôtel de Ville, with the Centre Pompidou and BHV department store nearby; then onto Saint Paul, the stop for Le Marais neighborhood.

At Bastille the metro crosses the canal briefly in daylight, and the station is a good place to learn more about the old Bastille with some remains of the fortress on display, to visit Paris’s modern opera house, or to stop at one of the neighborhood’s many bars and restaurants.

Boats on Paris's Port de L'arsenal with the Place de la Bastille in the background
Bassin de l’Arsenal, a small leisure port next to the Place de la Bastille

Little known Nation comes next with its rather amazing Colonnes de la Barrière du Trône towering on either side of the wide Cours de Vincennes, marking the site of a former city wall.

Then, finally, you reach the end of the line and emerge from the metro station to discover the Château de Vincennes and the surrounding woods, called the Bois de Vincennes. Between the medieval fortress and the huge expanse of forest and parkland, it feels about a million miles away from the bustling city.

Urbansider Tip: Line 1 is driverless, and if you are traveling with kids, make sure you get into the first train, as there are displays giving you facts and figures about the subway, but also you can pretend to drive the train and get great views of the stations ahead.

A little nervous about riding the Paris metro for the first time? Read our Dos and Don’ts of the Paris Metro to become a pro.

Want more Paris tips and tricks from local insiders? Join our free Urbansider Club to receive recommendations in your inbox and save your favorite places to your account!

Urbansider Paris Club logo white.
Want More Paris Insider Insights?
Create a Free Account to Receive More Tips & Picks

Join our free Urbansider Club to access personalized recommendationsdownloadable 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.

Leave a Reply