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Paris Metro Line 13 Must-Sees

Unusual Sights, Underrated Museums, & Iconic Parisian Shops & Cafés
Hôtel des Invalides, Paris
Last updated December 8, 2023
This north-south line leads to a some highly underrated sights, a couple cool neighborhoods, and also connects to all the Paris tourism hotspots. Here’s what to see along Paris’s oft-maligned Metro Line 13.

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First opened in February 1911, the Metro Line 13 of Paris has been continuously extended throughout the 1900s up to as recently as 2008.

Now connecting populous suburbs in the north and northwest of Paris, where the line forks to reach both Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine, with equally bustling communities such as Vanves and Montrouge in the south, it’s not surprising that this is the third-busiest line in Paris. And, while often the suburbs hold little appeal to international visitors, this line has something special at each end. 

Curious where the other subways lines lead? See our complete guide to the Paris metro lines.

Paris Metro line 13 guide

Let’s start in the north, in Saint-Denis, where the stunning Basilica of Saint-Denis can be found steps from the station Basilique de Saint-Denis. Few venture here, unaware of the fact that nearly all of the kings of France are entombed in the necropolis of this historic church.

There are also a few other world-renowned leaders and aristocrats who lie in rest here, making it one of the most significant sights in France on paper, yet it remains one of the most overlooked. 

The Royal necropolis at the Saint Denis Basilica

Asnieres-sur-Seine, in turn, has an unusual site to visit: The Pet Cemetery, which is a moving as well as an interesting place where you find dogs, cats, monkeys, a horse, and even a chicken interred, all truly loved by someone once.

The stop of La Fourche is where the two forks of the Line 13 come together and continue as one. The metro then takes you to the railway station of Saint-Lazare which offers easy access to the large department stores along Boulevard Haussmann, moving on to the station Champs-Elysées Clemenceau.

View of the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe at night.

Offering an exit for visiting the Champs Elysées, along with the Grand and Petit Palais, this popular stop also connects to the Metro Line 1 leading to all the tourist hotspots.

From here, the tracks cross the river Seine before stopping at Invalides, allowing you to visit Napoleon’s Tomb and the Military Museum, followed by Varenne, perfect for discovering the beautiful Rodin Museum.

Hôtel des Invalides, Paris

Line 13 continues on past Duroc, handy for access to the Rue de Sèvres, to Montparnasse Bienvenüe, the busy Paris train station. Getting out here allows you to visit La Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in central Paris and one with a great viewing platform on its rooftop, or to continue along to the shopping street of Rue de Rennes.

You can walk along Boulevard Montparnasse, once the haunt of literary greats such as Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds and Joyce, with famous restaurants including La Coupole and La Closerie des Lilas, or, set off in the other direction to visit the intimate Musée Bourdelle

View of the Montparnasse Tower in the 14th Arrondissement

Stop Gaîté – Josephine Baker leads you to Montparnasse Cemetery. You can also easily reach the Paris Catacombs and the Institut Giacometti from here. 

The next – and last stop of note is the Porte de Vanves, from where you can get to the wonderful flea market Puces de Vanves, which takes place every weekend and fills the streets with tables and tables of gems and treasures waiting to be discovered.

People browsing the stands at a flea market in Paris.

Walk a block or so along Boulevard Lefevre and you’ll get to Parc George Brassens, with its small but functioning vineyard and its wonderful antique book market taking place every Saturday and Sunday, complementing the flea market times.

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