Paris Metro Line 2 Must-Sees
After la une comes la deux! Now that you know all about Paris’s first and most touristic metro line, Line 1, here’s the 411 on Line 2, that dark blue line on the Paris metro map taking you from East to West and from quiet, classy corners to raucous nightlife hotspots.
Looking to learn more about the subway system in the City of Light? Read our guide to the Paris metro, including which lines to take for what.
Opened on December 13, 2019, a mere six months after Line 1, Metro Line 2 initially only ran the short distance between Porte Dauphine on the western edge of the city and Charles de Gaulle – Étoile (the Arc de Triomphe). Why, you might ask? Well, Porte Dauphine was very close to the Petite Ceinture station where royalty, statesmen, and other important visitors arrived in Paris. They could then be accompanied down Paris’s largest avenue, the impressive Avenue Foch, and taken past the Arc de Triomphe.
It’s not surprising then that the Porte Dauphine station is still one of the prettiest metro stations in all of Paris, with a grand Art Nouveau entrance designed by Hector Guimard.
Originally intended only as a sort of shuttle to the Étoile station to take riders to Line 1, Line 2 was quickly expanded all the way to Nation in the east of Paris. It’s been running with the same 25 stops since 1903.
After leaving its western terminus at Porte Dauphine, this metro line takes you through the posh Paris neighborhoods of Avenue Foch, Ternes, and Courcelles. Hop off at Monceau to enjoy the bucolic Parc Monceau, perfect for a stroll or a picnic on a sunny day, or to explore the many great little museums in the area if it’s raining. Musée Nissim de Camondo and Musée Cernuschi are two of the must-sees!
Just a few stops farther, the Line 2 seems to transport you to a whole other world. The loud and gritty Place de Clichy is the stop for the Montmartre Cemetery, then comes the cheekier side of Paris with the iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret at metro Blanche, and sex shops, legendary LGBTQ nightclubs, and amazing concert venues at Pigalle.
Pigalle is also close to the lovely Rue des Martyrs (read The only street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino before you go).
Anvers is the subway stop to get off to walk — or take the funicular — up to Sacré Coeur and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Montmartre. Be sure not to miss the painters on Place du Tertre.
Back on the metro, the Line 2 continues on overhead, past the Canal Saint Martin (exit at Jaurès) and the cool street art-covered quartier of Belleville. This is the place to get off for authentic and affordable Chinese food too!
Père Lachaise is the stop for the sprawling cemetery of the same name where you can visit the graves of Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison and more.
From station Alexandre Dumas, you can walk up Rue de Bagnolet, full of small shops, cafés such as L’Abribus, and hidden treasures such as the tiny Jardin Lesseps and the Village de Charonne, a veritable village within the city. The Line 2 then ends at Nation, where it once again connects with Line 1.
Urbansider Tip: The Line 2 runs above ground between stops Anvers and Jaurès, letting you peek into restaurants, such as the trendy Brasserie Barbès and catch glimpses of Sacré Coeur. Look to your left if heading towards Nation, or to your right if you’re heading east!
Want more tips for riding the metro like a local? Read our Dos and Don’ts of the Paris Metro.
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