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Paris’s Metro Line 3 crosses the city from East to West, not unlike Metro Line 1, but taking a more behind-the-scenes approach. Dating back to 1904, it was first rolled out from Villiers to Père Lachaise, then gradually expanded until the current terminus at Gallieni was added in 1971.
During its expansion, however, the line lost its run between Gambetta to Porte des Lilas, which was subsequently turned into the mini Metro Line 3bis.
Not familiar with the metro? Learn which lines go where in our Get to Know the Paris Metro article.
Line 3, the olive-colored line on the Paris metro map, now traverses the Right Bank just north of Line 1, stretching between the suburb stations of Levallois in the northeast and Gallieni in the west.
Starting in Levallois-Perret, a lovely suburb full of shopping and quiet streets with many a pretty mural on the sides of buildings. The cemetery of this upscale area is also the final resting place of France’s most famous architect, Gustave Eiffel, but aside from that, there’s not a lot to see in this mostly residential neighborhood.
Sightseeing as such starts at the stop Villiers, where you not only have easy access to Parc Monceau but also to the market street of Rue Levi where vendors sell delicious snacks and shops put out their wares every day of the week.
Past the mostly commuter hub station of Saint Lazare lies Havre-Caumartin, the stop for the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores. Stay on the metro a bit longer to visit the stunning Palais Garnier at Opéra.
Bourse offers easy access to the covered passages around Boulevard Montmartre, whereas Sentier lets you off at what is still the heart of the textile industry at the top of the fabulous Rue Montorgueil leading down to Les Halles.
The Arts et Métiers metro station is a destination in its own right, that is if you’d like to see one of the most beautiful metro stations in Paris. Hop off here and head to the platforms of Line 11 which are covered in copper and look like a submarine. It’s steampunk at its best, but don’t forget to step out of the station and visit the Musée des Arts et Métiers, one of my favorite museums in Paris, filled with technical innovations.
Next, it’s on to Parmentier for a worthwhile stop to explore eclectic Rue Oberkampf, and then onto Père Lachaise for the famous cemetery or a short walk up to Place Gambetta, full of cafés and small squares worth discovering, as well as the local-loved Marché Belgrand.
The last stop on the line is Gallieni, which, to be honest, isn’t really worth visiting unless you’re going on a cheap bus trip around Europe, as most of the long-distance bus lines leave from here.
All in all, Line 3 offers loads of stops that are ideal for exploring alternative and hip spots in Paris, a bit off the main tourist route.
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