Line 6 is, hands down, my favorite metro line in Paris. It may sound strange to have a preference, but trust me, it’s for good reason. A lot of this line runs above ground, meaning you see the city on your commute, and it crosses the river Seine while giving you spectacular views of the Eiffel Tour. It also takes you to several must-see spots around town.
Inaugurated between 1900 and 1906, this Paris metro line was initially called Circulaire Sud, southern circular, due to its semi-circular path through the southern part of Paris.
Metro Line 6 starts at station Charles de Gaulle Etoile which lies just under the famous Avenue des Champs Elysées. It then swoops down south across the Seine, taking passengers to the major transit hubs of Montparnasse Bienvenüe and Denfert-Rochereau, before passing Place d’Italie and heading north back across Seine between Quai de la Gare and Bercy, and ending at Nation.
Nearly half of the line is above ground; out of over 8 miles (13.5 kilometers) of track, almost 4 miles (6 km) let riders watch the city go by. The stretch between Bir Hakeim and Passy offers the best views of all as the metro takes you across the river Seine.
For the best views of the Eiffel Tower from Metro Line 6: sit on the right side of the train, facing the rear, if you’re heading towards Charles de Gaulle Etoile; sit on the left side of the train, facing the front if you’re heading towards Nation.
The line stays above ground until Sèvres-Lecourbe, re-emerges for Saint-Jacques, dives back down for Place d’Italie, and stays above ground from Nationale, giving you a look at the boats moored along the quays of the Seine before going underground at Bercy, emerging only for a brief over-ground stop at Bel-Air.
This constant up and down make Line 6 a fun one to ride.
The line’s three most can’t-miss stops come at the very beginning, with Charles de Gaulle Etoile for the Arc de Triomphe; Trocadéro for, well, the Trocadéro with its amazing views of the Eiffel Tower as well as the underrated Musée de l’Homme; and then Bir-Hakeim to actually visit the Eiffel Tower.
At Dupleix, you find one of the 5 Best Food Markets in Paris. Edgar Quintet is where to stop for the lesser-known but very atmospheric Montparnasse Cemetery, the final resting places of many French and foreign writers and philosophers including the graves of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Denfert-Rochereau gets you to the Catacombs.
Fans of street art, be sure to hop off at Place d’Italie to discover the charming neighborhood of La Butte-aux-Cailles and its fabulous street art.
You can also head up Boulevard Vincent Auriol, the long street taking you from Place d’Italie to the Seine, to take in even more urban art.
This whole area is a veritable open-air street art museum, with enormous murals adorning the high-rise apartment buildings. You can exit at Place d’Italie or Chevaleret and set off on foot to admire all the extra-sized artworks, but you can also spot many of the murals from the metro too.
But the 13th Arrondissement isn’t all about street art. This southern Paris neighborhood also has the world’s largest incubator for start-ups, Station F, which also home to the coolest food court you’ve ever seen, La Felicita.
Just across the Seine, Bercy is where to catch an international bus line or attend an event at one of Paris’s largest entertainment venues, the AccorHotel Arena (more often simply called Bercy by Parisians).
The line’s eastern terminus is at Nation, a large place presided over by statues on two tall columns on either side of the main boulevard: the Colonnes de la Barrière du Trône.
Should you want to stretch your legs after a long metro ride, take a walk down the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. This street passes through the local-favorite Paris neighborhood of Ledru Rollin which is bustling with boutiques and bistros, and takes you on to Bastille.
Wondering what to do near Bastille? Learn about the history of the Quinze-Vingts Quarter during this guided tour of Paris’s 12th Arrondissement.
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