Saturday, March 09, 2024

Métro ! Le Grand Paris en mouvement

A lot of PBers refuse to take the Metro 🚇 when in Paris. A big mistake.

It’s part of the total Paris experience and a big part of Paris’ history.

Yesterday I took the elevated 6 ligne to get to Métro! Le Grand Paris en movement exhibit at Cité de Architectural et du Patrimoine.

Ligne 6 used to be ‘my ligne’ when I first moved to Paris & lived in the 15th Arr. at Dupleix. I loved ❤️ seeing toute Paris from the train. When you live in Paris, you become proprietary about Your Metro and Your Marché(currently Bastille).

If you have a problem riding the Metro

Or if you don’t, 

Go see the exhibit at ever wonderful Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine at Trocadero, on through June 2, 2024.

Use it as a sort of intervention to help you overcome your Metro fears and hesitations.

The history is enthralling.

How did they do it? Workers in the metal caissons sunk into the riverbed of the Seine.

A model construction of tunnels under Place to l’Opera, where lignes 7, 8 & 3 intersect and overlap, built between March 1903 and February 1904.

I’m partial to underground digging pictures.

There is a lot of metro-generated art work

Included of course.

Crowds on the Metro in 1923 by Marcel Gromaire

Nothing changes 😳

An underground view at department store Printemps

Not to forget the brilliant Hector Guimard’s artistic contributions 

To the Paris Metro.

There is much to see in this exhibition 

And I haven’t touched on the present day and future metro technology 🙄 like this model of a horizontal boring machine (there are 115 of them) used to drill through the earth to create train tunnels. 

The 1,000 ton machine is powered by the same electricity as 3 TGV trains! The head, which is equipped with 200 rotating teeth, drills through an average of 15 meters a day. *Note the tiny figures in white suits at the base for scale.

The exhibit showcases all the new metro stations being built now through 2030 for Le Grand Paris express with 4 new metro lines, 
creating new hubs and new public buildings, and improving travel between suburbs.

With detailed scale models.

And lovely underground digging views… 

I hope this diffused some of your hesitations.
Thanks for reading PB! 
If you like Parisbreakfast, please share with a friend

☕️ Or you can buy me a KO-FI ☕️ 

Riding the metro and the Cité exhibit is a slice of Paris life you shouldn’t miss out on. 
Post-Chanel show attendees take the Métro. Parisians are practical.



  1. Anonymous6:30 AM

    So Nice, Carol!! It is better for me an exhibition than the real metro experience ;)

    1. Anonymous6:52 AM

      Why not try both!
      Nothing ventured…

  2. Anonymous7:01 AM

    I love the Metro system in Paris, I ride it all the time when I am there. Thanks Carol :)

    1. Anonymous7:14 AM

      👏👏👏 Bravo 🎉
      It is the fastest way to get to your destination

  3. I loved figuring out , riding, and lots of times getting lost on the metro. I would always save my last ticket to insure my return to Paris! However, when I return this May I will be ten years older and those stairs and crowds will not. A bit daunting❤️🗼

  4. Anonymous8:21 AM

    This looks like a very interesting exhibit, particularly with the scale models and the art. As usual, your photos take us there in a very personal way (noting little dogs along the way!).
    Please note though, the famous Art Nouveau building at 29, avenue Rapp is by Jules Lavirotte, not Hector Guimard. Lavirotte also designed several others in the 7th arr. worth seeing, such as 12 rue Sédillot and 151 rue de Grenelle.

  5. Anonymous8:39 AM

    The metro in paris is the best in the world as far as i'm concerned ., having taken the nyc subway for 10 years while working there., but now in paris we never take it, only because we prefer to walk ..even if it's across the entire city. Its just much more fun to see the sights and people and you can get up to 22K steps a day.

    1. Anonymous1:48 AM

      The Paris metro is far superior to NYC. And London with their stupid timed ticket system. I once got off the train in the sticks and didn't see the ticket punch machine. I lost 20£ 😞

  6. This looks fascinating, Carol. I love the metro and it would be fun to better know its "story."

    1. Anonymous10:58 PM

      I should have told it Jeanie…convoluted 🤷‍♀️

  7. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Being no stranger to subways (Boston’s ‘T’ is the oldest in the US), it’s not that I refuse to take the Metro when in Paris, it’s that I prefer the buses. Time constraints and traffic often mandate the Metro. But all those stairs on balky old knees, the air quality, and crowded cars reinforce my bus preference.

    Like your beloved Line 6 with that great view, on buses you get great views the entire ride. Buses are so interesting with their moms/nannies and children in strollers, travelers with luggage, shoppers with bright orange Hermès bags, kind helpful drivers.

    Bus 63 stops right in front of Cité de l’Architecture, passes by Palais de Tokyo, crosses Pont d’Alma, passes les Invalides, travels the length of blvd St Germain…the views! Or, at the same stop, bus 32 which stays on the right bank, passing equally stunning sights. For tourists, not being in a hurry, I think buses are great.

    Looks like a great exhibit, Carol, at Cité de l’Architecture. One of my favorite museums in Paris. ❤️

    1. Anonymous11:14 AM

      😊 I almost took the 63 bus, but time was an issue.
      The 9 Ligne was out of commission, so the 6 was it 👍

    2. Anonymous1:56 AM

      Yes…but. Buses can be unavailable during manifestations & construction as you experienced when you were here. The best alternative is the METRO 😊

  8. On a un métro aussi:) Funny I follow a girl in Paris on TikTok ..Just yesterday she said don't take the metro in Paris..of course I can agree..but it's uncanny how many different opinions one has on metros.

  9. Anonymous10:21 AM

    My relative refused to ride the Metro fearing being bombed. We used the buses and it was fine. Another time I used the Metro constantly to go all over. I liked the trains in the peripheral areas of Paris and also admired the housing adjacent to those so that no cars needed to be used. Great post! American cities and their occupants can learn from this planning.

    1. Anonymous1:30 AM

      It is annoying when your travel partner is intractable 🤷‍♀️ for irrational reasons.
      I suppose you can bargain. OK No metros. They we are going to Chinatown etc. etc.

  10. Anonymous10:56 AM

    I use the Metro when I am in Paris because it's quicker but the Metro system in itself is rather confusing and not very practical. I ride buses as well as I can see the city closer. Depends on the moment
    I either use one o the other.

    1. Anonymous11:17 AM

      It takes time to get familiar with the Metro. I did find it frustrating initially, before I moved to Paris.

  11. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Absolutely amazing!! Thanks for this "under"view!

  12. Anonymous12:43 PM

    I have a great book about the metro for users, not sold for tourists. I found it very helpful when I knew I would have to transfer to get to my destination. If time is no issue the busses are best. The maps and graphics make both relatively easy to understand. The bus stops even show when your bus is expected. Paris is always a good IDEA!

    1. Anonymous1:41 AM

      I agree buses are more scenic. Right now with all the Olympics construction going on my usual buses closeby are not available for months now. Very annoying 😳

  13. Adrien Bray5:30 PM

    Fascinating stuff Carol! Do you know the artist of that gorgeous (woodblock?) print, your 3rd last pic? I love it!

    1. Anonymous1:38 AM

      Very engaging but Sorry, I thought I had made a note & I didn’t. Illustrators do not get credit enough 🙁

  14. Sukicart6:18 PM

    I always used to take the Metro in Paris and found it fun and very easy to use but now, with some difficulty walking, can't handle all those stairs and walking between lines.

    1. Anonymous10:55 PM

      True there can be a lot of stairs. I think of it as exercise - climbing 30 a day are good for you.

  15. Anonymous7:17 PM

    I loved taking the Metro both times I was in Paris. Once you understand it, it is so easy to get to places anywhere in the city. How funny, but I was one who had difficulty figuring out where the buses went and where they stopped.

    1. Anonymous1:42 AM

      Initially I found the buses massively confusing and SLOW - so many stops!

  16. Barb Tingley9:53 PM

    Paris Metro - always a good thing!

  17. I absolutely love the metro in Paris! I never worry about getting lost, all I have to do is find the nearest metro and I’ll find my way! It’s also a favorite place to sketch people, and people watch!

  18. I love taking the metro and have done every time I’ve been to Paris (first time was on a school trip). When you live somewhere without an underground train system you appreciate them in cities that do. I love the certainty of knowing exactly where the stop is as having grown up with buses I’m always a bit worried I may miss my stop! Buses can be fickle.

  19. Anonymous8:17 PM

    Hi Carol, read your email every week. We arrive in Paris on Monday. Do we need to buy tickets in advance. Thanks

    1. Anonymous2:21 AM

      No, how would you? You used to be able to buy at CDG…


Love hearing from you