For greater than 100 years, the Paris metro has been on the coronary heart of town, and other than getting you from A to B, a number of the stations are additionally nice locations for catching up with some historical past and artwork. Having referred to as Paris residence for six years, I typically walked to sure metro stops even when one other was nearer, just because it was prettier.
There are greater than 300 metro stations throughout Paris, reaching into the suburbs, and most are merely metro stations that let you catch a prepare. Others, although, are locations in their very own proper, adorned to the hilt, typically with particular shows linked to the station’s title, whereas but others have lovely structure that makes them stand out.
Listed here are a few of my favorites for you to take a look at, with suggestions as to what’s to see outdoors of every station.
1. Arts Et Metiers
Metro Strains 3 And 11
My absolute favourite, this station takes its title from the Musée des Arts et Metiers above. First opened in 1906, the station was redesigned in 1994 by Belgian artist François Schuiten, who is understood for his futuristic structure and fantasy-inspired graphic novels. The station’s line 11 platforms are actually a wonderfully futuristic, totally copper-clad submarine advanced, full with portholes, harking back to Jules Verne’s adventures and an ideal hyperlink to the innovations discovered within the museum.
Professional Tip: The Musée des Arts et Metiers is a not-to-be-missed exhibition of scientific innovations, together with the unique Foucault pendulum, demonstrating the rotation of the Earth; the primary mannequin of the Statue of Liberty; and quite a few trains, planes, and vehicles, all housed in a few implausible buildings.
Abbesses is a magnificence from its begin to its finish. The doorway to the metro station is an excellent unique Artwork Nouveau one, and all of the platforms are tiled superbly. However for the true deal with, it’s essential to forgo the elevator of this, considered one of Paris’s deepest metro stations. You’ll be rewarded with giant water-color murals alongside the winding staircase on the way in which up, and huge pictures of the world on the way in which down. The metro platforms lie 5 flooring down, however you possibly can catch your breath trying on the artwork, and relaxation assured that you just labored off that croissant you had for breakfast.
Professional Tip: You might be welcomed by Le mur des je t’aime (the wall of affection) above, within the small Jehan Rictus Backyard, plus an old style carousel and the close by funicular railway as much as Sacre Coeur and Montmartre.
3. Porte Dauphine
This has arms down the prettiest entrance of all 300+ metro stations. The unique Artwork Nouveau entrance followers out above a glass-clad construction and comes full with the architect Hector Guimard’s “signature’” on the long-lasting metro signal. Standing on the finish of Avenue Foch, the greenest of the grand avenues resulting in the Arc de Triomphe, it was named after a former metropolis gate, Porte Dauphine, and has been devoted as a nationwide monument.
Professional Tip: From right here you possibly can stroll to the Bois de Boulogne, the huge forest on Paris’s doorstep, or saunter down Avenue Foch towards the Arc de Triomphe, trying on the wonderful actual property throughout. I’ve already chosen a couple of favorites.
Strains 1, 5, And eight
Line 1 and 5’s platforms have one thing to supply: On the platform for line 5, path Bobigny, are stays of the unique Bastille constructing. Line 1, path La Protection, gives numerous tiled depictions of France’s historical past, together with the storming of the Bastille, whereas within the path Chateau des Vincennes, the outside platform has pretty views throughout the Canal Saint-Martin with its moored houseboats and barges.
Professional Tip: The place the Bastille as soon as stood is now a huge roundabout full with July Column topped with a golden-winged Genie de la Liberté (Spirit of Freedom). There may be the fashionable Paris Opera constructing, loads of cafes and eating places, and an outstanding twice-weekly market (Thursday and Sunday mornings from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.).
5. Cluny – La Sorbonne
On the ceiling of the platform is the 4,300-square-foot Les Oiseaux (The Birds) mosaic by Jean Bazaine, surrounded by the signatures of fifty luminaries who lived and labored across the Latin Quarter and influenced French historical past. There are signatures of, for instance, Richelieu, Louis XIV, Baudelaire, Sartre, Balzac, Descartes, Victor Hugo, Moliere, and Robespierre.
Professional Tip: The traditional college of La Sorbonne, with its many schools, and the Museé de Cluny give the station its title. The Musée de Cluny is also referred to as the Musée nationwide du Moyen Âge, that’s, the Nationwide Museum of the Center Ages. Constructed on and round ruins from Gallo-Roman baths, the museum homes spectacular collections of artifacts from the Center Ages, together with the famend tapestries of the Girl of the Unicorn from round 1500.
This station, one of many stops near the Louvre, acts as a taster of what the museum will give you. Brimming with (reproduction) reveals from the above Louvre Museum standing within the alcoves, you possibly can see the Venus de Milo, numerous reveals from historic Egypt, the goddess Diana, and extra. You’re going to get so engrossed that you’ll miss a couple of trains, I’m certain.
Hop off right here to achieve the Seine, with each the Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf shut by, and for a buying journey down Rue Rivoli.
Professional Tip: The doorway to the following Louvre metro cease, Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, has, on the Place Collette exit, a beautiful bauble-studded entrance, referred to as the Kiosque des Noctambules, an artwork set up by Jean-Michel Othoniel. Exit right here to go to the attractive Palais Royal gardens.
Strains 1, 8, And 12
Certainly one of Paris’s oldest stations, opened in 1900, the platforms of line 12 are totally lined in tiles spelling out the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen, that’s, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, from the French Revolution in 1789. Artist Françoise Schein completed the venture between 1989 and 1991, utilizing 44,000 tiles. As all punctuation was neglected, it makes for an fascinating phrase puzzle whereas ready for the following prepare.
Professional Tip: Place de la Concorde, the huge sq. between the Champs Elysées and the Tuileries Gardens lies simply above. There is among the Obelisks of Luxor, the implausible l’Orangerie museum, and spectacular views throughout the sq. to the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
This station was initially referred to as Berlin, after rue de Berlin. In late 1914, after the valiant resistance of the Belgians on the Battle of Liege, each the street and the station have been named Liege. It was not till 1982, although, that the station was redecorated with blue and white ceramic tiles depicting scenes of rural life within the province of Liege. What’s peculiar to this station is that in a single spot, the tunnel was not huge sufficient to accommodate trains getting into each instructions, so the platforms lie behind each other alongside the road and may be seen by means of the tunnel.
Professional Tip: Above you’ll discover a bustling residential space filled with cafes and particular person outlets, plus loads of small accommodations.
9. Pont-Neuf – La Monnaie
The partitions of the platforms are lined in giant reproductions of historic cash from all over the world, hinting on the presence of the French Mint close to the station. There are additionally giant money-weighing scales and a number of other glass circumstances displaying cash and their historical past.
Professional Tip: Above, you’ll discover Pont Neuf, which regardless of, the title is considered one of Paris’s oldest bridges, and throughout mentioned bridge is among the buildings of Le Monnaie, the French Mint. Inside everlasting and altering exhibitions inform the story of cash.
10. Bibliotèque François-Mitterand
That is no old style Paris metro cease, however a contemporary public transport hub. Right here, as befits the title, the theme of letters and studying is carried by means of the station. The platforms, in each instructions, are randomly dotted with 180 small brass plaques with quotations from authors — an ideal option to take a look at your data of each the French language and world literature. Up from the metro platforms, the huge staircase is inscribed with the numbers 1 to 19 in 19 totally different alphabets. The thoughts boggles however is left considerably unhappy as to which languages are depicted.
Professional Tip: Regardless of nonetheless being Paris correct, it is a fashionable, younger, and full of life place, full of outlets and cafes across the gigantic library and college buildings. Close by, alongside the Seine, there are theatres and café barges, even one that could be a swimming pool, plus a choice of eating places on the quayside.
Paris Metro: American Flag Version
Feeling homesick for the States? Emerge from metro line 7 at Cadet and also you’ll discover an infinite depiction of an American flag design tiled throughout the station. The flag options the 13 stars in a circle — a replica of the Betsy Ross Flag of the American Revolutionary Conflict.