Metro Station of the Month: Gare de Lyon (line 14)

The line 14 is the most recent line of the Parisian Metro and the only one to be fully automated. It was inaugurated and put into operation less than twenty years ago, in 1998, which is about a century later than the first lines of the Metro.

This is the reason why the stations on metro line 14 are very different from all the other metro stations in Paris. They are much more spacious and airy and their architecture is based on large volumes offering a lot of space and light.

The platform of the station Gare de Lyon is my favourite. Indeed it offers an unsual view on a tropical garden on the right side of the trains towards Olympiades when they enter the station. This tropical garden is located on the basement of the ‘Maison de la RATP’ at the foot of which the station was built. It is really amazing to see such a green space underground and one wonder for a while whether one is still in the metro.

Another specificity of the station Gare de Lyon is its central platform: It was in fact the only layout possible because of the numerous other rails already existing there when the new metro line was built.

Back to earth: The train station ‘Gare de Lyon’ of course and nearby the Place de la Bastille and the Viaduc des Arts. And if you wish to enjoy more greenery I suggest you a walk on the ‘Promenade plantée‘, which starts from there : See my post about it!

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B –

Metro Station of the Month: Cité (line 4)

The Metro station Cité on line 4 is for sure one of the most surprising metro stations in Paris. It has taken its name from the Ile de la Cité and is the only metro station on the island. The railway tunnel goes under the Seine and the platforms are located under the river: for that reason the station is very deep, more than 20 meters underground!

The depth of the station, its metallic structure, its never-ending stairs and its lighting with elegant globes give it a very special atmosphere one cannot find in any other metro station in Paris: a little strange, almost worrying! But do not be afraid and admire the beautiful architecture. And if you are not in really good shape, you can still take the elevator to get to the way out!

Back to earth: Notre Dame of course! But also the ‘Palais de Justice’, the ‘Sainte Chapelle’ and the lovely flower market. The metro entrance located next to it is the work of Hector Guimard and a beautiful example of the Art Nouveau.

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B –

Metro Station of the Month: Concorde (line 12)

After Bastille in September my Metro Station of the Month is Concorde, which is also a very busy station where one can take three different metro lines. The platform that is worth seeing is located on metro line 12 (Aubervilliers Front Populaire – Mairie d’Issy): do not take the wrong line!

I have thought that it makes sense to come from the mural painting representing the storming of the Bastille to the ceramic tiles telling the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 which ornate the walls of the Metro Station Concorde. This work of art was made in 1991 by the Belgian artist Françoise Schein, who is also famous for the design of some other metro stations in the world (in Brussels, in Berlin, in Rio de Janeiro,…) on the same theme of the Human Rights.

I do not mind waiting for a train on that platform as my favourite pastime is to reconstruct the words and the sentences of the Declaration: Indeed each white ceramic tile is decorated with one blue letter and the letters and the words follow each other without any space or punctuation mark! One can let several trains pass before having reconstructed and read the 17 articles!

Back to earth: Do not miss the ‘Place de la Concorde’ of course, which got its name in 1795 to celebrate the national reconciliation after the French revolution (and gave it to the metro station) and is the most majestic square in Paris. And at that time of the year I would recommend three activities in the immediate surroundings: A visit to the Jeu de Paume to see the photography exhibition dedicated to Philippe Halsman; the Ferris Wheel on the Place de la Concorde which offers amazing views on Paris; and of course a night walk on the Champs Elysées to admire the Christmas lights!

Practical information : Website of the RATP

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B –