The apartment we rented in the 16th arr. was located in a nice residential area, about 15 minutes from most main sights by Métro. We enjoyed being in a quiet and charming neighborhood removed from the hustle and bustle of the city with easy access to many small food shops, patisseries and restaurants.
The Paris Métro is the most economical and fastest way to get around and in inclement weather; it is the best way to keep dry and warm. This is the first time in my travels that I have depended on public transportation to move about in the city (I always walked everywhere in cities like Rome and Naples.) The experience was enjoyable, the ticket price reasonable, and the trains are clean and safe. The whole operation runs very efficiently with trains arriving on time (about 6 minutes between trains).
We started our daily jaunts at the Jasmin station, a short 5 minute walk from the apartment. This is our station (a photo re-post) on the morning we left to return home.
Most of the stations we saw had a similar layout with vaulted ceilings and walls covered with white tiles and advertising.
The majority of the stations were nondescript but three stood out and made us stop and enjoy their artistic feel and particularity. A photo of the Cluny-La Sorbonne station in the Latin Quarter. The beauty of this station lies above, on the vaulted ceiling.
The ceiling has gorgeous and colorful mosaics by artist Jean Bazaine.
Also on the ceiling are the signatures of famous Frenchmen.
This sign on the wall of the station gave a description of the ceiling's artwork. Below is my translation of the first sentence.
"This ceiling bears the signatures of poets, writers, philosophers, artists, scientists, kings and French statesmen who for eight centuries have honored this district".
The Abbesses Métro station in Montmartre has a series of murals that decorate the spiral staircase that leads to Rue des Abbesses above. It is quite a hike to reach Montmartre via the stairs. I almost missed seeing these murals because there was the option of riding to the top of the station on an elevator. When we reached the door I hesitated getting on the lift and told my husband, "What’s wrong with going up a few more flights of stairs?" Well, it wasn't a few! I had forgotten that Montmartre sits on top of the highest hill in Paris; the subway station is 118 feet below street level! Luckily, I had these beautiful murals to distract me on the way up.
The entrance to the Abbesses station has some lovely and unusual wrought-iron arches. It is one of the few remaining original Art Nouveau stations.
The Louvre-Rivoli station—with its replicas of ancient art—is a wonderful anteroom to the museum.