“métro, Expo, Resto”
Break out of the mould of “métro, boulot, dodo” (a French expression that, translated literally, means “Métro, work, sleep”) and get ready for “Métro, expo, resto”, as Babylangues introduces you to a new way of exploring the Paris Métro system. Join us in our quest to discover the various stations dotted across the city. How did they get their name? What are the surrounding neighbourhoods like? What can be found nearby? Some many questions and Babylangues has all the answers!
Connecting the lines 1, 5 and 8 of the Parisian métro system, Bastille is a busy and important station which saw a massive 13,706,765 passengers pass through its doors in 2013. Although today it is full of people wearing high street brands and carrying smartphones, either hurrying to work in a modern office building or heading to one of the lively bars around the Place de la Bastille, the station still carries traces of the historical events from which it takes its name. In the 18th century, this area of Paris was home to the Bastille Saint-Antoine, a fortress turned prison which was stormed on 14 July 1789, and later demolished, marking what is generally believed to be the beginning of the French Revolution. A vestige of this building was incorporated into the wall of the Line 5 platform, to leave a permanent reminder of the events that once took place there, changing the lives of the citizens of France forever. In the station, you will also find a mural, created by Lilane Belembert and Odile Jacquot, which reproduces, through a series of bright and vibrant faces and designs, various scenes from the French Revolution.
Even if we ignore its historical interest, Bastille is definitely one of the more attractive stations in Paris. The Line 1 platform emerges from below ground to straddle the canal, meaning that when you get off the train you are met with a lovely view of the water and the traditional Haussmannian buildings on either side.
What Is There To Do Nearby?
- Opéra Bastille
If you are into going to the Opera, you should check out Opéra Bastille, with its impressive variety of traditional and modern performances and adaptations.
- Bars and restaurants
La Place de la Bastille is one of the liveliest parts of Paris, and the streets around it (especially Rue de Lappe) are full of buzzing bars and restaurants. It is a great place to spend an evening as it is almost guaranteed to be busy no matter which day you go.
- La Promenade plantée
Near Bastille sits La Promenade plantée, a walkway lined with gardens and water features which runs high above the street towards the Ledru Rollin métro stop. This may seem like a bizarre idea, but in reality it is well worth a visit, especially if you are looking for a moment of peace and quiet in the fresh(er) air above the traffic in the streets.