If you’re travelling to Paris and you’re a devoted fan of the movie Amélie, you can’t go past visiting the métro station Abbesses. It is your gateway to exploring Montmartre on foot and ambling along unfamiliar cobblestone paths that lead you into discoveries.
Entrance to Metro station Abbesses
Abbesses station is on Line 12 of the métro in the 18eme arrondissement, running in the directions of Porte de la Chapelle and Porte Versailles. The station was named after the abbesses of the nearby Dames-de Montmartre abbey and it is one of the deepest stations in Paris at nearly 36 metres.
Direction Porte de la Chappelle
Direction Porte de Versailles
With its art nouveau Guimard-style entrance, it boasts one of the most photogenic entrances to the métro.
Art nouveau awning
The highlight of the station’s interior is the series of murals that line up the long spiral staircase. Renovated in 2007, the interior has a fresh look which unfortunately gets covered with graffiti. For those who cannot manage to climb the odd 200 steps to rue des abbesses, there is an option to take the lift but you miss out on seeing the artwork by local artists. The staircase was featured in the movie, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain.
Since Abbesses is your entry point to Montmartre, there are several nearby attractions. They are too many to list here but you can find Le mur des je t’aime located just behind the métro entrance at Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses. Sacré-Cœur is mere minutes away to the funiculaire railway which takes you to the top of the basilica. You can use your passe navigo découverte on the funicular railway. Café des 2 Moulins, or Amélie’s Café, is at 15 Rue Lepic and don’t forget to visit the three remaining windmills of Paris, the Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la Galette and Moulin Radet.
The art nouveau entrance is one of the most photographed of the métro stations and attracts an ebb and flow of people. Be a little patient if you are after the perfect photo. If you would like to photograph the murals inside the station, allow plenty of time as it can get busy along the spiral staircase with the influx of passengers, particularly if you would like your own private Amélie moment.
Art nouveau entrance
Murals at métro Abbesses
Hector Guimard Plaque
Access to Abbesses Plaque
‘La Pub’ – advertising inside the metro station
This article is part of the ongoing series Paris Métro stations aimed at inspiring the enjoyment of this public transportation system. In the series so far: Bir-Hakeim, Cité, Cluny-La Sorbonne, Arts et Métiers, Europe.