Châtelet et le métro

Public Transportation is not my forté!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken the wrong train/bus, and when I take the right train, it’s usually in the wrong direction! Needless to say, this was a big change for me when moving to Paris.

I lucked out with my living location because it’s in walkable distance to most things… but as it started raining more and I started my regular classes all over the city I eventually had to splurge on an unlimited metro pass.  Most of my classes are on my train (the 7) so it’s super easy.  However I have managed other simple transfers as well.  Notice the word simple

I’d like to talk about the métro station Châtelet.  Here’s a métro map (click on it to get bigger, and I’ve circled Châtelet in the middle):

As you can see, just about EVERY train goes to Châtelet… seems convenient right??  Wrong.. it’s awful! You get off the metro, take the stairs, turn the corner and BAM (!!!)  you’re surrounded by people and practically in an airport.  I’m talking multiple never ending people-movers and live concert from “street” artists.  It’s ridiculous… so many people… such a mess… such an overwhelming experience.

Needless to say, After the first experience I tried to avoid Châtelet by all means possible.   However this isn’t an option.  From personal experience I’ve figured out which transfers are relatively easy and which transfers are relatively difficult.  Here’s a summary of do-able transfers at Châtelet:

Exchanges between Line 1, Line 4, and Line 14 are shorter.

Exchanges between Line 7 and Line 11 are shorter.

The RERs are super far away from everything!

If it’s one of the shorter exchanges I will bite the bullet and take Châtelet, otherwise… I”ll find some other out-of-the-way transfer that won’t drive me crazy!   Anyway, I can now say I’ve mastered the Paris Métro! I can get anywhere in Paris using the métro!  I have never gone in the wrong direction nor gotten lost!

If anyone’s curious, here are the métro stops I frequent, and you can follow along the map:

Place Monge / Censier Daubenton – my home

Bibliothèque François Mitterand – Paris 7 main campus

Sully Morland – Paris 7 annex where I have classes

Château D’eau – Paris 7 annex and psychology department

Olympiades or Tolbiac – Paris 1

Saint Paul – Paris 1 annex: African research library

Duroc – Hôpital Necker

République – École de Danse

Odéon – EDUCO office

Lourmel – English Tutoring

Happy searching on the map for these! 🙂



2 thoughts on “Châtelet et le métro

  1. Michaela, if you’re on the line 4 and you need an RER, going directly to the station “Les Halles” instead of Chatelet makes you get to all the RER a bit faster. It’s a trick I was using a lot, also the station Les Halles gets you right where the big cinema is, so it’s a good thing to know. Do you know the bus 89? It goes right from where you live to Hôpital Necker, I used to take it all the time because it was the line between where I lived and the Sorbonne. Also, the other day in my class they had to decipher a métro map and I thought of you having to figure it out. So CONGRATS!

    • Oh my gosh Pauline!!! Thank you so much 🙂 I can’t wait to try these tricks! Also, what a great idea to make your students decipher a métro map!

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