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!