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Does anyone know Paris well?

(18 Posts)
IamAporcupine Thu 28-Sep-17 21:31:51

I need to get from CDG to Gare Montparnasse to catch a train.
I am looking at google directions, but it'd be great if someone could advise what the best route is.

Also, can you pay for train tickets on the train or you need to buy them before boarding?

OP’s posts: |
Thoth Thu 28-Sep-17 21:52:49

I haven't lived in Paris for some years now... but there are buses that go from CDG (and Orly) run by ratp (the Parisian transit provider) that go to Montparnasse. I think via Etoile/L'arc du Triomphe. There's also the RER train that goes from CDG into Paris, but, you'd have to change- rer B to chatelet, then metro 4 to Montparnasse. You have to buy the RER ticket before boarding, but there's machines and booths at CDG (and usually English speakers Manning them if that is an issue). Takes about an hour., Maybe a little longer in rush hour- chatelet and ligne 4 are crazy busy at rush hour. If you have much luggage, bus (coach really) from CDG may be a better option.

Thoth Thu 28-Sep-17 21:53:52

The ratp website is excellent, btw, and very comprehensive.

Thoth Thu 28-Sep-17 21:55:58

So, I googled, and it's not ratp running the bus, it's
Line 4 goes CDG to Montparnasse, sorry!

Wanderwall Thu 28-Sep-17 22:05:23

RER B to Châtelet-Les Halles.

Change to Metro line 4 to Montparnasse Bienvenüe.

Download the Next Stop Paris app. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Next Stop Paris (Visit Paris by Metro) – RATP by RATP

newmomma9 Thu 28-Sep-17 22:09:50

Hi OP,

I live in Paris. PPis correct that the easiest way is to take the RER B, but I wouldn't bother changing at Châtelet as it's a massive, busy station. I'd stay on the RER B as far as Denfert Rochereau and then you can pick up the metro lines 4 or 6 to Montparnasse.


IamAporcupine Thu 28-Sep-17 23:39:09

many thanks all!

I managed to find a helpful post in the meantime that suggested what you are saying newmomma9 - to stay as long as possible on the RER.
How long would you say it takes in total? My flight lands at 9, and there is a train I am hoping to catch at 10:55 from Montparnasse - too tight? I am taking hand luggage only but can't remember how long immigration takes in Paris

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newmomma9 Fri 29-Sep-17 07:31:40

Just had a quick look at real time conditions as it's 8.20am, so a good indicator of how long you'll need.

The RATP website says CDG to Montparnasse will take just over an hour. That said, I think your time window is tight. Even if you land bang on time, you might have a bus to take you to the terminal, get through immigration (hit and miss but I'd assume there'll be a queue), find your way to the RER station in terminal 2 and then figure out the ticket machine. And the RER B is notoriously unreliable.

When you get to Denfert Rochereau, take the line 6 to Montparnasse as the line 4 platform is a good 10 minute walk away from the overland trains. Line 6 is much nearer.

Remember if you're taking a mainline train (TGV or TER) that you're supposed to 'composte' (stamp) your ticket in the yellow machine before boarding, unless you've literally just printed it out at the station. Otherwise find a conductor as soon as you board.

All in all, I think you'll be lucky to make that train. Can you change tourctrain ticket for a later time? Or since you've only got hand luggage, what about a motorbike taxi from the airport? Never used them myself but it always looked so much fun...

IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 10:21:36

thanks newmomma9!
Fortunately I do not have the train tickets yet so if I do not make it I'll have to just wait 1 hour. But I was hoping I would...

I never heard of the motorbike taxis before - they really seem fun! Any idea how much it would be? And the train?

Thanks for your help!

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IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 10:28:00

Actually - I am going St Malo, the journey via Montparnasse was what the (really unreliable) travel agent suggested.
Maybe you think there is a better route?

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IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 11:18:04

and sorry, one last question - is it possible to buy a TGV tricket on the train? Google seems to say no, but some people have done it


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Wanderwall Fri 29-Sep-17 11:22:20

I think you have to buy the ticket before you get on.

FanSpamTastic Fri 29-Sep-17 11:57:06

I use lebusdirect to get from CDG to montparnasse. It is a good service - air con and free wifi. Buy the ticket on board and right outside the terminal. Much less hassle than the trains!

IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 13:17:11

FanSpamTastic how long did it take? and I think they run every 30min, right?

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newmomma9 Fri 29-Sep-17 17:58:19

The bus is great if you don't have to be at Montparnasse at a specific time for a train, and it's a similar price - from memory the RER is about €12 and the bus is about €16. The only downside to the bus is that you'll be at the tail end of the rush hour and I wouldn't be surprised if it takes you 2 hours to get there. Driving in Paris these days is a total nightmare because of the mayor's anti-traffic measures.

Just looked up a motorbike taxi company, their online quote says €140!

As for Saint Malo, it depends where you're coming from in the UK. Ryanair flies to Dinard which is just down the road (though I doubt if you fancy that one!), or Flybe goes to Rennes, but Paris and the TGV is as good an option as any.

Janek Fri 29-Sep-17 19:11:41

You should have got the train to portsmouth and the ferry...

IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 19:55:25

Janek I know! that's what I wanted to do, but there is no ferry on the day I need to travel!

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IamAporcupine Fri 29-Sep-17 19:57:16

Thanks again newmomma9
I already have the flights to France (NCL-CDG) the question was, if the best (only) way to get to St Malo from CDG is via Gare Montparnasse.

OP’s posts: |

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