Allow 45 minutes for this trip (35 minutes if you are starting from the Ducs d’Anjou, and already have a métro ticket), from the time you cross the threshold of your lodging (or of our office) to the time you reach your train’s platform. This estimate includes 15 minutes for floundering around. Add more if you think more floundering will be required.
Step 1: Getting to the Métro.
From the Hôtel Bellevue et Chariot d'Or
From the Hôtel Ducs d’Anjou
From our Office, or our Guest Apartments
Step 2, Riding the Métro to Gare Montparnasse
Whether you have entered the métro at Réaumur-Sabastopol, Etienne-Marcel, or Châtelet, the instructions are now the same.
Follow signs to line 4, in the direction of Montrouge. These will lead you to a platform. If you have time while you wait, walk to the far end of the platform, to position yourself at the rear of the train.
Take any train that comes on this platform, to the Montparnasse-Bienvenue station (10 stops from Réaumur-Sabastopol, 9 from Etienne-Marcel, or 7 from Châtelet). There is a map above every car door to help you follow your progress.
Step 3, Finding Your Main Line Train at the Gare Montparnasse
Leave the platform via one of the two exits at the rear of the train, the one signed for any of Gare Montparnasse, SNCF, or some combination. Gare means station in French, and SNCF is the name of the railroad. Some signs may refer to SNCF Grandes Lignes (Grandes Lignes are main line trains).
You will walk underground, up and down a few sets of stairs, through some passages passing skeletons of passengers who hadn’t packed sufficient provisions for this long walk eventually reaching a long, moving sidewalk.
At the far end of the moving sidewalk, you will go up a final set of stairs / escalators, and exit the métro. Keep going up until you reach the departure level of the Grandes Lignes (long distance) trains. Ignore signes for banlieu (suburban trains). Consult the departure board to determine from which track your train will leave. It will be posted between 30 and 15 minutes in advance of departure.