How to Change Trains from Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse

Nervous about getting from Paris Gare de l’Est to Montparnasse?

Update!! If traveling on the ICE from Germany, you can purchase your Metro ticket directly from the train personnel. It will cost you a few extra cents, but it’s worth it if you are pressed for time.

I purchased my train ticket from Mannheim, Germany to Tours, France several months using SNCF. In preparation for the trip I decided to take another look at the ticket and familiarize myself with the times and connections. Imagine my shock when I realized I can’t just cross the track or road to get to the Tours, France train.  I need to change the train from Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse.

Ein Zeichen der Pariser Métro
Paris Metro sign. Wikimedia Commons, photo by Fabio Venni (Flickr).

Yikes. I’m traveling alone and only speak a few words of French. J’ai besoin d’aide (I need help!). After my experience on the train from Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse, I calmy say, Comme ci, comme ça! I have no worries and neither should you. Just read on for my tips and instructions on on taking the train from Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse.

My ticket

I’m no stranger to European trains, planes, and metro stations; it’s just that my print out ticket did not provide the details, let alone the instructions. Therefore, I’m here to tell you how easy it is to transfer from Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse.

How to Calculate Your Journey

  1. Confirm the arriving and the departure train station. For me the arrival station is Paris Gare de l’Est and the departure station Paris Montparnasse.
  2. To plan your exact route, go to RATP.
  3. Click Getting Around and hover (rest) your mouse over Routes.
  4. Enter the From Station such as Gare De L’Est (SNCF), Paris (There are other options, so choose the correct one).
  5. Enter the End Station such as Gare Montparnasse (SNCF), Paris Paris (You’ll see other options here too).
  6. Enter the exact day and time you plan on leaving.
    These trains travel quite frequently, so if you miss one you won’t have to wait long for the next one unless there’s a strike or a station is being serviced. Don’t worry, this info is available on the RATP website and they hardly ever strike in France. 🙂
  7. Select All ModesThe Quickest and then click Search.
  8. Click Print and select all options.
  9. Print to PDF or a printer to see the detailed instructions. Whew! You did it.

Your Journey to Gare Montparnasse (SNCF), Paris

Have some Euro coins on hand for short single journeys, a 5 or 10€ note, or if many people are traveling, you can use a credit card to purchase your ticket.

Watch Out for Pickpockets

This train station, like many others in the world is a haven for pickpockets. These gangs of professional thieves look normal (like you and I LOL). Often dressed like “real” business people, they signal to their comrades the next approaching victim and before you know it you are the next victim. Your European dream quickly becomes a nightmare if you haven’t prepared for the vacation.

I pack light and put everything in my locked suitcase including my purse before my journey to the metro. I keep only some small coins and/or my metro train ticket in my pocket. That’s it!

  1. Go to the nearest ticket kiosk to buy a ticket. I purchased two one-way tickets so I wouldn’t need to stand in a long line on the way back home.
  2. From Paris Gare de l’Est, you will either walk outside or use the underground stairs to head towards the Metro Gare de l’Est (Verdun). Note: This is the No 4 (deep purple-colored Metro line) whose end stop is Mairie de Montrouge.

    Paris Metro sign
    Paris Metro sign

  3. Once you reach the Gare de l’Est (Verdun), validate your ticket.
  4. You will walk about 6 minutes to the Gare Montparnasse (SNCF), Paris.
  5. Enter the train and find a seat as you will be on this traveling for approximately 15 minutes (~13 stops) before reaching the Montparnasse-Bienvenue stop.

    Paris Metro 4 (Direction Paris Gare de l'est to Montparnasse)
    Paris Metro 4 (Direction Paris Gare de l’est to Montparnasse)
  6. Exit the train station looking for the Gare Montparnasse (SNCF), Paris signs.
  7. Now walk about 6 minutes to the Gare Montparnasse (SNCF), Paris.
  8. Once inside the Gare Montparnasse station, look for your train and proceed to the track.
  9. Find your seat, relax and finally begin to enjoy your vacation.

Train from Paris Gare de l’Est’ to Paris Montparnasse
Paris Metro Line 4 Metro map from Paris Gare de l’Est’ to Paris Montparnasse.

The blogger Man in Seat Sixty-One has some great information on train travel, so visit his site for more info.

If you are traveling with a large family and/or with lots of luggage, I recommend taking a cab, but it will cost you. With many pre-arranged taxis, the minute the taxi departs the meter starts ticket. That means if there is a traffic jam, you’ll pay for it even though you aren’t in the taxi.

The Taxi service G7 has English speaking operators in Paris is (+33) 01 41 27 66 99. Have the full address pre-printed to hand over to the taxi driver including the arrondissement number.

Reduce your carbon footprint and travel with less stress on the train. Happy sustainable train travel!