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I am arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport at 7:40 am on September 4, and want to get to Montparnasse to get a 9:40 am train. Is that possible?

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  • Can you use the EU citizens line at immigration (assuming you are arriving from outside the Schengen area, since you mention customs)? Any checked bags? – Zach Lipton Aug 15 '18 at 5:50
  • @ZachLipton why not answer the question for both cases? – phoog Aug 15 '18 at 8:09
  • @phoog I don't know Paris super well, so I'd prefer if someone with more local knowledge contributes instead, but I'll take a crack at it if nobody else does. I don't think it's enough time (though maybe within the realm of possible if all really goes well), but somebody who's done it could give a better answer. – Zach Lipton Aug 15 '18 at 9:10
  • Have you ever been to Paris before and have ridden the metro ? If not assume you will miss your train or at the best you will have to run quite a lot. – DumbCoder Aug 15 '18 at 9:44
  • Many questions: what terminal are you arriving at? What class of travel / seat row? Where are you arriving from? What’s your nationality and/or visa status? Do you have checked luggage? – jcaron Aug 15 '18 at 11:57
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I’d say no.

If:

  • you are arriving from a Schengen Area airport,
  • you are seated in the first row of the plane,
  • your plane arrives on time and gets a jet bridge (as opposed to a remote stand and having to take a bus),
  • you don’t have checked luggage,
  • you arrive at Terminals 2C, 2D, 2E (K gates) or 2F,
  • you know the layout of the airport, of Denfert Rochereau and Gare Montparnasse,
  • you are a fast walker,
  • you are ready to take crowded trains (it's going to be rush hour)
  • and there are no disruptions whatsoever,

then yes, it’s doable, just barely. Count 30 minutes to get from aircraft to the RER station, 10 minutes to buy a ticket, a few minutes to wait for the train, a bit under an hour for RER B to Denfert-Rochereau and metro line 6 to Montparnasse-Bienvenüe, and 10 more minutes to your train. It will be very, very tight. Do NOT take line 4.

If any of those conditions are not true (and many are not under your control), then just forget about it. So unless you have a train ticket you can change for free and just want to try to get that train and can easily switch to a later one if you don’t, I wouldn’t.

If you have checked luggage, need to go through immigration, land at a different terminal, are seated at the back of the plane, don’t even bother, book a later train.

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    I agree that it's not realistic, but would taking Le Bus Direct to Gare Montparnasse instead of the RER plus the Métro save any time? – Hunter Aug 15 '18 at 13:08
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    @Hunter It's rush hour. I doubt it very much, I think it'll take quite a bit longer. They announce 70-80 minutes, which is already longer than RER+metro, and I think it'll be even longer at that hour. Also there are buses only every 30 minutes, so the average wait will be much longer. – jcaron Aug 15 '18 at 13:20
  • My sister used to live right at Montparnasse, so I did this trip frequently. I'd say no. You aren't even counting the 15-20mn finding your track within the station and running down to your assigned seat :-) – user61942 Oct 16 '18 at 17:54

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