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Train station Paris Gare de Montparnasse, officially known as Paris-Montparnasse, is large, imposing, and hard to miss, thanks to its location adjacent to the Tour Montparnasse, the lone skyscraper in central Paris. First opened in 1840, the present-day station retains no architectural vestiges of its history as it was entirely rebuilt in 1969, in a new location close to that of its predecessor. Gare Montparnasse actually straddles the 14th and 15th Arrondissements of Paris, and while the area immediately surrounding the station is fairly business-oriented, within a few minutes of walking travelers will find themselves back on the Haussmannian streets the city is known for. Furthermore, the tony Faubourg Saint Germain area (home to the Eiffel Tower, among other historic sights), is a decent walk or a short subway or bus ride away.
Located in the middle of Paris's Rive Gauche, or Right Bank, travel to the train station from the Paris city center is usually fairly straightforward. From the aforementioned Eiffel Tower, take either the number 6 train line on the subway (walk over to catch the train at the stop Bir-Hakeim, and alight at Montparnasse) or the number 82 bus (catch the bus, heading in the direction Luxembourg, at the stop Champ de Mars, and hop off at Montparnasse). There are multiple possible routes from the Musée du Louvre to the train station Gare Montparnasse, though the most direct options are the 39 and 95 bus lines. Hop on at the Musée du Louvre stop and get out at Rennes-Littre, which is less than a tenth of a mile (160 meters) from the Montparnasse train station.
For travelers ready to stride along the city's famous boulevards, the walk from the Eiffel Tower to the train station Paris Gare Montparnasse is a manageable 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers). Via bus, the total journey between the iconic tower and the station takes about 13 minutes, and on the subway, expect about 18 minutes door to door. From the Louvre, the trip using the 39 or 95 bus lines is less than 15 minutes. On foot, the distance is a bit under a mile and a half (2.2 kilometers). Taking the bus is also a good idea for travelers starting out in the hip area around Place de la Bastille. It's a direct, half-hour ride on the number 33, starting at Bastille-Beaumarchais and disembarking at Gare Montparnasse. The 91 bus, meanwhile, offers a direct connection between Gare Montparnasse and two of the city's other main train terminals, Gare d'Austerlitz and Gare de Lyon, which are right across the Seine from one another and 22 and 27 minutes from Montparnasse, respectively, via the 91. To get to the train station from the Paris city center after a walk through Père Lachaise, one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, take subway line 2 from Philippe Auguste to Nation, then change to the 6 and take this to Gare Montparnasse. The journey should be around 50 minutes.
An important aspect to note about Gare Montparnasse is that the station is quite big, with long distances between the section housing the intercity train platforms and the Métro (subway) lines. As such, the station has one of the fastest moving walkways in the world. The part of the station that accesses the subway lines has a number of stairs that might be difficult for those traveling with numerous bags. However, for those looking to travel to the train from the city center, and headed directly to the intercity platforms-for example, the high-speed TGV trains headed to south and southwest France-this part of Gare Montparnasse is wheelchair accessible and equipped with elevators. For limited mobility passengers, it is also possible to arrange platform assistance in advance, for help boarding the train.
In terms of what to do near the train station, a great first stop is right outside: the Tour Montparnasse might not be a terribly attractive skyscraper, but the views it affords are fantastic. Visit the Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck for a whole new way to see the city; ticket prices vary depending on the age of the visitor. Back on the ground, just east of the station lies the Montparnasse Cemetery. Take a stroll while waiting for a long-distance train, and stop by the grave of Jean-Paul Sartre, as the famous French philosopher and writer is buried here. And if a modern cemetery isn't enough, just past it travelers will reach the Catacombs of Paris, one of the city's most famous sites. Millions of skeletons were moved from Paris's cemeteries to this underground labyrinth in the late 18th century, and the creepy yet fascinating ossuary first opened to the public in 1809.