Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Paris CDG Airport Transportation
The RER is a regional train network with stops at major railroad
stations and Métro hubs in Paris. From the RER
platforms at Charles de Gaulle Airport, you can reach the Gare du Nord,
Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint-Michel, Luxembourg, and other stations of RER Line B.
Connections to the Métro network and RER Line C
(which runs along the left bank of the Seine) make it easy to get within 500
meters of any hotel in Paris, although you may want to take a taxi instead of
the Métro if you're burdened with luggage and arriving in the city center at
ABOVE: RER platforms at the railroad station (gare)
in Terminal 2.
to ride the RER: After you've retrieved your bags and gone through customs, look
for a "Gare" sign with a train symbol. (CDG has two RER stations: one
for Terminals 1 and 3, and the other at Terminal 2. The terminals are connected
by a free CDGVAL shuttle train.)
At the RER station, you can buy tickets in two ways:
From an "Île de France" ticket-vending machine, which won't
accept banknotes and probably won't work
with your credit card unless you have a "smart card" with an embedded
microchip and PIN. See "Ticket-buying hassles"
At the ticket counter, where you can pay with cash or a credit
card. (Good news: Foreign cards are accepted; bad news: The ticket office is
closed late at night.)
In 2014, the adult single fare between CDG and Paris is €9,75. Children
under 4 travel free, and children from 4 through 9 years of age pay €6,85.
Paris Visite zones
1-5 tourist pass ("Paris + suburb + airports") and the
Zones 1-5 commuter pass are valid for transportation to and from Charles
de Gaulle Airport. You can buy either pass at any RER ticket window at CDG.
(Please note that the "Paris Centre" version of the Paris Visite pass is good for
only Zones 1-3 and does not cover airport transportation.)
Once you have your ticket, follow
the signs to the platforms. When you've descended the escalator, check the
electronic signboard for train departure times and platform numbers. Trains
normally depart every 10 to 20 minutes between 5 a.m. and midnight.
If possible, take an express
(direct) train, even if it means waiting a few minutes longer on the
platform. Local trains stop at 10 suburban stations on their way into the
city, adding 15 minutes or more to the normal 30-minute trip time.
If you're traveling with anything larger than a
carry-on suitcase, look for a bicycle compartment behind the driver's
cockpit. (These compartments have their own set of doors.) You'll have to
stand during the trip into Paris, but you'll be out of other passengers' way and
you'll find it easier to get off if the train gets crowded.
Watch out for pickpockets, who prey on naive or jetlagged
On trips to the airport, be sure that your train's
destination is "Charles de Gaulle-Roissy." (B3 trains go to CDG; B5 trains
split off for another suburb.)
Allow plenty of time for journeys to the airport, just in
case you're delayed or get lost in the terminals. (On a recent
Sunday-morning trip, our journey required two train chages between
Saint-Michel and the airport because of track maintenance. The RER did a
great job of posting uniformed employees on the platforms to guide
passengers to the right connecting trains.)
- If your credit card won't work in the ticket
machines at CDG, you'll need to pay with euro coins or stand in what's
likely to be a horrendously long line at a ticket counter.
Buying tickets for a return tip
can be problematic, too, if you're at a busy station: On a recent departure
from the Gare du Nord, none of the four RER ticket machines would accept our
credit cards, and two of the machines weren't accepting coins. One
workaround is to depart from a Métro station
and transfer to the RER. (Métro stations often have at least one ticket
machine that accepts banknotes, and lines at the Métro's ticket windows are
Other trains from Charles de Gaulle
High-speed TGV trains connect CDG with cities in France and
neighboring countries. See the airport's TGV page for station information; to
plan your journey, visit TGV-europe.com.