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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 or shuttle instead of the Métro if you're burdened with luggage and arriving in the city center at rush hour.
How 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.
From an "Île de France" ticket-vending machine. (These machines used to require credit cards with PINs, but they're now more forgiving to foreign visitors.)
At the ticket counter, where you can pay with cash or a credit card. (Caveat: The ticket office is closed late at night.)
The adult single fare between CDG and Paris is €11,40. Children under 4 travel free, and children from 4 through 9 years of age get a discount.
Paris Visite zones
1-5 travel pass for tourists ("Paris and Île de France") and the
weekly or monthly travel 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, with an average travel time of about 30 minutes to the city center.
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 if you're in the bicycle compartment, 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 tourists.
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 changes between Saint-Michel and the airport because of track maintenance. Fortunately, the RER did a great job of posting uniformed employees on the platforms to guide passengers to the right connecting trains.)
High-speed TGV trains connect CDG with cities in France and neighboring countries. To plan your journey, visit Oui.sncf.
Next page: Airport buses
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|CDGVAL shuttle trains at Charles de Gaulle Airport|
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