Arriving and Leaving Paris via CDG Airport

Salut !

First: last call for the free content about French Conversation with Confidence. Yes, FREE. 🙂

Paris welcomes over 30 million visitors each year. They marvel at Le Louvre, la Tour Eiffel, l’Arc de Triomphe… but there’s ONE thing they don’t marvel at, for sure–the arrival and departure at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport. The way Paris welcomes its visitors is a shame on France.

Most European capitals are welcoming to visitors, Paris is not. Sorry. So I thought I’d help fix this, with my own voice, on Comme une Française TV.

This is not an exhaustive list but covers the biggest mistakes that could give you a bad start or make you miss your flight home.

Bienvenue en France! La galère commence. – on Slate
Capitaine Train, my favorite website to book train tickets

Edit: There are TENS of wonderful inputs from the Community in the comments below. Please do read them if you’re going to Paris soon.
A quick word about the taxi price: I only used a taxi to go from CDG to Versailles (and back!), which is more expensive than to/from Paris (closer!). So the price you’d pay to Paris will be less than than announced in the video. Sorry for that. Again, lots of inputs in the comments.
I LOVE our Community, you are awesome. ????

Et toi ?

Have you ever made any of these mistakes?

Do you have any other tips to share with the community about traveling to and from Paris? This is precious input that will be extremely useful to others.

And don’t worry. It is a very, very classic mistake.

Gros bisous et à tout de suite dans les commentaires !


Join the conversation!

  • Thank you. It still stings me that your country fined me 200Euro for having a CDG-etoile ticket on a train bound for CDG. The policeman clearly knew I was sold the wrong ticket but would not budge or allow me to pay the difference. In fact, he had a team of police waiting at the platform to arrest me because I did not have the 200E in cash!!! He said “we take credit cards.” Of course you do. In the US we call this “highway robbery.” I was shaken to my very core. Absolutely shameful!

  • I will be changing planes at Charles de Gaulle for South America and am wondering how many euros to take eg to buy coffee and a sandwich. Can you help?

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  • Bonjour! Merci pour ce vidéo!
    Je veux dire que j’ai vécu à Paris entre 2014-2015 et j’ai utilisé RER B beacoup de fois entre CDG et Paris et chaque fois avec des grandes valide et chaque fois sans difficultés!
    J’ai utilisé un service de voiture une fois (je me souviens pas le nom du service, désolé!) et il faut dire qu’il est la meilleur choix de voyager entre CDG et Paris.
    Je vais utiliser un autre méthode de voyager pour ma prochain visite à Paris (mais j’aime bien le RER B pour une raison inexplicable!)

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  • Thank you all so much for all the incredibly useful comments and information on this blog. I used Captain Train to buy tickets to Gare D’Austerlitz, walked easily to Gare de Lyon and caught the Air France car to CDG. It was so simple but would not have been possible without all your help. The airport itaself was another story……………Thanks again.

  • Hello
    Thank you Geraldine not only for this wonderful and very informative episode but for your whole website and for being such a nice person. I have learnt a lot about what to do and don’t in CDG Airport but could anyone speak about how to get to and from Orly airport please. Thats the one that many of us living in Scandinavia use
    Thank you in advanced
    Best Gisela

  • Lots of good advice here. I have only flown in and stayed once – for study abroad in Rennes so 2 checked bags and 2 carry ons. We lost our half week in Paris at the start of the year (our original flight was 3pm on Sept 11, 2001 from Dulles – it was cancelled obviously so we flew out on Saturday when they reopened the airport) so we took the TGV to Rennes immediately. My advice for anyone doing that – especially if you have sensitive ears – is to pack extra gum – the train reaches speed before hitting the tunnel under Paris and the pressure change from flight to underground at that speed is a KILLER so you definitely need something to ease it. On my way home at the end of the year (granted I had a whole new French wardrobe and had worked all year at blending in) I ended up in Paris for an extra week (trouble booking the return flight) and took the metro to the RER back to the airport. It was definitely a challenge getting my bags through – 2 were on wheels and the others stacked on them which helped – I had to have security open the handicapped gate at the metro stop to get them in. But as long as you are polite and start your request (or give the whole request) in French, they are great about helping. I would definitely give myself extra time to get to the airport because finding your terminal is tough, but there is easy transportation around the airport unlike most in the US.
    Honestly I think you are too hard on CDG, compared to US airports I find CDG much easier to get to and get around. Especially compared to JFK here in NYC (my “home” international airport) – to get there from Manhattan or any of the train stations you need to take the subway out to Queens then transfer to the Airrail – which is a separate $10 ticket each way for a 15 minute ride, then you need to know which terminal it is because it is a one way train so if you miss your terminal you have to ride the full circle back through Queens and back to the airport again. And there arent all the other options to get to JFK from Manhattan – shuttles are operated by hotels and mostly the expensive ones, buses dont exist, and taxis often wont go out to the bouroughs. Also the people at CDG are much more willing to help tourists/foreigners and be welcoming to the country, even being from NY I get treated like a pest if I ask for directions in JFK – even if it is within a terminal to find my gate or a place for food as I wait. I had airport personnel walk me to a restroom my last time in CDG and offer to check the shops for aloe for me (I got sun poisoning in Africa and was laying over in CDG on my way home). Much more pleasant than JFK.

  • Some good advice here. There are a couple of caveats about the RER-B: For those of a ‘certain age’ and first time visitors to Paris, it is not the best option. It is difficult to find at CDG. If you have a carry-on bag, a personal bag and a checked bag, you are definitely going to have difficulty as you will be ‘schlepping’ them down one set of stairs, onto a train, off the train, up an escalator(if it’s working), through the craziness that is Chatelet-Les Halles, onto a métro train, etc, etc, etc. All while jet lagged, and if you don’t speak much French, somewhat confused.
    First option: Les Cars de Air France – you can buy your tickets online before you leave home and print them out. Just don’t forget which day you are arriving, because they are only valid for the specific day. There is a discount for a round trip purchase. There are multiple options as shown on their site: The Line 4 bus stops at Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse. The Line 3 bus gets you to Porte Maillot and Etoile/Champs-Elysées.
    On our last trip to Paris we used LeCab to get from Porte d’Ivry to CDG. Cost then was €40. It is now €48. You can order online, they text you when they are 5 minutes away and text again when they are outside your door. The cars are clean, the drivers very polite and there are iPads in the seat backs.

  • Awesome video and posts! I will add that my new favorite mode of transport to/from CDG is a rental car. Too many snafus with taxis, buses, limos, RER, etc. As another poster said, it’s just way too stressful! And absolutley yes, it’s essential to know your terminal– USAir changed terminals while I was in Paris last summer, so arrival was in one terminal and departure in another. Luckily I had the app and had signe up for notifications. This year it will be drama due to the USAir/American Airlines merger. Never a dull moment! And in spite of all of that, I cannot wait to land in just a few days!

  • Thank you Geraldine for this, and all your interesting posts.
    I just wanted to say that I think you are being a bit hard on arriving into France/Paris via CDG. There are many other countries that I arrive in that are even less welcoming with transport options! Personally, I take the Roissy Bus because it is so convenient (and yes, there is room for luggage on board!), and have never had it take longer than 1 hour, in fact it’s usually much less. The extra 10 minutes you save on the RER is not worth the stress!
    Thanks again for all your great posts.

  • we went to Paris on March and it was my first time to Paris (2nd time for my wife). We requested an Uberx as soon as we stood outside the terminal , didnt have a clue where we stood at. Five minutes later this uberx arrived and managed to find us. The driver spoke little English and we cannot speak French. We paid 45 Euros to our accomodation in 2nd arrondissment. We were so lucky uberx is allowed to pickup people in CDG airport, unlike here in Sydney , Australia.

  • At work, so can’t watch the video (but can comment on non-work blogs!). I have been through CDG many times. I would like just once to be there when someone at the airport is not on strike.

  • Thank you so much for this Geraldine. We have been travelling to Paris from Australia for many years now and have experienced first hand some of the difficulties with CDG and we would agree that it is not great for France. We also travel with a tandem bicycle so it is even more complicated for us moving the bicycle around the airport and on the train system. We always take the RER B to Paris – Gare du Nord and have had several complications including having half of the bike in the train and the other half on the platform! We have also learnt that we need to lift the bike over the barriers/gates as there is no way of getting a bike through to get onto the RER B. Also, all of the bollards are too narrow for baggage and bicycles which means you have to manoeuvre them to get them through. Most international airports have a ‘left-luggage’ or luggage holding area but not so at CDG. All of this aside, we’ve had many French people help us with the bicycle at CDG and the train station which is wonderful. We can’t wait to be back in your beautiful country.
    Merci beaucoup.

    • Sue,
      In the RER station on the upper level that you leave the airport terminal itself looking down at the ticket machines from the balcony like thing to the right is a baggage check company, its around 5 Euros a bag (at least it was last time I was there) per day. It is outside the security checks for the flights but it is an option. I most frequently travel through CDG on my way to visit a good friend who is an Ambassador specializing in MidEast and African politics when she is stationed at embassies there and I always give myself a 12 hour layover in CDG to go into the city and either revisit a site I love, or usually shop and grab lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I leave my carry ons there (the airline keeps the checked because it is a layover) and get into the city with just my handbag on the RER. Its a quick easy way in and I have about 8 hours free to explore (I always plan that it will take 2 hours for passport control, checking my bags and getting on the RER and 2 hours to go through security once I get back). If you want the bags in Paris I wouldnt recommend leaving them there but if you are just going in for a short time its a great help.

  • Bonjour Géraldine
    En lisant les conseils, je me suis rendue compte que j’avais de la chance chaque année quand je voyageais Londres/Paris/Londres. Je n’ai jamais eu un problème ni en arrivant, ni en partant. Ma seule plainte, c’est la durée du voyage des/aux aéroports. Cette année, j’ai décidé de prendre l’Eurostar. C’était excellent. Deux heures et demie de Londres à Paris Gare du Nord d’où j’ai pris un taxi à mon hébergement. C’était pareil en retournant à Londres. Pour moi, l’Eurostar est maintenant le moyen de voyage préféré.

  • 1. Make sure you understand the 24 hour clock! I missed a flight when younger as I got confused with 14h and 4 o cclock!
    2. Yes PLEASE beware thieves on the RER, Metro etc especailly at tourist stations. I had my wallet stolen going through a turnstile, with all my money, cards, passport etc. Désastre! Mais bon voyage quand meme, Paris c’est le “Paradis”!

  • Taxis are not reliable when trying to go from hotel to Gare du Nord (assume the same problem getting to the airport). We asked the hotel to call for 2 taxis for us (to eliminate any mis-communication with my limited french). The hotel called to request a taxi for us (numerous times). No taxi showed up even though they claimed to be on the way. Fortunately, we were close to a metro station, and we were able to take the train. It was quite stressful, and more than a little inconvenient, hauling suitcases (family of 5, each with 2 pieces of luggage) through town and then trying to quickly board the train. In the future, I would probably reserve a limo or car service, or try Uber.

  • I know that Uber is now in Paris. Has anyone had an experience with this?

    I have used Blacklane limos in Paris and other cities, and I think it is about €60.

  • Ahh… this is one of my favorite topics. Lots of interesting information here. Here is my experience: I lived in Paris for 15 years and took the RER exactly ONE time to or from the airport and it was the first and very last time. I always have a full suitcase and the escalators and walking made the trip unpleasant. You also have to be on guard, deal with the tickets, etc. No fun. I love the Paris taxis, and Taxi G7 is great, I always order my taxi the night before I leave for the airport (… and they have never failed me! Taxis always cost about the same: 50-55 euros to or from the center of Paris, no matter what the traffic. The official taxi line at the airport works very well. Sometimes if I had tons of time I’d take the RoissyBus to the Opéra and take a taxi or bus from there. It is NOT just for tourists. I do not recommend RoissyBus for going TO the airport, however, as the drivers never seem to be in much of a hurry to get the bus going and it seems to take forever and frankly, it’s too stressful. The AirFrance bus is good if where you are staying is by one of their drop off points, but I like the security and ease of taxis and for that reason it’s worth the 50 euros each way. Total peace of mind!

  • Hi!
    I’m writing in English this time because I’m in a hurry–plus I don’t want to mess anything up. I think I’ve gone from CDG to Paris and back almost every possible way except hitch-hiking. My experience:
    1. If you take a taxi, make sure from CDG it’s a Taxi Parisien in the official taxi line. When I was younger (and more naive), I rode with a driver who had entered the airport and asked me if I were looking for a taxi. He said his service was the same price. It all looked official and his car was in the same place as the taxis. I was still a little skeptical and then he showed me his permit. Well… it was a nice ride and he was very pleasant, but the cost was NOT the same! (About US$20 more than expected.) He also offered to meet me in the evening and show me some of Paris…… not for a fee… hum hum……..
    2. The Air France bus goes to Montparnasse and Ecole Militaire (also a rental car drop-off). Make sure you check to see what is going on in France the day you arrive/leave. I took the bus the morning of Hollande’s inauguration…….. I didn’t know that was the day!!!! 3.5 hours on the bus in bumper to bumper traffic!!!!
    3. I agree with the earlier comments about the RER. If you are traveling with a carry-on and a piece of luggage and it’s rush hour, it can be a VERY uncomfortable and squashed ride. After 10 hours of travel, we vowed not to do that again.
    4. I booked a shuttle when my family (four of us) went. It was outstanding for the ride into Paris and our driver was very accommodating (we had to stop for a key). There was a discount if you booked a round trip. I reconfirmed the day before the return as requested. The shuttle never showed up. Then it was a panic to find a taxi given the hour. Sometimes hotels have arrangements with shuttle companies and you can get a discount. If you are staying in a hotel, ask them. I would do a shuttle again.
    So many helpful tips here (didn’t know about the bus for 2 euros!). Merci à tous.
    Bon voyage!

  • I’ve had good luck at the train station at CDG. There is an info booth, and the workers at the ticket office have always been courteous. One day in 2014 they would not let me buy a ticket to Paris–because all the trains were FREE that day. Normally I take a TGV train to a city other than Paris, no problems. I agree the Paris RER B travels through some less than ideal neighborhoods, but I’ve never felt threatened. (A ride on the Chicago subway was much more frightening.) The biggest problem I have with CDG airport is knowing which terminal my airline is in. Just arrive plenty early and you’ll always find it.

  • Geraldine, Thank you and all the folks who commented about
    getting to Paris from CDG. And Capitaine Train is where I’ll buy train tickets for our upcoming trip to France.

  • Thank you, Géraldine, this was a very useful post! From my own experience I will caution against using a shared van company called Yellow Van Shuttle. I’ve used them 4 times, both ways. At CDG there was confusion about which terminal I was in, but once the van reached me the driver was very pleasant. But the trips back to CDG, both early morning pick-ups, were rough. The first time, the van was 40 minutes late picking me up. The second time, the van never showed at all, and their office wasn’t open yet. I ended up taking a taxi (65 Euro from the Marais). The company’s response to my email asking for a refund (and an explanation) was that the driver had had an emergency and they weren’t able to reach me. I did have a working French cell phone, BTW. They didn’t refund my money until I filed a complaint with my credit card company. I feel that I gave this company more chances to succeed than most people would have, and now I caution everyone I know to avoid them.

  • I travel through CDG airport quite frequently, and your advice was timely and sensible. However, I think you are a bit hard on your compatriots — I would say the advice available to travllers at CDG is pretty typical for most international airports, from Heathrow to Pearson (Toronto), and in some ways CDG is superior. For example there are help desks in the airport itself (arrivals level), with multilingual personnel (try that in London!). And once you have got to the train station in the airport (follow the signs!) there are uniformed guides who will direct you to the correct machine and help with the purchase of tickets. It’s worth pointing out that the Roissybus is easy, once you find the departure point, but you will still need to take another taxi from Place d’Opera to your final destination. Others have mentioned that the RER train is cheap, frequent, and fast, but awkward if you have luggage. In my experience the various limousine (=van) services are conveneinet when leaving from your hotel, but don’t work well in the other direction. They are also time-consuming because they make frequent stops to pick up other passengers. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the CDG train station also serves many other parts of France for visitors who are not proceeding straight to Paris — again the guides will help show how to buy a ticket.

  • Only mistake I can remember making with French transport was once asking for a ticket for Auschwitz when I meant to say Austerlitz! This was just after SNCF had made a public apology for having used their trains to help transport Jews to the Camps during WW2.

  • Salut Geraldine. I am really enjoying your site. Today really struck a cord with me. We travel each August to Paris and always have a great time.Often we use Eurostar but last year we flew to CDG – big mistake apart from the fact we already bought our RER tickets in advance however we took a wrong turning in the airport and walked miles. Nobody was very helpful but we eventually got to Paris and had a great stay.The return was awful. Our valid tickets wouldn’t go through the turnstile with no train personnel in site a lovely french lady helped me go through the turnstile with her then helped my husband crawl underneath the barrier. Nobody took any interest. When we arrived at CDG, my ticket worked but my husband was on the other side. Many people were having the same problem some climbed over others were nearly in tears and I ran around like a demented woman looking for likely help. I even asked a security guard to rescue my husband. Eventually we were reunited ,caught the plane and had good laugh when we got home. Maintenant nous voyagerons seulement par Eurostar. Cassandra

  • I was a victim of a pickpocket gang @ the CDG airport in Sept 2014. Thus began 24 hours of hell and two weeks of worry …. Lost money, passport, credit cards. I had been warned many times over years and have thought myself aware and cautious but arriving tired and jet laged contributed

  • Salut! I completely agree with you about the RoissyBus, Geradine! It is very easy to catch from Place de l’Opera. Just make sure to get the correct ticket for it. That is very important, as you said. We use it every time we are leaving Paris. Merci!

  • What wonderful information! I just returned from a three week trip to Burgundy. Although we did not go into Paris, we flew in and out of CDG.

    A tip for people with rental cars – there are rental car return stations at Terminal 1, 2 and 3. However, the main rental car return centers are at Terminal 2 – specifically at 2C/2D. It can be confusing to find. But if you want to return your rental car, have a human check it over, and receive a receipt – this is the best place to do it. I understand that if you return it at the other terminals, you just drop off your key.

    In addition, since we were driving to Burgundy, we left the airport via the east – via D212, to the Francielienne. It was a much easier way to get to southeast France and we miss the busier route that goes closer to Paris.

  • Desolée, Geraldine, mais les informations les plus importantes vous manquent cette fois! Moi, j’ai toujours utilisé l’autobus Air France , mais cet été je prendrai Easybus ; 2-3 Euros aller simple (du metro Palais Royale/Louvre), duratiion d’une heure. Pour deux aller-retours et un aller-simple, pour chercher mon petit-fils et le retour pour nôtre départ, je n’ai dépensé que USD 17!

  • Great tips Géraldine.
    Among all of the available choices, I took the Roissy Bus from CDG to Paris (Ópera) and it was a great option. Another tip is that if you have a lot of luggage, do not take the metro to the hotel, especially if you need to connect to other trains. In some stations, you walk a long distance to connect and there are lots of stairs. Then while in the city with luggage, taking a taxi is better. Use the mestro when you can pack very light, no more than a backpack or so!

    Using a phone app is very useful. I used the subway map and also a nice app called Paris offline. It works offline which is great when you do not have wi-fi or 3G/4G!

  • One can view info about the airports (CDG and Orly) at CapitaineTrain is super for buying train tickets before arriving in France. Be aware that for some tickets, both with CapitaineTraine and SNCF, you cannot print the actual ticket off your own computer but will have trade your receipt for a ticket either at the train station, an SNCF boutique, or a borne computer machine at a train station. CapitaineTrain gives excellent instructions on how to do this.

  • Great video. Yes, I made two of those mistakes some 30 some years ago as a student–taking the Metro to CDG Etoile and the RER to Mitry Claye! I have also used the Air France busses [ to/from Porte Maillot or Invalides] and shared-ride door-to-door services like the Paris Airport Shuttle.

  • I’ve been traveling regularly to Paris for 20 years now and have made many mistakes, not all of which were my fault since the airport is not the most user friendly…but my biggest tip I can give is to know which terminal you are flying out of for your departure. Not that I minded missing my flight and being stuck in Paris, but others don’t share the same enthusiasm for such whimsical events… 😉 When I arrive, I always take the RER. It’s just simpler for me and I’ve never had a problem.

  • Viewing this after a recent trip to France I feel like a pro! We flew into CDG, took the TGV to LilleEurope with no problems! Thank you, Geraldine, and many others for the tip: NEVER start a conversation in English! I had taken French in High School (a LONG time ago) so I brushed up and learned the phrases I thought I’d need…it served me well! Whenever I had a question everyone was very friendly and helpful. We spent a week in Lille (our daughter lives there) and then came back to Paris for two days. We stayed right at CDG, bought a two-day travel pass for RER and metros, visited The Louvre and Eiffel Tower, many wonderful restaurants and cafes, and were right there to get our plane home. That was a very good decision! When we return I will be prepared in case we don’t stay at CDG. But it was so easy to get around from there, and comforting to know we had only to walk over to catch our plane, I think it’s the way to go for me!

  • I always use a car service, BT-transfer. $55 euro for two. They are waiting outside customs door with your name and drop you off at your front door. Book on line, pay when you get there . Book your return the same way. I have used them for years. Extremely punctual and nice!

  • Please add for your American readers that their credit cards–even if they have a chip–won’t work in the ticket machines for the RET or Metro and the machines won’t take bills only coins. The alternative is to wait in line for a ticket and the wait is ghastly. Better to plan on taking the bus if you don’t have 10 Euros in coin.

  • Salut Geraldine, you are spot on about Capitaine Train, simple, efficient, more options and MUCH MUCH cheaper than Rail Europe. Merci!!

  • Bonjour Géraldine
    I have also experienced trouble with the ticket machines, and waited in a loooong line to get a RER ticket. But the RER was not crowded, and not full of thieves and gangsters. 🙂
    When I returned to Denmark, the Air France was on strike, but I was rebooked by some very efficient people, and returned to Copenhagen via Milano!
    I don´t think CDG is worse than other airports, and there are a lot of altenative ways to get to Paris, as you can read in the comments here.
    And also the limo option ! Why did´nt I think of that? 😉
    I think Frédéric Martel is perhaps a bit too negative, as many people are when things are just a bit complicated. Look at the bright side : it is worth a bit of bother, because you are going to Paris, the city of cities !

    • I had NEVER thought of using a limo either, Peter! 😀
      That’s the strenght of the Comme une Française Community. So many ideas!
      Maybe a good idea for next time. I’m sure my friend would be impressed.
      (Fingers crossed we can get some champagne as well)

      On a more serious note, RERB is not full of thieves but tired visitors are an easy target (like everywhere) and one has to remain careful. I tried to be careful too when in crowded places.

  • Hi Géraldine
    thanks for all what you have offered of useful information on french language and culture as well, I wish also if you may allocate an episode on how people or tourists should behave inside french airports . What are the typical expressions when we want to chat with airport officials like ticket people, security, luggage official, …..I mean all steps that any one should pass when getting to an airport. ..
    Thanks in advance

  • Thanks Geraldine for another great video. I’ll be sending this one to friends and family before they come visit! I myself prefer the roissybus– “the tourist option” as you say. for 11 euros it is a comfortable ride, with lots of luggage space, and it leaves every 10 or 15 minutes. It usually takes me about 45 minutes but has never taken me more than 60 to go to or from the airport, even in rush hour. Those drivers know what they’re doing. If you have an early morning flight, a taxi may be your best option. I live in the 15e and it has never cost me more than 70 euros and usually is closer to 55. Happy travels everyone!

  • One time I was arriving in Paris too late for a connecting train to the city I was living in, so the SNCF person booked me into the Hotel Ibis. I had quite a bit of trouble finding the shuttle bus, but eventually I did – there it was with Hotel Ibis written on it in large letters. When I arrived, I was informed that I was at the wrong Hotel Ibis – there was another one and I should have got that bus! Like, I knew that? I was tired, stressed, and obviously looking like I might cry……. Eventually, the young woman took pity on me and said I could stay. It was an awful room, but there was no way I was going back to the airport until the morning! Actually, I have also stayed at the Sheraton right in the terminal building too. Very convenient, but appallingly overpriced. Having said all that, I still love Paris!

  • Please explain the actual layout of the terminals so one knows where to go inside. And where to get off the bus if there is a choice. Quel cauchemar.

  • Merci Geraldine! C’est super, comme toujours. Une autre problem est de venir a CdG et partir de Orly. Est-ce que quelqu’un a des idees comment arriver à Orly du CdG le plus economic et efficace?
    Une autre idee pour une video c’est les gares differents à Paris.
    Merci et bien à toi! Harriet

  • Another great video, thank you Geraldine, don’t feel bad about Charles de Gaulle airport, we feel exactly the same way about Heathrow, ashamed that this is the first thing visitors to the UK have to experience……we are lucky where we live, we always take Eurostar!

  • the last resort is pray that the person sit next to you on the plane is happens to be a conductor bus and very kind enough to take you from the airport to the paris city because he can use the public transportation for free… hehe merci beaucoup Meghi ^_^

  • Thanks Geraldine! And Safety Scouts! The Easyjet bus sounds great and maybe a safer option, I travel every year to France from Australia and happily use the RER B during the day, but have been warned by my friends in Paris never ever at night! And yes to sit well away from the doors! Some of my very touristy looking Aussie friends I have advised using the bus or taxi. For me, it makes me feel like I’m back:)

  • Yet another mistake on your way to the airport is not knowing which terminal to go to, as even in T2 the distance between 2A and 2E can be daunting if you are tightly scheduled. It is not always written on the itinerary though usually the boarding pass will say.

  • No, I always take the car despite it takes around 13 hours from Sweden (south). Then I can come and go when I want to and shop till I drop without overweight at check in.

  • I live in Paris and travel for work by train and air. I agree that RER has advantages in terms of speed but I is often extremely crowded, it is hard to get luggage down to the train and there is nowhere to put suitcases on the train. Plus you often have a long walk when arriving at the airport, which can add the time back.
    Air France coaches can be useful, but they are not very frequent and some of the drivers are not exactly friendly (others are great).
    At least you get a seat and your luggage is safe, plus the bus stops at every terminal (another common mistake is not realising that you need to know exactly where your flight leaves from- a mistake made worse by the fact that some travel agents and airlines do not as it to the flight info). If you are a group, taxi is the way to go unless there is a problem with the traffic or a strike- I have never paid more than 70 for a taxi, but I may just be lucky. Taxis cause big problems. There are unlicensed drivers touting for business. I have been approached by them many times. Never agree to a ride. Go outside and queue- or now look for the new airport staff with reflective jackets that will help you get to the taxi stand.
    There are also lots of info desks in the airport – the staff speak English and they are helpful- use them:-).
    For trains, I prefer the sncf app on my phone or the sncf shops- but I have never tried speaking English to the staff. If Geraldine thinks that the airport is unfriendly then beware of Gare du Nord! It is the worst station imaginable- heavy security, but also full of petty thieves and very sad looking people wanting money. Avoid being there too long (if taking the Eurostar, it’s a bit better since you get to o through passport control but it’s still not a great space.
    Anyway, there is so much to do and see in Paris and France that any hassle must be worth it. You just need to be well prepared, safe and alert, like everywhere:-)

    • Sorry for poor editing- writing on phone and I can’t see what I write until it’s posted. To clarify- taxis from the airport cause problems; and I meant the air France coach has room for luggage – I don’t think the opera bus does have (it certainly doesn’t have luggage space underneath like a coach).

    • I agree Adele, about safety, I think it’s mostly like anywhere else! Paris is not more dangerous than other (similar) cities.
      What shames me is how impractical all this is… 🙁

    • Absolutely beware of the Gare du Nord. Because I had heavy luggage I made the mistake of taking the elevator from the Metro to the RER. There is a team of pickpockets who spend thier lives in this elevator. They got my iPhone (fortunately not my wallet or passport).

  • Le RER B peut être une très bonne choix, MAIS il faut savoir encore deux choses:
    1. Il faut peuvoir porter tous vos bagages vous-même, et c’est bien possible qu’il y aura des escaliers. A mon avis, ce n’est pas une bonne choix après un vol transatlantique avec deux valises et un sac.
    2. C’est impossible d’utiliser les machines pour acheter des tickets banlieus pour le RER B avec une carte de crédit américaine, même si elle a la puce. Les machines n’accepte que les cartes bancaires européeennes et les pièces. Il y des machines pour changer les billets en pièces. Une fois, j’ai essayé plusieurs machines sans en trouver une qui n’était pas en panne. J’ai du attendre pendant une demi-heure pour acheter un ticket au guichet (il n’y avait qu’un ouvert).

    • Merci Karen, c’est en effet un problème, il vaut mieux arriver avec des pièces en euros. On peut faire la monnaie à l’aéroport par exemple.

  • I once bought the wrong ticket going from Paris back to CDG. I didn’t realize this until I arrived at the airport and tried to go through the turnstile and my ticket wouldn’t work. I was going to miss my flight, so I jumped the turnstile. I expected to be stopped by security any second, but I wasn’t. I NEVER do things like that! I felt terrible. But I would have been more than happy to buy the correct ticket if they would just put a stupid ticket machine there by the turnstile so people like me could do so. It would be so easy and solve so many problems. I don’t understand why they don’t do that.

  • Just to say how useful & interesting your videos are, especially this one about the Airport, thank you!

  • You missed a few other important options, especially since they are good and safe mid-priced options. The first is the Air France bus, which stops at several major sites in Paris, and the second is a shared van, such as Super Shuttle, which picks you up at the airport and drops you off directly at your hotel.

    There is also a new and very cheap option – the Easy Jet Bus – which leaves terminal 2F and drops you off at the Louvre. If you purchase in advance, tickets cost only 2€, and you don’t need to fly EasyJet in order to use their bus system.

    **As a side note, if you take the RER B, please be very careful, there has been a rash of thefts and assaults on tourists coming to and from the airport. Keep your luggage and bags near you and choose a seat far away from the doors.

    • Thanks Geraldine for a valuable info video and thanks to Safety Scout for the extra EasyJet Bus info. Can’t wait to try that one.
      I’ve been making the CDG Paris and beyond commute for 23 years and really like the Air France Bus (named Cars Air France). It has several well situated destinations in Paris, is clean, easy, reliable, and relatively comfortable.
      I’ve never paid more than 65 Euros for a taxi.
      There are some excellent limousine services. I use one that I love for 60 Euros. A professional driver picks me up from home, helps me with my bags and I enjoy a comfortable stress free ride to CDG. The pick up from CDG is also a breeze. The driver meets you at CDG with your name on a sign, helps you with your bags and delivers you to your hotel or home. Some limousine services cost more, but still cheap for what you get.
      Did I say I love it? I do!
      The RER Line B is disgraceful. I’ve used it once and will never again. It’s dirty, uncomfortable and known for it’s pick-pockets. It is however, the most reliable for the time it takes to get there and back. No traffic.

        • Yes, Veronica, please give us the name of the limo service! … In recent years I have taken a taxi from CDG, and even in a traffic jam I don’t think it was more than 65 euros. One hundred euros was shocking!

          • Hi Judy & Carolyn,
            I replied with the website of the name of the service that I use, and either it didn’t go through or there’s concern about “advertising” here. Totally understandable.
            Anyway, there are several Paris limousine services on the Internet. Just check out the pricing.
            The one I use is the 55 Euro one (and I tip on that).
            I do not hesitate to recommend them.

          • Hi Veronica,
            Due to recurring spams, I manually approve comments with links in them.
            Just approved yours. Thanks for sharing! 😀

      • all airports are the same. I find best if yo can have someone pick you up. NY City is notorious for thefts as well.

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