How to Get From Paris to Charles Du Gaulle Airport
Leaving us so soon? Or maybe just departing for your next adventure? Either way, The Charles de Gaulle Airport, placed 30 km northeast of Paris maybe seem big, busy and intimidating – but is quite easy to get to in the grand scheme of things. Just keep reading, and will be just fine.
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It takes around 30 minutes to get to the airport from the city center ~in theory~, but remember that Paris tops all the “Worst traffic” lists year in, year out – so it may not always be the best idea. The prices are fixed while traveling to the airport, so make sure to check it in advance to not get scammed. While booking a good ol’ Uber may be tempting, they can’t use the bus lane here (while the ~real taxis~ can). A sweet spot? Get a G7 taxi app – it works like Uber (so you can pre-book it while waiting for your luggage or even a few hours before; and you can pay with cash tho). It’s super reliable and can use that bus priority lane, allowing you to wave to all the uncultured swines standing in the traffic while you pass them by ~like a VIP~. Taxi drivers rarely speak English, but you may easily get by with a little help from a translator of your choice. By the way, you do not need to tip in France – those prices are all-inclusive.
You like to gamble? Hope so. Because while most of the time the public transport in Paris is sweet like candy, sometimes it has a licorice flavor. Be sure to leave earlier to have a buffer for all the times ~someone~ decides to rain on the RATP parade (which usually means strikes. Or heavy rain. Or a big parade somewhere. Or a Thursday night if it’s a full moon and also Saturn is rising… You know what I mean). However, the good news is, there’s a few ways to get to the airport, so you can easily pick your poison.
RER train line B runs North-East through the major areas of the city and various suburban ones as well, finishing off at the CDG Airport, so If your accommodation is close to one of their stations (or simply in the Left bank, where the shuttle buses do not run), it’s a good way to avoid pointless layovers – it is therefore the fastest and arguably the easiest way to get to the airport. It is also part of the official Parisian transportation (yet it requires an additional supplement-ticket, even if you have purchased the Paris pass). The end station is called simply Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 RER station (located inside Roissypôle and next to Terminal 3). The train is also good for peak hours, as it runs as often as every 2,5 min. Downside? The RER B is ~iconic~ for its overcrowdedness, to the point where a fanny bag seems like too much luggage, so take that into account.
We’re all impatiently waiting for 2027, when the (much needed) so-called CDG Express – a non-stop train connecting the airport with the city center is scheduled to open. But that means it still won’t be there for the 2024 Olympic Games… Goddess help us all. But I’m digressing.
There are multiple buses connecting Paris and the CDG, with the most popular being Roissybus, which will pick you up at the Opéra metro station (9th arrondissement) and drive you to the destination “in an hour” (quotes intended because we smell the bull. Whoever made it in an hour in that afternoon rush must have some serious noodles in their butt). The bus runs every 15–20 minutes, stops at almost every terminal and the tickets may be purchased on board, so it’s actually quite convenient – but only during the time of day when there’s not much traffic in the city (spoiler alert… You know what I want to say).
There are also long-distance coaches which run from various parts of the city. The companies include: BlaBlaBus, Eurolines, and Flixbus, with the last one running the most often. You can purchase the ticket online and hop on it in Paris Bercy bus station, near Gare de Lyon. Be sure to have extra time, because I’ve seen people miss it a lot due to the location of said place being hidden better than Zone 51. Moreover, the bus stations are sadly not always the prettiest places to end up with, so we wouldn’t personally go for it (esp. If you’re a solo female traveler and end up there at night).
If you’re are seriously on a budget, other alternatives include bus nr 350, which runs between the airport and Gare de l’Est/Gare du Nord (10th arr) (the same route offer N140 and N143 nocturn lines, if you arrive late at night) as well as 351 line that runs between CDG and Nation metro/RER station. Their advantage is that you can use the Paris travel passes on this service (up to zone 5) – and that you can also take it at night, when all the other services shut down. However, they are usually very long and tedious rides, so make sure to bring a book or enough GB to scroll through Insta the whole time or something.