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Charles de Gaulle Airport is located 16 miles (26 km) northeast of the center of the city. Depending on where you are staying in Paris, there are multiple options for the trip to the center. The airport's Web site can guide you in various ways, including:
There are plenty of taxis from CDG. Fare is about 200 francs ($33); higher after 8 P.M. The trip can take around 45 minutes to an hour to the center. It could be traveled in less time, but the traffic during normal business hours is usually bad.
The "B" RER (Suburban Express) train goes from CDG to the Gare du Nord, Chatelet, St. Michel, Luxembourg, Port Royal, and Denfert-Rochereau stations. The
RER train (we've linked to an RER map) leaves CDG every 15 minutes and has plenty luggage space; it is a very easy way into the city.
A shuttle bus connects CDG's main terminals with the RER station. Travel time to the center of Paris is 30 minutes, and the fare is 5 francs ($10), including a Metro connection. The train is the only way around the traffic and is the best way to get to the center on schedule.
Air France runs a good and comfortable bus service from all terminals. Buses stop at the Porte-Maillot Metro station (at the Air France City Terminal), and the Palais de Congres (Convention Center next to the Concorde-Lafayette and Meridian Hotels), and also at the Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile (near the Arc de Triomphe). The buses leave every 20 minutes and the trip takes from 40-minutes to one hour. The fare is 48 francs ($9).
This is a shuttle to Paris, leaving every 15 minutes from 6 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. The trip takes around 45 minutes and costs about 40 francs ($7).
TRANSFER TO ORLY
A shuttle bus runs about every 20 to 30 minutes to Orly Airport from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. The fare is around 60 Francs ($10). Travel time one hour to 90 minutes, depending on the traffic.
If you are only going to be traveling in Paris and vicinity, you do not need a car. Between the Metro and the RER (Suburban Express Train) you can go to just about any neighborhood. For short trips a taxi is also a good alternative to driving. The RER even goes to spots such as Versailles and Euro-Disney. Okay, be willful. Rent a car. The usual array (Hertz, Avis, Budget, Citer-Eurodollar and others) have desks in the terminals.
World Airport Information Main Page
Adapted from How to Get Out of the Airport