Navigating Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Most of the business flights from Europe, Asia and North America will arrive and connect at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

The beautiful and fully featured airport does have a tendency complicate navigation for travelers.

The CDGVAL

The automatic light rail system, a unique feature, connects the three terminals and the rail station. This system replaced the previous inefficient bus system.

Every one of the main terminal buildings has a train station with free transportation. There are two lines, the first of which links the terminals, train stations into the city, and the more remote parking lots and car parks.

Terminal 1

This terminal has a central area for check-in and baggage claim, with 7 satellites handling 5 airplanes per satellite at any time. The satellites connect to the main Terminal 1 building by underground tunnels with moving walkways, making travel between them a fairly straightforward and speedy process.

Terminal 2

Seven terminal buildings exist within Terminal 2: 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, and the further 2G. All of them are relatively close, with the exception of 2G.
Flights departing from 2G require that travelers take a bus to transfer, and must go some 2.5 km (1.6 mi) away from the other terminals in order to connect. The other terminals link together by one very long hallway, making them relatively easy to access.

Terminal 3

This building is one single hall, located relatively close to terminal 1. However, do not walk from Terminals 1 to 3, since the walking path is almost 3 km (2 mi) long. Taking a train is much faster and a much shorter distance.

Taxi from CDG

Taking a taxi is often the easiest way to get from the airport to your destination, although the driver will most likely only speak French.

The best way to prepare for this is to learn some simple French phrases before you go. This slight preparation will allow you to explain to your taxi driver the location of your hotel.

It will take you about 45 minutes to get into the city and will cost roughly 50 Euro.

Car Rental Options

Car rental services are within the CDG complex, but they do not offer the best option for business travelers. It is often difficult to find space for parking within the city, and many hotels do not offer it. Cab fare is inexpensive, so renting a car will not be worth your time.

Train Travel into Paris

Travel into Paris on the train involves the RER B suburban train route. Choose from two stations: the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 located next to Terminal 3, and the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 located beside the TGV beneath Terminal 2. These trains will take passengers into the city, where they can connect with the Paris metro. A combined RER-Metro costs little, but the route is complicated and instructions may be French only.

The train will take 30-45 minutes to reach your destination and will cost about 8 euros.

Bus Travel into Paris

There are two main bus options. The first is Air France coaches and the second is the Roissybus. Air France Coach Line 2 leaves from a variety of locations within the airport, and stops in Porte Maillot and Place Charles de Gaulle in the heart of Paris. Place Charles de Gaulle is a very convenient destination for business travelers because it is a transportation hub with connections to taxi or metro. Air France Coach Line 4 also departs from the airport, and stops in Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse, both major train stations, but not as convenient to downtown Paris. Finally, the Roissybus will go from the airport to Place de l’Opera in downtown Paris.
The bus will take 40-50 minutes and will cost you 8-12 Euro.

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