Charles de Gaulle Airport
Most international airlines fly to Aéroport de Charles de Gaulle, 28km northeast of central Paris. In French the airport is commonly called 'Roissy' after the suburb in which it is located. A high-speed train link between Charles de Gaulle and Gare de l'Est in central Paris is planned; when complete in 2024, the CDG Express will cut the current 50-minute journey to 20 minutes. Inter-terminal shuttle services are free. A fourth terminal is due to open by 2025.
There are six main bus lines.
Le Bus Direct line 2 (www.lebusdirect.com, €18, one hour, every 30 minutes from 5.45am to 11pm) Links the airport with the the Eiffel Tower via the Arc de Triomphe and Trocadéro.
Le Bus Direct line 4 (€18, 50 to 80 minutes, every 30 minutes from 5.45am to 10.45pm from the airport, 5.15am to 9.45pm from Montparnasse) Links the airport with Gare Montparnasse (80 minutes) in southern Paris via Gare de Lyon (50 minutes) in eastern Paris.
Noctilien buses 140 and 143 (€8 or four metro tickets) Part of the RATP night service, Noctilien has two hourly or better buses that link CDG with Gare de l'Est in northern Paris via nearby Gare du Nord: bus 140 (1am to 4am; from Gare de l'Est 1am to 3.40am) takes 80 minutes, and bus 143 (12.32am to 4.32am; from Gare de l'Est 12.55am to 5.08am) takes 55 minutes.
RATP bus 350 (€6 or three metro tickets, 75 minutes, every 30 minutes from 6.05am to 10.30pm) Links the airport with Gare de l’Est.
RATP bus 351 (€6 or three metro tickets, 75 minutes, every 30 minutes from 5.30am to 10.30pm) Links the airport with place de la Nation in eastern Paris.
Roissybus (€12.50, one hour, from CDG every 15 to 20 minutes from 6am to 12.30am; from Paris every 15 minutes from 5.15am to 12.30am) Links the airport with Opéra.
- A taxi to the city centre takes 40 minutes. Since 2016, fares have been standardised to a flat rate: €50 to the Right Bank and €55 to the Left Bank. The fare increases by 15% between 7pm and 7am and on Sundays.
- Only take taxis at a clearly marked rank. Never follow anyone who approaches you at the airport and claims to be a driver.
CDG is served by the RER B line (€11.40, child four to nine €7.90, approximately 50 minutes, every 10 to 20 minutes), which connects with central Paris stations including Gare du Nord, Châtelet–Les Halles and St-Michel–Notre Dame. Trains run from 4.50am to 11.50pm (from Gare du Nord 4.53am to 12.15am) every six to 15 minutes.
Aéroport d'Orly is 19km south of central Paris but, despite being closer than CDG, it is not as frequently used by international airlines, and public-transport options aren’t quite as straightforward. That will change by 2024, when metro line 14 will be extended to the airport. A TGV station is due to arrive here in 2025.
Orly's south and west terminals are currently being unified into one large terminal suitable for bigger planes such as A380s; completion is due in 2019.
Two bus lines serve Orly:
Le Bus Direct line 1 (€12, one hour, every 20 minutes from 6.35am to 11.55pm from Orly, 4.40am to 9.40pm from the Arc de Triomphe) Runs to/from the Arc de Triomphe (50 minutes) via Gare Montparnasse (30 minutes), La Motte-Picquet and Trocadéro.
Orlybus (€8.70, 30 minutes, every 15 to 20 minutes from 6am to 12.30am from Orly, 5.35am to midnight from Paris) Runs to/from place Denfert-Rochereau in southern Paris.
A taxi to the city centre takes roughly 30 minutes. Standardised flat-rate fares since 2016 mean a taxi costs €30 to the Left Bank and €35 to the Right Bank. The fare increases by 15% between 7pm and 7am and on Sunday.
There is currently no direct train to/from Orly; you’ll need to change halfway. Note that while it is possible to take a shuttle to the RER C line, this service is quite long and not recommended.
RER B (€13.25, children four to nine €6.60, 35 minutes, every four to 12 minutes) This line connects Orly with the St-Michel–Notre Dame, Châtelet–Les Halles and Gare du Nord stations in the city centre. In order to get from Orly to the RER station (Antony), you must first take the Orlyval automatic train. The service runs from 5.07am to 12.05am. You only need one ticket to take the two trains.
Tramway T7 (€1.90, 45 minutes, every eight to 15 minutes from 6am to 11.45pm) This tramway links Orly with Villejuif–Louis Aragon metro station in southern Paris; buy tickets from the machine at the tram stop as no tickets are sold on board.
Aéroport de Beauvais is 75km north of Paris and is served by a few low-cost flights. Before you snap up that bargain, though, consider whether the post-arrival journey is worth it.
The Beauvais navette (shuttle bus; €17, 1¼ hours) links the airport with Parking Pershing on central Paris' western edge; services are coordinated with flight times. See the airport website for details and tickets.
A taxi to central Paris during the day/night costs around €170/210 (probably more than the cost of your flight!).
Eurolines connects all major European capitals to Paris' international bus terminal, Gare Routière Internationale de Paris-Galliéni. The terminal is in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet; it’s about a 15-minute metro ride to the more central République station.
Major European bus company FlixBus (www.flixbus.com) uses western Parking Pershing.
Car & Motorcycle
Cars are a hassle in Paris, so it's only worth bringing one here if you're travelling further afield. To enter the city within the bd Périphérique (ring road) between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, cars registered after 1997 (including foreign-registered cars) need a Crit'Air Vignette (compulsory anti-pollution sticker); older vehicles are banned during these hours.
Paris is the central point in the French rail network, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF), with six train stations that handle passenger traffic to different parts of France and Europe. Each is well connected to the Paris public-transport system, the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP). To buy onward tickets from Paris, visit a station or go to Oui.SNCF (www.oui.sncf). Most trains – and all high-speed Trains à Grande Vitesse (TGV) – require advance reservations. The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing a discounted fare. Main-line stations in Paris have left-luggage offices and/or consignes (lockers) for a maximum of 72 hours.
Gare du Nord
Gare du Nord The terminus for northbound domestic trains as well as several international services. Located in northern Paris.
Eurostar (www.eurostar.com) The London–Paris line runs from St Pancras International to Gare du Nord. Voyages take 2¼ hours.
Thalys (www.thalys.com) Trains pull into Paris' Gare du Nord from Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.
Gare d'Austerlitz The terminus for a handful of trains from the south, including services from Orléans, Limoges and Toulouse. High-speed trains to/from Barcelona and Madrid also use Austerlitz. Current renovations will continue until 2021. Located in southeastern Paris.
Gare de l'Est
Gare de l'Est The terminus for trains from Luxembourg, southern Germany (Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart) and points further east (including a weekly Moscow service); there are regular and TGV Est trains to areas of France east of Paris (Champagne, Alsace and Lorraine). Located in northern Paris.
Gare de Lyon
Gare de Lyon The terminus for trains from Lyon, Provence, the Côte d'Azur, the French Alps, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Located in eastern Paris.
Gare Montparnasse The terminus for trains from the southwest and west, including services from Brittany, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Spain and Portugal. Some of these services will move to Gare d'Austerlitz (by 2021, once refurbishment is complete). Located in southern Paris.
Gare St-Lazare The terminus for trains from Normandy. Located in Clichy, northwestern Paris.