Paris Airport

You are currently browsing articles tagged Paris Airport.

CDG Airport Terminal 2 to Paris

This is a step-by-step photo guide of taking RER B Paris city trains from Airport Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2 to Paris city centre. From the CDG arrivals lounge to central Paris, I’ll guide you step-by-step on how to make this transfer. If you’re arriving at Terminal 1, see the CDG Terminal 1 to Paris photo guide.  For train times, prices, maps and other details see the Overview CDG to Paris by Train article.

* Alert! A workers strike will reduce RER B train line service on June 21/22 2014 reducing the number of trains between CDG Airport and central Paris to 1/3 of normal service.  Check the CDG to Paris by train overview article for further updates/details.

Safety/Security: Thieves work on this train!

Arrival at CDG

Upon arrival at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2 the first thing that will happen after exiting the plane is immigration/passport control, which can be very quick depending on where you are sitting on the plane.  If you’re seated near the front of the plane and are the first to exit, you’ll be the first to go through immigration screening by French national police.  Thus you could be past immigration within 5 minutes (or 40 if you’re the last to exit a large plane).

Next you’ll collect your baggage at the carousels.  Estimate a good 30 minutes for this, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of expediency, perhaps even a little slow.

Customs control for baggage is next, which is separate from passport control and handled by customs officers near the exit of the baggage collection area.  In general the customs officers spot check passengers and only stop those who rouse their curiosity.  After this you’ll exit into an unsecured area of Charles de Gaulle Airport free to make your way to Paris or other cities via train.

If you happen to be arriving via Terminal 2G, the new Schengen (Euro Borderless Zone) terminal, you’ll need to take a shuttle bus to Terminal 2E/F in order to catch the RER train.  The shuttle buses, circulating every 4-5 minutes, can be found just outside the arrivals area of 2G.  [Thanks to Lynne P. for this updated information].

Getting to the Train Station at Terminal 2

The CDG Terminal 2 arrivals hall will look like this:

Notice the blue overhead signs? Those will point to Gare SNCF / Railway Station, Paris par Train / Paris by Train. Follow these signs to make your way to the train station located right within Terminal 2.

Here are some close-up photos of signs pointing to the CDG Terminal 2 train station:

At the end of each of the terminal buildings (there are six sub-terminals at Terminal 2: terminals 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F) will be a large sign noting how long it will take to reach other terminals and the train station. In this photo, we see that the train station at Terminal 2 is 3 to 5 minutes walk from Terminal 2F.

Here is a map of Charles de Gaulle Airport showing the layout of CDG Terminal 2. Also visible are Terminal 3, Terminal 1 (which has its own train station) and CDGVAL shuttle train between CDG’s 3 terminals and parking structures.

Map CDG Airport

(Courtesy of ADP)

The moving sidewalks between Terminal 2’s sub-terminals definitely speed up walking times:

Closer to the train station area you’ll find more signs directing you down to the station.

When you’ve arrived at the train station area, you’ll be on Level 4 of an atrium with a Sheraton hotel on one end, HSBC Bank on the other end and multiple signs pointing to the Gare/Station/Paris by Train.

Another photo of the station atrium taken on Level 3 facing the opposite direction (towards HSBC Bank, one level up). Signage is quite clear on the station location. You may wish to withdraw some Euro cash from the HSBC bank machine (visible at the top right in the below photo).  If your (non-European, non-smart-chip) credit cards don’t work with the automated ticket machines, they won’t work at the SNCF/RATP ticket windows either.  Thus you’ll need Euro cash to buy your tickets.

At the bottom of the atrium, Level 2, the actual station level you’ll have various stores and eateries on one side of the hall and a SNCF ticket purchase office on the other side.  Scattered throughout the middle of the train station are blue or green Billetterie Ile-de-France train ticket vending machines.

The SNCF ticket office is split into two halves, each selling only certain types of train tickets.  When facing the ticket office the left half sells tickets and passes for traveling within Paris and the Ile-de-France area, known as Billets Ile-de-France.

The right half deals with TGV tickets (for sale, collection, refunds and changes) for trains traveling to other cities within France, known as the Grandes Lignes.

If you’re wanting to buy a simple train ticket to Paris and you have a smart chip credit card or Euro coins, you can use the blue Billetterie vending machines to purchase such tickets. (The machines shown in this photo are from Terminal 3, but they are otherwise identical). Note that multi-day passes such as Pass Navigo or Paris Visite cards are not sold by the machines.  You must visit the ticket office to purchase passes.

Bear in mind that these machines will not work with most North American credit cards, which in general do not have smart chips nor are PIN number protected.

After buying your train tickets or passes it’s time to turn towards the train platforms which will require descending another set of escalators or stairs onto Level 1. The Paris Train platforms are marked as “Voie” (“platform”) 11 and 12 and also show “RER B Paris par Train“, the Regional Express Network trains that operate between Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Paris city centre.

This is a photo overlooking Paris bound train platforms 11 and 12 at CDG Terminal 2 Station.

On the platform itself you’ll see signs noting that all trains are going to Paris, since Aeroport Charles de Gaulle is the terminus or end-of-line station for the RER B train line.

Note that although the platform sign reads Aeroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV, this platform shown is not the TGV train platform, it’s simply the name of this station as a whole.

The TGV train platforms are located and accessed from the other side of the station.  If you’re taking a TGV train to another city besides Paris, the train platform area should look like the following:

Remember to keep your train ticket with you at all times throughout the journey.  You may be asked by a ticket controller to show a valid fare or otherwise pay a penalty fare of 35€. The tickets are also required to exit the arrival station in Paris as there will be turnstiles protecting the exits, just as they protect entrances.  Finally, your RER train ticket is also good for connections onto the Paris Metro and other RER train lines once you’ve arrived in Paris; There’s no need to purchase a separate Paris Metro/RER Ticket T+ for making connections within the city centre onto other Metro or RER trains (but not buses nor trams, which require a new ticket).

The first Paris city centre station will be Gare du Nord, requiring about 30 minutes for the voyage from Airport CDG Terminal 2.  Paris stations along the RER B line after Gare du Nord will be Chatelet Les Halles, St. Michel-Notre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal, Denfert Rochereau and Cité Universitaire.

Resources

Gares360.com has produced a virtual photo visit of CDG Terminal 2 train station, allowing you to visually see the 5 levels of the train station.  Select the level & vantage point you wish to see on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

The following train timetables show depature times of RER B trains leaving CDG Terminal 2 towards Paris.  (Ignore the second pages).

RER B Train Schedule (departure times) CDG Terminal 2 to Paris Mondays to Fridays (except holidays)

RER B Train Schedule (departure times) CDG Terminal 2 to Paris Saturday, Sunday and holidays

First & last trains timetable for Paris Metro and RER A / RER B trains.

Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Paris by Train

This is an overview of how to travel from Charles de Gaulle-CDG Airport to Central Paris by city train (RER B). For instructions in the opposite direction see Paris to Airport CDG by Train.

For step-by-step photo instructions see Terminal 2 to Paris by train or Terminal 1 to Paris by train.

CDG to Paris Overview

Line => RER B (Blue) RER B Train

Direction => Paris (Robinson, Antony, St-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse)

Arrival Stations => Gare du Nord, Châtelet les Halles, St Michel/Nôtre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal, Denfert-Rochereau, Cité Universitaire

Ticket => “Billet Ile-de-France” Aéroport CDG – Paris (Zone 5 -> Zone 1)

Cost => 9,75€ (full fare, as of January 2014) / 6,85€ (children 4 – 9) / free (children under 4)

Passes Accepted => Paris Visite, Passe Navigo (Découverte)

First Train / Last RER B Train CDG to Paris => 04:56 / 23:50 (Last trains at 22:59 M-F until April 18 2014. See below for details.)

Photo Guides: Terminal 1 to Paris, Terminal 2 to Paris

Safety/Security: Thieves work on this train!

 

Details – Charles de Gaulle to Paris Airport Train

About the RER B Train

The quickest & least expensive way from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport to Paris is by taking the RER B suburban city train leaving from either CDG Terminal 2 or Terminal 3/Roissypole.

The RER B train line runs north-south through the centre of Paris, stopping at Gare du Nord, the London to Paris Eurostar station, then at Châtelet Les Halles the “super” exchange station with 4 metro lines and 3 RER lines available, then Saint Michel/Nôtre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal, Denfert-Rochereau, Cité Universitaire, and continues south towards Orly Airport (requiring a transfer onto the OrlyVal metro at station Antony).

Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2 Train Platform

The two train stations at Charles de Gaulle Airport are named “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1” and “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 – TGV“, the first being located near Terminal 3 in the Roissypole building and the second located between Terminal 2E and 2C. (A map of CDG airport is provided below).

The first train leaving Charles de Gaulle Airport towards Paris departs at 4:56am from Terminal 2, stops at “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1” station two minutes later, and then reaches Gare du Nord in Paris at 5:26am.

The last RER B train leaving airport CDG for Paris departs at 11:56pm just before midnight (update: see warning below), arriving at Paris Gare du Nord at 12:26am. This train schedule from CDG to Paris is the same every day of the week, including holidays.  (For a complete timetable, see the schedule of RER B trains).

For normal first and last train times see this timetable of first/last Paris Metro and RER A and RER B trains.

Where – CDG Airport Train Station

For step-by-step photo based instructions see either CDG Terminal 1 to Paris Photo Guide or CDG Terminal 2 to Paris Photo Guide.

If you’re landing at Terminal 1 you’ll have to take a shuttle train called CDGVAL to Terminal 3/Roissypole in order to catch the RER train.  The name of this station is “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1“. Don’t mistake the “1” in the name as meaning “Terminal 1″, it doesn’t, it’s simply the first of the two train stations at CDG Airport.  Just follow the signs for the CDGVAL tram within Terminal 1.

To make things more confusing, Terminal 3 is located between Terminals 1 and 2, so traveling from west to east across terminals you’ll hit Terminal 1, then 3, then 2. Keep in mind that the CDGVAL tram stops at parking stations in between Terminals 1 and 3 (Parc P-r), and Terminals 3 and 2 (Park P-x), so don’t get off CDGVAL too early. There will be voice announcements at each stop in French and English to help guide you.

Map Charles de Gaulle CDG Airport

Map of (CDG) Charles de Gaulle Airport (PDF – Courtesy of ADP)

If you’re landing at Terminal 2, keep in mind that there are 7 sub-terminals and you must make your way to the train station which is located between sub-terminals 2E and 2F.  There will be numerous signs through the terminals pointing towards the Paris RER train.

Buy Paris Train Tickets

At either the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 train station, a large open concrete atrium, or Terminal 2 train station, a white, triple level, escalator extravaganza, you’ll find plenty of ticket vending machines. Be sure to use the Billetterie Ile-de-France blue box machines and not the yellow SNCF TGV vending machines, as only the blue box machines sell tickets for the RER B line that you’re after.

Ticket Vending Machines at CDG Airport train station

Even more important to note is that American and most other non-European credit cards (without smart chips and without 4 digit pin numbers) will not work with these machines. At the CDG 1 station there is a large ticket window with 3 SNCF employees that will be selling individual tickets for the RER. At Terminal 2 there is a dark glass paned room on the bottom floor, off to one side that will be selling RER tickets and SNCF/TGV tickets. If you’re facing this glass room, the entry on the left will be for RER tickets to Paris. The entry on the right is only for tickets to other cities. Almost always there will be at least one ticket seller that speaks English and it will be noted by a little British flag on the corner of his or her window. Either way, you’re looking to buy a ticket for “Paris Aller-Simple” [Pear-Ee Alleh-Som-pleh] which is a one way ticket. The price should be roughly €9,75 for adult tickets and €6,85 for children (9 and under) RER B train tickets to Paris.

Boarding the RER B Train

For Aéroport CDG 1 station it should be pretty obvious where the platform is as you can see it from the ticket machine areas and you’ll see turnstiles with green lights on them. Terminal 2 is not much worse: simply follow the signs that say “Trains to Paris”. It’ll be quite difficult to miss and all trains from these platforms travel to Paris. You can view the television screens while on the platform to see all the stops the train will make. The stops should include Gare du Nord, Châtelet les Halles, St. Michel-Nôtre Dame, Luxembourg, and others. The four mentioned here are the ones that the majority of travelers will be looking for as they’re all in central Paris. Gare du Nord is best for those going to a hotel near Sacré Coeur/Montmarte, Châtelet les Halles for those staying near the Louvre, St. Michel-Nôtre Dame is across the Seine (the Left Bank), and Luxembourg being near the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens).

For those extra keen travelers, there are “express” RER B trains that leave from both train stations. Simply look at the television screens on the platform and note how many stops are between CDG train stations and the four central Paris stations mentioned above. The express RER B train will go directly from Aéroport CDG 1 to Gare du Nord, without stopping at any stations in between. The regular train will make about 9 stops in between CDG Airport and Gare du Nord. You’ll save roughly 12 minutes by taking one of the express trains, but even the non-express RER B will get you to Paris (Gare du Nord) in about 34 minutes.

Enjoy your stay!

Useful Links

Disneyland Paris by RER Train

RER Map (PDF)

RER B Train Schedule Airport Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Paris Gare du Nord