Planning a nice vacation can be stressful enough. Finding and paying for a decent hotel, determining how long you’ll stay for, what you want to do while you’re there, etc. Throw in the fact that you might have to confront a language you know nothing about can really turn what was supposed to be a nice holiday, into a nightmare. So what happens when you get to the airport and realize: “I have no idea how to get to my hotel from here?!” As with most major cities, Paris’ main international airport (Charles de Gaulle, or Roissy) is located well outside of the city limits. Luckily, there are several options that will ensure your vacation gets off to a seamless and stress-free start.
If you are arriving with a lot of luggage and don’t mind shelling out a few extra euros, companies like Airport Connection offer a relatively easy way in and out of the city (and unlike public transport, will often drop you off or pick you up from your hotel). At approximately 20€ ($25) for one person, this service even lets you designate if you need a child or infant seat. You can book your reservation online, and when you land simply call toll-free to let them know you have arrived. This is a great alternative to taxis, which do not have fixed rates and can really be quite expensive depending on where on Paris you need to get to, and can change depending on other factors such as traffic.
If you prefer to travel by bus, there are two options. The first is RoissyBus which runs from Opéra to the airport every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. and every 20 minutes between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. The trip takes from about 45 minutes up to an hour and only costs 9.10€ (approximately $11.40). The second bus option is run by Air France and has two routes from CDG. One makes stops at Porte Maillot and Étoile, runs about every 30 minutes, and costs 15€ ($18.80). The other stops at Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse and costs 16.50€ (approximately $20).
Public rail is the cheapest option, and if you don’t have massive amounts of luggage with you it is probably the easiest. Simply take the RER B into Paris and then take whichever metro or RER line you need to get to your hotel (or wherever you happen to be staying). The trip will cost you 8.50€ (approximately $10.67) which makes it the cheapest option. The RER B stops at Gare du Nord, Châtelet Les-Halles, St-Michel Notre-Dame, and Luxembourg (among others) and connects to a majority of other lines. Be sure to allot between 45 minutes and an hour to get from the center of the city to the airport. An article explaining the Parisian metro system can be found here.
Vacations should not be stressful, so be sure to have a plan before you land! Find the option that works best for you, and enjoy the City of Light!