One of the busiest airports in Europe, the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle International airport has numerous modes of transportation available from the airport to the Paris city center. The airport is connected through the RER & Metro, TGV, Thalys, Bus, Roissybus, Noctilien (Night bus line), airport shuttles, taxis, limousines, airport car rentals etc. Terminals are connected via the CGDVAL. Thus its famous high speed trains, metro, bus and night bus services integrate into one well tuned transit machinery.
Paris has 4 main Airports. Two of them are for private jets and discount flights but the other two are for large commercial flights. The ones for the commercial flights are the Charles de Gaulle airport at Roissy and the Orly airport. The Charles De Gaulle or CDG or just Roissy airport is the main international airport of France. Orly Airport is actually located partly in Orly and partly in Villeneuve-le-roi (towards south of Paris). Before the CDG, the Orly was the main airport. It caters to both international and domestic flights. The other two important airports are Beauvais-Tillé (mainly for discount airlines) and Le Bourget (mainly for business/private jets). The Paris Airshow takes place at Le Bourget. Aeroports de Paris manages CDG, Orly and Le Bourget airports apart from other airfields and airports.
Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris
Address: BP 20101, 95711, Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France
This airport construction started in 1966 and it was opened for service in 1974. The architect was Paul Andreu. It is a little more than 14 miles (23 Km) to the NE of Paris. It is the world’s tenth busiest airport.
CDG has 3 terminals. Terminals 1, Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 being a collection of 6 sections, each acting as a terminal. Hence the terminals here at Charles de Gaulle are 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2F, 3. 2E had encountered an unpleasant accident – a portion of the terminal collapsed in 2004 due to what was later determined as “design flaws”. A new terminal is being built in its place with completion in 2008. Meanwhile two departure lounges have been set up to handle the 2E passengers. Between terminals one can commute using the CDGVAL automatic Light Rail System. In terminal 2 the VAL station is quite a long walk from its farther halls. The Terminal 2 is served by RER and TGV stations underneath making it very convenient for commute into the city or other places in continental Europe.
Terminal 1 is mainly for non-Air France flights. All terminal 2 sections cater to Air France. Apart from Air France, terminal 2A caters to Japan Airlines, Continental, Air Canada, Air India, El Al Israel Airlines, etc., terminal 2B caters to the European airlines including Swiss, Bulgaria Air, Austrian Airlines etc.. Terminal 2C is for Air France long haul flights and also Aeromexico, Emirates etc. Terminals 2D and 2F are for Air France. 2D caters to Luxair (Luxembourg), Finnair, Portugalia etc. From 2F it’s Korean Air, KLM etc. Terminal 3 is mainly for seasonal charter flights and also Air Memphis, Air Cairo amongst others.
Car Parking at CDG
One can park the car at the CDG airport and leave it for days if required (of course parking fees apply!). CDG has a number of well maintained car parks and they are efficiently connected by the CGDVAL. Terminal 1 is served P1. P R is also relatively nearby. From here Terminal 1 is a two minute ride by CDGVAL. P3 Sud (south) and P3 Est (East) serve terminal 3. Terminals 2A and 2B are served by P AB, terminals 2C and 2D by P CD, terminals 2E and 2F by P EF. They are all well connected and accessible by the CDGVAL. P X and P vacances, are the other car parks in the CDG airport. P1, P3, P AB,P CD are the express car parks from where the terminals are accessible by a couple of minutes walk. P vacances and P X are open air car parks with no spaces reserved for the disabled. In case of P X one would have to take the CDGVAL to access the terminals from here. Its rates are different from the others. P vacances is close to terminal 3 – a five minute walk. But from other terminals it is relatively far and would not be a practical option. Mainly ideal for longer hours of parking. Payments at the car parks can be made by credit card or cash. Checks are not accepted. The first ten minutes are free (except for P vacances).
Commuting between terminals at Charles de Gaulle
There is a free automatic service called the CGDVAL connecting the three terminals, the RER and TGV stations, the car parks and the bus station. This takes about 8 minutes. (Click to enlarge Map; Map, courtesy Aeroports de Paris)