Lots of conflicting recommendations - taxis, shuttles, private cars? whats the best to book? and costs?
RER. Eleven bucks. Period.
I concur, and also had a great experience Fall 2009 with RoissyBus (€9.40). It drops you off at the Opera Garnier; you can take the metro from there, if necessary, and it's just a few walking blocks from Gare St-Lazare. If time is a concern, take RER. The bus could get stuck in traffic (ESP going TO CDG!!!). It was a nice drive into town, but I'd definitely take the RER TO the airport. (be sure to take an express RER train)
gail, I agree with the others. The RER is the best option, especially as it isn't affected by traffic. One point to note is that you'll need Euro Cash to purchase a ticket from the automated machines or a "chip & PIN" credit card. You could of course wait in the queue at the ticket office to use the older magnetic stripe credit cards. I find the machines are usually a much quicker way to obtain tickets. However, depending on what time of day you'll be heading to the airport, a Shuttle may not take that much longer. I'd suggest having your Hotel pre-book a Shuttle the day before you'll be traveling. They often stop at different Hotels and pick up several passengers so that the Van is "full". You might want to check the parisbytrain.com website to get some idea on the RER route, what the stations look like and details on how to get to various terminals at CDG. Happy travels!
Gail, No use taking a taxi from CDG into Paris which might cost up to 45 Euro. The RER is your best bet. You can pay at the counter using an American credit card, which I did a few years back, for a ticket from CDG to Gare du Nord/Gare Magenta...all very convenient to my hotel at Gare du Nord.
Actually taxi can cost up to 65 euros ,, if you get caught in rush hour traffic, or have lots of luggage( one euro charge per suitcase) . It usually runs between 45 and 55 euros. Its not a bad deal if your travelling party consists of children, or more then there people( since you will be paying 33 euros to take the RER anyways,, a taxi will take you right to hotel or apartment door for about 10 euros more.. deal is even better if there is four of you.
If you're not keen on trains or taxis, there is an in-between option: the Air France shuttle bus system. 16.50 euros, half-price for kids. Details here: http://videocdn.airfrance.com/cars-airfrance/index_en.html
Yes, you are correct when ones takes into consideration numerous variables that will affect adversely the price of the taxi, such as rush hour, the number of pieces of luggage. I cannot remember being charged extra for luggage since I had only two relatively small pieces and the ride was early in the morning at 0500, not even rush hour yet. It was from a hotel to CDG.
gail, *** "You can pay at the counter using an American credit card" ***. - On my last trip to Paris, the queue at "the counter" was so long that it would have taken an hour or more to buy a ticket with an older credit card (a bunch of flights arrived at about the same time). The automated ticket machines are usually a much faster option. While the Buses are a cost effective method for travel into Paris, they're still affected by traffic so the RER is a much better option (at least IMHO). Cheers!
If one or two people, Mary's suggestion is wonderful. We have done the RoissyBus (€9.40). If your hotel is close to Opera, then it is a great trip. If there are 3 or more of you, then the taxi idea becomes viable. Sometimes, spending an extra 10 or 15 Euro, if there are 3 or more, is worth it. Saves hassle time and gets you to your hotel door. After a long flight and no knowledge of the area, the extra spent on a Taxi is worth it. We have been to Paris 5 times now, so we do RoissyBus (€9.40), but we know the area and jetlag does not befuddle us too much, since we are familiar with the area and we usually stay at a studio that is about a 20 to 30 minute walk from Opera.
Gail, private email not working at this time. This is my answer to your question. John If you look at google maps, there are 2 RER stations about equidistant from where you are staying. Both look like a 15-25 minute walk. One is Invalids RER and Metro stop, the other is Pont de l'Alma, which is only a RER stop. You could look at http://parisbytrain.com/ and see what connections you need, etc.
The TI desks at CDG all sell RER tickets, also. You can buy your RER tickets, museum passes, and anything else of that nature all at the same time, from a person, using either cash or credit cards. There are usually no lines at these TI counters.
Metro - simple and cheap
Sorry Shannon....the Paris Metro doesn't run to CDG...
Never take a taxi! It's way too expensive. I suggest the Air France Autobus. It's direct to the opera or Montparnasse station. From there you can take the metro to your hotel. It's fool proof.
Ken, We Americans HAVE TO use that hellish counter at CDG Airport.......Chip-and-Pin??? :-( [[[and yes, it CAN take an hour or more...GGGRRRRR!]]]........Although I read that those machines also take coins (only); that didn't help much as we had a party of 4...
so the best advise is take the RER express and taxi or walk from there to our apartment? and maybe get an hotel room by the airport for the departure morning at 4am??
Last August we used a great cab driver, Phillipe Bontemps. We are a family of five so we needed a larger car with luggage. He had a clean van, arrived on time and called ahead to make sure all was confirmed. We actually found him on a short ride in Paris and then booked him for the trip to DeGaulle on our way home to Chicago. He is Parisian but lived in Australia for 10 years or so = perfect English. e-mail me if you want his information. The cost was $90 U.S. a year ago. Also - I would recommend a private cab if this is your first trip to Paris.
Gail, I certainly would stay at a hotel by the airport if my departure flight left at 0430. That's exactly what I did in August 2005 for my flight from CDG to SFO. The hotel was Campanile, tel.# 01 34 29 80 40. Campanile has its own shuttle, wait for that at Aerogare 2, terminal 2. No need to spend for a taxi from CDG to the hotel. Above all, the hotel has a very nice and affordable restaurant.
Gail, my apologies if I missed this info, but (1) how many people are in your group? (2) how's your mobility, esp. climbing stairs? (3)do you know the address of your apartment yet? This info can narrow your choices waaaaaay down...!