Landing at Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, you might think you’ve arrived in Paris, but you’re not quite there yet. CDG, or Roissy, as it is often called, is actually some 30 km outside of Paris. But don’t worry, there are several ways to get from the airport to the city center.
Called the RER, this commuter train is a sort of extended metro that crosses Paris and goes out to the more distant suburbs. You can hop onto the RER B at Terminals 2 and 3. If you land at Terminal 1, just take the free airport shuttle between the terminals. You’ll see plenty of blue signs around guiding you to “Paris by train.” Buy a ticket from one of the RATP machines; a one-way trip should cost you around 12€. The RER runs between 04:46 and 23:56 every day and it takes around 45 minutes to arrive at Gare du Nord, where you’ll have access to several metro and bus lines.
There are several buses you can take from the airport to get into the heart of Paris, including dedicated shuttle buses as well as regular city bus lines. The Roissy Bus runs between 06:00 and 23:00 and takes you straight to Opéra in central Paris for 12.50€, with tickets available on board. The Air France bus, available even if you don’t fly Air France, leaves from Terminals 1 and 2 and drops you off right at the Arc de Triomphe for just 15€ (26€ round-trip). The local bus routes 350 and 351 cost a mere 6€, but stop a lot and can take up to 90 minutes to get you to Gare de l’Est or Nation. If you arrive late at night and neither the RER nor buses are running, you can take the night bus N140/N143 to Gare de l’Est. It’s just 8€ and has fewer stops.
Go to one of the many taxi ranks (or stands) located just outside the baggage claim areas of each terminal and you can get a taxi to the Rive Droite for the set fare of 50€ or 55€ for the Rive Gauche. The taxis in France aren’t yellow, or even all the same color – just look for the illuminated sign on the roof of the car to find a licensed cab. Also, know that official taxis aren’t allowed to approach you inside the airport and ask if you need a ride.
If you just have hand luggage, are in a rush, or just want a thrill, take a motorbike taxi. For 88€ you can sit on the back of a bike and enjoy an adrenaline-fueled way of zipping through the traffic into the city. To find where to catch one, check here: www.motocab.com/aeroports-paris
Just download the app, or if you already have it for your home country, it works in France just as well. An Uber into the city center will cost around 45€. Depending on the terminal, you’ll need to exit on either the departure or arrivals level to meet your driver. Check the Uber website for details.
Unlike in some countries where everyone gets in on this lovey-dovey holiday from the earliest age, in France, Valentine's Day is reserved for adults in love. Kids don't exchange cards and the French wouldn't dream of offering anything to their friends for this fête.