How to Get From ✈️ Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Paris 🧑‍🎨

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Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

If you’re visiting Paris, you’ll more than likely be flying into the Charles de Gaulle airport. The distance from CDG to the center of Paris, France is 36.1km, which would take just over 30 minutes to travel by passenger car. It’ll take a little bit longer than that by train. This can sound overwhelming, but never fear – that’s why you’re here!

A map of Charles de Gaulle airport

Modes of Transport

There are many ways to get to Paris, which are all over the place in price, duration, safety, and convenience. Here are some of those ways:

  • Rental car
  • Train
  • Uber
  • Taxi
  • Excursion Transport

Traveling by Rental Car

I did a ton of research before traveling to France, so I already knew which method of transportation I was going to use to get to Paris. If I were to force myself to forget all of that research, a rental car sounds like it would be a great idea. Total freedrom to go wherever you want, right? And when you’ve just arrived in France, traffic looks totally palatable. If you’re from a big city with weaving freeways and people driving 40mph over the speed limit, then by all means rent a car if you’re comfortable with it.

It’s when you get to Paris where driving can be chaotic. Especially at Arc de Triomphe:

Traffic at Arc de Triomphe

Renting a car can be inexpensive. But let’s think ‘supply and demand’ here. Renting a car is inexpensive because everything else is expensive! Parking can be a nuissance (if you can even find somewhere to park), there’s the obvious liability both for the property you’ve rented – along with your own personal safety, fuel prices are high (think: California prices), and traffic can waste so much of your precious time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. So if you ask me, it’s easily a ‘no’.

Transport by Train

Getting to Paris via Train is the cheapest and easiest way to travel from CDG to Paris. And if you know me, you know I’m crazy frugal. And by frugal in this case, I mean nearly free. So taking the train fits the bill.

You’re looking for the RER B train. Look for signs like the photos above. You’ll use your Navigo Travel Card to board (costs €30 at the time of writing this article). Plus, you can use that Navigo Travel Card the entire time you’re in Paris!

Make sure you pay attention to which direction the RER B train is heading from your pick up point. Open up the Google Maps app on your phone and press the GPS icon. Once Google Maps acquires your location, you should be able to rotate in a circle and get an idea of which direction you need to be heading. Worst case scenario, you’ll ride one stop to where the train terminates (like I did the first time) and you just have to wait less than 10 minutes in order to hop on the other train, heading the correct direction towards Paris.


Uber is crazy convenient in the USA, and is usually fairly affordable. In Europe, however, the value just isn’t there. For just under €50 at the time or writing this article, you can grab a one-way transport from the Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris. But you’ll probably need to get back to the airport to fly back home. And at €100 for two trips, Uber is just not worth it. I have used Uber to get to La Palace de Versailles, and it wasn’t cheap, but it was cheaper and safer than renting a car for just over an hour of driving.


Here’s a fun fact: I’ve never been in a taxi, ever. Maybe I should give it a chance once, but I consider it an aging way to travel. Aging in the sense that there are just better mouse traps in the form of transportation out there. For the sake of this article, it looks like taxi cab fares for transport from CDG to Paris start at €55 and up.

You also have to make sure you’re hopping in a legitimate, licensed taxi to avoid either being ripped off or kidnapped, so I avoid them altogether. Sorry, taxi drivers.

Excursion Transport

Still more expensive than the RER B train above, another method of travel is something I’m going to label as “excursion transport”. Very similar to using a taxi, but with a defined price and reviews you can use to make an informed decision, GetYourGuide offers many options for getting from CDG to Paris.

Before You Leave the Airport

  • Grab a snack. You just landed, and we all know PLAY Airlines has a sweet lineup of food and beverages, but you’re in freaking Paris. The train ride is 30-45 minutes long. At least grab a quick snack and something to drink.
  • Don’t forget your Navigo Travel Card. You can pick one of these up that’ll last for an entire week (Monday through Sunday, expires on Sunday at midnight). They are sold at service desks and cost around €30. This card will seemingly become more important (and definitely more heavily used) during your entire time in Paris. It will take you anywhere within zones 1-5 and lets you use the following modes of transportation in an unlimited manner: bus, metro, RER train, and tram. An hour with an unlimited-use Navigo card in hand, and you’ll be an expert at getting anywhere you want to go in Paris!
  • Use the Photomaton photo kiosk to purchase a passport-sized photo of yourself to affix to the back of your Navigo card. RATP employees can perform random checks to see if you’ve done so.
  • Buy a SIM card (or eSIM) for your unlocked phone, if necessary. I spent a week in Paris on an unlocked Google Pixel 7 Pro on T-Mobile and used something like 3.0GB the entire time without any additional charges at all. Your carrier, plan, and mileage may vary. But to ensure you have the absolute best cellular connectivity while in France, purchase a SIM or eSIM that’s native to France. You can also buy a SIM or eSIM all over the place in Paris, but it’ll be more expensive. Or, buy one before you leave the USA.
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    March 23, 2024

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    It’s a huge world out there, and my goal is to experience as much of it as possible.