Europe

Charles de Gaulle Airport 2022 Guide: Know Your Way Around!

Updated on:  
April 4, 2022
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Miriam Jaffe
Miriam Jaffe
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We're rolling out the Charles de Gaulle airport blueprints to show you all the tips and tricks in navigating one of the largest airports in the world, especially in 2022. Read on to find out more.

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If you’re planning on visiting France, chances are you’ll be flying into Paris. This means you'll most likely get to experience Charles de Gaulle Airport, more lovingly known as CDG. Navigating airports can be stressful, especially if you haven’t been somewhere before.

Don't worry, we’re going to walk you through all there is to know about CDG - allons-y!

Image Courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Airport layout

Let's roll out the CDG Blueprint!

CDG has three terminals, with the vast majority of flights departing from terminal 2. Terminal 2 is split up into separate hubs marked by letters (2A, 2C, etc…). Travelling between terminals can be done on foot, by bus, or using the CDGVAL light rail.

Image Courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Taking the train

With this being France, train services are readily available to and from the airport. There is an SNCF train station located between Terminals 2C, 2D, 2E, and 2F. It can be a bit of a trek to walk from the station to your terminal (or the other way) so if on foot isn’t the route you want to take, there are busses and shuttles available to take you to your intended destination. 

If you’re coming from Paris to the airport or wanting to go into Paris after arriving, you can also opt to take the RER. The entrance is in the same location as the train station. You’ll be taking the RER B if you want to plan your route in either direction before you leave! The journey to/from central Paris takes approximately 60 minutes and will cost €12.50.

To get to the RER or the SNCF station, follow the signs towards “train”. You’ll head down an escalator to reach the waiting area for the trains, where you’ll also find the ticket counter and machines to purchase your train ticket if you haven’t done it in advance. 

Image Courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Airport Hotels

In addition to the handy train service, there are also several hotels located in, or within walking distance of, CDG. These are especially useful if you have a long, or overnight, layover. To get to these hotels, follow the “hotels” and “airport hotels” signs in the airport. Here’s a list of the airport hotels and their locations:

Terminal 2

  • Sheraton
  • YotelAir (available to passengers transferring within terminal 2E. This is the only airport that you can access without clearing customs, but you must be flying out of terminal 2E to access the hotel)

Terminal 3

  • Citizen M
  • Hilton
  • Ibis, Ibis Styles
  • Novotel
  • Pullman

Parc PR

  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Innside by Melia
  • Mercure
  • Moxy

While some of these hotels are 4*, the cheaper 3* options are YotelAir, Holiday Inn Express, Ibis, and Ibis Styles. Keep in mind prices will be slightly elevated to pay for the convenience of staying very close to the airport. 

If you’re looking to just stay near CDG without actually staying in an airport hotel, there are several options at various price points. Check out this handy guide here for the options!

Thinking about booking a CDG airport hotel? Use the official CDG site to visualize where the hotels are, and easily see their availability. 

Image Courtesy: Hilton

Airport lounges

Sometimes when you have a long layover, buying a lounge pass can be tempting. In addition to individual airline lounges, CDG has the Icare Lounge and the Instant Paris Lounge that any passengers can access (for a fee). If the airline you’re flying has a lounge, you can explore purchasing a pass if your ticket doesn’t include lounge entry. 

Lounge locations and the airlines they service can be found here

  • Icare Lounge: located in Terminal 1, the cost is €40 for access (except for passengers flying Aer Lingus, Estonian, IcelandAir, Norwegian, and Sri Lankan).
  • Instant Paris Lounge: located in Terminal 2, free for passengers flying out of Terminal 2E gates K, L, M. Access to YotelAir is not included. 
Image Courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Transiting through CDG

We can’t always book direct flights (as much as we might wish), and that means that occasionally we have to layover somewhere. If you’ve booked a flight with a layover through Paris, fear not, we’ll walk you through what that might look like. 

Depending on where you’re arriving and departing from, the transit process can take up to 90 minutes (there can be a lot of walking involved). If you’re traveling on one ticket, any checked bags will most likely be transferred to your connecting flight. If this is you, follow the yellow “transfer” symbol.

If you’ve booked on separate tickets, you might need to exit, collect your bags, check them in again, and clear security before you can proceed to your gate. If this is you, follow the “conveyor belt” or “exit” signs. 

Image Courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Wondering how much time you need to make your transfer? The airport has created a handy tool to estimate how long it will take. Simply input your arrival and departure flight information, and you’ll not only find out how much time you should expect to take, but what your route from one gate to the next will look like!

Be aware that depending on your route, you may need to clear immigration as part of your transit process. This applies to flights going from Schengen countries to non-Schengen countries, and vice versa. If you’re flying non-Schengen to Schengen, or non-Schengen to non-Schengen, you will need to clear security control as well (no passport or visa check). 

*Schengen area countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

CDG to Paris

While CDG is an airport in Paris, it’s not in the heart of Paris. The airport is about 26 km (16 miles) from central Paris. If you’re thinking about exploring Paris during a layover, be sure to allow ample time for transit in and out of Paris. 

There are taxi stands outside every terminal where you can hail a licensed taxi to take you anywhere in Paris. Follow signs for “taxi” to ensure you head to the right place. Estimate at least €50 for a taxi ride to any central area of Paris.

You can also get to central Paris by bus. Follow “bus” signs outside all three terminals to find the stop. There are a couple of options you can take, depending on where you want to go:

  • Roissybus: CDG <-> Opera. The full journey takes approximately 60 minutes, and will cost €13,70. 
  • Bus route 350 (RATP): CDG <-> Paris Porte de la Chapelle (via Gare de L’Est). The full journey takes approximately 65 minutes, and will cost €6. 
  • Bus route 351 (RATP): CDG <-> Paris Nation. The cost is €6 with stops at all three terminals.
  • Night bus (RATP Noctilien): CDG <-> Paris Gare de L’Est. 
  • N143: Journey time is 60 minutes, and the cost is €7.60
  • N140: Journey time is 100 minutes, and the cost is €7.60

If you’re wanting to go to Disney Paris, there’s the Disneyland Magical Shuttle available. Cost is €23 for adults, and the shuttle can drop you off at any of the Disney hotels, or the park itself. Pickup locations are at exit 32 in Terminal 1, and the arrival level in Terminals 2E-2F.

Image Courtesy: easyCDG

CDG airport Covid testing

Hopefully one day readers will be able to skip this section (and maybe even question why we included it), but for now, it’s unfortunately relevant. If you are flying out of CDG to somewhere where a negative Covid test is required, you can get tested at the airport.

You will need to make an appointment using Doctolib, which can be made up to 72 hours in advance of your flight. You will need your appointment confirmation and a valid flight ticket to access the testing centers.

It is also recommended that you get an additional test done in the city before departure in case your results from the airport don’t come in time for your flight. For prices, and more information about getting tested at CDG, head here

Image courtesy: Paris Aeroport

Paris vous aime

Charles de Gaulle’s theme is "Paris vous aime", which translates to "Paris loves you". Whether CDG is your first stop in Paris, or your last, being prepared for what to expect can only help ease any travel stress, and help you feel Paris’ love. There’s also free WiFi in the airport so you can make use of that while you’re in the building. 

Now that you know all there is to know about the airport, what about the rest of Paris? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. On our blog, you can find tips on what to eat in ParisParisian souvenirs to buy, and best places to stay in Paris!

Even if Paris isn’t where you want to go, make sure you check out all our resources at Pilot. We’ve got itinerary planning ideas, destination inspiration, budgeting tips, and more to make travel a breeze, so come say hi!

Originally published on:  
August 3, 2021

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