How to go from Paris’ airports to the Hôtel des Ducs d’Anjou
in one easy lesson.
1 rue Sainte Opportune
(0)1 42 36 92 24
From Charles de Gaulle Airport
From Orly Airport
From Beauvais Airport
Ordering Airport Train Tickets, from Charles de Gaulle or Orly (this takes you to a different page)
Welcome to Paris. You have just de-planed, and you are still cursing the Wright brothers. Now you have to make your way to the hotel.
But first, you must figure out at which airport you have landed.
Most intercontinental flights come into Roissy, the name we locals give to Charles de Gaulle Airport. More often than not, you will be in Terminal 2. But USAir, United, Lufthansa, and several Asian / African / Middle Eastern carriers use terminal 1, instead. Budget and charter carriers use Terminal 3 (Air Transat, Corsair...).
The other option (Paris’ other “real” airport) is Orly. Not much intercontinental service, but many intra-European flights.
If you were on a “low-cost” carrier, such as Ryanair, you may have landed at Beauvais.
Beauvais is not really a Paris airport at all: it is in the eponimous town, 90 minutes northwest of the city in normal traffic. You can go by train to some foreign countries faster than you can get to Beauvais.
No one at Blue Marble, nor any of our friends, has ever used Beauvais Airport, so we only know of it by reputation. (We take trains within Europe, even when they cost more we all have our luxuries). But we tell you what we know about making this trip.
Buying Tickets for the Airport Train (Orly or Charles de Gaulle)
If you wish to buy tickets through us, to avoid dealing with the issue in your post-flight fog (or to avoid ticket lines which can stretch to an hour in summer), here is how to order tickets for the airport train.
Otherwise, get some euros from an airport exchange place before you get to the ticket counter. Credit cards without French “chips” are not accepted at all windows (nor in ticket machines).
From Roissy / Charles de Gaulle Airport
These are both names for the same place.
From Terminal 1.
- From the baggage pick-up, follow signs for Paris Par Train (Paris by train). These will direct you to an elevator bank, hidden behind a wall between exit doors 34 and 36. Get on the next elevator.
- These elevators have only two buttons. One corresponds to where you are. Push the other one. The elevator will take you down a few levels, and let you out via the opposite door.
- In front of you, and up a ramp, is a train platform for a people-mover called “CDGVAL.” Go there. Board the next departing train, on either side of the platform. No tickets are required.
- Ride 2 stops, to Roissypole, the name of the station for trains to Paris (called the “RER”). Two more stops would bring you to the “Gare TGV” (long-distance trains), and to terminal 2.
- Exit the CDGVAL people mover. Go up a stair / escalator. You will find yourself in the hall of a much bigger train station.
- If you already have your ticket to Paris, turn left and then right to get to the platforms / trains.
If you need to buy a ticket, turn right, to come to the ticket office.
Your train to Paris will leave from the far platform (any train on either side of the far platform will go to Paris). Now skip down to Step 2.
From Terminal 2. Signs in your terminal will point you to RER / TGV or Gare RER / TGV. Don’t panic if the “RER “ and the “TGV” are inverted: they are still pointing to the same thing. This is the rail station. Paris par Train also works. If you orient yourself by facing the street in front of your terminal, the station is to the right of terminals 2A, 2C, and 2F; to the left of 2B, 2D or 2E.
- When you get to the trains, and are given a choice between RER and TGV, choose RER. This is the train into Paris.
- Go down two levels to get to the main station hall, and another, third, level to get to the platform, with a train track on each side.
- Consult the departure board, which will give each train's departure time, to see which is leaving first. Also, be sure to look along the platform: short trains park at one end, and you may not even realize that the train is sitting in the station until it has pulled out! Board the next departing train. Now go on to Step 2.
From Terminal 3. Signs in your terminal will point you to RER / TGV or Gare RER / TGV. Don’t panic if the “RER “ and the “TGV” are inverted: they are still pointing to the same thing. This is the rail station. Paris par Train also works, as does Roissypole. A bit of a walk will bring you to the train station.
All the trains from the airport stations go the same place. If you do not already have a ticket, buy one in the ticket office, a level up from the trains. Keep this ticket safe, since you will need it several times during the journey.
Take the first train - they run about every 10 minutes. Locals make about 10 stops on the way into town; expresses run non-stop. Despite this, the first train to depart is the first to arrive: the “expresses” just run slowly, following the locals on their same tracks.
After about a 30-minute ride, your train goes underground and stops at Gare du Nord, where it will idle for a minute or two. Start paying attention here. Stay on board, and ride one more stop, getting off at Châtelet - Les Halles.
Special case: if literally everybody gets off your train at the Gare du Nord, and an announcement is made, it means that there is a strike. These are different from North American versions. They don’t stop trains from running, they just mix them up a bit. Their only practical effect is to make you change trains here at the Gare du Nord.
You can ask us about this entertaining cultural phenomenon when you hook up with us. In the mean time, get off, go upstairs one flight, and follow signs which read Direction Mairie de Montrouge, or M 4 Mairie de Montrouge. After some corridors, these will bring you to a platform. Take any train that comes, and ride it 7 stops to the Châtelet station. You want to leave the station via the exit marked Sortie Place St. Opportune. When you come outside, your hotel is just to your right, on the little plaza you find there.
You have detrained at the Châtelet - Les Halles station.
- Take any escalator or stair up (one flight).
- At the top of the stairs or escalator, you arrive in a confusing concourse. Dark blue Sortie (exit) signs indicate different sorties. The one you want is labeled Rue Pierre Lescot. Follow signs to get to it.
- Go through the ticket barriers you find barring your way (using the same little ticket you used at the airport), pass through some glass doors, make a “U” turn, and go up another flight of stairs / escalators.
- At the top of this stair / escalator, walk forward, and make another “U” turn onto a much longer escalator (if it is broken, a series of short escalators a bit further on will work, too). Up you go!
You have now reached daylight (or, if it is night, at least the open air).
- Turn right, onto the pedestrian street you find in front of you (rue Pierre Lescot), and walk forward. In a block, you will pass along the right side of an open square adorned by a fountain.
- Still continuing straight, pass through some arches at the far side of the square, into another street. Your hotel is now a block ahead, on the right hand side.
Orly airport has two terminals: south (sud), and west (ouest). Whichever you are in (generally south if arriving from abroad) follow signs to reach OrlyVal (“Paris by Métro”).
When you exit the baggage pick-up area (and pass through customs if necessary), you will find yourself inside the terminal building, facing the street. Outside the terminal, above the roadway on a viaduct, is a green-and-white train. This is what you want to ride. The little ticket hall is inside the terminal building. At the south terminal, it is a bit to the left in the corridor that you are standing in once you clear customs.
If you do not already have a ticket, use one of the multi-lingual machines to buy one to Paris. You will need euros to do so.
Go up the escalator which leads to the platform, and get on the first train. They all go to the same place in the end: the Antony railway station. This is where you want to go. From Orly-Sud it is 2 stops (the train will first go to Orly-Ouest), and the total ride takes about 10 minutes. If you have come from Sud, do not be alarmed when the train reverses direction at Orly-Ouest - it is still doing what you want it to.
When you reach Antony, get off. Go through the turnstyles, along the short moving sidewalk, and up the escalator to your left. This brings you to the platform for Paris. Walk towards the left when you reach the platform if there is no train waiting, since you will need to be at the far front end of the approaching train when you get off.
Take the first train that comes. They all go where you need them to. Depending on whether or not you are on an express, this trip will take between 20 and 30 minutes.
When the train goes underground, which it does as it enters the Denfert-Rochereau station, start paying attention. You now have 4 more stops: Port-Royal, Luxembourg, St-Michel, and Châtelet-Les Halles. When you get to this last, get off.
You have detrained at the Châtelet - Les Halles station, and are at the start of Step 3 of the Charles de Gaulle instructions, above. Follow those to get to your hotel.
Beauvais Airport is not really a Paris airport at all. As it's name implies, it is in the town of Beauvais, 90 minutes north of Paris. A coach operates from the Beauvais airport to the Porte Maillot, a large traffic circle on the eastern edge of the city, meeting most flights.
From Porte Maillot, métro line 1 runs into the city. Get off at the Châtlet station, and exit by the rear of the train (the Rue des Lavandières exit). At the top of the stairs, cross the big street (rue de Rivoli), and continue forward for two very short blocks, walking against traffic on the Rue des Lavandières. At the end of this short walk, fight your way across the busy intersection you find: your hotel is on the far side of the plaza that you reach by doing so, on the left.
Or, there is an hourly train from Beauvais town to the Gare du Nord , taking 65 minutes to make the trip. The trip from Beauvais airport to Beauvais station is about 14 euros by taxi; there is also an occasional bus. From Gare du Nord to Châtelet is 7 stops (about 9 minutes) on line 4 of the métro, direction Mairie de Montrouge. At Châtelet, exit to the rear of the train, via the Place Ste.-Opportune exit: your hotel is just to your right as you reach the top of the stairs.