|How to go from the AIRPORT to any of the following:
- Hôtel SENLIS
- Hôtel du BRESIL
- Hôtel CUJAS
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. If you are consulting this sheet, it means you are reserved at one of the following (all of which are close to each other, located on the left bank, near the Luxembourg gardens).
- Hôtel du Brésil, 10 rue Le Goff, 75005 Paris, phone 01.43.54.76.11
- Hôtel Senlis, 7 rue Malebranche, 75005 Paris, phone 01.43.29.93.10
- Hôtel Cujas Panthéon, 18 rue Cujas, 75005 Paris, phone 01.43.54.58.10
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 lines 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 eponymous 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 a station called Gare du Nord, where it will idle for a minute or two. Start paying attention here. Stay on board, and ride three more stops, getting off at Luxembourg.
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 anglo-saxon 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, cross the concourse in which you find yourself (to the left compared to the direction in which you train was travelling as it pulled in), and go back down one flight to the opposite platform. From that platform, catch any train on either side to continue your route to Luxembourg. You can confirm that it is headed there by looking at the platform indicators that show the stops for every departing train.
Get off at the “Luxembourg” stop. If you have come from Charles de Gaulle, use the exit by the rear of the train. If from Orly, use the exit by the front of the train.
Once up the first flight of stairs (but still underground), follow signs to use the exit marked “rue Gay Lussac” to the street. When you reach the street, you are standing on Boulevard Saint Michel. If your destination is the Senlis or the Brésil, follow these instructions. See below for the Cujas.
- If you are not already oriented this way, turn to face south, into the bulk of traffic, the park across the boulevard on your right hand.
- Immediately turn left onto the rue Royer Collard.
- Go straight ahead one short block, and cross rue Gay Lussac; cutting across your path at an angle.
- Once across rue Gay Lussac turn left and follow rue Le Goff.
If your hotel is the Hôtel Le Brésil, it is just ahead on your left.
If you are going to the Senlis, make the first turn on your right, off of rue Le Goff. You are now on rue Malebranche. The hotel is a block away, on the right, at numbers 7 & 9.
If you are going to the Hôtel Cujas, orient yourself facing the other way once you come out of the métro and reach the Boulevard St.-Michel. That is: face north, the park accross the boulevard on your left hand. Walk slightly downhill on Boulevard St.-Michel. You will immediately cross two busy intersections, with rue Gay Lussac and with rue Soufflot. Continue a block further, still on Boulevard St Michel. Turn right at the intersection this brings you to, onto rue Cujas. The hotel is 100 yards down on the left.
Orly airport is in a state of flux. While all inter-continental airlines are currently in the south terminal, there is discussion of moving some to the west one (those are Orly's only two terminals). The following information assumes that you arrive at the south terminal, or Aerogare Sud. If you arrive instead at the west terminal, follow signs to reach OrlyVal (“Paris by Métro”), take the automated people-mover to Antony (the first stop), and start reading these instructions in the 2nd paragraph of step 2, below.
When you exit the baggage pick-up area and pass through customs at Orly Sud, 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, 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. It is the 2nd stop, after Orly-Ouest, and the total ride takes about 10 minutes. 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 2 more stops to your destination: Port-Royal, and Luxembourg,
where you detrain.
When you reach the Luxembourg station, walk along the platform to the front of the train (if that is not where you were riding).
You are now at the start of Step 3 of the Charles de Gaulle instructions, above. Follow the rest of those instructions 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, RER line C runs from a cute little train station on the north of the circle, into the city. Connecting to line B at the St.)Michel / Notre Dame station, and taking this for one stop to the Luxembourg station, would put you at the start of Step 3 of the Charles de Gaulle instructions, above (as if you were coming from Charles de Gaulle).
Or, there is an hourly train to the Gare du Nord , taking 65 minutes to make the trip. The trip from Beauvais airport to Beauvais station is about 10 euros by taxi; we do not know if there is a bus for this. From Gare du Nord to Luxembourg is 3 stops on line B of the RER. Again, this would put you at the start of Step 3 of the Charles de Gaulle instructions, above.