Directions from the Hôtel Ducs de Bourgogne
to the Airport Trains (to either Charles de Gaulle or Orly)
Step 1 - Walking from the Hotel des Ducs de Bourgogne to the Airport Trains
Turn left out of the front door of the hotel, onto the rue du Pont-Neuf. At the end of the street, a block and a half away, you will come to a park, the Jardin des Halles, above a shopping center, the Forum des Halles. To be sure you are in the right place: straight across the park you will see an imposing church (the Eglise Ste. Eustache).
A set of escalators / stairs heads underground here. Head down. At the bottom of a series of escalators / stairs, you will find yourself in a large, underground shopping mall. As you come off the final escalator, a short distance in front of you on your right hand, is an entrance to the “Métro” and the “RER.” Go there.
Use the airport ticket attached to this sheet to proceed through the turnstiles (or buy yourself a ticket to the appropriate airport). Now, if you are travelling to Charles de Gaulle, read on. If you are travelling to Orly, see the bottom of this document.
To Roissy / Charles de Gaulle Airport
Look for signs that lead you to Line B, travelling in the direction of “Roissy / Aéroport Charles de Gaulle.” Follow these signs down another set of stairs (or escalators), through another set of turnstiles, and down one more level to a platform.
You will find yourself on a platform with train tracks on both sides, one against the wall of the station, and the other facing still more tracks and platforms beyond. This latter is the one you want. It is clearly labeled for Line B, direction “Roissy / Aéroport Charles de Gaulle.”
Step 2, CDG - Boarding and Riding the Correct Train to the Correct Stop
Above the platform is an electronic list of station names, with indicators which light up adjacent to the name of each station served by the approaching train. This electronic list includes the name of the airport. It will list two stations bearing the name of the airport, numbered 1 and 2. If you are going to Terminal 1, or to Terminal 3, you want a train serving “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1.” If you are going to Terminal 2, you want a train serving “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2.” All trains going to the airport serve the station for terminal 1. Virtually all also serve terminal 2.
In General: Air France, Air Canada, Continental, Delta, American, British Airways, and Alitalia flights leave from Terminal 2. Most other airlines leave from Terminal 1. Charter and budget flights leave from Terminal 3. But there are exceptions to these rules, and you should consult your ticket, call your airline, or consult the departure monitors in the airport train station to be sure you know from which terminal your flight departs.
Wait until an approaching train lights up the square adjacent your destination (Charles de Gaulle 1 or 2, as appropriate). An added check: the four-letter name written across the front of the train, above the driver’s cab, should begin with the letter “E” if the train is headed for the airport.
Journey time is approximately 30 minutes. If you are going to Terminal 2, it is the last stop, so you do not have to worry about rushing to get off. But in any event, and especially if you are trying to go to Terminal 1, you may follow your progress on the strip map over each car door. Note: not all trains make all stops!
If you are going to Terminal 1 and miss your stop, simply get off at Terminal 2. The people mover (shuttle train) which serves Terminal 1 originates at Terminal 2, and so will take you back at the cost of a detour of just a few minutes.
Step 3 CDG - Finding Your Way to Your Terminal
If you are headed to Terminal 1 (de-training at the Terminal 1 / Roissypole station), a free shuttle train (people mover) called CDGVAL will take you to the terminal building from the railway station. Turn right once through the exit turnstyles to find it (it is on the left).
If you are headed for Terminal 3 (detraining at the Terminal 1 station), you can walk there: it is close by.
If you are going to Terminal 2, consult the flight monitors in the railway station itself (once you have come out of the exit turnstiles) to find out which of the six buildings that make up the terminal to go to. All of 2-A, 2-C, 2-E and 2-F are used for transatlantic flights. 2-B and 2-D are generally reserved for intra-Europe flights. In any event, follow the clear signs to the appropriate Terminal.
To Orly Airport
We have not written this one up carefully, as relatively few international flights now use Orly. But, in a nutshell, you enter the RER as if headed to Roissy / Charles de Gaulle, and follow signs for line B. However, this time you want trains headed to the south, in the direction of Massy-Palaiseau or St.-Rémy-les-Chevreuse. These trains all leave from the same platform, but so do other trains. Take any train that lights up the platform indicator for the Antony station, and get off when you get there, 20 - 30 minutes later.
The Orly Airport people mover / shuttle train, which serves both Orly terminals, also serves the Antony RER station. You will find it at the back of your RER train from Paris when you get off. You will need to pass the ticket that you used to ride the RER through a final set of turnstyles to board.
To Beauvais Airport
Full disclosure: we have never been to Beauvais Airport, and do not know many people who have. Parisians tend not to fall for the Beauvais trick. Beauvais airport is not really a Paris airport at all, but rather is in the eponymous town, 90 minutes northwest of Paris in good traffic (it is faster, and a heck of a lot more pleasant, to take the train to some foreign countries).
However, should you need to make this trip, there are two ways to do so. The train is less frequent, and doesn't get your right to the airport (you still have a short taxi ride). But it is faster, more reliable, and more pleasant. The bus is a pain to get to, and subject to traffic conditions, but it goes straight to the air terminal, and departures are timed to get you to flights.
(1) By train, from the Gare du Nord.
To get to the Gare du Nord, follow the instructions into the RER as if going to Charles de Gaulle airport, above. But, once you are on the RER train headed for the airport, get off after only one stop, at the Gare du Nord. Main line trains to Beauvais depart from here. Journey time is about an hour, trains run hourly. A 20€ taxi ride will get you from the Beauvais station to the airport in 20 minutes, and taxis meet the trains at the station. There is also a shuttle bus, but the one time a friend of ours tried to take it, it never showed up.
(2) By bus, from the Porte Maillot.
Porte Maillot is a freeway interchange on the western edge of Paris, served by line 1 of the métro (direction La Défense).
We’re not sure how to find the bus in the midst of the post-apocolyptic spaghetti soup of highways and fumes, but we have seen signs in the métro (within the Porte Maillot station) pointing the way. Buses depart Porte Maillot 3 hours before every flight, but it is important to know that the bus / plane connections are not guaranteed. If the bus gets stuck in traffic, and you miss your flight, the airline will not refund you / put you on the next one / even be very sympathetic. That is not the nature of the airlines that serve Beauvais.