|How to go from Paris’ Gare d’Austerlitz Railway Station to
Charles de Gaulle Airport
Welcome to Paris. You have just stumbled off your train at the Gare d’Austerlitz. Now you have to make your way to Charles de Gaulle airport, a.k.a. “Roissy” (the name of the village that it flattened).
If you arrived by overnight train, and are headed for a long flight, you may wish to shower in the elaborate rest room facility, to the left as you come off the train (private showers and necessary linens can be rented for a modest cost).
To Make the Trip Generalities
...you will be taking the Métro, followed by the RER, a sort of long-distance métro that goes out to the suburbs.
Locating the Métro
Find the entrance to the métro (straight ahead as you come off the trains). One métro line actually runs through the middle of the station’s vaulted train shed, on a bridge. This impetuous behavior makes the métro in general easy to find, and the impetuous line is the one you want.
Purchasing Your Ticket
Once at the ticket window, or the automatic machines, buy ticket direct to the airport. Charles de Gaulle Airport. If you wish to say please, it is “see voo play.”
- Keep your ticket until the end of your trip, since it can be inspected at any time by teams of roving tax auditors.
- If you are worried about being on the correct platform, there is a sign at the center of each platform telling you in which direction the trains are travelling (the last station on the line defines the direction of travel).
- There are strip maps of the individual line on which the train is travelling over each car door, to help you follow your progress through the system.
Making Your Trip
Step 1, Finding and Riding the Train
- Look for signs that lead you to the above-ground line 5, Direction Bobigny.
- Use your ticket(s) to proceed through the turnstiles.
- Follow Bobigny signs up to the platform.
- Take any train from that platform.
- Ride 9 stops, and detrain at Gare du Nord.
Step 2, Changing Trains, Riding the Second Train
Follow orange Correspondence signs, leading you towards RER line B, Direction Aéroport Charles de Gaulle. These will lead you up some stairs and to another set of turnstyles. Use your same ticket to pass through, and down again, to track level. There are two tracks here, one on each side of the platform. In normal circumstances, your train to the airport will depart from the platform on the right, though there can be exceptions, especially in the event of some sort of service irregularity.
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 going 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
You will need your ticket (still the same one) a final time, to exit the system. 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.