Not only is Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport France’s largest and busiest airport, it’s also the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow. Named after France’s President between 1959 and 1969, pay a visit and you’ll be one of around 62 million people that pass through the airport each year. Easily accessible from Paris and elsewhere in France by train, the airport referred to by locals as ‘Aeroport Roissy’ is also just a mere ten-minute trip to Disney World.
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Quick Facts
Distance from CBD: 25km from Paris CBD
Number of airlines: Over 150
Number of destinations served: 315
Number of terminals: 3 but Terminal 2 is divided into 7
Number of runways: 4
Check-in options at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport includes a choice of both self-service and at the desk check-in. Self-service counters open within five hours of each flight’s departure while desk check-in is usually open 120 minutes before an international flight, or earlier for destinations in the USA and Israel. Speak to your Flight Centre consultant or airline because it’s sometimes possible to check in electronically via your airline’s website. If this is the case you can progress directly to your boarding gate if you don’t have luggage, or to a dedicated baggage drop location if you have luggage that won’t be joining you in the cabin.
In the unfortunate event that you lose some luggage while at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you can find Lost Property offices located at both Terminals 1 and 3. For luggage lost on route or missing from the baggage claim area you’ll need to contact your airline directly. Unfortunately due to anti-terror legislation the luggage storage services at the airport have been suspended.
When you take into account airport exchange rates and commission charged it’s wise to think twice before exchanging large amounts airport exchange offers. A much better idea is to shop around for the best rate and get a good deal on Euros before arriving in Paris, or use one the many ATM machines at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to withdraw local currency using your debit card. You’ll still be charged a fee by the bank in your home country but the rate is usually much farer than the one you’ll get at the airport.
Internet Access / Wi-Fi
Take advantage of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s free Wi-Fi service to check e-mails or share any airport happy snaps with your friends back home before boarding your flight. A free and unlimited connection is available but if you have some serious work to do you can also take advantage of two premium services. The ‘Wi-Fi Faster’ is the mid range option while ‘Wi-Fi Stronger’ will give you internet 20 times faster than the free offering and allows you to connect on up to five devices.
If you’ve got some energetic kids that need distracting, a great place to go is one of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s play areas. Run by French children’s TV channel Gulli, you’ll find play areas in Terminal 1, 2A, 2C, 2E and 3. Each one offers an amusing range of activities including a maze, hopscotch, games, and of course cartoons on the televisions. Elsewhere in the airport, older children can be entertained at one of several PlayStation areas. They’re free to use and can be found at seven locations throughout the terminals including Terminals 1, 2 and 3. TAB: Lounges
If you want to escape the crowds but aren’t eligible to access one of the airline lounges, you can still take advantage of one of two very different airport lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Catch up on the news or refresh yourself by unwinding in the comfortable Icare Lounge. Located in the Duty Free Area of Terminal 1, 30 Euro grants you free Wi-Fi, newspapers, TV and a food buffet. The lounge is open 06:30 until 23:30 and kids under 12 are admitted free.
If you are lucky enough to be departing close to Terminal 2E, or don’t mind a walk, take advantage of the innovative music lounge. A free area where you can relax before your flight listening to music from the Universal Music catalogue, the Music Lounge has several listening stations that can also be used with you own listening device.
Holders of premium airline tickets or a Priority Pass can gain entry to one of a number of airline lounges located across Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s numerous terminals.
Having formed an alliance with Qantas, the Emirates Lounge will be of most interest to travellers flying from Australia. Recently redesigned, the new Emirates Lounge, located between Terminal 2A and 2C is one of Paris Charles de Gaulle’s most well regarded and offers a clear view of the tarmac and a full list of amenities including food, drinks, showers and newspapers. Open to First Class and Business Class passengers, as well as selected other passengers, the Emirates Lounge accommodates up to 156 passengers.
Located in Terminal 2 you’ll find not one but seven Air France lounges. Opening as early as 05:00, The Arrivals Lounge located in Terminal 2C opens earliest while the Salon Lounge in the same terminal is open until midnight. You will need to be flying on a premium ticket or be a Sky Team member to take advantage of Air France’s lounges.
Star Alliance Lounge
Eligible passengers traveling on airlines such as Air New Zealand, Thai and Singapore Airlines can take advantage of the Star Alliance lounge located in Terminal 1. Spread out over two levels, on Level 11 you’ll find the First Class Lounge, while a level lower is the Business Class lounge. Open 05:30 until 23:30 each day, the lounge offers a range of facilities including showers, a business centre, food and drinks, and a quiet zone with work desks.
Though there can be complaints about the crowds at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, there’s rarely a bad word spoken about its innovative design. Built in the image of an octopus, Terminal 1 has the most impressive design of all Paris Airport terminals and consists of a central check-in and baggage claim that branches out to different sections of the airport. You’ll find the majority of check-in counters can be found on the third floor that also has taxi, bus and special vehicle access.
Originally built just to house Air France, these days Terminal 2 has grown significantly and now consists of seven different sub-terminals. Terminal 2E is the terminal used primarily by Air France, but a range of airlines including Emirates, KLM and British Airways uses other sections of Terminal 2. The best connected of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s terminals, Terminal 2 is where you’ll find a TGV train stop that can take you throughout France and even Europe. No stress if you’re dropped off at the wrong spot - inside Terminal 2 each hall is connected, except for 2G, which can be reached by foot or a free shuttle bus.
If you are flying to Paris on a budget, chances are you will be landing or departing at Terminal 3. Home to low-cost carriers, Terminal 3 is the smallest of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s three terminals. The terminal itself has different buildings for departures and arrivals but don’t worry each one is easily marked. The only thing you should be wary of if you are coming to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport by TGV train is that Terminal 3 is about a five-minute walk away from the station.
Anyone that’s ever arrived at one of Paris’ hectic central train stations will realise why bus is the most stress free way to get to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport using public transport. There’s a multitude of service providers including the Air France run Les Cars Air France that departs between terminals 2E and 2F and Roissybus (departing from all terminals). The journey itself usually takes around an hour, and in daylight hours buses depart at least every 30 minutes so there’s no need to make a reservation. If you want to save a few Euro then local bus service is the cheapest way to get to the heart of Paris. Routes 350 and 351 travel to central destinations but there’s a multitude of stops along the way. If you are on a late flight you can take advantage of the Noctilien service that runs between 00:30 and 05:30. Pick up points for this night service are outside Gate 12 in Terminal 1, Gate 2 in Terminal 2 and the Rossybus station every hour.
If you want to zip into the centre of Paris then train is by far your best bet with journey time to Paris-Gare du Nord station just over thirty minutes. You’ll find two different train stations at the airport. A high-speed TGV station serves Terminal 2 while from Terminal 1 and 3 you can access Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport’s second train station. Finding the right train and direction can get a little confusing, but rest assured that there are helpful SNCF attendants there to provide all the information you need.
Though not cheap, taking a taxi is the most flexible way to travel to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Expect to pay between 50 and 60 Euro for the trip that can take up to an hour in peak hour traffic. Just be aware that some drivers might refuse a journey to nearby destinations such as airport hotels. You’ll find six different taxi stand locations at Terminal 2, a stand outside Gate 24 at Terminal 1, at the TGV station, and in front of Terminal 3. Hire France is definitely a country that leans itself to winding down the windows and hitting the highway. Even so local transport is efficient and reliable; consider hiring a car if you want to get around the country with the greatest freedom. You’ll find all the major car hire retailers at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport including Avis, Europcar and Hertz, some of which have desks in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Still, it’s wise to reserve a hire car in advance. To make sure you get the best deal speak to your Flight Centre consultant about options when booking your flights to Paris.
Drivers can park with ease at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airport is home to a total of 10 different car-parking areas. If you are picking up, dropping off or just on a short trip the best idea is to head to your terminal and follow the directions to the closest car park since short term parking prices are similar at each car park. If you want to leave your car at the airport for a longer period then Terminal 3’s four car parks offer the best rates for long term stays.
As a travel hub for France, Paris is serviced by a wide range of airlines. The following airlines reach Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Don't see the airline you are looking for? Talk to a consultant to book your Paris flights with your preferred airline.
The following airlines reach Paris. Don't see the airline you are looking for? Talk to a consultant to book your Paris flights with your preferred airline.
If you’ve got an early flight, late departure or are just in need of a few winks, you’ll find five different airport hotels located at Paris Charles de Gaulle’s Airport terminals. Within Terminal 2 itself is the Sheraton while a few minutes away from Terminals 1 and 2 using the light rail are three more options, Citizen M, Hilton, and Ibis hotels. A few kilometres further from the airport and your options widen up even more with Marriot, Mercure, Holiday Inn and Best Western all amongst over fifty hotels that are located less than 10 kilometres from the airport. To book your Paris Airport accommodation, search below or view more accommodation options.