Traveling to West-Africa is most convenient going via Paris. Make sure you transit time is 2h or more as your suitecase will not make it in time. In general to airport is ok, but very large so be in time to catch your next flight!
On the way back from Cameroon I bumbed into Samuel Eto'o the superstar player of the National Team of Cameroon. Former player of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
We stayed at the Ibis right next door to CDG so we had no trouble getting to the airport 3 hours early. The United desk had a bit of a line, you can save this waiting by printing out your boarding pass and just using the bag drop. I had wanted to upgrade to economy plus and thought we could do it at a self serve kiosk but United doesn't have those. Immigration was very quick, just a few minutes, security was handled once you got near your gate area and that line was a little slow as they give preference to those passengers that have earlier flights so don't head to your gate too close to your boarding time.
We flew out of Terminal 1, once we got past security there was only a Relay store which sold a few prepackaged snacks, a couple of duty free stores and a coffee bar so if you need to eat, do it before you go through security.
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport (aka Roissy) is where you'll likely be arriving (especially if you're coming in from outside of Europe). It's an international airport and one of the busiest in the world (the second-busiest in Europe after London Heathrow). It handles major airlines as well as budget flights, and is often a transfer/connection point for people going to other destinations in Europe. All this means that it can get chaotic at times - long lineups, lots of waiting, etc. Be sure to get there early before flying out, and if you're simply connecting through the airport, never pick flight arrangements with a connection of less than 2 hours (I nearly missed a flight to Stockholm in 2003 because of a too-tight connection).
This airport seems to polarise people. We either love it or hate it. I’m somewhere in the middle, but leaning towards “love”.
It helps that I’ve used it so often, and know it pretty well as a result.
Compared to Amsterdam, you have much less distance to walk to the gates but may have to switch between the sections of Terminal 2 - 2E to 2F on my last trip, for example. That’s an easy walk. Sometimes you’ll need a shuttle bus of course, but is that worse than walking the length of Schiphol? Not for me.
It is less of a shopping centre than Heathrow, where the operators seem to forget the primary purpose of an airport. Amsterdam is too keen on the shopping experience too.
You have a choice of Air France coach, the TGV or RER to get to/from the city. The RER is a bit rickety, slow and strike plagued but no worse than the London Underground Piccadilly line. The Heathrow Express is fast and comfortable, of course, but at a price. Same applies to the TGV at CdG.
Schiphol wins hands down on transport links of course - fast, well priced and frequent train connections.
CDG ~ Charles de Gaulle Airport is 14 miles (23 kms) northeast of Paris ,
my previous stops having been transits, arriving and departing with Air France to and from JNB ~ Johannesnburg with YUL ~ Dorval -Montreal and XDS -Ottawa via station the origin of the multi stop journey.
This is a large airport so worhwhille being familiar with where you are going, keep an eye on the signs and there is three Terminals
hre is a site to familiarise you with CDG, getting around between the terminals with the CDGVAL Shuttle and th MAP of CDG
Terminal 2 is 3 major building with Roissypôle which is the RER link and shuttles to hotels etc
We used the new easyBus (from the airline easyJet) bus service from Charles de Gaulle airport into Paris when we visited last week.
The bus cost us less than 5 euros each and is a direct service into the centre of Paris. Their prices start from 2 euros when booked online at www.easyBus.fr
The buses leave every 30 minutes from Terminal 2 exit door number 5.
Recommended to book online to get the cheapest price.
Charles de Gualle Airport is one of the busiest and largest airports in Europe and every major (and minor ones too) airline have flights to Paris via CDG. Although the airport can be a bit confusing, transportation into Paris city center is quite easy.
I usually only fly American Airlines into CDG as I am an elite member and with two direct flights from NYC, it's easy and convenient for me.
The flight is about a nice and comfortable 8 hours, with pleasant flight attendants.
All of the American Airlines flights arrive/depart from Terminal 2A (Except flights to/from London which are in Terminal 2B).
For information about which terminal your flight will arrive in, check out the website below.
Lots of experience flying into CDG it can be a long taxi as huge airport.You are never sure if the planes going to a gate or you can be dropped off on the tarmac and the dreaded bus.Then they have the passport check which causes a tailback.Sorry if being negative but one hour is not enough 1 1/2 is more realistic especially if you have to catch the train shuttle as well delays there also.Dont expect much help from the ground crew as few speak english and you are more likely to be sent the wrong way.Plenty of maps on the web best do a bit of homework so you have an idea.The TGV station is however well signposted.Best of luck
Needless to say, our trip supposed reaching Paris by air, and so we arrived at CDG airport. Definitely not one of my favourite airports – chaotic, not very well organized and rather tiring – but, it is what it is. We decided to go to Paris with RoissyBus. That seemed to be the smartest choice after the research we did. It was quite easy to do that. As soon as we exited from the gate, right across there was a RoissyBus stop, inside was a ticket machine and so we bought our tickets there. There are buses frequently so in about ten minutes we were on our way to Paris.
Just as simple and easy was on our way back. We took the bus from the Opera stop – it’s well marked, there’s also a ticket-machine there, and you won’t miss it. Timetable is available online and prior to the travel date, it’s easy to plan going to the airport.
Roissybus info found at:
At Denfert-Rochereau, you get all the conveniences in one place.
There is a Charles de Gaulle Airport train service, Orly Airport Bus Service, Metro Station and the Hop-On and Hop-Off Tourist Bus (L'Open) stop.
For train service to/from Charles de Gaulle Airport, the service is full of commuters until it reaches Gare du Nord international rail station, which is in between Denfert-Rochereau and the Airport. Ticket to CDG cost about 8-9 Euro each. Give yourself more time to reached CDG Airport. The train I was on made an unscheduled stop at one of a station on the non-stop section of the route and that took at good 10-20 minutes waiting time before continuing the final leg into CDG Airport.
As for the Orly Airport Bus, I didn't try it but I believe this is the starting point of the service. Hence should not have problem getting onto it.
L'Open also calls at this location as the Catatombs is one of the tourist spot.
Behind the station, there is the Mariott Hotel. I stayed at Hotel du Lion with a view of the Eiffel Tower and Tower Montparnasse. There is Monoprix market, cafes and eateries.
On top of that, the famous Catatombs is just across the road from the metro station.
By the way, this first picture was taken on 19th July at 9:00pm at night.
Having taken the taxi twice this last month from cdg to Paris, it is between 62 to 70 euros one way.
Many flights arrive at that time, it does matter whether you are flying AF or someother airline, since the terminals are different altogether and Skyteam flies out of 2E and F where as Star Alliance flies out of Terminal 1 which is altogether at a different place (cant walk from there to 2). if you are flying into 2 and flying out of 2 , that would help you save a little time as well.
Train takes about one hour and hopefully there wont be a strike that day.
so you have about three hours in Paris.
If you are flying Air France you could use their arrival lounge, if you are a Premium member or for a fee at some other lounge so that you can have a shower and freshen up. There is not a whole lot to do at Paris Airport apart form munching or imbibing something (be prepared to pay 5 euros ie 6.5 dollars for a cup of tea!
Taxi could take up to one hour to get to the centre of town, even though on sunday mornings especially around 9 am when you would be getting out, the traffic would be light going into town.
for three hour visit to Paris, you would pay around 140 euros in taxi ie close to 200 dollars. a breakfast could be had for about ten dollars each.
Good Luck.. another thing is to talk to a Taxi driver and organize to and fro for a fixed sum including some sightseeing in Paris.. drive around the major sites in the centre... you could do that for about 150 euros.
I have a contact for a taxi who charges 62 euros to pick up and 60 euros to take you back, no extra charges regardless of the route and the traffic.
Six hours is too short a period of time to get out of CDG and then look for a hotel nearby, there are cheap hotels for around 40 euros per day, no fractional rate.
If you are member of Air France FF or any other airlines associated with AF, then you can use their arrival lounge free of charge. There are showers and comfortable seats and food depending upon the hour of the day: breakfast or lunch. it closes around 12 noon or 1 pm.
Are you coming in on one airline and then leaving on another? then you might have to go out of the terminal. Depending upon the terminal you would be using, you can buy a day pass for around 50 usd