Paris Airport transfers and the Paris transportation system in general, are some of the world’s very best. Their practicality makes driving a much lesser option. Driving can be marred with exasperating traffic jams and an agonizing lack of street parking. (However, if you’re in no rush, even-tempered or you’re planning excursions outside Paris, driving might work for you).
While my occasional Paris car rental adventures have always been trouble-free, there is no question that the Paris transport authority has done, and continues to do an outstanding job for Paris Airport transfers as well as all public transportation in and around the city. You don't need a car in Paris.
Continuous improvement projects such as the new Paris Tramway get an absolute thumbs-up from me! It is refreshing to see such forward thinking and commitment.
With a little preparation, your Paris Airport transfers and indeed all your Paris transportation needs will be met with next to zero frustration and will actually cost very little. Quite remarkable for a city of that magnitude! Just take the time to find out about the various Paris Airport transfers and Paris transport options, and you’ll soon be like a fish in water!
Let’s start with your Paris Airport transfers, and then we'll elaborate on Paris transport within the city. We will review Air France buses, Paris taxis, Paris Airport Shuttles, and Airport limousine service.
If no one picks you up from the airport and you’re carrying a lot of luggage, these are your options:
- Air France buses: I love them. They are comfortable and rather inexpensive. These are NOT the same as the public Paris Transportation buses, but luxury coaches. They leave every 15 min. from all airport terminals. You don’t have to be an Air France passenger. Your luggage will be stowed underneath for you. You just ride to Paris in style. Purchase your ticket from the driver.
The only drawback is, this service is not a door-to-door Paris Airport transfer. Each line has its own drop-off point which may typically not suit your needs. There are 4 lines:
Charles de Gaulle Airport to Porte Maillot and then Place de l’Etoile, right by the Arc de Triomphe. Departs every 20 to 30 min. from all terminals, 5:45 am to 11pm. €15 one-way (€24 R/T); €7.50 for children 2 to 11 years old.
Charles de Gaulle Airport to Gare de Lyon and then Montparnasse. Departs every 30 min. 6:00 am to 10:00 pm (9:30 pm from Montparnasse). €16.50 one-way (€27 R/T); €8.00 for children 2 to 11 years old.
Charles de Gaulle to Orly, airport to airport service. Departs every 30 to 45 min., 6:00 am to 22:30 pm (7:00 am on week-ends). €19 each way; €9.50 for children 2 to 11 years old.
Orly Airport to Montparnasse, then Invalides and Place de l'Etoile. Departs every 20 to 30 min. from exit K and D of Orly-Sud and Orly-Ouest, 6:00 am to 11:20 pm. €11.50 one-way (€18.50 R/T); €5.50 for children 2 to 11 years old.
There is a 15% discount for groups of 4 or more.
For transport within the city, from the bus drop you can then take a taxi for a drastically reduced distance (and cost). The metro is also a quick option at this point, although inconvenient with your luggage, turnstiles, stairs, etc… The Paris Metro does require a little learning curve for the uninitiated.
- Paris taxis are fairly cheap once you’re in the city. In fact they are some of the cheapest among comparable European cities. Just be aware that Paris Airport transfers are long, as the main airports are located far away from the center.
In adequate traffic, be prepared to spend anywhere between €45 to €55 from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris Center. From Orly Airport, it will be between €25 to €35. Airport to airport service costs €55 to €65. With traffic, all costs will obviously go up.
Luggage will cost you 1 Euro extra per item and tipping 5 to 10% is customary, but it is up to you and to the level of service and comfort provided. There is a minimum of €5.50 for a taxi trip.
Paris taxi lines are plentiful and scattered all over the city. Should you have to call a taxi from a taxi phone or from your location, be aware that it may arrive with the meter already running from the starting point. This is not illegal.
On the other hand, some unregistered taxis have been known to have runners come up to you at the airport and offer flat-rate rides to Paris. I have never personally used them but you should be aware that you might get solicited in that way.
- Paris Airport Shuttles: This door-to-door service is another convenient Paris Airport transfer option whereby your driver picks you up from the airport when you arrive, (or vice versa from your hotel).
These pre-arranged transfers cost anywhere from around €20 to €120 per person, depending on whether you’re sharing the ride with others or in need of a large van for yourself.
In most cases, a little over €20 per person is about right, unless you’re going for the V.I.P. treatment, in which case you should skip ahead to the limousine service section.
The main advantage of shuttle service is of course, the more affordable door-to-door service and not having to find your own way through Paris from a bus drop-off point. Another advantage is that you can pay by credit card either at the time of reservation or possibly right to the driver, which at this time is not yet widespread with Paris taxis.
On the Paris Airport Shuttle page, I do recommend that you pre-arrange your airport transfers as part of good trip preparation. It makes things so much easier for you when you first arrive. Here is the service I currently use and am affiliated with. Book your Airport Transfer with Paris-Shuttle.com and save upto30%. You're welcome! As they say, you scratch my back, I scratch your back... ;-)
How long is the ride? The length of the transfer trip is variable because of traffic, etc. Shuttle companies like to give themselves a 60 to 90 minute time allocation. But it is not unusual to get "home" within 45 minutes.
- Airport limousine service is your Paris Airport transfer of choice if money is no object (which must be nice!), or if you can share a ride with a group of friends. As a general rule, doing anything with a small group of people will save you a huge amount of money when traveling. Limousine service is a prime example of that.
Achieving your airport transfer in grand style will set you back €100 to €120 but a group of five can get away with €20 to €25 each. Definitely a smart option!
Limousine service is also available for slightly larger groups in limo vans. Paris Airport transfers by limousine are generally pre-arranged, as you might suspect.
Click here to read about practical and economic transportation for those not overburdened with luggage.
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