Airport Guide: Paris Charles de Gaulle

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is not only one of the biggest airpots in the world, it’s also one of the most complicated ones. The airport, which serves nearly 70 million passengers a year, has three terminals and four runways. The dominating carrier is Air France, which has its base at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. With our airport guide, you’ll have an easy time navigating through Paris CDG!

Travelling via Paris can be very complicated, which is why some people deny booking Air France. Nevertheless, the situation definitely got better in the last years. However, Air France is still the biggest carrier at the biggest airport in France and the second biggest in Europe.

Air France A330-200

Air France dominates at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Air France together with its SkyTeam partners and several airlines operates in Terminal 2, while Terminal 1 is mainly used by Star Alliance members. The smallest terminal, Terminal 3, is used by smaller and independent airlines. Besides Air France, American Airlines, United and Delta Airlines also operate several long distance flights from Paris each day.

Biggest carriers at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport:

  • Air France: dozens of destinations all over the world
  • easyJet: several destinations all over Europe
  • Delta Airlines: several destinations in the United States

Shopping and dining at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

As one of the biggest airports in the world, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is also a true shopping paradise. Especially in Terminal 2, there is rarely any shop or brand you’ll not find. The international part of the terminal, 2E, is especially interesting if you are looking for shopping as you’ll find all luxury brands in this part of the terminal.

Paris CDG Airport

There are several decent shops at Paris Charlesde Gaulle Airport

There are also several shops in the other terminals, but Terminal 2 definitely is the most important one for shopping at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. There are also several café and dining options in all terminals, again with a focus on Terminal 2. As it’s the norm for France, you can also find gourmet restaurants at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Sleeping at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

When you are planning on sleeping at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, there are several different options. While there are no dedicated sleeping areas, there are some decent spots to spend the nights in terminals 2A, 2E and 1 according to If you are looking for more comfort, there are also several hotels in walking distance of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Hotel Molitor Paris Junior Suite

Luxury hotels are only available in the city center

These include, but are not limited to Ibis Paris CDG Airport, Ibis Styles Paris CDG Airport, citizenM Paris CDG Airport, Pullman Paris Roissy CDG Airport, Hilton Paris CDG, Novotel Paris CDG and Sheraton Paris CDG. Prices usually range between 50 and 200 Euro depending on the dates and the level of comfort you choose.

Lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

With its incredible size, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport also comes with several lounges.

Air France Lounge Paris CDG 2F Buffet

Air France offers several lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

If you are not having any frequent flyer status or flying Business/First Class, you may access either Icare Lounge, Star Alliance Lounge (both in Terminal 1), the American Airlines Admirals Club, the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge or the Sheltair Lounge (all in Terminal 2) by buying a membership or purchasing a day pass at the door. Besides that, there are several SkyTeam Lounges operated by Air France at Terminal 2 and also several other airline lounges including an Emirates and Etihad Lounge.

Lounges at Paris CDG Airport:

  • Salon Première (Terminal 1): QR, MH frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • ICARE Lounge (Terminal 1): $, PP, UL frequent flyer / Business Class
  • Star Alliance Lounge (Terminal 1): $, PP, *A and JJ frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Lufthansa Lounge (Terminal 1 Satellite 6): *A frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • SAS Lounge (Terminal 1 Satellite 7): *A frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Air France Lounges (throughout Terminal 2): ST frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge (Terminal 2A): $, PP, *A frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • American Airlines Admirals Club (between T2A and T2C): OW frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Cathay Pacific Lounge (between T2A and T2C): OW frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Emirates Lounge (Terminal 2C): EK frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Etihad Lounge (Terminal 2C): EY, 9W frequent flyer / Business and First Class
  • Sheltair Lounge (Terminal 2D): $, PP, AY frequent flyer / Business Class

Transportation at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

The options to get from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center are nearly endless. Finding the best way into the city can be quite challenging like that. One of the fastest and most comfortable ways are Le Bus Direct, which connect Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport with the city center and Paris second airport Paris Orly. The Roissybus, which connects the airport with the metro station Opéra is a cheaper option, but you need to change at least once. You might also opt for the RER B, which connects Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 with the city center of Paris. If you want to use the train and depart from Terminal 1, you have to additionally use the free monorail. Last but not least, you can also take an Uber or a taxi to the city center, but this is the most expensive and often not fastest way to reach Paris.


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17 Comments on “Airport Guide: Paris Charles de Gaulle”

    • It’s indeed not the airport I love the most (however, it’s superior to Orly). Yet, especially flying Air France and Star Alliance is not too bad in CDG. Things really improved lately 🙂

  1. Many thanks for this guide !

    Hopefully Air France and numerous of Skyteam partners are now operating long-haul flights/non Schengen flights from Terminal 2E, as well as medium and short haul flights from both T2F and T2G.
    Air France offers quite good and easy connections between T2F and T2E.

    Last but not least, approx. one month ago, “Les Cars Air France” were rebranded “Le Bus Direct” 🙂

    • Thank you very much for your comment! I indeed found Terminal T2E to be relatively nice, also T2F and T2G are not bad either. Makes connecting in Paris way easier! Thanks for the comment about the buses, I’ve just changed this detail in the article 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for this info, quick question..if one is arriving on AA on business class, and my layover is about 5.5 hours, with the next flight from 2D (Croatia airlines), is it possible to go to the admiral club? or even go to 2e to at least kill time? or am i stuck having to go to 2d? Any help would be appreciated!

    • In case your connecting flight is not in Business Class, there is no chance to visit any lounge at the airport. However, you can access all parts of Terminal 2 (I’ve been to 2E with a flight departing from 2C myself) without any problems (just tell the staff why you want to get there)

      • Thank you!
        AA told me that I can access the lounge and my bag would be sent through to Croatia airlines too. SO the only thing is getting TO the actual lounge so if you are saying I should be able to go then hopefully I will have no issues. 5 hours is a LONG layover it would be nice to be somewhat comfortable!

      • That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware that there is an interline agreement between the two airlines. Are you flying in Business with Croatia as well?

      • actually no. i couldnt score business with C.A. But they do have a baggage agreement which is SO helpful!

  3. Pingback: Lounge Review: Star Alliance Lounge Paris | travelux

  4. Excellent post! I would like to add something I discovered at CDG that could be very useful (it was for me). It’s the service “Bagages du Monde” in the International terminal that will, among other services, store your luggage for you for a very affordable price while you, e.g., go off on a little side trip to the South of France (or north to Belgium, etc.) by TGV or by a European budget airline (Vueling, Ryanair, etc.). Worth exploring:

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