How do you get into Paris from CDG (Charles de Gaulle Airport)?
It depends.... Take a taxi if:
- You are in a group of 3 or 4 people,
- You bring more than you can carry (tsk, tsk)*,
- You are directionally challenged and prone to getting lost,
- You are willing to spend €65+
- There is a grève (RER/Métro strike)
You can take the RER-B for €8,5 which will take you to stations shared with Métro stops. Buy your RER ticket at this green machine with cash. If you do not have Euros you may have a long wait in the line with the tourists. You may get on the Métro (with a ticket or pass) without coming up to the street level. I have been fortunate to ride the RER to St. Michel-Notre Dame and then take a short walk to one of my regular hotels in the 5ième.
If you are going to buy a Métro pass (1, 3, or 5 days) do not buy it at CDG as they only sell zones 1-6 and you may only need zones 1-3. If you plan ahead you may buy your Paris Visite online and have it mailed to you. However, do not buy online and print out a voucher as you will have to go to some random address on Rue de Rivoli to get your pass -- a pain. Paris Visite includes the RER, Métro, and busses and offers discounts (some museums, Disney, Printemps, etc).
If you are going to be in Paris for a longer period there are some economical options with NaviGo Découverte which is not restricted to residents of Paris. (let's talk about this)
I love the Paris Métro and find it easy to navigate -- Just don't get caught far from your hotel/apt as it is shutting down for the night (you know who you are). There is no advance warning -- it just stops and you are done for the night.
If you know where you are staying and some of the venues you will be going, this interactive Métro map is a great place to start planning your visit!
* Taxis charge by the bag. Tant pis pour vous.