Paris Airport Taxi
Paris, the city of lights, the city of dreams, the trip of a lifetime, the twinkle in the eye of many a starry-eyed traveler. But the reality can be much different if you don’t know how to handle the transportation system. It starts with landing at the airport.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is the largest international airport in France and second busiest in Europe after London’s Heathrow. It is located in Roissy-en-France, 14 miles NE of the city. There are many means of transportation to get to the city center, and one of the simplest is a taxi, especially if you have heavy bags, are traveling with young children or have limited mobility.
There are three terminals at Charles de Gaulle. Taxis are found at the exit to the baggage claim area of each terminal at the following locations:
- Terminal 1 Exit 24 on Arrivals level
- Terminal 2A Exit 6
- Terminal 2C Exit 14
- Terminal 2D Exit 7
- Terminal 2E Gate 10 on Arrivals level
- Terminal 2F Gate 11 on Arrivals level
- Terminal 2G Blue Gate
- Terminal 3 Exit at Arrivals hall
Licensed taxis are normal cars with the “Taxi Parisien” sign on the roof. Inside must be a meter and badge showing the driver’s license number. Be sure to be clear about your destination.
Make sure you get in the official taxi rank queue and do not go with anybody who approaches you with offers of a taxi in the Arrivals terminals. Official Paris taxi drivers will never approach you, will wait only in areas demarcated for taxis and always have taxi signs lit on top of their vehicle, license plates and meters inside their car.
Paris Airport Taxi Cost
A taxi to the city will cost around 50 to 55 Euro from Charles de Gaulle, with an additional 15% supplement automatically added between 5pm and 10am daily, as well as all day Sunday and all holidays. It can cost up to 70 Euro depending on which part of the city you are headed to distance wise. If there is no meter there should be a flat rate of 50 Euro to the Right Bank and 55 Euro to the Left Bank. The ride can take from 35 minutes up to an hour.
Taxis from Orly airport should be between 30 (Left Bank) and 35 Euro (Right Bank). Orly is closer to the city and its fares are less all around. The ride will take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes.
All of the official taxi drivers are professionals who have passed exams administered by the Paris police department. Paris Airport taxis should be clean and the drivers professional. Taxis can no longer legally charge extra for up to four passengers, but a fifth passenger will garner additional fees. There is also no longer additional charges for luggage, legally.
There is often confusion by international travelers about tipping in Paris, especially by Americans who are used to tipping generously and regularly for most services. Tips/service charges are already included for services here, from restaurants to bars to hotels. This goes for taxis as well. Tips are built into the price. If you want to round up to the next Euro it is appreciated, but regular tipping is not expected.
pre-book a Paris Airport Taxi
If you prefer to avoid the stress of waiting at the taxi rank, making sure you get a licensed taxi and avoiding scams, it is simple to pre-book your taxi to or from the airport. Multiple companies exist online such as Paris Welcome Pickups. This makes it safe and easy to get to and from the city, with pickups or drop-offs at your chosen destination. Pre-booking a cab sometimes will cost extra, around 5 Euro, so you decide if it is worth the extra.
From Paris to the airport
Heading from Paris to the airport makes it a bit more complicated to avoid all scams as there isn’t one single official taxi rank. If you are headed to the airport, you can hail a taxi at any main train or bus station. But always make sure they have an official taxi sign on top of the car and a meter inside. Taxis Parisiens and Taxis G7 are both reputable companies.
Gare du Nord, the main train station, is a perfect example of tourists getting ripped off by illegal operators. The official taxi rank is at the side of the station, and unsuspecting or first time travelers may not know or be able to read the signs. They head out the front entrance and straight into the mass of illegal operators waiting outside the station. Typical scams involve charging more for luggage and extra passengers, overcharging in general, taking the long way to the destination, and refusing to make change as they “don’t have smaller bills.”
Drivers have been known to refuse to take passengers to their requested destination if they don’t believe it is worth their time, if it’s inconvenient for them or if you have too much luggage. Make sure you are clear as to your destination and the distance to get there to avoid being driven around unnecessarily just to increase your fare.
Official taxis here will have the same distinct markings as airport taxis, the lit Taxi sign on their roof, the meter, license plates, and will always be at an official rank. They will also have the minimum fare posted in lit numbers on the right side of the rearview mirror. The main fare difference for getting a taxi around the city versus to or from the airport is that there should be flat rates (listed earlier) from the airport, whereas city taxis have a metering system that charges minimums per mile/km, for day versus night, time, inside versus outside the city limits and more.
Heading from the city to the airport can be another area to watch. Having somebody call a taxi for you often results in you getting ripped off. How? Hotels and other service providers get kickbacks from drivers for longer trips, airport or otherwise. The distance driven to pick you up is also sometimes tacked on as an extra to the total, with the driver assuming you will not know the difference. It is much better to either head to the nearest official rank or hail a taxi.
Another tip to keep in mind is that most taxis do not accept credit cards, which ends up being another way travelers get ripped off. Make sure to have small bills. Airport taxis do accept credit cards however. Some who want to get around all of this stress and avoid the notorious scams of Parisian taxi rip-off artists will simply call an Uber! Be very careful if you do. Never ride alone as there have been reported cases of assault.
Paris Airport Taxi FAQ
Below you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions about taxing a taxi from Paris Airport into the city center, so you’ll know what to do before your flight even lands.
After you have cleared passport control and collected your bags, look for the clear signs directing you to taxis, or ask a member of the airport staff. In total there are eight distinct taxi stands located immediately outside of the baggage claim area of each terminal.
The precise time depends on when you’re heading into the city and the level of traffic. But generally you can expect the journey to take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.
Fares are based on taxi meters and therefore will vary depending on your final destination, and the further away from the airport that your hotel or other accommodation is located, your fare will be more expensive. The only exception is if you’re getting dropped off in the left bank of Paris which costs a flat rate of €58, or the city’s right bank which has a flat rate of €53.
There are several important factors to look for in order to make sure you’re traveling in a legal and approved airport taxi. It will be waiting in the designated airport taxi areas and it will have an illuminated neon taxi sign on the roof.
Never accept a ride from anyone at the airport promising a cheaper fare, because it’s likely an unlicensed taxi and you won’t be insured if an accident happens. You can also book your taxis in advance for your added reassurance.
Not necessarily and you may find that quite a large number of airport taxi drivers don’t speak any English, so you should plan ahead for using a taxi. The easiest solution is to print out directions to your hotel or other accommodation in advance of your flight and then after you have arrived at the airport and found a taxi, just show these directions to your driver.
There are several factors that will determine which of the two methods is the best option for getting into Paris from the airport. Uber’s pricing for its ride-share cars fluctuates throughout the day, rising at peak travel times. So, if the airport is very busy, Uber will likely have much more expensive fares than taxis, which always charge by the same meter rate. Taxis can also be faster because they have a dedicated road lane that can be useful with a lot of traffic.
It’s always a good idea to have a certain amount of Euros available in cash so that you can for your taxi ride from Paris Airport to the city. That’s because taxis are not required to accept payment using a debit or credit card, even though many vehicles do have this option. Taxi drivers have the right to ask for payment in cash, so you need to be prepared for this.
Taxis that service the airport are not required to all be painted in the same color, so in order to make sure that you’re riding in an approved vehicle there are other elements you should check for. There should be a posted in the back window showing the taxi rates, the front of the car should have a black plate with a red parking number, and there should be a sign that reads “Taxi Parisien” on top of the car – don’t get in any vehicle that doesn’t have all three.
There is no specific law or rule that says you must give your taxi driver a tip, and indeed if you feel like the ride from the airport to the city was not safe then you certainly should not tip your driver. But if you believe that you received a comfortable, quick and safe ride then it’s a nice gesture to give your driver a tip in cash, usually 10 percent of the final fare.
Yes, there are a number of taxi companies that service Paris Airport where you can order a taxi in advance online or by telephone, so that your transportation is secured even before you board your flight to France. This can be a great way to reduce stress when traveling. But prices can vary and it’s a good idea to search online to find the cheapest pre-booked fare available.
It’s relatively easy because there are usually many taxis servicing Paris Airport, which has many flights throughout the day and is therefore often busy. You might find that your waiting time for a taxi is longer at particularly busy times when many people are trying to get a taxi, or very early in the day or very late at night when there are significantly fewer flights. But your overall wait time for a taxi from the airport should not be more than 20 minutes.
Most of the Paris airport taxis serving Paris Airport are regular cars that have four doors and four passenger seats, along with the driver, and space in the trunk for luggage. If there are many people traveling in your group and/or you have lots of bags, you could ask to see if any larger vehicles are available for the ride from the airport. Alternatively, your group may simply may have to split up and take several regular taxis to get to your destination in Paris.