Being one of the largest airports in the world, Charles de Gaulle has nearly every amenity you could want. There is a huge range of shops, bars and restaurants, as well as bureaux de change and ATMs in all three terminals, and post offices in terminals 1 and 2. Children’s interactive play areas, Gulli areas, can be found in all three terminals, as can prayer rooms.
There are plenty of stores in each terminal for those on the hunt for cheap booze and fags. Try Pure and Rare, which can be found in terminals 1, 2B, 2C, 2E and 2F or Multistore, found at every terminal except 2C, which also sells perfume, cosmetics and confectionery. French Days, in terminals 2D and 2F, is a slightly more salubrious place, selling high quality French produce, including tobacco, champagne and wine.
As this is Paris, the fashion capital of the world, there are clothes shops coming out the airport’s ears. From Hermès (upmarket fashion and homeware in terminals 1, 2A, 2C, 2E and 2F), Dior (terminal 2E) and Céline (boutique fashion and jewellery in terminals 2E and 2F) to Cult (youthful fashion in terminal 3), Attitude (men’s fashion in terminals 2A, 2B, 2D, 2F and 2G) and Salvatore Ferragamo (high-end Italian men’s fashion in terminals 2E and 2F), CDG is more like Regent Street than an airport.
Something else the French are well known for is their jewellery, and again there are loads of outlets in CDG if your in the market for a bit of bling. Cécile et Jeanne can be found in terminals 1 and 2E, Hour Passion have branches in terminals 1, 2A and 2C and world-famous watchmakers Cartier have branches in terminals 2E and 2F.
Smelly stuff is also a French passion, and the likes of L’Occitane (terminals 1, 2C and 2D) and Beauty Unlimited (every terminal but terminal 3) are well represented.
Virgin have several stores at CDG also (in terminals 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F), selling multimedia goods and electronics.
There are too many shops to mention, however: for a full breakdown of the shops at CDG, visit the Aéroports de Paris website.
Bars, cafes and restaurants
Every terminal has a tidy collection of bars, cafes and restaurants, mainly serving French snacks and drinks.
Terminal 1 Starbucks, Caffè Ritazza (coffee shop), Le Grand Comptoir (traditional Brasserie), Hippopotamus steakhouse, La Terrasse de Paris (pastries, sandwiches), McDonald’s
Terminal 2A Caffè Ritazza, Café Sélect (pastries and snacks), Bistrot Fontaine des Halles (authentic bistro), Les Marchés de Paris (self-service grill), McDonald’s
Terminal 2B Café Sélect, La Terrasse de Paris, Salmon House (fish restaurant), McDonald’s, Pizza Hut
Terminal 2C Caffè Ritazza, Vins et compagnie (wine boutique), Les Halles de Paris (grill), L’Escale Parisienne
Terminal 2D Caffè Ritazza, Café Sélect, Bill Bentley pub (British-style pub), Hippopotamus steakhouse
Terminal 2E Illy Café (italian coffee), Le Comptoir Quotidien (desserts and pastries), La Terrasse (snacks and hot meals), Taste’n’Fly (quick meals), Le Rythmo (bar with vending machines), Méli-Mélo (world food), Paul
Terminal 2F Columbus Café (coffee shop), Le Comptoir Quotidien, Les Quais de Seine (bar), Illy Café
Terminal 2G Illy Café, Paul (pastries and cakes), Bert’s (American-style food), Brasserie Flo (fish brasserie), Maxim’s Bar (1920s-style kitchen)
Terminal 3 Caffè Ritazza, Pergola (sandwich bar), L’escale parisienne (mini-mart/bar), Bar de l’Escale (mini-mart/bar
Several airlines offer exclusive airport lounges for business and first class passengers. Always check before booking to see if your ticket qualifies you access to a lounge. Most include free drinks (even alcohol) and free wired and wireless internet, and you can be sure of comfortable seating and a bit of peace and quiet. Showers are fairly standard, and some throw in private transfers to the terminal of departure (if it is not in the same terminal).
At CDG, loads of airlines have lounges, including Air Algérie, Air Canada, Air France (who have three), American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, El Al, Emirates, Lufthansa, SAS and United Airlines.
Disneyland Resort Paris is 30 minutes away from the airport, or 10 minutes by TGV (see ‘Transfers’ for more detailed information and directions).
If that’s a bit energetic for you, try Chantilly and its surrounding castle and racecourse, located 30km from the airport.
The airport is not far from the huge exhibition centre Paris Nord-Villepinte. If any events are on, many of the airport hotels run shuttle buses for free.