Charles de Gaulle Airport, Roissy
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A chance to visit one of the world’s greatest cities awaits when you arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The beautiful French capital is just a 16-mile drive to the south.
If you’re thinking of hiring a car at Paris Charles de Gaulle, you’ll find we’ve got a convenient pick-up location right in the heart of the airport complex. You’ll be able to get to us easily whether you’ve just stepped off a flight or you’re heading for departures. Our office is open from 4am every morning until midnight.
The handy location means that whether you’re visiting France on business or for a holiday, hiring a car from us will be quick and efficient. Remember our best-price promise applies throughout France and there won’t be any hidden extras or credit card fees.
Paris is a world-class destination, one of Europe’s largest and most loved cities. It has several airports but Charles de Gaulle is the biggest and busiest.
Our pick-up point is handily placed near the airport access road. This leads directly to the A1 expressway, which will take you down into the center of Paris in just a few minutes. Or you could turn off onto the outer beltway, known by locals as the ‘Peripherique’.
This multi-lane beltway helps you avoid the congestion in the old heart of the city and lets you drive round to the district you need or to bypass Paris altogether. You may, for example, want to visit satellite towns like St Cloud or Argenteuil, or outlying attractions like Versailles or St Denis.
Paris itself is a vast city that spreads far beyond the Peripherique, but you’ll find most of the visitor attractions are within the beltway. There are grand boulevards through the city, dozens of picturesque bridges and major roads along both banks of the river - but also areas of much smaller streets. The maze of narrow medieval roads in the heart of Paris may seem a challenge but it is quite possible to make your way around in a car. Negotiating the old cobbles and one-way streets is part of the charm of the city.
Driving rules are generally similar to anywhere on the European mainland. Traffic drives on the right and at junctions you give way to vehicles approaching from the right, unless signs say otherwise. The maximum speed limit is 81mph on rural expressways, reducing to 68mph if it is raining and 31mph in fog. Urban expressways and highways have lower limits. The limit in built-up areas is 31mph.
Paris is a classic European capital city, famed for romance, art, food and shopping, and home to some of the world’s best-known landmarks. But don’t neglect the outskirts of the city, they have their share of attractions too. Even further afield, this central area of northern France is perfect for touring with a hire car too.
Chic city center
Since 1889 the ironwork lattice of the Eiffel Tower has been a symbol of the French capital. Engineer Gustaf Eiffel’s 1063ft construction is still a jaw-dropping sight – both from a distance, peering up over the Parisian rooftops, and up close from the gardens below. It’s the world’s most popular visitor attraction so be prepared to wait for the elevators – or you could simply walk up the 300 steps (and that’s just to the first level, a third of the way up).
On the opposite bank of the Seine, there’s a chance to visit one of the world’s great museums, The Louvre. The highlights here include the palatial building itself and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
And later, back on the left bank, explore the Latin Quarter’s bohemian alleys and backstreets to find many of the city’s most atmospheric restaurants and bars.
The outlying attractions
When the French monarchy built their extravagant palaces amid huge gardens at Versailles, the city was a long carriage drive away to the east. Today the area is almost part of Paris, making it an easy drive to discover this pretty little town and its dazzling monuments to pre-revolutionary opulence.
On the other side of the Peripherique, you can visit glittering attractions of a very different kind. Disneyland Paris is Europe’s most popular theme park, with a treasure trove of rides, restaurants, shops, gardens and hotels.
And on the northern fringe of the city is the suburb of St Denis. This is where you’ll find the impressive Stade de France national sports arena and the Basilica of Saint Denis, a grand gothic cathedral that was the burial place for French royalty.
Exploring the northern France
It’s a short 50-mile drive to the west to another of France’s great cultural sights. The pretty riverside village of Giverny is where artist Claude Monet lived and worked. His home and gorgeous gardens are open to the public, including the ponds where he famously painted the water lilies. There’s an acclaimed museum of impressionist art in the village too.
A little further west is the fabulous cathedral of Chartres, standing on a small hill overlooking a river and a rural plain. It’s one of the classic French gothic churches and you’ll find it impossible not to take lots of photos.
Just 35 miles south of the city is the Chateau de Fontainebleau, another royal palace that is very much the equal of Versailles. It is surrounded by the former royal hunting forest, which is now a French National Park. Fancy a relaxing stroll? The forest spreads for 110 square miles, so you’ve got plenty of space.