If you’re heading to Paris via the skies, you’re most likely to fly into either Roissy-Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports. These large international airports are major destinations for a slew of French and international airlines and handle the bulk of Paris flights. Many deal-seekers, however, often opt for the lesser-known Beauvais Airport, which welcomes Ryanair flights from Dublin, Shannon and Glasgow.
Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Usually shortened to simply “Charles de Gaulle”, this three-terminal airport is the city’s largest and busiest airport. While it’s located about 23 kilometers from the center of Paris, getting from the baggage claim to the sights and sounds of central Paris is a breeze, thanks to the network of trains, buses and an ever-waiting fleet of taxis.
The easiest and least expensive option is the Roissyrail train link, which runs on line B of the RER (Reseau Express Regional) suburban express lines. You can pick up the line direct from terminal 3 and most of terminal 2, but if you arrive to terminal 1, 2A or 2B you’ll have to take a shuttle bus to the RER station. Paris-bound trains leave on 15-minute intervals from 5am until midnight, take roughly a half hour and cost under 10€ per way.
Another popular option, though longer and slightly more expensive, is to hop aboard one of the various bus companies that travel back and forth between the airport and the city. Air France, for example, runs two buses to the city: line 2 (to Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile RER/metroand line 4 (to Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse). You could also tray the Roissybus, which runs between terminals 1 and 2 and the Opera-Garnier.
Finally, while a taxi will bring you right to your hotel’s doorstep, it is by far the most expensive option. Paris France flights from Charles de Gaulle to the central city will cost roughly 40 to 50 euros and take nearly an hour, 30 minutes and 30-40 euros more than the RER train!
Orly airport, located 14 kilometers south of Paris, has two terminals: Orly Sud, for international flights, and Orly Ouest, for domestic flights.
The easiest way to get into central Paris from Orly Airport is via Orlyval, a fast train shuttle, to RER line B station Antony and then to metro connections Denfert-Rochereau, St-Michel and Chatelet-Les Halles. You can also hop onto the ADP shuttle bus to RER line C station Pont de Rungis, from where trains leave for the Gare d-Austerlitz and other metro connection stops on the Left Bank (the left side of Paris’ Seine River).
If you prefer buses, two services that you might take advantage of are bus 285, the Air France bus on line 2 and Orlybus. Bus 285 runs to metro Villejuif-Louis-Arragon, Orly bus runs to Denfert-Rochereau RER/metro station and the line 2 Air France bus runs to the Invalides Air France Terminal on rue Esnault Peletrie via Montparnasse.
Finally a taxi, always the most expensive option, will cost you around 30€ and take roughly 30-40 minutes.
Paris’ third airport, Beauvais, is located 65 kilometers north of Paris and is a destination for budget airline Ryanair. Not only are the Paris flights often much cheaper, but the bus shuttle connecting the airport and downtown Paris costs just 13€, making this airport often the most economical decision for travelers on a budget.