Things to do in Paris

Airports in Paris: Everything a traveler needs to know

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Welcome to your comprehensive guide to navigating Paris' airports! Paris is served by three major airports: Charles de Gaulle, Orly, and Beauvais-Tillé. Charles de Gaulle Airport, the largest and busiest in Europe, acts as the main gateway for long-haul international flights, especially from continents like North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

Orly Airport, although smaller compared to Charles de Gaulle, handles a significant amount of international traffic and is a hub for domestic and European flights.

Beauvais-Tillé Airport, located further from the city, mainly serves budget airlines and is favored by cost-conscious travelers within Europe.

This guide provides an overview of these key Parisian airports, helping you navigate your arrival and onward journey with ease.

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris' largest airport, is a major hub for international travel located 16 miles (30 minutes by car/taxi) northeast of central Paris. Known for its extensive global connections, it's a world in itself!

Location: Roissy-en-France
Best for: Long-haul international flights
Avoid for: You don't like crowds

Terminals: CDG has three main terminals, spread across more than a mile and connected by free shuttle buses and CDGVAL automated trains. Terminal 1 is noted for its avant-garde architecture and is spread into five levels, while Terminal 2 is spread across seven sub-terminals, and Terminal 3 lies 1 km from T1 and is composed of one building.

🛬 Airport transfers

The RER B train line connects CDG to central Paris. Buses, taxis, and car rentals are widely available.

ℹ️ Facilities

Offers lounges, free Wi-Fi, play areas for children, a museum area displaying French art, a relaxation area to recover, and exhibits of photographs and sculptures, displayed across all the terminals.

🍽️ Dining

There are a host of dining options by Guy Martin, starred chef of the Grand Véfour such as “I Love Paris”, “The French Taste”, and “Miyou” in Terminal 2E. There are a host of coffee shops, salad bars, fast food restaurants, and sushi shops for you to choose from.

🛍️ Shopping

Get your shopping fix at the various designer boutiques scattered across the terminals, from Chanel and Prada to Victoria’s Secret and Swarovski.

💺 Layover Tips

Enjoy the relaxation zones or take a quick trip into Paris if time allows.

Paris-Orly Airport (ORY)

Paris Orly Airport

Orly Airport, located just 8 miles (18 minutes by car/taxi) south of Paris, offers a more relaxed alternative to CDG, with a mix of domestic and international flights.

Location: Orly
Best for: Inter-Europe travelers
Avoid for: You're flying long-haul international except to/from New York, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Terminals: There are four terminals, Orly 1-2-3 and Orly 4, connected by Orlyval Light Rail (one minute between the terminals) and walkways.

🛬 Airport Transfers

The Orlyval light rail connects the airport to the RER B line to access central Paris. Tramways (T7), buses, and taxis are also available.

ℹ️ Facilities

Compact but well-equipped with lounges, free Wi-Fi, and family areas.

🍽️ Dining

Go on and experiment with French delicacies at “Paul” or enjoy a quick bite at one of the many cafés or at the café food court.

🛍️ Shopping

Explore a variety of shops, from luxury brands like Victoria’s Secret and Guerlain to Extime Duty-Free Paris stores.

💺 Layover Tips

Depending on the number of hours that you have, explore the Delta Museum located in Athis-Mons (south of Orly airport), walk through Rungis Market, the world’s largest fresh produce market, or head to the nearby Parc de Sceaux for a rejuvenating walk.

Paris Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA)

Paris Beauvais-Tillé Airport

Beauvais Airport, situated 53 miles (80 minutes by the Beauvais airport bus) north of Paris, primarily serves budget airlines and is ideal for cost-conscious travelers.

Location: Tillé
Best for: Budget flights
Avoid for: If you want to get to the city center quickly

Terminals: A smaller airport with a straightforward layout across two terminals.

🛬 Airport Transfers

Shuttle buses (Beauvais airport bus) link the airport with Paris, and taxi services are available.

ℹ️ Facilities

Simpler amenities but includes free Wi-Fi and a comfortable waiting area, plus international newsstands and vending machines.

🍽️ Dining

Limited but adequate options for a quick meal or snack. Check out Cafe Kiosque and Pizzeria Tony in Terminal 1 and Paul for some fast food in Terminal 2.

🛍️ Shopping

Relay offers basic travel needs and Aelia is a duty-free outlet selling a range of high quality products.

💺 Layover Tips

Best suited for quick stopovers due to its limited facilities.

Paris-Le Bourget Airport (LBG)

Paris Le Bourget Airport

Le Bourget, primarily used for business aviation and private jets, is located 6.5 miles (18 minutes by car/taxi) northeast of Paris.

Terminals: Exclusive terminals dedicated to private flights.

🛬 Airport Transfers

Car rentals and taxi services are the main modes of transportation.

ℹ️ Facilities

High-end services tailored for private jet passengers. You’ll find hotels like the Marriott near the airport and even some supermarkets around the airport.

💺Layover Tips

The National Air and Space Museum of France at Le Bourget is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts.

Choosing between Paris' Airports

  • Charles de Gaulle: Ideal for international travelers and those looking for extensive amenities.
  • Orly: Great for domestic flights and travelers who prefer a smaller airport experience.
  • Beauvais-Tillé: Best for budget travelers flying within Europe.
  • Le Bourget: Perfect for private jet travelers seeking exclusive services.
Airports in Paris