The Ultimate Guide to Paris Airport

#Travel guide The Ultimate Guide to Paris Airport

Introduction to Paris Airports

Travelers from around the globe flock to Paris for its rich history, stunning architecture, and unparalleled cultural experiences. The city offers a blend of romance, art, and gastronomy that is hard to match. Whether you’re a travel enthusiast, a business traveler, or just someone planning a visit, navigating Paris airports can be daunting. This comprehensive guide will help you understand everything you need to know about the three main Paris airports—Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Orly Airport (ORY), and Beauvais Airport (BVA)—making your travel as smooth as possible.

Charles de Gaulle Airport, the largest and busiest, serves as a major international hub with extensive amenities and transport links. Historically, it replaced Aéroport de Paris Nord, which was the old airport serving the city. CDG Airport is strategically located and ranks among the top European and global airports in terms of passenger traffic and connectivity. Orly Airport, located closer to the city center, is favored for its convenience and efficiency, primarily handling domestic and European flights. Beauvais Airport, although the smallest and furthest from the city, offers budget-friendly options with airlines that cater to low-cost travel.

By understanding the unique features and services at each airport, you can better plan your arrival and departure, ensuring a seamless experience in the City of Light.

Introduction to Paris Airports |

Overview of Paris Airports

Paris is served by three major airports:

Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG) – The busiest airport in Europe and one of the busiest in the world, handling over 70 million passengers annually. Located approximately 25 km northeast of central Paris in Roissy-en-France, it features extensive international connections and numerous amenities, including shops, restaurants, and lounges. The airport's development began with its planning and construction in the 1960s, and it has undergone several renovations to accommodate increasing passenger traffic.

Orly Airport (ORY) – Located 17 km south of Paris, it primarily serves low-cost and domestic flights. Orly offers a more relaxed travel experience compared to CDG, with modern facilities, shopping areas, and multiple dining options.

Beauvais Airport (BVA) – Situated 75 km north of central Paris, it is primarily used by charter companies and budget airlines. Though it is farther from the city, Beauvais provides a cost-effective option for travelers and boasts a growing number of European connections.

Each of these airports offers a range of transportation options to and from the city center, such as trains, buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services, ensuring you can reach your destination with ease. Additionally, each airport is equipped with various services to make your travel experience comfortable, including baggage assistance, free Wi-Fi, and information desks.

Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Location and Development

Located 23 km northeast of Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport, also known as Roissy Airport or Paris CDG, is the primary international airport serving the city. Named after the French statesman Charles de Gaulle, it is the world's ninth busiest airport and Europe's third busiest in terms of passenger numbers. The airport covers an extensive area and boasts a modern infrastructure with multiple terminals capable of handling a high volume of international and domestic flights. It serves as a major hub for both Air France and other international airlines, contributing significantly to the region's economy and connectivity. The airport is well-connected to the city center via various modes of transportation, including trains, buses, and taxis, making it a convenient gateway for travelers to and from Paris.

Terminals at CDG

Terminal 1 The oldest and largest terminal, Terminal 1, features seven satellites and a central building. Following a recent €250 million refurbishment, it offers modern amenities and expanded services, including a variety of dining options, shopping outlets, and lounges. The state-of-the-art design aims to enhance passenger comfort and streamline the travel experience. Terminal 1 handles international flights to various global destinations, providing excellent connectivity and facilities for international travelers.

Terminal 2 Situated a short distance away from Terminal 1, Terminal 2 consists of seven sub-terminals (2A to 2G). This terminal is predominantly used by Air France and its SkyTeam partners, along with other international airlines. Terminal 2 is known for its efficient layout and extensive services, including high-end boutiques, fine dining restaurants, and multiple lounges. It also handles international flights, offering excellent connectivity and facilities such as dedicated immigration counters, currency exchange services, and comfortable waiting areas for international travelers. It also houses the TGV-RER train station, providing convenient access to Paris and other destinations.

Terminal 3 Located approximately 1 km from Terminal 1, Terminal 3 serves low-cost airlines. It lacks boarding gates; passengers are transported to aircraft stands via airport buses. Despite its simpler infrastructure, Terminal 3 offers basic amenities such as cafes, shops, and seating areas. It is designed to handle a high volume of passengers efficiently, focusing on quick turnarounds and budget travel.

Transportation Options from CDG

To and From Paris

RER B – A hybrid suburban commuter and rapid transit line connecting CDG to central Paris. It is a convenient and cost-effective option, with frequent departures throughout the day, allowing travelers to reach key locations within the city efficiently.

High-Speed Trains – TGV inOui, Ouigo, and Thalys services operate from Terminal 2. These high-speed trains offer quick and comfortable travel to various destinations across France and neighboring countries, making it easy to continue your journey beyond Paris.

Buses – BlaBlaBus and Flixbus provide services to both domestic and international destinations from the bus station outside the Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 RER station. These buses are an economical choice for reaching various cities and towns, with multiple routes available to suit different travel needs.

Overview of Paris Airports |

Orly Airport (ORY)

Location and Overview

Orly Airport, located 17 km south of Paris, primarily serves low-cost and domestic flights. With a rich history dating back to its opening in 1932, Orly has evolved into a modern hub for millions of travelers. The airport offers several convenient transportation options to the heart of Paris:

Orlyval – A high-speed shuttle train connecting to the RER B train line, providing seamless access to the Paris metro network.

Orlybu – A direct bus service to the city center, which runs every 10-20 minutes and offers a budget-friendly travel option.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services – Multiple taxi companies operate from Orly Airport, providing quick and comfortable travel to various locations in Paris. Ride-sharing services like Uber are also readily available, offering additional convenience.

Tramway Line T7 – Connecting Orly to the Villejuif-Louis Aragon metro station, this tram provides another efficient transit option for reaching Paris.

Orly boasts a modern infrastructure with two terminals, South and West, each equipped to handle a diverse range of passenger needs. Both terminals offer a range of amenities such as duty-free shops, restaurants, lounges, and free Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for travelers. The airport has recently undergone significant renovations to improve the passenger experience and accommodate future growth, including expanded security checkpoints, enhanced baggage handling systems, and updated passenger lounges.

Terminal Layout at ORY

South Terminal (Terminal Sud)

The larger of the two terminals at Orly Airport, the South Terminal features four levels. Level 0 is dedicated to arrivals and baggage claim, complete with information desks and car rental services. Level 1 caters to departures and offers several services including check-in counters, security checkpoints, duty-free shops, various dining options, and waiting areas. Levels 2 and 3 house additional lounges and office spaces, ensuring all passenger needs are met.

West Terminal (Terminal Ouest)

The West Terminal, while smaller, is equally equipped with modern amenities. It offers dedicated areas for arrivals and departures, with streamlined check-in processes, a variety of retail and dining options, and comfortable waiting areas. The terminal also includes VIP lounges, providing a touch of luxury for travelers seeking a premium experience.

Overall, Orly Airport continues to be a vital gateway to Paris, balancing efficiency with a commitment to passenger comfort and satisfaction.

Beauvais Airport (BVA)

Location and Overview Beauvais Airport is positioned 75 km north of central Paris, making it a bit farther from the city compared to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports. Paris North Airport, also known as Aéroport de Paris Nord, was the former name of Charles de Gaulle Airport, located approximately 25km north of Paris city center. Despite the distance, it serves as an important hub, primarily utilized by charter companies and budget airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. This airport is often favored by travelers seeking cheaper flight options, though the journey to and from the airport might require additional planning due to its location.

Transportation Options from BVA Buses – Regular bus services connect Beauvais Airport to central Paris, offering an affordable and relatively straightforward option for travelers. These buses typically run in sync with flight schedules, ensuring minimal waiting times. The journey to Paris takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, and tickets can be purchased online or at the airport.

Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) |

Trains – For those preferring rail travel, a shuttle bus service is available from Beauvais Airport to the Beauvais train station. From there, direct trains to Paris Gare du Nord are available, providing a comfortable and scenic alternative. The train journey from Beauvais to Paris takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services – Taxis and ride-sharing options like Uber are also available for travelers seeking a more convenient and direct route to their destination. Though more expensive, this option offers the flexibility to travel at any time of the day or night. The taxi ride to central Paris typically takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.

Traveler Essentials

Security Tips for Paris Airports

Security in EU airports, including those in Paris, is stringent. Here are some key points to remember:

Liquid Restrictions – Ensure all liquids are in containers of 100ml or less and stored in a clear, resealable plastic bag. Remember, this includes gels and aerosols, so plan your packing accordingly to avoid any delays at the checkpoint.

Random Inspections – Additional checks may occur, so remain patient and comply with security staff instructions. These inspections are conducted to ensure the safety of all passengers, and cooperating fully can help expedite the process.

Electronics and Essentials – Be prepared to remove laptops and other large electronics from your bag for separate screening. Keep your passport and boarding pass easily accessible.

Arrive Early – Given the thorough security procedures, it's advisable to arrive at the airport at least two to three hours before your scheduled departure to allow ample time for all necessary checks.

Charles de Gaulle Airport provides several options for locating lost items. If you've misplaced something, you can contact airport staff directly, who will guide you through the process of recovering your belongings. In addition, there are designated lost and found areas throughout the terminal where you can inquire about lost items. It's always a good idea to provide detailed descriptions and any identifying features to help with the search.

Airport Lounges at CDG

CDG boasts numerous airport lounges, each managed by respective airlines, offering travelers a range of amenities and services. These lounges provide a comfortable environment to relax, with features such as complimentary snacks and beverages, Wi-Fi, and sometimes even showers and sleeping areas. Lounge access typically depends on your ticket class, with first and business class passengers often enjoying complimentary entry. However, pay-per-use options are also available for those seeking comfort and relaxation during layovers, allowing economy travelers to experience these premium facilities for a fee.

Transportation Options from CDG |

When arriving at any of Paris's airports, travelers have a plethora of popular destinations to explore. Here are some of the most frequented routes for those starting their journey from Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Orly (ORY), or Beauvais (BVA) Airports:

From Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)

Central Paris: The heart of Paris, featuring iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Champs-Élysées. This vibrant area is accessible via RER B, high-speed trains, and various bus services. Whether you're interested in historic monuments, world-class museums, or exquisite dining, Central Paris offers a wealth of experiences.

Disneyland Paris: A family-friendly destination located in Marne-la-Vallée, reachable by TGV in less than 15 minutes from CDG. Disneyland Paris offers a magical experience for children and adults alike, with thrilling rides, enchanting shows, and beloved characters. It's the perfect escape for a day filled with fun and excitement.

Versailles: Home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles and its stunning gardens, accessible by taking the RER B to Saint-Michel–Notre-Dame and then transferring to the RER C. The Palace of Versailles is a marvel of French architecture and history, featuring opulent rooms, the Hall of Mirrors, and expansive gardens that invite leisurely strolls. It's an ideal destination for those interested in history, art, and the elegance of classical French culture.

From Orly Airport (ORY)

Central Paris: Like Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), ORY offers convenient access to central Paris. You can take the Orlyval light rail, which connects to the RER B train line, or use the Orlybus service for a direct route into the city. Both options provide a quick and straightforward journey to the heart of Paris, allowing you to start exploring the city's iconic landmarks, vibrant neighborhoods, and world-renowned cuisine.

Mont-Saint-Michel: A picturesque island commune in Normandy, Mont-Saint-Michel is often included in travel itineraries for its stunning beauty and historical significance. To reach this enchanting destination, you need to take a train from Paris Montparnasse station. The journey from Orly Airport involves taking the Orlyval light rail to the RER B train line, which will bring you to Montparnasse. From there, you can catch a train that will take you to Pontorson, followed by a short bus ride to Mont-Saint-Michel.

Loire Valley: The Loire Valley is renowned for its magnificent châteaux, sprawling vineyards, and rich historical sites. To visit this charming region, you can take a train from Paris Austerlitz station. To get there from Orly Airport, take the Orlyval light rail to the RER C train line. The RER C will bring you directly to Paris Austerlitz, where you can board a train to various destinations within the Loire Valley. Whether you're interested in touring grand castles, sampling exquisite wines, or simply enjoying the scenic countryside, the Loire Valley offers a wealth of experiences to discover.

From Beauvais Airport (BVA)

Central Paris: Despite the distance, BVA connects to Paris via regular bus services that reach Porte Maillot in the city center. This journey typically takes around 75 minutes and offers a convenient shuttle service for travelers wanting to explore the iconic sites of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Alternatively, Le Bourget Airport serves the Paris area, specifically catering to private jets and business flights.

Rouen: The historic capital of Normandy, known for its medieval architecture and being the birthplace of Joan of Arc. Travelers can reach Rouen by taking a train from Gare Saint-Lazare, a major Parisian railway station. Once there, visitors can explore the stunning Rouen Cathedral, wander through the charming old town, and visit the Place du Vieux-Marché, where Joan of Arc was martyred.

Amiens: Renowned for its impressive Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in France, and its charming canal district, known as the “Little Venice of the North.” Accessed by train from Gare du Nord, France’s busiest railway station, Amiens offers a blend of historical and scenic attractions. Travelers can also visit the Hortillonnages, a series of floating gardens that are best explored by boat.

These directions provide easy access to some of France’s most beloved destinations, ensuring travelers have exciting options no matter which Paris airport they arrive at. Whether you’re interested in the vibrant culture of Paris, the historical significance of Rouen, or the picturesque beauty of Amiens, there’s something for everyone. Le Bourget Airport, historically significant for hosting business flights and air shows, also plays a key role in the corporate branding strategy for all Parisian airports.

Tips to Visit Paris Airports

Arrive Early – Aim to arrive at least 2-3 hours before your flight to allow ample time for check-in and security procedures. This will help you avoid the stress of rushing and provide a buffer for any unexpected delays.

Know Your Terminal – Familiarize yourself with your terminal and transportation options in advance. Paris airports are large and can be confusing, so knowing where to go can save you time and hassle.

Pack Smart – Follow EU regulations on liquids, electronics, and other restricted items to avoid delays. Make sure your liquids are in containers of 100ml or less and packed in a clear, resealable bag. Ensure your electronics are easily accessible for security checks.


Navigating Paris airports doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Equipped with the right knowledge and tips, you can ensure a smoother, more enjoyable travel experience. Whether you're landing at Charles de Gaulle, Orly, or Beauvais, each airport offers its unique services and conveniences to make your trip memorable.

Charles de Gaulle, being the largest and busiest airport, is equipped with numerous amenities, from luxury shopping to exquisite dining options. Orly, favored for domestic and European flights, offers a more relaxed atmosphere with quick access to central Paris. Beauvais, though further from the city, is often the choice for budget travelers, providing a gateway to numerous low-cost airlines.

Tips to Visit Paris Airports|

Ready to make the most of your Paris travel experience? Book a call with our travel experts today, and we’ll help you plan every detail of your trip to the City of Light! From the best routes to explore the city to insider tips on must-visit attractions, our team is here to ensure your journey is nothing short of spectacular. Bon voyage!


Q1. How far is Charles de Gaulle Airport from central Paris? A1. Charles de Gaulle Airport is located 23 km northeast of central Paris.

Q2. Which Paris airport is best for budget travelers? A2. Beauvais Airport (BVA) is best for budget travelers, as it primarily serves low-cost airlines like Ryanair.

Q3. What transportation options are available from Orly Airport to central Paris? A3. Orly Airport offers transportation options such as the Orlyval high-speed shuttle train and the Orlybus service.

Q4. Are there lounges available at Charles de Gaulle Airport? A4. Yes, Charles de Gaulle Airport has numerous lounges provided by various airlines, and pay-per-use options are also available.

Q5. How can I ensure I follow the security regulations at Paris airports? A5. Familiarize yourself with EU regulations on liquids and other restricted items, and be prepared for random inspections.

By understanding these essentials, you can travel through Paris airports with confidence and ease. Enjoy your trip!

Valery Lezhebokov
Changing travel industry with AI.