A look into the three Paris France airport alternatives: Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, and Beauvais Tillé (which is primarily used by budget airlines).
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
PHOTO: Charles de Gaulle airport terminal 2.
Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG), also known as “Roissy“, is one of the world’s important aviation centers, and also the biggest airport in France.
The airport, which is located about 25 km (15.5 miles) from central Paris, is used around 60.8 million passengers annually, making it the world’s 5th busiest airport.
CDG airport (www.aeroportsdeparis.fr) has been in operation since 1974, and today, it contains a total of three terminals…
…of which terminal T3 is mostly used by budget airlines.
Within the terminal buildings, there are also RER (www.ratp.fr) railway stations (for terminals 1 and 3 the station is a little separated from the terminal building), with connections to central Paris.
Terminal 2 also has an adjacent TGV (www.tgv.com) bullet train station.
Paris France Airport Charles de Gaulle is connected to central Paris with RER B line.
There are about 4 RER B line departures each hour, with the fastest connection taking around 30 minutes to the Gare du Nord, in central Paris.
RER B stations are called…
- “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1” — located at Roissypôle sector (which is mainly dedicated to hotels and corporate offices) near terminal 3 (used by terminal 1 passengers as well), and
- “Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 – TGV” — located next to the TGV station, under terminal 2.
…to the bus stop behind Palais Garnier opera house.
There is another bus station located within Roissypôle sector, next to the RER B train station. From there, you can get a bus to, for example, Parc Astérix (www.parcasterix.fr) amusement park.
Paris France Airport – Paris-Orly
PHOTO: Paris-Orly airport.
Paris – Orly (www.aeroportsdeparis.fr) airport, the second most important airport in the city, is located about 13 km (8 miles) south of the city center.
From the airport, you can take flights to many European destinations, to Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, and to destinations in North America.
Orly airport was completed in 1923 under the name “Villeneuve-Orly Airport“. First a civilian airport, but after a period of military use (during the Second World War), it was reopened in 1948 as a civilian airport.
Before Charles de Gaulle airport was taken into use in 1974, Orly was the main airport in Paris.
Orly is, however, still the busiest airport in France for domestic traffic, and the second busiest in terms of overall passenger numbers.
Paris-Orly has two terminals:
- Western terminal, and
- Southern terminal.
You can get from Orly to central Paris with…
- RER B trains — which depart from “Antony” station (where you first go to using Orlyval (www.orlyval.com) shuttles), or with
- RER C trains, from “Pont de Rungis – Aéroport d’Orly” station.
In addition to the trains, you can travel to central Paris from Orly by a bus, including the Air France buses: (www.lescarsairfrance.com)…
…and the RATP Orlybuses (www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/r_61848/orlybus/).
Paris France Airport – Beauvais Tillé
PHOTO: Beauvais-Tillé airport terminal 1 check-in area.
Beauvais Tillé (www.aeroportbeauvais.com) airport was originally a small, regional airport in the city of Beauvais, around 85 km (52.8 miles) north of central Paris.
The Beauvais airport has…
- 4 departure gates,
- a bar selling snacks and drinks, and
- two shopping areas (one both before and after security).
Aeroport Beauvais Tillé was rebuilt entirely in 2005, as it was designated for budget airlines’ use…and by 2011, over 3.6 million passengers were using it annually.
Popular budget airlines that fly here include include:
- Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and
- Wizz Air (www.wizzair.com).
From the airport, to get to central Paris, you can use the airport shuttle bus that makes the trip 8 times per day. The journey time to Paris is about 75 minutes.
If you’re in a hurry, and as an alternative to the shuttlebus and trains, you can take one of the available taxis from at the airport to Paris.