If you are travelling by air to Paris, you have three options. Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly are the two main ones but Beauvais (BVA) also serves 3 million people per annum as well. Your choice is sometimes made for you based on the availability of flights, but you may sometimes get more than one choice. This guide explores the benefits and negatives of the three airports:
Charles de Gaulle
As the largest airport in France, CDG serves roughly 60,000,000 people per annum. CDG is the biggest airport in Paris, which means the chances of you getting a flight better suited to your needs are high. To put the size of the airport into context, Air France flies to more destinations from CDG than all the carriers at Paris Orly put together.
Compared to Orly, CDG is the longest distance away from Paris city centre at approximately 15 miles northeast. The transport links are good however, but access the centre of Paris by car can take an hour or more due to congested traffic in the city centre.
As the smaller of the two main airports, Paris Orly serves over 25,000,000 people per annum. Paris Orly sits on top of the city, which is one of the main benefits. Sitting eight miles to the south of Paris, if you choose to hire a car, you could be in the centre in fifteen minutes. Furthermore, you can access the city via rail and bus, both of which do not take very long.
Paris Orly is not served by as many airlines as CDG, which is a negative because it means there is a smaller chance of finding a flight. Furthermore, a lot of the carriers flying out of Paris Orly are small. In fact, apart from a few exceptions, the majority of airline carriers are country specific at this airport.
Even though few people (when compared to the other two) fly through Beauvais every year, the reality is that Ryanair and Wizzair use Beauvais as a hub, which means that plenty of low-cost flights come into the airport.
The main disadvantage is that finding one of these flights from your destination may be impossible because there are few carriers who use the airport. However, if you can access an airport that has flights to Beauvais, you will see that prices are generally much cheaper.
Paris Beauvais is 45 miles north of the centre of Paris, which is a lot more than both airports above. Various transportation options are available such as bus and private shuttle services.
Of course, a point that is often pivotal in terms of what airport you decide to fly to is where you need to go once you land. CDG is the closest airport to Eurodisney, which means it is the one that the majority of people choose to use if they are going there. As the nearest airport to the centre of Paris, Paris Orly receives a lot of flights for tourists who are on a city break. Paris Beauvais is used by many who want to access the north of France or Paris, or those who want to access places like Rouen or Le Havre.
In reality, the differences between the two major airports in terms of features are minimal because they are both managed by the same group. However, it is important to take into account the points above when you are deciding what airport in Paris is the best for you. Furthermore, for peace of mind, you should check to see if there are any deals at Paris Beauvais as well. Low Cost Airline Guide provide a convenient route search tool that can help you check which flight options to Paris are available from your local airport with the various airlines.
Good luck deciding on your flight, and enjoy the City of Love & Lights!