Breeze through Paris airports and Paris airport transfers
Paris airports are a-plenty, the two most important and largest ones being Charles De Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. I can’t remember the last time I actually used Orly Airport. Although you may land in Orly depending on what airline you fly with, Charles De Gaulle Airport is far busier and the more international of the two.
- Charles De Gaulle Airport is approximately 28 km (17 miles) north-east of central Paris, in Roissy. It is a huge and still blossoming airport, which was touted as Europe’s most modern around the time of its inauguration in March 1974.
That modernity is a challenge that remains a major point of strife and a work in progress as illustrated by the late addition of the CDGVAL automatic metro linking the 3 terminals of Charles De Gaulle Airport.
The addition brought major relief to travelers who have to decipher the complex Terminal-Gate-Hall system, often with a language handicap. Knowing the language did nothing to help me on one particular occasion some years ago…
I was meeting a friend at my arrival gate. Mind you, we're both experienced travelers, but the layout of the airport was so counter-intuitive that you really had to pay close attention! My friend and I wound up hunting each other down for 2 HOURS, walking around the airport and hauling luggage! Not a pretty sight…
We were both madly searching for each other in a “Gate #2”, except we were in two different terminals a mile apart and couldn’t tell! We kept screaming at each other on the phone:” I AM at Gate #2! I’m standing right in front of the Currency Exchange booth! What do you mean that’s exactly where YOU are?! You can’t BE here!! Or I would SEE YOU! Rrrrgh!..."
We had to walk for miles, mumbling some choice words, and taking shuttles between terminals until we could finally confirm that we were in the same building! Lol… Laughing now, but wasn't so funny then.
Luckily, you no longer have to fall victim to any Paris Airports mishaps.
Here's the layout of Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport. It is 3 Terminals:
Paris-CDG 1 has a circular configuration that was revolutionary in airport architectural design in its 1974 debut. It has since been renovated into even more modern features.
Paris-CDG 2 boasts 6 halls: CDG-2A, -2B, -2C, -2D, -2E (had been closed for repairs due to a catastrophic collapse of the vault), and–2F, plus a railroad station and TGV trains.
Paris-CDG T3 mainly focuses on charter flights.
Futuristic Satellite S3 was specially designed be the home of the mammoth new Airbus A380.
All Paris airport terminals offer a full array of services, shops and Paris Airport transfers via buses, RER Regional Express trains linked to the Paris Metro, airport shuttles and Air France buses, my favorites! (You don’t have to be an Air France passenger to ride them into and from Paris). Various other options by taxi, car and limousine are available.
- Orly Airport, the other major Paris airport is located 17 km (11 miles) south of Paris. Orly accounts for about a quarter of air traffic in Paris. It has been around since the early 1960’s and only lost its prominence with the opening of Charles De Gaulle Airport in the mid 1970’s.
Orly’s comparatively smaller size makes getting in and out of it a no-brainer. However, it is still a very significant and busy airport by any standard. Just less of a maze…
Paris-Orly Airport is divided into 2 terminals, Orly-Sud (Orly South) the original, and Orly-Ouest (Orly West). The Orlyval automatic metro connects the two terminals, and links into the RER Regional Express trains, which services the entire Paris region.
In fact, the RER line “B” links both Paris airports. It takes you straight across town from Orly Airport to Charles De Gaulle Airport, should you have a need to do that, for instance to switch airlines on a Paris stop-over.
Both Orly-Sud and Orly-Ouest offer abundant services and shops for your convenience, as well as transportation amenities such as Air France buses, RER /Paris Metro, Paris RATP buses, Paris Airport shuttles, taxis, cars and limos. Click here for detailed ground transportation options.
Tip: Never hesitate to make ample use of the Information booths indicated by a big letter "i" sign. They will save you a lot of confusion and aggravation.
Did you know? Steven Spielsberg's movie The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, is based on the true life story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, a stranded passenger who lived in the halls of Charles de Gaulle Airport for over a decade.
A bizarre immigration debacle (it was verified that he had lost his refugee papers) left him stuck without a nationality and un-expellable, so he made the airport "home". Even after at long last he received French residency and Hollywood money for his life story, he wouldn't leave Charles de Gaulle Airport!
Go from Paris Airports to Paris Airport Shuttle
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Go from Paris Airports to Charles De Gaulle Airport Transfer including Disneyland Paris