Flying time to Paris is about 7 hours from New York, 8 hours from Chicago, and 11 hours from Los Angeles. Flying time from London to Paris is 1½ hours.
The French are notoriously stringent about security, particularly for international flights. Don't be surprised by the armed security officers patrolling the airports, and be prepared for very long check-in lines. Peak travel times in France are between mid-July and September, during the Christmas–New Year's holidays in late December and early January, and during the February school break. Through these periods airports are especially crowded, so allow plenty of extra time. Never leave your luggage unattended, even for a moment. Unattended bags are considered a security risk and may be destroyed.
Airline and Airport Links.com. Airline and Airport Links.com has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration. The Transportation Security Administration has answers for almost any question that might come up. www.tsa.gov.
The major airports are Charles de Gaulle (CDG, also known as Roissy), 26 km (16 miles) northeast of Paris, and Orly (ORY), 16 km (10 miles) south of Paris. Both are easily accessible from the city. Whether you take a car or bus to travel from Paris to the airport on your departure, always allot an extra hour because of the often horrendous traffic tie-ups in the airports themselves (especially in peak seasons and at peak times). Free light-rail connections (Orlyval and CDGval), available between the major terminals, are one option for avoiding some of the traffic mess, but still give yourself enough time to navigate these busy airports.
Charles de Gaulle/Roissy and Orly. 3950; 0033/1–70–36–39–50; www.adp.fr.
By bus from CDG/Roissy: Roissybus, operated by the RATP (Paris Transit Authority), runs between Charles de Gaulle (T1, T2A, C, E, F, and T3) and the Opéra every 15 minutes (though the wait can be far longer) from 6 am to 8:45 pm and then every 20 minutes until 12:30 am; the cost is €12. The trip takes about 60 minutes in regular traffic, about 90 minutes at rush hour.
By coach from CDG/Roissy: Le Bus Direct, formerly known as the Air France bus, is a shuttle service in comfortable coaches equipped with Wi-Fi and USB ports. Buy your tickets online or onboard (€1 supplement). Line 2 goes from the airport to Paris's Étoile/Champs-Élysées, Porte Maillot, Trocadéro, Tour Eiffel, and La Motte-Piquet métro stations from 5:15 am to 11 pm, leaving every 30 minutes; journey time is about an hour in normal traffic. Tickets cost €17 one way save €6 if you buy a return ticket). Line 4 goes to Montparnasse and the Gare de Lyon from 6 am to 10 pm. Buses run every 30 minutes and cost €17; count on a trip of about 50–80 minutes. To reach the Arrivals-level bus station between the two terminals, passengers arriving in Terminal 1 need to take Exit 32; Terminals 2A, 2C, and 2D go to Exit C10; 2E and 2F use Exit E8 or E9. From Terminal 2G, take the free shuttle bus N2 to Terminal 2E/F. There’s a 15%–25% discount on any of these buses for parties of four or more if you buy online. At the time of this update, Terminal 2B is closed for a major renovation.
A number of van companies, such as SuperShuttle Paris, serve both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Prices are set, so there are no surprises even if traffic is a snail-pace nightmare. To make a reservation, call or reserve online at least one week in advance, and an air-conditioned van with a bilingual chauffeur will be waiting for you. Confirm the day before. The shared van service costs a third of their exclusive non-stop option but picks up other passengers, which adds at least 20 minutes to the trip.
By taxi from CDG/Roissy: Taxis are the most convenient way into Paris but certainly not the fastest during peak times. At best, the ride takes 30 minutes, but it can hit 90 minutes during rush hour. At least the once-unpredictable fares are now fixed in either direction; count on a flat rate of €50 (Left Bank) and €55 (Right Bank). Share a ride with Taxis G7 Sharing () and save as much as $20. Taxis G7 also offers Familycabs with baby car seats and boosters. ParisGreenCar is an eco-friendly alternative (€79 flat rate) with an energy-efficient fleet of hybrid taxis; they make a €0.50 charitable donation with each booking. Whichever company you use, only take an official taxi from designated areas outside the terminal; they will have an illuminated roof sign and a meter. Additionally, Uber and other ride-hailing apps service CDG and they're usually cheaper.
By train from CDG/Roissy: The cheapest—and often the fastest—way into Paris from CDG is via the RER-B Line, the hybrid rapid transit-suburban train, which runs from 5 am to 11 pm daily. The free CDGVal lightrail connects each airport terminal (except 2G) to the Roissypôle RER station in 6 minutes. For Terminal 2G, take the free N2 "navette" shuttle bus outside Terminal 2F. Trains to central Paris (Les Halles, Gare du Nord, St-Michel, Luxembourg) depart every 10 to 20 minutes. The fare (including métro connection) is €10.30, and journey time is about 35 minutes to Les Halles. If you're catching a flight, be sure to check www.ratp.fr or a transport app for delays (they can be frequent).
By bus from Orly: RATP's Orlybus leaves every 10 to 20 minutes for the Denfert-Rochereau métro station in Montparnasse from Exit L in Orly South and Exit D in Orly West. The cost is €8.30. The cheapest bus is the RATP city bus 183, which shuttles you from métro Porte de Choisy (Line 7) to Orly South (Gate C, stop 4) for just €2. It departs every 30 minutes from 6 am to 12:20 am (frequency may be reduced on Sunday and holidays); travel time is about 45 to 60 minutes.
By coach from Orly: Le Bus Direct's Line 1, formerly the Air France bus, runs from Orly to Montparnasse, La Motte-Piquet, Tour Eiffel, Trocadéro, and Étoile/Champs-Élysées every 20 to 30 minutes from 5:50 am to 11:30 pm. The fare is €12 (discounts available online on a return ticket and for group travel) and journey time is between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on traffic. To find the bus, take Exit L, stop 3 from Orly South or Exit D, stop 5 from Orly West. Private van companies also provide shuttle service.
By taxi from Orly: You’ll find taxi stands at Orly South at Exit L and at Orly West at Exit B.(look for signs)). A cab to Paris costs a flat rate in either direction of €30 (Left Bank) and €35 (Right Bank); plan on 25–40 minutes in normal traffic. Uber and other ride-hailing apps service Orly.
By train from Orly: The cheapest way to get into Paris by train is to take the Go C shuttle bus ("Paris par le train") from Exit C, stop 5 at Orly South or Exit D, stop 7 at Orly West to the train station RER-C Pont de Rungis–Aéroport d'Orly. Trains to Paris leave every 15 to 20 minutes. Buy tickets at the automatic machines; the combined fare is €6.35 and journey time is about 35 minutes. Another slightly faster option is to take the Orlyval monorail, which runs from both Orly terminals to the Antony RER-B daily every 5 to 8 minutes from 6 am to 11:35 pm. Passengers arriving in the South Terminal should use the automatic machines or Orlyval counter at Exits K; take Exit A if you've arrived in the West Terminal. The fare to Paris is €13.25 including the RER transfer.
A Paris-Visite pass allows you unlimited public transportation over 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive days. Prices start at €27.80 with airport travel. See https://en.parisinfo.com/what-to-see-in-paris/paris-pass.
Transfers Between Airports
To travel between Paris's airports, there are several options. The RER-B goes from CDG to Paris St-Michel–Notre-Dame where you transfer to the RER-C to Orly West. Travel time is about 60 to 80 minutes, and tickets cost €16.15. Le Bus Direct's ' Line 3 shuttle also runs between the airports for €21 one way, every 20–30 minutes; the trip takes about 75 minutes in normal traffic. Taxis are available but expensive: from €70 to €110, depending on traffic.
Le Bus Direct. 08–10–81–20–01; www.lebusdirect.com.
ParisGreenCar. 08–92–69–69–00; www.parisgreencar.com.
RATP. 3246; www.ratp.fr.
SuperShuttle Paris. 08–11–70–78–12; www.supershuttle.fr.