Airports in France
Aéroport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (airport code CDG)
Located 30 km northeast of Paris in the suburb of Roissy, this is Paris’ largest airport and has three terminals, which are used by both international and domestic carriers. Those coming from international destinations outside of Europe will likely fly in and out of Charles de Gaulle, as the airport serves as the Paris hub for France’s national airline (Air France) as well as many other major airlines.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is connected to Paris by both commuter trains and the RER B3 train, which leaves right from underneath the airport and stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
There is also a bus that runs from CDG to Paris. RATP Bus No 351 links CDG to the eastern side of Paris at Place de la Nation. It takes an hour, comes every 30 mins and costs 3 Paris Métro tickets.
If you arrive at CDG after hours you can also take the Noctilien Bus routes 121 and 140, which take passengers from the airport to various major train stations/Métro stops in Paris.
Aéroport de Paris – Orly
Paris’ second largest airport, Orly, is the older and smaller of the two major international airports. Orly is located about 18 km south of Paris and is served by many major carriers including Air France. While Orly does have many flights that arrive from overseas destinations, you will be more likely to use Orly if you are flying from France to another European destination rather than if you are departing for a trans-Atlantic flight.
Orly is easily accessed from Paris. There are several different public transportation options, including bus service and RER B/Métro. For that line B RER, though, you want to take it to the Antony stop and take the Orlyval shuttle to the airport. This is a more popular route than the RER line C to Pont de Rungis – Aéroport d’Orly, then the shuttle.
There is also a RATP bus (183) that runs from Paris to Orly. Tickets are sold on board and costs the same amount as a Métro ticket. The bus runs every 35 mins and takes about an hour.
If you find yourself needing a bus after hours, the Noctilien Bus 31 connects Orly with Gare de Lyon, Gare d’Austerlitz and Place d’Italie in Paris. From those three places, you can get pretty much anywhere.
You can also opt to take a direct shuttle service from the airport if you don’t want to hassle with hauling your luggage through the Métro. There are a variety of shuttle services that offer both door to door service or service from the airport to one of Paris’ major train/metro stations.
Aéroport de Paris-Beauvais-Tillé
This international airport located 80 km from Paris is used by discount airline carrier Ryanair for its European flights, including those between Paris and Dublin, Shannon, and Glasgow. Those flying in on transatlantic flights or flights coming from outside Europe will not fly into Beauvais.
Unlike the other Paris airports, Beauvais is not connected to Paris via the RER or public transportation lines. And it’s FAR. But since most people who use Beauvais Airport are budget conscious, they probably won’t want to take a taxi that costs €110-€150 to get to and from Paris. So, there is an Express Bus shuttle service that costs €17 and picks up passengers from Parking Pershing, located near Porte Maillot Métro stop three hours before RyanAir departures and leaves the airport 20-30 min after each arrival.
Other Airports in France
Aéroport de Bordeaux (airport code BOD)
The Bordeaux airport is located 10 km west of Bordeaux in Merignac and has both domestic and international flights. You can take the public bus 1 from the airport to, from and throughout the city center, or the Jet Bus shuttle from Bordeaux Saint-Jean train station.
Aéroport de Lille (airport code LIL)
The Lille airport is located just 15 minutes from the city center in Lesquin. It is served by both domestic and international flights. The Lille Airport Shuttle costs €9 round trip, takes about 20 minutes, and leaves about every hour from the Euralille shopping centre, at the bus stop marked Liaison Aéroport.
Aéroport Lyon Saint-Exupéry (airport code LYS)
Lyon’s Saint-Exupéry airport (named after the famed French author of The Little Prince) is located 20 km to the east of Lyon and is an important hub for those travelers coming to the French Alps or Provence. The TGV also connects this airport to Paris and Marseille and Lyon is France’s 4th busiest airport.
>>Read more about cheap flights to Lyon.
Aéroport de Marseille Provence (airport code MRS)
The Marseille Provence airport is located 27 km from Marseille in Marignane and is a standard hub point for those travelers coming to the South of France (Provence or the French Riviera). The airport also has a terminal serving budget airlines (like Ryanair and EasyJet) and the airport has both domestic and international flights.
Aéroport Nantes Atlantique (airport code NTE)
Nantes Atlantique Airport is located 8 km southwest of Nantes in Bouguenais and is the largest airport in western France. It is served by both domestic and international carriers and serves as a jumping off point for those exploring Normandy and Brittany. The easiest way to get into the city center from the airport is to take the Navette Tan Air, which drops you off at the train station.
Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur (aiport code NCE)
The Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is located 7km from the center of Nice, right along the coast, and is the principal port for passengers going to the French Riviera. It is the third-most important airport in France after Charles de Gaulle and Orly in Paris, and serves many travelers looking to get directly to the French Mediterranean coast. It serviced by both domestic and international carriers.
Aéroport de Strasbourg (airport code SXB)
The Strasbourg airport is located 10 km west of town and is serviced by both international and domestic carriers. Air France operates flights to and from Strasbourg from Paris-Orly and Nice.
There is a shuttle bus from the airport, but it leaves you at a tram stop to find your own way into the city. It’s also not very reliable, as it has infrequent runs and even less on the weekends. This is one instance where you’re going to have to save up for a taxi to ensure you get to where you’re going with the least amount of hassle.
Aéroport de Toulouse – Blagnac (airport code TLS)
The Toulouse Airport is located about 7 km from the city center and is served by many major domestic and international air carriers. It serves as a point of departure for those looking to explore southwestern France.
You can get a shuttle bus to the city center from Hall C; they leave every 20 minutes, take about 20 minutes and have three stops in town including the Toulouse-Matabiau train station.