Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (2022)

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) are the two largest French airports. They host around 100 million travelers yearly. As one of them, you may ask yourself which one is the more convenient. Here are several elements which will help you choose.

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (1)

Air traffic

Orly Airport is France’s second-biggest airport. It is also Europe’s 12th busiest airport.

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport is France’s biggest airport, Europe’s 2nd biggest airport, and the world’s 10th airport in terms of passenger attendance.

These two airports receive millions of travelers yearly and have a wide range of flights from all the continents, to all the continents (almost).

Look at this table gathering all the information’s about the passengers and the characteristics of each airport :

Orly AirportRoissy CDG Airport
Theoretical passenger intake capacity/79 million
Number of passengers in 201931,85 million76,15 million
Number of runways3 runways4 runways: 2 for landings and 2 for takeoffs
Movements on runways each hour72 movements120 movements
Number of terminals2 terminals

2 terminals, formerly South and West, now divided into 4 areas

3 terminals

Terminals 1 and 2: destinations in Europe and international destinations

Terminal 3: low-cost air companies

This is a table of the destinations each airport offers :

Orly AirportRoissy CDG Airport
Europe83 destinations

22 countries

123 destinations

34 countries

North America14 destinations

10 countries

42 destinations

10 countries

South America1 destination9 destinations

7 countries

Africa29 destinations

9 countries

54 destinations

33 countries

Asia5 destinations

4 countries

52 destinations

29 countries

Océanie/1 link
Total156 destinations

47 countries

325 destinations

114 countries

Summary:

Concerning air traffic, Roissy-CDG airport has several advantages.

On the one hand, it can host almost 80 million travelers, whereas Orly can only receive 30 million. However, the two airports have almost the same number of runways. (Orly has 3 but Roissy-CDG has 4)

On the other hand, Roissy-CDG airport offers a wider range of destinations (325, Orly offers 156). Orly is more of a European airport because more than 50% of its destinations are located in Europe. European destinations served by Roissy CDG account for only 37%. This is because this airport also serves destinations in Africa, Asia and North America, unlike Orly.

Flights from Paris

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (2)

Orly Airport is located about ten kilometers south of Paris, whereas Roissy CDG Airport is about twenty kilometers north.

In order to access the airports, there are several means of transportation: by car, taxi, RER (metro), bus and so on. Here are two tables which regroup and sum up several means of transport, travel time, frequency, as well as cost.

Orly

Mean of transportTravel timeFrequencyCost
Car30-40 minutes on A6 and/or A10
RER B + OrlyVal

Orlyval: Orly – Antony train station

And RER from the train station

25 – 40 min6am – 11:35 pm (Orlyval)

Every 5 – 7 minutes

12,10€
RER C

Champs de Mars, Pont de l’Alma, Invalides, etc – Pont de Rungis train station

35 minutesEvery 15 minutes6,35€
Tramway 7

Orly – Villejuif-Louis Aragon station

30 minutes5:30am – 12:30 pm

Every 8 – 15 minutes

1,90 €
Air France Orly-Paris Shuttle

Orly – Champs-Élysées

45 – 60 minutesEvery 20 minutes/
OrlyBus

Orly Airport – Paris (Place Denfert-Rochereau)

25 – 35 minutes05:35 am – 12:00 pm to Orly

06:00 am – 12:30 pm to Paris

Every 8 – 15 min

9,50€
Bus 183

Orly – Porte de Choisy

40 – 60 minutes05:35 am – 11:54 pm to Orly

06:00 – 00:20 to Paris

Every 15 – 40 minutes

2€
Noctilien20 – 75 minutes00:30 am – 05:30 am

Every 30 to 60 minutes

6€
Taxi

Paris – Orly “rive droite”

Paris – Orly “rive gauche”

30 – 40 minutes

20 – 30 minutes

37 €

32 €

Uber

Gare de l’Est – Orly

Place d’Italie – Orly

30 – 40 minutes

20 – 30 minutes

40 – 60€

20 – 40€

Roissy CDG

Mean of transportTravel timeFrequencyCost
Car40 – 60 minutes with A3 ou A1
RER B

Gare du Nord, Châtelet Les Halles, etc – CDG

25 – 40 minutes04:53 am – 12:15 pm in Gare du Nord

05:26 am – 12:11pm in Châtelet les Halles

05:18 am – 12:03 pm in Denfert-Rochereau to CDG

04:50 am – 11:50 pm to Paris

Every 10 – 20 min

10,30 €
Roissybus shuttle

CDG – Opéra station

60 – 75 minutes05:15 am – 12:30 pm to CDG

06:00 am – 12:30 pm to Paris

Every 15 – 20 minutes

13,70 €
Bus 35060 – 80 minutes05:30 am – 9:30 pm to CDG

06:05 am – 10:30 pm to Paris

Every 15 – 30 minutes

2 €
Bus 35170 – 90 minutes05:35 am – 08:20 pm to CDG

2:00 – 21:37 vers Paris

Toutes les 15 – 30 minutes

2 €
Air France buses

CDG – Porte Maillot, Champs Élysées, Gare Montparnasse, etc

60 minutes05:45 am – 11:00 pm

Every 15 minutes

12€ to 21€
Noctilien Bus N143 + N14055 minutes12:00 pm to 04:30 am

Every 30 minutes

7,60 €
Taxi

Paris – CDG “rive droite”

Paris – CDG “rive gauche”

30 minutes

30 minutes

53€

58€

Uber

Gare de Lyon – CDG

Châtelet Les Halles

40 minutes

40 minutes

50 – 60€

40 – 60€

Summary

Concerning the means of transport to get to Paris, it takes more time to get to the Roissy-CDG airport. It takes 40 minutes to 1 hour by car, 30 minutes to 2 hours by public transportation, and around 30 minutes with an Uber or a taxi. To get to Paris from Orly, it takes around 30 minutes by car, 20 minutes to 1 hour by public transportation means, and 20 to 30 minutes with an Uber or a taxi.

Traveling by RER (metro) costs around ten euros to get to either airport from Paris. Buses are also available for a minimum of 2€ with long but cheap trips, which will help you save some money. It takes around 30€to get to Orly in a taxi, and around 50€ to get to Roissy-CDG.

Taxis are more expensive than public transportation, but they can show themselves very practical. If you don’t want to waste some time, consider booking in advance.

Finding your way

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (3)

Roissy-CDG Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe with a surface of 32 km² (3 200 ha). It is two times larger than Orly Airport with a 15km² surface (1528 ha).

Orly

Even if it is a rather large airport, it is quite simple to get your bearings/ The airport is divided into two terminals: they were formerly named South terminal and West terminal. They are now divided into 4 areas: “Orly 1”, “Orly 2”, “Orly 3”, and “Orly 4”

In Orly 1 and 2, the arrivals are at floor 0, and departures are at floor 1.

In Orly 3 and 4, the arrivals are at floor 1 and departures are at floor 0.

In this airport, airline companies are divided into terminals. This being said, it is very easy to find your bearings here.

  • Orly 1 receives Air France, Iberia, Air Malta, Alitalia, etc
  • Orly 2 receives Air Europa et EasyJet
  • Orly 3 receives Air France, Pegasus, Transavia, Air Corsica, etc
  • Orly 4 receives Air Algerie, Air Caraibes, Corsair, Tunisair, etc

Here is some information about boarding areas:

  • Orly 1: areas 11 to 18, boarding gates 1 and B
  • Orly 2: areas 21 to 26, boarding gate C
  • Orly 3: areas 31 to 36, boarding gates D (international) and E (Schengen area)
  • Orly 4: areas 41 to 48, boarding gates E and F (international)

Boarding takes place 45 minutes before departure for long-distance flights and 30 minutes before departure for the others.

Here are maps of the terminals.

Roissy-CDG

Roissy-CDG airport has 3 terminals. Terminals 1 and 2 receive passengers arriving from or departing to European or international destinations. Terminal 3 is only for low-cost airline companies.

Terminal 2 is divided into several areas. You can distinguish them with letters from A to G.

Even if there are several indications to help travelers find their way, passing through this airport can be very stressful for those who are not used to flying, because of the size of the complex and the crowd.

The CDGVAL shuttle enables you to move freely between terminals. It is usable every day from 04:00 am to 01:00 am. One is available every 4 minutes.

Here are maps of the terminals.

This is an app with all the information needed to get your bearings as well as information on available services, shops, restaurants, and also bookings and parking spaces. This app is available for IOS and Android (in french).

Summary

In Orly as well as in Roissy-CDG, everything is in place for passengers to get their bearings as best as possible. Several indications are given inside the two airports, as well as maps and an app.

However, since CDG airport is bigger, it is somewhat harder to locate yourself in it, even considering the given indications. Be advised: the time it takes to walk between check-in to a boarding gate can easily add up to a few hours. Someone who is not accustomed to traveling will certainly prefer Orly Airport.

Services

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (4)

Orly

There are around 50 shops in Orly Airport (Burberry, Fnac, Hermès, Rolex, Pandora, Prada, and so on) and around 20 restaurants (Starbucks, Sushi Shop, Fauchon Paris, Maison Pradier, and so on). 3 areas for children are also available in the airport to keep them busy. 2 pharmacies, as well as 3 exchange offices, are also available.

As for parking spaces, the airport has 3 drop-off points: Orly 1-2 drop-off points, Orly 3 drop-off points, and Orly 4 drop-off points. These parking spaces are located near the terminal accesses.

Several roofed parking spaces are also available like Parc P2, suitable for Orly 1, Parc 3 for Orly 2, Parc P4A for Orly 4 and Parc P4B and P4C. We call these parking spaces “short duration parking”.

“Long-duration parkings” are also available. These are “alternative” parking areas located near the airport which you can access by shuttle. These parking lots often offer lower prices for several days of parking.

Visit this site for more information.

Here’s a table with a few examples of the price range which will be clearer and easier to understand:

Parking space typeOrly Airport
Drop-off10 minutes: 3 €

30 minutes: 10,50 €

1 hour: 25,50 €

P2 – P3 – P4A – P4B – P4CLess than 10 minutes: free

10 to 15 minutes: 3 €

15 to 30 minutes: 5 €

45 minutes to 1h: 7 €

Every additional 15 minutes: +2 €

1 to 2 days: 66 €

3 days: 86 €

4 days: 115 €

Alternative parkings30 minutes: from 9 €

1h: from 9 €

1 day: from 9 €

3 days: from 20 €

4 days: from 28 €

More information about airport parking prices here.

More information about alternative parking prices here.

Roissy-CDG

Roissy-CDG airport has around 50 shops (Cartier, Chanel, Lacoste, Rolex, Tiffany & co, etc) and around 20 restaurants (Maison Pradier, Paul, Starbucks, YO sushi!, Brioche Dorée, etc). As for other available services, given the fact that this airport is larger than Orly, there are more of them. Six areas for children are available, as well as three pharmacies, eight exchange offices and one bank.

As for parking spaces, the airport has a dozen of them. Several roofed parking lots are available, such as P1 parking suitable for Terminal 1, PAB parking for terminals 2A and 2B, PCD parking for terminals 2C and 2D and PEF parking for terminals 2E and 2F.

Outdoor parkings are available like P3 parking for terminal 3 and PG parking for terminal 2G.

Economy-parking lots are available as well. PR parking is linked to terminal 1 with the CDGVAL shuttle, and PX parking is linked to terminals 2 and 3 served by the same shuttle. PW parking is located near terminal 2, and can only be accessed by reservation.

Alternative parking spaces are also available similarly to the ones in Orly Airport. The aforementioned economy-parking lots are further away from the terminals, making them cheaper.

Here’s a table with a few examples of the price range which will be clearer and easier to understand:

Parking space typeRoissy-CDG Airport
P1 – PAB – PCD – PEF – P3 – PG15 minutes: 3 €

30 minutes: 5 €

45 minutes: 7 €

1 to 2 days: 71 €

2 tp 3 days: 93 €

3 to 4 days: 115 €

Economy-parkings15 minutes: 2 €

30 minutes: 4 €

45 minutes: 6 €

1 to 2 days: 48 €

2 to 3 days: 70 €

3 to 4 days: 95 €

Alternative parkings30 minutes: from 16 €

1 hour: from 16 €

1 day: from 16 €

3 days: from 20 €

4 days: from 28 €

More information about airport parking lot prices here.

More information about alternative parking prices here.

Here is a table of available services in either airport

Orly AirportRoissy-CDG Airport
RestaurantsAround 18Around 24
ShopsAround 50Around 50
Children areas36
Pharmacies (public spaces)23
Exchange offices38
Banks/1
ATMs5Around 15
Parking spaces69

Summary

Concerning available services, both airports offer similar services. However, given the fact that Roissy-CDG airport is larger than Orly, more are offered.

Concerning parking spaces, you have a wide choice in either airport with similar, even identical prices. If you leave your vehicle in a parking spot for a few hours, you should consider using a parking place at the airport. If however, you are leaving your vehicle for a few days, you should use an alternative parking: it will be much cheaper.

Even so, consider arriving in advance. These parking lots are cheap but far away from the airport: you will have to use a shuttle to get to the check-in.

Hotels

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (5)

Orly

Several hotels are not far away from the airport.

Two-star hotel Ibis budget Paris Coeur d’Orly Airport (link in french) is located 300 meters away from Orly 4. In order to access it from Orly 1, 2 and 3, you have the possibility to take the OrlyVal shuttle to Orly 4, then take the roofed bridge. This hotel offers a self-serve buffet breakfast.

Rooms are available starting from 53€.

Three-star hotel Ibis Paris Coeur d’Orly Airport (link in french) is located near the Orly 4 bridge as well. In order to access it from Orly 1,2 and 3, it is also possible to use the OrlyVal shuttle. The hotel offers a self-serve buffet breakfast, has a restaurant and a bar. Several meeting rooms are also available.

Rooms are available starting from 70 €.

Four-star hotel Novotel Paris Coeur d’Orly Airport (link in french) is at a 5 minute walk away from terminal 4. This hotel has a restaurant named Globe Cro’coeur, a fitness room with a view on the airport, a bar with a terrace. Seminar rooms are also available for business trips.

Rooms are available from 97 €.

Roissy-CDG

The two-star hotel Première Classe Roissy – Aéroport Charles de Gaulles (link in french) is accessible with the airport shuttle (not free) from 5am to 12pm. The trip is less than 10 minutes long. This hotel offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Rooms are available from 27 €.

The three-star hotel Ibis Styles Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (link in french) is very close to Terminal 3, and 50 meters away from the free shuttle taking you to Terminals 1 and 2. This hotel has a restaurant called Foody’s planet.

Rooms are available from 76€.

The four-star hotel Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (link in french) is located between the airport’s three terminals. It offers a bar restaurant named the Skylight, an indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna and a free fitness center. A business center is available as well.

Rooms are available from 130 €.

Summary

In Orly as well as in Roissy-CDG, there are hotels nearby. The price ranges vary to satisfy all budgets. A lot of options are available according to the hotel you stay in.

In Orly, cheap hotels are near the airport, like Ibis budget which is located 300 meters away from Orly 4. In Roissy, cheap hotels are farther from the airport and located at the extremities, such as the Première Classe hotel. You can access it with a 10 minutes shuttle ride.

In either airport, more luxurious hotels are available near the terminals. They often offer seminar rooms for business trips.

If you need to leave early in the morning or if you arrive late at night, you can rest in a hotel located near the airports.

Conclusion

Both airports serve a lot of destinations. However, you will have more choices in the Roissy-CDG airport, which serves more.

Roissy-CDG airport is much larger than Orly Airport. Even if there are a lot of indications in each airport, it can be hard to find your bearings here. A traveler who is not accustomed to airports will probably prefer Orly airport, which is smaller and less crowded.

Concerning parking lots, you will find all you need in both airports, whether it be drop-off points or roofed parking lots. For lower prices, if you leave your vehicle for several days, you can use alternative parking lots which are located a bit further from the airports but are then reachable with shuttles. Their prices are similar in both airports.

Concerning hotels, each airport has hotels nearby, with different prices. However, if you want to pay lower prices at Roissy-CDG airport, you will need to move away from the airport a little. On the other hand, Orly airport has cheap hotels near the terminals. If you have a small budget and you need to reach the airport early in the morning or if you arrive late at night, and if you want to choose a hotel not far, on foot, from the airport, consider choosing Orly airport.

Roissy CDG or Orly? Which Airport Is Better? (6)

Mona

Advice, best plans, great places; I will help you in your search for trips, activities, hotels and restaurants. Whether it’s for a walk, a weekend, an afternoon or merely to find a trendy place to eat, I can give you all the pointers you need for your endeavor. Just follow the guide!

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