How to Get From Orly Airport to Paris

We, Parisians, low-key love our public transport. It’s fast, vast, and pretty reliable. Sure, it has its downsides, but most of the time it’s the best way to commute, especially in the morning/afternoon rush. It’s not a rarity to see three-pieces-suits rolling down the stairs in La Defence stations (basically our equivalent of Wall Street), who know better than to spend hours in the traffic when they can smoothly (usually) spend that time reading a book. Even the super posh Passy area in the 16th Arrondissement has a few stations. Want to know more about ~what’s so special~ about the Paris public transportation? Check out our transport guide here.

The Orly connections are fairly easy to recognize, as they are all called “Orly-something”. No guessing game here, no hidden agenda. There are various (more or less complex sound) ways to get to Paris, depending on where you’re staying and, let’s be honest, which part of the airport you’re going to find yourself. Bottom line? I have yet to find a person who tried them all. You either pick and memorize one and use it until the end of your days, or just go easy on yourself and grab a car. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, feel free to skip ahead to the end of the article. Your ‘tired-of-traveling’ mind will definitely thank you at some point. 

GOOD OL’ BUSY BUS

Orly­bus (warned you) is an espe­cial­ly good idea if you’re trav­el­ing ear­ly or late at night, as it runs longer than the oth­er pub­lic trans­port options. It con­nects the air­port with the Den­fert-Rochere­au metro sta­tion (lines 4 & 6) in the 14th arrondisse­ment. It runs every 15–20 min­utes and (in the­o­ry) can make it to the city with­in 30 min­utes. It’s the cheap­est option (you can use Paris trav­el pass­es on this ser­vice up to zone 4), and drops you direct­ly by the metro; yet they tend to be pret­ty packed and can turn into a hell ride if you end up stuck in traf­fic. Use at your own risk.

TRAM

Tram ways in Paris are most­ly known to be cir­cling around the city, around its bor­ders, divid­ing it from the sub­ur­ban (most­ly res­i­den­tial) areas. Some of them, how­ev­er, run deep­er with­in as a pro­lon­ga­tion of already exist­ing metro lines. An exam­ple here is the tram called T7, con­nect­ing the Orly air­port direct­ly with the metro line 7. The metro itself runs through the city cen­ter to the north­ern part of the city. While this one also allows you to use your Paris trav­el pass­es (again, up to zone 4), it has small­er capac­i­ty and runs less often than the train.

TRAIN

Both RER B&C train lines are con­nect­ed with the Orly air­port ~some­how~. They run through the city cen­ter and var­i­ous sub­ur­ban areas, so If your accom­mo­da­tion is close to one of their sta­tions, it’s a good way to avoid point­less lay­overs. Line B can be accessed with the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned auto­mat­ed metro Orly­val (and is there­fore the fastest and arguably the eas­i­est way to switch from the shut­tle to the offi­cial Parisian trans­porta­tion, yet it requires an addi­tion­al tick­et). Line C requires tram T7 (or yet anoth­er shut­tle bus) and is actu­al­ly only con­ve­nient if you’re stay­ing in the south bank. Both are good for peak hours, as the trains run as often as every 2,5 min. Line C is also good for those late late (or ear­ly ear­ly) night planes, as it runs con­tin­u­ous­ly from 3:30am to 1:30am.

Still not quite get­ting it? No sweat. You can check the most con­ve­nient route on the offi­cial RATP site here.

TAXI/UBER/ETC

It takes around 30 min­utes to get to the city by cab ~in the­o­ry~, but remem­ber that Paris tops all the “worst traf­fic” lists year in, year out – so it may not always be the best idea. The prices are fixed while trav­el­ing to the air­port, so make sure to check it in advance to not get scammed (check out our arti­cle on taxi vs uber in Paris). While book­ing a good ol’ Uber may be tempt­ing, they can’t use the bus lane (while the ~real taxis~ can). A sweet spot? Get a G7 taxi app – it works like Uber (so you can pre-book it while wait­ing for your lug­gage or even a few hours before; and you can pay with cash). It’s super reli­able and can use that bus pri­or­i­ty lane, allow­ing you to wave to all the uncul­tured swines stand­ing in the traf­fic while you pass them by ~like a VIP~. Taxi dri­vers rarely speak Eng­lish, but you may eas­i­ly get by with a lit­tle help from a trans­la­tor of your choice. By the way, unless you’re 100% sure you know the cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the place you need to go to, don’t try to freestyle – it sets the French peo­ple right off ~for some rea­son~ (an eye­roll in english-speaker).

MOTO-TAXI

Arriv­ing in the peak hours and already tired of the crowds and sit­ting in the traf­fic? Maybe you’re arriv­ing lat­er than planned and need to get to the city ASAP? Or maybe you just like to be a lit­tle bit  ~dif­fer­ent~? Book a moto-taxi! As Parisians love their motor­cy­cles (have you heard about our house-call doc­tors yet?), it does­n’t come as a shock that you can book it as an alter­na­tive to the pub­lic trans­port or cabs. They are super fast (will get you to the city cen­ter in half an hour, even in the rush hours, easy to pre-book and com­fort­able (just look at these seats). Best part – they bring you not only the hel­met, oh no – they come with ~full legal set-up~, includ­ing gloves, jack­et, water­proof cloth­ing in case of the rain and a blan­ket-like cov­er in win­ter. And yes, of course you can store your lug­gage in there (cab­in suit­case + lap­top bag + hand­bag). Addi­tion­al plus? No forced chitchats with the chat­ty Kathy behind the driver’s seat, since you can’t talk on the motor­cy­cle any­way. For me, that’s a win.

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