How to Get From Orly Airport to Paris

Small­er and eas­i­er to nav­i­gate that its younger (and arguably fan­ci­est) broth­er, the Orly Air­port (Aéro­port de Paris-Orly) is a typ­i­cal boomer of all Parisian air­ports (but in a good way): it’s expe­ri­enced (thriv­ing since the open­ing in the ear­ly 1930s); it’s hard-work­ing and ded­i­cat­ed (near­ly 150 des­ti­na­tions in 50 coun­tries between its 4 ter­mi­nals); it’s also arguably more reli­able (don’t get me start­ed on the delays on the CDG) and def­i­nite­ly eas­i­er to get around — even if it’s some­times hard­er to get to it in the first place. 

Despite its approach­ing one hundred’s birth­day, Orly is a vig­or­ous old man, with sleek look and mod­ern solu­tions like auto­mat­ed metro con­nect­ing the ter­mi­nals (free and work­ing 24h), water foun­tains on each ter­mi­nal and video games cor­ners as addi­tion to the stan­dard nec­es­sary ser­vices — so if you end up fly­ing to or from this bad boy, you do not have a lot to wor­ry about (except for the strikes. Strikes are always an option).

How to get to Paris from the Orly Airport:

I’M FINE WITH THE BASIC

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 arti­cles here.

The Orly con­nec­tions are fair­ly easy to recog­nise, 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 this para­graph. 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 stuck in the traf­fic. Use at your own risk.

TRAM

Tramways 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. While book­ing a good ol’ Uber may be tempt­ing, they can’t use the bus lane here (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 tho). 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).

I WANT SOMETHING EXTRA

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 just 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.

PRIVATE SHUTTLE

You pre­fer to trav­el in style, but motor­cy­cles do not real­ly speak to you? Check out our cau­tious­ly curat­ed list of pri­vate car com­pa­nies here.

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