Orly Airport is the oldest of the two airports that operate in the city of Paris – even if, since the inauguration of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
, it is no longer the biggest one. It is nowadays the secondary airport of Paris, with two terminals, Terminal Sud (South Terminal) and Terminal Ouest (West Terminal). It is the busiest in domestic traffic in the whole country and the second busiest overall – so even if Charles de Gaulle Airport is nowadays bigger in international flights; you may set foot in Orly Airport nonetheless!
Orly Airport was first known as Villeneuve-Orly Airport, when it was opened in 1932 as just a secondary airport to Le Bourget. It was later used as a combat airport by the German during World War II, so it has been a testimony of recent history.
Orly Airport is located in Essonne, a region of Ìle-de-France – which is the very same region where the city of Paris, the capital of France, is located. Essonne is an urbanised area, but its south is still rural. Orly Airport is also located in part of the territory of Val-de-Marne.
Of course, you probably won’t have time for this part of Île-de-France even if you travel to Orly Airport – you’ll probably have your hands full with Paris! But, if you have the time, these two départements have also some interesting things to visit, like the Château de Montlhéry and the Château de Courances in Essonne; or Roseraie de L’Hay and the Château de Vincennes in Val-de-Marne.
If you do like your shopping, you probably like waiting around at airports, since there are usually plenty of shops – and duty-free! Of course, Orly Airport is no exception, and there are plenty of stores to enjoy before flying: from French delicatessen stores like Baillardan, La Cure Gourmande or Ladurée to the classical jewellery and fashion stores like Swatch, Cult or Solaris. Of course, you will also be able to enjoy the classical duty-free stores, as well as entertainment stores like Relay or Virgin. Check at the airport’s website to see if they are before or after security if you’re interested in a particular store, but if you just want to do some general shopping, don’t worry: there are shops both before and after security.
If you travel to Orly Airport, you will have plenty of options to go to the city. Of course, there is an efficient taxi service that takes the A106 highway, but there are also plenty of options in public transport in case you’re on a budget. There are many buses that go to the city (there is even one that goes straight to Disneyland Paris!), as well as airport transfers, which are great for families and small groups of friends as well as an affordable alternative to a taxi. You will have to book in advance, though, so check with the companies that work in Orly Airport beforehand.
Finally, you can also use the train and the Metro to go to the city from Orly Airport. Besides the excellent metro system, Paris also counts with a good network of trains. In Orly Airport, you can take the RER train (Réseau Express Régional), which will take you to the centre of the city in just 25 minutes. The RER trans will allow you to transfer to the metro as well.
Of course, in Orly Airport you can also rent a car – there are many Car Hire options. But keep in mind that driving in Paris can be dangerous, and that having a car to park and worry about may be a hassle. Of course, it would be a great option if you’re travelling with your family and want to have total freedom to travel around!
If you travel to Orly Airport, your ultimate destination will probably be Paris, City of Love and City of Light – and there is plenty to see! The legendary Eiffel Tower
, the mystique of Notre Dame
, the beauty of Sacre Coeur
, the never-ending Louvre Museum
, Arc de Triomphe
… Besides, you can also go to two very important landmarks in the surroundings of Paris, such as the Palace of Versailles and Disneyland Paris.
But if you have to stay in Orly Airport for a while, don’t worry, because there are things to keep your children entertained (and to keep you entertained!), besides the shops and the restaurants. There are play areas for children called Gulli areas, where they will be able to enjoy small attractions, and there are even games rooms! There, you and your kids will be able to play pool, pinball and even video games. In Orly Airport, you will also find a Beauty Salon – in case you want to pretty up for the City of Love!
Orly Airport may not be the biggest airport in France or Paris, but it is still one of the most important, and the facilities are up to the task! There are plenty of places where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Of course, this is an airport, so keep in mind that your wallet will suffer a bit if you’re set on having a good meal. If that’s what you have in mind, you can try French cuisine at the Clos Saint Germain in the South Terminal (and enjoy the panoramic views) and La Brasserie in the West Terminal. If you prefer something more frugal, there are plenty of snack bars and cafés – but keep in mind that most of them are located after security, so plan accordingly! You will have less options if you leave the food for later.
As you can imagine, Orly Airport isn’t big in nightlife – it is an airport after all! But if you book one of our apartments near Orly Airport because you have to spend the night in that area, there are still some entertainment options for you. Don’t forget about the games room, for instance, and the fact that there is Internet available in the airport for a free, so you can use this night of ‘impasse’ to catch up on your emails or talk to your loved ones. If you really want to go out, you can take a taxi to the city and ask the driver to directly leave you at one of the areas with the most nightlife, such as the Latin Quarter.