It may be overshadowed by Charles du Gaulle, but Orly Airport plays a key role in making Paris tick. As France’s second busiest airport, it welcomes around 27 million visitors each year. The airport itself occupies a 15.3 square kilometre footprint, though the wider region is home to plenty of high-end and budget hotels.
The airport houses two separate passenger terminal buildings, offering a line-up of convenient facilities. For those wanting to leave the airport vicinity, Orly is well placed for major road routes to Paris, Versatile and beyond.
The Orlyval automatic shuttle connects the airport to the RER B train line at Antony train station, while the southern terminal’s Tramway T7 line services Villejuif – Louis Aragon station on Paris Métro Line 7. Nearby hotels may offer complimentary shuttles to and from the airport, while taxis can be used to reach the Paris city centre in around 20-minutes.
First opened in 1932, Orly Airport has seen its fair share of history. Following the Battle of France in 1940 it was used as a combat airfield by the occupying German Luftwaffe. Rather than commercial airlines, this period saw it host a fleet of fighter and bomber units. Post-war it was operated by the United States Army Air Forces, who eventually returned control to the French in 1947.