Europe by air
Europe is one of the world’s seven continents with a large population and a huge amount of people travelling to and from various places across the globe. Some of the best airline companies in the world are based in Europe – International Airlines Group, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Air France, British Airways, Finnair, Aeroflot, Air Berlin and SAS Group.
Europe is always a popular destination for many Americans and Paris, France is without a doubt one of the major reasons. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to go to Paris — whether flying through London or connecting in one of Europe’s other major hubs.
Flying time to Paris is nearly 7 hours from New York State, 8 hours from Chicago and 11 hours from Los Angeles. Flying time from London to Paris is only 1½ hours.
Being the capital of the most visited country France in the world, Paris witnesses a lot of tourist activity. There are three international airports in Paris, namely Charles de Gaulle International Airport (Roissy), Orly International Airport (ORY) and Beauvais (Aeroport de Beauvais Tille).
An air transport facility in Paris is the airline shuttle service run by Air France, which includes shuttle flights between the airports. When flying, be sure to reach before of the flight timings as the airports are packed most of the time.
The main airports are Charles de Gaulle (CDG, also known as Roissy), northeast of Paris, and Orly (ORY), south of Paris. Both are easily reachable from the city. Whether you take a car or bus to travel from Paris to the airport on your departure, always assign an extra hour because of the often horrific traffic tie-ups within the airports. Free light-rail connections, available between the major terminals are one option for avoiding some of the traffic mess, but still give you enough time to find the way for these busy airports.
Charles de Gaulle International Airport– This airport is the major hub for transportation to the northeastern part of the city.
The airport has three main terminals: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are vast and additionally subdivided, and Terminal 3. From the airport, you can enter on to RER commuter transit trains. It has two main stations at the airport: one between the terminals 1 and 2, and the other just under terminal 2.
There are many trains which run to and from Paris in every 8-10 minutes. Most of them generally stops at the important places of the city including Gare du Nord, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, Chatelet-Les Halles, Luxembourg, Denfert-Rochereau, Port Royal and Cite Universitaire. The tickets cost may be around EUR 10 for the adults and around EUR 7 for children below the age of 7 years.
Terminal 1: This terminal is regularly used by international airlines like US carriers and British Airways. From this terminal, you can enter on the CDGVAL high-speed trains or airport shuttle to reach the railway station at Roissypole.
Terminal 2: Air France regularly uses this terminal and the terminal is well-connected with the other train stations.
There are two main bus operators which offer bus services connecting the airport to the other parts of the town. The two operators include Roissybus and EasyBus. The tickets cost may be around EUR 11 per person one way.
By bus from CDG/Roissy: Roissybus, operated by the RATP (Paris Transit Authority), runs between Charles de Gaulle (T1, T2A, C, E, F, and T3) and the Opéra every 15 minutes (though the wait can be far longer) from 6 am to 8:45 pm and then every 20 minutes until 12:30 am; the cost is €12. The trip takes about 1 hour in regular traffic, about 90 minutes at rush hours.
By coach from CDG/Roissy: Le Bus Direct, formerly known as the Air France bus, is a shuttle service in comfortable coaches equipped with Wi-Fi and USB ports. Buy your tickets online or onboard (€1 supplement). Line 2 goes from the airport to Paris’s Étoile/Champs-Élysées, Porte Maillot, Trocadéro, Tour Eiffel, and La Motte-Piquet métro stations from 5:15 am – 11 pm, leaving every 30 minutes; journey time is about an hour in normal traffic. Tickets cost €17 one way save €6 if you buy a return ticket). Line 4 goes to Montparnasse and the Gare de Lyon from 6 am – 10 pm. Buses run every 30 minutes and cost €17; count on a trip of about 50–80 minutes. To reach the Arrivals-level bus station between the two terminals, passengers arriving in Terminal 1 need to take Exit 32; Terminals 2A, 2C, and 2D go to Exit C10; 2E and 2F use Exit E8 or E9. From Terminal 2G, take the free shuttle bus N2 to Terminal 2E/F. There’s a 15%–25% discount on any of these buses for parties of four or more if you buy online. At the time of this update, Terminal 2B is closed for a major renovation.
A number of van companies, such as Super Shuttle Paris, serve both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Prices are fixed, so there are no surprises even if traffic is a snail-pace nightmare. To make a reservation, call or reserve online at least one week in advance, and an air-conditioned van with a bilingual chauffeur will be waiting for you. Confirm the day before. The shared van services cost a little less of their exclusive non-stop option but picks up other passengers, which adds at least 20 minutes to the trip.
By taxi from CDG/Roissy: Taxis are the most convenient way into Paris but certainly not the fastest during peak times. At best, the ride takes 30 minutes, but it can hit 90 minutes during rush hour. At least the once-unpredictable fares are now fixed in either direction; count on a flat rate of €50 (Left Bank) and €55 (Right Bank). Share a ride with Taxis G7 Sharing and save as much as $20. Taxis G7 also offers Familycabs with baby car seats and boosters. Paris GreenCar is an eco-friendly alternative (€79 flat rate) with an energy-efficient fleet of hybrid taxis; they make a €0.50 charitable donation with each booking. Whichever company you use, only take an official taxi from designated areas outside the terminal; they will have an illuminated roof sign and a meter. Additionally, Uber and other ride-hailing apps service CDG and they’re usually cheaper.
By train from CDG/Roissy: The cheapest—and often the fastest—way into Paris from CDG is via the RER-B Line, the hybrid rapid transit-suburban train, which runs from 5 am to 11 pm daily. The free CDGVal lightrail connects each airport terminal (except 2G) to the Roissypole RER station in 6 minutes. For Terminal 2G, take the free N2 “navette” shuttle bus outside Terminal 2F. Trains to central depart every 10 to 20 minutes. The fare (including métro connection) is €10.30, and journey time is about 35 minutes to Les Halles. If you’re catching a flight, be sure to check www.ratp.fr or a transport app for delays (they can be frequent).
Paris Orly Airport
This airport is located around 13 km from Paris. It mostly serves low-cost operators and domestic airlines along with flights from some other European countries.
The airport is served by two terminals: OrlyOuest and OrlySud. The terminals are finely connected by broad network of Orlyval shuttles.
You can also take the OrlyBus shuttle directly from the airport. The bus route will take you to Defert Rochereau metro rail station. The tickets cost around EUR 7.
By bus from Orly: RATP’s Orlybus leaves every 10 to 20 minutes for the Denfert-Rochereau métro station in Montparnasse from Exit L in Orly South and Exit D in Orly West. The cost is €8.30. The cheapest bus is the RATP city bus 183, which shuttles you from métro Porte de Choisy (Line 7) to Orly South (Gate C, stop 4) for just €2. It departs every 30 minutes from 6 am to 12:20 am (frequency may be reduced on Sunday and holidays); travel time is about 45 to 60 minutes.
By coach from Orly: Le Bus Direct’s Line 1, formerly the Air France bus, runs from Orly to Gare Montparnasse, La Motte-Piquet, Tour Eiffel, Trocadéro, and Étoile/Champs-Élysées every 20 to 30 minutes from 5:50 am to 11:30 pm. The fare is €12 (discounts available online on a return ticket and for group travel) and journey time is between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on traffic. To find the bus, take Exit L, stop 3 from Orly South or Exit D, stop 5 from Orly West. Private van companies also provide shuttle service.
By taxi from Orly: You’ll find taxi stands at Orly South at Exit L and at Orly West at Exit B. (look for signs). A cab to Paris costs a flat rate in either direction of €30 (Left Bank) and €35 (Right Bank); plan on 25–40 minutes in normal traffic. Uber and other ride-hailing apps service Orly.
By train from Orly: The cheapest way to get into Paris by train is to take the Go C shuttle bus (“Paris par le train”) from Exit C, stop 5 at Orly South or Exit D, stop 7 at Orly West to the train station RER-C Pont de Rungis–Aéroport d’Orly. Trains to Paris depart every 15 to 20 minutes. Buy tickets at the automatic machines; the combined fare is €6.35 and journey time is about 35 minutes. Another slightly faster option is to take the Orlyval monorail, which runs from both Orly terminals to the Antony RER-B daily every 5 to 8 minutes from 6 am to 11:35 pm. Passengers arriving in the South Terminal should use the automatic machines or Orlyval counter at Exits K; take Exit A if you’ve arrived in the West Terminal. The fare to Paris is €13.25 including the RER transfer.
A Paris-Visit pass allows you infinite public transportation over 1, 2, 3, or 5 following days. Prices start at €27.80 with airport travel.
Aeroport de Beauvais Tille
This airport is located to the northern part of the city and is a small regional airport. It is mainly used by some cheapest flights like WizzAir and Ryanair. The airport operates a shuttle services that connects the airport to the nearest Metro station at Porte Maillot.
The buses are available from 6 am, and they usually leave after 20 minutes of the arrival of each flight. It takes almost 60 minutes to reach the city from the airport, and the tickets cost around EUR 17 one way.
Transfers between Airports
To travel between Paris’s airports CDG and Orly, there are several options. The RER-B goes from CDG to Paris St-Michel–Notre-Dame where you transfer to the RER-C to Orly West. Travel time is about 1 hour and more and tickets cost €16.15. Le Bus Direct’s Line 3 shuttle also runs between the airports for €21 one way, every 20–30 minutes; the trip takes about 75 minutes in normal traffic. Taxis are available but expensive: from €70 to €110, depending on traffic.
Flying time to Rome is 7½–8½ hours from New York State, 10–11 hours from Chicago, 12–13 hours from Los Angeles, and only 2½ hours from London.
- The major airport for flights to Rome is Leonardo da Vinci Airport, more commonly known as Fiumicino (FCO). It is located 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the city. There is a straight train link with Rome’s Termini station on the Leonardo Express train and a local train to Trastevere and Ostiense stations. On the other hand, Rome’s another important airport is Ciampino (CIA) on Via Appia Nuova, located 15 km (9 miles) south of downtown. Ciampino is a national and international hub for many cheap flights. There are no trains linking the Ciampino airport towards downtown Rome, but there are a number of shuttle buses running daily.
- Both the airports are operated and controlled by Aeroporti de Roma.
- From all the major cities of USA, there are direct flights that fly to Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport.
- JFK International Airport at New York offer daily regular flights to Rome. Alitalia Airlines and Delta are the prime carriers. New York provides with five direct flights per week with United Airlines. From both the airports, it takes around 8½ hours to reach Rome. Most of the flights leave in the afternoon or early evening and reach Rome in the early morning.
- From Philadelphia, you will find daily nonstop flights to Rome with US Airways and American Airlines. Most of the flights leave in the late afternoon and reaches Rome in the early morning. Flying time is around 9 hours.
- Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport of Atlanta, offers daily flights to Fiumicino. Atalia also offers a daily flight from Atlanta. The flights regularly leave in the afternoon and arrive at Rome before or during the breakfast hour. Travel time is around 10 hours.
- Alitalia Airlines offers direct non stop flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport. The flight leaves in the evening and the flying time is roughly around 8 hours.
- There are daily direct nonstop flights from O’Hare International Airport of Chicago which is the hub of American Airlines. The flight from Chicago to Rome takes around 10 hrs.
- Also Alitalia Airlines flies direct from Miami to Rome. The non-stop direct flight might cost you more, but it’s value it if you want to avoid a long cover up in Paris or Amsterdam. The flying time is roughly 11 hours.
- Flying from Los Angeles to Rome might be a long journey. But the long overlays at the domestic stops like O’Hare International Airport or Philadelphia can be shockingly hectic. It takes around 13 hours to reach Rome from Los Angeles.
- Alitalia Airlines run daily non-stop 9 hrs flight from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to Fiumicino,.
Airport Connection Services from Fiumicino charges €35 for one passenger, €39 for two, and €6 for each additional passenger. Booking is must. Airport Shuttle Express serves a daily service from/to FCO. It costs €25 one-way for one passenger, €30 for two and €10 for an additional passenger. (The rate includes two bags per person.) Airport Shuttle provides door-to-door shuttle services, at a cost of €25 for one person and €6 for each extra passenger (up to 8). Advance booking is recommended.
On daily basis two trains link downtown Rome with Fiumicino—a direct nonstop express and a local. Query at the tourist information centre in the International Arrivals hall (Terminal 2) or train information counter near the tracks to determine which takes you nearby to your destination in Rome. The 32-minute nonstop Airport–Termini express (called the Leonardo Express) goes directly to Tracks 23 or 24 at Termini station, which is well served by taxis and is a hub of Metro and bus lines. Departures to Termini station run every 30 minutes beginning at 6:23 am from the airport with a final leaving at 11:23 pm. Trains depart Termini station from Tracks 23 and 24 to the airport starting at 5:35 am and the last train leaves at 10:35 pm. Tickets cost €14.
Trenitalia’s FL1, leaves from the same tracks and runs to Rome and beyond. The main stops in Rome are at Trastevere (27 minutes), Ostiense (30 minutes), and Tiburtina (45 minutes); at each you can find taxis and public transport connections to other areas of Rome. Trenitalia’s FL1 trains run from Fiumicino between 5:57 am and 11:27 pm, with departures every 30 minutes; the timetable is similar going to the airport. Tickets cost €8. For either train, you can buy your ticket at a transaction machine or at ticket counters at the airport and at some stations (Termini, Trastevere, Tiburtina). At the airport, never forget to stamp the ticket at the gate. Always remember when using the train at other stations to stamp the ticket in the little yellow or red machine near the track before you board. If you fail to stamp your ticket before you board, you could receive a large fine, as much as €100 on top of the ticket price.
At night, board COTRAL buses from the airport to Tiburtina station in Rome (45 minutes); they depart from in front of the International Arrivals hall at 1:15, 2:15, 3:30, 5, 10:55 am, noon, and 3:30 pm. Buses leave Tiburtina station for the airport at 12:30, 1:15, 2:30, 3:45, 9:30, 10:30 am, 12:35 pm, and 5:30 pm.
Airport Connection Services from Ciampino has shuttles that cost €39 for the first two passengers. Airport Shuttle charges €25 for the first person and €5 for each additional passenger.
The ATRAL bus connects Ciampino airport with Termini station. Buses leave from in front of the airport terminal around 20 times a day 4 am–10:50 pm. The fare is €3.90 and tickets can be bought on the bus. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes.
Transfers between Airports
It’s not easy to move from one airport to another in Rome—the airports aren’t connected by a railway system or by the Metro. The only way to make the transfer is by car, taxi, or a combination of bus, Metro, and train. The latter choice is not advisable because it would take you at least 2-3 hours to get from one airport to the other.
A taxi ride from Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport to Ciampino Airport will take approximately 45 minutes and could cost roughly €50.
The top international airport of Florence is the Amerigo Vespucci Airport also called as Peretola, just outside of town and receives flights from Milan, Rome, London, and Paris. Located 10 km northwest of Florence, Tuscany.
The airport is finely connected to the center of the city with a huge network of the transportation system. You can reach the city just within 15 minutes by bus or taxi. To get into the city center from the airport by car, board the autostrada A11. A SITA bus will take you straight from the airport to the center of town. Buy the tickets within the train station.
There is also the Ataf-Sita “Vola in Bus” or “Fly by Bus” bus services which makes a route between the central train station and the airport every half an hour. The service costs around €6 per person one way and the buses run from 5:30 am – 8 pm at the interval of every 30 minutes and after 8 pm at the interval of 60 minutes. The tickets can be bought from the driver and the round-trip ticket can be bought before boarding the bus from the Busitalia SITA bus station.
Pisa’s Aeroporto Galileo Galilei is the closest landing point with significant international service, including a few direct non stop flights from New York each week on Delta. Sadly, the flight is seasonal and shuts down in winter. The Pisa airport hosts much cheaper flights which travel to almost all the countries in Europe. The several low cost flights flying to Pisa include Easyjet, Thomsonfly, Ryanair, Wizzair, Transavia, and HLX. The Pisa airport is well connected to the Florence both by train as well as bus. A train service, which used to connect Pisa’s airport station with Santa Maria Novella, has been temporarily suspended. It’s easy to take the shuttle bus to the train station at Pisa Centrale and then go on to Florence Santa Maria Novella. 12 km south of Pisa and 80 km west of Florence, Tuscany. The train rides cost around EUR 8.10 per person and the bus tickets cost EUR 6 per person and EUR 10 for round-trip.
Most nonstop direct flights between North America and Italy serve Rome and Milan, where connections to Venice are available through the airport in Venice. Some nonstop flights from the U.S. International land at Milan’s Malpensa airport so make sure a connecting flight to Venice also leaves from there rather than Linate, Milan’s other airport. It’s also easy and often more suitable to connect to Venice via other European hubs such as Paris or Amsterdam.
Flying time to Milan, Rome or Venice is approximately 8–8½ hours from New York, 10–11 hours from Chicago, and 11½ hours from Los Angeles. It takes approximately an hour to fly from Venice to Rome or Milan.
Venice Marco Polo – Venice is served by Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo (VCE). Though the airport is small but is well equipped with restaurants, snack bars, shopping and Wi-Fi access. It is the closest commercial airport to Venice and is located near Mertre. From the airport there are several travel options to reach Venice including, ACTV line 5 (local bus) which takes approximately 20-25 minutes, ATVO Venezia non-stop express to Piazzale Roma in approximately 10-15 minutes and Water taxi which costs around €35-110 shared and arrives directly at Venice Cruise Port Terminal and Lido di Venezia.
Treviso Airport – This airport is approximately 25kms from Venice mainland and regardless of its smaller size, is becoming relatively busy as the destination for Transavia, Wizzair, and Ryanair budget flights. Barzi Bus Service provides transportation to Venice and Mertre at around €22 and the tickets are available at the airport itself.
San Nicolo Airport usually handles small aircrafts, with only 1km long runway covered with grass. As a result, it doesn’t land any scheduled flights but private plans can use this airstrip due to its closeness to the city.
Venice’s Aeroporto Marco Polo serves international destinations. You can get to from the airport to Venice’s historic center by bus to Piazzale Roma (€6), from where you can get a vaporetto or by local ferry to San Marco and other landing stages. A motoscafo (water taxi) is another good option but you’ll spend about €60 for a short trip in town. However, a water taxi can carry up to 14 passengers, so if you’re traveling in a group, it may not be that much prisey than a bus or ferry. Trains from Italy and the rest of Europe arrive at Venice’s Santa Lucia station, on the Grand Canal with a vaporetto stop right in front. If you’re coming by car, Venice is at the end of SR11, just off the east–west A4 autostrada; you’ll have to leave your car at one of the garages on the outskirts of the city.
The air services of Milan is controlled by two main international airports namely, Malpensa Airport and Linate Airport. Additionally, Parma Airport located 100 km south of Milan and Orio al Serio Airport located 45km east are mostly known for hosting budget airlines and privet jets.
- Malpensa Airport is Milan’s premium international airport. The airport and its infrastructure is highly modern, including two-runways. Terminal 1 is the largest and hosts intercontinental as well as other international flights whereas, Terminal 2 is a continental base of Easyjet the only carrier which uses this terminal.
- From Malpensa Airport run several express trains towards central Milan and Milano Cardona. It takes around 30-45 minutes depending on whether you are travelling on weekdays or weekends.
- Also the two main terminals are connected to each other by an airport shuttle service which runs in approximately every 20 minutes of interval.
- However, the shuttles are relatively smaller in size and their frequency of the number of trips are also insufficient. This is where the role of taxis comes into play as most of the passengers don’t choose to wait after a long flight.
- Some national and international flights land at Linate Airport. This airport is relatively smaller than Malpensa Airport but is rather well-organized and is very close to city center approximately 7kms.
- Since the airport is near the city you will find several public transport buses mostly available. These buses remain parked just outside the terminal and go to city center connecting with metro line MM1.
- There are buses available in every 10 minutes, and the trip will cost you around €1.50 per person.
- Bus no. X73 is a new express bus service of ATM which connects the Linate airport to the San Babila Square. As this bus provides direct service, hence it takes nearly lesser time than other buses running in this route and is usually not much crowded.
- Also “Starfly” is another transportation service which is operated by Autostradale and links the Linate airport and the Milan central station. The bus service runs daily from 6 am – 11:30 pm and the tickets cost around €5.
- Also the Malpensa Airport Shuttle bus service connects both the airports as well as to central train station of Milan.
- Taxis are a bit costly during the peak hours and is time consuming too because during the evening the roads are densely crowded.
Orio al Serio Airport
This airport hosts few budget airlines and is located about 45 km north-east of the city of Milan. Boarding public transport from this airport is slightly tougher than other airports. The alternative traveling option would be to board a taxi or shuttle bus and reach Bergamo station which would take approximately 10 minutes. From Bergamo railway station, trains are available at regular intervals and it takes around 1 hour to reach Milan.
There are two main airports, “Frankfurt”: Flughafen Frankfurt Main (FRA), which receives direct flights from many U.S. cities and almost from all main cities in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle east and Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN), a former U.S. air base a full 112 km, west of Frankfurt that handles some cheapest fare flights, mainly to and from secondary European airports.
Flughafen Frankfurt Main (FRA) Airport: The FRA airport is among the busiest airports in Europe, the airport hosts two terminals. At terminal 1, level 1 is the designated spot for arrivals, level 2 for check ins and departures, and level 3 is an access bridge for hotels and rail station. At level 0, one can gain access to parking facility. Terminal 2 is host to concourse D and E. One can get transferred form terminal 1 to 2 in 15 minutes.
Some of the flights that take off from terminal 1 are Lufthansa group, star alliance, Qatar airways and more, while terminal 2 hosts flights from Sky team, Etihad, Emirates, British airways and more. All passengers can gain access to the two lounges at the airport, after paying a fee.
Flughafen Frankfurt Main airport is situated 10 km southwest of downtown via the A-5 autobahn and has its own railway station for high-speed InterCity (IC) and InterCity Express (ICE) trains. Getting into Frankfurt from the airport is easy, via S-bahn line Nos. 8 and 9 that run between the airport and downtown. Most travelers get off at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station, or HBF) or at Hauptwache, in the heart of Frankfurt. Trains run at every 15 minutes and the trip takes about 15 minutes. The one-way fare is €4.25. A taxi from the airport into the City Center normally takes around 25 minutes (double that during peak hours). The fare is around €35. If you are driving a rental car from the airport, take the main road out of the airport and follow the signs reading “Stadtmitte”.
Frankfurt Hahn Airport: The airport lies in the Rhineland region of Germany which lies at 100 km from Frankfurt main city. Most budget flights make use of this airport as an entry point into the region.
The terminals of the airport host various shops and bars for recreation purpose of the passengers. Passengers and visitors can also visit the observation area which is located on the first floor to see off their loved ones or watch the planes take their flight.
Bohr Busreisen offers a regular bus service to and from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. It leaves every 1-1½ hours, 3 am to 8 pm, from the south side of the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, with a stop 15 minutes later at the Terminal 1 bus station at Flughafen Frankfurt Main Airport. The trip to Frankfurt-Hahn takes almost an hour and 45 minutes and costs €14.