So many people think that flying internationally is always expensive. While it is one of the most visited countries in the world, many people outside of Europe are simply turned off by the thought of spending thousands of dollars on airfare to France. Honestly, though, the airfare doesn’t need to be so expensive – I have flown round trip to France from the United States for under $350! The key to finding cheap flights to France is just knowing where to look. If you read my post about finding cheap airfare, you should know by now that there are several things you can do to cut your airfare by more than 50%.
My favorite tip in that post is to use hub airports, and this tip is incredibly relevant when it comes to finding cheap airfare to France. These airports will not be in small towns, and are often several hours apart from each other on the ground. However, taking the time to get to a hub airport can save you hundreds of dollars and several hours of flight time. In fact, utilizing a hub airport often yields even more savings than using budget airlines! As you will see on this list, the biggest airport in France is simply massive, and it is going to offer the cheapest airfare to France a significant amount of the time.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best airports in France for cheap airfare.
The best airport to fly into for cheap airfare to France is Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), and it isn’t even close. Paris Charles de Gaulle is France’s flagship airport, and it serves over twice as many passengers as the next airport on this list in any given year. Paris Charles de Gaulle is a massive hub airport, is the home to Air France, and will offer the most direct flight options at the best price the vast majority of the time.
Conveniently, Paris is located very centrally within France, meaning that you can fly into this airport, save hundreds of dollars, and still arrive almost anywhere you want in France within a few hours. While landing in Paris and transiting a few hours on the ground to your destination may sound taxing, it is often still faster and cheaper than having a layover and landing at a smaller airport. For more information on visiting Paris, be sure to check out my Paris travel guide.
Paris Orly Airport is the second biggest airport in France – again by a wide margin – and as the name would suggest, it is also located in Paris. This airport is half as busy as Paris Charles de Gaulle, but it is almost three times busier than the next airport on this list. Paris Orly Airport serves both budget and traditional airlines, but tends to serve a higher proportion of budget flights than its larger counterpart. While Paris Orly Airport isn’t nearly the hub that Charles de Gaulle is, it is very often a better option for travelers looking for cheap airfare to France. Both airports are located very close to the best things to do in Paris, and getting to the main transportation stations is a breeze.
Nice is one of the most popular cities to visit in the French Riviera, and it also is home to the largest airport in the south of France. If you want to visit the French Riviera, flying into Nice is usually a great bet. While Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) could have made this list, I chose to exclude it simply because it is only a fraction of the size of Nice’s airport and is just over 100 miles away. While you could fly into Paris and then arrange other transportation to Nice for a possibly lower price, this is a long trip that usually doesn’t justify the savings. Flying into Nice is the best option if you want to get to the French Riviera, but not really a great option if you want to get anywhere else in France.
Lyon’s airport is growing rapidly, but at this point there is very little benefit to using it if you are looking for cheap airfare to France unless you are heading to an eastern city like Colmar. Lyon is located very close to Paris, and the odds of finding cheaper airfare to Lyon than to Paris are very slim – especially if you are coming from a continent other than Europe. Lyon is a whole 5 hours away from Paris on the road, but it is only a touch over two hours away by train. This train is very comfortable and usually inexpensive, making the quick connection from Paris to Lyon just as easy as a layover.
Toulouse Blacnac Airport is the final airport on this list of the best airports in France for cheap airfare, but it easily could have missed the cut. There is a large drop-off in airport traffic after the top four airports, and there are about 5 airports that are all roughly the size of Toulouse Blacnac Airport. The reason that we chose to include this airport in the final spot on our list was simply because of its geographic location.
The Paris and Lyon airports cover the northern, eastern, and central parts of France, and Nice Cote d’Azur Airport covers the southern coast. The only large region left to cover would be southwestern France, and that is how Toulouse made this list. While Bordeaux’s airport could have filled this spot, Toulouse’s airport is 50% busier and is more likely to provide you a cheap airfare option.
Thanks for reading my post on the best airports to fly into in France for cheap airfare! I hope that this post helped you to plan your trip to the most visited country in the world. Remember, most of these airports are fairly close to each other, as France is not a giant country. While you may ultimately be going to a destination that has a closer airport, odds are that using these five airports will save you a good amount of money by the time it is all said and done. Paris is also pretty centrally located in France, making the rest of the country very accessible from its flagship airport.
Being flexible about the airport that you fly into is a great way to save money, and you really don’t need to inconvenience yourself much, either. If you have any questions or comments, either drop a comment below or send us an email at [email protected]. Otherwise, stay present!