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Ryanair Paris (Beauvais)

If you're flying to Paris on Ryanair, take a few minutes to learn where you'll be arriving and how to reach the city. Also consider spending a day or two in the cathedral city of Beauvais, which is only 2 km from the airport by local bus.

Ryanair 737

ABOVE: Ryanair offers frequent Boeing 737 flights to and from cities in Ireland, the UK, and Continental Europe.

Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, flies more than 3 million people to and from Paris every year. (That number is likely to increase, thanks to Ryanair's plan to base two aircraft in the Paris region, with 105 weekly flights serving 32 destinations in Europe and the UK.)

But here's something important to know: Ryanair's Paris airport isn't actually in Paris or its immediate surroundings: The airline's flights arrive and depart at Beauvais-Tillé Airport, a.k.a. Paris Beauvais Airport or BVA, which is located 80 km or 53 miles from Paris.

Paris bus ticket office at Beauvais-Tille AirportFortunately, Beauvais-Tillé Airport has excellent ground transportation to Paris, with buses running between the airport and Porte Maillot in Paris throughout the day. (Coach timetables are synchronized with BVA flight arrivals and departures.) 

Shared shuttle vans and taxis are also available.

If you have a late arrival or an early departure--or even if you don't--we'd recommend spending a night or two in Beauvais, which is only 1 hour 20 minutes from Paris by SNCF trains and 20 minutes from BVA by an inexpensive local bus.

Beauvais CathedralBeauvais is an attractive city with plenty of things to see and do. Don't miss the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, which has the highest Gothic vaults of any church and was the tallest structure in the world in the 16th Century.

Other attractions include the MUDO museum, twice-weekly public markets, and the Place Jeanne Hachette, a large square with shops, benches, a carousel, outdoor cafés, and--in December-a month-long Christmas Market.

If you're pressed for time or money, a midweek or weekend getaway in Beauvais could be a worthwhile alternative to Paris.

Note: Ryanair is by far the biggest airline at BVA, and its flights represent about 80 percent of the airport's traffic. As a result, Ryanair flights operate from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

But don't let that worry you--T1 and T2 are extremely close together, and they're served by the same bus stops and car-rental facilities. If you're departing from BVA and you don't know your flight's terminal, just check the monitors in either terminal to see where to go.

For more information about the airport, ground transportation, and the city of Beauvais, please see:

Paris - Beauvais Airport Transportation
Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA) - Paris Beauvais Airport
Local Beauvais-Tillé Airport Bus 6
Beauvais, France (City Guide)
Paris - Beauvais / Beauvais - Paris by Train

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for About.com, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Paris for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

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Top photo courtesy of Ryanair.