The Best Airport in 5 World Capitals

best airport in major cities

Plenty of large cities in the world have multiple major airports for travelers to consider. And while the biggest is often the best – that’s not always the case. Here’s a look at 5 world capital cities and the best airport for travelers to fly into.

1. Paris

orly vs cdg

Paris has two main airports to choose from, and for us, we’ll take the one you probably haven’t heard of over Charles de Gaulle any day of the week and twice on Sundays. We prefer Orly Airport for several reasons:

-It’s closer to the city center

-It’s less busy

-There’s plenty of transportation to and from Orly

There aren’t really any sacrifices to make for flying into a better airport, so we’d have to recommend Orly if you find prices to be the same.

2. New York City

best airport new york city

This is a tough one. New York City is not known for having awesome airports, because, well…it doesn’t have awesome airports.

There are three major airports that serve the city – JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. AKA JFK, LGA, and EWR. JFK is home to some of the longest immigration lines at any major US airport, LaGuardia is falling apart (Joe Biden once quipped that it was like a third-world country), and Newark is in New Jersey. Literally.

Of the three, we like JFK. Yes, it’s further from Times Square, but at least you don’t have to step foot in LGA. The only caveat is if you’re flying in very, very late – it can actually be much quicker to fly into Newark. It’s a risk, but it can definitely pay off if there’s no traffic.

3. London

heathrow vs gatwick

London has too many options to shake a stick at. There are not 3, not 4, but 6 airports that serve the city to choose from. While none of the airports make it extremely easy to get into the city, Heathrow is your best bet. It’s one of the world’s busiest airports, but we’d still recommend it over some of the more distant airports like Luton or Stansted.

Gatwick is your second best option, should you need a backup. It’s about 10 miles further from the city center than Heathrow.

4. Shanghai

best airport shanghai

You’ll have two real options here. Pudong (PVG) is the international airport, and Hongqiao (SHA), Shanghai’s most important domestic airport (it’s still an international airport but it’s very important in terms of serving regional flights).

To be honest, we like them both. Here are the pros and cons:

Hongqiao is the best choice in terms of transferring to most of Shanghai’s attractions and hotels when you consider price and speed to your destination. However, many first time visitors to the city will be intrigued to take the Maglev Train, which uses two sets of magnets to repel and push the train. The Maglev only runs from Pudong, though be warned that it is more expensive than a taxi from Hongqiao.

For first time travelers, try Pudong. Once you’ve experienced the Maglev, trust Hongqiao.

5. Los Angeles

LAX definitely has the most flight options in and out of the city, but you’ve also got to account for some serious traffic – leave early and give yourself lots of time.

best airport los angeles

Los Angeles is extremely spread out, so at times it can make more sense to fly into another of the local airports. Burbank (BUR) is a hub for Southwest, and Long Beach Airport (LGB) is a hub for JetBlue – two good airlines and good alternative options if you’re final destination isn’t far from those spots. Orange County (SNA) and Ontario (ONT) are a bit further away from the city, so you’ll probably want to skip them if you’re going to be spending time in LA. We’d recommend LAX unless you get a great deal, or are staying quite far north (Burbank) or south (Long Beach) of the city.