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5 hours at Paris Airport ?

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We are going to have five hours between flights at De Gaulle airport. Is there anything close by that we could see? Are we
foolish to even think we could do something rather than just wait/read ect? Of course we don't speak French and have never been there. Just hate to waste so much time if we could do something.
Thanks, Annabelle

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    You can take the RER to the city (about 35 minute ride) and do some sightseeing. If you're nervous about time - there are some duty free shops at the airport: they sell wine, chocolates, etc. There's also a (much) smaller versions of Sephora, and Galleries Lafayette.
    There's nothing to see right at the airport...

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    There is actually something nearby, a French amusement park (Parc Asterix) based on a French comic book character. It's only about 10-15 min from CDG, there is a bus that goes right there from the RER CDG1 stop (that's local suburban train). That wouldn't be my thing, but it is different and close. YOu could easily take a cab there cheaply. Here's the URL:

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    dear annabelle:

    a. what are your bags doing during this timeframe?? if your bags are SECURE(d)--that is safe or being automatically transferred to your connecting flight then you COULD hop on the Air France bus (reasonably priced) and it takes you downtown to Les Invalides hotel area. I think they leave like every half hour and take 20-30 minutes to get into town and back (each way).

    so once near Les Invalides you could see Napoleon's Tomb and Les Invalides area and that is also not far from the Eiffel tower. you could spend about 2-2.5 hrs in the area and take the bus back and probably still have plenty of time.

    it's a suggestion. my wife and i hope to go back to paris in 2 weeks. it will be our third time in 3 years, tho last year was only for a day.

    hope you can do this --the bus is the best way--and see something --otherwise you better stop at barnes and noble and get that good book like you talked about


    john out.

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    Almost the same. I did this for someone a few years ago.
    Take the Air France bus to the old Opera Building (40 minutes - count as 1 hr).
    Allow same to return plus 1 hour to spare. That leaves 2 hours.
    Take a look at the Opera building (you may be able to go inside for a few minutes. If a line don't waste time). Walk down Rue de la Paix (2 short blocks)through the beautiful Place Vendome. Spend a few minutes there (the Ritz, etc)and continue thru until you hit the Tuilerie Gardins (1 short block). Turn right and walk to Place de la Concorde (2 short blocks). From there look right for a view of Maximes Restaurant (at the corner), Madeleine church 2 blocks up. So far you've spent less than 1/2 hour.
    Walk around Place de la Concorde. From there you get a view up the Champs Elysees right up to and including the Arc de Triomphe (although at a distance). Depending upon your timing you can walk a few blocks towards the Arc to get a bit closer).
    From Place de la Concorde walk over to the bridge (Pont de la Concorde is just beside the Place) for a great view of the Eiffel Tower although at a distance) and up and down the Seine.
    Facing the Eiffel Tower, turn about 150 degrees to the left for a view of Musee D'Orsay. Keep turning to the left or walk back thru the Tuileries Gardens towards the Louvre. Depending upon how much of your 2 hours remain you can walk the 10 minutes to the outside of the Louvre.
    Paris in 2 hours!!

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    I would CERTAINLY not sit in the airport for 5 hours. My suggestions are based on having made the run from CDG to the downtown many ways and many times. Also, when we lived in France, my wife's sister and her family were headed for Italy and came through Paris for a short visit during their layover and we did the same thing.
    First, I'd figure I had 3-3.5 hours to do whatever I was going to do. That gives you a timeframe to work with that is safe and allows for "surprises".
    You've never been there, so you have no level of comfort with getting about so I'd forget about any mode of travel except one that would take you exactly to the sights you want to see with no changing of buses or metro trains or searching for something supposed to be "over there" after you get off the bus or train. The only one that fits this description is a taxi and there's a queue for them right outside your terminal... just get in line and tell them where you want to go. (More about that later.)
    Assuming you might not get back to Paris for years, I'd aim for the heavy hitters that don't take a lot of time, but you've gotta be able to tell your friends you saw them: Notre Dame, l'Arc du Triomphe/Champs Elysee, Place de la Concorde, and Eiffel Tower/Seine R. (Eiffel may not permit a trip up due to humungous lines on most days). You can do any one of these in less than an hour, even allowing a little time for "savoring" the ambience.
    After seeing your first choice, you'd be in a good position to decide whether you still have time, how much, and then grab another cab. I will add, however, that a trip on the Metro is an adventure in and of itself and a mark of having a bit of "savoir-faire" and, of course, then, you can casually say at a dinner party back home, "Oh, Dahling, we used the Metro, of course... It's 'de rigeur'." If you choose to do that, it is truly simple and would be surest to do it first on a route that doesn't involve any changes of trains: from the Arc du Triomphe (ETOILE station) to the Eiffel Tower (BIR-HAKEIM), or from the Arc du T to Place de la Concorde (CONCORDE), or Arc du T to the Notre Dame (HOTEL DE VILLE). Then, from wherever you are when you decide to bail out, just grab another cab.
    I assume your bags will be checked through and you'll do customs on them at your final destination or that if you have to do customs in CDG, that you can recheck. If you do customs in CDG, it can take a while. Make sure what the case will be before you travel, and which aerogare your departing flt from CDG will be departing from. With those answers, I think you'll be prepared.
    Get cash at any ATM on any corner almost anywhere with your VIS/MC.
    Any questions, pls write direct.

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