7 hour layover in Paris

Apr 5th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
7 hour layover in Paris

I have a 7 hour layover in Paris next Thursday. I arrive at 6:10am and depart at 1:15pm. I would like to go into Paris and grap a crepe and get a look at the Eiffel Tower. What are your thoughts? Do I have enough time? What is the best way to do it?
gr8ful2b is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
If your arriving flight is on time, you should be able to do it. By the time you clear immigration & customs and take the RER 'B' into Paris (which I'd suggest because it'll be rush hour), you'll probably get into the center of town between 8 and 8:30.

I'd suggest taking the RER directly to the St Michel stop, then follow the signs for Notre Dame which will bring you up to street level in front of the cathedral. After a visit to Notre Dame you could stroll over to the Left Bank and have that crepe at one of the numerous places around Place St Michel...although at 9 or 10 in the morning it'll be easier to find croissants than crepes.

Another possibility would be to go behind the cathedral and cross the footbridge to the Ile St Louis where you could also find croissants/crepes. You'll be able to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance from a number of vantage points, but in my view it's not worth trying to get any closer to the tower. It's a bit out of the way and not in a great neighborhood for strolling around.

Assuming you need to be back at the airport an hour before your flight, you should plan to get back on the RER not long after 11.
mlaffitte is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 656
With 7 hours I would absolutely get on the RER and head into Paris for that crepe and a look at the Eiffel tower. Someone asked recently if 4 1/2 hours would be enough and that was a deffinite NO. However, with 7 hours I would do it but give yourself plenty of time to get back, get through security and make your connecting flight. If I remember correctly the RER takes about 40 minutes from CDG in the city center. There is an RER station at CDG so very easy. I am not sure if there are lockers to stow your carry on luggage at CDG but I am sure someone here could tell you. Enjoy!
jdraper is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think you can do it but you won't have a lot of time. But I guess it's better than doing nothing at CDG. I would not cut it as close as some suggest (you really should be at CDG more than one hour before departure, that's for sure, and don't underestimate the train time, etc.).

You should plan to have virtually no carryons with you -- maybe a small day pack or small tote bag, not the max allowed, because you may be lugging that around with you all day. So, if your plane is on time and you get out of CDG by 7, take the RER to St Michel and get there by 8 -- I'd get back on the RER to go back around 10, so that leaves you two hours there.
Christina is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Buy a one-day Paris Visite card for 5 Zones. It costs the same as a round-trip ticket on the RER, but also includes unlimited Métro, bus, tram, and train - so you don't have to buy anything else.

I suggest you ride to Gare du Nord, then board the N° 42 bus at the northwest side of the station and ride it to the Eiffel Tower. You will pass many wonderful sights along the way, and you can jump off any time, grab that crêpe, and jump on the next 42 that comes along. Have a picnic on the Champ de Mars.

When you're ready to return, go down to the RER C Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel station, and you can be at Notre Dame in 7 minutes, thence back to CDG on RER B.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
Robespierre, I think your itinerary would be great if you had more time; in fact I am a big believer in using RATP buses for sightseeing. However, the OP will have only about 2 hours total in central Paris.
The 42 bus takes 36 minutes to get from Gare du Nord to the Eiffel Tower (assuming no traffic tieups). The RER C takes 11 minutes to get from Champs de Mars to St Michel, but at mid-morning there is only one train every 30 minutes, so unless you time things very carefully you could spend another half hour on that leg of the trip. All in all, it seems like a stressful way to spend 2 hours.
mlaffitte is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 04:30 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,121
With seven hours, you should be able to get into Paris and see the Eiffel Tower if you know exactly where to go and how to get around. It would be tight, though. I wouldn't try to do anything more than that, unless losing your connection would not be a big deal (hourly flights or something like that).
AnthonyGA is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
RER C Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel to St-Michel Notre-Dame


Average wait time: 7.5 minutes. 11 Minutes enroute is correct.
Robespierre is offline  
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