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Can I drive to Paris and back during a CDG layover?

Can I drive to Paris and back during a CDG layover?

Mar 21st, 2007, 06:00 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Can I drive to Paris and back during a CDG layover?

Later this year my wife and I are taking our two nieces (ages 24 and 18) on a safari in East Africa. Our return flights to the US connect in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, where we will have a 4 Ĺ hour layover early on a Sunday morning (5:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.).

My wife and I have traveled the world, but my sister hasnít been quite as fortunate financially and my nieces have never been much beyond our home state of Texas. I know it will be a long time before they return to Europe or take such a trip again, if ever.

My question is, do I have enough time during our layover to hire a taxi to drive us into downtown Paris to drive by some of the sights (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysées, Notre Dame, Louvre, etc.)? I know that I will have very little time. I donít need to stop the car, but even a quick ďdrive-byĒ of a couple of the great sights would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for my nieces. I would never consider this except I suspect that at that time of day there will be no traffic at all. (Also, I canít change the flights.)

If anyone has thoughts on this it would be appreciated. Also, if you think it can be done, would it be best to make arrangements before we arrive in order to not waste any time worrying with a taxi and trying to make the driver understand what I want to do? (I donít speak French.) I don't mind spending 100-200 dollars.
sevendown is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:08 PM
  #2  
 
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Nope - no chance. If you had 7 or 8 hours it would be possible. But w/ only 4.5 hours you don't have time to go into Paris. There is a reason most airlines require a 3 hour advance check in for transatlantic flights from CDG.

It is often a zoo and security pre-screening alone can take 45 mins.
janisj is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:11 PM
  #3  
 
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I agree with Janis, there is simply not enough time to do this in only 4 1/2 hours and still make your connecting flight. It is at least 40 minutes into downtown Paris from the airport, assuming your car is waiting right outside the door for you and you don't have much of a walk to get to it. That is a good hour and a half round trip and you have to check into your connecting flight 3 hours in advance. There is your full 4 1/2 hours right there assuming that you don't get stuck in traffic or have trouble finding a parking space or have a long line at security or .... Just too much risk of missing the next flight for my comfort level so I wouldn't advise it.
jdraper is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:11 PM
  #4  
 
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Assuming that is 4.5 hours from the ever-elusive "landing time" at CDG and takeoff time for the next flight, absolutely no flippin' way! Even though it's Sunday, even though it's early morning, even though you're willing to spend $100-$200. Nope, not, non, no way.
StCirq is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:13 PM
  #5  
 
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Without any doubt you do not have enough time to go into Paris. Sorry.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:21 PM
  #6  
MKE
 
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My understanding is that you need to check in with your airline three hours before departure time. If so, your 4-1/2 hour layover leaves you only 1-1/2 hours to drive into Paris and back to the airport, or 45 minutes in each direction. I've only taken a shuttle to the airport, so I don't know what the driving time would be. Maybe someone else can estimate what the driving time would be. In any event, if you find that you will have time to drive into Paris, I would strongly suggest that you pay a taxi driver to take you rather than renting a car.
MKE is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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but i believe someone once said there was a very nice castle or lovely town very near the airport.

hopefully they will come on here and perhaps that can be a nice drive-by!
lincasanova is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:23 PM
  #8  
 
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MKE - did you read the posts above??? there is no way they should leave the airport.
janisj is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:31 PM
  #9  
 
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yes, by the way, i read the posts above. I understood the question was about if they had time to go into PARIS.

did you read MY post?

they will have their boarding passes most likely, and i was only mentioning that at one point i thought there was a lovely town VERY NEAR the airport.

for goodness sakes.

you have a way with words that does come across a bit condescending.



lincasanova is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:31 PM
  #10  
MKE
 
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Janis, I was busy typing at the same time the others were and didn't have the benefit of reading the other responses before mine was posted. But I agree, that it would be futile to try.
MKE is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 07:09 PM
  #11  
 
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lincasanova - Huh? If you notice I didn't mention you at all. My comment was addressed to MKE.
janisj is online now  
Mar 21st, 2007, 08:07 PM
  #12  
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OK, I'll put a stop to the bickering. I'm not doing it. I was really hesitant, but thought I would get the view of the many knowledgeable posters here. Thanks so much for all of your good advice.

I will buy each of them a model Eiffel Tower and maybe a coffee table book in the airport and save a bundle of cash and a lot of nervousness. My nieces will probably be just as thrilled that they are landing on French soil for a few hours.

Thanks everyone again for the prompt and very insightful advice
sevendown is offline  
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