Layover in Paris- 1st time in Paris

Old Jul 16th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Layover in Paris- 1st time in Paris

My husband and I get land at 9:30am and our flight to Venice doesnt leave until 3:30pm. Do we have time to leave the airport and see anything? We never have been to Paris. Much thanks
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Will you be retrieving your luggage and then checking it in for Venice or will the airline be checking it all the way through for you?

By the time you get out of the airport, passport clearance etc, even without your luggage, I leave at least one hour (possibly less, but err on the safe side).

Then you'd have to take a cab or the RER into town, maybe another half hour - 45 minutes.

What time do you have to check in for the Venice flight?

You will have a total of six hours, minus the above 1 3/4 hrs. to 2 hours, plus the return trip to CDG. In round numbers, you'd have probably three hours in Paris, minus what time you have to be back to check in for the Venice flight - maybe an hour or so?

You would probably have two give or take,to see Paris. It's possible, and if the timing is right, it's better than not seeing it at all.

You'd have to know in advance where in Paris you would be getting out, do some quick research on that area, or sit in a cafe have a nice civilized lunch with wine. You'd have to stay close to your airport connection - REH, etc..

Does anyone know if Greyline or any of the sightseeing companies have tours to and from CDG that they could possibly take????? I think that they had them from Schipol (Amsterdam) a few years back, but I'm not sure.

If it's in your budget, you could hire a car in advance and let him take you on a city tour, with perhaps a stop or two.

Whatever you do, enjoy your trip and plan to come back to Paris for a looooong stay.


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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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You can figure out your time budget when you've cleared immigration and customs. You might get out ten minutes after your scheduled arrival time, or two hours. The time when you will need to return depends primarily upon whether or not you'll have boarding passes in hand, but in any case you'll have to provide time for security and your airline's rules.

I just wanted to mention that you can see a smattering of the best-known sights in a fairly short time by using the suburban rail system, the RER. At CDG, buy a one-day, 5-zone Paris Visite pass.¹ This will be your transport to and from the city, as well as all around on the Métro and buses.

Get on the next train (you'll be on the "B" line) and ride to the RER station at St-Michel Notre-Dame (about 35 minutes). The station is just across the river from the cathedral. When you've seen a bit of the area, go back into the RER and ride the "C" line to Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel (12 minutes). You will emerge next to the most famous monument in the world. Enjoy. If you have a half-hour to spare at this time, there's one more high spot in the neighborhood you can hit. (If you don't, just backtrack to the airport the way you came.)

Walk across the river to the Trocadéro Palace, and pick up the N° 30 bus to Charles de Gaulle-Étoile. Take in the Arc de Triomph for a while, then board Métro Ligne 1 to Châtelet just so you can see the remarkable station Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre. Get off and wander around a little if you have time. At Châtelet, board the "B" line back to CDG.

Obviously, this whirlwind tour will barely scratch the surface, but at least you'll have some nice "been there" snaps to lure you back.

¹ If you're coming out of JFK, you can pre-purchase your Paris Visite passes at the RATP Boutique there. This will save you (quite) a few minutes when you land in Paris.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 05:36 PM
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Though I am legendary for cutting it close timewise, I'd hesitate to recommend doing something on your own since it is your first time. The first time anywhere is usually a challenge just to get oriented, especially coming off an overnight flight (if you are). If you are sufficiently confident and not overly tired you could jump on the RER B line into town and get off at, say, Luxembourg, have a meal and stroll a bit then head back to CDG. Tht's not much, may not be even worth it. If you could squeeze enough out of the budget to hire a private driver that might work for a quick drive-by highlights tour. Rememerb that you need to allow plenty of time back at CDG to get checked in and throuh security - it can take well over an hour, so allow at least 2 hours to be safe.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Be aware that there are two RER stations at CDG: CDG 1 and CDG 2 TGV. #2 is directly below terminal 2. There is free shuttle bus service between the terminals and to station 1.

Visit to download and print a Metro/RER map for central Paris.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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Just to add to Robespierre's suggestions, make sure you have sufficient Euro coins--about Eur8 or so per person?--to use RER tix vending machines to Paris. They don't take non-French credit cards/debit cards, and you can end up waiting in a long queue if you only have paper money! You can get cheaper Paris Visite pass or carnets once you're in Paris proper from the metro station offices (far shorter queues, if any).
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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A Paris Visite costs 16,75€ - an RER ticket to Paris is 8,10€.

The RATP ticket windows everywhere accept US plastic.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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See Paris in four hours? tall order! If I were you I'd fly back to Paris from Venice a day earlier and really see it.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Hi J,

Even 1 hr IN Paris is better than 6 hr at the airport.

You might even have 2hr.

For directions, go to
Click "depart station", enter "TGV"
Click "arrival station", enter "Saint-Michel Notre-Dame"
Click "itinerary"
Choose your date and time

You will get directions and a map.
It is a 36 min ride. You will be on the Seine, about 5 min walk from Notre Dame.

Enjoy your stopover in Paris.

ira is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I really thought I could whisk us out and have time seeing a lot of the sites. Again thanks everyone- will be looking into the RER or getting a car to take us around.
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