long layover at CDG -- where to go?

Aug 17th, 2010, 06:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
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long layover at CDG -- where to go?

We land at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, 31 August and don't depart for BCN until 3:45 that same afternoon. I've read the posts about whether or not to leave the airport and go in to Paris, and based on all those answers, feel that we'd have about 3 1/2 hours to spend in the city. Ideally, we'd love to walk around outside for a bit and have a good lunch at a cafe or brasserie.

Having said all that, I have these possibilities in mind and a couple of questions:

If we took the RER to St. Michel and walked around Sainte Chappelle, does anyone have restaurant recommendations for someplace on the Ile de la Cite?

How complicated would it be to get from Gare du Nord to Montmartre and see Sacre-Coeur? If getting there isn't too convoluted, what restaurants would you recommend for that area?

Thanks for your advice! I'm excited to have a return trip to Europe to plan!
annettetx is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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It would be risky to plan on going into Paris and back.

Assuming your plane lands on time, it's typically at least an hour from your gate through passport control. You need to allow about an hour each way to/from Paris. And, you should be back at CDG about two hours ahead of your flight. So, that's five hours.

You also have to consider the contingencies, and small things that take time which adds up.

Will you be landing with Euros? There are often very long lines for RER tickets if you don't have Euro coins for the automated ticket machines and have to pay with bills or a credit card.

You would have to have your routes planned out very carefully, so you don't make a time-costly mistake.

Grabbing a bite to eat, even at a cafe, is not necessarily a quick endeavor. And, you'd want to have Euros on hand for that as well, as it can take forever to pay with a credit card.

There's no point in walking around Sainte Chapelle as you really can't see much from the streets/sidewalks.

You also have to consider what it would cost to get to BCN if you miss your flight.
djkbooks is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:38 PM
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What posts would indicate that leaving CDG and going into Paris is a good idea in your situation?

I'm with djk -- sit, relax, rest.
BigRuss is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:47 PM
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Agree waling outside Sainte Chapelle is pointless - can't see much of anything as it is surrounded by other buildings.
Realistically you would have about 3 hours max in the city. You could see Sacre Coeur by taking RER to GdN then walking about 20-30 minutes or taking a 56 bus and shaving off a few minutes. Or, you could grab a cab from GdN.
The bigger question is, do you really want to do this when you are likely to be jet lagged after an overnight flight? Another option would be to get a dayroom at a CDG hotel, have a shower and a meal, maybe a brief nap and be in better shape for your BCN flight.
Seamus is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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There were a handful of questions about this (including this one a couple of months ago: (http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-a-sunday.cfm#) that I found by searching "CDG layover."

Just checking what all our options are. After a flight from Houston, I thought a walk in fresh air and pleasant scenery would be nice if it were feasible.

Thanks for the advice...
annettetx is offline  
Aug 17th, 2010, 11:56 PM
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I can't blame you for wanting to leave the airport for a while. If you want fresh air and pleasant scenery, I would recommend Senlis, a 30 minute ride from CDG airport. It's a small town with half timbered buildings and cobbled streets.

You could walk a bit, look at the church, and have lunch but make sure to arrange for a taxi back to the airport as soon as you get there. Possibly make arrangements with the taxi who brings you to Senlis to have you picked up at a set time. If you don't speak French, you can ask the taxi facilitator at CDG to convey your plans to the driver and ask him to arrange this with his dispatcher.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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I, also, understand your wanting to do this, but if I did go into Paris, I would just hang around the area where you get off the RER, not adding another leg of the journey by going to Montmartre, etc. There's plenty to look at, restaurants to dine in, etc., around St. Michel.
grandmere is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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RER would get you to St Michel. You could walk around Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis, maybe a peek into Notre Dame. If time permitted , could do lunch at Brasserie de L'ile, or perhaps just an ice cream cone from Berthillon.
Time is tight though.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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We strolled into the town of Roissy when we had an afternoon at the CDG hotel. It was an easy walk from the hotel.

It was a lovely town with beautiful gardens and flowers everywhere and has several restaurants.
winnick is offline  

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