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8 hour Paris layover

Our 9 member church group has an 8 hour layover in Paris.

Any recommendations on a quick charted bus/van tour with a guide from the airport through the sights of Paris. Many in our group have never been to Paris.

Posted by
2916 posts

Many people have asked similar questions, although usually it has been individuals rather than a group. The problem is time: 8 hours shrinks because it can take quite awhile to get out of the terminal upon arrival, depending on things like baggage and passport control. Then there's the time getting through any formalities plus security at the other end. The last problem is that it's around an hour by motor vehicle to the center of Paris, so there goes 2 hours.

Posted by
1602 posts

Will you have luggage? Like the PP mentioned it will be 2 hours out of the airport into city center, then another two back, that gives you 4 hours. to drive around, maybe get out and take some pictures..IF your first flight is not delayed, next flight is on time and you know where your gate is etc. You just have to weight the risks and know if your group can follow directions and understand the time limits. I would think if you hire a driver you may want to have a list of the spots you want to hit then map them out to see if they are doable.

Posted by
80 posts

With 9 people...I wouldn't risk it. Plus Paris is soooooo big, and lots of things to look at. 9 people oohing and ahhing could lead to slow moving if you guys were on the street walking. Unfortunately, I would recommend to just stay at the airport.

Posted by
103 posts

Best case scenario, you will have 3-4 hours within Paris when accounting for the 30-40 minutes each way to take the RER back and forth (or cabs which are more expensive) as well as 10 or 15 minutes to wait for the next train, and the potential time to walk to and from terminals as the trains only have 2 stops at the Airport but you have multiple concourses from there. So you will need to have an idea of that. Plus the time to re-clear security again (which is a much longer process in the EU these days than it is for TSA in the US).

As far as a bus tour from the airport, I don't think one you will have to plan your own itinerary and plan it well to make it work.

But if you are all able bodied and savvy (even if you are not all familiar with Paris, you must all be keen...a bunch of people who typically get lost will be your worst nightmare) and someone in your group is familiar enough with Paris and keen to lead, it can be done.

The RER is going to drop you in a good spot to link to most places in Paris. I would recommend a boat tour which is usually an hour. This will give you time to 'see' lots and keep a pace so you are not so stressed about time. Maybe find a patisserie get some ice cream to have a taste of Paris and then head back with 'plenty' of time. No matter what you do, you will feel rushed...but for some that is totally worth it. But if you are determined to do it, with some more details, I am sure we could help you make it work.

Just curious, where are you coming from and going to through Paris?