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12 hr layover in Paris

I have a layover from 6:15am to 6:55pm in Paris. Any suggestions for a whirlwind tour would be helpful. Also modes of transportation to get me around and back to the airport quickly. Also, am I being crazy to think this could work? Thanks

Posted by
8700 posts

Not crazy at all. Buy a one-day, zone 1-6 Paris Visite pass (18€) at CDG. It will get you to Paris and back on the RER B and cover all your rides on the Metro, RER, buses, and the Montmartre funicular while you're in the city. The ride from CDG to Paris will take a little under an hour. Be aware that the RER B line divides northeast of Paris. When you return to CDG, be sure to get on a train that is going there. Go to www.ratp.fr to download and print a Metro/RER map for central Paris and a RER map that shows service to outlying zones, including CDG.

There are two hop-on hop-off bus tours: www.paris-opentour.com www.carsrouges.com. Paris is a wonderful walking city and you're never more than about five minutes from a metro station.

If your luggage isn't checked through, you'll need to take it with you to Paris. Store it at Gare du Nord which is on the RER B line.

Posted by
11450 posts

Not crazy, just keep eye on time. I would grab the RER into Paris ( 8-9 euros) and then either grab a hop on and off bus, I would( and have) use the L'Open Tour buses, better routes then the CarRouges. There is a stop right outside St Michel, and Gare Du Nord. They have a website, in english, check for time of commencment of service , assuming you will arrive in Paris(city) about 7 or so, I doubt bus runs that early, in which case I would get out of RER at St Michel Notre Dame, walk along river, grab a coffe at a cafe opening up,( Parisienes do not seem to be "early birds" LOL) and then wander over to Notre Dame around 8:30 get up Tower first( line grows quickly) then go inside second. Then buses should be running , and they stop right out from of ND, from there just jump on and off , ( btw take the route that includes ET, its the best one) .
Just make sure you are back at airport in time, remember to allow an hour at least for travel, and then whatever time you need for check in.

Posted by
11450 posts

cont. I am a cautious traveller so I would try and be back on the RER by 3 or 3:30 at latest, or grab a taxi, cost about 40-70 euros depending on where you grab it, remember allow time to make it through rush hour traffic in Paris, it can take as little as 30 -40 minutes or longer then an hour, leave early enough to avoid( 4 latest)

Anyways, have a great time, you shouldn't spend 12 hours at that airport , it is not very nice, and what a waste.