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7 hour layover in Paris

Layover in Paris for 7 hours before departing for Tuscany, Italy.. Have never been to Paris and would like to capitalize on my time in France. Any suggestions on sightseeing near the airport. Thank you!!

Posted by
11503 posts

Cindy,, 7 hours is barely the amount of time you need to whiz into Paris for about 2-3 hours max. This assumes your luggage is checked through and you have your boarding pass already for ongoing flight, and that you are comfortable taking the RER in( its faster and less affected with delays then driving( taxi) may be) . This also assumes you have no kids with you and can move quickly. Its risky, but doable. You need to be back at airport at least 2 hours to go through security again( many people will say 3, but as I said, I will assume you do not have to check in and have no luggage to check) . So, thats now 5 hours. You will take about an hour to clear off the plane and go through immigration,, could be a bit more or a bit less. Then it takes about 1/2 hr to find the RER station, and buy tickets( will you have euros with you,, otherwise you have to get in the line at a mannned window instead of using machine) . Then train takes 35 minutes. So, thats almost 2 hours on travel and logistics. So that leaves about 3 hours. And this assumes your flight arrives on time and there are no delays( train breakdown, immigration slow down ,etc) . This is most important part,," this assumes everything goes to plan" .. plans have a way of going sideways. Do this only if you think you can handle it, and only if you have enough money to get an expensive one way last minute ticket to final destination if you miss your ongoing flight. There is not much near airport to see ,, and without a rental car no easy transportation options to the few sights nearby( Chantilly is about a 30 minute drive) Would I do this( pop into Paris for a few hours) . No. But some have. Its up to you.

Posted by
3231 posts

I agree with Pat. Seven hours sounds like a lot of time but considering the distance of the airport from the city center, your luggage, and the fact that you'll be very tired from an overnight flight it's probably not enough time. If you did anything, you might consider taking the Air France bus to the Arc de Triomphe stop - walk around for a bit and then take the bus back to the airport. Personally, I wouldn't risk missing your flight to Tuscany.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you so much for your quick response and honest opinion. I tend to be high energy and aggressive in my planning.. Think I just might relax at the airport :)

Posted by
8700 posts

If I were to go into Paris for a few hours, I would buy a one-day, zone 1-5 Paris Visite pass (€20.50) at CDG. It will cover your ride on the RER B to Paris, any rides you take on the metro and/or RER in Paris, and your ride back to CDG. I would get off the train at Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, pop into the cathedral for a quick look, and then start walking along the Seine. When you're ready to return to CDG, take the metro to Saint-Michel Notre-Dame or another RER B station. Be aware that the RER B line divides divides northeast of Paris so be sure to get on a train that is going to CDG. While it's wise to be at CDG three hours before a flight across the Atlantic, two hours is plenty of time for a flight to Italy. For a zoomable map of the metro and RER system, go here:

Posted by
290 posts

Here's something that folks don't seem to realize...many times you can move to an earlier connecting flight once you arrive without any or little cost. I've done it a few times and my bags arrived always with me. You might want to check this out right after you deplane into Paris airport CDG.

Posted by
1 posts

I had a delightful walk around downtown Amsterdam with just a 3.5 hour layover. My last time in Paris CDG? It took us more than 2 hours to get out of the airport. I was also considering a quick trip downtown during my upcoming 7-hour layover, because I've spent two weeks in Paris on separate trips and feel comfortable. Then I decided: I would not enjoy the time; I would be too worried about catching my ongoing flight. CDG is notoriously under-signed. When you come up out of the RER, the signs on the wall tell you one thing: The terminal you are in. It doesn't give you any airlines, flight times, anything. On our last time through, a helpful Air France employee directed us not only to the wrong end of the terminal, but the wrong terminal altogether (she thought we were flying back to the USbut we were going to Frankfurt). As we watched our plane fly off the runway, that was when we learned about the "It's your own fault you weren't here and by the way we've cancelled your entire itinerary" policy. So we rented a car and drove to Frankfurt. So the upside is that we got to see more of France than we had intended; so aside from a few hundred lost dollars, it actually turned out well in the end. (By the way, we did get 100% of our taxes refunded, which is not possible in the U.S.!). I wouldn't consider attempting to exit CDG on a layover my first time through Parisunless I was fluent in French. One more thing: I've seen several posts (including on this site but others also) give ideas for things to do, including "Do this, do that, pop into Notre Dame for a quick look around..." I've only been to Notre Dame oncein April (not peak tourist season)and the line to get in was an hour long.