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Table of Contents
- Fun Ideas for your Layover in Paris
- Paris Layover FAQ
- Transportation Paris CDG – Paris Overview
- Layover in Paris – What to Do
- 5-Hour Layover in Paris
- 6-Hour Layover in Paris
- 7-Hour Layover in Paris
- 10-Hour Layover in Paris
- Long Layover in Paris (12-Hour Layover in Paris or More)
- Overnight Layover in Paris
- Hotels Near Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Layover in Paris – Things to Do at Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Long-distance Flight Tips
Fun Ideas for your Layover in Paris
Planning a flight with a long layover in Paris? Although Paris is the biggest city in France, it is compact and easy to navigate on foot, by metro, or by bike. So if your next flight includes a Paris layover, don’t hesitate to go to the city and experience some of the unique things to do in Paris.
Paris is always a good idea, even if you can only visit for a day or less!
It’s very unusual to have a long layover in Paris Orly Airport, as most long-haul flights are via Charles de Gaulle (CDG). This article is thought for Charles de Gaulle Airport layovers, but some ideas are also good for a layover in Paris Orly Airport.
Paris Layover FAQ
Do I need a Visa for a layover in Paris?
Depending on your nationality and destination country, you may need to have a Transit Visa to make a connection in a foreign airport or cross through a foreign country.
In Paris, Transit Visa is necessary for passengers from non-Schengen countries willing to transit through two Schengen Countries. Also, note that a Schengen Visa is needed for all connections between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly Airport.
Can I leave CDG Airport during a layover in Paris?
YES, except if you are a national of a non-Schengen country and only have an airport transit visa. An airport transit visa allows a traveler to pass through an airport’s international zone without entering the country’s territory.
Do you have enough time to leave the airport during your Paris layover?
From your landing in Paris until your next flight, these are the things to consider:
> To be on the safe side, add some extra time in case your first flight is delayed.
> Transportation time from the aircraft to the terminal.
> If you want to leave the airport, you will also spend some time going through the border control when you arrive in France and when you leave France.
> Also, keep in mind that if you booked your flights separately with different flight companies, you would need to pick up the baggage at the Paris airport and do another check-in. Allow extra time to do all this.
> Getting from CDG Paris airport to the city center usually takes between 40 min to 1.5 hours (depending on the means of transportation).
How much time is left to enjoy Paris?
Considering all the things mentioned above, we don’t suggest going into Paris unless you have a minimum of a five-hour layover, and even then, your time in Paris would be very brief.
Layover in Paris – What to Do
How to spend a layover in Paris? Here’s a list of things to do on a layover in Paris of 5 hours or more. Our proposals include self-guided visits and Paris layover tours.
For an overnight layover in Paris with a second flight early in the morning, we have included a list of hotels close to CDG Airport, so you are sure not to miss your second flight.
READ MORE: Need some travel inspiration? Check out these 75 Travel Quotes to fuel your wanderlust.
5-Hour Layover in Paris
What to do on a 5-hour layover in Paris? A short Paris layover can be a great opportunity to tick off a few items on your Paris Bucket List.
Get out in the fresh air and enjoy some of Paris’ top sights with this top-rated Paris Layover Tour proposed by Viator.
At the desired time, an experienced English-speaking professional driver will pick you up from the airport in a private vehicle, ready for a little adventure in Paris. During the trip, he will share the historical facts, the necessary information about the sights, and some anecdotes about Parisians and life in Paris to immerse you into the Parisian lifestyle.
The guide proposes a sample Paris layover tour that includes stops at the Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Garden, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame. Still, this Paris layover tour is completely customizable at no extra charge.
This popular Paris layover tour for a group of up to 9 people lasts from 5 to 7 hours (transportation time airport – Paris – airport included), and it includes the pick-up /drop-off in the airport.
2. Visit the Eiffel Tower (Duration: 2 hrs)
Many people dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower, so why not using your 5-hour layover in Paris to see the Iron Lady with your own eyes?
The distance from CDG to Eiffel Tower is 31.5 km via highway A1, around 40 min by car. Click here for all the ways to get from CDG Airport to the Eiffel Tower.
Can you climb up to the Eiffel Tower with a 5-hour layover in Paris? In theory, YES, but only if you book skip-the-line tickets online in advance. When you buy a skip-the-line Eiffel Tower ticket online, you will pick a specific date and time slot, so you don’t waste time waiting in line.
In case you decide not to climb up to the top, here’s the list of some fun things to do near the Eiffel Tower.
3. Visit the Louvre – We tell you How to Do it in 2 hours!
Other people may consider a visit to the famous Louvre Museum. Being one of the world’s biggest museums, the Louvre can be very time-consuming… unless you have a plan.
Skip the line tickets are paramount if you want to visit the Louvre Museum during your Paris layover. These Louvre skip the line tickets have a specific date and time slot, so you are sure to enter the Louvre in 30 minutes or less.
6-Hour Layover in Paris
With a 6-hour layover in Paris, things get slightly better. If you concentrate on one small area with several attractions, you can feel like you’ve seen a lot of Paris.
1. Take a Unique Stroll though the Banks of the Seine River (Duration: 3 hrs)
As big as Paris is, it is a surprisingly walkable city. One can spend a day on foot and not tire of the sights. Since you are on a 6-hour layover in Paris and CDG airport is not the world’s most exciting airport, head out for a unique stroll in the City of Light.
At the airport train station, take the RER B (42min) and get out at Saint Michel-Notre Dame station. Cross the bridge that connects the Seine’s left bank to Ile de la Cité, the heart of Paris.
Admire Notre Dame‘s main facade; this cathedral is a jewel of Gothic architecture and one of Paris’ main sights.
Walk over to Seine’s right bank and start walking north-west, downstream, always having the river on your left side. Check out the bouquinistes on the right bank of the Seine. They sell books, art, and souvenirs. It feels so Parisian to peruse them!
On your way, admire sights like La Conciergerie, the Pont Neuf, and the river facade of the Louvre Palace. At this point, we recommend leaving the Seine behind to have a look at the Louvre’s glass pyramid, located on its inner court.
Enjoy a pleasant walk through the famous Tuileries Gardens. Designed for Queen Catherine de Médicis in 1564, Tuileries Gardens are the oldest public gardens in Paris. If you need some rest, the gardens’ two ponds are perfect for relaxation.
Finally, cross Pont Alexandre III to Paris 7, on the Seine’s left bank. The golden cupola just in front of you belongs to Les Invalides, a military hospital and Napoleon’s final resting place. Walk West, along Quai Branly, to reach the Eiffel Tower for some of the best photo spots in Paris.
By now, it’s probably time to go back to the airport. Take the metro at École Militaire station to board on your last flight.
7-Hour Layover in Paris
With a 7-hour layover in Paris, you can take it easier. We suggest combining one of the above proposals for 5 hours in Paris or 6 hours in Paris with a few of these (but not all of these!) if they catch your interest.
1. + Unique Views of Paris from Unique Sights (Duration: 1-2 hrs)
Again, a skip-the-line ticket will be your best ally; you don’t want to waste your precious few hours in Paris waiting in line.
2. + Visit Sainte-Chappelle (Duration: 1 hr)
This gothic-style royal chapel is home to some of the most intricate stained glass designs in Europe. Sainte Chapelle’s stained glass windows depict scenes from the Bible, and they are amazing! The Sainte-Chapelle is located close to Notre-Dame in Ile de la Cité.
3. + Spend Time in a Parisian Café
Order your favorite drink and have a rest in a café-terrasse, reading a book, or people-watching; it’s one of the locals’ favorite pastimes!
10-Hour Layover in Paris
If you have a 10-hour layover in Paris, you can combine one of the proposals for 5 or 6 hours with a stroll around the quintessential neighborhood of Montmartre.
1. + Enjoy Montmartre’s Bohemian Atmosphere (Duration: 3 hrs)
Stretch those legs before getting back on your last plane and visit the city’s most famous ‘quartier’ with this self-guided Montmartre Walking Tour.
Enjoy Montmartre’s bohemian atmosphere; the neighborhood has everything we imagine when we think about Paris: street painters, yummy crêperies, some picturesque corners, and the enchanting sound of the accordion on the streets.
The proposed self-guided walking tour covers Montmartre’s main sights and tells you the stories behind these places. For something more off the beaten path, check out our secret map of Montmartre.
Long Layover in Paris (12-Hour Layover in Paris or More)
You can also think about using 1-2 hours to visit a small museum or walk the covered passages in Paris if the weather is not good.
Overnight Layover in Paris
What do you do during an overnight layover in Paris? Overnight layovers in Paris are a great opportunity to get a taste of the nightlife in Paris. So check-in in a hotel near the airport, and take a train or private transportation to the city center to enjoy Paris at night.
1. Unique Dinner & Drinks in Paris
Do you have a CDG Airport layover during dinner time? If you found a great deal on a connecting flight through Paris, skip the airport restaurants and head into the city.
For a unique meal on your layover in Paris, head to Les Ombres, a restaurant located on the rooftop terrace of Musée du Quai Branly in Paris 7. Apart from tasting some famous foods in Paris, the unique view over the sparkling Eiffel Tower will delight you.
Maybe you are just looking for a unique place to have a drink and wash down that terrible airplane food? With only a layover in Paris, it can’t just be any bar.
In the summertime, the rooftop bars of Paris are the locals’ place to be. Try Le Perchoir du Marais (37 rue de la Verrerie, Paris 4), Paris’s most fashionable terrace with breathtaking views. Or Up on the Roof in the heart of the Latin Quarter (4 rue Danton, Paris 6), with a view on Notre-Dame, the Palais de Justice, and the Seine.
2. A Cabaret Show
Another oh-so-Parisian option for your overnight layover in Paris is a Parisian cabaret. Cabarets are a popular tourist attraction in Paris at night, and nowhere else in Paris will you find such a choice of quality cabarets.
A cabaret show in Paris usually lasts around 90 min, but it can be longer if you book it with a dining option. If you are interested in a cabaret in Paris but don’t know which one to choose, check our guide with the best cabarets in Paris. Book online and in advance.
3. Take a Unique Seine River Night Cruise
A Seine River dinner cruise can be the perfect way to spend a unique overnight layover in Paris. As the sun sets and the city lights up, step on board and get ready for an awesome night out on the river.
Have a look at the best Seine River Cruises in Paris to find the perfect boat tour for you. Night river cruises come with or without dinner. For an unforgettable night in Paris, we recommend the full pack.
Hotels Near Charles de Gaulle Airport
If you have an overnight layover in Paris with an early flight the day after, consider sleeping in one of the hotels near Charles de Gaulle airport. Sleeping in a hotel close to Charles de Gaulle Airport eliminates the stress of waking up early in the morning and getting a taxi during the rush hour.
Here’s the list of the most popular hotels near Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- Sheraton Paris Roissy Airport
- Oceania Paris Roissy CDG
- Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Ibis Styles Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Novotel Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Layover in Paris – Things to Do at Charles de Gaulle Airport
In general, your experience will vary based on what terminal you will be spending your time in, but basically, this is the list of things to do at Charles de Gaulle Airport:
Shopping: CDG airport has many shops, from duty-free shopping to gastronomy or exclusive fashion stores. If you want to know what to buy in Charles de Gaulle airport during your layover in Paris, check this link with the list of all the Charles de Gaulle Airport Shops.
Eating: unfortunately, CDG airport does not have a big choice of restaurants for lunch or dinner, plus the prices are high. If you have enough time to travel to the city, you will have a better culinary experience than at the airport. For short layovers with no time to go to Paris, here’s the list of restaurants in Paris CDG.
Arts: Espace Musées proposes regular art exhibitions in Paris Charles de Gaulle, Terminal E. Check this link to see the current exhibitions and their exact location in the airport.
CDG Luggage Storage: for the passengers visiting Paris on a CDG layover, the CDG luggage storage in Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2 can keep your carry-on for a few euros. For more information, exact location, and prices, check their website here.
Massages: Be Relax proposes to passengers a wide range of relaxing services like massages, manicures, pedicures, etc. Check their 7 available Spas located in Terminal 2, their proposals, and pricing.
Kids Entertainment: there are games and spaces for kids all around the airport.
Shower facilities at CDG airport: There are no shower facilities at CDG Airport unless you can access one of its Airport Lounges. Not all the Airport Lounges at CDG have shower facilities, so we recommend checking the Airport’s Lounge Review for more information.
Have you been to Paris? What would you recommend doing on a short layover?
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