8 Hour Layover in Paris - Go In to Town or Stay in Lounge?

Old Jul 26, 2022, 7:57 am
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8 Hour Layover in Paris - Go In to Town or Stay in Lounge?

I'm traveling JNB-CDG-YYZ in September in Business Class on AF. I have an 8 hour layover between flights and wondered if it is worth it to head into Paris for a bit. I've never been to Paris and thought this may be a good time to explore. What's the best transport option? Metro or Uber? Thank you to everyone for your input.
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Old Jul 26, 2022, 8:02 am
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With 8 hrs, you have indeed time to see something, but certainly not to "explore". If I were you, I would take the train from CDG to St Michel-Notre Dame and walk around this area. From the Pont Neuf, you can take a boat tour on the Seine (a must-do). Schedule ample time to return to CDG (leave St Michel about 3.5 hrs before your flight to YYZ). You can buy your return ticket in CDG, so you will save time not having to deal with this at St Michel.
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Old Jul 26, 2022, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
With 8 hrs, you have indeed time to see something, but certainly not to "explore". If I were you, I would take the train from CDG to St Michel-Notre Dame and walk around this area. From the Pont Neuf, you can take a boat tour on the Seine (a must-do). Schedule ample time to return to CDG (leave St Michel about 3.5 hrs before your flight to YYZ). You can buy your return ticket in CDG, so you will save time not having to deal with this at St Michel.
Thank you! That sounds like a great plan.
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Old Jul 29, 2022, 5:14 am
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I want to add I agree completely. Going to St. Michel station puts you right in the heart of Paris. You are right in the middle of the right and left bank and you will have no problem seeing some important sights. A lounge is just a lounge. When in Patis you could easily squeeze in a nice meal.
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Old Aug 1, 2022, 4:50 am
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100% agree - we did this in June form Nairobi > CDG > Milan... went in, explored the area, Isle St. Louis, and La Marais... made it back with plenty of time to spare!
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Old Aug 1, 2022, 7:18 am
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Take the RER-B train.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Hornetcoach
Take the RER-B train.
A Mecca for pickpockets, from what I hear.
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:11 pm
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Agree. The RER express train is easy even on a credit card from CDG and much nicer to walk around either Chatellet Les Halles ( Le Marias & Notre Dame is close by ) or the further stop as advertised. Gare du Nord is the stop for Montmartre.

Enjoy the AF lounge for an hour on your return but PARIS WINS in a heartbeat FRANKLY.

I am an English francophile and therefore love the food, the people & naturally all the French Ladies, what's not to love frankly! Enjoy Paris frankly and sleep on the plane after!


GO INTO TOWN as lounges get boring, even the quality AF one! AA lounge also good is my match report!
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Old Aug 6, 2022, 9:15 pm
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Goldorak has given some good advice. Here's a slightly different view.

First, understand that especially now you have no idea how messed up things will be at the airport so you your eight hours may be seriously cut.

The Mtro does not stop at the airport. You can take the commuter train known as the RER, but as the US Embassy notes:

Pickpockets are very active on the rail link (RER B) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center.


There is a bus called RoissyBus that operates from the airport to the Place de l'Opra. From that point, the Mtro can take you anywhere. Since you mentioned Uber, on my last visit, a year ago, I found myself taking G7 more frequently. They, too have an app.

In terms of what to do in Paris, I personally would vote for a great lunch and just walking around the streets. Or, select one very famous site, e.g. Arc de Triomphe or Eiffel Tower and see that.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 4:22 am
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The RoissyBus was nice in some ways, but I’ve also been stuck in such miserably slow traffic on it on the way back to CDG at times that I wrote it off in part since and would rather put up with the RER-B in my plans instead for returning to the airport.

Originally Posted by Landing Gear
A Mecca for pickpockets, from what I hear.
Yes, it happens a bunch, but it also seems to not be very common to be pickpocketed on the RER-B; and if alert, keeping belongings secured in a way that frustrates even moderately skilled pickpockets, and managing to land a seat along the sides, then it’s even less likely to hit a person going from/to CDG on the RER.

FWIW, I have seen more people discover they were pickpocketed on the streets, at the main train stations and at the Metro stops around the prime tourist spots in Paris than while on or getting off the RER-B to/from CDG. And I think the pickpockets in Rome are still technically more adept thieves than their equivalents in Paris.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 4:07 pm
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When I am carrying luggage I prefer to use the Roissybus, and it is a wild ride with those reticulated buses through the narrow streets. I am amazed at the skill and judgement of the drivers. For a short sightseeing trip without luggage I would definitely use the RERB. It’s quicker, more reliable, drops off in a better sightseeing area. There are pickpockets everywhere and you have to be prepared and alert. I wouldn’t see that as a strong reason to avoid the RER.
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Old Aug 10, 2022, 11:30 am
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Just kidding!!!

In fact, why not just ride the RER for a few hours, and rifle through some pockets to pass the time? This could turn your 8-hour stopover into a lucrative source of funds for future travel

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Old Aug 16, 2022, 12:44 pm
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Alternative option

I have had similar layovers and find it can be unnerving to get everything done and be back in time while jet lagged and being mindful of the very aggressive pickpockets, especially in times of high security or special scrutiny (like with health passes). You didn't request budget options so here is an alternative. Consider booking a guide with car to pick you up at CDG, drive you around whatever sights most interest you and drive you back to CDG. Also, pre-pandemic there used to be a service that would pick you up as you deplaned and got you through immigration and customs. They could connect you to a local service to drive you into the city in a private vehicle. The same company offered the reverse service on departure. If they are still around that could be ideal. If not a climate controlled, clean car, and an English speaking guide can make the short few hours go a long way in relaxed comfort. Happy visit whatever you do!
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Old Aug 16, 2022, 5:15 pm
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Is OP admissible to France? And do they have special covid requirements? I considered doing something similar on a VYR connection. But I think I would've needed to fill out the ArriveCan app.
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Old Aug 17, 2022, 10:06 am
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French covid requirements lifted for now

Originally Posted by sexykitten7
Is OP admissible to France? And do they have special covid requirements? I considered doing something similar on a VYR connection. But I think I would've needed to fill out the ArriveCan app.
In response to your questions about covid requirements "As of August 1, 2022, the COVID-19 measures required for U.S. travelers and travellers from any other country to enter France and its Overseas Regions no longer apply (see https://us.media.france.fr/en/conten...ons-travelers?)
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