CDG Overnight Layover

Old Sep 2, 09, 3:20 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: IAH
Programs: CO PLAT, now UA GS
Posts: 105
CDG Overnight Layover

I travel from IAH to TLV very frequently and I decided to change things up a bit and have a layover in Paris since I have never been before. I will arrive to CDG on a Tuesday night at 9:15 and depart to Houston the next morning at 1030. I know this isn’t much time, but I would like to at least see some of the city. My main objectives would be come into the city, have dinner somewhere easy but nice, walk around the city to see some of the sites (Eiffel tower, etc), but I don’t necessarily need to go in them (a walking tour is fine), and probably grab some sleep, then breakfast and any other walking I can do in the morning and then head to the airport. I am very used to international travel and similar layovers so I can manage my jet lag.

All of this return trip is Air France. I am Continental Platinum / ST Elite Plus.

A couple of questions:
1. Bags- I usually travel with a large checked bag due to some gear I must bring; what happens to my checked bag on this overnight layover? I would prefer for it to remain checked and I will bring a backpack for the night. I will have a computer bag with me, so I would like to find some airport storage lockers as well pending hotel decision.
2. Hotel- Any recommendations on a hotel in town? I just need something safe and simple and where I could store my computer while I am walking around town. I would prefer to stay in the city and not at the airport. Even though this is a business trip, I do have a budget.
3. What is an adequate time to leave the city for the airport for my 1030 flight on a Wednesday morning?
4. Dinner recommendations?
5. Anything else essential on a brief night walking tour?
6. First time to fly AF; anything I should be aware of?
matthopp is offline  
Old Sep 4, 09, 6:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA lifetime gold; Hilton Gold; Marriott/SPG Plat; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,865
I will try to answer some of your questions.
Assuming the flight is on time, by the time you are out the door, it will be 10 pm or close to that.
If you really want to enjoy the city, I would take a taxi from the airport and go to the hotel. The city is large and you will not see significant amount of it by foot in one night.
I would ask the taxi to do a small tour for you.
Ask him/her to do Monmartre, Tour Eiffel, Champs Elysee, Arch de Triomphe, Louvre, Place de la Concorde; go by the Opera Garnier, Bastille and then to your hotel. This will give you an idea of what the city looks like.
I would look for a hotel in the 6th arr. It is a great area to hang out at night and you will find plenty of things to see and open restaurants at night.
If you want to continue seeing stuff, I would wake up at 6 am, go to a cafe, have a bite and then go out for an hour walk around the river. Go to Notre Dame and walk to the Luxembourg gardens.
I would take a cab back to the airport. Getting out of the city on a weekday takes a long time. I would plan on leaving 2 1/2 hours before your flight; give yourself 1 hr for the trip to CDG and 1 1/2 hours before your flight.

I guess AF will allow you to check the luggage through.
I don't know if you are flying coach, business or first. if you are going coach,
AF is good. Being Elite Plus they treat you nice at the airport. You can use the business class check in area and use the Business lounge if you want. Food is acceptable and service is professional and efficient. Still serve champagne on international flights in coach.

I would try this restaurant in the 6th arr
Le Procope: http://www.procope.com/
Hotels are expensive but try this one:
Best Western Left Bank-St. Germain - unbeatable location.
keisari is offline  
Old Sep 6, 09, 10:22 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: PARIS (France)
Programs: AF/KLM LTP| Emirates Gold |InterContinental Spire RA |A Club Gold |AMEX Plat| Visa Plat |Hertz P
Posts: 8,623
Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
1. Bags- I usually travel with a large checked bag due to some gear I must bring; what happens to my checked bag on this overnight layover? I would prefer for it to remain checked and I will bring a backpack for the night. I will have a computer bag with me, so I would like to find some airport storage lockers as well pending hotel decision.
For security reasons, there are no more storage lockers at Paris airports (ORY and CDG).

As your next flight to Houston is not the same day, you must claim your luggage at CDG.

The best solution for you may be to stay at Sheraton CDG, which is within the airport (Terminal 2) and store your luggage at the hotel.

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
2. Hotel- Any recommendations on a hotel in town? I just need something safe and simple and where I could store my computer while I am walking around town. I would prefer to stay in the city and not at the airport. Even though this is a business trip, I do have a budget.
If you prefer staying at a Paris hotel, there are numerous budget hotel solutions.
For example:
- Holiday Inn Gare de l'Est (former Mercure hotel): easy access by metro and taxi, recently renovated, very cheap
- Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel (former Nikko hotel): huge hotel along the Seine, with stunning view, recently renovated into the Novotel standards (most Asian airlines staff stay at this hotel when in Paris)
- Concorde Montparnasse, recent modern business hotel next to Gare Montparnasse, easy access by metro and taxis.

None of these hotels are fancy properties but perfectly adapted for a one night business stay.

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
3. What is an adequate time to leave the city for the airport for my 1030 flight on a Wednesday morning?
Last call is 20 minutes before departure time
After 7.30/7.45am, traffic quickly becomes heavy in Paris.
So, if you choose to go by cab at the airport, I would recommend you to check-in online and reserve a cab at 7.30.
You will arrive at 8.20 at CDG.
Follow "Accès N°1" signs (fast lane for business and Elite Skyteam members)
After security check, relax in the very nice business Terminal 2E Air France lounge

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
4. Dinner recommendations?
As you are on your own, I would recommend you to have dinner in some living places where you do not fell alone.

Here is a selection (between EUR 40 and 80)

- Hotel Pershing Hall: trendy restaurant close to Champs Elysées
- L'Alcazar Brasserie: Terence Conran's brasserie in the heart of Saint Germain des Près. Nice décor, excellent service, good food. If you do not feel tired, you can have a drink at the bar, on the second floor, or even dance at WAGG night club just next door (young clientele)
- L'Atelier de Robuchon : the great gastronomic bistro where all customers are seated at the bar.
- La Coupole, the superb brasserie at Montparnasse. Perfect for late dinners.
- Le Café Marly : no better view towards Le Louvre by night (if you are seated at the terrace). Elegant and quite good (but service can be slow)
- Ferdi: the trendy restaurant for beautiful people, cool atmosphere close to chic Place Vendôme et rue Saint Honoré
- Café Beaubourg: trendy restaurant just next to Centre Georges Pompidou. Food is inexpensive (but drinks are not)

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
5. Anything else essential on a brief night walking tour?
If you are close to the Louvre, have a look at the Opera at the end of Avenue de l’Opera, walk from Le Louvre's Pyramids to the Pont des Arts. You will have one of the most magnificent panoramas of Paris. Walk along the river Seine until Notre Dame (45 minutes walk), or have a drink at Café Flore at Saint Germain des Près.

If you are at Saint Germain des Près, walk to rue de Buci, then take rue de Seine or rue Mazarine until Le Pont des Arts, cross the river Seine and admire the Louvre’s Pyramid. (45 minutes walk)

If you are close to Champs Elysées, walk from Place de l'Etoile to avenue George V, walk down avenue George V until the Seine river (you will see the Eiffel Tower) (45 minutes walk)

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
6. First time to fly AF; anything I should be aware of?
Flight attendant are gorgeous
nicolas75 is offline  
Old Sep 9, 09, 2:50 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: IAH
Programs: CO PLAT, now UA GS
Posts: 105
Great suggestions. About how much should I expect to spend on a taxi tour from CDG to the city center? Also, why did no one suggest taking the train to CDG in the morning? I understand the night.
matthopp is offline  
Old Sep 9, 09, 9:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: UA lifetime gold; Hilton Gold; Marriott/SPG Plat; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,865
Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
Great suggestions. About how much should I expect to spend on a taxi tour from CDG to the city center? Also, why did no one suggest taking the train to CDG in the morning? I understand the night.
A trip at night from CDG to center is 50 or so euros. If you spend another 1/2 hour driving around with him/her I could throw in another 30 euros or so.

I did not recommend the train because you said you wanted to do some walking or something in the morning. I would recommend go out for a walk in the morning and then take a taxi.
keisari is offline  
Old Sep 10, 09, 10:14 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: FLL -> Where The Boyars Are
Programs: AA EXP 1.7 M, Hilton Gold, Hertz 5*, AARP Sophomore, 14-time Croix de Candlestick
Posts: 18,669
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaE71-2/100.07.76; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

Another factor in the morning is having to schlepp your large piece of luggage and the two smaller items on the trains. This can be an especial hassle if you have to change from the Metro to the RER. Also remember that the Orlybus and Les Cars Air France nonstop busses might be a better alternative.

Were I in your shoes, I would consider the following: once clearing immigration and customs, I would take the very short walk to the Sheraton CDG and check in. With the bags and laptop safely secured, I would then cab into the center city for dinner and sightseeing. When finished, I would then cab back to CDG for some sleep and prepararion for the ongoing flight (you should have time to visit the AF lounges - the T2F lounges are quite nice).
Non-NonRev is offline  
Old Sep 17, 09, 1:42 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: IAH
Programs: CO PLAT, now UA GS
Posts: 105
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone and give a little recap on my layover. The flight was on time and I was out of the airport at 10 as Keisari suggested. I was able to check my bag from TLV all of the way through Houston, so I didn’t have to bother with it at CDG. I hired a taxi to take me to Hotel St. Germain and we did a quick tour and topped at the Eiffel Tower and drove down Champs Elysee (driver didn’t speak English so there was a little confusion); I got to the hotel around 1045 and the trip cost 65 Euro.

I checked in and walked down towards the center of the St. Germain area. I walked by several of the dinner recommendation places, but nothing really seemed to fit my mood for the moment. I ended stopping in at a restaurant / bar (café jade???) and had a few drinks and dinner. I had some good conversations with the locals. I made it back to my room about 130am. The rooms was perfect, but a little pricey (200 Euro), but this was probably a result of my last minute booking and no availability at other hotels. This was the perfect area to stay in though.

I got up around 6 and had breakfast at the hotel. Walked down the Seine in the morning, stopped by Notre Dame, etc and had some coffee before going to the Metro. There weren’t too many people on the streets at 0700! I took the Metro to the airport, this worked out well, but took a little longer than I had expected and the B was packed! Granted I didn’t get on until about 815.

All in all, very good layover and thank you again to everyone that provided advice! I think I am going to try to make it back to Paris and stay a few days!
matthopp is offline  
Old Sep 18, 09, 3:39 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Programs: AAdvantage PLT, AA 2MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,268
glad it worked out for you. definitely recommend going back and spending at least a few days (1 week wouldn't be too long) experiencing this wonderful city and its people.

I'm aghast at the 65e for the cab but I suppose one should factor in the late hour and the touring.

if you do go back I recommend doing some non-tourist things along with the expected site seeing.

bonne chance
benzguy80
benzguy80 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread