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Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris?

Hi, I have a 5.5h layover (during the afternoon) in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Is it worth using this time to make a small visit to Paris? What could I see? Which transport would I need to take and how much time/fare would this cost?

I suppose won't have custom problems because I arrive by plane and leave by train.

Thanks a lot!

8 Answers

top answer by
Valerie from Seattle

Kristel, what do you mean you're leaving by train? From Charles de Gaulle?

The best estimate of trying to visit Paris during your layover is to take the RER-B line from CDG to Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame. The estimate for this train ride is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 minutes each way, and this line runs through Gare du Nord Paris, which is the biggest terminal in the city. Getting off at St. Michel - Notre Dame puts you (naturally) right near Notre-Dame de Paris, so you can walk around along the Seine, see the Pont Neuf, and cross the Pont des Arts (not sure if they will still be allowing 'locks of love' at that point, since they recently removed them all). On the Île de la Cité, you can also visit Sainte-Chapelle.

If you want to try and get to the Eiffel Tower during that window, you can switch at St. Michel - Notre Dame to the RER C line and get off at Champ de Mars — Tour Eiffel. That ride takes somewhere around 15 minutes each way.

I would imagine if you checked your bag into 'left luggage' at the airport and just carried a day bag, you could do a 'rushed' tour of these two main sights within a 2 hour window (giving you 3.5 hours for transit time and arriving early to board your train, just to be safe). Grab a crêpe from a street vendor or tuck into a small cafe for a quick croque monsieur and onion soup (no need to add 'French' to the title anymore!), and you should be good to go!

Have a wonderful time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame (attraction)
  2. Gare du Nord Paris (attraction)
  3. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  4. Pont Neuf (attraction)
  5. Pont des Arts (attraction)
  6. Île de la Cité (attraction)
  7. Sainte-Chapelle (attraction)
  8. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  9. Champ de Mars — Tour Eiffel (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Pamela from Memphis

If you had 8-10 hours, I would encourage you to check out Paris but I'm afraid that by the time you get out of the airport which is huge, wait for the RER B line, and you go to St. Michel metro,for example, to check out the Left Bank,  you would have maybe a couple of hours. I would be nervous about missing my flight and getting back to the airport on time so not sure I would even enjoy the Musee d'Orsay or whatever you do. You could take a cab but it is going to be much more expensive and you could get stuck in Paris' notorious  traffic. CDG is way outside of Paris and getting to and from there is the cheapest and quickest,IMO, via the RER (if you don't have a lot of luggage!).

3 thanks

answered by
Tom from Houston

I'd take the very reasonable RER train into central Paris (Notre Dame, Saint-Michel stop) and walk around the islands and along the La Seine, stopping to enjoy a beverage at a cafe and do some people watching. Here's a link to a very helpful website with detailed information for taking the RER train from CDG to central Paris:

The RER train is faster than a cab or bus and much cheaper. Around 10 Euros each way I think.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre Dame (attraction)
  2. Saint-Michel (attraction)
  3. La Seine (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Kamel from Paris

Hi Kristel,

One friend of me Emmanuel is organizing tours in Paris for people who have long layover in Charles de  Gaulle.

His website is :

Enjoy your stay in Paris,


1 thanks

answered by
Yoann from Paris

I would say that 5h and a half is going to be super short, but here are some info regarding the transport

By train you can take line B of the RER (schedules available here: It takes around 50 minutes to go to Saint Michel Notre Dame (where you will be able to see Notre Dame for example) and it will cost you something like 10 euros (see

1 thanks

answered by
Roxanne from Montreal

You can enjoy a quick visit to Paris just take the RER (train service that uses the metro rails once in town).  It will take a little more than 45 min to go to the metro Saint-Michel station in the hart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Cross the brige to Ile Saint-Louis where you'll find the catedral Notre-Dame de Paris. Walk around, soak in the wonders of Paris.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Saint-Michel (attraction)
  3. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (neighborhood)
  4. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
  5. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)

answered by
Marnie from Conflans-sur-Anille

The quickest is usually the RER from Roissy to Paris, Gare du Nord. (this way, unless there are strikes, you have no risk of traffic delays) Then taking the metro, you could go visit the Marais and the Picasso or Musée CarnavaletCarnavalet museum. It will take you about 45 min to Gare du Nord and about 15 min to the Marais (the closest area of interest not too far from the Gare du Nord), so just over 1 hour from Roissy train station to get to the Marais. Count 2 hours there, plus 1 good hour back, and it's do-able. But I wouldn't attempt the Louvre or Musée d'Orsay, as visits take longer and there is often a queue to purchase your ticket.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Musée Carnavalet (attraction)

answered by
Sandy from Memphis, Tennessee

It is appox.a 45 min. Taxi ride from airport to Eiffel depending on traffic! Ittt would cost approx. $65.00 each way and most museums have lines unless you pre buy. Are you leavingby train from airport? Wherever you leave from their will bra securiityck. Plan that into your time.

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