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May 4, 2012 07:28 AM

Layover in Paris

I've seen the previous posts on layovers, but I have some more specific questions.

I have a 7 hr layover at CDG, our flight gets in close to 1pm local. What I would like to do is take the train into town, possibly near Luxembourg or Notre Dame, walk around some, maybe go to Shakespeare and Co., then find somewhere to sit and read/relax. I've thought about either a coffee/pastry shop, or maybe buying some bread and cheese at a corner store (assuming those are plentiful), and having a light picnic. I'm thinking 2-3 hours of time in Paris, then back to CDG via train.

So the questions are: Are there small cafes, markets near those places? Any other location recommendations that would be good for this kind of thing?

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  1. Les Papilles, about a block from the Luxembourg stop, is a grocery/restaurant. If you go from Notre Dame about three blocks, you get to Dubois for cheese and around the corner the original branch for Kayser, both near Maubert-Mutualite. Train in about 45 minutes unless you get the express that gets you in in @ 25 minutes.

    1 Reply
    1. If you are lucky you will be in Paris by 14:30 as it can take a bit of time to clear customs, walk to the RER station and catch a train, the journey may be 25 mins but it's a long walk from some terminals and the trains don't go every minute. On the way back plan to leave Paris unto three hours before your flight, allowing time for waiting for trains, security and immigration (assuming you are not just flying to another EU country).

      Coffee, pastry etc is going to be easy and good - lots of choice. My recommendation is to head to the Marais district as it has lots of choice, is quite compact and has a typical Parisian feel. There are better cheese shops like Dubois but if I was in Paris for such a short time I would seek a good all round neighbourhood rather than the best unique shops.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Echoing that you *might* have 2 hours after you subtract out for the transportation -- and be ready to chuck the whole thing if something goes sideways -- if you leave the airport, you also relieve the airlines of the responsibility of honoring your ticket if you miss your plane.

        1. re: PhilD

          Thanks PhilD. That sounds like a great place.

        2. CDG is the worst airport in the Northern hemisphere. Seriously.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jpc8015

            For transferring, yes.
            For arrival and departure, I find it average.

            1. re: Parigi

              I have only ever transfered through CDG. I spent four hours there and literally could not find anything to eat. I now make a point to plan my itinerary so that I transfer through Amsterdam.