18 Hour Layover In Paris? Is It Worth it?
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Thank you so much for visiting my second ever Travel Blog post! If you want to re-visit this post at any time it can be found under the “France” tab and then click “Paris”. My goal with this travel blog is not only to inspire but also help with TRULY helpful information for navigating a foreign place once you are there. The things I aim to cover will be generally the same in each blog, but will expand over time:
- Which Airport To Fly Into / Out Of
- Navigating The Airport / Ground Transportation
- Travel Time To Destination
- Things To Do
- Adventures – Maps Included!
- Places To Eat
- More! You tell me what you want to hear!
This Paris blog will feature three 18-hour layover itineraries, costs, public transit instructions, and where to grab some delicious Parisian food while you’re out and about.
NOTE: The below itineraries work best for those who have visited Paris before but missed or didn’t see enough of these locations! You also may obviously Uber from CDG into the city but this will cost about €50 depending on where you’re headed in Paris. We hired a taxi once and found it to be dishonest for non-French speakers.
ITINERARY #1 – See the Montmartre District, Sacre Coeur, and Visit the Dome with views of the Eiffel Tower. You will need a hotel or Air Bnb in Montmarte for this itinerary. Many can be noisy, especially on the weekend. Parisians are up partying all night. If you need a quiet night this may not be the location for you.
- Land at Charles De Gaulle Airport – Terminal 1 (International Arrivals) Terminal 2 (EU Arrivals)
- Customs if landing in Terminal 1 (this can take a while)
- If you land in Terminal 1, you will take the CGVAL train to RER station (or Arrived via Train iDGTV-Oui) at Terminal 2 you will proceed to the Roisseypole stop and walk to the RER station.
- Stand in line to purchase tickets at the ticket machines. It helps to know where you’re headed and if you need a return RER-B ticket (purchase it here to save time). If your credit card is from the US and only has a chip it might not work in these machines and you will have to go to the ticket counter. However, we found that our chip card did, in fact, work.
- Find the gates to the right of the ticket machines, use your ticket and decend the escalators. The screens are a bit confusing as you will see a lot of station names and not know which train to get on. All trains go to Paris. All RER-B trains stop at Gare Du Nord.
- 25 minutes to Gare Du Nord.
- Exit the train at Gare Du Nord, head up the Escalators, and take a right. Walk down the long hallway following the signs to the “M2” metro line. This is a bit of a walk. There should be lines on the floor with “M2” to guide you.
- Purchase a new Single Ride ticket. Take the M2 to the stop closest to your place in Montmarte.
Sights: Stop at Anvers M2 station. The map below indicates a nice walking tour through Montmarte. This can be done in an afternoon / evening. I suggest:
- Grabbing to-go sandwiches from Pret A Manger on the left side of the street as you head up the hill toward Sacre Coeur.
- Picnic in the park!
- Walk all the way up to Sacre Coeur (there is also a Funicular tram if needed)
- Enter the church, it’s entirely free
- When you exit the church turn right and right again to decend the stairs on the west side of the building, purchase a ticket from the kiosk to the Dome of Sacre Coeur, walk to the top (bonus points for planning it around sunset, you will see an amazing Sunset, views of the Eiffel Tower and starting at 7pm-ish the Eiffel Tower twinkling lights show).
- Decend the stairs and exit near where you entered and follow the path I’ve suggested here. You will quickly stumble upon the square in my 12/27/19 Instagram @agirlnamedjimie post! The restaurants at the top of the hill are touristy and charge accordingly. You’ve been warned. Better dinner recommendation in point 8.
- As you continue along this route you walk past a famous windmill, continue past to find a couple restaurants on a corner at the top of a hill on Rue Lepic. These have outdoor seating and beautiful view of Paris. One is a bar with bar type food and one is a nice restaurant.
- As you decend the hill down Rue Lepic you will find some more reasonably priced restaurants and bars. Be sure to peek in on all of the artists at work in this famous art district of Paris.
- Be sure to turn right and continue down Rue Lepic. At the bottom of the hill turn right again and you will see the famous Moulin Rouge.
- Continue on route to see the Red Light district and stop for a drink at Chat Noir.
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