If you have an eight-hour layover at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, you don’t want to sit inside. Instead of hanging out at the airport, store your luggage in Paris and enjoy the nearby sites. From visiting iconic locations to eating good food, we have the top places you can see during an eight-hour visit.
Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
This world-renowned gothic cathedral is a must-see during any layover. It might be the most recognized Paris landmark and it is sure to take your breath away. Look at the city from the towers for a memorable view, unlike any other. Just keep in mind that the lines do get long. You might want to plan this visit before anything else to ensure you have enough time.
Stroll By The Seine
Take a walk along the Seine River and browse the various kiosks. You can find a vast selection of art, books and other souvenirs to take home. You will also find two small islands located on the Seine. The first, Ile de la Cité, is where you found Notre-Dame. The second, Ile St-Louis, is to the east and contains far fewer tourists. It’s like visiting a small village right in the middle of a busy city.
If the weather is nice, consider sitting at an outdoor café where you can see all of the sights. Whether you are in the mood for some champagne or a cup of coffee, you will find some of the top hangouts near the river.
Take A River Cruise
If you want to see the river in a unique and exciting way, embark on a cruise instead. While there are daytime cruises, the best experience occurs at night when the city is lit up. Sit back and relax with a loved one as you soak up everything around you. It’s the ideal way to unwind before you hop back on the plane.
Eat French Cuisine
If a small snack and beverage don’t cut it, there are plenty of exceptional restaurants in Paris to choose from. Start the meal with French onion soup smothered with cheese and finish the night with roasted duck. Don’t forget that the Parisians are also known for making exquisite desserts, so don’t fill up on dinner.
If you are visiting during breakfast, spend time enjoying the most important meal of the day. Consume come crepes before you get on your next flight. You can find the best crepes stands throughout the city.
You don’t have to travel far from Notre-Dame to find Sainte-Chapelle. It’s another cathedral, but this one is known for the detailed stained glass artwork, hailed as some of the best in Europe. This site was damaged from the French Revolution, but everything was beautifully restored during the 19th century.
Put A Lock On Pont Des Arts
Whether you are in love or not, a trip to the Pont des Arts is necessary. Stroll across the bridge and admire the views all around. If you put up a lock, you can memorialize your love, at least until it gets taken down, which happens more frequently than it once did.
Admire The Luxembourg Gardens
If you travel south to St. Germain-des-Pres, you will find these famous Paris gardens. You can spend an entire afternoon soaking in the sites. It’s a great stop if you are traveling with children and helps them to burn off some energy. Plus, there is a majestic fountain where kids enjoy floating boats.
Visit St. Etienne Du Mont
You might otherwise know this location as the Midnight in Paris church. For movie buffs, there is no better place to take a quality photo. This church is home to the St. Geneviève (patron saint of Paris) shrine and the tombs of both Jean Racine and Blaise Pascal.
Enjoy Moulin Rouge
If your Paris layover lasts during the evening, take in a show at Moulin Rouge. This is one of the world’s most famous cabarets. The stage comes alive with colorful dancers with shows at 7 pm, 9 pm and 11 pm on most nights.
Ride The Big Wheel On Place De La Concorde
If your visit falls between mid-November and early May, you can ride the giant Ferris wheel sitting on the Place de la Concorde. Sometimes, the line can get very long, but it’s worth the wait.
Don’t Forget The Eiffel Tower
Before you swing back to luggage storage, stop by the Eiffel Tower. Do yourself a favor and take a taxi. It’s not as close to everything else as it looks and you don’t want to waste precious time on walking. View the city skyline from one of the most iconic structures and make sure to snap plenty of pictures. After all, this will be a trip you don’t want to forget.
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