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What to Do on an 8+ Hours Layover in Paris


Flying into the Charles de Gaulle Airport affords you a lot of options, especially when you have more than an eight-hour layover. Don’t spend your hours wandering the airport, when there is so much to see in Paris. Start with a trip to luggage storage in Paris and then head out on these fun adventures.

Walk Along the Seine River

After a long flight, you want to get plenty of exercise. You might as well get physical while enjoying the majestic views around the Seine River. Along the banks, you will also find lots of kiosks offering souvenirs, books and art to take to loved ones back home.

Along the Seine, you will notice two islands. The first, Ile St-Louis, is quiet and devoid of large crowds. Even though you are in the midst of a busy city, this area feels like a quaint village. The second, Ile de la Cité, contains Notre-Dame, which is a stop you can’t ignore.

Explore the Notre-Dame Cathedral

A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a visit to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, but lines can get long. You want to make this stop early in your day to ensure you have enough time to see everything. Looking over the city atop the towers is unlike anything you’ve ever done before.

Cruise the River

For another way to explore the Seine, hop aboard one of the boat cruises. There are plenty of daytime excursions to enjoy, but nothing compares to the view at night when Paris is bright and bustling. Relax with your family and unwind before you have to head back to the airport.

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Relax at an Outdoor Café

When the weather is beautiful, you can find a multitude of outdoor cafes to spend time at. Even when the weather is brisk, many establishments turn on the patio heaters for complete comfort. Sip a cup of coffee or celebrate with champagne as you watch the people pass by.

Enjoy Delectable French Cuisine

The French are known for making some of the tastiest food in the world. It doesn’t matter what time of day you visit; there will be plenty of crepe stands open for business. These treats are perfect in the morning to get you by or for a midday snack.

You also want to warm up with a bowl of French onion soup covered in cheese. If you need a full meal, make sure it includes some form of roasted duck for an authentic experience. Then, fill up on Parisian desserts.

Place Your Lock at Pont des Arts

You don’t need to be in love to leave your mark in Paris. Visit Pont des Arts with your lock in hand. After a walk across the famous bridge, it’s time to find your spot. Memorialize your stay in Paris, even though the lock will be removed at some point.

Visit Sainte-Chapelle

If gothic cathedrals are what you are looking for, Sainte-Chapelle won’t disappoint. It’s not that far away from Notre-Dame, so both could be seen on the same day. What you will notice about this completely restored location is the unique stained glass.

Check Out the St. Etienne du Mont

The Midnight in Paris church is best known by movie enthusiasts, but it’s an ideal stop for any visitor. It’s a great location to take iconic photos and offers plenty of history as well. In fact, this church is dedicated to St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, while also housing tombs for Jean Racine and Blaise Pascal.

Relax in the Luxembourg Gardens

Heading south to St. Germain-des-Pres will bring you to the most spectacular gardens. You can enjoy a picnic lunch with those you love or let your little ones burn off some steam. It’s easy to kill several hours while relaxing among nature. Don’t miss out on the exquisite fountain where the children float boats. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget.

Stop at the Eiffel Tower

You can’t visit Paris and ignore the Eiffel Tower. You see it looming over the city no matter where you are. Take a taxi to save time and get to the top of the tower for a unique vantage point. As you explore the skyline, you will have plenty to admire. Remember to take lots of photos, so you have something to look back at later.

See a Show at Moulin Rouge

Most nights at 7 pm, 9 pm and 11 pm, you will find a show happening at Moulin Rouge. This iconic cabaret might be the most well-known in the world. The dancers take over the stage in their colorful attire and put on a performance that isn’t easily forgotten.

Ride a Big Wheel

The Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde is open from November until May but often gets very busy. Before you visit luggage storage and head back to the airport, go for a memorable ride.