If you have a long layover in Paris, don’t despair!

There are several things that you can do to make the most out of your time in the city. From visiting world-famous attractions to sampling the local food, there is no shortage of things to do in the City of Lights. 

The best part of long layovers in a connecting city is the feeling of getting two trips in one. As long as your layover is at least 6 hours, you’ll be able to leave the airport to do some exploring.

Here are the dos and don’ts for getting the most out of a long layover in Paris. 

aerial view of Paris - How to Spend a Long Layover
Photo Credit: Pierre Blaché

Check Your Baggage 

One of the best ways to make the most of your layover time in Paris is to check your baggage, especially if you have large or multiple bags.

Most airports have luggage storage facilities, which can help you avoid carrying your heavy bags around the city. This will give you more freedom to explore the sights of Paris without worrying about having your bags all day. 

Visit The Eiffel Tower 

A visit to the Eiffel Tower is a must-do for any Paris layover. The iconic structure symbolizes Paris and offers stunning city views from its observation deck.

If you have limited time, consider taking the stairs to the second floor, which will give you a great view while still allowing you to save time.

Even if you don’t go the ticket route, you can visit the parking area surrounding the Eiffel Tower to squeeze in a few cute photos. 

Take A Stroll Through Montmartre

Montmartre is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Paris and a great place to spend some layover time.

The steep streets, cute cafes, and quirky shops create a charming atmosphere. Be sure to check out the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica at the top of the hill while you’re there. 

Try some Local Food

France is known for its delicious cuisine, so why not try some while you’re in Paris?

You won’t be disappointed if you opt for a croissant and coffee from a bakery or a full meal at a bistro.

Be mindful that some restaurants may be closed during the afternoon. Plan accordingly and check hours of operations online to ensure they align with your layover. 

What To Avoid

Rushing Through Attractions

While you may be limited on time, it’s essential to take in Paris’s sights and experiences. Don’t rush through attractions just to cross them off your list.

Instead, take your time and enjoy the scenery and time out your layover so you’re only doing 1-2 main things. 

Overpacking Your Itinerary

Although it’s tempting to try to see and do everything in a short amount of time, it’s essential to prioritize what is most important to you.

Overpacking your itinerary can lead to exhaustion and a less enjoyable experience. 

Not Planning Transportation

Make sure you have a plan for transportation before arriving in Paris. Whether it’s taking the metro or a taxi, knowing where you’re going and how to get there is important to avoid wasting time wandering around.

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