On my way back home from Jordan I had an amazing layover in Paris. Here is what I did and what I recommend for you.
The airplane landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) at 5am. By the time I put my carry on luggage in a locker and went through customs, bought my metro pass, etc. it was already a bit past 6am.
I took the RER from CDG to St. Michel. This is where you get off to see Notre Dame, Shakespeare & Co., and the Latin quarter.
I had a breakfast at a cafe, and waited for Notre Dame to open so that I could climb the steps to the top. I lived in Paris for an entire year and this was the one tourist-y thing that I never did. So when I knew I would have some time in the city that holds my heart I knew that I wanted to take everything in from atop the most famous Gothic Cathedral in the world.
It took a while to get through the line because only a few people can go to the top at a time. Once I made it I understood why–it’s a small narrow space full of people trying to engrave the images of the city in their memories. The view took my breath away. I’ve admired the city of Love from the top of the Eiffel tower, L’Arc de triumph, Montmartre, and anywhere else you can think of–IT NEVER GETS OLD.
After hanging out at Notre dame for a while I walked around the streets that I had once wondered on a daily basis while letting the nostalgia take over. I walked to La Consiegerie and Sainte Chapelle. I hung out by Shakespeare & Co. and took a few minutes to walk around Le Sine.
At around 2:00pm I decided to head back to the airport for fear that security lines would be extra long and I wouldn’t have time to catch my flight if I left any later. Boy was I wrong. There wasn’t a line at all and I got to the gate in no time at all. This left me with an overwhelming feeling that I should’ve carried out my original plan all the way through.
If I had known time was on my side I would’ve walked along the Seine all the way to the Eiffel tower and revisited all the sights I once called home before. I would’ve been able to see the Louvre again, Musee d’Orsay, Pont Neuf, Ile de la Cite, and so much more gain. With that said, I recommend that if you ever have a long layover in Paris you take the RER to Saint Michel, spend some time around Notre Dame and walk all the way down to the Eiffel Tower from there. You won’t regret it. 😉