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I have a 4 hour layover in CDG. I land in terminal 2C but I depart from terminal 1. Since I have enough time I really want to meet a friend for lunch and possibly do a little shopping in terminal 2E Hall K. Is this possible? Also, I do have an american passport not a visa which some people told me can make a difference. Please help!!

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    Where are you flying from CDG? Is your next destination a Schengen country? – phoog Jul 20 '15 at 18:17
  • No I'm going to Newark, New Jersey. – Dana H. Jul 20 '15 at 18:18
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    I should also have asked where you are arriving from. Is that a Schengen country? This is relevant because it will determine whether you nerd to allow time for passport control. – phoog Jul 20 '15 at 18:24
  • I will be arriving from Beirut, Lebanon. – Dana H. Jul 20 '15 at 18:33
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Yes, you can travel between the different terminals in CDG.

Apparently, when connecting from terminal 2C to terminal 1, if both your flights are from/to outside of Schengen, you can usually connect without entering France, with the green shuttle. But in your case, you do not want to do that for now.

As @phoog commented, the shopping area of terminal 2E is in the international zone. so you should not need to cross the border into France. What you want to do is take the blue shuttle that links terminal 2C and 2E. Once you are done you will have to take the blue shuttle back to terminal 2C, then the green shuttle to go to terminal 1.

If for some other reason (typically to see your friend, since this friend might not be able to access the international zone), you want to cross the border: as an American passport holder, you can enter France (and Schengen) without a visa (it is still a border, so the border agent may deny you the entry). Once you cross the border, you can go to terminal 2E, then to terminal 1 for your connection. To go from terminal 2 to terminal 1, you have to take the CDGVal, that appears on the airport map.

Keep in mind that crossing the border may take some time. If your two flights are with different airlines, you will probably have to collect your luggage and check it in again, so that will take even more time.

  • There is no problem provided she has not overstayed in Schengen. – phoog Jul 20 '15 at 18:25
  • @phoog, indeed, I updated the post about arbitrary border agent decisions – Vince Jul 20 '15 at 18:28
  • I would also comment that I have had no trouble in the past crossing airport passport control on a US passport multiple times in one day in both France and Germany. But that was over 10 years ago. – phoog Jul 20 '15 at 18:30
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    Beside having no passport, no visa (not relevant for US citizens) or forged documents, the most common reasons for being turned back at the border is that guards do not believe you meet the conditions for entry (namely having a valid purpose, enough funds to support yourself and return to your country of residence), i.e. they think you will abscond and work illegally or something like that. But shopping or meeting a friend is a reasonable purpose so there is no reason to be concerned. – Relaxed Jul 20 '15 at 18:57
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    @DanaH. I updated again my answer. In fact, the shops of terminal 2E are in the international zone so you don't actually need to cross the border. But maybe you should still cross the border to meet your friends, depending where it is. – Vince Jul 20 '15 at 19:37

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