As amazing as the City of Lights is, everyone visiting should take at least one day trip from Paris.
Paris is undoubtedly the first destination many people travel to in France. There are so many incredible things to do in Paris that you could spend months or even years exploring it and never get bored. With amazing French food and wine, relaxing cafes to hang out in, the best museums in the world, hundreds of fantastic neighborhoods to explore, and world-class shopping, the city is bursting at the seams with opportunity and adventure.
But for those travelers visiting the French capital who want to see a bit more of the country, there are plenty of awesome places that can be visited within a few hours drive or train ride.
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16 of the Best Day Trips From Paris
We’ve consulted several fellow travel experts, asked them what their favorite day trips from Paris are, and put together a bunch of fantastic options. Art lovers, architecture admirers, history buffs, and even Champagne connoisseurs will be thrilled. There is really something for everyone! There’s even a sneaky little day trip to another country on the list!
So, get ready to start planning your French adventure and pack your day bag for one of these awesome day trips from Paris!
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Kate Storm – Our Escape Clause
Once the haunt of French royals, including the infamous Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, an escape to Versailles is the perfect day trip from Paris.
Explore the stunning Versailles palace, admire the magnificent Hall of Mirrors, get lost in the garden hedges, stroll all the way out to the palaces of Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, visit Marie Antoinette’s quirky hamlet, and row along the Grand Canal.
It’s easy to spend an entire day or more exploring the property of the royal palace and grounds, but if you want to visit part of Versailles that far fewer tourists see, consider dedicating a little time to checking out the town of Versailles!
This adorable French town hardly gets any attention given the gigantic tourist attraction next door, but it’s absolutely worth a visit–consider checking out the Versailles Cathedral, the Musée Lambinet, and the beautiful homes in the Saint-Louis quarter.
How to Get to Versailles from Paris
Train: The easiest way to visit Versailles from Paris is to take the RER C train to the Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche station, which is located about 40 minutes from the center of Paris.
Tour With Transport: Alternatively, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of public transportation, you can sign up for a guided tour of the palace and grounds.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Elisa from World in Paris
Do you want to visit a French château without the crowds of Château de Versailles? Chantilly makes a great day trip from Paris thanks to its direct train connection from Gare du Nord in Paris (only a 25-minute journey). Chantilly is known for its picturesque Château de Chantilly, surrounded by a beautiful pond and amazing gardens. The gardens were designed by André Le Notre, the same landscape designer who designed Versailles Gardens.
But Chantilly is also known for the Great Stables of the Princes de Condé, built in the 18th century for the 7th Prince de Condé. During the prince’s life, the Great Stables hosted more than 200 horses and 500 hounds and the prince liked to organize dinners and horse shows under the great dome. Today a part of the Great Stables hosts the Museum of the Horse, focused on the relationship between horses and men since the beginning of civilization while the other part hosts a very reputed equestrian school where some of the best horses in the world receive daily care and education by a team of highly qualified grooms and riders. Some of these horses also participate in the museum’s equestrian shows, under the dome, which is included in the museum ticket price.
Finally, don’t leave Chantilly without tasting its famous crème Chantilly, a kind of wiped cream invented in this beautiful town.
How to Get to Chantilly from Paris
Train: Direct 25-minute train from Gare du Nord in Paris.
Private Tour with Transportation: Great Stables of Prince de Conde and Château de Chantilly tour with roundtrip transportation.
Chateau de Fontainebleau
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Ann Murphy, The Eco Conscious Traveller
Chateau de Fontainebleau is definitely one of the best day trips from Paris.
In and near Paris there are so many beautiful castles to visit – Chateau de Vincennes which is on line 1 of the Paris metro for example or the super popular Chateau de Versailles which practically all the tourists know about.
Chateau de Fontainebleau is really authentic when compared to Versailles because there are a lot less crowds there. It’s so beautiful and there’s a lot to see both inside and outside. The inner interior is simply beautiful and like at the other castles and main attractions in Paris visitors have the chance to pick up an audioguide which give all the historical details of the castle as visitors immerse themselves and walk around. There are some incredibly beautiful paintings of the Bonapart family in the castle.
It’s also the perfect place to visit for those on a budget as although it’s necessary to pay an entrance fee if it’s a day with good weather visitors can just spend an afternoon having a picnic by the little lake by the castle without paying anything. There’s also a forest next to the castle where visitors can have a good walk.
How to Get to Chateau de Fontainebleau from Paris
Train & Shuttle Bus: To get to Chateau de Fontainebleau take the RER train from Gare de Lyon – it’s a pretty central station with many metro lines running through it – in Paris. Then take the train to Fontainebleau and a shuttle bus to the castle.
Take a Tour: Get Info Here on an Organized Day Trip to Chateau de Fontainebleau from Paris!
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Stefan Arestis – Nomadic Boys Gay Travel Website
Disneyland Paris is one of the best theme parks in Europe. It has two theme parks, lots of resort hotels to stay in, Disney themed shops, golf course and of course Disney characters dressed located around the park to welcome and interact with you. Whether you’re traveling with children, or you’re a big kid who loves Disney, this is a must!
One of the most impressive things to look out for at Disneyland Paris is the spectacular evening entertainment, which features fireworks, water fountains, lasers and more. Another favorite is the daytime Parade, where all the characters parade through the park together, including the flagship Maleficient Dragon float. Get there at least 30 minutes early for the best views.
In terms of rides, there are the classics like “It’s a Small World” to the exciting, like the “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which is a boat ride with hilarious pirate actors and a beautiful, bunker-style fortress
Other rides to look out for include the “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad”, “Hyperspace Mountain”, “Dumbo” and “Alice’s Curious Labyrinth”.
How to Get to Disneyland Paris from Paris
Train: Disneyland Paris is located in Marne-la-Vallée, which is a town around 20 miles (32km) east from central Paris. You can reach it by train, which takes around 40 minutes, making it the ideal day trip from Paris.
Tour: The easiest way to get to Disneyland Paris is with the Disneyland Paris Express shuttle bus! Get your bus and entry tickets here.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Elaine & David – Show Them The Globe
Located around 45 minutes north of Paris is the quaint village of Auvers-sur-Oise, one of Paris’s best day trip destinations. The village draws many visitors as it was here where the artist Vincent Van Gogh spent his final months and produced some of his most iconic paintings.
The area was very popular with pre-impressionist painters and the French painter Charles François Daubigny, who has some works in Musee D’Orsay alongside Van Gogh, was also a resident.
Described by Van Gogh as ‘seriously beautiful’ in a letter to his brother Theo, Auvers-sur-Oise is home to L’Auberge Ravoux, where he lived the final months of his life. It’s possible to visit the tiny room where he stayed in a simple lodging. Van Gogh painted over 80 works of art in 70 days in the village and he is buried in a simple grave in the surrounding countryside that he made so famous. Eglise d’Auvers, the instantly recognizable local church painted by Van Gogh, is located at the end of the village.
Make sure to pay a visit to the Absinthe Museum where you can sample some of the potent alcohol that fueled much of Van Gogh’s work!
How to Get to Auvers-sur-Oise from Paris
Car or Train: The village is easily reached from Paris by train (a direct train runs from Paris Gare du Nord to Auvers-sur-Oise runs on weekends from April to November). It takes 45 minutes by direct train or 1 hour 10 minutes with a connection.
Small Group Tour: Tour of Auvers-sur-Oise including the home of Van Gogh, his tomb, and more with an English-speaking guide and a small group.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Tiffany Schureman – A Girl and Her Passport
Giverny is a great option for a day trip from Paris especially if you are a fan of Monet or Impressionism. Monet did much of his painting here and the garden he built for painting his famous waterlily series is here as well. You can visit Monet’s house and gardens. Be sure to book tickets in advance and arrive early as the lines to get in can be long.
Also in Giverny is the Giverny Museum of Impressionism. It features many pieces by Monet and other Impressionists. Both Museum and Monet’s house are closed during the winter months so check dates before you go. The entire village is dedicated to Monet and the Impressionists with historic plaques and gardens all around the village. Another place you should visit in Giverny is the Église Sainte-Radegonde de Giverny church. It is a simple but beautiful church. Monet and his family are buried here.
How to Get to Giverny from Paris
Train: Getting to Giverny is a 45-minute train ride from Paris. The train to Giverny leaves from Gare de Saint-Lazare and arrives in Gare de Vernon-Giverny. You can then take the bus or a taxi to Giverny, which is about a 10-minute taxi ride away.
All Day Tour: See Monet’s home, gardens, the village of Giverny, and the Museum of Impressionism, plus lunch on this all day tour to Giverny from Paris.
Epernay in the Champagne Region of France
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Jennifer Dombrowski – Luxe Adventure Traveler
Visitors to France often don’t realize just how close the region of Champagne is located to Paris. Epernay in the Champagne region is easily reached in just 1.5 hours from Paris by train and makes for the perfect day trip to Champagne from Paris.
The village is home to some of the world’s most recognizable Champagne brands like Moët & Chandon, but is also host to smaller producers as well. Epernay’s famous Avenue of Champagne is dotted with gorgeous Champagne houses, but holds a secret – it’s set atop a maze of underground caves and tunnels where France’s famous sparkling wine ages.
Plan to visit at least two Champagne houses on your day trip and enjoy a relaxing meal of fine French cuisine in between. A visit to Moët & Chandon gives visitors a glimpse into the underground network of caves where Champagne ferments and ages. You’ll also get a look at the finest vintages from Dom Pérignon, arguably the world’s most exquisite and famous Champagne.
Don’t skip visiting with smaller family-run producers like Janisson-Baradon et Fils, too. While the process is essentially the same as at the world’s largest Champagne house, touring with the winemaker himself offers insights you just won’t get at the big brand houses.
How to Get to Champagne from Paris
Train: Epernay in the Champagne region can be reached in just 1.5 hours from Paris by train.
Guided Tour: Champagne tour with a guided tour of Moët & Chandon, 2 other Champagne houses, lunch, and transportation.
Reims in the Champagne Region of France
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Megan Starr
Reims is easily one of the best day trips from Paris. Not only are you in the heart of Champagne country and in its unofficial capital, you are also in a city of key historical importance to France.
There are many things to do in Reims for the history lover. The city was the place where the kings were crowned throughout France’s history. It was so important that it was even a main target for bombing during the World Wars in the 20th century as an attempt to abolish that history.
There are a couple of UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Reims- from the Palace of Tau to the Notre Dame Cathedral… history lovers will have a field day there. At the Franklin Roosevelt School, people will also be surprised to learn that this small school in Reims which is still in operation today, was the site of the Germans surrendering WW2. While the Soviets didn’t accept the surrender and forced another negotiation in Berlin, this small school in Reims changed history first. There is a small museum inside of the school dedicated to this.
Champagne country also starts with Reims. It is the perfect base to do some exploring around the region and learn more about this world-famous and prestigious drink. Paired with some local cheeses and biscuits (this is the city where the infamous biscuit was invited in at Fossier) and food lovers will also be delighted with what Reims has to offer.
How to Get to Reims from Paris
Train or Bus: Easily reachable by train from the east train station in Paris (last trains depart kind of early) or by Flixbus or Ouibus, Reims is a perfect day trip from Paris and one that travelers should consider adding to their France itinerary.
Guided Tour: Guided Tour to Reims with transport, a visit to the famous producer of Veuve Cliquot Champagne, lunch in a restored Champagne House and tastings.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Diana – The Elusive Family
Chartres is a charming city to explore for a day trip outside of Paris. Known mainly for its stunning Gothic cathedral, Chartres has a host of monuments, buildings, gardens and museums that draw visitors in.
The impressive Gothic cathedral in Chartres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. Considered by many to rival the Notre Dame in Paris, Chartres Cathedral’s architecture and décor stuns visitors, particularly the majestic 12th-century stained glass windows. The cathedral has proved resilient to wars and fires and currently draws annual pilgrimages to its site. Partake in the labyrinth walk of the interior stones or go below to visit the crypt, considered to be the largest crypt in France.
Maison Picassiette is a must-see. Known as The House of a Million Pieces is a mosaic home covered in broken pieces of ceramics and pottery and worth a visit. Before his death, owner Raymond Isidore spent years collecting and decorating the home. The result is a home where the entire interior and exterior is completely covered in multi-colored pieces and is a true work of art, that even Picasso himself visited the home of the man who was nicknamed, “Picassiette.”
Taking part in a river cruise on the Eure River during the warm months is a spectacular way to enjoy the city. Don’t miss a walk through the historic center, particularly along Rue des Écuyers to see beautiful half-timbered homes, or hop into the Le-Petit-Chart’Train for a 35-minute loop around the city. Chartres is a city not to be missed!
How to Get to Chartres from Paris
Train or Car: Chartres can easily be reached in one hour by train from Paris by train or along the A10 by car.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Claire – Curious Claire
A great day trip to take from Paris is to the medieval town of Provins. The medieval architecture is so impressive that in 2001 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the town’s biggest attraction is hosting one of the biggest medieval fairs in Europe, there are plenty of reasons to visit all year round.
The well-preserved fortification walls which are over 1,200 metres in length are magnificent to see. The best attraction though has to be Tour César, or Cesar’s Tower in English. This remarkable tower has been around since the 12th Century and offers spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.
Other things to do in Provins include the underground tunnels, La collégiale Saint-Quiriace Catholic church, the Tithe Barn, the Museum of Provins or simply take a stroll through the medieval town square. Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars. Perfect for relaxing after walking around the town.
How to Get to Provins from Paris
Train: With trains leaving Gare de l’Est every hour and the journey only taking 1 hour and 24 minutes it’s one not to miss. Provins is within Zone 5 of the transport zone so train fares are included within the Paris Visite zone 1-5 travel card. If you only have the zone 1-3 travel card the train fare will cost €12 each way.
The Loire Valley
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Ali Garland – Travel Made Simple & Ali’s Adventures
The Loire Valley is full of medieval villages, vineyards, intricate gardens, and so many gorgeous castles, and the region makes for a fantastic day trip from Paris. Depending on which castles you’re going to, you can get to the Loire Valley from Paris in about two hours.
Some of the Loire Valley castles have been the inspiration for fictional castles, but they all have centuries worth of history to learn about. French royalty and elite have occupied these castles for centuries.
A few of the more popular castles include Chateau Chenonceau, Chateau Chambord, Chateau Amboise, Chateau Villandry, and Chateau Cheverny, but you should also consider going to one of the lesser known castles to avoid the crowds. You won’t have time for too many though, so pick two or three to focus on.
How to Get to Loire Valley from Paris
Car or Train: To visit the Loire Valley castles on your own, you’ll need to rent a car. Driving takes about two hours. Another option is to take the train to the city of Tours and book a van tour from there to see a few castles.
Guided Tour: If driving doesn’t appeal to you, consider taking a tour. There are many you can book that will provide transportation to and from Paris. They’ll tell you about the history of the specific castles you’re going to visit, and many will include lunch or even wine tastings.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Carol Perehudoff – Wandering Carol
If you’re in Paris and need a beach day, head to Deauville, a glamorous seaside town on the Normandy coast defined by racehorses, yachts and neo-Norman architecture. Developed in the 1800s, Deauville rose from its desolate marshy foundations to become one of the most chic destinations of the Belle Époque.
Coco Chanel opened a shop here in 1913, spreading her idea of breezy classic fashions that would change the face of fashion forever, while a casino and two racetracks ensured that weekending Parisian sophisticates had plenty to do. Things to see include a raft of neo-Norman half-timbered buildings such as the Villa Strassburger and Deauville Town Hall, a couple of grand hotels and numerous boutiques (in case sapphires and designer jackets are on your list of things to buy).
The big draws in the summertime are the wide beach and famous boardwalk, the Promenade des Planches. Beach access in Deauville is free, but there is a cost to rent the deck chairs and colorful umbrellas that dot the white sand beach– and don’t miss the beach huts named after film stars such as Lauren Bacall and Ann Margret.
How to Get to Deauville from Paris
Train: The fastest train to Deauville is from Paris Gare Saint-Lazare and is just over two hours.
Guided Tour: Take a small group wine and spirits tour of Deauville and Honfleur, as well as the picturesque countryside.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Chelsea Sipe – Pack More Into Life
Rouen is a port city on the river Seine with a cobblestone pedestrian center with top sights such as the towering Notre Dame Cathedral, the church of St. Joan of Arc, a 14th-century astronomical clock and photo-worthy half-timbered houses. Explore the city’s history from its foundation by Romans and later by Rollo, the Viking chief. Rouen is also well known for Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake in 1431. There is a beautiful stained glass filled church built in her honor. If you enjoy impressionist paintings, be sure to check out the free Musee des Baux-Arts to enjoy works by Monet, Sisley, and Delacroix.
If you are looking for a sweet treat, stop by Chocolat Auzou near Gros Horloge where you can purchase chocolate-covered almonds (also known as Joan of Arc’s tears). Another wonderful place to sit and enjoy a bit of a rest is Dame Cakes where you can enjoy a variety of cakes with various teas and coffees. Another great option is Creperie Le Saint Romain a few doors down. They have some lovely options for cider and some delicious crepes. When you are ready for a break from the city, head over to the nearby L’Hotel-de-Ville garden by an ancient gothic abbey dating back to 750.
Want to read more about things to do in Rouen? Check out this blog post for all the details. ”
How to Get to Rouen from Paris
Car or Train: The beautiful town of Rouen is located a little less than 2 hours from central Paris either via car or on a direct train ride on the TER from the Saint Lazare Train station.
Small Group Tour: Small group tour of Rouen with a private guide exploring the city center.
Beaches of Normandy
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Laurence Norah – Finding the Universe
Visiting the beaches of Normandy in France is a popular option for visitors to France. These were the site of the D-Day landings on June 6th, 1944, when the Allied forces landed over 150,000 men on five beaches, as part of the effort to liberate Europe from the Nazis.
A visit to the beaches is certainly a sobering experience, as you see first hand the challenges that the soldiers faced, trying to cross many yards of largely featureless sand under the relentless fire of German machine guns and artillery. Over 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives on D-Day, with many more wounded or missing. It’s an important place to visit, to learn about and ensure that their sacrifice is remembered.
How to Get to Normandy Beaches from Paris
Guided Tour: The easiest way to visit the Normandy beaches from Paris is to take a guided tour. It’s quite a long way, and makes for a full day trip, and a tour of the Normandy beaches will make the process a lot smoother, including transport and a tour guide who can give you context and help you understand what you are seeing. The beaches are spread along a fifty-mile stretch of coast, but generally, most people will visit one or two, as well as a war cemetery and a museum.
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Gigi Griffis of Vicious Foodie
The center of Bruges is so quintessentially European—such a fairy tale location—that the locals like to joke that at least once a season tourists mistake the town for a theme park. And who can blame them? The center is a warren of cobblestone streets, colorful Flemish architecture, slow-moving canals dotted with swans, welcoming chocolate shops, and even horse-drawn carriages click-clacking along the lanes.
Spend your day exploring cute brick-façade chocolate shops, tasting beer (Belgium is famous for it), having a real Belgian waffle (or several), and wandering through cute squares and even cuter back alleys.
How to Get to Bruges from Paris
Train: Direct trains from Paris take less than three hours (which is faster and more reliable than driving).
Day Trips From Paris Tip By: Chontelle – Mum’s Little Explorers
Did you know it is possible to travel to Belgium from Paris in a day? Yep, in as little as half an hour and 20 minutes by train you can travel out of the French capital, and be enjoying some delicious Belgium delights in the city of Brussels.
Famous for its history, baroque architecture, and of course some of the world’s best chocolate, Brussels has so much to offer for any type of traveler. You could easily spend a few days exploring Brussels, but it is small enough to be able to see the main sites in a day trip.
You can start off by visiting the Grand Palace, one of Europe’s most breathtaking squares where you can admire some of Brussels famous baroque architecture. Nor far is The Notre Dam Du Sablon, a 14th Century Gothic cathedral and the Palais Royal which remains the official residence of the royal family.
Don’t miss the unofficial national symbol, Manneken Pis, the small bronze sculpture of a naked boy peeing into a fountain. For foodies make sure you check try some of the local cuisine including Fries and mussels. And, of course, you can’t leave before trying some of the local beer.
How to Get to Belgium from Paris
Train: The Thalys high-speed trains depart approximately every half hour from Paris Nord to Bruxelles Midi daily and cost around €30.00 depending on your ticket.
Want to stay in Brussels longer and need budget accommodations? Check out our guide to the best budget hostels in Brussels.
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