You've done it! You made it to Paris and it is everything that you thought it would be and more. But, if you are staying for a week, you might eventually have the desire to get out of the big city. At least for a day. There are plenty of really awesome day trips from Paris that will give you a break. All of these locations are accessible by car, bus, or train and you can find guided day tours from Paris that will include transportation for all these locations as well.
I asking my blogging friends to tell me their suggestions for the best day trips from Paris and boy did they come through! I've got plenty of recommendations for you from people who have been there, done that. Before I dive into their suggestions, here is one of my favorites.
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Paris to Giverny day trip
Mr. Misadventures and I have been to Monet's gardens in Giverny a few times in different seasons. Our first time was with a guided Context Tour (I love these guys) in November. We went by train and had a good time despite the gloomy weather. We've also been in the summer and in the spring. No matter when you go you will be impressed by the flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, which of course change with the season. You can visit Monet's home, the kitchen is fun, and visit the grounds. I also very much enjoy the town of Giverny, there are cute shops (love the hat shop!) cafes and a worthwhile museum stop, the Museum of Impressionism.
Giverny is 1-hour and 15-minutes by car (A13 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Giverny.
Paris to Palace of Versailles day trip
One of the most memorable moments of my recent trip to Paris with my husband has got to be visiting the Palace of Versailles. We were on the fence about it at first because we knew it would take up most of the day and we only had six full days in Paris and had so many places we wanted to see and so much we wanted to do, but boy, are we glad we decided on going!
We took the 45-minute train ride from the Musée d'Orsay train station in Paris and arrived in Versailles on a very cold November morning. But as we exited the train station and began our short walk towards the Palace of Versailles, the cold didn’t bother us as much anymore.
The magnitude of the palace and the sheer beauty of it up close was so surreal. I’ve seen it in movies but there is nothing quite like seeing it in person. I remember walking up to the golden gates and just thinking, “I can’t believe I’m actually here.” In fact, I found myself saying that a lot while in Paris.
The Palace of Versailles is a definite must-see and should be on the top of everyone's list who is traveling to Paris, France for the first time.
Versailles is 30-minutes by car from Paris. There are also RER trains (RER C yellow line) and buses from Paris to Versailles.
Suggested by Barbara of Flashes of Delight
Paris to Disneyland Paris day trip
After a few days of visiting Paris, head to Disneyland Paris for a fun day trip, especially if you are traveling with kids. The park is a treat and it is only about an hour away from the city in the town of Marne-le-ville and easily accessible by the high-speed commuter train. We have been to France a few times and one of the best things that my daughter still remembers and talks about is the rides and shows she watched at the magical world of Disneyland Paris. There are two parks that make Disneyland Pairs complex. The first is Disneyland Park which is based closely on Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The second park is Walt Disney Studio Park. Disneyland Park has the traditional “Disneyland” experience from Sleeping Beauty's castle, to rides like It's a Small World, Pinocchio, the Teacups, Buzz Lightyear Lazerblast, among many others.
You can take the RER commuter train line A to Marne-la-Valleé from central Paris. The park entrance is right outside. Plan to visit on weekdays, it is especially busy during peak summer holiday months and weekends. Don’t miss the Disneyland parade, it is just as spectacular as the Disney parades elsewhere in the world.
Disneyland Paris is located in Coupvray and is 45 minutes by car (A4 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There is also an RER and buses from Paris to Disneyland Paris.
Suggested by Priya from Outside Suburbia
I have my own post on Disneyland Paris for adults.
Paris to Chantilly day trip
Leave the crowds of Paris and head to quiet Chantilly instead! The palace of Chantilly is located just a short train ride away to the north of Paris. From Gare du Nord it is just 25 minutes on the TER and costs around 6 euros (2019). Visiting Chateau du Chantilly is a perfect day trip from Paris. Chateau de Chantilly is an incredible French palace. The building appears to be floating upon a lake and is set within beautiful gardens. Explore the romantic English gardens, especially the Island of Love. Also, make sure you stroll over to the little Hameau at Chantilly. The Hameau consists of a handful of quaint cottages, which is said to have been the inspiration for Marie Antoinette’s hamlet at Versailles.
After exploring the gardens head inside the spectacular chateau. The interior of Chantilly is lovely. Whilst Chantilly’s interiors may be less impressive than those at Versailles, it is wonderful to be able to meander at your own pace. There are no crowds to battle through and you may linger for as long as you desire. Finally, admire the spectacular reflection of the exterior upon the deep blue lake. Chantilly is truly magnificent. Chateau de Chantilly is one of Paris’ best day trips. Pick a sunny day, pack a picnic, hop on the train and discover one of France’s prettiest Chateaus.
Chateau de Chantilly is 50 minutes by car (A3 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Chantilly.
Suggested by Anna Liddell of My Travel Scrapbook
Paris to Château de Fontainebleau day trip
Château de Fontainebleau, 55km south-east of Paris, makes a great day trip from the French capital. The first castle, surrounded by a huge and scenic forest, was built in the XII century as a hunting place for the king of France (Louis VII?). Since then, the king’s successors spent a lot of energy and money enlarging and embellishing this castle and today Fontainebleau is one of the largest (and most beautiful) royal castles in France. Because of its different enlargements and renovations, the palace has different architectural styles. The interiors are richly decorated, sometimes with a rustic touch (it was a hunting palace after all) and the palace has beautiful gardens decorated with fountains and pools.
It is very easy to travel to Fontainebleau from Paris, just have in mind that you cannot use the Paris metro tickets but specific tickets to Fontainebleau. Trains leave from Gare de Lyon hourly to Gare Fontainebleau Avon (1-hour journey). At the exit of Fontainebleau train station, there is a bus shuttle waiting to take visitors to the entrance of Château de Fontainebleau.
Fontainebleau is 1-hour by car (A6 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Fontainebleau.
Suggest by Elisa of World in Paris
Paris to Reims day trip
Reims is easily one of the best day trips from Paris that should be added to your itinerary. The city is known for quite a few things ranging from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to being the birthplace of the biscuit to its infamous status of being the unofficial Champagne capital of France. You can take a Champagne tour from Paris and explore the city through the delightful drink, or you can venture there on your own and enjoy a mixture of bubbly and history. Reims also has a special history pertaining to WWII for that it was the place where the Germans surrendered to the allied forces (although the Soviets refused to acknowledge this and took matters to Berlin). This happened at Franklin Roosevelt School in the city and the school is still in operation today and has a small museum dedicated to this inside. The city of Reims is definitely a worthy day trip from Paris, whether you go on an organized tour of the city and its Champagne houses or if you go there independently.
Reims is 1-hour and 40 minutes by car (A4 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Reims.
Suggested by Megan Starr
Paris to Champagne day trip
Located about 2 hours East of Paris, the Champagne region is a perfect day trip from Paris. If you have the time, it is worth exploring this region more in-depth though.
What could be a more perfect day trip than to explore the rolling vineyards of the Champagne and sample your way through the Champagne Houses of Moët et Chandon, Perrier-Jouët, and Mumm & Co. on the famous Avenue de Champagne in Epernay? Then head out and follow the Marne River and explore some of the beautiful small villages in the region, such as Château-Thierry, Dormans, or visit the beautiful Château de Condé in Condé-en-Brie and if your budget allows finish off this perfect day with a visit to the Michelin Star restaurant Hostellerie La Briqueterie back in Epernay. The Champagne is not only a beautiful region, but it is also one of the tastiest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.
The Champagne region is 1-hour and 40 minutes by car (A4 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Champagne.
Suggested by Maria of Europe Up Close
Paris to Rouen day trip
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris for the day, then Rouen is a perfect choice. Rouen is the “capital” of the Normandy region and it’s a perfect blend between modern and old. The architecture is breathtaking throughout the city and you’ll be super impressed by the Cathedral and the gothic church (both of which are free to enter). You can wander for hours around historical Rouen and discover many beautiful parks, gardens, fountains, and buildings. Stop at one of the many French restaurants serving up a great value menu of the day. Rouen is quieter than Paris and you’ll feel free and tranquil in this area. Plus, it’s half the price of Paris which is also a bonus.
Rouen is 1-hour and 40 minutes by car from Paris. There are also trains (29 trains per day that go back and forth) and buses from Paris to Rouen.
Suggested by Cazzy of Dream Big, Travel Far
Paris to Normandy day trip
Stepping onto the shores of the Normandy Beaches, with the history of what happened here not too fresh from my 5th-grade history book was not particularly easy. Remembering how World War II finally ended in 1945 as I passed through the Caen Memorial Museum was a good refresher. How the Allied Forces (American, British, and Canadian soldiers) landed on the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944 with the codename Operation Overload. How they overtook the enemy and some very harsh conditions and how utterly brave they were. It was quite an amazing feat that they were able to end World War II. You can experience the entirety of it all on a bus tour from Paris to the D Day Beaches of Normandy via an organized tour that starts in the in the morning and ends late in the day or you can take the train and rent a car and do it all of your own. Depending on how much time you have, I do recommend that you visit the Caen Memorial Museum for an overview and then Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery.
Normandy is 2-hour and 30 minutes by car (A13 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Normandy.
Suggested by Cacinda of Points & Travel
Paris to Saint-Malo day trip
Despite being quite small, Saint-Malo is one of the most beautiful towns in France. Located at almost 400 KM from Paris it's a long day trip from Paris but a well worth one. Saint-Malo is a quaint town, with huge ramparts that used to protect the city both from the enemies and the tides. They are perfectly preserved, enclosing the town, and you can walk on them for free. From the walls the views to the turquoise water, beaches, and islands (small Bé and Big Bé) in front of Saint-Malo are breathtaking.
The area within the walls is called Intra Muros and it still is the heart of St Malo, with its small, quaint alleys, cobblestone streets, and historic buildings. It's mandatory to wander around and to lose ourselves there.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of other things to do in Saint-Malo. There are many wonderful beaches with turquoise (yet cold) water for you to relax and even swim in Summer. On low tide, you can also walk to one or several of the islands, like Big Bé, Small Bé, and Fort Nacional.
Saint-Malo is a very rewarding town, one that offers different attractions able to captivate most travelers.
Saint-Malo is 4-hour and 10 minutes by car from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Saint-Malo.
Suggested by Jorge Bastos of Travel Drafts
Here is my own guide to Saint-Malo.
Paris to Mont St. Michel day trip
Located about 4 hours west of Paris, Mont St. Michel is one of the most incredible sites to behold in Paris or Beyond. The famous Abbey is most well known for turning into an island during times of the high tide. While the constructed causeway prevents that from fully occurring in the present-day, the island, Abbey, and Monastery are still impressive sites to behold. While the site was in use prior, the first monastic commune was established in the 8th century. While there was a monastery here for many years, the Abbey which forms a prominent part of the island did not begin construction until the 11th century. The island, abbey, and the buildings of the commune are all currently protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Getting to the island however as a tourist requires visitors to come either by tour bus or private vehicle.
Mont St. Michel is 4-hour and 20 minutes by car (A13 autoroute and then national and local roads from there) from Paris. There are also trains from Paris to Mont St. Michel.
Suggested by Anwar of Beyond my Front Door
Here is my own guide to Mont St. Michel.
Paris to Loire Valley day trip
Less than two hours away from Paris, the Loire Valley makes a fantastic day trip because of its beautiful chateaux, elaborate castles built for royalty, and the wealthiest of aristocrats. Highlights of a Loire Valley day trip include the imposing Chateau de Chambord with its unique double-helix staircase; the graceful Chateau de Chenonceau, known as the Ladies Castle; and the Royal Chateau of Amboise, well known for its connection to Leonardo da Vinci. His tomb lies in the chapel on the castle grounds. The easiest way to get around the Loire Valley is by driving, but there are plenty of day tours from Paris you can sign up for. There is also a Circuit des Châteaux shuttle bus from the Blois train station, which is an hour and a half from the Gare Austerlitz in Paris. This seasonal shuttle runs from April to November (exact dates vary) and stops at the chateaux of Blois, Cheverny, Chambord, and Beauregard.
Loire Valley is a region and depending on where you are headed is 2-3 hours by car from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Loire Valley.
Suggested by Carol of Wandering Carol
Paris to Bruges (Belgium) day trip
If you are looking for a day trip from Paris that will take you back in time and take your breath away, then the beautiful city of Bruges is a perfect choice. Just over two hours from Paris by train, Bruges offers beautiful architecture and picturesque canals views that look like they came from a postcard. The cobblestone streets are perfect for meandering until you reach Market Square at the center of the city. Here you can climb the belfry for a whole new view of the colorful, lively area filled with horse-drawn carriages, stands selling famous French fries, and Belgian waffles topped with ice cream, fruit, and whipped cream.
Rozenhoedkaai is the most photographed spot in the entire city and rightfully so. Here you can rent a boat and take a ride through the canals to learn about their history and see gorgeous buildings that would otherwise go unseen. Renting bicycles is also a great activity to explore the outskirts of the town and would allow you to ride along the canal to view the windmills and visit small towns nearby like Damme. Beyond waffles and French fries, no trip to Bruges would be complete without a trip to the Beer Wall and to one of the many chocolatiers dotting the streets with delicious homemade chocolates.
Bruges is 3-hour and 20 minutes by car from Paris. There are also trains and buses from Paris to Bruges in Belgium.
Suggested by Sierra Schmidt of Free to Travel Mama
Additional day trips from Paris to look into:
- My beautiful and talented friend Kasia shares a day trip to Château de Champs-sur-Marne on the Bonjour Paris site.
- The lovely Solo Sophie shares a spot I had not heard of, L’Isle-Adam
- Atlas Obscura finds the Musée Ateliers des Pionniers, a quirky museum of antique transport that's a must-see for bicycle lovers.
- France Today helps you discover 12 iconic châteaux in the Île-de-France (the region that Paris is in).
How about you? Do you have any day trips from Paris to suggest or recommend? Do share! Or, have you been to any of these spots and what do you think? Do tell!
For a visual summary of this post, check out my Paris Day Trips web story!
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