15 Stunning Day Trips From Paris To Add To Your France Bucket List


15 Stunning Day Trips From Paris To Add To Your France Bucket List

As fast-paced and exciting as a city like Paris can be, sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle. If you are visiting the capital city of France and looking for some of the easiest, most rewarding day trips from Paris, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, an artist, or just want to get outside in nature, these day trips from Paris offer a little something for everyone.

There are many different options for the traveler looking to escape Paris for the day, so I decided to partner up with some of my most trusted and experienced travel blogger friends to put together this guide to the best day trips from Paris that you should add to your France bucket list like, yesterday.

Escape To Mont-Saint-Michel, A Real Fairytale Castle

One of the dreamiest day trips from Paris is Le Mont-Saint-Michel, which is an island commune and UNESCO site in Normandy, northern France. It has a population of 50, but being one of France’s best-known landmarks, it receives about 3 million visitors per year.

Its main attraction is the hilltop monastery, dating back to the 8th century. As you approach the island from the bridge, the view is straight from a storybook. You can climb to the top and tour the Romanesque abbey and 13th century great halls, then descend through the medieval main street, lined with stone homes.

Restaurants on the island tend to be overpriced, so bringing picnic lunch is not a bad idea. Don’t hesitate to stop in one or two shops to get a bottle of calvados, an apple or pear brandy produced in Normandy.

When you are lucky enough to visit on a day when the tide is low, you could walk around the island. But it’s best to hire a knowledgeable guide (ask in the tourist office) and avoid quick sands. Not up for that? You can look at the sea as you make your way up the hill.

How To Get To Mont Saint-Michel From Paris

Mont Saint-Michel is 360 km from Paris – about 4 hours away – and best reached from Paris by car or train. The busiest periods are summer, school holidays, and long weekends. If you can’t avoid those times, visit early in the morning or late afternoon, and stay to see the island beautifully lit. 

Pola Henderson | Jetting Around

Chartres Is One Of The Best Day Trips From Paris For History Buffs

Chartres is an easy day trip from Paris and is definitely worth visiting to see its famous Cathedral. The Cathedral of Chartres, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been called the “high point of French Gothic art.” It was constructed in the 13th century and is still incredibly well preserved. You’ll even find most of the original stained glass decorating the windows.

You’ll also find hundreds of sculptures, both inside the Cathedral and outside on the façade. The carved figures on the choir screen were sculpted much later, in the 18th century, but they are just as impressive as the Gothic sculptures in the rest of the Cathedral.

For expansive views over Chartres and the surrounding countryside, be sure to climb up the tower. I’ve been told that on a clear day you can see the Eiffel Tower from here, but the weather wasn’t good enough for that when I visited.

While the Cathedral is clearly Chartres’ main draw, the rest of the town is also worth exploring. The streets are lined with half-timbered houses built in the traditional style, with flowers hanging in the windows. The one that’s generally said to be the loveliest of these historic homes is the Maison de la Truie qui File, with its intricate wood carvings.

How To Get To Chartres From Paris

Plenty of trains run every day from the Paris Montparnasse train station to Chartres and back. The journey takes a little more than an hour, and a ticket in a second-class carriage costs 16 euros one way.

Wendy Werneth | The Nomadic Vegan

Explore The Famous Versailles Gardens and Palace

A day trip to Versailles should be on everyone’s must-do list of Paris attractions! It was our favorite destination during our travels in France. Sure, it’s crowded and the line-ups are crazy, but for a good reason. The Palace of Versailles is absolutely spectacular.

The palace and the surrounding gardens are the ultimate in insane, over-the-top opulence and luxury. Some highlights of a visit to Versailles include the palace of course, the garden grounds, and our favorite, Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, a rustic retreat in the park of the Chateau.

Pro tip: head to the Hamlet first once you enter the grounds, you’ll be rewarded with few crowds while you tour this lovely hamlet.

Just imagine, a short and simple train trip from Paris transports you from a modern bustling city to an ancient gleaming palace once occupied by Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.

How To Get To Versailles From Paris

Getting to Versailles is pretty easy! Train tickets can be purchased at any Paris Metro Station, and the palace is on the RER C line. Depending on where you are in the city, it will take you from 30 to 45 minutes to reach the Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche Station, and once you exit the station, it is a 15-minute walk to the Chateau.

Dian Emery | Girls Getaway

Chantilly Is A Perfect Option For Those Looking For A More Peaceful Day Trip From Paris

Looking for an alternative to the Versailles day trip without the crowds? Head to the beautiful small town of Chantilly, an easy day trip from Paris by train with many interesting things to see and do.

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Chantilly is world-renowned for its Chantilly Racecourse, founded in 1834, which hosts two of the most prestigious France Galop races: the Prix du Jockey-Club and the Prix de Diane Longines.

However, Chantilly’s relationship with horses comes from the XVIIIth century thanks to the 7th prince de Condé Louis-Henri de Bourbon. The prince had a great passion for horses. Actually, he was obsessed with horses to the point that he believed he would become a horse himself in his second life.

Louis-Henri de Bourbon ordered the construction of spectacular stables for his 200 horses and 500 hounds in a construction as big and beautiful as any palace in the surroundings. Today, the Great Stables host one of the most prestigious horse training centers in the world as well as the Chantilly Horse Museum, with daily horse performance under the Great Stables’ central dome.

Apart from the horses, Chantilly also has a beautiful castle surrounded by spectacular gardens. The original gardens, the French Gardens, were designed by André Le Notre who also designed Versailles Gardens. The English Gardens were a later addition to the castle.

How To Get To Chantilly From Paris

Chantilly is located 40 km north of Paris. Direct trains leave from Gare du Nord for a journey of only 23 minutes.

Elisa | World in Paris

Visit Two Major Cities In One Day And Go To London

London is an excellent choice for a day trip from Paris. The train journey is just over two hours from city to city, putting you in the heart of London. You could take an early morning train and plan to explore all day, then catch an evening train back to Paris and rest for the duration of the trip back.

London is an easy city to navigate with plenty of public transportation and English speaking citizens. Planning ahead is definitely advisable for your day trip to London as lines for certain places can be hours long and you’ll want to make the most of your time. (Pssst…traveling solo and looking for things to do on your own in London? I’ve got you covered.)

If you know in advance where you want to go and what you want to see, maybe getting a skip the line pass for the attraction would be to your advantage.

Some of the popular London attractions to visit include: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The London Eye, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Tate Modern, Kensington Palace, Camden Town, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and so much more. 

A good way to see a lot of the city in a short time frame is to take the hop on hop off bus through the city. This allows you to get off and back on wherever the bus stops and you pick your own adventure.

Places to eat in London that should not be missed: Sketch (which is the MOST Instagrammable place), Peggy Porschen, the Cereal Killer Café, and don’t forget afternoon tea! Explore more Instagrammable places in London here.

How To Get To London From Paris

Take the Eurostar train from Paris to London, which only takes a little over two hours. Book ahead, as tickets almost always sell out for this popular journey. Be sure to get to Paris Gare du Nord with plenty of time to get through the station, complete the check-in and security process, and board your train.

It’s a bit like airport security screening (with passport control as well) so the last thing you want is to be rushing through the station and end up missing your train to London.

Nicole Sunderland | Eatlivetraveldrink

Visit Amiens For A Peaceful Day By The Water

Amiens is the capital of the Picardy region in northern France and has a lot to offer! The most popular attraction is the medieval cathedral which is known to be the largest cathedral in France. Pro tip: visit the cathedral roof to experience the breathtaking view of the city.

The floating gardens are also another reason why you must have seen Amiens. These gardens have been taken care by the locals for over many generations and sit between the water channels.

You can take a romantic chilled-out boat ride and discover the gardens. Each is different and some are beautifully decorated for the passing visitors.

The city center will give you a reason to go shopping and will get you in the mood to try an authentic crepe from the region. Locate the charming old town lane to experience authentic regional food specialties and enjoy a stunning view of the cathedral.

How To Get To Amiens From Paris

Amiens is located about 1 1/2 – 2 hours from Paris. In fact, Amiens is also a popular weekend destination for visitors from the UK because of it’s proximity to the channel.

The fastest way to get from Paris to Amiens is to take a comfortable train ride. The highways tend to be congested and you need to halt and pay for the various tolls.

Helene D’Souza | Masala Herb

Wander Through Monet’s Legendary Gardens In Giverny

Giverny is the famous painter Claude Monet’s former home and gardens and many of his famous works of art are inspired by the scenery and house. Some of Monet’s most famous paintings are the water lilies that hang in L’Orangerie Museum in Paris. At Giverny, you can see the actual water lily ponds that they are modeled on.

The ponds are surrounded by weeping willows and framed by a green Japanese bridge that also appears in several of his paintings. There are other gardens also, ablaze with flowers throughout the spring and summer.

Monet’s house is brightly lit and colorful, and has several photos and pictures that help give an insight into his daily life. His former workshop, with high ceilings and lots of light, is now the gift shop. 

There is a small village that has several restaurants and shops, as well as places to have a picnic in warm weather.

How To Get To Giverny From Paris

To get to Giverny from Paris, take a train from the Gare Saint Lazare to Gare de Vernon. The trains are met by a shuttle bus to Giverny. The whole journey takes about an hour: 45 minutes on the train and another 15 minutes for the shuttle. The house and gardens are open from mid-March until the end of October.

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James Ian | Travel Collecting

Spend A Magical Day At Disneyland Paris

If you’re visiting Paris with kids, or even if you’re just a kid at heart, then a day trip to Disneyland Paris is an absolute must.

You can of course buy tickets once you arrive, but I recommend buying tickets in advance so you can get a deal and save a few dollars. After all, Disneyland is expensive!

If you have been to other Disneyland’s around the world, you might be surprised how small Disneyland Paris is. However I found this quite a good thing traveling with a small child as it was easy to get around. But don’t be fooled, lines can still be super long and so making using of the Fastpass system when you can is totally worth it.

Right next door to Disneyland is Walt Studios. There are plenty of rides here too, but with a focus more on the shows. If you want to visit both parks during the day you will need a ticket which allows this, so take care of choosing the right ticket.

Of course you can stay in the various Disney Hotels around the parks, this is ideal if you are spending multiple days at Disneyland. However if you are just looking for a day trip from Paris, simply jump back on the train at the end of the day. Make sure you stay for the fireworks though!

How To Get To Disneyland From Paris

Disneyland is super easy to get to from Paris as it is only about a 40-minute train ride. The Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station is one of the most important hubs in France and is located right at the gates of the magic, just a 2-minute walk from the station to the Disney Parks.

Melissa Delaware | Thrifty Family Travels

Escape To The Picturesque Loire Valley For The Day

The Loire Valley is a fantastic day trip from Paris. The Loire is a river running a couple of hundred kilometres in the south of Paris. It’s where the French Royalty and nobility built their castles a few centuries ago.

Some castles are in picturesque town centres, others are built across a river, some are famous for their incredible gardens or for their fortifications. You plunge into History with gossips and antique furniture, or into a fairy tale with incredible decors and arts. 

And if the castles weren’t enough, the region is also reputed for its wineries. With great white, red, rose and sparkling wines, there’s something to please everybody. It makes it a perfect place to try French delicious food and famous wines. 

How To Get To The Loire Valley From Paris

The best way to visit the Loire Valley for a day trip from Paris is to hire a car or join a guided tour. It takes about two hours to drive down there.

Having your own transport will maximize your time in the region. It’s possible to get to the Loire Valley by train (Tours train station is about 1 hour away from Paris) but buses to reach the castles are limited so you will only be able to visit one or two.

The most famous Loire Valley castles are Chenonceau, Chambord, Villandry and Usse. 

Eloise | My Favorite Escapes

Soak Up History And Architecture In Rouen

If you’ve got a day to spare and want to escape the hectic vibe of France’s capital, then I recommend traveling over to Rouen. It’s a wonderful city, filled with some of France’s oldest and most architecturally beautiful buildings. In particular, their cathedral which was constructed over 800 years ago!

I enjoyed Rouen perhaps even more than Paris, for the simple fact that it is a little more laid back. It’s a city where you can spend hours walking around the cobbled streets, taking in the atmosphere and the old misshapen buildings. Other great things to do in Rouen include visiting the Saint Joan of Arc Church and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen.

The latter of which houses sculptures and paintings from many of France’s most famous artists. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out in Rouen. We suggest trying one of the ones that offer outdoor dining with views of the cathedral. Alternatively, relax and grab a coffee at the cafe designed as a replica to Central Perk in the TV show “Friends.”

How To Get To Rouen From Paris

Rouen is located about 135 km from Paris, meaning it’s easily reachable by car in just a couple of hours. However, the traffic in and out of Paris is notoriously bad, so taking the train is by far your best, most efficient option.

Bradley Williams | Dream Big, Travel Far

See UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Riems

Reims, France is an amazing day trip from Paris and one that everyone should consider on their France trip. Historically speaking, it is one of the most important cities in France as it was where the kings used to be coronated.

There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Reims: Saint Remi, Palace of Tau, and the Notre Dame Cathedral (where the kings were crowned). Reims was also the place where Germany surrendered WW2. This took place at a school in the city now named Franklin Roosevelt School which is still in use today. 

Not only are there several historical things to do in Reims, but there are also many reasons to venture there if you’re a food and drinks lover. The city is known for its ham, tasty cheeses, and truffles, but most importantly…it is the unofficial capital of the Champagne region of France. This status makes it an epic place to indulge in the many incredible Champagnes that Reims and the local area have to offer. 

How To Get To Riems From Paris

You can easily reach Reims from Paris by taking a bus or one of the several trains that run from Paris East daily.

Megan Starr

Take An Enchanting Day Trip From Paris To Le Mans

Le Mans is in the middle of France’s chateaux region, and it’s easy to tell as you wonder through the city. A fairytale-esque character permeates the whole city, especially in Cité Plantagenêt, Le Man’s old town.

Being one of Europe’s best-conserved old towns, it’s difficult to not be enchanted by its quaint architecture and incredible history. The tall, timbered houses seem to lean over you as you skip down the winding cobbled streets.

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The old town is separated from the rest of the town by the remnants of a Roman wall, the longest surviving of its kind in France. The Roman wall also features prominently during the Le Mans ‘Nuit des Chimères’ an annual show that turns historical monuments into dazzling projection screens that tell stories of the city’s rich history.

In the old town, you’ll also find the Cathedral Saint-Julien, the epitome of French Gothic architecture and also a popular destination for medieval pilgrims, having been in construction from the 6th century!

Le Mans is an essential day trip from Paris, especially for those with an interest in Medieval European architecture.

How To Get To Le Mans From Paris

Le Mans is the perfect day trip from Paris, located in North France, about an hour’s train journey or a two-hour car trip from the French capital.

Natasha Welch | World Inside My Pocket

Step Back In Time In Medieval Provins

Provins is a fortified UNESCO town that makes a great day trip from Paris. Provins is known for hosting the best medieval fair in France but it is still worth a visit all year round.

The 1,200 meters of ramparts and the fortified gates are reasons enough to visit but in addition to those, Tour César, which has been around since the 12th Century, offers impressive 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.

Nearby to Cesar’s Tower is the Place du Châtel, a small square filled with restaurants and bars. Perfect for relaxing after walking around the town. 

How To Get To Provins From Paris

Provins is easy to get to from Paris. Trains run every hour from Gare de l’Est and take about 1 hour and 24 minutes in total with the first train leaving at 6:46am. Trains back to Paris Gare de l’Est also run once an hour until late in the evening so plenty of time to make the most out of your time there.

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. 

Claire Salter | Curious Claire

Pay Your Respects To Fallen Heroes In Normandy

Located about 3 hrs by car from Paris, the rugged and hallowed beaches of Word War 2’s most famous invasion lie in quiet reverence to the ultimate sacrifice. Normandy, with its rocky shores and unforgiving tides, was chosen as the location as it was the least likely for such an endeavor.

Troops under the direction of the US, UK, and Canada stormed the various beaches to try to make a landing in occupied France. The various beaches are still preserved, with many of them adjacent to the final resting places of the soldiers who gave their lives in this battle.

Omaha Beach, abut to the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-mer is one such location that sees many visitors to the area. Juno Beach is adjacent to the Canadian cemetery and British troops and other allies are entombed in other various cemeteries around the area.

One of the most interesting museums in the area is the Musée du débarquement in Arromanche, which shows in detail the incredible engineering project of planning and building a harbor for D-Day plus one requirements.

Various other significant sites such as Longues sur Mer and Point du Hoc highlight the incredible bravery and risks troops engaged in to protect ships and troops landing on the shores. Other areas and sites such as those in Carentan focus on later battles of the Normandy invasion and other troops such as paratroopers.

How To Get To Normandy From Paris

Trains from Gare Saint Lazare in Paris make for an easy 2-hour ride from Paris to Bayeux. Depending on the time of day you leave, there are direct trains or routes with a simple additional connection in Caen.

Book tickets directly with France’s rail service to save yourself some money. We recommend leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening in order to maximize your time in Normandy.

Anwar | Beyond My Front Door

Take An Easy Day Trip From Paris to Luxembourg

While there is so much to explore in the city of Paris, it is also the perfect starting place to explore smaller destinations on a day trip. One of our favorite day trips from Paris to Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a small country sandwiched between Belgium, France, and Germany.

The capital city, Luxembourg city can be easily explored in one day. You could explore the many art museums that are spread across the city and showcase Luxembourg’s love for art. You can also spend outdoors, hiking and exploring the beautiful landscape of the city.

Luxembourg’s Corniche is known as the most beautiful balcony in Europe. You can spend the day walking downhill, exploring the raw and rugged architecture and the beautiful landscape of Luxembourg. It is indeed a memorable experience to sit by the flowing river water and gazing at this beautiful city. Luxembourg, especially the outdoors, is the perfect pick for a photographer!

Some of the top things to do in Luxembourg include exploring Bock and the city casements and walking along the Berdorf. Another must is to climb along the walls of the Corniche – the most beautiful balcony of Europe, visit the Notre Dame cathedral, and walk around Place Guillaume.

You can also explore the many art museums in Luxembourg using a city card available at the tourist office.

Luxembourg is beautiful, picturesque and highly refreshing for your regular city breaks. Most importantly, with Luxembourg, you can explore a whole new country while on a day trip from Paris! We loved it and we highly recommend this to anyone who wants to explore more.

How To Get To Luxembourg From Paris

It takes a two-hour long train ride from Paris to reach Luxembourg. There are direct trains that operate between Paris and Luxembourg on a regular schedule, with minimum reservation fees.

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While there are lots of exciting options when it comes to day trips from Paris, these are fifteen of the most valuable, easy trips to take while in France. Our hope is that you find one that speaks to you, whether you are plotting out your destinations around Paris or simply looking for some beautiful locations to escape the busy capital city.

Have you ever been to any of these destinations? If not, which one looks the most appealing to you?

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  • Angela
    March 23, 2019 at 8:07 PM

    These are great suggestions — I have such a hard time leaving Paris ha! But I have heard such great things about Rouen and Riems so I’ll have to add those to my list for next time!

  • Sami
    March 11, 2019 at 8:44 AM

    Ahh – I am going to be in Paris in April and seriously considering sacrificing one of my days for one of these trips!

  • Pansy
    March 9, 2019 at 8:04 PM

    What an excellent post!! I have visited several of these places already and would love to visit all the other places too!! My favorites are Mont Saint-Michel, Loire Valley, Versailles and Rouen 🙂